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I grew up Catholic. My mother is still a devout Catholic. My dad follows the best he can, and my sister and her kids are all Catholic and my brother’s wife recently converted from Mormonism to Catholicism. My parents sent me to a Catholic school. I went to St. John’s the Evangilist Catholic elementary school in Loveland, Colorado, kindergarten through 6th grade. I went to mass every Friday, all necessary church masses (holidays), and of course every Sunday. Every . . . single . . . Sunday . . .

Although I’m no longer Catholic, my Catholic father is responsible for my love of guns and shooting. My Catholic brother (who is also a Marine) is by far one of my favorite people to go shooting with. His newly Catholic wife took her concealed carry class with me in Colorado. I’ve never seen the Catholic faith and firearms production, ownership or use as mutually exclusive. Until now . . .

In a speech in Turin, Pope Francis made a bold statement: weapons manufacturers shouldn’t call themselves Christians. I find it a little strange that the Pope chose to ostracize workers who provide the tools to people exercising their God-given right of self defense. Tools that people use to protect the Pope, including the heavily armed Vatican Swiss Guard.

The Pope’s condemnation of weapons makers isn’t just a little hypocritical; it borders on insanity. This pope has spent more time condemning anyone not following a communist philosophy than actually preaching love and kindness and compassion. Gone are the days of Pope John Paul II, who instead of bashing others and looking down on freedom, taught love.

With all due respect, Pope Francis isn’t the person I would be taking religious or political advice from. I’m not sure what it is about freedom that bothers this particular pope, but his willingness to use force and coercion through his words is a concern to me. Catholics (and all Christisns for that matter) shouldn’t fear carrying guns. The Catholic Bible even says in Luke 22:36,

RSV-CE Luke 22:36 “He said to them, but now let him who has a purse take it, and likewise a bag. And let him who has no sword sell his cloak and buy one.”

So it’s OK for Christians to carry swords for self-defense (the modern day equivalent of a firearm) but the sword manufacturer can’t call himself a Christian?

I am a lapsed Catholic, but my morality was informed by my religious instruction. I continue to believe that life is sacred. That it should be defended. That the strong should defend the weak. This they – we cannot do with words alone. That’s just as true in Jesus’ time as it is now. I wish the Pope understood this simple point, as so many Catholics who make and/or keep and bear arms do. As so many people do.

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132 Responses to Sara Tipton: A Lapsed Catholic’s View of the Pope’s Contempt for Arms Makers

  1. Amen, Sara!!!!!!!!
    he should maybe follow that saying, better to remain silent and appear ignorant, than open his mouth and remove all doubt.

    • I knew he was a mistake when I learned he was a Jesuit cultist. The Jesuits ONCE were the spearhead of faith and great missionaries. Then in the post-war years they formulated the insidious doctrine of “Liberation Theology” (socialsim hiding behind the Cross and Bible) which is the stock in trade of Jeremiah Wright.

      Ray

  2. I’m a Catholic convert from the Anglican Communion, effective Easter, 1996.

    Your post makes a lot sense, if we assume that what the Pope said was not taken out of context (again, SOP by the MSM) or completely misquoted (again, SOP).

    Now be prepared for some maniacal hatred and vitriol directed against Catholics, the Church and the Pope from your fellow firearms owners and users here. Not all of them, of course, or even most of them, but a significant number, who come up with all kinds of whacky Jack-Chick-style anti-Catholic bigotry from the fundamentalist Protestant side, and the usual anti-Christian fear, hatred and loathing from the atheists. Some of it from a couple of days ago was mind-boggling in its demonic spewing; much like the spitting and hissing from the demon in “The Exorcist” when splashed with holy water.

    • I wouldn’t put it past the media and I have nothing against the roman catholic church, but you’ve said this a lot. So, please show us how it was taken out of context. Give us the context. Time to put up or shut up.

      • Author said this:

        “In a speech in Turin, Pope Francis made a bold statement: weapons manufacturers shouldn’t call themselves Christians. ” Which is what was reported in the headlines of most major news sources.

        Actual Quote from da pope:

        ““It makes me think of … people, managers, businessmen who call themselves Christian and they manufacture weapons. That leads to a bit a distrust, doesn’t it?”

        So yes, both this author and the MSM source she was referencing both grossly misrepresented what the dude said. Not saying I agree with him one way or the other, or vice versa. But this whole thing has been a shitstorm over a random comment that was misquoted/interpreted. Do we really have nothing better to worry about than what american newspapers said some south american holy man said about a roman religions stance about gun manufacturers?

        • well said. this Pope has definitely said some questionable things, but the truly scandalous seem to have all turned out to be greatly exaggerated by a lack of context, or straight up misrepresentation. remember when he called the Hamas guy “an angel of peace?” well, he didnt actually, he called ON him to be an angel of peace. one little word makes all the difference. and unless you watch EWTN or speak Italian, you cant trust American coverage of what he “said.”

        • You’re the one selectively quoting here, limiting his text to the line that only strongly suggests he’s condemning gunmakers, but which leaves a sliver of an opening for an apologist later to claim his words had been taken out of context.

          By stating that these people “call themselves Christians”, right there he’s challenging whether they really are.  A Pope challenging such is tantamount to declaring it not so.

          Then, continuing to speak about people who make arms or invest in arms sales, the Pope exclaimed: “They say they are Christians!”

          “‘No no, Father, I do not make [them],” Francis imitated such a person. “‘I only have my investments in the fabrication of arms.'”

          “Why?” the Pontiff asked. “Because the interests are a bit higher. And so the double-face is money flowing today; to say one thing and do the other. Hypocrisy.”

          He’s calling them hypocrites and duplicitous and obviously is casting their claims of Christianity as dishonest; i.e., that they aren’t Christians at all. He’s saying that to call themselves Christians, but to make/invest in firearms is contradictory and cannot both be true. Since the gunmaking is an observable fact, the claim to Christianity must be the lie.

          It’s plain enough to understand, despite your attempt to reframe it. RocketScientist? Try Spin Doctor.

        • Why focus on manufacturers to the exclusion of anyone else? The manufacturer is the person furthest from the point-of-use where a moral evaluation might be relevant. E.g., suppose there were a fight between armed soldiers of the Islamic State opposed by unofficial militia sent by Iran. Between these opposing forces are unarmed Christians and Yazidis and lightly armed Kurds. Can a moral person attempt to make a judgement as to which of these belligerents and non-beligerants to arm?

      • Easy peasy. First, this article is from an admittedly “lapsed” Catholic. That in and of itself doesn’t discredit the sentiments by any means, but it does call into question the author’s understanding of Catholic theology…which is at the heart of her comments.

