“Serenity Church is a place where every question is answered with, ‘What would Jesus say?’ And every problem is solved with ‘What would Jesus do?’ And we believe that he would say, ‘Put up your guns, for he who lives by the gun, will perish by the gun.’  So, we believe that it is far better to suffer ourselves than to cause others to suffer. Hate has never stamped out hate.” Rev. Floyd Rose, senior servant of Serenity Church, Valdosta, Georgia, Opposed to having guns in place of worship [via valdostadailytimes.com]

69 Responses to Quote of the Day: Serenity Church Minister’s ‘Gun-Free’ Zone Explained

  1. Having a sword for the protection of your loved ones is NOT “living by the sword”. Committing armed robbery on a regular basis is “living by the sword”.

  2. Luke 22:36

    He said to them, “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a [gun], sell your cloak and buy one.”

    This FLAME DELETED is a hypocrite and an apostate.

    • To truly understand that passage, a great deal of theology must be understood first. There is a lot more to it than a belief in armed self-defense. But the disciples quickly took inventory and counted two swords among them. They were armed for their own defense even before Jesus ordered them to do so.

      We can be certain that, like his disciple Dr. Martin Luther King, Jesus was a peaceful man who preached peace, love and non-violence. But he was not a pacifist and did not teach that we should go through life defenseless against evil.

      • I just hate that the left is taking my faith and twisting it to make Jesus look like some sort of limp wrist pacifist hippie. It’s almost enough for me to understand Islamists getting butthurt over Mo-ham-head cartoons… nah…

  3. Well, if that a load of BS.
    I can love my myself, my family and friends, my life and wish it to continue without hating the person or persons I may have to kill to sustain my love.

    Frankly, there’s something seriously mentally ill with anyone who would rather lay down and die than stand up and fight to save themselves or their loved ones.

    Sounds like Serenity Church is run by a clinically depressed suicidal man who hates himself and wants to take everyone else down with him.

  4. The assumption that one answers hate with hate is wrong. Rather, I think it is a dispassionate response to someone who would do you harm. It is violent yes, but I don’t hate the person who would rob or hurt me, I really don’t care, I don’t invest the energy to have a feeling toward that person. And to defend myself and potentially save the life of others, isn’t that an act of unselfish love?

    Yoda said, “Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”

  5. I will bet you a dollar that if you ask the good Rev. Rose he would agree that ‘well-regulated’ means more laws on gun ownership.

    • Being a successful preacher means being able to convince hundreds or thousands to leave something in the plate, does *not* require deep thinking or a knowledge of any history.

  6. That may be the answer for that question, but, clearly the question is wrong.

    A better question would be, “WWJD if a madman started shooting up the congregation in the church?”

  7. I applaud those who hold such conviction in their belief that they simply refuse to meet violence with violence and accept the consequences of their actions. Just don’t expect the rest of us to do the same and don’t force your belief system on others.

    “So, we believe that it is far better to suffer ourselves than to cause others to suffer. Hate has never stamped out hate.”

    To protect life is not hate, it is love.

    • ” … I was not making fun of you personally; I was heaping scorn on an inexcusably silly idea — a practice I shall always follow. Anyone who clings to the historically untrue and thoroughly immoral doctrine that violence never settles anything I would advise to conjure up the ghosts of Napoleon Bonaparte and the Duke of Wellington and let them debate it. The ghost of Hitler could referee and the jury might well be the Dodo, the Great Auk, and the Passenger Pigeon. Violence, naked force, has settled more issues in history than has any other factor, and the contrary opinion is wishful thinking at its worst. Breeds that forget this basic truth have always paid for it with their lives and their freedoms.” ~Robert A. Heinlein

  8. “What would Jesus say? … What would Jesus do?”

    Jesus would probably acknowledge that swords exist and would advocate that if you do not have one, you should probably sell something valuable in order to arm yourself appropriately.

  9. The pastor is a foolish man.

    “What would Jesus do?” is a foolish question. Jesus was sent among us for a very specific and profound purpose, and his life was dedicated to that purpose. Much of what he did, from performing miracles to sacrificing his life on the cross, was done to fulfill prophesy. The rest of us are not here for the same purpose.

    • Argument is invalid. I never needed the right of self defense to be predicated upon whether a “divine” being approves of that right.

  10. I don’t suppose you would forgo the collection plates as well, Reverend.

    Because, you know, “because it is far better for ourselves to suffer than to cause others to suffer”.

  11. Apparently he hasn’t read anything about David, or comprehended the thread of personal responsibility communicated throughout scripture.

