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It’s morally wrong to say “It’s morally wrong for a Christian school to arm faculty”

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Pantego Christian Academy, a private Christian school in Texas, has announced that, in order to protect the students entrusted to the school’s care each day, several administrators will now be packing heat. Each administrator “who double as a school marshal will carry a concealed handgun, will have extensive weapons and scenario-training from the state and undergo a psychiatric evaluation” (foxnews.com).

Dr. Jeff Potts, the school’s president, stated:

We are arming select individuals who meet certain criteria. And they are administrative type people who are in close proximity to all of our classrooms.

It’s not Florida. It’s the culture today, and it’s something we felt led to do.

One former Pantego Christian Academy student did not welcome this news. Ryan Waller is an assistant rector at the Church of the Incarnation in Dallas, TX. Waller authored a March 2nd, 2018, article at the Dallas Morning News entitled, “It’s morally wrong for a Christian school to arm faculty.”

According to Waller, “Pantego’s decision to arm administrators with guns is not only ill-advised, it is morally reprehensible,” (emphasis mine).

 

Waller begins by presenting his own, secular arguments.

“It is the job of law enforcement and other security professionals to keep us safe,” he stated. Using a firearm is “problematic and complicated, even for professionals.”

For this reason, rather than allowing trained administrators to carry a firearm on school grounds in case of an emergency, Waller pleaded:

This is a time to trust the system and allow it to adjust. Let’s change gun laws. Let’s support police. Let’s praise companies like Dick’s Sporting Goods for stopping the sale of weapons meant only for war… Let’s not put more guns in schools.

The assistant rector did not attempt to reconcile the incongruity of relying upon law enforcement for protection while insisting on the prohibition of firearms; a firearm being a necessary feature of every law enforcement officer’s ensemble.

He also did not address the massive system-wide failure that enabled the school shooting in Florida to take place.

 

Waller then entered the theological realm:

I make one final appeal as a Christian priest. There’s nothing safe about being a Christian. Jesus Christ himself said that if we are to follow him we must pick up our cross and deny ourselves. When violence came for Jesus, he offered no defense of himself and instructed those around him to also resist a defense.

I’m not a true pacifist. I wish I was but I’m not. I believe there’s a time for fighting and for war. I support not only the police but also the armed forces. But as Christians we must allow those trained in the art of warfare to engage in war. Our role is to do what Jesus called us to do. Be his hands and feet. Feed the poor. Care for the widow and orphan.

Waller concluded his article with one final exhortation: “And may God bless America as it decides what kind of nation it hopes to be.”

 

My take:

Here’s my take, summed up into a single sentence: It’s morally wrong to say that “it’s morally wrong for a Christian school to arm faculty.”

Ryan Waller might be a lovely man. Unfortunately, I’d never know it from reading his article. Waller’s ease and confidence in twisting scripture and omitting context mirrors the deceptive acts of the most notorious profiteering, sleazy TV evangelists.

I take no issue with the assistant rector voicing his opinion – his opinion.

I do, however, object to Waller’s abuse of Holy Scripture and Waller’s exploitation of his own religious title in order to disguise his personal, political agenda by concealing it beneath the cloak of religion.

 

There are several issues regarding Waller’s theological arguments that must be unpacked…

First, Ryan Waller is correct to state that the world is unsafe for Christians. Christ specifically said that those who follow him will be hated by those who rebel against God (John 15:18). We should expect this hatred to manifest in various forms of religious persecution, including martyrdom.

However, the fact that Christians live in a hostile world is in no way an excuse for nor a directive to refrain from the defense of self or from the defense of children entrusted to one’s care.

Second, Waller correctly stated that Christians are to deny the self and carry one’s cross. In Luke 9:23, Christ stated, “If anyone desires to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily.” With these words, Jesus explained that to be His followers we must commit daily to faith and obedience, “even to the point of being shamed and persecuted by the world” (Orthodox Study Bible).

However, neither denying one’s selfish plans and desires nor the daily bearing of one’s own cross are in any way an excuse for nor a directive to refrain from the defense of self or from the defense of children entrusted to one’s care.

Third, Waller’s statement that, “When violence came for Jesus, he offered no defense of himself and instructed those around him to also resist a defense,” is wholly misleading.

Let’s examine the actual Scriptures (John 18:3-11):

3Judas led some soldiers and some men who had been sent by the head religious leaders of the Jews and the proud religious law-keepers to the garden. They carried lamps and sticks that were burning and swords.

4Jesus knew what was going to happen to Him. He went out and asked them, “Who are you looking for?”

5The soldiers answered Him, “Jesus of Nazareth.”

Jesus said, “I am Jesus.” Judas, who was handing Him over, was with them also.

6When He said to them, “I am Jesus,” they stepped back and fell to the ground.

7He asked them again, “Who are you looking for?”

They said again, “Jesus of Nazareth.”

8He said, “I have told you that I am Jesus. If you are looking for Me, let these men go their way.” 9He said this so the words he spoke might happen, “I have not lost one of those You gave Me.”

10Simon Peter had a sword. He took it and hit a servant who was owned by the head religious leader and cut off his right ear. 11Then Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword back where it belongs. Am I not to go through what My Father has given Me to go through?”

