The legal status of guns in churches—in pockets in the pews or in the holsters of professional or volunteer security teams—varies across states and denominations and bears close and advised study by any church that is considering inviting guns into the sanctuary. The biblical status of a weapon designed long after the original writers had rested their hands likewise calls for careful, prayerful, and humble examination of the relevant texts. In sections of American culture, the gun has taken on weightier symbolism than its materials might suggest. To some, it is a smelted and cast idol; to others, an heirloom. To some, it is a uniform; to others, an accessory. To some, it is a necessary evil. To others, the phrase “necessary evil” flies in the face of the goodness of God’s creation.
—Rosalind C. Hughes, Whom Shall I Fear? Urgent Questions for Christians in an Age of Violence (Upper Room Books, 2021)
When determining what you believe about guns, how does the biblical text guide you? Join the conversation.
At that hour Jesus said to the crowds, “Have you come out with swords and clubs to arrest me as though I were a bandit? Day after day I sat in the temple teaching, and you did not arrest me.”
—Matthew 26:55 (NRSV)
Prayer for the Week
Even though I walk through lonely and dark times, I will fear nothing, because you are with me; your guidance and authority comfort me. (Adapted from Psalm 23:4)
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.
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(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
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