Offending the Conscience

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Re: Offending the Conscience

Post by wosbald » Mon Nov 20, 2017 11:42 pm

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Re: Offending the Conscience

Post by hugodrax » Tue Nov 21, 2017 6:27 am

Is there a First Church of Christ the American? There really, really should be.
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Re: Offending the Conscience

Post by hugodrax » Tue Nov 21, 2017 7:17 am

Sorry, this has been a really respectful, interesting conversation. I still can't resist.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c7nFTaR9YsU
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Re: Offending the Conscience

Post by UncleBob » Tue Nov 21, 2017 8:43 am

Sir Moose wrote:
Mon Nov 20, 2017 11:24 pm

If I understand correctly what you're trying to say, then I believe you are misunderstanding Jesus' statement. It sounds like you're saying that he told them to get swords so that they would be transgressors and he would be then be "with the transgressors." I believe what Jesus was actually saying was that he was about to be numbered with the transgressors and crucified, thereby leaving the disciples without Jesus there to look out for them. Therefore, they needed to provide for their own safety from that point forward.
That is certainly not what either the text nor the prophecy Jesus is referring to demonstrates. Keep in mind that the swords had to be there in order to fulfill the prophecy--not that the swords were there to stop/protect from the prophecy.
Um...that was the cup the Father gave Jesus. It's not necessarily the cup he has given us. I will grant that there are times that it is appropriate for a Christian to passively accept whatever is being done to them, but it is not a universal command. There are also times that it is appropriate for a Christian to fight tooth and nail to defeat evil. There is rarely any spiritual benefit to standing by and watching helplessly while a crazed lunatic kills women and children all around you.
Look, if you want to carry a gun, carry a gun. However, there is nothing in the words of Christ that justify it. To say otherwise is similar to when the prosperity nuts use Jesus' words to justify amassing wealth as a sign of Jesus' blessing. The overall message, alone, never teaches any kind of violence against people as appropriate. Sacrifice, faith in God for all things, and enduring evil, however...
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Re: Offending the Conscience

Post by wosbald » Tue Nov 21, 2017 9:22 am

+JMJ+
Sir Moose wrote:
Mon Nov 20, 2017 10:26 pm
wosbald wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 5:55 pm

So just who is supposed to be the "weaker" Christian? The one objecting to the the permissibility of carrying guns? Or the one objecting to the permissibility of banning them?
Based on what Paul has written in his epistles, the weaker Christian is the one who adds extra-biblical rules in an effort to remain righteous. Since there is no biblical prohibition against weapons in church, prohibiting them would be an extra-biblical rule and therefore would make the prohibitionists the weaker Christians. …
I've never seen a biblical prohibition against the church defending itself from guns.

Sounds like you may be "adding a rule".




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Re: Offending the Conscience

Post by FredS » Tue Nov 21, 2017 11:01 am

This is the kind of things that drive our Catholic brothers nuts. St Augustine said (or maybe didn't) "in necessary things unity; in uncertain things freedom (liberty); in all things love (charity)". Don't look to Scripture to see if you can or can't carry a gun into the sanctuary, because it's silent on the subject. It's a non-essential or uncertain thing. Caring for and protecting innocents is essential but carrying a gun isn't. And before you say "Hey wait a minute hotshot, how can I protect innocents if I don't have a gun?", let me say there are other ways. Treating the mentally ill or locking them away would be a first resort. Stepping in front of a shooter would be the last.
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Re: Offending the Conscience

Post by Del » Tue Nov 21, 2017 12:11 pm

FredS wrote:
Tue Nov 21, 2017 11:01 am
This is the kind of things that drive our Catholic brothers nuts. St Augustine said (or maybe didn't) "in necessary things unity; in uncertain things freedom (liberty); in all things love (charity)". Don't look to Scripture to see if you can or can't carry a gun into the sanctuary, because it's silent on the subject. It's a non-essential or uncertain thing. Caring for and protecting innocents is essential but carrying a gun isn't. And before you say "Hey wait a minute hotshot, how can I protect innocents if I don't have a gun?", let me say there are other ways. Treating the mentally ill or locking them away would be a first resort. Stepping in front of a shooter would be the last.
Exactly.