        The Pope speaks for the universal Church, not just Americans and their sometimes fragile sensibilities. One has to understand BOTH the concepts of just war theory and of legitimate self defense (in fact, if one actually bothers to read the catechism, it says that for some [like parents, etc] who have a moral duty to protect others under their care, there are cases where one MUST defend themselves and others morally….i.e. you have no choice but to act). If you don’t take the time to see how both are true (and are in union with each other), combining such ignorance of Catholic teaching with a very conversational style like Pope Francis (a style that, as the author below indicates, often uses many references he assumes you understand), it’s a recipe for stories like this making a battle out of something that is just not well understood by the recipient.

        http://www.patheos.com/blogs/jenniferfitz/2015/6/pope-franciss-puzzling-comments-on-guns-and-war-the-clue-to-understanding-laudato-si/

        In the end, Pope Francis is not saying all weapons are evil (objects cannot be evil, only their use by people), nor that those who manufacture/invest such things always have evil intent, though that can occur. He’s saying that given those two obvious examples of the use of arms (just war and legitimate defense), it IS a problem when we put profitability above the concerns of people actually being hurt/killed by weapons illegitimately.

        Think of it this way, how “Christian” would it be for me to sell dynamite to children in my town, looking only at my profits and not taking into account the kids (or others) that would invariably be harmed by doing so? In the end when we’re talking about grave matters, context matters in relation to the morality of our choices. Perhaps the real shocker here is that the Pope has to reiterate these basic concepts to a society that has forgotten them.

        Hope this helps.

        Regards,
        Pedro

        • No, you lose right from the start, by claiming that a lapsed Catholic’s thinking on Catholicism is suspect. Has Catholic thinking changed so much in just a few years that everything she learned has gone by the wayside?

          I think not. I think more likely you are grasping at straws.

        • Pedro,

          Of course some people misuse firearms to immorally and illegally harm others. How are the manufacturers or investors in any way, shape, or form “suspect” or responsible for that? Prostitutes do their work in cars, tents, houses, and hotels. Why isn’t the pope calling for the manufacturers and investors of cars, tents, houses, and hotels to answer for the acts of prostitution that they “facilitate”?

          If there is a legitimate, moral, lawful application of a product or service and the people who offer that product or service are not marketing to criminals, their hands are clean, period.

        • Felix: I wasn’t trying to “win”, just stating a reasonably informed response to the question posed. Notice I didn’t say her comments were not worth considering, just that given her own title of being “lapsed”, I think its just an obvious conclusion that her remarks on the theological aspects of this discussion aren’t necessarily to be accepted simply because “she used to be Catholic”, and thus should be scrutinized. For that matter, a nominal Catholic who cherry picks their dogmas gets the same treatment.

          Think of it this way…..would you consider the commentary on medicine of a former doctor on par with one actively engaged in practicing it? I think not.

        • uncommon_sense: He’s not talking about “your” use of firearms as an individual, he’s talking about the international arms trade industry (see the paragraph in the interview JUST BEFORE the part everyone’s in a huff about), which profits DIRECTLY off of the suffering of people the world over.

          I would encourage everyone to go actually read the interview (if they haven’t already), rather than just commentary about the interview, but instead of reading it as an American, try to read it charitably given the massive problem facing war torn countries who are funded and weaponized by these very cartels Pope Francis is speaking of.

          And I’ll reiterate, he’s speaking assuming one has an understanding of the Catholic understanding of these things. If you do, great, you probably have some sympathy with where he’s coming from as the shepherd of ALL Catholics the world over. If not, then just trust us when we say he’s not advocating coming for your .44 Mag in the nightstand.

        • “… trust us when we say he’s not advocating coming for your .44 Mag in the nightstand.” — Pedro

          Dang it! Now I have to find another hiding place for it!

          Not sure I totally understand or agree with your defense of the Pope, Pedro, but I can tell that you put a lot of serious thought into it and I truly appreciate your response. Thank you for being calm and reaching out.

        • Pedro,

          Thank you for the reasoned and articulate comments. It’s clear from the full context he is addressing the hypocrisy of men in general, utilizing several particular examples. I do wish he would be more clear in his distinctions, both to prevent confusion among Catholics and to eliminate the media’s outstanding ability to take things out of context. But he is speaking off the cuff to a particular individual, so one must understand the setting, the individual speaking, the language, and the Catholic beliefs to fill in the gaps he left (I know this was the point of the Patheos article, but I found it rather humorous the lengths she went to explain it with the “high context” and “interconnected thinking”).

        • First, some references, so people can look things up for themselves: Jorge Bergoglio’s (Pope Francis’) remarks in English (http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/pope-s-off-the-cuff-address-to-youth-of-turin) and the original Italian (https://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/it/speeches/2015/june/documents/papa-francesco_20150621_torino-giovani.html)

          Second, it is obvious that the guy isn’t trying to cover all bases and give a reasoned discussion. He doesn’t come across as much of a deep thinker, to be sure, but this is especially rambling.

          Third, while his gullibility to Marxist rhetoric and the current Zeitgeist (spirit of this world) is apparent, I suspect that he’d be a bit more, well, discerning on this particular matter.

          Fourth, a reporter should ask him: “Do your Swiss Guards buy their weapons from people who call themselves Christians (e.g., Glock), and do the Guards themselves only call themselves Christians?”

  3. I am a Catholic, not a good one, but I am one. I married outside the church decades ago and have not been able to partake any of the sacraments. Looks like I am even worse as I have been and will continue to build a new AR. I and my heathen wife own a good many guns. I hope they will allow me my last rites when the time comes, but I will be a gun owner till then.

    • I wouldn’t worry about it. If you study your Bible, it discredits most of the religion part of the Catholic religion.

      • I do study my Bible, daily, and I don’t find that at all, just the opposite. In fact, if it wasn’t for the Catholic Church, you wouldn’t even have a Bible to read.

        Perhaps you’d be kind enough to pick your #1 example of “discrediting” the Catholic faith in your Bible and share with us?

        • +100

          And besides Holy Scripture, the Church also places great store by Reason and Tradition.

          Too many Protestant denominations have cherry-picked lines from the Bible and then used them for the basis of their whole faith, and when carried to extremes, it involves ‘not suffering a witch to live’ and ‘taking up serpents.’

          But arguing with some of these folks is a waste of time and breath. They’ve made up their minds.

        • >> In fact, if it wasn’t for the Catholic Church, you wouldn’t even have a Bible to read.

          How do you know that he’s not Orthodox, or some other denomination that could handle its own Bible just fine, thank you very much?

