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And he who has no sword, let him sell his coat and buy one – Luke 22:36

 

It makes for a rather fantastical tale — Indiana Pastor Carl Sanders walked into a Dollar General store to purchase Gatorade and found himself in the middle of a heist.

The store seemed unusually quiet Friday night, Sanders told NBC local news affiliate WFIE. The Covenant Life Ministries preacher entered to witness a man in a bandana ordering the store clerk to hand over cash.

The robber, later identified as 25-year-old Jermaine Dewayne Marshall, turned to Sanders with his hand wrapped in plastic. The concealed object was found to be only a spoon, however at the time, it was impossible to judge.

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At that point the pastor pulled out his concealed firearm and ordered the would be robber to the ground where he remained until police arrived.

The image of a gun slinging pastor may foster for some images of spaghetti westerns and Clint Eastwood but upon reflection, to me it seems not only sensible but meet and right so to do.

For a priest is first and foremost a shepherd and no good shepherd would go out into the world without something to beat back the wolves.

And despite the images that the gun hating press promote of the “vigilante wannabe cop” gun owner, Pastor Sanders is anything but.  He is simply a man who out of love for his fellow man would not let harm befall them by the evils in this world.  A man of peace need not be a pushover.

This duality, that will no doubt melt the minds of the illogical gun hating zealots, has me remembering Sgt. York.  A man who was raised as a pacifist but would go on to enter WWI and leave it as one of the most decorated American soldiers of all time.

A sharpshooter who was raised in the hills of Tennessee York would win the Medal of Honor in the Argonne forest for single-handedly killing 28 enemy soldiers and capturing 128 enlisted men, 4 officers and 32 machine guns without suffering so much as a scratch on his body.

How did a pacifist deal with the duality of killing?  Because Sgt. York wasn’t killing Germans, he was saving the lives of the Americans who would otherwise be chewed up by the German machine guns.

Once again, guns save lives so long as the good and just have access to them.

 

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