There is nothing in Scripture that will tell us definitively what every Christian and every Christian Church in every age and every culture should do about this. Some become pacifists, some become Crusaders, and some establish charities and care for the poor. You can be a saint or a martyr, any way.
hugodrax wrote:
Tue Nov 21, 2017 6:27 am
Is there a First Church of Christ the American? There really, really should be.
The Fundamentalist/Evangelical/Bible version of Christianity is uniquely adapted to the American culture from which it evolved. [This is why, for example, there are prohibitions against drinking alcohol among American Evangelicals. Even though moderate consumption of alcohol is frequently encouraged in Scripture, and specifically mandated by Christ as essential to worshipping Him.]

Catholic Americans aren't much different, except that (hopefully) we still maintain an awareness that we just part of a universal Church. We even have an official heresy, named Americanism, an error which puts certain unsavory aspects of the American character ahead of the universal teachings of Christ.
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Re: Offending the Conscience

Post by Sir Moose » Tue Nov 21, 2017 12:43 pm

I think some folks have been moving the goal posts. The issue wasn’t whether we are supposed to have guns in church, but if we are permitted to.
I’ll likely address more later when I have more time.


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Re: Offending the Conscience

Post by hugodrax » Tue Nov 21, 2017 12:52 pm

Sir Moose wrote:
Tue Nov 21, 2017 12:43 pm
I think some folks have been moving the goal posts. The issue wasn’t whether we are supposed to have guns in church, but if we are permitted to.
I’ll likely address more later when I have more time.


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Reloading?
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Re: Offending the Conscience

Post by Del » Tue Nov 21, 2017 12:58 pm

Sir Moose wrote:
Mon Nov 20, 2017 11:24 pm
And while we are at it:
John 18 wrote:8“I told you that I am He,” Jesus replied. “So if you are looking for Me, let these men go.” 9This was to fulfill the word He had spoken: “I have not lost one of those You have given Me.”

10Then Simon Peter drew his sword and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his right ear. The servant’s name was Malchus. 11“Put your sword back in its sheath!” Jesus said to Peter. “Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given Me?”
Shall we not drink the cup the Father have given us? This is something to contemplate.
Um...that was the cup the Father gave Jesus. It's not necessarily the cup he has given us. I will grant that there are times that it is appropriate for a Christian to passively accept whatever is being done to them, but it is not a universal command. There are also times that it is appropriate for a Christian to fight tooth and nail to defeat evil. There is rarely any spiritual benefit to standing by and watching helplessly while a crazed lunatic kills women and children all around you.
But... there is often great "spiritual benefit to standing by and watching helplessly."

Consider the witness of the Roman martyrs as whole families submitted peacefully -- and joyfully -- to martyrdom. An entire empire was converted. Child martyrs like St. Agnes and St. Lucy and St. Philomena are still remembered.

We must not underestimate the power of peaceful witness in the conversion of pagan mobs.

The thing that we remember most about the West Nickel Mines shooting is how quickly the Amish community was to forgive the perpetrator and reach out to his family.
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Re: Offending the Conscience

Post by FredS » Tue Nov 21, 2017 1:03 pm

Sir Moose wrote:
Tue Nov 21, 2017 12:43 pm
I think some folks have been moving the goal posts. The issue wasn’t whether we are supposed to have guns in church, but if we are permitted to.
I’ll likely address more later when I have more time.
My contention (and that of a few others who've posted here) is that this decision is up to you. Scripture doesn't permit or prohibit it, but is silent on it. If your local church or the governing body you place yourselves under, decides to prohibit guns in church then you should obey their rule. If your church has no such rule, then I don't understand how it would offend anyone's conscience. If you conceal, then nobody will even know. But again, it's a non-essential and the decision should be pushed down as low as possible. To me, it's no more or less important than whether you sing traditional hymns, bluegrass gospel, or Casting Crowns songs to worship.