    • David lived under the strict requirements of Mosaic law. His prophet Nathan and his high priest Zadok most assuredly kept him apprised of the harsh penalties for such gross violations as adultery and murder.

      The penalty was death.

      I never encountered any OT verses that provided for “carve outs” just because you wore a crown on your head.

      FYI, David was anything but accountable as God allowed him to flout the harsh penalty ( death ) that presumably lesser Hebrews were still subject to.

      • David’s penalties for adultery and murder were that his son died and David was not permitted to build the temple. 2 Samuel 12:14 and 1 Chronicles 28:3

      • I think you went a different direction than what I was referring to. My point is that David was a warrior with blood on his hands, and a history of egregious error, and yet, God referred to him as a man after his own heart. Was God wrong? The comment on personal responsibility is pointed at guns as inanimate objects, and that the actions, or inactions. of a person will be called under judgement rather than a mechanical device. And ultimately, David was held accountable.

        • The point I was making about David’s capital offenses was that he avoided the proscribed punishment which required him to forfeit his life. The law was unambiguous and harsh.

          If you think I’m making a mountain out of a mole hill then ask yourself what was the penalty for simply being a rebellious son or working on the Sabbath ?

          I am familiar with the history of David as well as Leviticus and Deuteronomy. David was held to a lesser standard of justice and his “accountability” is on par with Hillary’s.

          PS, thank you for your calm, dispassionate response. I know these kind of discussions tend to make one’s blood boil and I am no exception.

        • I try to make it about the subject, rather than going ad hominem on everybody. I don’t always succeed, but I try, so thank you for acknowledging my effort!! I understand your point on David not bearing full accountability under the Law – under the Law, and in lock step with Hillary, the accountability level was very low. I know under the Law I would have spent all my time outside the camp. Nathan challenged David, and Nathan arrived at “thou art the man” (I don’t really like KJV, but that one really works – Thou art the man – Who, me? Very convicting). The choice became man’s judgement or God’s – God’s version was much more merciful than the Law. While we may see it as David getting away with murder (both literally and figureatively in this case), there’s a “type” or model in this of Christ. We can see God making exceptions as inconsistency or contradictory, or we can see it as God intends it – the unmerited act of mercy that is is. David deserved judgement, but received mercy. I prefer mercy to judgment when it’s me, and shamefully, how often do I search my heart and find I prefer judgment to mercy when it’s others. The Law, and mankinds failure to keep it, proves how far from it we are, and is further proof we need God’s grace and mercy. Everything will be called into judgment, and there will be no illusory arguments to reframe the motives – God knows the heart, even the black heart of Hillary, and my marginally regenerated charcoal gray version. On a more personal note, why do you think you get charged up about discussions of this ilk? What about them angers/bothers/annoys/vexes (I’m spitballing here) you?

  12. Psalm 82:3-4
    “Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.”

    • Heartbreaker,

      Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.

      I totally missed that one! (hurries off to add that Bible verse to my essay on righteous self-defense in church)

        • Danny Griffin,

          Thank you for the reference. I am facing a HUGE battle at my church. Our church staff, elected leadership, and even one of our members who is a state police officer vigorously oppose having anyone armed in our church.

          I presented a rock-solid essay over the course of two hours to the state police person … who dismissed it out of hand because FEELINGS. All the logical, Natural, and Biblical references in the world are irrelevant to them. I am less than four weeks away from leaving my church which I have been attending for 17 years.

        • Danny Griffin,

          I just reviewed your Facebook post. That is a nice write-up. I have already covered almost all of your points (and then some!). The real gem that I had not discovered was Proverbs 25:26 “Like a muddied spring or a polluted well is a righteous man who gives way to the wicked.”

          That gem, along with the Psalm 82:4 reference, are important elements that have been missing from my essay. Thank you!

        • Danny,
          Thanks for that.

          Too many of our traditional denominations are in trouble today because they have turned away from the Bible. The United Methodist Church is facing an existential crisis over how to deal with homosexuals. It’s a pity. The answers are in the Bible. We just need to read it and trust God.

        • @uncommon_sense

          Does that state trooper who thinks guns have no place in church carry at church himself?

        • The link you provided was a very good read, thanks. I think the court case references on government having no responsibility to protect us should be part of response to the next article about the Iowa cop carve out bill.

        • Danny Griffin,

          I have looked long and hard and I have never been able to make out a handgun anywhere on the state police church member. If he does carry, it has to be a tiny pistol … either inside waistband or ankle holster. I have never asked him. If I had to guess, he doesn’t carry at church.

