WWJD in New Life church narthex with shooter?

Ben Witherington, whose blog I enjoy, advocates the non-bullet method, tackling would be OK though. In the comments, I've tried to advocate the position that the security guard's use of non-lethal, high velocity lead was as effective as a tackle. A couple other commenters were friends of those in Arvada.
my first comment reads
I support dying so that others may live, that is indeed Jesus's example. But even if Jesus took a few bullets from Murray, Murray would have had plenty more for more people who were not willing and not necessarily believers either. return fire prevented any further opportunities for Murray. Waiting for a blind corner to tackle Murray with a chance of success gives him more time to shoot and kill others. i attempt a brief syllogism-like argument at http://umbl0g.blogspot.com/2007/12/shooter-killed-by-church-security-guard.html
i don't think this is a situation one can ask what would Jesus do, because he'd probably pull a Neo from the Matrix and stop the bullets in mid-flight. no one knows what someone with unlimited power would do. the options are unlimited. one option he did have is to enable a trained police officer who had been in prayer and fasting for 3 days to expect an attack and be hyper-aware to be the vehicle of his judgement and mercy with a greater than 30% hit rate.
God is good
I didn't save my second comment, so if he approves it, I'll copy it here too.
It got lost in the ethernet or a spam filter. Here is my abbreviated new reply instead of the much longer one that is missing.
Thanks for clarifying your end of the spectrum of pacifism. Any force can be lethal though. A tackle can cause death. It's in the Lord's hands anyway, all those "freak" accidents. I think it was a not accidental that all the high velocity lead balls the security guard put in the shooter were not lethal but, nevertheless, incapacitating.
You replied that we don't know "what the effect would have been on talking to the sick young man, and asking him about Jesus," yet we also don't know if those young missionaries in Arvada did speak to him about Jesus, or if that Dad in the parking lot did before his daughters were killed, or if someone on the ex-Pentecostal board privately messaged him. He seemed intent and unwavering on his commitment to hurt as many as he could.
I don't think anyone on this blog would not lay down their lives in a minute if it would end the shooting, but taking one bullet but leaving 100 more rounds for others would not incapacitate him. If he's aiming in the Sunday school rooms and a pacifist only has access to a firearm, does the pacifist use it to save children? Here is a dilemma in applying the Golden Rule. Who is the neighbor? Should the pacifist run out and find a millstone to put on his neck, which is better than allowing him to continue harming children? The guy was spraying bullets all around the narthex, no tackler had a chance. He was using a force that projected his field of violence to the walls, and only a similar force could incapacitate him. Perhaps church security guards should have tasers, but they kill too. Are pacifists Taser champions?
I'm not trying to be a wiseacre, but I can't see the lines a pacifist operates behind.
Should Sunday school teacher applicants be screened out if they are pacifist since they won't use whatever means necessary to incapacitate someone who comes to harm the children?
btw, interesting pastor to pastor discussion at the simpleminded preacher blog on this topic. the anecdotes are chilling.
i am not a contributor to this blog, just a reader.
God is good


Dan said…
I read Witherington's posts too. I tried to comment there but I guess I didn't pass muster w/ben. I am not a total pacifist. I think force should be used only in life or death situations with no other alternative. If given the courage at the time I think I would use deadly force to save my kids [but of course there is no way to know until your face that situation]. I had a hard time with some of the comments which I thought were self rigtheous. Reminds me of folks I went to seminary with who believed passionately a real Christian could not serve in the military or be a cop and
Christian at the same time.
We simply do not know what we wil do until the mooment comes. Until then we have not right to judge what people do or don't do when confronted with unspeakble evil.What you said makes sense to me. Some pacifists change their minds when faced with violence or radical evil such as Bonhoeffer in Nazi Germany. Ideals are great but sometimes we need to see that open war is upon us whether we would risk it or not [hat tip to Aragorn, LOTR] Apparently some thnk the security guard should have let the madman kill her and slaughter everyone else as well. Hard to beleiuve they would say the same thing if they lived through that event.
jpu said…
Thanks for representing well dan. If you spend enough time on this blog, you'll notice my awful of hobby of reading on historic genocides and atrocities. See those categories on the sidebar...We are sinful people with merely a thin veneer of civilization. When a human has lost concern for life I don't think any reason or emotion will convert him save a Damascus road encounter with the almighty God.
I don't consider myself a supporter of the death penalty but neither am I an opponent. I am pro-life in all reasonable circumstances.
God is good

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