What to say to an open carry visitor at church? - Page 31
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Thread: What to say to an open carry visitor at church?

  1. #301
    I live in an "Open Carry" state, where it is legal. I know of at least 3 people (plus me) that carry concealed in my church, but have never seen anyone open carry there. It would probably make some feel uneasy or nervous as in most places.

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  3. #302
    Join Date
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    If, in the House of God, I should hide my gun, rather than baring it for all to see, should I hide my sins as well?

    Are the people in your congregation more willing to have the hidden sinner amongst them than they are a fellow believer not hiding part of who he/she is?

    The decision to request someone to not OC makes no sense to me, especially if the reason is because it makes someone else in the congregation "uncomfortable". The uncomfortable one should be educated to the laws f the land and the Constitutional rights that make it possible for him to OC and them to pray. The uncomfortable one should be asked "if they have the desire to read their bible and it makes someone else uncomfortable, would they feel alright with them being asked to remove their bible?"
    To not stand against injustice is to stand for it.
    Don't confuse my personality and my attitude.
    My personality is who I am, my attitude depends on who you are.

  4. Hi Rich,
    I open carry in our church of about 75 people in Eagle Idaho with the pastor's permission. I can see how you would feel uncomfortable with an unknown visitor open carrying and, if you don't have a bunch of anti-gunners in your church, I would suggest that you say that you are welcome to open carry once we get to know you. Anytime I've failed to carry in church, it has been mentioned to me that everyone feels safer with me carrying since the US had more than 100 attacks on churches in 2012.

    Tony
    Idaho Carry, Open & Concealed
    [email protected]

  5. #304
    tcox4freedom,

    I do believe God protects us, and I'm sure His angles have protected me many time. A man said to me, "if you are a Christian, why do you carry a gun". My reply, "only my Lord knows when He will call me home. I just don't want someone here on earth making that decision". God has charged me with the responsibility to protect my family. There is Evil in this world and we must be ready. Of course, should He call all of His believers home, it really won't matter what we are carrying.

  6. #305
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    Quote Originally Posted by bing98507 View Post
    I pastor a church in a rural/suburban area of Washington state (OC legal). We have a policy prohibiting OC at our worship service (CC OK). If you were to visit our church for worship, what's the best way for me to inform you of the policy? Here's what is what I plan to say after personally welcoming you and exchanging names (not from the front, but one-to-one):

    "I am glad you have come to worship. We do not allow open carry in this building during worship because we have found that it distracts too many people. You may carry concealed if you have a permit or lock your gun in your car. I hope you will choose one of those options and stay."

    If you can comply, great. If not, I would ask you to leave.

    Thanks for the feedback. If I need to do this in the future, I would like to get it right.

    Rich
    How about just saying "Hi, thanks for showing up!" If people are "distracted" then they might just need to get over it. I'm sure you can find a verse to fit that. "Judge not..." would be a good one. Maybe people need to see OC as just a person carrying a tool like a pocket knife, rather than overtly exercising their rights in an attempt to tick people off.
    Chief

  7. #306
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    For what it's worth, "Judge not" doesn't mean what most people seem to think. The context is important. Jesus tells us to first remove the beam from our own eye before we remove the speck from our neighbor's. We do not have to sing kumbaya and pretend all is wonderful when it's not. Simply we are not to condemn others for their sins because we ourselves are sinners. To do so would be hypocritical, and I think Jesus established quite clearly that he's not a fan of hypocrisy.

    But, "Welcome, and thank you for coming," is always a fine way to greet a brother or sister in Christ, no matter who they are, what sins they have committed in the past, or what they happen to be carrying or not carrying. It does not mean you ignore sin, nor that you excuse it. It certainly does not mean you enable, encourage, or tempt another to sin (for those are themselves sins…) If delivered genuinely (and God knows even if they do not), it means what it means: You have found welcome here.

    I'm firmly of the opinion that people simply need to chill all around, honestly. God's house is not the place for a shouting match about rights (which technically don't apply on the church's private property the way you think they do), but it's also not a place to turn your nose up at a visitor looking for God.

  8. #307
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    Quote Originally Posted by iKarith View Post
    For what it's worth, "Judge not" doesn't mean what most people seem to think. The context is important. I agree, that was just an off the cuff starting point.

    But, "Welcome, and thank you for coming," is always a fine way to greet a brother or sister in Christ, no matter who they are, what sins they have committed in the past, or what they happen to be carrying or not carrying. It does not mean you ignore sin, nor that you excuse it. It certainly does not mean you enable, encourage, or tempt another to sin (for those are themselves sins…) If delivered genuinely (and God knows even if they do not), it means what it means: You have found welcome here. I do not like that I started the context of comparing carrying with sin, so disregard that please.

