Chit Chatting with the Clergy regarding Nashville and Returning Fire

“The baseline question is: do you care more about yourself and your rights or do you care more about loving others and contributing to the good and healing of all. This world has consistently and clearly answered that question over and over again. But the Kingdom has a very different answer.”

Jay Simmons
PCA Pastor
All Souls Church — St. Louis Mo.

Let’s apply this to the Nashville event.

Because of my caring about loving others I know that insisting on second amendment rights may well have meant that someone was firing back at the perp who did not consider God’s sovereign right to His people’s lives. Because of the embrace of my 2nd amendment rights I may well be in the position to love others by firing back at lunatics.

So, yeah … I do care more about myself and my God given rights and in doing so I could, if this situation arose in a setting I was in, show my love to others by contributing to their good and healing by returning fire on a perp with deadly intent.

So we see that the Kingdom most assuredly does NOT have a different answer.

Bret L. McAtee
Pastor — Charlotte Christ the King Reformed Church

p.s. — Do you ever wake up with the cold sweats worried that God is going to hold you accountable for what comes out of your mouth as His servant?

At this point one Ty Burk steps in to defend Rev. Simmons. That exchange is below;

TB wrote,

So, you are attempting to use the Nashville mass shooting, that wasn’t stopped by an armed citizen, as an argument for armed citizens because they *might* prevent mass shootings? Continuing that logic, more firearms would result in fewer mass shootings/firearm fatalities. More armed citizens = less firearm fatalities is the argument.

Bret responds,

1.) Well, it is dang certain the case that an armed citizen will have more success at preventing a mass shooting then an unarmed citizen will have at preventing a mass shooting. This isn’t rocket science chum.

2.) I know that more armed citizens who are informed concerning weapons and drilled on the use of weapons would lead to fewer fatalities.

3.) One thing that is certain sure is that revoking or diminishing the 2nd amendment will lead to more shootings and more deaths. I mean, you don’t really think that someone who has no problem violating the law in murdering someone will pause for a skinny second and be inhibited by a law that says they can’t have firearms? If you criminalize owning guns only criminals will own guns.

4.) Not only do more armed citizens = less firearm fatalities but more armed citizens = the FEDS thinking twice before they decide to tyrannize the citizenry. Of course, you perfectly understand that is the whole reason for the 2nd amendment right? You realize that the reason our Founders gave us a 2nd amendment was because they had experienced government tyranny and knew the only way to forestall government tyranny was to make sure the citizenry was armed to the teeth, right?

TB writes,

However, that position is not supported by any data or experience.

Bret responds,

Horse Hockey!

Experience as well as common sense tells us that people who have weapons who can fire back at people who are firing at them will always have more of a fighting chance to survive.

TB writes,

The number of mass shootings prevented by armed citizens remains dismally low. Additionally, as the number of firearms/their accessibility increase, so does firearm fatalities. That’s not an opinion. It’s substantiated fact.

Bret responds,

I don’t believe you and I am convinced that you are at this moment practicing the art of gaslighting.
Guns prevent an estimated 2.5 million crimes a year, or 6,849 every day.

Most often, the gun is never fired, and no blood (including the criminal’s) is shed.

Every year, 400,000 life-threatening violent crimes are prevented using firearms.

60 percent of convicted felons admitted that they avoided committing crimes when they knew the victim was armed. Forty percent of convicted felons admitted that they avoided committing crimes when they thought the victim might be armed.

Felons report that they avoid entering houses where people are at home because they fear being shot.

Fewer than 1 percent of firearms are used in the commission of a crime.
If you doubt the objectivity of the site above, it’s worth pointing out that the Center for Disease Control, in a report ordered by President Obama in 2012 following the Sandy Hook Massacre, estimated that the number of crimes prevented by guns could be even higher—as many as 3 million annually, or some 8,200 every day.

TB now regretting getting involved with me writes,

Please expound on the position that firearm ownership is a God given right.

