My Pastor just blanched at the sight of a toy MP5


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XD Fan
April 23, 2007, 11:14 PM
I was at my church last Friday evening for a Bible study. A couple of the kids brought toy guns, two dart guns and a toy MP5. My pastor saw the MP5and was appalled. He was not bothered by the dart guns but the MP5 really disturbed me. He asked what I thought. My response was that it was just an inanimant object.

Why can't people see the truth. I guess I have some educating to do

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thexrayboy
April 23, 2007, 11:31 PM
You are that close to Dixie and the preacher has a problem with toy guns? Sounds like he might be on reassignment from somewhere a little less enlightened like say
oh San Francisco.

telomerase
April 23, 2007, 11:35 PM
Remind him of the command from Yoshua ben-Yosef to "sell your cloak and buy an MP5".

On second thought, the thought that his religion was originally (pre-Constantine) against world government might disturb him even more :D

Quoheleth
April 23, 2007, 11:39 PM
Well...how would you feel if your pastor showed up to Bible class with a pentagram hanging around his neck...or a swastica monogrammed onto his Bible cover...or some other symbol...

You challenge him and he says, "It's just a symbol...give me a break..."

The issue isn't that it is inatimate; it's what it *could* be; what it is a symbol of in some people's minds. Those symbols raise certain emotions - and fears - and in some, cause really strong reactions, right or wrong.

I am a pastor. If someone showed up to church with a gun - yes, even a toy - I would make sure I was double-checking it. The safety & welfare of the members in the building is, practically speaking (if not technically speaking) part of my job.

After last week's events, I do not blame him a bit. In fact, I have the evening news on as I type. I live in the Houston area, and the CBS station just reported a kid carrying an unloaded pistol to school today, a copycat shooting that mirrored the NASA shooting last week, and still are talking about the VT scene. Yeah, guns are in the forefront of people's mind right now.

Even though I am planning a new gun purchase for myself, I'm not broadcasting it at church. In fact, I've considered getting a CCL for myself, or keep a pistol in a safe place in my desk. I passed the idea by a guy at church who has a CCL and he told me he would if he were me.

My point: I'm a gun guy, but I am also cautious & conservative when it comes to others. It's the old principal of "trust but verify." Or, like we say when we drive on the highways: it's not me I worry about...it's the other idiot. There's only one of me, but lots of others... Don't be too hard on the guy. His heart is probably in the right place and his head is trying to keep ahead of what could happen.

Biblically, he's probably practicing the dual principals of "Love does no harm" and "Do not cause the weaker brother to stumble."

Finally, and again as a gun guy, I see *absolutely no reason* for a toy gun - especially one that appears to be this realistic - to be at church or Sunday school. If I were in this guy's shoes, I would have gone further, found the parent, and gotten it OUT now. Inatimate object: yes. A distraction: definitely. Disturbing for some: probably. So, it goes. Just like if a kid were playing with a yo-yo or a deck of cards. Outtahere.

There it is...the target is posted...fire away...

Preacher Man

Eleven Mike
April 23, 2007, 11:44 PM
On second thought, the thought that his religion was originally (pre-Constantine) against world government might disturb him even more

Most Christians that I know (and I'm a Christian from rural MO, as well) are also opposed to world govt. Ya know, the anti-Christ and all that. Why do you say the early church was opposed to world government?

Remind him of the command from Yoshua ben-Yosef to "sell your cloak and buy an MP5". I think Jesus has better taste in weaponry, myself. :)

TXWhackmaster
April 23, 2007, 11:45 PM
I see no reason to bring any toys to church. Get yourself a ccl pastor.

TimboKhan
April 24, 2007, 12:10 AM
First off, I am an avid heavy metal fan, so I think it would be awesome if my pastor came to church wearing a pentagram. Moving on, thats the most milquetoast thing I have ever heard. Being sensitive to others doesn't extend so far as to try and please everybody based solely off of what you might think is offensive. You know what offends me? Women who wear too much cologne. It stinks and makes me nauseous. Are you gonna throw them out of church for that, or make them wash NOW? My opinion is that pastors need to be a rock upon which to lean on. Protect your flock, don't coddle them.

Secondly, your comparison between a toy gun and the swastika is not a valid one. The Swastika directly represents the murder of about 6 million people, and there is no arguing that fact. A toy MP-5 could just as easily represent a SWAT team member as it could a bad guy. Additionally, it is a toy. I have a toy lightsaber, and that doesn't seem to make anyone think I am a Jedi.