OK, I may have gone too far with that last sentience. I'm pretty sure Casting Crowns is prohibited in the Bible and that's a pretty big essential right up there with understanding Christ was really dead when they took Him down from the cross and that the tomb was really empty a few days later.
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Re: Offending the Conscience

Post by Del » Tue Nov 21, 2017 1:30 pm

hugodrax wrote:
Tue Nov 21, 2017 12:52 pm
Sir Moose wrote:
Tue Nov 21, 2017 12:43 pm
I think some folks have been moving the goal posts. The issue wasn’t whether we are supposed to have guns in church, but if we are permitted to.
I’ll likely address more later when I have more time.


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Reloading?
Of course, we are permitted to.... as a matter of Christian dogma (specifically, lacking a dogma prohibiting self-defense).

Unless we aren't allowed to carry a weapon, as a matter of discipline in obedience to proper Church authority.

In any case, the individual Christian still needs to discern whether it is prudent for him to do so.


It would not be prudent for me to conceal and carry a gun, anywhere. I hate the darned things, and I don't know how to use one.
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Re: Offending the Conscience

Post by Sir Moose » Wed Nov 22, 2017 12:35 am

UncleBob wrote:
Tue Nov 21, 2017 8:43 am
Sir Moose wrote:
Mon Nov 20, 2017 11:24 pm
If I understand correctly what you're trying to say, then I believe you are misunderstanding Jesus' statement. It sounds like you're saying that he told them to get swords so that they would be transgressors and he would be then be "with the transgressors." I believe what Jesus was actually saying was that he was about to be numbered with the transgressors and crucified, thereby leaving the disciples without Jesus there to look out for them. Therefore, they needed to provide for their own safety from that point forward.
That is certainly not what either the text nor the prophecy Jesus is referring to demonstrates. Keep in mind that the swords had to be there in order to fulfill the prophecy--not that the swords were there to stop/protect from the prophecy.
I'm sorry, but I think you're way off base here. He is not telling them to get the swords in order to fulfill the prophecy, but because the prophecy was going to be fulfilled.

If you take a look at the prophecy, it says (among other things):
Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

Isaiah 53:12
The part about him being numbered with the transgressors is clearly linked to him pouring out his soul unto death and him bearing the sin of many. If that doesn't convince you, then also consider this passage:
And it was the third hour, and they crucified him. And the superscription of his accusation was written over, THE KING OF THE JEWS. And with him they crucify two thieves; the one on his right hand, and the other on his left. And the scripture was fulfilled, which saith, And he was numbered with the transgressors.

Mark 15:25-28 (emphasis added)
It's the crucifixion next to the convicted thieves that the prophecy was referring to, not the disciples having swords.
UncleBob wrote:
Tue Nov 21, 2017 8:43 am
Um...that was the cup the Father gave Jesus. It's not necessarily the cup he has given us. I will grant that there are times that it is appropriate for a Christian to passively accept whatever is being done to them, but it is not a universal command. There are also times that it is appropriate for a Christian to fight tooth and nail to defeat evil. There is rarely any spiritual benefit to standing by and watching helplessly while a crazed lunatic kills women and children all around you.
Look, if you want to carry a gun, carry a gun. However, there is nothing in the words of Christ that justify it. To say otherwise is similar to when the prosperity nuts use Jesus' words to justify amassing wealth as a sign of Jesus' blessing. The overall message, alone, never teaches any kind of violence against people as appropriate. Sacrifice, faith in God for all things, and enduring evil, however...
I'm not going to claim that we are mandated by God to carry guns in church, but I believe we are permitted to do so and I think it is prudent to do so. While the overall message does not teach violence, there are several places that it hints that violence is permissible in certain circumstances.

Next...
wosbald wrote:
Tue Nov 21, 2017 9:22 am
+JMJ+
Sir Moose wrote:
Mon Nov 20, 2017 10:26 pm
wosbald wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 5:55 pm
So just who is supposed to be the "weaker" Christian? The one objecting to the the permissibility of carrying guns? Or the one objecting to the permissibility of banning them?
Based on what Paul has written in his epistles, the weaker Christian is the one who adds extra-biblical rules in an effort to remain righteous. Since there is no biblical prohibition against weapons in church, prohibiting them would be an extra-biblical rule and therefore would make the prohibitionists the weaker Christians. …
I've never seen a biblical prohibition against the church defending itself from guns.

