Cumberland Times-News

Opinion

January 10, 2013

Christians, churches can work to reduce mass violence

U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin has it right. We must, “...find another way to stop mass violence.” That was so well stated in the Jan. 6 issue of the Times-News (Page 1E).

Now is the time to gather all willing parties to discuss civil ways to reduce the culture of gun violence and to agree on a course of action to be implemented locally and throughout the U.S.A.

This grouping needs to include the media in general (the electronic media in particular), mental health, gun owners in general (and the National Rifle Association in particular), plus faith groups in general (and the Christian churches in particular).

I applaud and support what Sen. Manchin has stated. “You done good, Joe.”

As a United Methodist, I refer fellow Christians to these Biblical references for use and deeper study relating to reducing gun or mass violence:

1. The Sixth Commandment in Exodus 20:13 states, “You shall not kill.” What are the particulars? (The Hebrew word means murder.)

2. Jesus summed up the laws in Matthew 22:37,39, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind ... . And a second is like it, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

3. While discussing this complex cultural problem, one needs to understand the meaning of the Ninth Commandment in Exodus 20:16, “You shalt not bear false witness against your neighbor,” i.e. Quit lying!

For a detailed explanation of the 10 Commandments with scriptural reference galore, seek out the Presbyterian Westminster Larger and Shorter Catechism.

To maintain credibility in this nation of ours, we Christians need to state our opinions and urge our churches and their governing bodies to state their positions via the pulpit and pen in order to join with others to reduce this culture of gun or mass violence.

Paul Shogren

Oakland

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