Shooting Practice v. Religion


April 23, 2003, 10:59 AM
I was wondering if you folks could offer some insight on how I could convince some of my coworkers to see that God isn't going to hate them if they skip church one day for some firearms practice.

The problem I am facing is that we need to practice with our weapons but a lot of my coworkers refuse to do anything that conflicts with their church schedule. Now, I'm not saying that one is more important than the other, but you would think we could find a middle ground.

For example, my club holds the IDPA comps on the second sunday of the month. They start at 0900. Two of my coworkers absolutely refuse to go, though they say they want to compete, because they have church.

Similarly, I was supposed to get some practice in today with a coworker but he has to talk with his preacher and can't make it.

I don't have a problem with church being a priority in your life. And if you're a deacon or such, you do have responsibilities in the church just like at work. What do you do, however, when someone tells you that the reason they can't practice with the weapon they have to carry all day and that might save their life is that they have choir practice or that God will see them live or die at His will?

Please, let's not turn this into a religious debate! I'm just trying to find a way to synchronize with these people and possibly show them that they can miss a day of worship if it helps keep them or their family alive. Would God forgive missing a day of church for some shooting?

If you enjoyed reading about "Shooting Practice v. Religion" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
April 23, 2003, 11:04 AM
Aren't there other services they an go to? Other clubs w/ IDPA matches at other times? Tough question since your co-workers have chosen God over guns ;) Good luck!

April 23, 2003, 11:16 AM
1 -- Choir practice is an obligation, just like work. Once committed, other people count on you to show up. Don't mess with that one.

2 -- Sunday services. Does the church offer an early service? Is the person teaching Sunday school or have other committments? If they are teaching or have other committments (eg working the nursery, signed up as greeter etc) it is an obligation, and can't be messed with. Otherwise suggest they try early service or get a sermon tape.

3 -- People aren't generally worried about God being mad at them. They are worried about other people getting upset. This is a valid concern -- church-goers can be really, really irritating on the subject and many of them are masters of the snide comment ("What, no match today...?") If you want your friends to show up at the range on a Sunday, give them some ammunition they can use against those types of comments.

4 -- If it's just practice, go on a Saturday (or Sunday if your friends are 7th-dayers). Don't make an issue of it if it doesn't have to be made an issue of.


To live above with the saints I love --
Oh, that will be glory!
To live below with the saints I know --
Well, that's another story ... -- unknown

David Roberson
April 23, 2003, 11:16 AM
Sunday morning being a time for church is, well, a pretty established tradition by now. Has no one at your club figured out that there's another day during the weekend?

April 23, 2003, 11:31 AM
Church and God first. Then shooting. That's the right order of priorties. Good shooting;)

April 23, 2003, 11:32 AM
Just explain to them that Sunday sabbath is something the pope created and really has nothing to do with the bible.

April 23, 2003, 11:47 AM
I thought shooting practice WAS a religion .... ?

Matt Wallis
April 23, 2003, 12:21 PM
Saturday (or sometimes Monday) night services if they have them? Shoot on a different day (that'd be my first choice)?

One other thing though...
Just explain to them that Sunday sabbath is something the pope created and really has nothing to do with the bible.

While there is nothing Biblical requiring you to worship on Sunday, the idea wasn't created by "the Pope". It was an early church tradition based on the idea that Jesus rose on a Sunday.

(Pastor) Matt

April 23, 2003, 12:22 PM
Since you said church, I presume you mean Christianity. If that's the case, then the question resolves around where are you storing up your treasures? If we are talking about missing one Sunday (chosen as the sabbath by Catholics and Protestants to commemorate the resurrection, which took place on the first day of the week) once in a blue moon, I suppose that's not a problem. But if it's a regular habit to skip church for shooting, then I think that shooting is the priority in one's life, and has taken the place of God.

April 23, 2003, 12:22 PM
find new friends that are heathen? :evil:

April 23, 2003, 12:28 PM
Of course if they are Catholic, they could catch a Saturday eve Mass. Or like suggested, do a later service.
Our club has events set out on both days, alternating during the year. Sunday stuff is usually set later, like afternoon, so that those who do Sunday morning services can do both.

April 23, 2003, 12:37 PM
But if it's a regular habit to skip church for shooting, then I think that shooting is the priority in one's life, and has taken the place of God.

Another angle ...

But if it's a regular habit to skip shooting for church, then I think that church is the priority in one's life, and has taken the place of God.


April 23, 2003, 12:39 PM
Go to church with them, eat lunch, then go practice.:D Have you ever went to church with them, you might find out why they don't want to miss.

