“One of the images of a place of worship is that it’s a sanctuary, a safe place not made safe by the minister or anyone else carrying guns, but by the nature of a community agreeing that it’s a place off-limits to violence.” – Rev. Philip Blackwell in Change sought to ban guns in houses of worship [at chicagotribune.com]

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93 Responses to Quote of the Day: Because That’s Always Worked Before Edition

  1. Unfortunately another community, a community of criminals and the insane, do not agree that churches are a place of sanctuary. I’ll keep carrying, thank you anyway. That makes me feel safe.

    • He ignores those inside of his own community. the bible isn’t exactly void of violence, it’s rife with it. Frequently god ordered too. It also ignores that a number of criminals are actually religious themselves.

      Should the day where guardian angels,gods,goddesses, or some other magical entity, not only show themselves to be real, but also willing and able to stand guard over houses of worship, then huzzah. For now, people who feel the desire to worship something have to fend for themselves. So, prayer may be fun for some, if they don’t want to die if a gunman/knife wielding maniac bursts in, they gotta unclasp hands and reach for their CCW.

    • They got to the ministers a long time ago. Most are on board to report parishioners and church members who own guns. They are full-on part of the problem, with nary a solution – none that we’d like, anyway.

      Don’t engage your minister or priest with talk about guns OR self-defense. The safe decision is to assume they’re on board with the gun confiscation agenda.

      In fact, if you need ONE more reason to leave churchified life behind, this is it.

      Does this apply to rabbis and synagogues? I don’t know, but I think you’re safer to assume so, in the absence of other evidence.

      • Interesting perspective, the pastor at the house of worship I attend has a pistol with holster tie pin given to him by the congregation due to his love of cowboy action shooting.

        Here in the south I know of many pastors who hunt, fish, and vote R for many reasons, 2nd admen dement included.

  2. This would be a clear violation of the First Amendment. If a church governing body wishes to ban weapons on church property, that should be their right. The government at any level should not be setting policy for churches.

    • This is an excellent argument against this proposal. However I believe the gun free school zone act applies to private schools. I don’t agree that it should, but this is a precedent for federal law banning guns on private property. The camel’s nose is already under the tent.

      • If you shoot that camel in the nose he will back the f out of your tent.

        I believe that everyone has the right to defend him/herself wherever they may be, but I wonder at the hypocrysy of people who believe that in a house of worship, where they assume they are under the protection of their god, they stll feel the need to protect themselves with a firearm. They do not appar to have as much faith in His benevolent protection as they claim.

        • I have plenty of faith in His benevolence. I have faith that he will steady my hand to slay the wicked if He wills it. On the other hand, we all die. If it’s His will that it’s my time to go home then so be it.

          We are all fallen and sinful people struggling in a fallen and sinful world. He didn’t make it that way, we do. Likewise, courage and defense of the innocent is an honorable thing.

          There is nothing magical about the building itself. The “church” is the gathering itself not the building we meet in.

        • I don’t see how it is in any way hypocritical in light of Matthew 4:5-7:

          Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written:

          “‘He will command his angels concerning you,
          and they will lift you up in their hands,
          so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’”

          Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’

  3. Belief in some sort of magical power contrary to all the evidence? Sounds like a gun ban will fit right in with church.

    • TO: Hannibal
      RE: Heh

      Belief in some sort of magical power contrary to all the evidence? — Hannibal

      Please explain how a guy living in a cave on an island can describe—in terms of his contemporaries—and name the site of a runaway nuclear reactor.

      Almost 2000 years before it happens.

      Regards,

      Chuck(le)
      [The Truth will out…..]

      • Chuck not sure what incident you’re describing, but given a sufficient volume of doom predictions, statistically, some would have to be right. It’s improbable, but once large numbers and massaging of the original prediction get involved, not impossible. It neither proves, nor disproves anything. However, entrusting your safety to something that has not been proven is foolish. To quote a very common axiom amongst the group you apparently belong to… ” God helps those who help themselves.”

        • TO: Pwrserge
          RE: [OT] Incident in Question

          Chuck not sure what incident you’re describing, but given a sufficient volume of doom predictions, statistically, some would have to be right. — Pwrserge

          Doom predictions are everywhere.