ReadyontheRight
April 24, 2007, 12:23 AM
sell your cloak and buy an MP5

I thought it was "sell your cloak and get a Garand www.odcmp.com"

I guess I am out of touch with modern religion, but when did kids start bringing toys to church?

TheDisturbed1
April 24, 2007, 01:40 AM
Ya know... The youth group at my church is gonna go have a 24-hour paintball war in june. but its not IN the church.

buuuut... if the toy MP5 doesnt fire any projectiles nor was he pointing it at people, I see no problem.

gunsmith
April 24, 2007, 05:42 AM
one of the local big churches has child care, so kids with toys are a common sight.
I wouldn't go to a church that frowned on kids having toys.
I see barely concealed ccw's there all the time too.

BobTheTomato
April 24, 2007, 06:23 AM
That is one hell of an expensive coat to sell for a MP5 :)

Vairochana
April 24, 2007, 07:41 AM
Hey I am a freemason- we regularly carry weapons of Math Instruction

Durruti
April 24, 2007, 08:01 AM
That is one hell of an expensive coat to sell for a MP5

Keep in mind that this was prior to 1986. :neener:

JWarren
April 24, 2007, 08:19 AM
I am going to try to take a serious stab at this question. There have been a lot of good considerations brought up on this thread.

1. I would tell the pastor, regarding his concern, "Hey, it's just cowboys and indians in a new generation. You and I had our six-shooter cap guns."


2. Regarding symbols: Like word, symbols mean things. Sadly, symbols are often co-opted by various groups and their meanings are twisted and altered to represent that group. Hitler didn't create the swastika-- he co-opted an Indian symbol (IIRC) with positive meaning and now it is a symbol of his twisted vison. The pentagram has been used in many religions-- including early Judiasm. I am no expert, but it is a current symbol of meaning in Wicca. Just yesterday, it was announced that Wiccan veterans will be allowed to mark their graves with the pentagram.

Too often symbols are used by those that are not convicted to that belief or ideology in order to gardner some type of shock value. Too often, they get the reaction they are hoping for from us.


3. I can see why-- at times-- it isn't inappropriate for a child to bring toys to church. In our church, we have a community center, an activity center, etc. Throughout the week, we have activities going on. The church, in many rural areas, is more than simply a center for worship. It is the center of community.

Often, the kids are out in the gym under supervison of our youth coordinator while non-service activities are going on such as choir practice. There is always an effort to have religious-based discussion, but in reality kids get a lot of it. They have shorter attention spans, and often they are there with all of thier friends. They naturally want to play. Our solution is to have a short "lesson" at the beginning, and a short activity at the end. In the middle, the kids are allowed to play and socialize.

I really don't see anything wrong with this. I often find myself thinking back to when I was a kid there -- doing the same things. Now, a lot of those kids I played with have kids of their own. Now, those kids are sitting on mundane committees with me and others working together on mundane matters. The friendships and socialization we developed at those young ages have allowed us to work with each other in a spirit of friendship and respect.

Often the intrinsic rewards of "play" do not manifest themselves until much later.


That is all I can think of at the moment.


All the best!


John

Walkalong
April 24, 2007, 08:25 AM
I am a serious "gun guy" and I think it was a bad idea to bring a toy gun to church these days. Somethings are just common sense to me. No, I don't want to worry about every little scardy cats feelings, but being reasonable about hurting folks feelings and not doing things that can make many uncomfortable just makes sense. The MP5 is associated with killing, wether it's good guys killing bad guys or vice versa. We are comfortable with a real one laying around, but the average citizen definitely is not. :)

reverendxlt
April 24, 2007, 12:23 PM
Hey Preacher Man,

Where are you located? I am in the same boat, but Texas law seems to say I can't ccw in a church. Just wondered where the line is drawn...

XD Fan
April 24, 2007, 12:30 PM
I appreciate the thoughtful response.

CleverNickname
April 24, 2007, 02:51 PM
Texas law seems to say I can't ccw in a church.

Either your CHL class teacher sucked, or you didn't pay much attention in class. CCW in churches is legal in Texas as long as they don't post a 30.06 sign.

Eleven Mike
April 24, 2007, 03:33 PM
I lived in Texas long enough to almost get a CCW, and then I moved. I did take the classes, though. I think I was taught that. That was in 1999 or 2000. Did the law change since then, or do we have bad memories?

Geronimo45
April 24, 2007, 03:38 PM
Did the law change since then Yes. I think it was within the last four or five years.

reverendxlt
April 25, 2007, 09:23 AM
Thanks, Geronimo... I appreciate the updated info.