Don't let this guy:evil: do this:fire: to you!

The line "what we do today echoes in eternity" has great truth. 200 years from now, how good you were with a pistol won't be what's on your mind.

Oops, I'm turning this into a sermon.

April 23, 2003, 12:39 PM
However, there is something in the bible requiring you to worship on the 7th day. The idea of changing the sabbath from the 7th day to the 1st day was certainly issued by the Pope.

April 23, 2003, 12:46 PM
Remind them that they don't have to be in church to talk to God. You can talk to him anywhere and at anytime. His lines of communications are always open.

The Plainsman
April 23, 2003, 12:49 PM
Be advised - you're about to turn this into a religious thread - and anti-catholic to boot. Let it lie. :cool:

April 23, 2003, 12:50 PM
But isn't shooting a God given right? You're starting your own church! On the same note, my family has to plan our activities such as my childrens birthday partys, etc. around my brothers familys church schedules. I for one am getting tired of "rescheduling" my kids b'days so they can go to church, but I keep doing it out of respect. ( They have to drive 2 hours to visit, so they could not leave early in the a.m.)

April 23, 2003, 12:53 PM
Good call plainsman. I wasn't trying to bash catholics, I've really got nothing against any religion and am completely agnostic. But if anyone wants to continue discussing it, I'd be more than happy to via e-mail or PM.

April 23, 2003, 12:53 PM
But if it's a regular habit to skip shooting for church, then I think that church is the priority in one's life, and has taken the place of God.

Yet another angle. If you skip church, how can you comply with the instruction to join with the body of christ and enjoy fellowship and growth therein?

:neener: back at ya!

Ol' Badger
April 23, 2003, 12:56 PM
The holy trinity. John M. Browning. The .45 (1911). And a world filled with small furry things to shoot at! :D

Wayne D
April 23, 2003, 12:59 PM
I tell you what I told my wife, "We all worship in our own way."

She then called me a heathen and predicted where I would spend eternity.

April 23, 2003, 01:03 PM
Something that I haven't seen mentioned yet is to talk to the club sponsoring the matches and ask them to change the day they have them. Explain to them that they could appeal to a whole new group of shooters who would be glad to participate and bring their family members to the match. I think that would be better than trying to talk the guy into skip church, but then again I am a little biased. Read the sig line :D

April 23, 2003, 01:19 PM
But if it's a regular habit to skip shooting for church, then I think that church is the priority in one's life, and has taken the place of God.

Now this had the tone of humor to it but methinks it may in fact be true more than you realize.

I think lots of people go to church for the obligation or symbolism of making a showing once a week, then go back home to their adulterous, lieing, theiving normal life until next week, hence, they do not walk with God INTO the church.

Conversely, one could easily walk with God to the shooting range and never set foot in a church and have a good relationship with God. Its all about a personal relationship with God, and while fellowshiping with other beleivers is good, it is not necessarily always found in church. Besides, the scripture says that where two or more are gathered in my name (jesus) there I am in their midst. The church is the body of beleivers and not in a certain building, although it can be in a certain building.

Did that make sense? I make no claim to this being absolute truth. It is 'to the best of my knowledge', so those more knowledgeable in the Lord, please feel free to set me straight if I'm wrong in my thinking. Back it up with scripture if you can. ;) :)

April 23, 2003, 01:21 PM
Remember at the comp


J Miller
April 23, 2003, 01:47 PM
This is a very interesting thread.
I will add a question. Not about any religion or faith, but about gun clubs, and shooting organizations.

I have thought of this often, and never had an answer.
Why do the clubs and organizations always seem to schedual events, practices, and get togethers on Sunday? What's wrong with Saturday?

I am not a regular chruch goer, but I know a lot who are. Their Sunday is Church day. Morning services, Sunday School, mid day services, and evening services.
But the rest of the week, especially Saturday is open for just about anything.
When I used to shoot matches I missed my church going friends, but understood why there were never there.
I think the clubs, ect are missing the boat on this one. It is they who show a big lack of flexibility.


April 23, 2003, 01:55 PM
What's wrong with Saturday?

I'm guessing its because alot of people have to work on Saturday.

April 23, 2003, 01:59 PM
Have to agree with your friends. I will not skip church on a regular basis for anything. Period. Not for shooting. Not for my girlfriend. I feel that if I did so I would be putting that thing before God. God is infinitely more important than whatever that thing is.