          I don’t dwell on ‘doom’. I dwell on the Promise. There’s something of a difference. And your focus on ‘doom’ gives me a good idea of where you’re coming from.

          Or can you explain how John gave the proper noun name for the site of the Chernobyl runaway nuclear reactor?

          Check Revelation 8:10-11. Note the use of the proper noun “Wormwood”. Be advised, Chernobyl translates to English, from it’s native Ukrainian, as ‘wormwood’, the plant that grows most commonly there. And the town was named after the plant. Hence the use of the proper noun form in that Old Book in that Book/Chapter/Verse.

          Regards,

          Chuck(le)
          [The Truth will out….if only people had the courage to accept it.]

        • @chuck
          That’s funny… You need to check your sources. Chernobyl does not translate to Wormwood in Ukranian or any other language. Having been born in Kiev about three years before the incident and growing up there, I can tell you that with a certain degree of confidence…

        • TO: Pwrserge
          RE: [OT] Sources, Anyone?

          You need to check your sources. Chernobyl does not translate to Wormwood in Ukranian or any other language. — Pwrserge

          My sources are the linquist at Denver Public Library in the mid-90s and a Ukrainian emigre who owns an art gallery in Denver from the area who was a member of Denver Mensa with me.

          You’d better check YOUR ‘sources’.

          Regards,

          Chuck(le)
          [The Truth will out…..]

        • P.S. One other ‘source’.

          A PBS special on the accident in which the narrator’s first words were….

          Chernobyl. Wormwood. That star of apocalyptic import.

          I heard that on the Friday after Hussein invaded Kuwait.

          Which leads into Trumpets Five (Operation DESERT SHEILD) and Six (Operation DESERT STORM).

          If you care to read Revelation 9, you might get a ‘glue’…..

        • @chuck
          Being a native speaker of the language… I can tell you that the only way to translate that to Wormwood is to get really creative with a language that you have no idea about. Chernobyl is a compound of cherno (black) and bel (no direct translation, but can be taken as the active form of white) you need to get yourself a dictionary.

        • TO: Pwrserge
          RE: [OT] Native? Really?

          Being a native speaker of the language… I can tell you that the only way to translate that to Wormwood is to get really creative with a language that you have no idea about. — Pwrserge

          I don’t know you from Adam. But I do know the creds of the three sources that I cited and all say the same thing, that Chernobyl translates from Ukrainian to English as wormwood.

          Now….

          ….if you can get PBS to televise a retraction, I might begin to accept your cred.

          And it would help if you could point out a good reference that tells US what is the most common forms of plant-life in the vicinity of that ill-fated community.

          Regards,

          Chuck(le)
          [The Truth will out….one way or another.]

          P.S. I don’t see you declaiming Revelation 9…..why is that?

        • Don’t trot out your stupid “infinite monkeys” dogpile! They’re finite in number, and you know it!

        • TO: William Burke
          RE: Heh

          Don’t trot out your stupid “infinite monkeys” dogpile! They’re finite in number, and you know it! — William Burke

          And what form of recreational chems are you doing tonight?

          Regards,

          Chuck(le)
          P.S. TO: TTAG is that ‘abuse’?

    • What evidence is that? If you cannot prove the existence of God then you can’t disprove it either. The proof of the existence or non existence of God falls under the class of problems described by Goedel. It can neither be proven or falsified. It is an axiom.

        • TO: Dr. Keneth Noisewater
          RE: Heh

          But what about the Babel Fish, says man? — Dr. Keneth Noisewater

          You forgot to mention Oolon Colluphid’s trilogy of philosophical blockbusters:

          • Where God Went Wrong
          • Some More of God’s Greatest Mistakes
          • Who is this God Person Anyway?

          Regards,

          Chuck(le)
          [If you can’t laugh at yourself, you’ve no right to laugh at anyone else.]

      • TO: tdiinva
        RE: [OT] Proof Positive

        What evidence is that? If you cannot prove the existence of God then you can’t disprove it either. — tdiinva

        You’re not answering the question I posed to Hannibal either.

        Rather, in desperation, you’re tap-dancing around it.

        Regards,

        Chuck(le)
        [The proof of God’s Word is Truth lays in the proof of prophecy fulfilled.]

