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Posted: 6/10/2014 6:50:31 PM EDT
I'm a deacon at my local church (PCA denomination). I asked at our last deacons meeting, and it looks as though the elders would be the ones to decide whether our church becomes an "opt-in" church or not. We don't have universal consensus on the issue in our congregation, but I think I could write a respectful, thoughtful recommendation letter for the elders to consider, with points like:

  • deciding not to act is itself a decision

  • there are already probably at least five firearms in the parking lot on any given Sunday (does this point sound too threatening?)

  • the people who'd be carrying are trustworthy, responsible members, who've passed a background check, bla bla bla

  • if there were an incident where defensive use of force was used, we wouldn't want our church's lack of action to be the reason for prosecuting the person that protected us all


What other things would you want to write in a letter to a church? What would make it likely that a theologically conservative (reformed), but politically diverse group of men would approve an HB60 policy decision? (And please no Luke 22:36 on this one, they're smarter than that)
Link Posted: 6/10/2014 7:41:31 PM EDT
Dear Church,
Link Posted: 6/10/2014 9:20:02 PM EDT
I would get rid of your second point personally. Being a church they know evil is around every bend, and as shepherds there needs to be a means of protecting your flock . Just throw some stats in it, the church in Utah last year, crefflo's lay person getting gunned down, etc... That may help the cause.
Link Posted: 6/10/2014 9:26:52 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/11/2014 3:57:55 AM EDT by makeitflyfast]
Link Posted: 6/10/2014 9:40:23 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/11/2014 4:01:45 AM EDT by makeitflyfast]
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Originally Posted By makeitflyfast:
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I wouldn't do GD unless OP wants to sift through the nonsense .
Link Posted: 6/11/2014 7:02:10 AM EDT
Former deacon chair here at a Southern Baptist Church. I'm pretty sure we will be opting in and I'm pretty sure I'm going to be asked to review whatever policy is implemented. We have a pretty good handful of LEOs in our congregation who would be expected to be the point men for reaction should any threat ever arise. They sometimes carry anyways so it will not be anything new to our church.


I would suggest you point out that responsible men have carried concealed in the past and no problem has arisen due to members carrying concealed. Having the church opt in would serve to keep these responsible men from being branded as criminals should the rare event occur that one of them saved someone else's life.

I really don't think the church needs to get into the business of deciding who can carry and who cannot. Why take on that liability?

Just ask them to opt in and adopt a church policy that broadly provides: "Adult members are permitted to reasonably bear arms for the purpose of defense but not offense, within the bounds of good judgment and Georgia law."

Since some are hesitant, you might even have them consider limiting to concealed carry only.

Also point out that most people will notice no change whatsoever.

Remind them if it causes a problem, the policy can always be changed in the future.

Just my 2 cents. Good luck and report back what happens.
Link Posted: 6/11/2014 10:31:43 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By Brownie63:
Remind them if it causes a problem, the policy can always be changed in the future.
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Not a bad idea, keeping with the removing stumbling blocks from ones walk. But I don't see how it would become one if it was concealed... I guess just the "thought that you could be carrying" could cause some to wrestle with their membership at your church.

Good luck, I'm gonna bring it up at mine next meeting as well.
Link Posted: 6/11/2014 12:16:41 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By Brownie63:
Former deacon chair here at a Southern Baptist Church. I'm pretty sure we will be opting in and I'm pretty sure I'm going to be asked to review whatever policy is implemented. We have a pretty good handful of LEOs in our congregation who would be expected to be the point men for reaction should any threat ever arise. They sometimes carry anyways so it will not be anything new to our church.


I would suggest you point out that responsible men have carried concealed in the past and no problem has arisen due to members carrying concealed. Having the church opt in would serve to keep these responsible men from being branded as criminals should the rare event occur that one of them saved someone else's life.

I really don't think the church needs to get into the business of deciding who can carry and who cannot. Why take on that liability?

Just ask them to opt in and adopt a church policy that broadly provides: "Adult members are permitted to reasonably bear arms for the purpose of defense but not offense, within the bounds of good judgment and Georgia law."

Since some are hesitant, you might even have them consider limiting to concealed carry only.

Also point out that most people will notice no change whatsoever.

Remind them if it causes a problem, the policy can always be changed in the future.

Just my 2 cents. Good luck and report back what happens.
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There's good stuff here, thanks. We shall see how it goes!
Link Posted: 6/11/2014 2:49:58 PM EDT
I would be sure to point out that the law only applies to the 5% of Georgians who have concealed carry permits. Maybe elaborate that permit holders have undergone a GBI background check (or whatever agency runs them). Also, there are stats out there that CWL holders are ?% less likely to commit a crimes. You may want to contact GeorgiaCarry.org. I'm sure they are consulting on the subject and may have some do and don't from recent requests at other churches.

My church has armed Sheriffs deputies on site, so I'm sure they will reject a request stating that we already have security. I guess I'm okay with that since they provide uniformed and undercover security.
Link Posted: 6/12/2014 2:20:02 PM EDT
He said to them, "But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one.”

Luke 22:36, NIV
Link Posted: 6/12/2014 4:29:40 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By GAcop:
[div style='margin-left: 40px;']He said to them, "But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one.”

Luke 22:36, NIV

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Good job - you beat me to it!
Link Posted: 6/12/2014 6:32:37 PM EDT
Another thought is that by not allowing your congregation the option of self defense, the church is taking on the responsibility to provide for the safety of the congregation. If there isn't an official 'church security', what steps will be followed to provide a safe environment?

If they do decide to opt out, I think church sponsored security staff is critical.
Link Posted: 6/13/2014 5:04:19 AM EDT
I wrote a piece about this whole "opt-in" thing in HB60. This is setting up churches for some severe hard feelings.

As for your letter, I would avoid any drama and take a low key approach and then be prepared to address any sky is falling responses during discussion of the issue.
Link Posted: 6/18/2014 3:26:37 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By Lightning8:


Good job - you beat me to it!
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Originally Posted By Lightning8:
Originally Posted By GAcop:
[div style='margin-left: 40px;']He said to them, "But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one.”

Luke 22:36, NIV



Good job - you beat me to it!


...and I beat you both to it in the original post.
Link Posted: 6/18/2014 4:34:49 PM EDT
Originally Posted By JLW:
I wrote a piece about this whole "opt-in" thing in HB60. This is setting up churches for some severe hard feelings.

As for your letter, I would avoid any drama and take a low key approach and then be prepared to address any sky is falling responses during discussion of the issue.
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You make some good points Chief.

Churches would have been better off if the "opt out" version had passed rather than the "opt in".

Better yet churches should have been excluded from list of freedom-vacuum zones altogether.

Maybe we'll eventually get there. Sometimes progress is baby steps.
Link Posted: 6/18/2014 4:35:02 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/18/2014 4:37:46 PM EDT by Brownie63]
Satellite slow-internet double-friggin' tap.
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