The Guns and Meat post has magically re-appeared on the God not Guns Blog. They used a different URL so the one I link to is still dead, but somehow the post is back up. Because they were kind enough to re-post the entry, I’ll quite happily re-link to my God and Guns post. Here are also the most relevant portions of my original post de-bunking her incredibly poorly thought out meat analogy:
The relevant passage of Scripture that’s she’s referring to is found in 1st Corinthians Chapter 8; she’s using the New American Standard Bible, I’m going to switch to the New International Version because I think it’s a little easier to read for most folk. One of the things that Rachel does in her little Scripture dance is leave out a great big chunk of the passage where Paul is writing. To get the correct context, you need to go all the way back to verse 4:
Paul is saying in verses 4-7 that it’s not wrong to eat meat that was consecrated to idols, provided that the person doing the eating understands that there is one true God, and as such the idols or the consecration to said idols holds no power over the Christian. In verse 9, he admonishes the Corinthians to be responsible about exercising their liberty in this regard, as there are among them those whose knowledge and faith has not sufficiently progressed to make that sort of mental leap, and so for them eating meat consecrated to idols is a bad thing. Paul wraps up by saying that he would rather forgo the consecrated meat than cause his fellow Christian to stumble; his choice is rather to educate and teach Christians who are not as advanced in the faith as he is by not eating meat.
So where does this leave Rachel’s “guns will not commend us to God” comparison? In the context of the Scripture that she chose, it pretty much leaves her up the creek without a paddle. Remember, the context of the Scripture is what really matters; not changing it to mean what you want. To apply her comparison directly to the rest of the passage, verse 4-7 would mean that it’s okay to own and carry guns, verse 9 would be warning you that some people don’t like guns, and Paul’s conclusion is that he won’t carry a gun because it might upset some people. Nowhere does Paul say that the Corinthians shouldn’t eat the meat consecrated to idols.
It’s a pretty long theological stretch to twist meat consecrated to idols into carrying firearms, especially when what Paul was driving at wasn’t to get the Corinthians to stop eating the meat, but rather to think about the consequences and affect their actions have on others. The point of the verse wasn’t that the Corinthians should abstain from eating meat, but rather that they should understand that eating the meat consecrated to idols wasn’t something that everyone was capable of doing.
If the whole chapter is taken in context and used an analogy for firearms ownership (which is ridiculous, but hey, I didn’t start this) Paul would actually be advocating for education on firearms ownership, and not the abolishing of firearms. Actually, if anything Paul would say “why are we talking about guns when in fact we should be preaching the Gospel”, as a thorough study of his writings shows that he had little patience for topics tangential to preaching the Good News.
To compare eating meat consecrated to idols is a foolish comparison, and to make the ridiculous analogy work you have to ignore a large chunk of the passage of Scripture that Rachel uses as her reference. Paul didn’t want people to stop eating meat, he was focused and making them aware of their choices and consequences, he wanted them to be more educated and aware – to conclude the ridiculous gun ownership analogy that the author of the blog post started, Paul would have been calling for education and understanding of firearms ownership so as to not impede the preaching of the Gospel with foolish things that are not important.
Of course, I encourage you to read my entire post on the issue – as long as the Brady Campaign insists on abusing Christianity as a platform for gun control, I will continue to rebut their terrible logic and poorly reasoned theology.