Sam Adams
April 25, 2007, 01:07 PM
My rabbi not only wouldn't blanche at the site of a gun (much less a toy), he carries one himself. As do many of the members of our congregation (including one ex-member of the Israeli special forces, who's so big and beefy that I wouldn't want to have a fight with him if he was unarmed and I had a 12-gauge). On any given Saturday, we have at least 1/2 dozen of us carrying, and at least a dozen for the High Holidays. Last week, all of those who carry and regularly shoot together exchanged a lot of knowing glances.

BTW, the rabbi is one of the guys that go shooting with me on a semi-regular basis, and I actually did go shooting the day before the VT massacre with one of the assistant rabbis.

As y'all might suspect, we subscribe to the philosophy of "Never Again - but if again, not for free!"

Edit: Oh, and to confirm the prior answers to Reverendxlt and Eleven Mike, "YES" you can carry into a house of worship in Texas, just so long as there's no 30.06 sign posted (or one is posted with bad language). The law changed on that around 2000, when there was a shooting at a church (I don't remember where, or even if it was in Texas).

Im283
April 25, 2007, 01:24 PM
I agree that church is no place for a toy gun. Right or wrong gun be they toys or real do make some people nervous. As for pointing it at people, it was a kid! Of course he was pointing it.

CCW is another matter as it is concealed and no ones business but your own.
Pastor I also say get the permit.

I do disagree with the guy making fuss over the toy MP5 but not over dart guns, all the same to me.

Toy guns out in the trees or woods after service while the kids are playing is fine, just not at a bible study.

My opinion only.

sb350hp
April 25, 2007, 01:33 PM
Well guys I see no reason why you should not carry a 1611 KJV and a 1911 to church. One to protect the soul the other to protect the body.

Turn the other cheek is not in context w/ defense of ones person or family.

JerryM
April 25, 2007, 10:52 PM
Im283,
I agree. There is nothing to gain by making folks uncomfortable over toys for the children. CCW means concealed, and is a different matter.

Best,
Jerry

Legionnaire
April 26, 2007, 07:01 AM
Interesting thread. Thinking "out loud" so to speak, I think I agree with those who think toy guns at church are less than appropriate. Lots of reasons for this, including not causing others offense. Nothing wrong with toy guns, mind; my kids have them. But there is a time and place for everything, and playing "cops and robbers" at church does seem a bit out of place. My personal practice in response to the fourth commandment (Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy) is to refrain from my gun-related hobbies. Again, personal practice, so no flames invited on that.

That said, I carry regularly, everywhere legal, even on Sunday, because the affirmative side of the commandment "You shall do no murder" is the preservation of life, and self-defense falls under that. And FWIW, my pastor told me that he just got his CCL (I was one of his references). :)

TonyB
April 26, 2007, 08:46 AM
My Pastor has said the following things to me regarding shooting and carrying:
when I mentioned doing IDPA and practicing.."Well you can never be too accutate."
When I was sitting in the front row:"When I see you sitting in the front,I wonder,who's covering the door?"
And he thanked me for showing up and watching things when the ladies leave the ladies Bible study at night.
He's not even a gunny,but is pretty libratarian.
If a Pastor won't allow me to carry,I'd find another church.

Quoheleth
April 28, 2007, 02:22 PM
If a Pastor won't allow me to carry,I'd find another church.

You want to carry concealed in my place, fine - go ahead. Just don't broadcast it. You have it open and you're not a cop, I'm going to ask you to either tuck it in or take it out of the building. I'm not arguing whether or not you have a *right* to do it - we are not a "no-firearms-facility" - I'm stating that it is a distraction for others who are trying to worship and focus on what is being said, prayed and sung. It's not coddling; it's keeping the eccleastical space sacred. It's a house of God. That is what a church (or synagogue, mosque, temple, etc. [forgive me bundling all together]) is for.

FWIW, I do similar things with cell phones. YOu want to "pack" your cell, fine - just keep it on vibe or sound off. If it goes off, I'll mention it in a kind and playful way, but let it be known that it's a distraction (besides...folks whose cells go off are almost ALWAYS embarrassed because they just forgot).

Before someone jumps up and asks about kids and toys, I don't have a problem with 90% of the kids and toys in church (I have three kids of my own - 9, 6, and 2). Kids will be kids; they will make noise. Most of the time kids disturb parents more than folks in the pew next to them. But if parents don't take a cue from their kids and the folks next to them, and if they are starting to disburb my concentration from dozens of feet away, I give a special signal to one of my ushers who will kindly ask if the parent needs some assistance. Why? Because it is distracting the rest of the place.