Your mileage may vary however. I think there are people who can skip church regularly and not have the same problems. I am not one of them.

I will occasionally skip church because of some random occurance or special occasion, but I will not plan to do so on a regular basis.

April 23, 2003, 02:24 PM
If they have internet access they go to and have worship 24/7.

It isn't the same as going to a real church in person, but it will do in a pinch.

April 23, 2003, 02:30 PM
I suggest finding some new friends! Think about it, do you REALLY want to be in the same area with someone that has a gun AND believes that there are demons and angels fighting for his soul? Sounds like a bunch of wack jobs to me. I don't trust people that would rather go to church than go shooting.:scrutiny: There is something basically wrong with a person that willingly spends their Sunday sitting in a chruch listening to someone tell them they are going to go to hell and then hit them up for cash every half hour.

April 23, 2003, 02:33 PM

By getting together with other believers during the week.

The command isn't, "get yourself inside a church building once a week no matter what."

The instruction is, "don't neglect getting together with other believers."

That's how.


Setting aside the scandal caused by His Messianic claims and His reputation as a political firebrand, only two accusations of personal depravity seem to have been brought against Jesus of Nazareth. First, that He was a Sabbath-breaker. Secondly, that He was "a gluttonous man and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners" -- or (to draw aside the veil of Elizabethan English that makes it sound so much more respectable) that He ate too heartily, drank too freely, and kept very disreputable company, including grafters of the lowest type and ladies who were no better than they should be. For nineteen and a half centuries, the Christian Churches have laboured, not without success, to remove this unfortunate impression made by their Lord and Master. They have hustled the Magdalens from the Communion-table, founded Total Abstinence Societies in the name of Him who made the water wine, and added improvements of their own, such as various bans and anathemas upon dancing and theatre-going. They have transferred the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday, and, feeling that the original commandment "Thou shalt not work" was rather half-hearted, have added to it the new commandment, "Thou shalt not play." -- Dorothy L. Sayers

April 23, 2003, 02:33 PM
No need to get ugly or it will get shut down.

April 23, 2003, 02:39 PM
pax, I know that. I was just taking the shot. ;)

April 23, 2003, 02:40 PM
There is something basically wrong with a person that willingly spends their Sunday sitting in a chruch listening to someone tell them they are going to go to hell and then hit them up for cash every half hour.

Sounds like you've had some bad experiences. That's not the way most places are now, or at least, not the ones I choose to associate with.

April 23, 2003, 03:10 PM
I'm not a shining example. What's new huh?

I grew up a certain way, I don't always agree with some doctrines. I figure its between me and my perception of a Power Greater than myself. I used to work Sunday's, before that I competed almost every weekend. Preacher basically told me a church is a bldg where people gather. A Higher Power is where 2 or 3 are gathered in His name.

" match today?" Yeah heard that a lot. I at least was honest. Personal responsibility - yep I'm responsible -way I figure it. Just like the Judge whom was a deacon ,whom is in Fed prison for his actions. Or the Deacon ,whom had his wife catch him with his secretary.

Not uncommon for a gathering , a time of recognition before a tourney. Shot with a few "men of the cloth" on Sunday's too.

April 23, 2003, 03:15 PM
OTOH maybe the friends hava a life outside the range and they are using the word "church" as a standin for the word "the rest of my life". :rolleyes:

Byron Quick
April 23, 2003, 03:20 PM
Have to agree with your friends. I will not skip church on a regular basis for anything.

Hmmm. I've skipped church every Sunday for years in order to staff an emergency room. You know, in case you have a heart attack while you're attending church. So do many of my friends.
Who thinks we ought to stop staffing that hospital and go to church instead?

Real curious about that.

On the other hand, the clubs need to schedule the Sunday shoots to start about 1:30PM and accommodate the evening churchgoers by letting them shoot first in the competitions. The clubs might be surprised how many folks start showing up after a while.

April 23, 2003, 03:31 PM
This is your friendly moderator speaking, who happens to be a pastor, and is therefore not exactly an unbiased observer, but hey - you're stuck with me! :D

Please keep religious controversy out of this thread (and others). I have no problem with a discussion of the problem of scheduling shooting (matches, practice, hunting, whatever) into a program already occupied by church (or work, or home, or mowing the lawn, or whatever). However, please don't take shots at others' beliefs, or I shall be shooting at this thread - and my first shot is guaranteed to take it down! :D

Thanks, and enjoy the discussion.

