Tips for Holy Conversations about Gun Violence

Photo credit: Tom Driggers / Creative Commons

Gun violence is a sensitive subject that can elicit strong emotions. Here are some suggestions on how to engage in a respectful, productive dialogue on the topic.

Start here

  • Listen. Be slow to anger. Stay calm and truly consider what the other person has to say before responding.
  • Ask questions. Why do they feel so strongly about this topic? Try to understand and meet them where they are.
  • Acknowledge their stories and emotions. If someone shares their story with you, validate their experience. This helps create mutual respect and understanding. Do not let kindness and truth leave you. You are discussing this subject because you believe that directing the collective Christian compassion toward this issue will lead to a better world. Do not withhold compassion from other people in pursuit of that goal.

Discussion questions to consider

  • What is the role of faith in your life? What is the role of fear?
  • When, if ever, should Christians be prepared to kill?
  • What does it mean to be pro-life?
  • What does the Bible say about self-protection?
  • What does Jesus say about how we are to treat our neighbor—and our enemies? What would that look like in today's world?
  • What Scripture supports your answers?

Scripture verses to discuss

  • "Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God." (Psalm 20:7)
  • "And behold, one of those who were with Jesus reached and drew out his sword, and struck the slave of the high priest and cut off his ear. Then Jesus said to him, 'Put your sword back into its place; for all those who take up the sword shall perish by the sword.'" (Matthew 26:51-53) 

Adapted from Sword of the Spirit's College Toolkit. Used by permission.

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