        • Proof is a matter of logic. You cannot prove that God exists under the rules of logic. You end up committing the logical fallacy of assuming the consequences. The same is true for the atheist. I recently read an article about Steven Hawkings’ assertion that modern physics “proves” there is no creator. He too assumes the consequences although he gussies it up in Mathematics.

          God is an axiom. For those who believe he is “the axiom” of existence. Unless our physical understanding of the universe is overthrown you cannot exclude on logical grounds the existence of God. Only the perpetual universe advocated by Fred Hoyle would exclude the need for a creator/god.

          So all you smart ass atheists should get a little less arrogant. The universe is not made up of the dichotomy of true or false. It is made up of true, false and maybe.

        • TO: tdiinva
          RE: Proofs

          Proof is a matter of logic. You cannot prove that God exists under the rules of logic. — tdiinva

          I’m not proposing ‘logic’ here. I’m proposing FACT.

          You don’t like it?

          Sounds like a personal problem.

          Deal with it.

          Regards,

          Chuck(le)
          [The Truth will out….despite those who despise it.]

        • Oh, for pete’s sake. You’re not arguing facts. Facts are statements that are known to be true, usually through being verified empirically or through experience. Do you have experiential or repeatable empirical evidence of what you speak? No? Then it’s not a fact.

      • This is manifestly correct. There is no reasonable way to even infer the existence of god. It falls under the recently-become-familiar (here at TTAG, at least) category of “hunch”, and it can be little more.

        Though I can’t resist saying I can’t believe Pelto is arguing with a native-born Ukrainian about the Ukrainian language!

        That’s HARD-CORE stubborn.

        • TO: William Burke
          RE: HARD-CORE Stubborn

          Though I can’t resist saying I can’t believe Pelto is arguing with a native-born Ukrainian about the Ukrainian language!

          That’s HARD-CORE stubborn. — William Burke

          Please prove me wrong.

          Get PBS to televise a retraction of their show I saw in August 1990.

          Regards,

          Chuck(le)
          P.S. I won’t be holding my breath…..

        • Because PBS (in 1990, no less) is the be-all, end-all of journalistic and scientific knowledge and exposition?

          The History Channel has really good factual shows, some of which you will not find better anywhere else. They also have UFO Files and Ancient Aliens.

        • Just an observation but… I could claim that I’m native born Ukranian and speak Ukrainian fluently or Chinese or Klingon. No one here would know for sure.

          Just as I could claim several sources of impeccable credentials to back any claims I’ve made.

          While I’m at it I’m also gonna claim I’m 6′ 5″, built like Adonis and have one of those Israeli supermodels for a girlfriend.

  4. If anything, the last year has proven that gun free areas are easy mode kill zones for the insane. If a law should be passed, it should be one that “if an area is declared a gun free zones, the owner of said area is required to provide armed security and face liability charges in instances of violence.” How’s that for common sense?

    • Now there’s a gun control law I could live with! All in all, however, I would rather they simply did away with all the unconstitutional restrictions and that would solve the problem.

  5. If the church is a place off-limits to violence, then that minister or parishioner who’s carrying will never have any reason to show his/her weapon. You’ll never even know they’re there.

    • The church I attend has uniformed, off-duty law enforcement carrying their full gear openly and a couple more in plain clothes every weekend.

      • Our church has armed guards who qualify 4x / year on a course thats a combo between Front Sight and the secret service. They also train with MMA, control holds, handcuffing techniques, and first aid.

        • Are you praying to God, or colonel Cooper?

          I’m having a very difficult time understanding the sort of church that consucts services in the house of the Lord and does not expect His protection, or accept his call to Heaven, come to that.

    • You are preaching to the choir Andy. (Pun intended!!!)

      I have stated this as well. My handgun is in a holster that covers the trigger. That gun will never ever shoot anyone as long as it stays in that holster. And since our churches are such peaceful places, I will never have any reason to take that handgun out of my holster. Thus no one has anything to worry about.

      Let’s look at it another way. How can a church claim to trust its members to keep their handguns in their cars, and yet NOT trust its members to keep their handguns in their holsters? It is hysteria, pure and simple.