April 23, 2003, 03:35 PM
Religion is a decision you make in your life, as is shooting, working, etc... Why should clubs stop holding matches on sunday to appease the churchgoers? Should churches start holding services other days to appease the competitive shooter, even though some do, the answer is they shouldn't if they don't want to. If you believe that you have to go to church every sunday then find a club that shoots on saturdays, I'll bet there are more than a few christian gun clubs out there that don't shoot on sundays. If you believe that you can worship whenever you want and don't need to go to church then it doesn't really matter when your club shoots. We would not like someone else to come tell us what our beliefs should be, let's not tell others what we think they should believe. Depending on your friendship with these people you will either make arrangements for them or find new friends. My girlfriend's best friend attends church every sunday. if she comes with us somewhere or comes to visit then we are sure to get her home before the sunday evening service. It is a pain in the butt sometimes but it is either that or she does not come hang out with us. She also compromises by missing the morning service (she usually goes to both). I believe when it comes to religion noone is right or wrong. it is the style of life you choose to live.

April 23, 2003, 03:38 PM
One other aspect to think about, noise. If there are churchs around a range. I myself, will not go to the farm to shoot on a Sunday morning/early afternoon because there is a small rural church that we actuall have to drive thru their parking lot to get to the gate of the farm. Even though I'm being a "heathean", I'm not going to disrupt a nearby church service with a .308 or .30-'06. I save those times for fishin'! :D

April 23, 2003, 03:46 PM
Yep, I was in the main OR for many years. ED has to have us around on Sunday too. We did a quite a few heart surgeries on Sundays.

Its a personal choice, we are each responsible for our choices, regardless of subject matter.

Sure, some clubs are better than some at scheduling. Some have a "service" before the match. I have shot with men of the cloth, mostly they arrived in the afternoon. I have had a few shoot in the morning. Maybe b/t churches, still in the Seminary...not picked up by a church, a particular type of faith....

"If one sees he can still do things and have a faith , perhaps more will be inclined to consider faith".

" If a hobby turns into a idol it replaces one percetion of a "Higher Power".

Just two things I have shared with those in better standing with a Higher Power than myself.

Preacherman I hope I skated by on this post--told ya --not a shining example;)

April 23, 2003, 03:55 PM
Five of us from my Church went to the Tulsa gun show on a Saturday AND Sunday. Two folks in our group were our church administrator and a member of our vestry (deacon). We go every Sunday but when we want to go to a show or have a shooting event or deer hunting scheduled for that time, we feel it is OK to skip once in awhile. I think God is just and understanding.

Jim Hall

Country Boy
April 23, 2003, 04:40 PM
I really think your club is missing the boat by having their meets on Sunday mornings. Even if the club pushed back their meet until 11 or 12, it would give people an opportunity to go to an earlier service, and keep them from having to make a value decision they don't want to make.

Why were meets scheduled for Sunday mornings anyway?

April 23, 2003, 04:43 PM
If he can't tolerate a few skips here and there....

Then we're all pretty screwed, no matter what we do or don't.

Last time I was in a church, other than my own wedding: uh...1985?

April 23, 2003, 04:51 PM
Preacherperson: "or I shall be shooting at this thread - and my first shot is guaranteed to take it down!"
9mm or .45ACP?? What if your barrel is dented and the gun kB!'s? :p

Um, I guess this is something that's close to home for me. I try not to go overboard and skip church even though that's when my favorite matches are--the steel target matches and tactical 3-gun which is my only opportunity to dress up in my Ninja outfit.

I have to make little sacrifices and shoot IPSC and IDPA instead. Sure I have fun. Not as much fun, but it's still something.

I skip church once in a while if I have a Sunday class or a big match but try not to overdo it.

Sabbath being made for Man (and women) and all, I try not to get legalistic (go to hell if I have a less than 50% attendance rate) but just try to use sound judgment.

April 23, 2003, 05:09 PM
I like what Edward said. I don't go to church and don't think my relationship with God suffers. I typically fish on sunday.

Henry Bowman
April 23, 2003, 05:24 PM
My experience is the same as the original post. The IDPA around here holds ALL its functions on Sunday morning. My shooting club (and all the others nearby) holds its official meeting the second Sunday of every month at 10:00 am. Most of the other sport shooting events are on Sunday, beginning in the morning.

I choose church over participating in these events 99.99% of the time. I, too, wish I could do both. :( It's a shame.

April 23, 2003, 05:30 PM
You just need Balance.


George Hill
April 23, 2003, 07:10 PM
BYU sports teams don't play on Sundays. Does that make them any less of a Team? Careful now, BYU Football was #1 not too long ago.