      • Pedro,
        You must remember that the Protestant version is missing 7 books of the bible. They were removed because it was believed by Protestants in the early days to support the Catholic version of Christianity.

        Bear, I would also like to hear your discredited information as well, most people who make those blanket statements tend to be uneducated of the teachings of the Catholic church. One of my favorite Protestant lies is that Catholic pray to statues for example!!!

        • I can’t speak for Bear, but I’ll give you one (for starters).

          Praying to Mary and others instead of God directly goes against what Jesus specifically said. Jesus gave us strict instruction on how we are to pray. Beginning in Matt 6:6 “when you pray, pray to your Father…Then your Father…do not keep on babbling like pagans…Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. This, then, is how you should pray: ‘Our Father in heaven…” But more specifically, in Luke 11: One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.” He said to them, “When you pray, say: ” ‘Father…'” It is very clear Christians are not to be praying to Mary or Joseph or Jude or Christopher or anyone but God the father. There is only one mediator between God and Man, and that is Jesus.

          I could go on.

        • Danny,

          As we’ve gone off-topic here I’m just going to continue the trend.

          Praying is asking for help or giving thanks (the Latin means “to obtain by entreaty”). Have you ever asked a fellow Christian to pray for you? That’s what we Catholics are doing when we pray to the saints – we’re asking them to intercede for us, to help us by going to God. And considering they are in Heaven and therefore perfected and beholding God Himself, their prayers to Him would be far more efficacious than any we could make here on earth. As St. James said (5:16): “The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”

        • Those books were neve regarded as canonical or authoritative by the Jewish religion. They all predate the Incarnation, and would therefore be essentially “Old Testament” books. Before the Council of Trent, even Rome had serious dubts about them. Since Trent, Rome has clung to them to justify unbiblical doctrines.

    • Huh? Marrying outside the Church, in an of itself, does not prohibit one from partaking of the sacraments. There’s something else going on here…

  4. Fortunately, the personal opinions of popes are not in any way binding on Catholics. We can safely ignore it and carry on. Particularly when it goes against the catechism regarding just war and the right to self defense. I kind of get a kick how a couple of paragraphs later the pope criticizes the allies for not bombing the rail lines to the concentration camps. Where would these bombs come from?

  5. You’d think the Pope would be more familiar with his Bible.

    Great analysis, Sara.

    Maybe the Pope spent too much time drinking Cool-Aid with Obama.

    First ‘Global Warming’, now ‘Guns’.

  6. I do not fear condemnation from man. He is not the one who decided who gets to live and die, protect and be protected.

    Although not a catholic, it saddens me to see the church leadership begin to fade.

  7. Considering the gross torture, corruption, and genocide Popes have called to pass in the last 1800 years I would say he heads a church of man and fools millions of good people world wide.
    Consider that Jesus told his apostles to take up the sword and if he did not have one to sell his coat and buy one.
    This is the popes personal view and not a spiritual one. He is not an authority on spiritual matters to say who is and who is not Christian.

  8. Pope Francis did not say that weapons manufacturers can’t call themselves Christian. He said: “It makes me think of … people, managers, businessmen who call themselves Christian and they manufacture weapons. That leads to a bit a distrust, doesn’t it?” The weapons industry is not above criticism. And the Pope has not changed Church teaching that approves of deadly force in self-defense and in defense of the nation.

  9. Since I am using my “nom de plume”, I am going to go all out. I am NOT a Catholic, I am a Christian. I firmly believe that there is a difference. The Catholic church hierarchy is no different that that of the Jews in the time of Christ. They are all about control.

    This pontif in particular has really gone of the deep end.He is either under the influence of someone else or he is demented. He’s certainly a hypocrite as Sara pointed out above, he’s guarded by ARMED security. Yet, he would deny everyone else the same protection. And who is HE to judge whom is a Christian or not based on whether they make firearms or not. If he wants to judge someone’s Christianity, I would point him directly to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave in Washington, DC. Through that man’s words and deeds he is obvisouly not a Christian.

    Rant over.

    • It may not be dogma, but the man does have the ears of a billion Catholics worldwide. So even his personal opinions, when he chooses to voice them in public speeches, carry a lot of weight. Hence the concern.

  10. Does anyone remember how borrowing and lending went in the middle age Europe? The Jews were the bankers because good Christians weren’t allowed to charge interest.

    As a result, the Jewish community became wealthy but also picked up a lot of awful stereotypes – e.g. moneygrubbing and duplicitous. (Or, perhaps, they simply held their clients to the agreed-upon terms. Nobody likes their loan officers…)

    That’s already happening again wrt Islamic banks. I think it’s a mistake to set up the same sort of issues for another profession. Even if nobody outside the Church takes this at all seriously, it’s an echo of a horrible precedent.

    • Ok. The context is that right after questioning whether arms manufacturers can be Christian he complained that the allies didn’t bomb more during World War Two.

      He’s simply not a bright man.

  11. I wonder why so many people seem to struggle with the fact that this statement was not ex cathedra. A lot of Catholics and non-Catholics don’t seem to grasp that.

    I am Catholic and I like to think of my self well versed in Church teachings and the problem for the Popes statement is that has no root in either Sacred Scripture, Church Tradition, or the Magisterium. So since it has no grounding in Doctrine and was not made in his official capacity as Pope it is simply his personal opinion.

    Also he couldn’t make an official pronouncement like this ex cathedra because he lacks to authority to do so he would need to convene a council of bishops in order to see if it passes muster and is in line with Sacred Tradition, the Magisterium, and first and foremost Sacred Scripture. The reason is this issue has never been really covered in previous councils and isn’t mentioned in the Catechism. So if that’s the case the Church doesn’t have an official stance and considers it a prudential issue.

    Of course all this is based on face value of the statement and that it wasn’t taken out of context or altered in anyway by media outlets. So everyone needs to take a deep breath, verify the source of the statements, and read up on the issue.

    Forgot to add for those interested in reading the Popes unedited statements for themselves here is a rough translation of the address. http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/pope-s-off-the-cuff-address-to-youth-of-turin

    • Good luck with that. Reason and calmness don’t count for some here, as evidenced by the spite and poison spewed over the last couple of days in the other thread, the gist of it being that Catholics suck, the Pope sucks, the Church sucks, etc. All based on b.s.

      We Catholics need to face up to the fact, and I know it’s unpleasant and most won’t, or they’ll blow it off, but it’s been virtually open season on Catholics and the Church in this country since the earliest days. This, is, like it or not, a British Protestant nation-state, but not likely to remain so for much longer.