  6. Let’s please keep the comments to the relevant gun discussion on the gun page. If you want to comment on whether or not the Creation has a Creator or you think it magically created itself, there are plenty of places for it.

    Meanwhile, I carry in church every time I’m there. The pastor and a very few others know it and appreciate it. The rest of the gentle folk? They have no need to know. We are fallen creatures living in a fallen creation. We should have no false hope in any “gun free zones” anywhere.

  7. Let’s see… As I recall, there was this ‘Church’ guy that took several straps of leather, lashed them together with small knots at the end (I think they called it a “Cat-of-nine-tails), and chased all the rotten ‘dirt-bags’ out the door. Fortunately none of the dirt-bags had guns, swords, or knives on them at the time…. but, you get the point.

  8. Since Reverend Blackwell calls himself a reverend, he should (by definition) believe that the Bible is true and accurate. Can he please explain why two disciples had swords on their sides as they reclined at the dinner table with Jesus at the Last Supper? For those of you who don’t know, the Last Supper was not just any meal. Jesus and his disciples were observing the Passover … an extremely solemn and important Jewish holiday entirely on par with the Easter holiday that Christians observe.

    Let that sink in. Two disciples were observing the Passover (think Easter) with Jesus (think Son of God) and had swords on their sides. And the Bible makes sure that we know that detail.

    Every time I hear a reverend, pastor, minister, deacon, elder, etc. say that we should not be armed in church because it is a place of peace, I want to vomit.

  9. I’m siding with the pastor on this one. If a community or group
    or individual does not accept a site as a sanctuary then it won’t
    be violence free. This is why some here carry while in church;
    because you realize that not everyone cares if it’s “holy ground”.

    Can the unseen threat of a CCer worry a nut enough to avoid
    a church? Maybe, but I’d argue no more than anywhere else.
    No matter how much you tool up, it’s not going to prevent
    violence. Look at the Christians churches in Egypt. Parishioners
    are often guarded with AKs, but even this doesn’t prevent
    attacks Christians or on the churches themselves. Why?
    Because the extremists in Egypt don’t consider Christian
    churches off-limits to attacks.

    In short having a firearm may keep you alive but hardly safe.
    Truly being safe depends as much on possible opponents
    NOT attacking as it does you defending yourself.
    (A bit of semantics but it’s how I see it.)

    • All it takes is a single Lanza or Holmes to disagree with your “sacred ground” concept and y’all are royally screwed. Mass shooters have an affinity for disarmed victims. Don’t be disarmed.

      • I’m not saying anyone shouldn’t be armed. I’m arguing
        that the violence happens because someone doesn’t
        accept or respect “sacred ground”. This can be for any
        reason from insanity to personal conviction.

        How do you explain the open assault on Christian
        churches in Egypt? They haven’t disarmed themselves.
        In fact many are arming more and more; yet defending
        from armed attacks is an almost daily occurrence.
        Could it be because much of the surrounding community
        considers them fair game?

        • The Christians in Egypt are grotesquely outnumbered by Muslims, the more fanatical of whom believe they have scriptural authority to attack Christians.

          Perhaps the good reverend has an insurance issue. Perhaps he carries and wants to be the only one?

  10. I am sure all the boys girls sexuality assaulted by catholic church priests feel real safe in church especially after the church did so much to cover it up and prevent law suites.

  11. I think that Rev. Blackwell saw one too many reruns of “Highlander.” Maybe the Kurgan wouldn’t attack on “holy ground,” but real bad guys do it all the time.

  12. Where I live, we had suffered a string of robberies during religious services. We can CC at houses of worship now. My former religious community hires off duty police for security during services and holidays, unfortunately, it’s a bunch of gun grabbers.

    I understand the fear of weapons on sacred ground, but I’m a realist and also understand that sacred ground is not proof against those who intend harm.

  13. “…by the nature of a community agreeing that it’s a place off-limits to violence.”

    Until one of that community doesn’t agree, or going further, decides that members of that congregation, or its dogma, are the reason for his or her personal problems.

  14. Many Americans live in such an emotional state of denial and rationalization. It’s often a separate issue from idealist principles and ideology. In theory, I think that by the time a person has reached their later years of high school they should have a more realistic view of people and the world. If it wasn’t for the ability to find jobs and a paycheck in government, academia, and religion ‘industries’ such people would barely get by.