April 23, 2003, 07:27 PM
Let me thank you all for such great posts.

I wish my club could reschedule their events, but the weekends are booked solid. If it's not IDPA, it's IPSC or 3-gun or long-range rifle. There is always something happening on Saturday or Sunday.

I'm not asking them to skip every sunday. If they'll come to the match on the second sunday, they can shoot IDPA and possibly learn something that could keep them alive to go to church for a few more years. Of course, this argument was recently knocked down with, "If I die, I'll be going to a great Church on sunday!" Sounds rather fatalistic to me.

Second to that is I might need their shooting skills to pull my bacon out of the fire someday. I really get annoyed that they talk the talk but can't walk the walk. If I die because of their ineptitude, I'm gonna haunt them forever!!!

And on top of all that, it seems like I have to make everything easy for them. I bought the club membership; I provide eye/ear protection; I even buy lunch/breakfast that day. There might be a Saturday shoot somewhere, but I have to work that day and don't get off until way late. Heck, I have to work sundays because the majority of our employees refuse to work on the Sabbath!

Here's a good story to illustrate my point:

One employee, a girl, asked if I'd take her down to the range to practice. She wasn't that good and wanted to learn how to be better. Truth be told, she sucked something awful. I've never seen such poor shooting and personally believe she was hired to meet some quota as I find it very difficult to believe she could have passed the firearms qualification. There's a big difference between passing and being passed!

Anyhow, we agreed that our Wedn. schedules worked out right and that would be our day. Every Wedn. for three months we had a standing appointment and she improved dramatically. It was really nice to see someone make that commitment and come through. She got to where you could put 35+/50 into the ribs of badguy at 25yds. Compare that to putting 5 out of 100 when we first tried it.

She made the commitment. She blew threw a ton of ammo. She improved dramatically.

These guys talk like they're hotshots, but when we get down to the range, they suck. We're just doing bullseye shooting at the 25yd line and they're putting holes all over the B27. The difference between me and them? I'm down at the range a lot and have a lot of time behind the trigger. Just that little bit of practice has seen me improve incredibly, though I still need to work on my draw and transitioning between multiple targets.

Long story short: I'm just asking for one Sunday out of the month. Not every month, even. Sunday just happens to be the best day for me because it is the shortest workday. I'll be happy to go down on a Monday or Thursday or whenever, but I seem to be the one doing all the sacrificing.

Rambled on a bit. Better sign off. Thanks a bunch for the insight.

April 23, 2003, 07:28 PM
It depends on your religion. For Catholics, mass is considered to be an "obligation" and not something you can do whenever.

There is something basically wrong with a person that willingly spends their Sunday sitting in a chruch listening to someone tell them they are going to go to hell and then hit them up for cash every half hour.

Actually, most Catholics in my area have been telling our priests that they are going to hell.:evil:

April 23, 2003, 07:45 PM
Having been forced to make the decision between church and shooting for many years, i think the reason clubs hold sunday morning matches is primarily for the set up crew. The elaborate matches held by Uspsa/ipsc, 3gun, CAS/SASS and to a slightly lesser extent, idpa, really aren't something you can just throw up and be ready to shoot in an hour with limited help.
I've done set up and run matches now for 3 yrs and am about to start the 4th yr.
Set up used to take place on saturday with props and courses of fire laid out, and checked and rechecked and adjusted over and over again looking for shoot throughs and the like. That stuff takes time. I was not a fan of losing both weekend days to the match, so lobbied for us to move everything to Sunday. The set up crew now arrives very early on sundays, we set up, and what was once a huge lack of help began to be supplemented by early arriving competitors who pitched in to lend a hand so the match could be both better, and get all set up on time.
I think you don't see many saturday matches because, like was mentioned earlier, there are many who work saturdays, and for the big clubs who set up intricate matches, the staff generally cant be taking off friday's so they can go set up for the match, they need the saturday set up.
Our matches have gone from one of the most elaborate set up stages to probably the least prop intensive matches in the uspsa circuit in the northeast section of area 7.

Other reasons are probably yard work and errands that need to get done on saturday if you want to go play sunday.

April 23, 2003, 08:24 PM
My church offers a morning and evening service. Saturday night also. Sometimes even during the week, such as Lent or Advent, and sometimes summer evening services. Our Pastor tries to accomodate everybody, though, of course, this is oft times fruitless. Naturally the services come or go with their popularity. I see it as the Pastor treating his responsibility for his members' Spiritual upbringing with the utmost importance and I applaud his tenacity in this regard. My wife has been ill for a great many years, and finds it hard to be ready for church in the morning. Evening services, especially during the week are top-notch for us, though we generally find a service sometime during the week that fits. Needless to say, I've spent many a Sunday morning at the range, though I'm a firm believer that Almighty God will be holding a seat for me in that greatest of shooting matches in the sky.