      So anytime a pope or bishop says anything at all in public, the usual bugs come crawling out of the woodwork and out from under their rocks and spew hatred.

      • There’s still hope yet, right here in fact. Georgia did not get off to a good start when the colony was established – Catholics were not allowed. Fast forward 300 years and Georgia now has more than a million Catholics, and not only that, it’s one of the reddest states in the Union. And I’m delighted to be one of those the haters hate so much. Oh yeah, and as for the Pope – he’s human and free to speak his personal opinion. Doesn’t mean I’m going to give up my guns or not defend myself. How many divisions hath he?

        Tom

    • The problem is there are a significant number of Catholics who not only do not fully grok ex cathedra, but also don’t verify their sources. A great example is my wife; I’m certain that if she saw one of these articles she would stop at the headline and believe, from that point on, that a good Catholic doesn’t associate with firearms in any way. Sure, that is her own fault, but she is neither unique in that approach to religion, nor motivated to change that approach. Her only chance of overcoming such things is that I will challenge such beliefs and force her to pursue them more in depth; most people don’t have such a benefit.
      Personally, every time a Pope (not just this one) says something disappointing, I am of two minds about it; first I am dismissive, since I’m not Catholic, so it is just some celebrity stating their opinion on the matter (regardless of if they are speaking ex cathedra), but, second, if it is not ex cathedra, I register disappointment, because I know, for a fact, that many (probably most in the world) Catholics are going to take this particular celebrity’s opinion as an article of faith.
      On a fortunate note, not only is it pretty rare for a Pope to speak ex cathedra, when doing so they also generally do not say things that are overly surprising or divisive.

  12. Once again, you are quoting the headline and not the man. Bad journalism.

    I am a Catholic, I try my best to be a good one, I keep up with the current events of the Church and I teach religion in my spare time to teenagers. I know my stuff. Nearly every week, His Holiness says something that makes my head hurt. He isn’t a careful speaker, he doesn’t reflect before talking and will often contradict himself. In short, he is a poor preacher. Get over it.

  13. Gum control is about people control.

    Organized religion is about people control.

    Neither big government or big religion is genuinely interested in seeing the average person reach their full potential.

    • Both are about power over people and resources. Do as you’re told and give us your money. Oh and here’s some reading material / propaganda to make sure you’re indoctrinated. And don’t forget abut punishment, both existential and metaphysical, just so you know what happens to those who disobey or question what they’re told. Enjoy!

  14. Watch out Sara! If you start reading the Bible, and believing it, you may find yourself a Protestant.

    🙂

    The Bible, rather than human hierarchy, is the true source of authority for the Christian.

    • Whaaaaa?!?!? A (presumably) evangelical protestant christian trying to tell people how wrong their religion is? Never have I seen such a thing.

    • Until your read the 16th chapter of Matthew and see that Jesus himself set up a “human hierarchy” beginning with Peter. That is, if you read and believe that bible.

      • Jesus himself set up a “human hierarchy” beginning with Peter

        I disagree.

        Jesus then replied, “I tell you that you are Peter (using the word Petros, pointing out he is a small rock, pebble, stone), but on THIS rock (himself, using the word Petra, bedrock) I will build my church and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.” Jesus was using contrast, he wasn’t saying that he would build his church on Peter. That doesn’t make much sense by looking at the literal translation and in light of the entire passage. Jesus is the rock that the church is built on. The firm foundation. (And “church” isn’t even a good translation. It more refers to what we now call Christians, saved souls). Jesus said the gates of Hades wouldn’t overcome his death. On the cross Jesus died, descended into Hades, and rose again on the third day.

        When Jesus was on the cross, one of the thieves asked “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus answered him, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.”

        Trying not to get too far afield here, but this is important. Where did Jesus go when he died? To Hades. One side is Paradise (also called Abraham’s bosom), where the saved souls were, the other is where the lost souls were. Remember the story about Lazarus and the rich man? When Lazarus died, he went to Abraham’s side. When the rich man died, he went to the torment side of Hades. He could see them, “In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side….But Abraham replied…’And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.'”

        Jesus went to Hades (Paradise side) when he died, and ascended from there on the third day. Back to the original verses, Jesus said “but on THIS rock (himself) I will build my church and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.” The Church, or more properly the assembly of saved souls, is built on Jesus. The gates of Hades could not overcome Jesus’ death. Jesus said “I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.” Rev. 1:18

        So to the original verse one may add that the gates of Hades will not hold Christians because Jesus holds the keys of death and Hades.

        This is a literal and straightforward reading of the text(s). Interpreting it to all be directed solely at Peter is a twisting of what Jesus said in those verses and elsewhere, especially in light of the fact that Jesus was very careful to use two entirely different words when referring to Simon Bar Jonah (Peter) and Himself. It’s a literary device. Peter was but a small stone, while Jesus was the bedrock that Christian faith would be built on.

        • Catholics are terrible at understanding scripture. A lot of bad theology in many areas.

        • Nick, I’m familiar with the arguments, that petros and petra were interchangeable by Jesus’ time and that there was no longer any differentiation between pebble and immovable foundation stone-type rock. I’ve heard it argued that if Jesus meant foundation stone-type rock he would have used Lithos, not Petra. I’ve even read where some people think Matthew wrote the book in Aramaic and somebody just made a poor translation.

          I reject those arguments, and here’s why. I understand word genders. German certainly has goofy ones! Jesus most likely didn’t call Peter Petros. He most likely used Aramaic, right? But when Matthew wrote the Gospel of Matthew he wrote it in Greek. Lithos wouldn’t have been used because the specific use of those words was intentional. Matthew used Petros and Petra because the whole passage is based on word play, if you will, in the Greek words. That seems to be the entire point, the CONTRAST between Peter and Jesus. Petros and Petra were used on purpose. Maybe we’re focusing too much on the specific meanings, and that’s maybe not the point, but in either case it shows contrast between Jesus and Peter.

          This, incidentally, is also one of the indicators that the written gospel was written in Greek, and not in Aramaic, because this word play is on the Greek words, not the Aramaic behind it. There is a reason it is written this way, and the gospel writers weren’t merely sloppy in their accounting of what Jesus said.

          Since Jesus probably spoke to Peter in Aramaic, some argue that Jesus said, Cephas…Cephas. But we do not know that. Whether by specific word or some other indication such as inflection, it seems Matthew is drawing a distinction.

          When talking about the Holy Bible, whose writing was breathed by God, whose translations were guided by the Holy Spirit, whose protection was guaranteed throughout history despite the many attempts to eradicate it, well, words mean things. This isn’t like some child’s game of “telephone” where things easily get scrambled up.