          His position on concealed carry at church:
          (1) He claims to know (first hand no less) multiple police officers who have discharged their firearms negligently. Therefore, he doesn’t trust anyone to have firearms at church. (If the “Only Ones” are bumbling idiots, the unwashed masses must be that much more dangerous.)
          (2) He thinks an armed church member would indiscriminately blast away at an attacker and KILL multiple bystanders. I mentioned that random hits to bystanders would rarely prove fatal. Undeterred, he then claimed that many/most gunshot wounds to extremities would prove fatal.
          (3) In his mind, any risk, no matter how nebulous, is unacceptable when we can support the state’s default ban on firearms in church and allegedly eliminate all risk.

          Normally, I would not invest so much effort on him. Unfortunately, all the policymakers at my church oppose firearms by default. Without unanimous support of the three people in my church who work in law enforcement, I don’t stand a chance convincing our church to allow concealed carry licensees to carry in church. As it stands, I appear to have the full support of the other two in law enforcement. Lot’s of good that does for me.

      • Ooo…is this essay something you might could share with the rest of the class? I’d be interested in seeing it…

    • Unless the “weak” are Midianites, Amalekites etc. Then God allowed for even the killing of weak infants by bashing their heads against the rocks ( you know, “happy is he who…” ) and slashing open pregnant women ( Hosea 13:16 )

      This thread is little different than listening to dishonest Muslims who try and sugar coat or outright deny that their own Abrahamic religion embraced the most horrific penalties imaginable just as long as Allah sanctioned targeting the “weak” and defensless.

      • Ok… apples and oranges. Old Testament != New Testament. On top of that, Islam is doing it TODAY, Christianity hasn’t done anything like that for CENTURIES.

        • Wait….wut ? I thought Christians were:
          A.) moral absolutists and
          B.) abhored the use of situational ethics.

          Yet you willingly embrace moral ambivalence ( acceptance of infanticide yet I assume you oppose abortion )…

          and defend it by resorting to situational ethics ( ie, a behavior that is universally condemned in today’s world is somehow acceptable as long as it occurred in the distant past under different rules. )

          Your defense reeks of everything except consistency.

        • Applying modern morality to the world as it existed before that morality did is an absurdity on the level of historical revisionism.

        • Blaming today’s Christians for things that Christians did thousands of years ago is a little bit like blaming today’s White Males for slavery. The bible and indeed every religious text is full of contradictions. To condemn someone of faith because they don’t practice the killing of infants is simply retarded. It’s absolutely retarded.

          Word of advice. When trying to press a point, never go full retard.

        • Timothy, speaking of “retarded” nowhere did I blame any Christian living in the 21’st century for what Hebrews did 2500+ years ago. Neither do I blame modern Germans for what the Nazis did 75 years ago. How would that work anyway, the sequential nature of time and all that ?

          I DID point out a suspicious tendency of Christians / Muslims / Jews to ignore, rationalize, equivicate, downplay, white wash, and othetwise gloss over their own MORAL DOUBLE STANDARDS.

        • “Yet you willingly embrace moral ambivalence ( acceptance of infanticide yet I assume you oppose abortion )…”

          I might not be a doctor, but I once stayed at a Holiday Inn and I am 100% certain that’s you blaming modern Christians for killing infants. Or at least saying they MUST be OK with it. Absolutely FULL RETARD!!!!

          Let people practice whatever faith they wanna practice. Murder isn’t less moral from a Christian, Jew, or Muslim. And no Christian churches (that I know of) anywhere advocate for murder of babies. Nor do any Christians I know of “willingly embrace moral ambivalence” for the murder of babies.

          If you want practice a religion or no religion at all, then good for you. But get off your full retard high horse where everyone who believes in a religion is somehow OK with the killing of babies.

        • Timothy:

          A.) I know this is going to piss you off but I don’t require your permission or approval to speak critically of Christianity or Islam, etc. Sorry, tough shit.

          B.) I don’t blame Christians for Old Testament atrocities. Why ? Because Christianity didn’t EXIST.

          Simple enough for you ?

          C.) You must be irony impaired since it is Christians who hold all of present day humanity guilty for what Adam and Eve did ( Original Sin ) supposedly …..6000 YEARS AGO.

          That’s the stupid kind of blame game you are incorrectly accusing me of. It’s Christians who believe in vicarious guilt that is passed down. Not me. Why ? BECAUSE IT MAKES NO SENSE.

          D.) My girlfriend is a Christian ( SB ). If I was such a bigot against Christians I promise you my girl friend would dump me in seconds flat.

          E.). I don’t own any horses, high or otherwise.