April 23, 2003, 09:13 PM
WARNING Paradigm Shift Ahead:

Of course there is an entirely nonreligious problem here. Why is everything important in life crowded into Saturday and Sunday? The reason is Americans with jobs work about a third more than Europeans and Latinos. I attribute this a great deal to the fact that too few of us are working too hard.

If we started having three hour siestas from work and took a Tuesday or Wednesday afternoon off like the rest of the world we'd have lots of time for shooting matches in the middle of the week where they belong. :D

All it would take is to cut taxes in half then all the folks who suddenly aren't getting a free handout could be invited to share the work. There is plenty of work to go around don't you think? :neener:

April 23, 2003, 09:46 PM
Heck, God doesn't have any problem with when I shoot: just what I shot, and why. ;)

(My pastor had someone fill in for him about two months ago, and he was off hunting with his sons. :neener: )

April 23, 2003, 10:07 PM
If you will go with me this Sunday, I will go with you next.

April 23, 2003, 11:20 PM
I agree that this should not be a religious discussion, so I will try to take a little different angle.

If you are trying to CONVINCE your friend that it is ok to not do something he/she is committed to and feels comfortable with, aren't you imposing quite a bit? How about if someone tried to convince you that it was ok for you not to have a gun. Nobody will ever attack you. And no one will know you don't have a gun. I won't tell. You'll be fine with out it. You have probably heard this and it won't change your view. Kind of annoying though, isn't it? So they should just stop bringing it up, right?

On the flip side, I wouldn't think it appropriate for your friend to try to convince you to forego your activity and join him in his. If it is mentioned once and you decline, then he has done his part but now knows your position. You know his position. You should both respect each others point of view.

Having the ability to have different views about such things is what makes this country what it is! I may not agree with someone's view, but I am very glad that we live were we do so that we are able to share that with out fear of serious incident.

Personally, I don't shoot on Sundays as it is a church day and a family day as well as the Christian day of rest. But I don't try to convince those in this area that do shoot on Sunday not to shoot because I think they are doing something wrong. We all have choices and as long as it doesn't infringe on my rights (or yours), then so be it.

What you are talking about is not an infringement, but an inconvenience to you. Completely different issue. See if you can't find another time to get your schedules to match up and go shooting. I have plenty of people that I shoot with that know I don't shoot on Sundays, but we find plenty of other opportunities to shoot. There are even IDPA clubs here that will let me come help them setup the match they are planning for a Sunday on Saturday afternoon and shoot it then. We both benefit. It is all in how we work together to get along and not in how we try to change each other.

Ok, so it turn a little religious and preachy. Sorry.

April 24, 2003, 12:36 AM

April 24, 2003, 12:56 AM
Who was the member with the sig line, "I know you didn't see me at church on Sunday, I was teaching a lesbian how to shoot"? :D

April 24, 2003, 01:39 AM
it is a sticky wicket
I work shift work so I work 2 sundays out of the month, I dearly love going to church with my family, both Blood and Church, as it recharges the batteries so to speak.
most Saturdays are full of the Kids games and Tournements etc..
not to mention all the other matches.
that said one sunday out of the month, will not send you to hell,
and if the church has an Hour of Power or other Prayer time during the week, you could be with God in that setting (not that you can't be with him anywhere at anytime).
I would love to shoot competitvely but have a hard time getting the time to, between 12 hour shifts and an 18 month old daugther, and the rest of the family

April 24, 2003, 10:36 AM
Shooting is my religion. My "Bible" is the revised authorized Boston T. Party version.:evil: :neener: :evil:

April 24, 2003, 11:11 AM
Every blessed spire point and round nose is a devotion in the Church of the M.O.A. (

Vibrate the earth with his righteous thunder!

April 24, 2003, 12:14 PM
I think someone committed to attending Sunday services is going to surely attend those Sunday services. I obviously can't speak for God, but between church and shooting holes in things, church comes first. Take out time for work, time for family, time for sleep, time for cleaning and time for church, anyone should be able to find a couple hours a week to go to the range.

Funny... most of the matches around here are on Saturdays.

