churches should be ARMED!
(with the sound suppressed, semi-automatic pistol of the Spirit. Yours for under $2,000)
I will draw my Texas blog to a close – in its own way Texas was as brilliant as Denver. Where Denver was hands on, feet dirty, get in there and do it Texas was very different. And I expected it to be.
I went there to learn social media stuff and wow did I have a brilliant teacher – Pastor David Hansen (as well as being an amazing pastoral minister (you should see the way the people in the church love him), an amazing host (with his lovely wife Megan), a very handsome man (have you seen the pictures? he reminds me of a movie star or at least someone I know I’ve seen before) – on top of all that he is also a social media guru.
A lot of my Texas time was taken up sitting in front of computers doing ‘stuff’. Twitter and Facebook are no longer mysteries to me – podcasting, pfft I can do it in my sleep now – and twitter chats – I’ve seen how the best moderates them (from an armchair, with a beer!).
But being a geek wasn’t all I did. There are just one or two little experiences I want to share before I move on –
Lunch with Bishop Mike –
The ELCA (The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America) has bishops. I had lunch with one and his family. I would just like to say thank you to Bishop Mike for taking time out of his sabbatical to come and eat TexMex with me. We had a great chat and to hear of the work and how the ELCA orders things makes our Gymanfa look very small. (I know it is but this reminded me of how small.) Bishop Mike has been quite outspoken on the situation in Gaza and we had a great discussion about balancing personal and professional social media posts. I learnt a lot (and not just how to load a taco). Thank you.
Another visit to a Christian book barn.
WOW – these places scare me – piousness and poison under the same roof. A man cannot serve two masters – its either God or money well in this place God was served a lot – every transaction was something about God but he was not the master there, this was a Christian money printing factory. I might be wrong but isn’t “Clean hands and a pure heart” hand sanitiser going a bit far?? What about “the spark plugs Jesus would use”?
Some of the books would be funny if they weren’t serious titles – “God and Guns” was probably my favourite but there were plenty of others.
Bad breath? Jesus mints will drive out the demons of halitosis.
God bless my gun cabinet.
A prayer to God for peace, for America and for the Marine Corps.
It was endless – I was glad when we left and went to the gun store!
I had heard a lot about the gun culture in the States – the right to bear arms (but not to arm bears – it would be fairer if they did). I was intrigued to see it for myself and where better than the local, family run, gun shoppe.
If the Christian book store was bad I don’t know what this was. It was a temple to gun metal, and it was a very scary temple.
I’ve spent a fair amount of time around firearms, I know what they can do and I think I can use one safely. This place wasn’t a gun store though, it was an arsenal. You can get pink shotguns for your little girl; semi-automatic rifles to go ‘hunting’ with; as much ammo as you could carry; shoulder holsters; ankle holsters; gun vests; cartridge making machines – everything the wanna be gun nut could want; but the worse thing (or the best thing, depending on your point of view) was the pistol with military grade suppressor (silencer).
Why would you ever need one? I cannot think of a legal situation that would require a pistol with a silencer. I can sort of see why you would need a semi-automatic rifle with sub-sonic, hollow point bullets – if a huge bear was running at me, all teeth and claws and menace I’d probably be glad of one, (I still think they should arm the bears to make the fight fairer though) but a silenced semi-automatic pistol.
Not for personal protection – I’d want every criminal to know I had a gun so I wouldn’t silence it. Not for hunting – its useless as a hunting pistol and still makes enough noise to scare off any game. Not at the local gun club – you all wear ear protectors. I cannot for the life of me see why.
I fell in love with parts of America and with parts of the American church but there are certain things that make me glad I’m coming home to Oz – and military grade, noise suppressed, semi-automatic pistols for under $2,000 is one of them. Makes me shudder to think of it.
I was sad to leave the Lone Star State. I made good friends there, I saw how two wonderful churches (Spirit of Joy! (don’t leave out the exclamation mark) and Grace Lutheran) and how two truly wonderful pastors work, I met loads of wonderful people of God who are doing amazing work in his name, even a couple of decent presbyterians. But Texas really is another America though – a wild, weird and wonderful place full of strange people, spaceships, gun shops and Jeezus.
Onward to Baltimore…..