An excellent sermon on Gun Control

This sermon is representative of my own beliefs on Gun Control.  Living in the city of Chicago, it is an issue we cannot afford to ignore.

Sermon by Steve van Kuiken, Lake Street Church of Evanston, Evanston, IL.   July 21, 2013.

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4 thoughts on “An excellent sermon on Gun Control

  1. lwk2431 says:

    Looks like legal concealed carry is coming to Chicago. About time.

    Jesus said to turn the other cheek, but I don’t recollect him instructing Christians to stand idle while criminals killed you or your loved ones. But I forgot this is Chicago where half the criminal population wear a badge anyway.


    • Thanks for taking time to listen to the sermon and comment. I’d like to add a couple of points of clarification: 1) that pacifism (or nonviolence) isn’t ‘standing idle’:it is a demand for a different type of response (of which scripture is replete with examples); and 2) a few bad politicians and cops have ruined a lot of good reputations in Chicago: we do have (more than) our fair share of corruption here, but there are a lot of very good and faithful public servants who are doing their best to uphold the law.

      Thanks again!

      • lwk2431 says:

        “… pacifism (or nonviolence) isn’t ‘standing idle’:it is a demand for a different type of response (of which scripture is replete with examples)…”

        I actually discussed pacifism years ago with Gandhi’s grandson (one of them, been a while) in an email exchange. If I remember correctly he had recently published something and I wrote him to make a comment.

        Basically my comment was that Mahatma Gandhi only succeeded against the British because in large part the British people were decent and open to moral persuasion. That was also true of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. – the American people as a whole at that time were largely decent and open to moral persuasion.

        If Gandhi had instead been born a German in the early 20th century and had used similar tactics against the Nazis we probably would have never heard of him. He would have died anonmymously in some concentraion camp. Or if he had been born a Russian at about the same time then he would have most likely have died in the basement of the Lubyanka in Moscow, or some nameless Gulag.

        The grandson, reluctantly, agreed with my assessment.

        I do believe that Jesus did preach non-violence up to a point – up to the point that one has some power of moral persuasion. But there simply is a point with some people that moral persuasion is not only not effective, it actually encourages them in their evil.

        ” [pacifism] is a demand for a different type of response (of which scripture is replete with examples) …”

        The most famous example I think is in the Sermon on the Mount:

        “But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.”

        Some scholars interpret some of these sayings as speaking directly to the customs of the day. For example from Wikipedia:

        “At the time of Jesus, striking someone deemed to be of a lower class with the back of the hand was used to assert authority and dominance.[3] If the persecuted person “turned the other cheek,” the discipliner was faced with a dilemma. The left hand was used for unclean purposes, so a back-hand strike on the opposite cheek would not be performed.[4] The other alternative would be a slap with the open hand as a challenge or to punch the person, but this was seen as a statement of equality.”

        The rest of the passage can also be seen in a similar vein:

        “And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.”

        In these other two examples from the same instructions the common theme is to assert one’s humanity and shame the other person. In the first you shame your accuser at law with your nakedness, and the second referred to a law at the time. A Roman soldier could compel a Jew to carry a load for a distance, but no more. By carrying further again the idea is to show free will, humanity, and to shame the person compelling you.

        In all the above the common theme is that a person doing evil to you is open to some form of moral persuarion, is open to seeing your humanity and repenting in their heart.

        But in the case of a few people that is not possible, and sometimes evil takes over a country so that even those who can be touched are to afraid to speak up. I have read that most of the German’s working at Auschwitz and similar camps drank a steady ration of Schnapps every day to get through their work of murdering Jews.

        I have a permit to carry a concealed handgun in Texas. I don’t expect to ever have need of it and I will “turn the other cheek” as often as possible when it is possible. But at some point I may meet up with some that are not open to any form of persuasion short of physical violence. That is whom the gun is for.

        A lot of people simply don’t believe that is possible (or in their heart believe it can’t happen to them). As a person who has seen real violence in life, and a person who helped bomb Hanoi and Haiphong back into the stone age in the dim past of war, I know beyond a shadow of doubt that evil does exist in the world and that some truly evil people do inhabit this world.

        “a few bad politicians and cops have ruined a lot of good reputations in Chicago”

        I lived there many decades ago and I was not speaking of reputation. Was speaking of personal observation and experience.



  2. Thanks again for your thoughtful response.


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