April 24, 2003, 02:38 PM
Here in Utah almost all of our matches are on Saturday. Go figure. :)

April 24, 2003, 02:48 PM
... and how many Monks does it take to load a Howitzer? :uhoh:

April 24, 2003, 08:19 PM
to answer your direct question:
god will forgive.
the real question is can you forgive yourself, if you do something that you belive is wrong?
if these people have true convictions about missing church don't pressure them, compromise on your end once and then decide if you want to continue to shoot with them bad enough to keep compromising.

April 24, 2003, 09:27 PM
I read somewhere that in olde England, archery practice on sunday was compulsory whereas church was not. Please don't flame me and I'm not trying to imply anything but I wonder what would happen if US law made it compulsory for every man and woman above the age of 16 to attend AR and pistol training for 2 hours every sunday? (If the USA was under threat of territorial invasion.)

Better yet, what about a gun friendly chruch. Why not have mass at a chapel or church near the range and then have all interested people retire to the shooting range after services are over? Ammo could be passed out at the door upon exiting. :)

April 24, 2003, 09:35 PM
i'd love to go to an openly gun friendly church

and the second collection today will fund the purchase of 5 more cases of 223....

April 24, 2003, 09:41 PM
I read this thread and then I asked God. God, I asked, do you have a problem with folks shooting on Sunday's instead of going to church? I wasn't sure how he would show me His answer, but as I was walking past my coffee table a piece of paper fell off and landed beside my foot. I picked it up to see what it was. It was a church bulletin opened to the services schedule, and there was his answer! Saturday evening service at 18:00.:D

April 24, 2003, 10:21 PM
Convert to Islam. You can worship and shoot at the same time.

April 24, 2003, 10:29 PM
Churches would see a jump in attendance if there was a shooting range, barbecue, pony rides, and a midway.

April 24, 2003, 10:51 PM
I think compromise is the answer, but these folks just don't want to do it. Not only is Sunday the day of competitions, but it is the one day most convenient to all of us. While I work on Sundays, because of their religious beliefs, it is a short day and the summer leaves plenty of daylight afterwards for shooting.

Because they are automatically off on that day, they can meet me at the range. If we try to schedule another day, we have to figure out when our work schedules and personal schedules match well enough for a few hours of trigger time. That's mighty hard to do. We might have decent work hours, but family obligations kill the after-work time. If the after-work time is good, our work schedules conflict.

Sunday is just the best day for all concerned but there is this idea that Church is the endall and beall and there's nothing to be done.

Unless I make a sacrifice and agree to drive all the damn way on my day off, buy them dinner, provide the range and assorted gear.... Heck, I just bought a metal target stand so we could do some close-up shooting! What have they bought? NADA!!! :fire:

I guess there really isn't an answer to the problem. I'm just pissed that I can't convince my coworkers of the importance of practicing with their guns. Either you're a shooter or your not.

April 24, 2003, 11:44 PM
I would like to point out what to me seems like an obvious answer.

Why not combine the two?

My other vice after shooting would be auto racing. 90% or more of the races are run on Sundays. And not coincidentally, guys who travel inches apart at 200+ value their relationship with God.

Their solution? The larger tracks have a permanent chapel, and the small ones set up an old fashioned tent. They have a chaplain that travels, or bring someone in and have church right there in the garage if need be.

Why couldn't shooters do this? The idea after all is the worship not the time or location. A small service in the morning before the match starts would be a good thing.

April 25, 2003, 12:18 AM
sodapop: a number of Episcopalians have been telling their priests the same thing! :D That's why many of us call ourselves Anglicans now.

Perhaps I missed something, but nobody seems to have invoked (even if you wont pardon the expression) the militia model.

Historically the militia brought their muskets to church and stacked them outside. I think it says quite a bit that none of the early descriptions of this activity ever mention having to post a guard to make sure all the muskets were there when they returned. Then *after* the service the militia would meet and drill on the village green - this was not seen as breaking the sabbath, but rather as a good use of the time. While the militia went through their training drills, the other folks ate whatever they had brought for lunch. This provided good PR for the militia to recruit new members, and it also allowed the local elligable ladies to scope out their male counterparts in a discreet manner.

In other words, if for some reason they can't find a church from their denomination that has a Saturday evening service, than how about scheduling your shooting for *after* the early service Sunday Morning?

I personally avoid doing that sort of thing on Sunday, but some others might not see it that way.

April 25, 2003, 12:43 AM
If only we had more gun friendly chaplins, priests, deacons, pastors or vicars. U know that you're in good company when you hear this from the preacher.....

