Despite Living with Guns, Most Evangelical Leaders Support Gun Control

Despite the fact that 58 percent live in a household with guns, most Evangelical leaders support gun control.

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Well, that’s true if you believe the August Evangelical Leaders Survey, a poll of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE).

Fifty-five percent of Evangelical leaders favor stricter laws, 40 percent believe the current laws are sufficient and only five percent want laws to be less strict, according to the survey.

When responding to the question, participants voiced support for further limiting sales of so-called “assault weapons” and handguns, and instituting universal background checks. Additionally, they favored a stricter enforcement of existing laws.

“Evangelical leaders have nuanced views on guns. Many own guns for hunting or protection. Some own antiques with no bullets. They accept the Second Amendment, but also deeply grieve when weapons are used to take innocent lives,” said Leith Anderson, president of the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE), in a press release.

The Board of Directors of NAE include the “CEOs of denominations and representatives of a broad array of evangelical organizations including missions, universities, publishers and churches,” according to the website.

“Christians should start with the Bible when considering social issues,” continued Anderson. “While the Bible doesn’t say anything specifically about gun ownership, I appreciated that many of our leaders noted principles they find in Scripture and were concerned about the victims of gun violence in America.”

(Photo: AP)

One member complained that there is an increasing percentage of gun owners who are acting irresponsibly.

“While I support the Second Amendment, we clearly have a growing citizenry that is incapable of the responsibility necessary to keep and bear arms,” said Carl Nelson, president of Transform Minnesota.

It’s hard to know exactly what he’s referring to because concealed carry permits have soared over recent years and gun-related violence has decreased, not increased. The law-abiding citizenry isn’t the problem. It’s the thugs and drug dealers in the streets that are responsible for the majority of gun crime.

Another member touted the merits of teaching gun safety, which is the only form of gun control that actually works.

“We have chickens, cows and coyotes. We owe protection to the animals in our care. We have a gun safe, and everyone takes classes from certified instructors before ever getting to touch a gun,” said Carmen Fowler LaBerge, president of Presbyterian Lay Committee. “We are responsible gun owners with carry permits, and we are evangelical Christians.”

(Photo: NAE)

Without digging into the weeds of the survey (I tried, I didn’t find much beyond what was presented in the press release), it’s hard to really know how these leaders come out on the specifics such as bans on black rifles and one-handgun-per-month laws.

My guess is that it’s a matter of geography. Those Evangelical leaders who live in free states are likely to embrace the 2A whereas those leaders who live in and around big cities in places like New York, California, New Jersey, Illinois are likely to be anti-gun.

About the author: S.H. Blannelberry is the News Editor of GunsAmerica.

{ 38 comments… add one }
  • B E Smith October 3, 2017, 5:17 pm

    Please don’t judge all denominations, based on the whims of the liberals in the NAE. I am a pastor (Baptist), former police officer, gun owner (many), NRA/GOA member, and staunch supporter of the 2nd Amendment. I have never been contacted by the NAE (most Baptists disavow their work); and I can assure you that I DO NOT SUPPORT GUN CONTROL! In fact, in accordance with my state’s laws, I encourage my congregation to be armed at every meeting!

  • Alan Yates September 29, 2017, 8:26 pm

    I don’t called any “CEO” a religious leader of any sort. They are grifters, con men and thieves who are now stealing a mantle of respectability in order to have even greater access to the wallets of Christians. These clowns are in the wrong area to start lying. Christian gun owners and users (those who carry for defense or recreation) are 100% pro-gun and those who believe in a constitutional government understand that we must support legal activities even if they don’t meet our needs. I don’t openly carry, but I ‘always carry’ and my mind of reason demands that I support those who do open carry and I do so gladly.
    Pontius Pilate comes to mind as does Judas Iscariot.

  • Lopaka Kanaka September 29, 2017, 6:50 pm

    Thge Bible say’s Love your Neighbor as yourself and hate what people are doing by shooting there Broither’s and Sister’s in
    place of Worship. We are a very small body of Jesus Christ Followers, but our Pastor carries his S&W 357 Magnum
    and his Son carries a Sig 9mm everyday to protect his sheeps from harm from the Wolves in sheep clothing. No longer are
    sheep safe in the House of Worship with Wolves roaming the country side. As a 460 Rowland 1911 sharpshooper I feel you need to protect all your Sheep at all times. God gave you the Choice to choose what is best for the sheep protection.
    A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the rights of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be iInfringed.

  • Joe Bircher September 29, 2017, 4:01 pm

    I have a problem with the name Evangelicals! When used years ago it was about we who believe in the truth of the Bible. Today the name or word has changed. I have found liberal so called Christians who do not believe in the truth of the Bible of even in the G-d of the Bible. I take this report with a big grain of salt!!! Preface you questions with one on their feeling of the TRUTH of the Bible….