  15. To: Chuck
    Re: Chernobyl/Wormwood

    I’m briefly adopting your layout, as I’m detaching this reply from the original string above because it’s long.

    I think this definitely falls under the category of one of those “you have to want to believe it” things. There appears to be a Ukranian word, ‘chornobyl,’ which refers to a species of Artemesia (same family as wormwood), but not the right one. It appears to be the name of what we would call in English ‘mugwort.’

    Everyone I found that agrees with your translation and interpretation seems to be a hardcore Christian fundamentalist organization.

    I’m leery of anyone, anywhere, who claims to be interpreting the actual, perfect translation of the Bible, and that goes double when that translation seems a bit “fringe-y.” Let me give you an example, from a book I have on grammar and punctuation, of all places, in the section about the comma:

    Perhaps the key thing one needs to realise about the early history of punctuation is that, in a literary culture based entirely on the slavish copying of venerated texts, it would be highly presumptuous of a mere scribe to insert helpful marks where he thought they ought to go. Punctuation developed slowly and cautiously not because it wasn’t considered important, but, on the contrary, because it was such intensely powerful ju-ju. Pause in the wrong place and the sense of a religious text can alter in significant ways. For example, as Cecil Hartley pointed out in his 1818 Principles of Punctuation: or, The Art of Pointing, consider the difference between the following:

    “Verily, I say unto thee, This day thou shalt be with me in Paradise.

    and:

    “Verily, I say unto thee this day, Thou shalt be with me in Paradise.

    Now, huge doctrinal differences hang on the placing of this comma. The first version, which is how Protestants interpret the passage (Luke, xxiii, 43), lightly skips over the whole unpleasant business of Purgatory and takes the crucified thief straight to heaven with Our Lord. The second promises Paradise at some later date (to be confirmed, as it were) and leaves Purgatory nicely in the picture for the Catholics, who believe in it.

    Now, consider that both of those translations come from an original language that does not have any punctuation, and those original languages were transcribed into Latin, which not only also doesn’t have punctuation, but which in the style of the time was written in a system called scriptio continua, which are those large square blocks of unspaced capital letters that to our modern eyes look like word search puzzles. Under those circumstances, it’s really hard to credit someone who hangs their entire system of belief on a single sentence, phrase, word, or even comma. That goes double when the dogma they’re hanging on it seems fantastical.

    As I said, I think it’s something you have to want to believe, but I’m not going to argue with your beliefs, because I draw the line at messing with people’s religion. The only thing I will say is that if I believed in a higher power and the teachings/prophecies of the Bible (which I’m not entirely certain I do), the things I learned growing up Southern Baptist lead me to believe that if and when the prophecies of Revelations come true, they will do so in such a way that will not leave us debating interpretation and translation. I believe (as much as I do believe) that you’ll damn sure know.

    • TO: Matt in FL
      RE: Formatting

      You see. This system DOES work in venues like this.

      More to follow, sometime today or tomorrow. Or Monday, as tomorrow is my youngest daughter’s b’day…..

      Regards,

      Chuck(le)
      [Prophecy fulfilled is proof that God’s Word is Truth.]

      P.S. The JWs REALLY get disappointed when you point such out to them.

      And those young, fresh-faced Mormons don’t care for it either.

      • Are you trying to start a religious war here? Do you have good sense? A word to the wise – or the wide, whichever – you are vastly outnumbered by heathens and jews here. Or our sympathizers.

        I advise you to give it a more thorough thinking-through, Onward Christian Soldier.

        • TO: William Burke
          RE: Ya Wannabe Start’n Somthing?

          Are you trying to start a religious war here? Do you have good sense? A word to the wise – or the wide, whichever – you are vastly outnumbered by heathens and jews here. — William Burke

          Heh….that sort of war was started LONG TIME AGO.

          As for being ‘outnumbered’…..hell….I’ve been trained for that ever since I entered the US Army as a private paratrooper. And better trained to deal with so-called ‘overwhelming odds’ facing the Soviets in Europe as an infantry officer.

          What you got? Anything like a T-72? If not, you’re dead meat. And even then, I can take you.

          Ever hear of thermite?