Sounds like you may be "adding a rule".
If the local church is adding a 'no guns' rule because they believe that carrying a gun to church is a sin, then they are the ones adding rules. I am not claiming that the local church cannot prohibit guns for other reasons, even though I think they are naïve to do so.

Next....
Del wrote:
Tue Nov 21, 2017 12:58 pm
Sir Moose wrote:
Mon Nov 20, 2017 11:24 pm
And while we are at it:
John 18 wrote:8“I told you that I am He,” Jesus replied. “So if you are looking for Me, let these men go.” 9This was to fulfill the word He had spoken: “I have not lost one of those You have given Me.”

10Then Simon Peter drew his sword and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his right ear. The servant’s name was Malchus. 11“Put your sword back in its sheath!” Jesus said to Peter. “Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given Me?”
Shall we not drink the cup the Father have given us? This is something to contemplate.
Um...that was the cup the Father gave Jesus. It's not necessarily the cup he has given us. I will grant that there are times that it is appropriate for a Christian to passively accept whatever is being done to them, but it is not a universal command. There are also times that it is appropriate for a Christian to fight tooth and nail to defeat evil. There is rarely any spiritual benefit to standing by and watching helplessly while a crazed lunatic kills women and children all around you.
But... there is often great "spiritual benefit to standing by and watching helplessly."

Consider the witness of the Roman martyrs as whole families submitted peacefully -- and joyfully -- to martyrdom. An entire empire was converted. Child martyrs like St. Agnes and St. Lucy and St. Philomena are still remembered.

We must not underestimate the power of peaceful witness in the conversion of pagan mobs.

The thing that we remember most about the West Nickel Mines shooting is how quickly the Amish community was to forgive the perpetrator and reach out to his family.
I will concede that sometimes there is spiritual benefit to passiveness. Often there is not. We can sit around all day pulling out examples on both sides, but that's not going to benefit any of us. How we act after the incident (what the Amish are remembered for), is an entirely different matter.

Next....
FredS wrote:
Tue Nov 21, 2017 1:03 pm
My contention (and that of a few others who've posted here) is that this decision is up to you. Scripture doesn't permit or prohibit it, but is silent on it. If your local church or the governing body you place yourselves under, decides to prohibit guns in church then you should obey their rule. If your church has no such rule, then I don't understand how it would offend anyone's conscience. If you conceal, then nobody will even know. But again, it's a non-essential and the decision should be pushed down as low as possible. To me, it's no more or less important than whether you sing traditional hymns, bluegrass gospel, or Casting Crowns songs to worship.

OK, I may have gone too far with that last sentience. I'm pretty sure Casting Crowns is prohibited in the Bible and that's a pretty big essential right up there with understanding Christ was really dead when they took Him down from the cross and that the tomb was really empty a few days later.
This, I agree with. All that I would add is that this whole thing started with Cleon saying that he is concerned with offending the conscience of others and there was no indication that his local body had prohibited it. I re-iterate: carrying a gun in church cannot offend the conscience of another. I will add, as others have stated, that if your local body officially prohibits it, then you should respect their decision.

Now this is obviously getting a bit unwieldy. I think that most of us have made our points, so I'm going to try to let this start to fade away.
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Re: Offending the Conscience

Post by wosbald » Wed Nov 22, 2017 7:23 am

+JMJ+
Sir Moose wrote:
Wed Nov 22, 2017 12:35 am
If the local church is adding a 'no guns' rule because they believe that carrying a gun to church is a sin, then they are the ones adding rules. I am not claiming that the local church cannot prohibit guns for other reasons, even though I think they are naïve to do so.

[…]

I re-iterate: carrying a gun in church cannot offend the conscience of another.
That pretty much sums it up in a nutshell, IMO. Your view seems to be: If it's not intrinsically evil, then it's not a sin. And if it's not intrinsically evil, then it can't offend the consciences of others"?

"Can't"?!?

Even though being naked isn't intrinsically evil, prancing naked at the mall (if there were any left) is contextually unconscionable.

But your view of the church seems to be basically acontextual. There's no real-world stakes, no real-life consequences. If others are offended, then they can't really be offended. If they stay away from the Church, it's because they've always-already stayed away. It is their destiny.




