To kill, or not to kill

A friend of mine met me for lunch yesterday and among the things we talked about was guns/ gun ownership/ self-defense. I think we got on the topic in somewhat of a round-about way, first discussing what we’d do (or have done) in scenarios where help might have been needed. Think: car accidents, someone being locked out of their car, house fires, robberies, that sort of thing.

We eventually got to a fear everyone’s thought about at some point: what if an intruder breaks into your house with a gun? I know there are different strategies based on who’s in the house already, like if you have a family, if you’re single, have roommates, etc. Our hypothetical scenario was us as fathers with a family in the house when it’s broken into. The question we asked was would we, or even could we, shoot to kill or would we do whatever we can to allow the intruder to live? My friend and I are both Christians, so while we agreed our first instinct was to defend the family, there’s another wrinkle to the story because we’d be dealing with someone that hasn’t met God…yet. Do we use a gun and, if the person is killed, take away their opportunity for salvation?

My stance was an enthusiastic, “Yes, send them to their Maker.”

My friend was discussing this days earlier and the other person in that convo is a father and husband, and he proposed that because he knows where his family members are going, as in Heaven because they’ve all become followers of Jesus, he would do whatever he can for the salvation of the intruder’s soul, even if it meant sacrificing himself or any member of his family. Sounds sick, right? That’s sort of what I was thinking but it’s more complex than that, and also there are ways to subdue the unwanted guest without killing, I guess.

So back to my friend and I chatting as we munched on lunch at First Watch. He then brought up the strongest defense in favor of the intruder… what example has God set for us in this kind of scenario? Well, He didn’t choose to save His son when He could’ve (when Jesus was on the cross, about to die). And Jesus died so others could live, so it’s kind of like the made-up scenario where maybe one of the family members dies, but the house intruder lives. God chose us, the humans/ sinners/ intruders over His son.

Rocked my world.

It’s still something I’ll think about in the coming days, but at this point I don’t know how that truth can be overcome. God chose us. He chose the ugly, mean, sinful intruder because He wanted us to have a chance at redemption. It’s a beautiful and completely unfair thing He did, and of course, I’m grateful.

But if I’m ever in a situation like the one that just happened in Vegas, I don’t know what I’d do. Are there more than the two obvious choices: let the gunman run wild, or kill the gunman? Maybe killing him so others can live is the answer. I texted my friend about what happened in Vegas and he texted back: “Shoot him… with a stun gun” …so maybe that would work, if the opportunity was there?

It’s a complex world we live in, and really the only way to rid ourselves of horrific events like [insert tragedy here] is to admit we are sinners in need of help. Then, as TobyMac says, “when love breaks through” things would begin to change for the better.

-Out of the Wilderness

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Top 3 Christmas songs of 2016

Lights coming off the house. Decorations packed and moved back to the attic. Not a machine open at Planet Fitness. That’s right, another Christmas season has come and gone. It’s already January 3rd, for Heaven’s sake! It goes too fast, right? It seems like just yesterday people were black Friday fighting in Wal-Mart and now when I walk in, they’re back to their normal 37 closed registers and two cashiers. Where does the time go, friends?

Well, besides the mayhem that often accompanies every black Friday, there’s a lot of great music that hits the radio on that day, as well. I’m not ashamed to say I listen to Christmas music year-round, but still, something about the listening to the holiday songs during the actual holiday season makes it even more enjoyable. So what were your favorite Christmas songs this year?

A handful stood out to me so I’ve ranked them in order for you. If you’ve not heard these yet, I hope you enjoy and add them to your list for next year!

3. Phil Wickham “The First Noel”

2. TobyMac “Bring On The Holidays”

1. Band of Merrymakers “Gather Round”

Happy 2017!

-Out of the Wilderness

 

Move Me, Baby!

One observation I’ve made about Christian radio stations has really started to bother me… most of the music they play is deep, introspective, and self-denying. I support the mission of having positive, uplifting music as an option on the radio. I’m not knocking the radio stations. Deep, introspective, self-denying songs are great but do they all have to be so thought-provoking? I like to look inward and take personal inventory just as much as the next guy, but I’d be headed for a mental breakdown if this type of music were all I was listening to.

Sometimes the brain needs a break and lots of times the heart just needs to beat, not bleed. Perhaps that’s why I find my playlist full of the most random songs. For example, my most recent playlist includes:

Rock & Roll – Eric Hutchinson
Jailhouse Rock – Elvis Presley
Good People – Jack Johnson
Freedom – Amos Lee
The Man Comes Around – Johnny Cash
Tom’s Diner – Suzanne Vega
Bad (Live) – U2
Christmas Canon Rock – Trans-Siberian Orchestra
Good Good End – Waterdeep
Jump Around – House of Pain
Made To Love – TobyMac
Oh What A World – Rufus Wainwright
That’s Not My Name – The Ting Tings
Awful Beautiful Life – Darryl Worley
Say Hey (I Love You) – Michael Franti
Body Language – Jesse McCartney
Ridin’ Dirty – Chamillionaire
Paradise City – Guns and Roses

We all have depth at some level and it’s true that our souls long for music that moves us. But we also need music that can make us move!

Mumford & Sons:

Zac Brown Band: