With respect to Christians who own firearms,
• Q1 Do you support gun ownership for sport and/or self-defense?
My dearly departed father-in-law used to say (he was an avid hunter) that “a bullet is the best deal a deer gets.” He was referring to his knowledge and direct observations concerning how wolves kill and eat deer (sometimes just eat their internal organs w/o first killing them, leaving them to die a slow death while they chase after another). I personally see no conflict in Christians owning guns for hunting (although I am not a hunter).
• Q2 If for self-defense, what is the justification? Is God not sufficient to protect you and yours?
I’ve heard more than a couple of pastors in my decades as a Christian make the statement to the effect “Malachi 3:10 commands Christians to bring the whole tithe to church first and foremost…you can trust God with your finances…you think you can’t afford to give the full tithe to church but you can’t afford not to….” The point I make is that it seems rather disingenuous for a pastor to say to someone financially struggling to trust God with your finances when the same pastor trusts his guns and bullets rather than God to protect his family. It seems to me, either we trust God (in and with everything) or we don’t.
• Q3 Recently a domestic terrorist attacked Christians in a church killing several and someone armed in the congregation killed the attacker before he could kill more; Is it proper for a Christian to carry a gun to church? And to use it if others are threatened?
This is I believe a more difficult question than the other two I posed. Certainly, we have a right, even a duty, to defend ourselves and others. Or do we? Remember Jim Elliot (Tip of the Spear)? He and his fellow missionaries were armed when they went into the jungle to meet the Huaorani of Ecuador. But the guns were to protect the six men from animals, not people. The missionaries made a covenant that they would surrender their lives before they killed someone that they were called to evangelize, and they were all indeed killed. How do we reconcile these antagonistic positions that both seem to be correct and appropriate?