BOOK: God and Guns in America

Few Christian books can integrate and appeal to Scripture without sounding preachy, pretentious, or perfunctory. Even more so when an author takes on a polarizing subject such as guns. And yet this is what Michael W. Austin's God and Guns in America excels at. Biblically rooted as well logically sound Austin's approachable writing style is like sitting with a friend telling you how and why they arrived at a conclusion - in this case his view on guns/gun violence through a Christian lens.

BOOK: Collateral Damage

Pastor James Atwood, who passed away in 2020, called gun violence the most important theological issue for the American church. His conviction is rooted in Mark 12:28-34 where Jesus says the most important commandment is to love God and love your neighbor. Atwood says you cannot love God and not love your neighbor, they are fundamentally connected. Collateral Damage is a prophetic call for the church to get involved and not remain silent when 40,000 fellow image bearers are being killed each year while hundreds of thousands more are psychologically and emotionally damaged from the effects of gun violence.

MOVIE: Beating Guns

Based on the book (which we also recommend) with the same name Beating Guns centers on RAW tools founder Michael Martin and activist Shane Claiborne and their 2018 protest that attempted to deliver a garden tool to Pennsylvania senator Pat Toomey in hopes of him supporting legislation to ban assault rifles.

SERMON: Biblical and Moral Reasons for People of Faith to Speak Up and Act to Stop Gun Violence

In a moving sermon pastor James Atwood draws a straight line between how many Christians viewed slavery before the Civil War to how many Christians currently view and react to gun violence. He says many Christians say gun violence has nothing to do with ethics, it has nothing to do with morality, and nothing to do with spirituality. That gun violence is a political issue and we should just stay out of it. Atwood forcefully calls out those statements as a failure to love our neighbors and treat everyone in the Image of God. Additionally he points out that in Mark 12 Jesus points out that to love God is to love our neighbor. We cannot love God without loving our neighbor. Atwood ends the sermon with six spiritual, moral, and ethical reasons why Christians need to speak up and act to stop gun violence.

SHOW: Quiet No More

In a moving 27-minutes Quiet No More tells the story of reverend Sharon Risher's process of dealing with her anger and her journey to forgiveness. In 2015 she lost three family members after a white supremacist murdered nine people at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina.

GUIDE: Preventing Gun Violence

Despite the statistics being almost a decade old, this practical, informative 15-page preventative gun violence guide created by the Mennonite Central Committee U.S. Washington Office in 2010 features how to advocate for public policies to prevent gun violence, Christian views on violence and self-defense, and how to write to your government officials to lobby for change.