An Open Letter by @csalafia To The Folks at @TheIRD

My friend, Christian – @csalafia & homebrewedtheology.com – wrote this amazing open letter to the neo-con, Washington think-tank posing as a United Methodist renewal group, The Institute on Religion and Democracy. There is scripture. There is Book of Discipline. It has it all, and should haunt the consciences of all those who inhabit the Washington offices of this catty, pseudo-religious group. The original post is here. Find the text below.

Dear Sirs,

With great sadness, I read your organization’s statements on gun violence, openly mocking the “religious left“ for daring to speak out against what has become an epidemic within our society. Every year, 8,000 to 10,000 people are killed with firearms, many of them children.

For one who professes faith in Christ, yet turns a blind eye to the needless suffering and death caused by firearms, is in grave sin.

For in James 4:17, we read of the sin of omission where he says “Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it.”

In Luke 16:19-31, in the story of the rich man and Lazarus, we see the punishment of the rich man for turning a blind eye to the suffering of Lazarus, lying at his gate.

Your open disdain for the “religious left“, those who you say have a “utopian dream of a gun-free America” puts you in the shoes of the rich man, ignoring the plight of the children outside your gate. You openly mock God by dismissing the idea of a gun-free nation as a utopian ideal. Would you hold the same contempt for the prophet Isaiah when he said:

The Lord will mediate between nations

and will settle international disputes.

They will hammer their swords into plowshares

and their spears into pruning hooks.

Nation will no longer fight against nation,

nor train for war anymore. – Isaiah 2:4

Your words, justifying war as righteous and mocking those who seek peace as weak, indicate you would.

I also ask you, are you not promoting disunity in the church with your idolatrous worship of firearms and the second amendment to the US Constitution?

As a fellow United Methodist, I charge that you are. In the Book of Resolutions there are not one, but two resolutions, adopted by the church, of which you show open contempt for.

Social Principles, Paragraph 164 states:

Whereas, in keeping with the spirit of Isaiah 2:4: “God will judge between the nations, and settle disputes of mighty nations. Then they will beat their swords into iron plows, and their spears into pruning tools. Nation will not take up sword against nation; they will no longer learn how to make war”;

Whereas, reflecting the church’s traditional role as a place of safety and sanctuary,

Therefore, every United Methodist church is officially declared a weapon-free zone.

Social Principles, Paragraph 162 is even more specific, listing eleven things the United Methodist Church should do to address the issue of gun violence, including:

4. develop advocacy groups within local congregations to advocate for the eventual reduction of the availability of guns in society with a particular emphasis upon handguns, handgun ammunition, assault weapons, automatic weapons, automatic weapon conversion kits, and guns that cannot be detected by traditionally used metal detection devices. These groups can be linked to community-based, state, and national organizations working on gun and violence issues;

5. support federal legislation in the US Congress to regulate the importation, manufacturing, sale, and possession of guns and ammunition by the general public. Such legislation should include provisions for the registration and licensing of gun purchasers and owners, appropriate background investigation and waiting periods prior to gun purchase, and regulation of subsequent sale;

6. call upon all governments of the world in which there is a United Methodist presence to establish national bans on ownership by the general public of handguns, assault weapons, automatic weapon conversion kits, and weapons that cannot be detected by traditionally used metal-detection devices;

So, again, I ask you, by promoting a vision for the church where faith is placed in bullets and not in Christ, are you promoting disunity in the church?

When Christ taught his disciples to pray, he instructed them so pray “May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.”

Somehow, I don’t believe that this is a vision of Christ, seated at God’s right hand, with an AR-15 across his chest.

Grace and Peace,

Christian

 

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