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HolyGround >> missionaries and guns


8/27/10 3:45 PM
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zealot66
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 Pioneer Missionary, William Carey, in his landmark book, An Enquiry into the Obligation of Christians to use means for the Conversion of the Heathen (the book which launched the modern missionary movement) listed as essential equipment for any missionary: “knives, powder and shot.”

Pioneer Missionary and explorer, David Livingstone, who first landed in Africa in 1840, was well equipped with some of the most advanced weapons then available, including a six barreled revolver and double-barreled rifle. On occasion David Livingstone was compelled to use his weapons to defend himself from wild beasts and to persuade slave traders to set the captives free.

At one point, after his party had been compelled to shoot back at Muslim slave traders, Livingstone responded to criticism: “I love peace as much as any mortal man. In fact I go quite beyond you, for I love it so much I would fight for it.”

When world famous cricketer, turned Pioneer Missionary, C.T. Studd, undertook the first baptisms in a river in the Congo, he had a revolver in one hand, to fight off crocodiles, while baptising the new converts with the other.

Fiery, red headed Scottish missionary, Mary Slessor, pioneer missionary to Calabar (modern day Nigeria), included “maximum machine guns” in her prayer letter request back to her home church. This was to counter the threat of slave traders in Nigeria.

Many religious readers would be shocked and horrified to read such reports in present-day missionary newsletters. Perhaps the comfortable and prosperous surroundings that most Christians in the West have enjoyed for so long have blinded us to the harsh realities that most Christian throughout the centuries, and in less fortunate parts of the world today, have had to face. An unbiblical passivism has gripped many Western Christians.

Missionaries have frequently faced dangers which we can hardly imagine. We should not be too quick to judge and condemn others for doing what the Bible commands them to do – to take reasonable precautions for self-defence and for the protection of their families.

Of course, the primary weapons of missionaries are the Bible, prayer, faith and persuasion. Just as our primary spiritual food is the Word of God. But that does not stop us planting seeds, harvesting crops, shopping and preparing food. Christians must be balanced and we must recognise that sin comes from the heart of man (Mark 7:21-23).

There is no point blaming a tool, a cold metal inanimate object, for the evil in mens hearts.

Passivism is in defiance of historic Christian teaching. The 39 Articles, the foundational statement of the Church of England, states clearly in Article 37: “It is lawful for Christian men to carry weapons.”

The Westminster Catechism, considered the finest expression of Biblical teaching, states under the Sixth Commandment, that the prohibition against murder requires as our duty: “All careful studies and lawful endeavours to preserve the life of ourselves and others by resisting, by just defence, against violence, protecting and defending the innocent.” (Q135)

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

Of course, criminals prefer unarmed victims. Gun control deprives potential victims of their best means of protection.

8/27/10 4:48 PM
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Ridgeback
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 Interesting.  I've been reading a novel that talks about the use of force by Abolitionists in Kansas.
8/27/10 5:00 PM
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zealot66
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 I philisophically wrestle with this issue as brought up by our pacifist friends here, so I try to see both sides. Its always interesting what a person can dig up if they look hard enough.
8/29/10 12:50 AM
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Juijitsuboxer
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Nothing wrong with capping a crocodile, right?

I cannot see why guns used to repel wild animals is a bad thing.

Defending one's self with a gun is interesting. Being martyred for the faith or expecting the Lord to arrive in the situation in a miraculous way to convert the attackers can be found historically in Christianity.

But what if you are just being robbed? If it is not for the faith and it does not build the kingdom, is it ok to stab an assailant once all of the dialog has been exchanged and you are about to die?
9/9/10 10:29 AM
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insultcomicdog
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I really enjoyed reading your post in courier new, its a great font... FOR ME TO POOP ON.
9/9/10 4:19 PM
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zealot66
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 good one. keep it up and my mod powers will become omnipotent.

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