....Our Father in Heaven,
Hallowed be thy name,
give us today our daily AMMO,
and forgive us for our inaccuracy,
as we promise not to mock the inaccuracy of others,

bring us not to the time of complete semi-auto ban,
but enlighten our leftist countrymen to the glory of the second amendment,

for thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory,
forever and ever, Ahem!

Now let's go SHOOTIN' people! .308, 7.62 x 39, .223, 9mm, 38 Special and .45 ACP bought with last months surplus collections are available from the choir at your request.

Now let's remember the four rules as y'all remember the 10 commandments!

April 25, 2003, 10:28 AM
My vote goes to asking the match directors if they will move the match times to later on Sunday so they can go to church and then go to the match.

Around my area most IDPA matches start around 1 PM on Sunday. They did this intentionally so people can go to church and then go to the range.

Unfortunately for me, I live around 1.5 hours from the match locations. But I'm lucky to have Mass services available at 5 PM and 10 PM (!!!) so I can shoot and then go to church.


Desert Dog
April 25, 2003, 02:34 PM
Church? What's that? :rolleyes:

April 25, 2003, 11:36 PM
Why do I have to go to church? I'm a Pagan.:D (Simpsons, when they were only on the Tracy Ulman show)

Double Naught Spy
April 26, 2003, 12:58 AM
Contrary to the title of this thread, the issue is not about shooting practice versus religion, but shooting practice versus scheduled obligations of your fellow shooters.

Whether church-related or not, there are always going to be scheduling conflicts. If you want to shoot with these co-workers so badly and they all have church obligations or belief-based reasons for needing to attend church, then you need to consider that maybe the problem is NOT with your coworkers but you. In the given situation, you are the minority. A better question to ask would be why you are unwilling to make concessions for all of the coworkers but expect them to make concessions for you.

If you are wanting to shoot on Sunday with friends, then you need to find friends that either don't attend church on Sundays or maybe those who attend evening services and not the morning services that would conflict with shooting events.

Lumping the guy who was meeting with his pastor in the group of conflicted church goers seems unreasonable. It didn't matter who he was meeting with or the affiliation. The guy had an appointment. It is as simple as that. I could just as well have been a doctor's appointment.

Scott Evans
April 30, 2003, 09:34 AM
They don’t want to shoot Sundays because they would rather be in church … and you have a problem with that !? Unbelievable!

Is it any wonder they have better friends elsewhere?

I hear your reasoning of “need to train” and agree that we all should prepare but in this context you simply come across as a selfish whiner.

The answer is simple: If you care for these people make other arrangements out of respect for who they are and what they hold dear, such as is common among friends of differing faiths. Don’t look for some doctrinal twist in their faith to pull them from what they would rather do.

SC like NC abounds with ranges and matches every Saturday & Sunday. Locally we even have a Thursday night shoot every week. They can train and make church if they really want to. Your presence or Sunday morning matches are not required for them to train.

April 30, 2003, 10:06 AM
It seems that Sunday has become shooting day for many clubs, mine included (except when it conflict with Easter).

I routinely take friends out on Saturday, setup a few IDPA targets and make a mini COF. You don't have to be a club to shoot or practice.

April 30, 2003, 10:12 AM
Oh that all our problems in America boiled down to whether one should go shooting or go to church!

This is much better than a government-sponsored gestapo that actively seeks to take away guns and gun-ownership.

April 30, 2003, 04:47 PM
This isn't a question of wanting anybody to quit going to church or break appointments.

I am more than willing to compromise and have done so continually. Just this last tuesday, I went to the range with a supervisor and we had a great he wants to make it a regularly scheduled event. I'm cool with that. He has to work from 1400 to close so just comes in a few hours early (the club is just a few miles from our base) and I drive almost an hour to take him shooting on my day off.

The responses to my original post have opened my eyes and educated me. That was the reason for asking the question in the first place.

I was surprised by the hostility received from church-goers over the idea that one sunday, every now and then, could be missed. But more important than that is the pervasive idea that there really isn't any need to practice.

I guess that's what really burns me up, and I've seen in a lot of cops as well as the guys at work. There just isn't any sense that you might need the gun and, therefore, no need to practice with it. Everyone knows they are going to die and they want to prepare for it by getting good with God.

That's cool. It's just different from my viewpoint.

April 30, 2003, 05:38 PM

Mid Carolina Rifle club has IDPA matches on Saturdays.

Mid Carolina Rifle Club (

If you enjoyed reading about "Shooting Practice v. Religion" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!