          Hell….I can make bombs out of Bisquick. You learn how to do that as a Ranger.

          Regards,

          Chuck(le)
          P.S. Where do I mail you a Christmas ‘present’?

        • ” A word to the wise – or the wide, whichever – you are vastly outnumbered by heathens and jews here. Or our sympathizers.”

          Don’t count on that. Some of us simply choose better ground to fight our battles. The free for all of a gun blog might not be the ideal place. I prefer one-on-one where we can talk sense to each other.

        • TO: scottlac
          RE: Indeed

          I prefer one-on-one where we can talk sense to each other. — scottlac

          I prefer such exchanges over fine scotch and great tobacco.

          Regards,

          Chuck(le)
          [He who hates vice, hates mankind.]

    • TO: Matt in FL
      RE: [OT] At First Blush

      I think this definitely falls under the category of one of those “you have to want to believe it” things. — Matt in FL

      I suggest you look at it from the other perspective.

      It’s not so much that one would ‘want to believe it’. It’s more like one would not want to DISBELIEVE it. In other words look at it with an open and inquisitive mind.

      All too often, people DON’T WANT TO BELIEVE. Especially when it comes to something about God.

      Case in point….

      ….a lot of people don’t want to believe in God in the first place. So they automatically, i.e., knee-jerk, disbelieve anything a Christian will tell them about Him.

      For example the story of the Great Flood, as recounted in the Bible. However, it’s now a proven fact that there was a catastrophic flood in the Euphrates River valley about that time. The result of an apparent cometary impact near the mouth of that great river.

      Or how about the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah? Compare that recounting against the Tunguska event in 1906 Siberia. No crater, but damn near everything for miles around destroyed in blast and fire.

      More to follow. Gotta work on supper….pasta salad and the pasta is boiling.

      Regards,

      Chuck(le)
      [The Truth will out….if only people will perceive and accept it.]

    • TO: Matt in FL
      RE: Believers, Anyone?

      I think this definitely falls under the category of one of those “you have to want to believe it” things. There appears to be a Ukranian word, ‘chornobyl,’ which refers to a species of Artemesia (same family as wormwood), but not the right one. It appears to be the name of what we would call in English ‘mugwort.’– Matt in FL

      As I commented earlier, it’s more important to NOT DISBELIEVE than to BELIEVE.

      Believers already accept belief. Disbelievers, whether atheist, pagans, agnostic, Hebrews or poorly educated so-called ‘Christians’ seem to refuse evidence presented to them. And that is truly saddening.

      RE: The ‘Hardcore’ Christians

      Everyone I found that agrees with your translation and interpretation seems to be a hardcore Christian fundamentalist organization.– Matt in FL

      So….because they ‘believe’, they are ‘wrong’?

      An interesting approach to debate, that.

      And I’d LOVE to hear you describe what is ‘wrong’ with understanding God at His Word. But that would take up reams of space here in an even more off-topic digression.

      RE: Perfect? Moi??!?!??!

      I’m leery of anyone, anywhere, who claims to be interpreting the actual, perfect translation of the Bible, and that goes double when that translation seems a bit “fringe-y.” Let me give you an example, from a book I have on grammar and punctuation, of all places, in the section about the comma:– Matt in FL

      What was it you said, some time back, about my quip regarding the ONLY Man who was ‘perfect’?
      I’m hardly ‘perfect’. But I keep trying. Indeed, my tone in addressing various types seems to have moderated. One of my nightly prayers is that I address contentious types with a more loving approach….as opposed to slipping back to my NCO days as a sergeant of paratroopers.

      RE: Punctuation Placement

      Perhaps the key thing one needs to realise about the early history of punctuation is that, in a literary culture based entirely on the slavish copying of venerated texts, it would be highly presumptuous of a mere scribe to insert helpful marks where he thought they ought to go. Punctuation developed slowly and cautiously not because it wasn’t considered important, but, on the contrary, because it was such intensely powerful ju-ju. Pause in the wrong place and the sense of a religious text can alter in significant ways. For example, as Cecil Hartley pointed out in his 1818 Principles of Punctuation: or, The Art of Pointing, consider the difference between the following:– Matt in FL

      I’m no phantom grammarian. If you want one of those, talk to the distaff. She’s got a masters in library science. My masters is computer-related our form of ‘punctuation’ is different from English.