  • Dan September 29, 2017, 2:04 pm

    Luke 22:36 – And He said to them, “But now, whoever has a money belt is to take it along, likewise also a bag, and whoever has no sword is to sell his coat and buy one. – New American Standard translation.

    Swords were the big thing is self-protection at that time – I guess the “leaders” surveyed forgot to read that part of what Jesus said.

  • Frank September 29, 2017, 1:49 pm

    The author obviously hasn’t read a bible because the bible does say something about owning weapons! Jesus told his disciples to sell their cloaks and buy a sword if they didn’t have one! I have my .357 on my hip under my suit coat every time I set foot in church and my wife has her nine millimeter in her holster pocketed purse! There’s at least a dozen firearms in our church every Sunday and that’s just the ones I know about.

  • James September 29, 2017, 12:55 pm

    This is all about the money. The preachers would rather have you paying tithes and offerings, than spending money on guns and ammo. Always follow the money. Preacher needs a new car.

    • Buzz September 29, 2017, 9:12 pm


  • Davud September 29, 2017, 12:38 pm

    ***** “While I support the Second Amendment, we clearly have a growing citizenry that is incapable of the responsibility necessary to keep and bear arms,” said Carl Nelson, president of Transform Minnesota.

    It’s hard to know exactly what he’s referring to *****

    he’s talking about the armed crazies who shoot up churches and other public spaces. the people who kill because they can’t deal with their emotions. not the career criminals who kill for reasons related to money.

  • Rouge1 September 29, 2017, 12:20 pm

    I wonder how many of those so called people of God are also baby killing democrats as well?

  • bjg September 29, 2017, 11:29 am

    Fools! What if the brave Usher in Tennessee didn’t have a gun? Mass killing of worshipers by a Black Nut case.

  • Greg Webb September 29, 2017, 11:24 am

    In my experience, most leaders of large organizations, chruches, military, corporations etc.. tend to be more anti-gun than we are.

  • KurtW September 29, 2017, 10:29 am

    Tha Pah-REACH-ah Man is a Hypocrite.

    Golly, I’m shocked.

  • Tj September 29, 2017, 10:05 am

    I have been head of security for our church for 9 years. I have 5 others on my team all but one are LEO. The church board supports my team 100%.
    We train and qualify every quarter and we also encourage several members to train and qualify with us. The church has a liability insurance policy on me and my team and they have given me a $4000 a year operating budget for ammunition, and extra training.
    The church knows the risk of being a soft target in our community because we are the largest church in the county. Me and my training officer have spoken to other churches in our county to try to help them understand the dangers of being a soft target and ways not to be victims.
    The biggest surprise is that not one of the churches we have spoken believes they need any security and even encourage their people NOT to carry on church grounds. The answer is always “God will protect us”. I agree but I ask them do they go to a doctor when they or their children get sick? Even though God said he can heal us Jesus had Dr.luke with him by his side.
    These so called evangelicals do not speak for me so I believe God wants us to be responsible for our safety as well as those around us. That does not take away my strength in my faith it gives me an available tool to keep with my bible.

  • A. D. September 29, 2017, 9:58 am

    Someone needs to redefine who is an Evangelical. Obviouly 55% of those presently labeled as such have NO reasoning ability. It would also appear that they are HYPOCRITES.

  • Mike September 29, 2017, 7:52 am

    This is a prime example of how political correctness has infected the church. A growing segment of gun owners acting irresponsibly. Instead of spelling it out as blacks, thugs and drug dealers he watered it down as so not to be offensive. Truth is what this country needs and sometimes, well alright all the time, the truth will be offensive to us

    • Marion September 29, 2017, 8:13 am

      It’s certainly not a racial issue, except for knuckle dragging Neanderthals like you. In my community most of the meth-heads and perpetrators of Gun violence are white people, with no teeth, no home, and no job. Are you one of them?

      • AL September 29, 2017, 8:55 am

        It IS a racial issue! Blacks commit 44% of all murders and 55% of all crime and only make up 13% of the population. When a white man shoots church members the press wants to eliminate all guns. When this so called black Christian kills a white woman and shoots several others he is just a misguided Christian even though he’s not a citizen and comes from a muslim country.

      • A. D. September 29, 2017, 10:00 am

        That was an unmerited attack. But it shows who YOU are.
        So according to your comment, those patriotic good people who are willing to prepare to fight evil and defend the innocent are drug users? LOL Go away.

  • srsquidizen September 29, 2017, 7:38 am

    This makes me wonder exactly how the survey questions were worded. Current gun laws go plenty far enough (too far IMO) in hampering the rights of law-abiding gun owners. But in a poll of people who are not criminals, I can see how some might view current law as not “sufficient” to prevent criminal gun violence, and might say we need more laws if asked. Actually we need tougher enforcement of existing criminal laws, and sentencing reform that keeps the extremely violent offenders off the street while moving toward penalties other than prison for law breakers who are not violent.