          But if you read my post above, I am not focusing on one verse in scripture. Read the entire thing. Jesus went to Hades (Paradise side) when he died, and ascended from there on the third day. Back to the original verses, Jesus said “but on THIS rock (Himself) I will build my church and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.” The Church, or more properly the assembly of saved souls, is built on Jesus. The gates of Hades could not overcome Jesus’ death. Jesus said “I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.” Rev. 1:18

          Read Matthew in context with everything else in the Bible that Jesus said about Himself (and Peter).

        • Nick, I missed my edit time. I wanted to add that some argue that Jesus meant that the “church” (more properly what we now call Christians, saved souls) would be built on the faith of Peter and other believers, and that the gates of Hades could not overcome it, because Jesus said that He held the keys of death and Hades. I think this is also defensible and consistent with other scripture.

          But to claim that Jesus said the entire Christian assembly of believers would be built on Peter and he would be the head is, in my opinion, untenable and not consistent with other scripture.

        • Danny, you are changing a word in the text. “But” is not in the text, “and” is.

          Et ego dico tibi, quia tu es Petrus, _et_ superhanc petram aedificabo Ecclesiam meam, et portae inferi non praevalebunt adversus eam.

          or in the Greek

          Kago de soi lego hoti sy ei Petros _kai_ epi taute te petra oikodomeso mou ten ekklesian kai pylai hadou ou katischysousin autes.

          It is clear from the text that the subject is Simon Peter the entire time. There is no way from the text to come to the honest conclusion that the subject switches to Our Lord himself.

          Irrespective of this, you have verse 19 what states “And I will give to the the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thous shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever those shalt loose on earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven.” Here we have Simon Peter the object of the sentence receiving the keys of heaven and earth and the authority to use them. This is what establishes the human hierarchy of the Church as the image of keys, opening and shutting, hearkens back to the Davidic kingdom and the prime minister of the King was given these keys with the exact same admonition.

      • The confession of Peter, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God”, is the foundation of the Church, not the physical man Peter.

        Rome has always promoted that error. In fact Rome’s entire house of cards is built on a misunderstanding of that one verse.

        That the confession of Peter, rather than the man Peter is the foundation of the Church is clear in that Eph. 3:20 uses virtually the same language to state that the Church is “built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone”. Apparently Peter isn’t THE foundation, rather all the apostles, and prophets are, chiefly the Lord Himself.

        Romans 10:9 tells us that “if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved”. That is essentially the same statement that Peter made in Matt. 16. This confession/faith, not any human institution is the essence of the Christian faith.

        Faith in God is the fundamental reality. In particular, it is faith in the Person and Saving Work of the Lord Jesus Christ that is the core of the Christian faith. This is always the case in the Bible. The children of Abraham are those who have the faith of Abraham, not his physical offspring (Romans 9:7).

        Don’t forget that the Apostle Paul gave the Apostle Peter a “smack-down” in Galatians 2:11-14 when Peter was living in a way that was inconsistent with his own profession.

        “But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. For before certain men came from James, he was eating with the Gentiles; but when they came he drew back and separated himself, fearing the circumcision party. And the rest of the Jews acted hypocritically along with him, so that even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy. But when I saw that their conduct was not in step with the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas before them all, “If you, though a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you force the Gentiles to live like Jews?”

        Apparently Peter was not infallible.

        • That argument about the greek is nonsense. First of all, Greek is a language like spanish where words can be masculine or feminine. To call Peter Petra instead of Petros would have been like calling someone nicole instead of nicholas. The common word for rock though is Petra, a female noun in greek. So Jesus says “You are Petros (uses male version of petra for obvious reasons, but still maintains the meaning of rock) and on this petra (normal word for rock) I will build my church”

          Look up Steve Ray he explains this better than I can.

        • Art,

          maybe you are the one misunderstanding the passage and not the Catholic church!!!!!

  15. I attended Catholic schools K-12. K was the only co-ed school.
    Several things happened that caused me to lapse. (Remembering serving the 7a mass was one. I can understand why the Blood of Christ—leftover wine—can’t be flushed down the toilet. However, does it have to be filtered through the liver of a 12-year-old boy? And why did the priest pour 16oz. of shitty wine when there are are only 25 attendees. Morning class was a wonderful cloud, but the afternoon wasn’t so fun.)
    I haven’t been in an RC church since my mother died in ’11. With perhaps the exception of a funeral or wedding. I will be the last time.

  16. “…his willingness to use force and coercion through his words…”

    Coercion, perhaps, but force? How does this speech force anyone to do or not do anything?

  17. If you are a lapsed Catholic, then why should I care to listen to your opinion on the Pope? This is *no* different than anti-gunners who say “my uncle was in the Marines, thus I am an authority on the role of weapons in the Republic”.

    Other statements are just silly. “Pope Francis isn’t the person I would be taking religious or political advice from. ” Wow, really? A non-catholic won’t be taking religious advice from the pope? SHOCKING! I’m not Buddhist, and won’t be taking religious advice from the Dalai Lama.

    Also, you are responding to headlines, rather than actual quotes. And that is 80% of what’s wrong with discourse in the US.

  18. Former catholic here giving my 2 cents. Much of what the RCC believes is outside the confines of scripture but then again their own doctrine states that. The problem with calling gun makers and the implied gun owners as not ‘christian’ is that its so hypocritical.

    Who helped the Nazis out of Europe in exchange for stolen gold, silver and precious artifacts? The then ruling pope and RCC.

    Who covered up (and continues to cover up) acts of numerous pedophile priests and staff? The past and present popes and the RCC.

    Just saying

  19. Regarding any like statement or office: if you’re living your life by what others tell you to do/believe you’re doing it wrong and wasting the one and only life you have. All these ridiculous rules people choose to impose on themselves. I’ll never understand the compulsion.

  20. FLAME DELETED –

    TTAG posting policy: no flaming the website, its authors or fellow commentators.

  21. Funny how Jesus states this about weapons…

    Luke 22:35-37
    “And He said to them, “When I sent you without money bag, knapsack, and sandals, did you lack anything?”

    So they said, “Nothing.”

    36 Then He said to them, “But now, he who has a money bag, let him take it, and likewise a knapsack; and he who has no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one.”

    So when it comes to defending one’s self its ok with Jesus but not now according to the pope? I think I will trust Jesus more than the pope.