  13. There was a time that Jesus allowed his enemies to take him. He reattached the ear of a soldier that lost it to Peter’s sword. Jesus went paecably then. The Gospels do not tell us to do that, they fact that He did was extrordinary.
    If we feel it is the time to go, we could offer ourselves up to another’s method of killing me, that is up to you.
    I, for one, am not ready for that to happen.

  14. 2 Kings 19:35 And it came to pass that night, that the angel of the LORD went out, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians an hundred fourscore and five thousand: and when they arose early in the morning, behold, they were all dead corpses.

    I reckon the big man doesn’t have a problem with justice.

    • Indeed, one of the common threads throughout the Bible is that there is a price to be paid for sin. In the Old Testament, it is sometimes the children and grandchildren paying the price for the sins of their parents.

      In the New Testament, Jesus pays the price for all of us. Forever.

    • “and when they arose early in the morning, behold, they were all dead corpses.”

      They all woke up DEAD??

      sorry, couldn’t resist, I know what the passage meant….

  15. What Reverend Floyd Rose is teaching contradicts Scripture:

    — love always protects … 1 Corinthians 13:7

    — sell your cloak and buy a sword … Luke 22:36

    — provide (includes protection) for your family … 1 Timothy 5:8

    — If a thief is caught breaking in at night and is struck a fatal blow, the defender is not guilty of bloodshed … Exodus 22:2

    — Peter cut-off the ear of the high priest’s servant and Jesus commanded Peter put his sword back in its sheath. (Jesus did not tell Peter to give away his sword.) … John 8:10-11

    Finally, protecting your family with violent force (regardless of the tool involved) is NOT an example of, “those who live be the sword will die by the sword.” An example of someone who “lives by the sword and will die by the sword” is a GANGBANGER … which is why the life expectancy of gangbangers is something like 22 years old.

    When someone teaches contrary to scripture, we call them a FALSE PROPHET. Reverend Floyd Rose is teaching contrary to scripture (special revelation) and Nature (general revelation). That places him squarely in the FALSE PROPHET camp. In fact I would probably go so far as to call him a “wolf in sheep’s clothing”.

  16. The “Rev” is not a Christian.

    The right to self defense was given us by God…it was even given long ago to those who do not believe in Him.

  17. For a biblically correct view come to Hammond,IN Baptist church. No such nonsense spewed from an apostate. And guns-lots of guns…oh and I ‘ll wager this “revrunt” was an Odumbo boy and “I’m with her” imbecile.

  18. We do not build dams out of words, because words won’t stop a flood, and I say to you: a flood is coming, and all manner of troubles.

    Take up your tools, and listen not to the preaching of crooked men.

  19. I hesitate to declare this man “not a true Christian” or some sort of apostate. Coreligionists disagree on many points of doctrine. That does not make the disagreeing unChristian, unless one rejects the grace of Christ. For a fellow Christian, a private, earnest discussion would be more fruitful than flaming him here or pulling out verses from thin air. I’m sure all of us of a particular faith have had many spirited discussions about guns in the context of our worldview. I know I have.

  20. I am a associate pastor and I almost always carry my Glock 43 when I’m at my church. It is my duty to protect my congregation. “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13

  21. Calm down, everyone.

    The minister only declared that he and his congregation are conscientious objectors. Alongside that declaration is the implication that if you wish to worship in their church, leave your guns outside. No demand for more gun regulation, no weeping sob stories being used to argue for civilian disarmament.

    A conscientious objector refuses to take the life of another. While I think the minister is not taking into account the fact that Jesus never denounced soldiers, and the minister is not being balanced between self-sacrifice among and toward other believers, and self-protection of individuals, I understand his viewpoint. Non-violence as a religious principle is the hallmark of Quakers. Has anyone seen Quakers in the front lines of the disarmament movement?

    The pastor is not a wild-eyed gun-grabber. Leave him and his congregation to decide for themselves how they will go about their daily lives. This is nothing to get excited about. Just the presentation of a viewpoint different from most on this forum. Having a different opinion is not an assault on “gun rights”.

  22. Well, The Minister is free to die vs. shoot back like, for , Quakers (I am clear he is not a Quaker. Also, that from time to time when push came to – er – bang, bang, some “good” Quakers engaged in a more “nuanced” understanding of their pacifism. – ed)

    Should The Minister choose to demand or force the rest of us to the same choice, vs. persuade, that’s a problem.

    Given that he’s a bit confused about Christian doctrine of self-defense, he might also be confused about the Christian doctrine of offering vs. imposing The Good News. It’s a mistake that’s been made before.

  23. When trouble comes, don’t call the police. They have guns and you don’t want anything to do with guns.
    That will last until some crook pulls out a gun.