      RE: Punctuation Placement — Part 2

      Now, consider that both of those translations come from an original language that does not have any punctuation, and those original languages were transcribed into Latin, which not only also doesn’t have punctuation, but which in the style of the time was written in a system called scriptio continua, which are those large square blocks of unspaced capital letters that to our modern eyes look like word search puzzles. Under those circumstances, it’s really hard to credit.– Matt in FL

      It’s not so much a matter of punctuation, as it is a matter of WANTING TO DISBELIEVE.

      And therein lies the proverbial ‘rub’: what differentiates a REAL Christian from one that just calls themselves such?

      I suspect that a REAL Christian hopes and prays for His return to help straighten out this mess we’re making.

      Or do you think it’s NOT a ‘mess’?

      As I’ve seen the statistics, we’ve murdered, in the last four centuries, more people than have occupied the Earth since Homo sapiens took over. And if we go back even further, to Genghis Khan’s invasion of China South-Central Asia, Middle East and Europe…..it’s definitely

      RE: Wanting to Believe

      As I said, I think it’s something you have to want to believe, but I’m not going to argue with your beliefs, because I draw the line at messing with people’s religion. The only thing I will say is that if I believed in a higher power and the teachings/prophecies of the Bible (which I’m not entirely certain I do), the things I learned growing up Southern Baptist lead me to believe that if and when the prophecies of Revelations come true, they will do so in such a way that will not leave us debating interpretation and translation. I believe (as much as I do believe) that you’ll damn sure know.– Matt in FL

      I’ve addressed this earlier. However, if you wish to go over this ground again, I can do it from a different perspective.

      I’m not, repeat NOT, looking forward to what is going to transpire.

      As He put it…..

      It will be like a woman in travail as she bears a child into the world.

      ….or words to that effect.

      I’ve watched two women bear me children in the delivery room. They don’t seem to be having a whole lot of ‘fun’.

      As Bill Cosby described it in his hit one-man show, Bill Cosby Himself….

      ….At this point my lovely wife grabbed my lower lip and pulled it up over my head.

      What’s about to happen is not going to be pleasant. But there is a ‘Light’ at the end of this broken glass filled ‘tunnel’. And we’ll have to tread it in bare feet.

      [NOTE: You REALLY should watch that show. The description of the dentist office trip always has me laughing so hard my jaws ache.]

      RE: Hanging On…..a Single Think

      someone who hangs their entire system of belief on a single sentence, phrase, word, or even comma. That goes double when the dogma they’re hanging on it seems fantastical.– Matt in FL

      You don’t know me well enough to make such a rash statement.

      I’m a professionally trained intell puke. I don’t ‘hang’ everything on a single datum. And you’re really stupid to think that I do. [NOTE: Stupid, adj., ignorant and proud of it.]

      RE: Once More with Feeling

      As I said, I think it’s something you have to want to believe, but I’m not going to argue with your beliefs, because I draw the line at messing with people’s religion. The only thing I will say is that if I believed in a higher power and the teachings/prophecies of the Bible (which I’m not entirely certain I do), the things I learned growing up Southern Baptist lead me to believe that if and when the prophecies of Revelations come true, they will do so in such a way that will not leave us debating interpretation and translation. I believe (as much as I do believe) that you’ll damn sure know.– Matt in FL

      As I stated earlier, it’s not so much a “want to believe” as it is not DELIBERATELY going about NOT believing.

      Open-minded people can accept thinks better than those with closed minds.

      As for the Southern Baptist community, I see they are damning Zimmerman and apparently supporting racial warfare.

      Regarding….

      ….if and when the prophecies of Revelations come true, they will do so in such a way that will not leave us debating interpretation and translation. — Matt in FL

      They are coming true. You just reject them. You come across like a member of the latter-day Sanhedrin in your disbelief. Tell me…

      ….Has the Christ come in the flesh? Do you know the inference of the question?

      But to disabuse you, I’ll give you a ‘clue’.

      Look at what is written in that Old Book from the eyes and understanding of a man of that era. In this case John on Patmos.