Here, Jesus interrupts Peter’s physical defense, because it interfered with the completion of Christ’s mission to lay down His life so that Christians may have salvation, life everlasting. Jesus’s words to Simon Peter that night in the Garden of Gethsemane were in no way an infinite command to all future generations.

Christ’s words were not an excuse for nor a directive upon humanus infinitum to refrain from the defense of self or from the defense of children entrusted to one’s care.

In fact, “the idea that one is required to surrender his life – or the lives of his family, neighbors, or even strangers – in the face of armed attack is alien to scripture” (David French, National Review).

Does caring for the widow and for the orphan not entail the preservation of life?

Jesus is not a new, separate “god,” one at war with His Father or with the Old Testament scriptures. The Old Testament’s rests great emphasis upon the value of life, including the right to defend oneself and others from bodily harm (Nehemiah 4:14 is just one example). This reverence for life is present in the New Testament as well. For instance, it was at the Last Super when Christ instructed His disciples, “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,” (Luke 22:36) (emphasis mine).

This brings me to my fourth and final point: Waller never presents theological evidence to support his thesis that it is immoral for faculty and administrators to be armed in defense of students. Christ’s disciples were themselves teachers of the Word and good news. This thought appears to have escaped the assistant rector altogether.

Ryan Waller is quick to launch the barb of moral reprehensibility at Pantego Christian Academy, and by default, at all Christian schools who choose to follow Pantego’s lead.

Yet, to read Waller’s article one may be led to believe that Christ was a pacifist – He wasn’t – and that Christians should simply do nothing in the event of a school shooting, but passively accept our demise and the demise of countless children via the bullets of a madman…  as the minutes pass by before the first law enforcement officer arrives.

To use Waller’s own words: His decision to twist scripture and omit context in order to lend credence to his personal, political opinion, draping non-theological sentiments in the cloak of religion, “is not only ill-advised, it is morally reprehensible.”

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Patrick McHargue

    March 16, 2018 at 1:15 pm

    Well written! God did not give us life so that someone else could take it from us.

    • Paige Rogers

      March 18, 2018 at 11:37 pm

      Thank you, Patrick.

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Conspiracy Theory

Why we need to believe Ephesians 6:12 today, perhaps more than ever before

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Ephesians 6:12

The idea of doing a podcast has been weighing on me lately. It’s not really even a long-term itch; after it reached my mind just a few days ago, that turned into a very stout and concentrated calling that hit my heart like a ton of bricks. It went from not being a consideration to being something I absolutely had to do in less than a week.

The first episode is done and we’re ready for people to hear it and give feedback.

This podcast’s primary topic is going to be Ephesians 6:12. If you’re not familiar with the verse, you may wonder how we intend to do an enire sustained series of podcasts surrounding a single verse. Upon reading it, you should realize that what it suggests and the topics it encompasses could easily be turned into a daily show if necessary.

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

At some point, we will be moving this and other episodes we do to a true podcast hosting site. We’ll also distribute it to multiple places for download and direct listening, but to get things rolling we’ll be using YouTube and Facebook to publish the podcasts.

This one is general in its focus. Future episodes will be more specific. We want to get feedback as soon and often as possible.

When we realize we’re not fighting against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers, our perspectives on how to wage this battle become more clear. Hopefully, this show will be a blessing to you as much as it has been to us.

 


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Culture and Religion

Shouldn’t the Left be held accountable for the racism of gun control?

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Shouldnt the Left be held accountable for the racism of gun control

Liberty control has its roots in racism. Why isn’t advocating for it considered to be racist?

We find ourselves at a very interesting conflux of issues these days. On the one hand, Democrats in Virginia are fighting off charges of racism while the rest of the nation’s Socialist-Left is openly talking about subjects such as ‘white privilege’ and judging people based on skin color instead of the content of their character as in the Covington Catholic high school case.

Contrast this with their incessant efforts in tearing down basic human rights, in particular the right of self-defense. Meanwhile, we have the 1-year mark of the Parkland mass murder, the fuse that set off the Left’s crusade against Liberty. The Left’s efforts in controlling the right of self-defense have their roots in racism, not to mention that their crusade against this basic human Liberty adversely impact the minority community, so shouldn’t they be condemned for their racism in this regard?

Shouldn’t the Left have to answer for this?

The issue of Liberty [gun] control is one of the Left empowering themselves at the expense of the innocent. What began as a way of depriving certain people of their civil rights has continued on with expansion to those opposed to the Left’s socialist national agenda while still fostering policies that keep minorities vulnerable.

It’s one of those pieces of history the Liberty grabber left would like to keep hidden away like pictures in a yearbook. In what hearkens back to the infamous Dred Scott decision with the right to keep and carry arms a factor, from the text of the decision:

It would give to persons of the negro race, who were recognized as citizens in any one State of the Union, the right to enter every other State whenever they pleased, singly or in companies, without pass or passport, and without obstruction, to sojourn there as long as they pleased, to go where they pleased at every hour of the day or night without molestation, unless they committed some violation of law for which a white man would be punished; and it would give them the full liberty of speech in public and in private upon all subjects upon which its own citizens might speak; to hold public meetings upon political affairs, and to keep and carry arms wherever they went. And all of this would be done in the face of the subject race of the same color, both free and slaves, and inevitably producing discontent and insubordination among them, and endangering the peace and safety of the State.