    🙂

  22. I’m no expert on theological matters, but I believe the commonly held interpretation of Luke 22:36 (“…let him who has no sword sell his cloak and buy one.”) is not accepted by all theologians. The other interpretation is that Jesus wished to fulfill the prophecy and therefore asked his disciples to acquire some swords. When they show him two swords, he replies that they are enough, when in fact two swords would be insufficient for defending Christ or starting a revolution. Later, when Peter attempts to defend Jesus with one of the swords, he tells him to put it away, for “all who draw the sword will die by the sword” (Matthew 26:52). What is Christ’s purpose in these seeming contractions? Is it possible he is trying to set an example for his apostles, as well as following Isaiah’s prophecy (53:12) regarding his arrest and trial as common criminal? If so, then the swords provide a ruse for his condemners, and further justification for the charges of treason. If the pacifist viewpoint is accepted, then even in the face of violence, one must not resort to violence. Herein may lay the reason for the Pope’s denunciation. It may not be consistent with what other Pope’s have decreed, and it certainly conflicts with other passages of the Bible, but there is nothing new in this. Each must interpret the Bible as he sees fit, but none should be allowed to force or threaten others to accept their view as gospel, not even the Pope.

    • The “that’s enough” was the exclamation of an exasperated teacher, who’s students aren’t understanding the lesson. The lesson wasn’t too walk around armed, but to be ready to face anything without Earthly help.

      When I quote this particular verse to the gun-adverse, I include through verse 38, because it showed that the disciples walked around with military-grade weapons.

  23. As I mentioned in regards to the original article . Why would a educated thinking man of God assume that the only thing guns are used for is harm . What about all the people all over the world that rely on a firearm to acquire their meat for their basic existence . The original settlers would have perished in the new world if they could not have hunted for meat with their guns . If we take his thinking then there is basically nothing being manufactured today that couldn’t be used by someone as a weapon . I think God manufactured rocks and they are killing a lot of Christians with them in Syria and Iraq and other parts of the world . Did Francis forget
    ” stoned to DEATH “. I think he maybe has an agenda . He can’t be this stupid .

  24. I am still very much Catholic, even if I’m not that great *at* it, and I was pretty disappointed by the Pope’s statement. For one, it’s shortsighted — many have already pointed out, he has a pretty well armed military unit that provides his and Vatican City’s security, complete with firearms made by… arms manufacturers. Is it, then, okay to buy all that from heathen arms manufacturers and still be Christian, just not to be the manufacturer?

    Likewise, he spoke a few months back in pretty strong terms in favor of airstrikes and military force against ISIS (as one should) under the Just War Doctrine, but like the guy in “Aliens” asked, “what are we supposed use, man, harsh language?” No, they use arms… made by arms manufacturers.

  25. Well, I guess it is time for the Vatican to retired the Swiss Guard and the arsenal of firearms on their possession to the defend the church state. That’s great for us collectors of SIG arms as they have a pristine inventory of SIG550 rifles that will be greatly appreciate by the market.

    I’m also Catholic but on this case the Pope does not have my support.

  26. Catholic thread? Okay.

    You guys know what came out of the pedophile priest scandal?

    A bunch of prolapsed Catholics.

  27. This YouTube video explains how things work when the Pope speaks off the cuff (courtesy of Lutheran Satire):

  28. If anyone wants to bother reading the Pope’s off-the-cuff remarks, they’ve been available, as I point out here:

    http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2015/06/robert-farago/pope-weapons-manufacturers-cant-call-themselves-christians/#comment-2177865

    They don’t refer to Henry Arms, Bushmaster, or domestic firearms sales — or domestic firearms ownership — in the US. They refer to the international arms trade. Which includes guys like Victor Bout, and companies who sell weapons to anyone for any reason (including Western companies that were happy to sell under the table to the old USSR and to Libya, Iran, and the rest of the usual terror-supporting bunch). The Vatican has long been concerned about this trade — which today supports Boko Haram, ISIS/ISIL, Iran, Syria, and any outbreak of terrorism or civil war one cares to mention. You will find it condemned in the most recent version of the Catechism which Pope John Paul II approved in 1994.

    As pointed out in the comment above, the Pope’s remarks fit that context. Even when you throw in his simplistic bias in favor of non-capitalist economics, they still fit that context. What they don’t fit is the narrative TTAG, numerous gun blogs, and the rest of the popular media are spinning – – “Pope says gun owners aren’t Christians!”

    It’s interesting to see so many people — including gun owners — who apparently *want* the Pope to have weighed in on the side of Moms Demand Action and the rest of the gun-banner nonsense. They want it so bad they’re not even bothering to read what he said – instead they’re shouting to each other in a media-built echo chamber and when that fails, reading between the lines for code phrases and what Francis is ‘really’ saying.

    I think it may be the result of a perfect storm. First, it makes for more outraged link-clicking, more comments, more attention, by the readership. In some schools of journalism, that makes the ‘story’ and the media outlet that publishes it a ‘success’, period. Then there are people who have always “known” that Catholics are all least dumb, if not downright evil, and are happy to take what’s being spoon-fed to them as just more proof of what they already believe. Then there are socially-traumatized gun owners who are starting (rightly) to feel that all of society’s main institutions hate them and their civil rights and have just decided that a state of permanent and all-out war must be waged on the traitors who don’t provide 100% affirmation on a 24-7 basis.

    Although TTAG has claimed to have read “all accounts” of the Pope’s remarks, this the second story TTAG has run without linking to, or even acknowledging, that a transcript of the remarks is available — or that anyone involved with TTAG has taken the time to read the transcript.

    I’d like to see someone bother to do that. Then I’d like to have them show me where the Pope says “Catholics and all Christians should fear carrying guns.” I’d like them to show me they’ve considered this — since the Pope hasn’t simultaneously disbanded the Swiss Guard, or excommunicated Catholic military personnel, police, or gun owners, maybe his remarks aren’t referring to armed forces, police, or lawful gun owners.

    As I said before, it’s a mistake to give Catholics the impression that they are forbidden to own firearms or defend themselves. It’s a mistake to give Catholics the impression that gun owners have a really bad opinion of the Pope and, for that matter, Catholicism. TTAG seems eager to do both. I’d like to know why.

    • I don’t understand why this misrepresentation has been so widely reported. He never said anything about anyone not being able to be Christians. As you mention, his remarks require reading the entire thing for the context; as he was speaking only about people being hypocrites by speaking about peace while selling weapons (the arms trade). When I saw the first story it took me less than 15 minutes to find the full transcript here: http://www.asianews.it/index.php?art=34572&l=en

      But it seems almost nobody cares about the truth on this one.

  29. Red Francis is doing for the Catholic Church what Obama is doing for America — tearing it down piece by piece.

  30. Somewhat on topic….

    Prager weighs in on the forgiveness by Christian families towards the Charleston psycho…..