  24. So, here’s a thought: To preface this, I am not religious at all. Technically, I’m an atheist, though I dislike using that term because it’s been co-opted by the anti theists (those who hate religion and scream that someone choosing to have a personal relationship with God somehow equates to that same person forcing their beliefs on others; it’s madness). I’m also on the far right as far as politics go (that’s not relevant to my point, but I say that to preempt the inevitable cries that I can’t possibly be a conservative if I don’t believe in God).

    Now, while I don’t claim to have any understanding of scripture, it seems to me that, from an outsider’s and purely logical standpoint, life is the greatest gift God has given us, assuming you believe that all life stems from God. As such, if it is such a precious gift from God, don’t you have the right to protect that gift? And, taking it a step further, wouldn’t it be an incredible insult to God to actively REFUSE to safeguard your own life? To allow vicious men who haven’t felt His love to deprive them of such an immense gift from Him?

    • What a thoughtful, and might I say loving, insight from a non-believer (observation, not an insult). I think you ask very pertinent questions, and they stand out because the missing piece in many of these comments is context. Many of the arguments (on both sides) are trafficking in absolutism, or using logically fallacious positions against their detractors by discarding context as situational ethics, or contorting parables into mandates. Worse yet, when God shows mercy, some label it as contradictory – as if God is subject to man’s reasoning, and one would prefer judgement to mercy. In making our arguments, we must be cognizant that scripture can be a command or absolute, it can be allegorical, a type or model to illustrate a deeper concept or truth, a story or parables and other literary constructs. It’s not a technical manual of linear actions. The foundation of our liberties come from biblical concepts.

      We know this: God hates the shedding of innocent blood, and brings judgement, now or later, onto those that do. That has been clearly illustrated. The milquetoast version of Jesus is inconsistent with the biblical narrative of his return. There was a man once, that showed us what the price of inaction can be. He sat idly by while his wife committed spiritual suicide – his name was Adam. He wasn’t off at work when this happened – he was right there, with her, and he did nothing. He was passive in the wrong things, and by his inaction sin entered the world. Now, it’s not all on him because, eventually, I would have ruined it for everybody, but I digress.

      That is the instance when death entered our existence, and it happened due to rebellion, passivity and inaction. It’s the same thing when a person sits on their ass and lets others commit violence. Sometimes you have to stop telling the kids to quit playing with flaming, pointy sticks in the camp fire, get out of your comfy chair, unlike Adam, take the damn sticks from them, and deliver some consequences for non-compliance.

      I spend thousands of dollars a year training with top notch instructors, put in my range time, shoot competitively, all because I’m built to protect – it’s part of my being. I really don’t carry to primarily protect myself, it’s to protect my loved ones first, and others around me. I hope I don’t have to, but I’ll damn sure get off the X and deal some hurt if I must, and not for a second would I call that sin, or even a lesser choice.

      There is such a thing as sin unto death, and those committing willful violence against others are in total rebellion against God, and even if someone doesn’t believe in God, in a purely secular sense, willful violence is completely outside all reasonable aspects of social contract and our way of life. Allowing unchallenged violence is a step toward anarchy. It’s absolutely morally honorable, or biblical, whichever term one chooses, to protect others. Thank you for your comments, and spurring some real thought.

  25. As I point out in my book, “A Time To Kill: The Myth of Christian Pacifism”, WWJD cannot apply when we are talking about saving lives. As someone pointed out in this thread, Jesus was on a divine mission. He alone decided when He was to die and was divinely protected until then, as were His disciples. John 17:12. If someone is drowning, I can’t walk on water to save them as Jesus could, nor can a trauma surgeon miraculously heal a man with 4 gunshot wounds to the chest. This minister should instead ask, “What would Jesus HAVE US do?” Since God gives us the tech to make weapons to defeat the wicked Isaiah 54: 16-17, and has commanded us to rescue those being murdered, Proverbs 24: 11-12, then He has authorized weapons as the proper tool to rescue those in danger of being murdered. For more, see Dean Weingarten’s TTAG review of my book. Nov. 13, 2016. The book is available on Amazon and can be ordered by any bookstore. By Greg Hopkins.

  26. There are people who will do bad things and can not be stopped by turning of the cheek. If someone decides to murder the children in his flock one day, will the pastor do nothing but pray? Maybe he would jump in front of the children and be killed first; but they would be second. Is that truly righteous? I’m sure he would be held up as a hero, a man of great faith and sacrifice.

    The kids? They’ll still be dead. How noble.

  27. Jesus has said many things about what he would have me do. And one of those it to perform my duty as the protector of my family.

    I have respect for those who seek a non-violent life, but they lose that respect if they try to force it on others.

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