Bret responds,

“All careful studies and lawful endeavors to preserve the life of ourselves and others by resisting, by just defense, against violence, protecting and defending the innocent.” (Westminster Larger Catechism Q135).

The great Puritan commentator on the Bible, Thomas Ridgeley (1667-1734), in his commentary on the Westminster Larger Catechism quotes the Catechism itself as I have above and then in his commentary on Sixth Commandment duties, Ridgeley says,

“We should use all lawful endeavours to preserve our own life, and the life of others [because]…. man is the subject of the divine image…. We are also to defend those who are in imminent danger of death…. Moreover, in some instances, a person may kill another in his own defence, without being guilty of the breach of this commandment….”

Ridgeley goes on to comment that if we cannot disarm an enemy threatening our life, or flee from him, “we do not incur the least guilt, or break this commandment, if we take away his life to preserve our own; especially if we were not first in the quarrel, nor gave occasion to it by any injurious or unlawful practices.”

Also we note the Heidleberg catechism

105. Q. — What does God require in the sixth commandment?


… Moreover, I am not to harm or recklessly endanger myself. 3

3. Mt 4:7; 26:52; Rom 13:11-14


What else can we call a refusal to defend one’s self and one’s people except a harming or a recklessly endangering of one’s self? This is something that the Heidelberg forswears.

You see the Heidelberg Catechism insists that the keeping of the Sixth commandment means that I am not to harm or recklessly endanger myself. It doesn’t take much to argue that we are increasingly living in times when not carrying a weapon on us for self-defense and the protection of the judicially innocent could easily be seen as that which constitutes a reckless endangering of ourselves and others.

Of course, to appeal again to the Scriptures as our primary source of authority we look at Proverbs,

“Like a muddied spring or a polluted well is a righteous man who gives way to the wicked.”

Proverbs 25:26

Mind if I just call you “OIe Muddy,” Ty?

TB writes,

Where are we, as Christians, promised safety and security? Where are Christian instructed to take up arms to secure safety and security? Indeed, where are Christian instructed to use lethal force for any means?

Bret responds,

Proverbs 25:26

Pulpit Commentary, on Proverbs 25 verse 26. – … a righteous man giving way to the wicked.
“A good man neglecting to assert himself and to hold his own in the face of sinners, is as useless to society and as harmful to the good cause as a spring that has been defiled by mud stirred up or extraneous matter introduced is unserviceable for drinking and prejudicial to those who use it.”

Illustration — Cow Pond Farm

“But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the Faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”

1 Timothy 5:8

Fathers and husbands are required by Almighty God to provide for their families. This includes not only providing food, housing, clothing, education, medical care, love, discipleship and spiritual guidance, but also protection. Of what worth is all the other provision if one does not provide protection as well? Anyone who fails to provide the necessary protection for their family has denied the Faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
Those using Anabaptist Pacifist reasoning will say things like, “We should be those who trust God,” as if one cannot carry a weapon and trust God at the same time. We are to trust God for our daily provision. Is the implication of that, that we should not earn a living since God will provide? We are to trust God to keep us safe at the workplace. Does this mean if I am working with Jets, as I used to, I quit wearing headphones because God is going to keep me safe?

Let us close by noting that God would have us protect man. Not because man in and of himself, apart from God has any inherent value but because man can never be considered apart from God and so is the image of God. Any assault on man finds the root crime being an assault on God. An assault on the King’s man is an assault on the King and when we are protecting the image of God via self-defense against those attacking the King’s men we are protecting the King. If we allow God’s judicially innocent Image bearers to be assaulted and threatened without response, it is not merely that we are not protecting men, it is a case that we are communicating that God Himself is not worthy of being defended. This Image of God is that which explains why men should be defended.

God puts such value on His Image bearers that He sent forth the God-man to reconcile God to His elect image bearers. Christ died for the sins of His people so that they, as Image bearers of God, would be rescued. If God, at cost to Himself would set forth His own son as the propitiation of the Image Bearers sin how much more should we seek to protect and defend men as Image bearers?