    A snippet…


    That I do not agree with what they did in no way diminishes my ability to be moved by their gesture.

    But I do not agree with it.

    First, consistent with my religion, Judaism, I do not believe that anyone but the actual victim has the right to forgive someone for the evil they have inflicted. If I steal from you, you have the right to forgive me, but your best friend doesn’t. If Jones rapes my daughter, my daughter can forgive Jones, but I cannot. Among other reasons, I don’t own my daughter, and, as pained as I would be, I wasn’t the person raped.

    Many Christians believe that their faith demands forgiveness of everyone for everything. I don’t know why they believe this. Certainly that is not standard Catholic or Protestant doctrine. Nor is Christ the model for this idea. He forgave those who crucified him, not all those who crucified others.

  31. Haha that was great, Sara. I literally could have written that same thing about myself. Similar upbringing, etc. I don’t follow the ‘dogma’ anymore, but instead follow the path of Good in my actions, instead of just mumbling some words on Sunday.

    As for the Pope, oh well, so be it. He can say what he’s going to say. He’s no more closer to God than any of us, when it all comes right down to it. I do not worship man

    Peace

  32. I am NOT a catholic. I don’t care what this marxist South American liberation theology guy has to say. And..that’s about it…

  33. Seriously, you’re quoting the sensational headlines of other news articles and not what the man actually said:

    “It makes me think of … people, managers, businessmen who call themselves Christian and they manufacture weapons. That leads to a bit a distrust, doesn’t it?”

    I don’t see anywhere in that statement that insinuates that weapons manufacturers cannot call themselves Christians. And, I’m sure the context of that one quote in the entire speech wasn’t even reported on. I’d like to see an actual transcript instead of cherry picked quotes.

    You do more harm than good when you don’t get the quotes right. You may choose to interpret the actual quote for what the news agencies are saying, but how about letting others read the original quote and then let your readers see you base your opinion piece on THAT quote? For the record, I think the pope is wrong with his actual quote, but how about letting us come to that conclusion as well by reporting it the correct way?

  34. Hey, don’t look at me. I renounced Catholicism years ago once the child abuse scandals and cover-ups were exposed as regular, systematic and deliberate, not isolated and sporadic.

    As recently as last week, my wife was considering returning to the Church. Then came this liberation theology Pope’s endorsement of the global warming hoax and this anti-Christian vilification of self-defense…..

    Let’s put it this way: We didn’t leave the Church, the Church left us.

  35. I have a very simple perspective on this. I follow no man who claims to speak for God or claims to be God, because quite frankly, they are just men stockpiling power and earthly rewards in the name of the God they claim to represent.

  36. I (and most other non-religious people) always catch flack for citing biblical quotes “out of context”. So why not this one?

    37 For I say unto you that this that is written must yet be accomplished in Me: ‘And He was reckoned among the transgressors.’ For the things concerning Me have an end.”
    38 And they said, “Lord, behold, here are two swords.” And He said unto them, “It is enough.”

    Is Jesus saying only two guns per 11 people (as Judas was not present at the time) is enough?

    Jesus also said to Peter “For all who draw the sword will die by the sword” (Matt. 26:52). The two swords are never used in actual self defense (unless you consider Peter chopping off the ear of a servant among those who come to arrest them. But Jesus tells him to stop, heals the ear, and submits to arrest without resistance.

    I think Christians are stretching a lot with this quote.

    • Most firearms aren’t used on actual self defense, either. Those that are, are rarely fired.

      All that Christians are taking from this quote is that Jesus endorses armed self defense. That he himself submitted to arrest, being immortal and the Son of God and all (He would do that, wouldn’t He?), speaks only to his actions and not what he calls for of others.

      • All that Christians are taking from this quote is that Jesus endorses armed self defense.

        Except there is nothing there that supports that. Again, two swords is enough for defense of 11? At no point does Jesus say for them to defend their-selves or do any of the apostles defend themselves with armed resistance throughout their lives. All but one of them died a martyr, the last one of old age. Jesus just says “buy some swords” they go “we’ve got these two right here” and he respond “that’s good enough”. Unfortunately, you’ve really got to do some mental gymnastics to wring out an endorsement of armed self defense from that passage.

        speaks only to his actions and not what he calls for of others.

        I thought Christians were supposed to live like Christ? Hence so many martyrs who let themselves be killed by Rome?

  37. I was going to rant about religion, but…..
    Who cares what the pope, your preacher or any other religious figurehead has to say? The Second Amendment is the only source needed for reference to the ownership or manufacture of firearms.

  38. Your god or your guns. I know I’d rather choose cold, hard steel over thin air. Hey, even your country or your guns…cold, hard steel still beats out dirt for me. Has gun, will travel. But anyway, give unto Caesar, including your guns, your God only wants your earthly soul, mhwahahaha.

  39. Sara, I encourage you to read the full talk Pope Francis gave as well as the comments of Pedro above. Note that the Pope does recognize the need for armed response to defend oneself and community, as in August of last year he called for an army to stop ISIS (http://downtrend.com/robertgehl/historic-pope-calls-armed-response-isis). His words concur with long-standing church teaching regarding a just war and self-defense.

    And if you ever want to relapse back into the church, let me know.

  40. If he’d commented on people such as the Mexican cartels which all claim to be faithful Catholics but who use firearms to coerce and murder, I’d be right there with him. As it is, his point is so murky as to be offensive in its pointlessness.

  41. Again, the bombs can be okay but not the bombmakers? “‘The great powers had photographs of the railway routes that the trains took to the concentration camps, like Auschwitz, to kill the Jews, and also the Christians, and also the Roma, also the homosexuals,’ [Pope] Francis said, citing the death camp in Poland. ‘Tell me, why didn’t they bomb’ those railroad routes?”—Daily Mail (London), June 22, 2015

    He’s a South American communist, er, modern liberal who is worried too much about mostly the wrong things. How disappointing.

  42. Perhaps this is a good time for people that self identify as christians to consider the inherent contradictions, factual inaccuracies, blatant teleological suspensions of ethics, and the absurdity of taking the repeatedly translated words of bronze age primitive tribesmen as being the uncorrupted and original word of an omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient and necessarily invisible magic man in the sky and they might just accept the fact that you can be an ethical person without needing to resort to such lunacy as the basis for being a good person.

  43. Don’t sweat the small stuff everyone knows that he has a God Complex, event though mortal! Then you have the King Obama, these two along with the Monetary fund people are the beginning of the Mark of the Beast!