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Re: Offending the Conscience

Post by Del » Wed Nov 22, 2017 9:29 am

wosbald wrote:
Wed Nov 22, 2017 7:23 am
+JMJ+
Sir Moose wrote:
Wed Nov 22, 2017 12:35 am
If the local church is adding a 'no guns' rule because they believe that carrying a gun to church is a sin, then they are the ones adding rules. I am not claiming that the local church cannot prohibit guns for other reasons, even though I think they are naïve to do so.

[…]

I re-iterate: carrying a gun in church cannot offend the conscience of another.
That pretty much sums it up in a nutshell, IMO. Your view seems to be: If it's not intrinsically evil, then it's not a sin. And if it's not intrinsically evil, then it can't offend the consciences of others"?

"Can't"?!?

Even though being naked isn't intrinsically evil, prancing naked at the mall (if there were any left) is contextually unconscionable.

But your view of the church seems to be basically acontextual. There's no real-world stakes, no real-life consequences. If others are offended, then they can't really be offended. If they stay away from the Church, it's because they've always-already stayed away. It is their destiny.
I hate to pile on Sir Moose here, so please don't take it that way. I just see an anti-biblical principle at work here, and I want to point it out. As FredS pointed out earlier -- this argument of "adding a rule to the Bible" drives a Catholic nuts.

First -- The Bible is not a book of rules. It is a book of guiding principles, to guide us in making good rules for the Church as we pass through the ages and encounter new cultures.

Scripture talks about "giving scandal" (1 Cor 5) and "stumbling blocks." Scripture commands us to love our fellow Christians, our neighbors, and the pagan culture by behaving as good examples for them. We do wrong to our neighbors when we indulge in things that are not sinful-in-themselves -- but if our neighbors are likely to interpret our choices as evil, then we become a stumbling block on their way to Christ.

So we make rules to encourage proper behavior -- Just as St. Paul did, in the Scripture. He told women to wear veils and men to bare their heads during worship, both as signs of sacred humility in the presence of God. Not that there is anything sinful about your choice of headgear, but just to give witness that we are in the presence of Christ on His altar.

Paul even promised, IN SCRIPTURE, that he would come back to Corinth and give them some more EXTRA-BIBLICAL rules to follow -- so that their worship would remain a holy witness to the world before God. (1 Cor 11:34).

Not to mention the Council of Jerusalem (Acts 15), in which the Apostles set rules for Christians of the time:
28 It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements: 29 You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality. You will do well to avoid these things.
Of course, we no longer worry about eating blood or how the animal was humanely slain and butchered. These are no longer matters of scandal to the Jews and pagans in our midst anymore. They were never sinful, in the first place. Same as the headgear.

The point from Scripture is that the Church has a DUTY to set rules and disciplines which are suitable to the time and culture. The blood sausage & headgear & guns are not sinful in themselves. We just have to mindful of how the culture sees us.

Numerous other biblical examples are available, making and adjusting rules according to a guiding principle. "The Bible says" that we should stick by the Church in guiding how we act, because the Church is the pillar and foundation of truth. 1 Tim 3:15

It is necessary to understand the difference between a DOGMA and a DISCIPLINE.
- The biblical dogma is that we must not ever give scandal to our neighbor, thus leading him away from Christ.
- So we have a duty to adjust our rules and disciplines over time and across cultures, in order give a good witness.

Back to carrying a gun into church:
- A pastor or bishop may well decide that the world needs a peaceful witness from Christians. A lawful Church authority may publicly ban the carrying of weapons on the church's property.

- This does not suddenly make carrying into a "sin." However -- packing a weapon into the church would be an act of willful disobedience, and likely defiant pride. These motives are often sinful in themselves, even if the object is not a sin.

- But suppose a church member is also a cop or military man. He has a daily habit of concealed carry, expert training, and has demonstrated a life of heroic virtue. He may ask his pastor for a dispensation from the rule, because he has been carrying to church for years... and has long placed himself near the main entrance, as he does in any public place, because he has a trained habit of protecting the public.