    I'm firmly of the opinion that people simply need to chill all around, honestly. God's house is not the place for a shouting match about rights (which technically don't apply on the church's private property the way you think they do), but it's also not a place to turn your nose up at a visitor looking for God.
    I think the basic point is that the premise that guns are OK in your church, as long as no one can tell you have them, is a rather ostrich-like view on the issue. Another member commented that it might be OK once you get to know the person. I think that goes against the basic American value of "innocent until proven guilty". If more members of the congregation were openly carrying, there would be less worry about the random individual with bad intentions seeing your church as a target.
    -
    Here's an out of the box idea. Why don't you lead your flock by practicing OC yourself? It would promote discussion and possibly give you a way to remove the stigma that you think your congregation has placed on OC. You might also be surprised that they aren't as uncomfortable or distracted as you think.
    Chief

  9. #308
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    Quote Originally Posted by whodat2710 View Post
    I think the basic point is that the premise that guns are OK in your church, as long as no one can tell you have them, is a rather ostrich-like view on the issue. Another member commented that it might be OK once you get to know the person. I think that goes against the basic American value of "innocent until proven guilty". If more members of the congregation were openly carrying, there would be less worry about the random individual with bad intentions seeing your church as a target.
    -
    Here's an out of the box idea. Why don't you lead your flock by practicing OC yourself? It would promote discussion and possibly give you a way to remove the stigma that you think your congregation has placed on OC. You might also be surprised that they aren't as uncomfortable or distracted as you think.
    My pastor OC'ed this morning. As it was Pastor Appreciation day, he was presented with a brand new, custom made 50cal muzzle loader. (You gotta love a church where giving a pastor a new firearm not only is practiced, but it brings a standing "O" from the entire congregation.)


    -
    “Only a rookie who knows nothing about science would say science takes away from faith. If you really study science, it will bring you closer to God.” —JAMES TOUR, NANOSCIENTIST

  10. #309
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    Portland, Oregon
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    Quote Originally Posted by whodat2710 View Post
    I think the basic point is that the premise that guns are OK in your church, as long as no one can tell you have them, is a rather ostrich-like view on the issue. Another member commented that it might be OK once you get to know the person. I think that goes against the basic American value of "innocent until proven guilty". If more members of the congregation were openly carrying, there would be less worry about the random individual with bad intentions seeing your church as a target.
    -
    Here's an out of the box idea. Why don't you lead your flock by practicing OC yourself? It would promote discussion and possibly give you a way to remove the stigma that you think your congregation has placed on OC. You might also be surprised that they aren't as uncomfortable or distracted as you think.
    Just to infuse this discussion with some recent context rattling around my brain: Probably you are aware of the WBC's threats to picket the memorial service of a fallen soldier in Corvallis, Oregon this weekend. Obviously those douchecanoes have a first amendment right to show up and say whatever they want, within reasonable definition of "show up"—they're required to remain at least 300 feet away, etc. Well, Patriot Guard Riders took up that mission, and so did Oregon Oathkeepers, as well as a number of other patriotic, religious, and neither patriotic nor religious groups. I was proud to ride down with the Oathkeepers to assist that mission and though WBC didn't show, I consider the massive sunburn I got worth it. (Offer it up, we Catholics say…)

    Anyway, the point: One local guy, a hardcore Ron Paul/2A guy, asked whether or not people should bring rifles to this event. The general response was that while he legally could do so, NO, he shouldn't. There were also a couple of comments in the vein of, "What the hell is wrong with you!?" The family asked PGR for a flag line and other cohesive groups were there to assist in that. We were not a counter-protest, and we sure weren't there looking for a fight. Were we armed? Well yeah, I'm certain many or most of the patriot group members were armed.

    Anybody open carrying? Not that I saw. I mean, anyone who wanted to would have had the right to do it, and there may have been one or two people who did anyway. But this was an event to support the family of a fallen hero, not a 2A rally. We expected WBC not to show up, and if they did, our job was to make sure the family didn't have to see or hear them.

    I'm hardly a church leader, so I likely won't be leading my flock anywhere. :) But a priest or deacon carrying? I'm certainly in favor of it. Openly, if he chooses. Same goes for anyone else in religious life. I can't imagine many monks or nuns thinking they'd need a firearm, but I also think they don't read the news often…

  11. IKARITH, in a previuos post you used the words sin and carry in sentences a few times. do you feel that carrying a gun is a sin?

    TCOX I'm glad you found a church like that.

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