  44. Last time I checked – This Pope is being defended by guns!!

    He lost me when as the leader of the church said:
    ‘There are other ways to God other than Jesus Christ’

    right out of the book of Oprah………..

  45. Danny Griffin , good stuff , and I know you will know when I say ‘ the pope and Barry are men of profound confusion ‘, what I’m talking about . I know you will be able to read between the lines what I think about these two . As for Grindstone , Yes , I too follow the basic premise that we should prefer to be martyrs for Christ over blind aggression and the comment Jesus made to Peter that those who live by the sword die by it should be taken literally , but defending a defenseless person , whether weaker or under matched by their aggressor , will be looked at as a favorable attribute in Gods eyes in my book either by hand or tool . Our responsibility is to defend the weak . Remember to be cautious of a man of confusion , he has no chosen path and lacks in principles .

    • Our responsibility is to defend the weak

      Mark, I fully agree with you. There is nothing in the Bible that teaches pacifism in the face of evil for all believers.

      If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. 1 Timothy 5:8

      Obviously you cannot only provide your family with housing and food, but with spiritual guidance, love, and protection as well. Those who trust God should also make adequate provision for their own defense. For a man to refuse to provide adequately for his and his family’s defense would be to defy God. We are not to allow wicked to flourish.

      Like a muddied spring or a polluted well is a righteous man who gives way to the wicked. Proverbs 25:26

      The Bible clearly distinguishes the difference between the duties of the government and the duties of the individual. Governments have the responsibility of the administration of justice. Individuals have the responsibility of self-defense, of protecting their lives and the lives of their loved ones from attackers. Both the Old and New Testaments teach individual self-defense.

      If a thief is found breaking in and is struck so that he dies, there shall be no bloodguilt for him (i.e., he is not guilty of murder). Exodus 22:2

      The Hebrew word “die” here is transliterated as muwth and literally means to die as penalty, be put to death. Killing in defense of self. No bloodguilt. Period.

      Some Christians mistakenly say that we are never to use violence. Jesus certainly used violence when he drove the moneychangers out of the temple. He personally used a whip to force the men who were cheating the people away from the temple.

      And making a whip of cords, he drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and oxen. And he poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables. John 2:15

      Jesus did not allow the wicked to flourish.

      Two of the more famous passages of the Bible often quoted regarding the carrying of weapons are Luke 22:36, 49-51 and Matthew 26:51.

      He said to them, “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one…When Jesus’ followers saw what was going to happen, they said, “Lord, should we strike with our swords?” And one of them struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his right ear. But Jesus answered, “No more of this!” And he touched the man’s ear and healed him. Luke 22:36, 49-51

      With that, one of Jesus’ companions reached for his sword, drew it out and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear. “Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him. Matthew 26:51-52

      While Christ told Peter to put away his sword, as Charl Van Wyk wrote, he clearly did not tell him to get rid of it forever. That would have contradicted what he had told the disciples only hours before. Peter’s sword was to protect his own life from danger. It was not needed to protect Jesus, the Creator of the Universe. The disciples regularly carried swords, as did many people in those days in defense of themselves. In fact, history tells us that people traveling up to Jerusalem or through the countryside would often travel with weapons or in groups for self-defense because traveling alone was dangerous, as the victim the Good Samaritan helped could testify to. He was viciously attacked by robbers and left for dead.

      Jesus summarized all the laws of the Bible into two: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind, and love your neighbor as yourself. He then gave the illustration of the man from Samaria who took care of a victim at his own expense after the “religious” people ignored him. If you had the opportunity to save the life of an innocent victim by shooting an attacker, should you instead turn the other cheek? The Bible speaks of no right to allow innocents to be murdered, but it does speak of responsibilities in the face of an attack as providers and neighbors.

      The Old Testament

      God clearly showed us in the Old Testament the relationship between righteousness and self-defense. When the people left God in the time of the judges, and later when they rebelled and demanded a king, it always resulted in disarmament and oppression.

      In Genesis we read about the first murder. We do not know what weapon, if any, Cain used to kill his brother Abel. But the weapon doesn’t matter. It was the evil in Cain’s heart that was the cause of the murder. God dealt with the murderer, not the weapon.

      Let me talk a little more about Exodus 22:2-3. The principle is that God allows and justifies the use of force (violence), even to death. He never states that you should even allow a thief to steal, much less murder your children in front of you. Defense of self, family, and home aren’t even in question here. They are assumed because it is our duty, our God-mandated responsibility. Now in this example of a thief, at night if you are using force to repel him and he dies, you are given “the benefit of the doubt.” You do not know if the intruder was simply a thief or a murderer. Maybe the intruder’s death was an accident, maybe it was justified. However, in the daylight, not only could you respond with force more appropriately, even if you let him go altogether you can presumably identify him later and justice can be meted out. But in any case stealing, alone, is not justification for intentionally killing someone. But the use of force to repel evil clearly is, even to the point of death sometimes. That’s the point of Exodus 22:2-3.

      Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked. Psalm 82:4

      Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter. If you say, “But we knew nothing about this,” does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who guards your life know it? Will he not repay everyone according to what they have done? Proverbs 24:11-12

      The general principle of using force (violence) to repel force (violence) is allowed, and I would argue our responsibility.

      I would also like to point out one other thing at this time. We must not confuse God’s eternal principles with specific laws applicable only to the Hebrews back then. They are different. A lot of people mix the two together as if they were the same thing. They are not. I am allowed to eat bacon. I am not allowed to murder.

      I do not believe Jesus taught pacifism throughout the Old Testament or New Testament. Jesus always taught opposition to the wicked, whether he was with us in word or flesh. While we are here on earth we are not to abandon our families and friends and leave them to the wolves of society. As long as we are alive we have responsibilities. One is to protect our loved ones and people around us. I believe this is Biblical. I do not believe Jesus would have us sit idly by and watch as our daughters are raped and murdered.

      • Let us not forget the description of our returning Lord . I hope to be part of his army of righteous on his return and include it in my daily prayer . I know you to be a man of deeper studies by your words and stand by you in my prayers . God bless .

      • The “Those who live by the sword…” passage clearly indicts aggressors, not defenders.

        Neither does it indict the sword, but those who “live” by it.

        Aggressors live by the sword. Defenders do not.

        Defenders live by peaceful coexistence, and only take up the sword when the aggressor appears.

  46. No one should be surprised.

    The pope is a product of Argentina, one of the cradles of Liberation Theology.

    Liberation Theology is the calculated blending of scripture and Marxism, and is perpetrated notoriously by Central and South American Catholic clergy.

    So, this pope espousing Marxism should astonish no one.

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