TB writes,

Your imagined scenario of showing your love for others by returning fire recalls the assault of Malchus by Simon Peter in the Gospels. The chief priest and elders come with Judas and a crowd to seize Jesus. Malchus grabs Jesus and, in an attempt to defend Jesus, Peter draws a sword and cuts off Malchus’ ear. Peter is admonished by Jesus to put his sword back in its place. And, in Luke’s account, even heals Malchus by reattaching his ear.

Bret responds,

When the situation is one where I am trying to stop Jesus from going to the cross I’ll keep the above in mind. However, when I am in other situations where I am trying to protect the life of the judicially innocent I’ll keep the Scripture, catechisms, and confessions in mind as limned out above.

TB writes,

I’m of the opinion that Christ, the foundation of our religion who never promised safety/protection, nor instructed others to use lethal force to secure safety/protection, who sent his Disciples out (unarmed) to suffer deaths as martyrs (not one raising so much as a sword to defend themselves), and who never raised a hand in self defense against false accusations and unjust death on the cross, would have a similar rebuke for position expressed in your comment.

Bret responds,

Frankly, I don’t care what your opinion is Ty. Clearly, your faith is informed by lunatic Anabaptist categories. We Reformed manly men never went in for that kind of cowardly retreatism. Have fun with your effeminate religion. Don’t worry though… if you’re someplace where someone is lighting up the place with bullets I’ll make sure and not protect you, out of love for you and Jesus.

Author: jetbrane

I am a Pastor of a small Church in Mid-Michigan who delights in my family, my congregation and my calling. I am postmillennial in my eschatology. Paedo-Calvinist Covenantal in my Christianity Reformed in my Soteriology Presuppositional in my apologetics Familialist in my family theology Agrarian in my regional community social order belief Christianity creates culture and so Christendom in my national social order belief Mythic-Poetic / Grammatical Historical in my Hermeneutic Pre-modern, Medieval, & Feudal before Enlightenment, modernity, & postmodern Reconstructionist / Theonomic in my Worldview One part paleo-conservative / one part micro Libertarian in my politics Systematic and Biblical theology need one another but Systematics has pride of place Some of my favorite authors, Augustine, Turretin, Calvin, Tolkien, Chesterton, Nock, Tozer, Dabney, Bavinck, Wodehouse, Rushdoony, Bahnsen, Schaeffer, C. Van Til, H. Van Til, G. H. Clark, C. Dawson, H. Berman, R. Nash, C. G. Singer, R. Kipling, G. North, J. Edwards, S. Foote, F. Hayek, O. Guiness, J. Witte, M. Rothbard, Clyde Wilson, Mencken, Lasch, Postman, Gatto, T. Boston, Thomas Brooks, Terry Brooks, C. Hodge, J. Calhoun, Llyod-Jones, T. Sowell, A. McClaren, M. Muggeridge, C. F. H. Henry, F. Swarz, M. Henry, G. Marten, P. Schaff, T. S. Elliott, K. Van Hoozer, K. Gentry, etc. My passion is to write in such a way that the Lord Christ might be pleased. It is my hope that people will be challenged to reconsider what are considered the givens of the current culture. Your biggest help to me dear reader will be to often remind me that God is Sovereign and that all that is, is because it pleases him.

2 thoughts on “Chit Chatting with the Clergy regarding Nashville and Returning Fire”

  1. It seems I recall that Jesus commanded His disciples to carry swords. That’s why Peter was carrying one in the garden. Christ told him not to use it there because the time wasn’t appropriate. Nevertheless, He didn’t tell Peter to throw it away, but rather to put the sword back in its place (the scabbard). Thus the sword has a place and proper uses. Jesus Himself employed a weapon (a whip) against the money changers.

    The effeminate pacifist Jesus of modern imagination bears little likeness to the Jesus revealed in the Scriptures.

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