[Our Emphasis]

We and others have touched on this subject before with the point that that the original purpose of many Liberty control laws was to render certain minorities helpless in the face of KKK terror. This is exemplified in a recent article by David Kopel on The Racist Influence on Gun Control Laws:

How do you stop a lynch mob? With a Winchester repeating rifle. That was the advice of Ida B. Wells, the great journalist who led the fight against lynching. To frustrate her work, a new form of gun control was introduced.

On June 25, 1892, Wells penned an iconic article for the New York Age, which was reprinted as a nationally circulated pamphlet, “Southern Horrors.” After noting cases in which lynch mobs had been defeated by armed blacks, Wells continued: “The lesson this teaches and which every Afro-American should ponder well is that a Winchester rifle should have a place of honor in every black home, and it should be used for the protection which the law refuses to give.

While the laws are no longer overly racist, the incremental assaults on our Liberty adversely impact minorities as pointed out in article on The Racist Roots of Gun Control:

Any kind of licensing scheme on gun ownership represents a costly barrier to entry. Minorities of humble means are effectively priced out of their right to self-defense. Researcher John Lott explained last year in an article for The Hill how expensive licenses and fees for carrying weapons burden minorities and other vulnerable groups.

No matter how much progressives claim to defend minorities, supporting gun control does them a massive disservice. The fear and danger many inner-city dwellers in places like Baltimore and Chicago must contend with on a daily basis is only aggravated by the cities’ gun control policies.

Even the new rage of Gun Confiscation SWATing adversely impacts the most vulnerable. Since they may not have the resources to get back their property and their good name after it has been taken from them without due process. With these so-called ‘Red flag’ laws reported as reported on the site Bearing arms on The spike in gun confiscations thanks to so-called ‘Red Flag Laws’:

Right now, everyone seems to be crowing over the number of seizures, but how many actual tragedies have been avoided? More importantly, how many “false positives” have we seen. By that, I mean how many innocent, law-abiding people with no intention of harming another found themselves disarmed by force of law despite having done nothing wrong because someone else said they did?

While these seizures can be fought, not everyone can afford to do so, making them especially burdensome for the poor who often live in high-crime areas and often rely on their firearms for personal protection.

The Takeaway.

While Leftists have a distinct predilection in projecting their faults on others, the charge of racism is particularly galling. Since as Bill Whittle pointed out they have no real effect except on those who aren’t truly racist.

It is equally galling that Leftists incessantly push for gun confiscation and it’s precursor steps, a socialist agenda item that is steeped in racism. Meanwhile, they take on the air of being the champions of the downtrodden, the people most adversely affected by their quest for power in disarming the people.

 


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Conspiracy Theory

Launching the ‘Principalities and Powers Podcast’ shortly

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Launching the Principalities and Powers Podcast shortly

For the past few weeks, I’ve been wanting to do something around the idea that the teachings of Paul to the Ephesians, particularly in chapter 6, are not only relevant today but may be more relevant than any time in the past. Specifically, I believe we’re facing the threats Paul warned us about in Ephesians 6:12.

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

My first thought was to write an article, but on various websites I’ve probably written five or six articles on the topic over the years. Then, I thought it deserved the article series treatment; one core article with several attached articles that go into specifics about what we are facing.

Again, this would have been too small. For a very brief time I considered writing a book on the matter, but anything I were to write today would be at least partially obsolete by the time it was printed and distributed. That’s the nature of today’s world in respects to Ephesians 6:12. The rulers of the darkness are working overtime and making changes to everything around us.

That’s when the podcast idea came to mind. It’s been years since I’ve participated in a weekly podcast. I’ve been on several in the past two or three years but as far as doing my own, those days are far behind me. Now, it’s time to get back to it.

For now, I’m going to do a handful of podcasts and upload them first to YouTube. It’s important to find the proper distribution, hosting, and marketing for the podcast, so rather than put the first episodes in a temporary home as I search for partners, it makes more sense to house them where I know they’ll continue indefinitely. Since I’ll be putting them on YouTube regardless of where they’re hosted for the sake of iTunes and other platforms, it’s best to start there until we’re ready for full launch.

I’d ask that those of you interested in helping push this project forward faster either donate directly to this site, which will be funding it now and likely into the foreseeable future, or at least use our Amazon link to get us some commission while you shop.

There are plenty of Christian podcasts. There are likely even more political podcasts. There’s a handful of reputable conspiracy theory podcasts that aren’t trying to convince us chemicals in the water are turning the frogs gay. But I have yet to find one that approaches this particular topic the way I intend to.

If we examine the world through a Biblical lens and report on all the things that are happening that don’t make any sense to our rational and thoughtful worldview, we’ll find the sources of many of our problems are more supernatural than many realize.

We’ll be recording episodes soon. Stay tuned!

 


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