The pastor might allow that individual to carry, just in case a violent psycho comes in waving an assault rifle. Then there is no sin, because church disciplines permit prudent exceptions like this. Just don't give yourself a dispensation.... Ask for permission. This is the Christian way.
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Re: Offending the Conscience

Post by Roadmaster » Wed Nov 22, 2017 9:54 am

A friend that I have known for years invited me to a car show his church was having. Got to said car show and he was walking around with a side arm. He also informed me that during services he and another fellow with a side arm guard the doors. Right or wrong not somewhere I want to be.

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Re: Offending the Conscience

Post by Jester » Wed Nov 22, 2017 11:30 am

The Harrisonville Missouri Police Department is offering a free 1.5-2hr church security/intruder training course.

EDIT: Thinking about this over lunch I now have a question to those who think we are not permitted biblically to carry in church.

Is it ok for a police officer to arrive at a church and shoot an active shooter?
If yes.
Why is it biblically permitted for an officer and not for anyone else?
If no.
Are we biblically obligated to let shooters follow through?
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Re: Offending the Conscience

Post by wosbald » Wed Nov 22, 2017 12:29 pm

+JMJ+
Jester wrote:
Wed Nov 22, 2017 11:30 am
EDIT: Thinking about this over lunch I now have a question to those who think we are not permitted biblically to carry in church.
Has anybody here taken that position?

Even Moose has clarified himself in that, biblically, there's neither a positive obligation to carry nor a positive restriction against banning.

That seems to be the default position on this thread, inasmuch as it's the one thing upon which everyone currently positing agrees.




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Re: Offending the Conscience

Post by Jester » Wed Nov 22, 2017 12:52 pm

wosbald wrote:
Wed Nov 22, 2017 12:29 pm
+JMJ+
Jester wrote:
Wed Nov 22, 2017 11:30 am
EDIT: Thinking about this over lunch I now have a question to those who think we are not permitted biblically to carry in church.
Has anybody here taken that position?

Even Moose has clarified himself in that, biblically, there's neither a positive obligation to carry nor a positive restriction against banning.

That seems to be the default position on this thread, inasmuch as it's the one thing upon which everyone currently positing agrees.
Good grief. And someone nominated me for the "define yourself so I can disagree with you better" Morley.

Altered to remove "biblically" from same questions, posed to the "opposite of Moose crowd".
Is it ok for a police officer to arrive at a church and shoot an active shooter?
If yes.
Why is it permitted for an officer and not for anyone else?
If no.
Are we obligated to let shooters follow through?

IMHO you can say nobody is taking that position but I just read this whole thread and you guys fooled me. It's a pretty simple line of questioning and I would avoid it as well if I were arguing the other side.
I smoke a cigar because the body is a temple and the temple needs incense. -Michael Knowles

Pumpkin Ale is more American than apple pie! -Tuttle

We almost solved the Mary issue. -FredS

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wosbald
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Re: Offending the Conscience

Post by wosbald » Wed Nov 22, 2017 1:24 pm

Jester wrote:
Wed Nov 22, 2017 12:52 pm
wosbald wrote:
Wed Nov 22, 2017 12:29 pm
+JMJ+
Jester wrote:
Wed Nov 22, 2017 11:30 am
EDIT: Thinking about this over lunch I now have a question to those who think we are not permitted biblically to carry in church.
Has anybody here taken that position?

Even Moose has clarified himself in that, biblically, there's neither a positive obligation to carry nor a positive restriction against banning.

That seems to be the default position on this thread, inasmuch as it's the one thing upon which everyone currently positing agrees.
Good grief. And someone nominated me for the "define yourself so I can disagree with you better" Morley.

Altered to remove "biblically" from same questions, posed to the "opposite of Moose crowd".
Is it ok for a police officer to arrive at a church and shoot an active shooter?
If yes.
Why is it permitted for an officer and not for anyone else?
If no.
Are we obligated to let shooters follow through?

IMHO you can say nobody is taking that position but I just read this whole thread and you guys fooled me. It's a pretty simple line of questioning and I would avoid it as well if I were arguing the other side.
I think that the whole point (upon which, up until now, all seemed to be in agreement) is that it's neither "ok" nor "not ok".

And it is this which you seem to be "avoiding" so that you can get right back to prosecuting an Either/Or, If/Then, Yes/No line-of-argumentation.




"In the end, My Immaculate Heart will triumph." - Our Lady of Fatima

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