      How would a man of the First Century, given visions of the future, describe to his contemporaries (1) a runaway nuclear reactor, (2) AH-64 Apache helicopters and (3) a big war in the Euphrates River Valley between modern armored forces?

      I hope that helps, but considering your state of disbelief, I have serious doubts.

      Regards,

      Chuck(le)
      [The truth is in, the proof is when your heart starts asking, “What’s my motivation?” — Newsboys, Shine]

      P.S. Sooooo….

      ….what ‘motivates’ YOUR heart? Belief? Or disbelief?

      • Whew, and I thought my comment was long. I’m not going to go point for point with you, because I don’t care that much, this has gone on long enough, and it’s impossible for me to keep a train of thought while wading through your non-answers, random asides, and non sequiturs. I’m just going to respond to two things:

        “As for the Southern Baptist community, I see they are damning Zimmerman and apparently supporting racial warfare.”

        I don’t know if “they” are, but that was definitely the statement of someone in a position of authority, and it’s hard to separate the two. He was definitely wrong in saying that, and in encouraging the use of terms like “vigilante justice.”

        “They are coming true. You just reject them.”

        I suppose I can’t argue with the second part. But I reject them based on my earlier statement. I feel like if and when the “end times” come as prophesied, there will be no doubt. We will not be guessing and debating, and it won’t be a tiny portion of the faith trying to advance the notion that the “star that fell from the heavens” is Chernobyl. You, and I, and everyone else will know. My understanding is that at that point there will be no choice of whether or not to believe, there will only be the choice of whether or not to follow.

        And with that, I’m done with this (off-)topic.

        • TO: Matt in FL
          RE: Falling Stars

          What are stars and such in Revelation?

          Think upon it.

          Regards,

          Chuck(le)
          [The Truth will out….if only people would not reject it…..]

        • TO: Matt in FL
          RE: Heh

          You, and I, and everyone else will know. My understanding is that at that point there will be no choice of whether or not to believe, there will only be the choice of whether or not to follow. — Matt in FL

          And by THAT time, it will be too late to choose sides.

          Seriously, if the Rapture happens, what are those ‘left behind’ to think?

          Regards,

          Chuck(le)
          [The Truth will out…..but what about those who are too slow in the ‘uptake’?]

  16. Some how, that whole “strengthening the species” thing seems to apply more and more to stupid people that render themselves defenseless and then gatherin one spot.

    • Ever read Kornbluth’s The Marching Morons?

      It was written in the 1950s.

      Go fig…..

      Science fiction writers foresee the inevitable, and although problems and catastrophes may be inevitable, solutions are not. — Isaac Asimov

  17. The notion of the Church as sanctuary from violence is old, but largely not applicable in today’s society. Back in Hildebrand times, sure. The Peace of God and Truce of God movements had real power. You could get the local thugs to swear over relics to not fight in X place or at Y times. Likewise, the state recognize special prerogatives. But still they had porters, a minor order whose job it was to bar and physically prevent the violent and certain others from entering.

    With the exception of California under Spain and maybe some other Southwest states, churches have never had a special status of sanctuary under law, let alone such a strong status under culture as to actually mean something. I recall that an early bullet proof vest was designed by a Catholic priest… a bit more realistic that one.

  18. Doesn’t it say in the bible that you need to meet God half way? That he will not do it all for you?

    The way I see it is if you are carrying, you are doing your part.

    • And if you die anyway, it is God’s Will. So why not rely on His will to not let you and your church be attacked in the first place?

  19. “…and he who has no sword is to sell his coat and buy one.” Luke 22:36.

    Give you three guesses Who said that.

    Applying time-honored rules of interpretation, I conclude now that he who has no semi-auto is to sell whatever he needs to to get one, and some ammo too. Selling one’s coat back in the day was a pretty big deal. So it makes me think people who preach pacifism probably haven’t read much of The Book.

    • “…and he who has no sword is to sell his coat and buy one.” Luke 22:36.
      Give you three guesses Who said that.

      Jesus said that at the last supper.

      • I prefer an updated version of that verse…..

        And he that has no AR-15, let him take his MasterCard and buy one….with lots of ammo. — Luke 22:36 (Updated and Paraphrased)

        [God is alive….and Airborne-Ranger qualified.]

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