That's the point of my original post. The toy - which in this case was a gun - is causing a distraction. If it were a firetruck or a baseball causing the problem it would get the same treatment from me. The situation between the MP5 and a baseball, however, is different because of the current situation re. guns in the media.

Yeah, when I was a kid, I had cap guns, BB guns, rubber band guns, those little spring-loaded guns that shot the red plastic pellets, but I never took one to church (or school, for that matter). Why? Not appropriate there. Those were for at home, in the pasture, or elsewhere. In fact this summer, our VBS is going to be an Old West theme and I get to play the sherriff. I was told I could carry a water pistol or a rubber band gun if I want, but I'm going to be an Andy Griffeth-like sherriff and not carry even those. Why? I don't want it to be a distraction.

Hope this helps explain where I was coming from a little bit more.

Quoheleth
[Formerly Preacher Man]

TexasP226
April 28, 2007, 02:26 PM
I go to a Baptist church out in the country. One guy open carrys and several others carry concealed as well. The pastor is a hunter to boot. Several guys brought guns on a retreat. We talk about guns all the time! :-)

TCB in TN
April 28, 2007, 03:32 PM
As a SB in the South, I have found very few preachers who had an issue with guns, or CCW. In fact in the church we attended for a little over 8 years, my preacher was a hunter, and CCW also. He was asked by a lady who moved in from up North about his thoughts on people bringing their guns into church, and he responded that he was not only comfortable with any person legally entitled to carry, doing so, but that he appreciated that our church was not only protected by God's grace, but also by the hands of his physical army here on earth.

We changed churches last fall, and the preacher at our new church is of a similar mind on the subject.

pfgrone
April 28, 2007, 04:37 PM
I never took one to church (or school, for that matter). Why? Not appropriate there.

I think that's an important key. What is appropriate in any given situation. And your answer to that will vary from person to person and guide your response. In some churches, lots of loud, verbal "Amens" might be appropriate during the sermon and in some churches it would not be considered appropriate. Is either one right or wrong?

When I was a kid (a long, looong time ago) it was not appropriate to go to movies on Sunday. When I started my career for a major corporation, it was not appropriate to wear a beard. etc. I don't think it's appropriate for men to wear caps while at the dinner table. Am I right? No. It's just what I consider appropriate.

And so some churches might be very offended by a child with a toy gun and some might not even notice. That's the real world. Make your choices accordingly.
Paul G.

JerryM
April 28, 2007, 07:44 PM
I would not let the pastor's position on guns be the criterion for belonging to a church or not.
I am much more interested in the doctrinal positions of the local church, and its pastor.

However, if that is the major criterion, then find another church. Do not go against the pastor's authority, and do it anyway. A local church must be in harmony to reach its potential, and there seems to enough issues in many churches without adding another that has nothing to do with the doctrinal position of the church.
Never forget that submission to proper authority is an important aspect of the Christian life.

Regards,
Jerry

kungfuhippie
April 28, 2007, 08:17 PM
Well, I'll give a slightly different view...maybe I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (a Mormon)
That means that the church I 'should' attend is the one in my neighborhood (refered to as a ward), it helps will creating a network to help each other. It also means that I don't hop around for a congrgation I like. I was asked a while ago by the bishop of my ward if I carried at church. I didn't have my ccw yet, and explained that and added that carrying concealed means it's none of his or anyone else's buisness, concealed means just that, and really there is/should be a don't ask-don't tell policy. He's a great guy, likes hunting and shooting. He just asked out of curiosity, not because he was scared at the thought. But I'd not change congrgations over someone's opinion or views on RKBA as long as they didn't try and pass it off as Christ's teachings. I'm there for the spiritual/doctrinal benefit, not to discuss politics.
Most of the time toys at church are inappropriate IMHO. And some toys like guns, swords, dart shooting, etc. are not good church toys because of the distraction they can create (Last I checked most toy guns made noise of shot something) I mean if were all there to be spiritually nourished distractions should be eliminated. Last thing I want is a nerf dart in the head in the middle of Sunday School.

I think (could be wrong) most Christian Americans view the Bill of Rights as an inspired document that insures the freedom endowed by our Creator. If some anti thinks that church is the right place to spread their stuff kindly remind then that Freedom of Religion and RKBA come from the same inspired document and that the "debate" would be better serving outside of church.

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