    Polls about social issues of any kind are not very reliable because a biased person can get any result they want just by carefully wording the questions in a manner that tends to get that kind of response.

  • Jay September 29, 2017, 7:30 am

    I firmly believe in the three G’s, God, Gun’s and Guts! I believe in an Almighty God, the ownership of Guns and the Gut’s to use, protect and claim all freely!

  • Richard A Harding September 29, 2017, 6:59 am

    Many of these so called Evangelicals also allow their view of morality to be ordered by public opinion rather than the Bible, so, in my view, they have no credibility on this issue. When they return to the Bible for their views on morality I will listen to what they have to say, as they will have read and applied Luke 22:36.

  • Larry C September 29, 2017, 6:58 am

    My current parish priest (Catholic) and the previous 2 all liked the idea of parishioners carrying concealed. If a terrorist came into a service to do harm, there would be at least a few there who would fight back. All 3 of the priests also had a CCW and carried.

    • Mahatma Muhjesbude September 29, 2017, 10:09 am

      Traditionally, the Vatican’s canon was almost totalitarian in its anti-gun stance and pro gun control mentality. Pretty hypocritical considering they have their own highly trained special para military police army well equipped to ‘take no prisoners’..

      • Frank September 29, 2017, 2:01 pm

        We’re talking about Christians here, not catholics!

        • Godfrey Daniel September 29, 2017, 4:32 pm

          So you think a Catholic is not a Christian? Bigoted much?

    • Godfrey Daniel September 29, 2017, 12:06 pm

      I also know a priest who carries. I was more shocked to know a Catholic priest carried than a Protestant minister. It’s just something about a priest that precludes that thought, for me.

  • Reticent Rogue September 29, 2017, 6:42 am

    There are some people who probably should not be carrying guns. Those too lazy to do their own research, who accept the socialist media mantra at face value, are at the top of my list. Carl Nelson, for example, should be disqualified.

    • Mahatma Muhjesbude September 29, 2017, 10:13 am

      There are some people who probably should not be doing much of anything, Especially deciding who should, or what should others not be allowed to do or have. . Because its none of our shit nose fucking business as long as they are not committing serious crimes against us.

  • Dr. Strangelove September 29, 2017, 4:52 am

    Well, many of these so-called evangelical leaders supported Tromp when they could have gone with a real Christian, Ted Cruz. Tells you something about their faith.

    • Mike S September 29, 2017, 7:33 am

      Your comment tells more about yours. Examine yourself, hypocrite.

      • A. D. September 29, 2017, 10:13 am

        To Mike S. You are the hypocrite. Your attack is personal and not based on logic, reasoning or fact. That is what Saul Alinsky told you to do, I guess. Cruz WAS the real deal as shown then AND now by his voting record. We have NOT seen a good response by Trump on all issues and likely will not. You can’t explain Tillerson, McMasters and all the other bad people in his admin, or his failures, like refusing to back the Kurds in their efforts to become an independent nation.
        NO EXCUSE.

    • AL September 29, 2017, 8:49 am

      Funny. Peter carried a sword, which was the weapon of choice at the time. with the son of God right beside him. Jesus never rebuked him until it was Jesus time to die on the cross. If the Son of God thought it was okay to carry then who are these liberal religious leaders to tell us what we should do when the bible shows us. Of course, many of these same supposedly church guys voted for Hilary and she wanted to increase the abortion weeks to 38 which is almost full term. HYPOCRITES!
      By the way, the abortion procedure is to deliver them half way and then suck their brains out. That’s murder and they voted for it.

      • Mahatma Muhjesbude September 29, 2017, 10:17 am

        Yup, and if you really ever read the bible you’d remember the passage where Jesus advises his disciples to sell their clothes to buy more weapons for the coming tyranny… Kind of feisty for the ‘prince of peace’, ya think?

    • A. D. September 29, 2017, 10:06 am

      Agreed. And in the response by your detractors below, I note that they did NOT USE LOGIC AND FACTS BUT ATTACK YOUR

      • Don Helgeson September 7, 2020, 12:27 pm


    • Rouge1 September 29, 2017, 12:25 pm

      I wouldn’t voter for Cruz again if he was the only repub on the ticket. So what are these great things he is doing again?

  • Will Drider September 26, 2017, 6:10 pm

    “Christians should start with the Bible when considering social issues,” continued Anderson. “While the Bible doesn’t say anything specifically about gun ownership, I appreciated that many of our leaders noted principles they find in Scripture and were concerned about the victims of gun violence in America.”

    That statement is skewed, there were no guns in the times referenced by the Bible. The equivalent tool at the time was a sword and that was clearly addressed (below). There are a few slightly differing interpretations but ALL infer the priority of having a sword above a cloak and if you don’t own a weapon: get one! These Evangelists need to go back to Bible Study or quit being selective by telling half truths.
    Luke 22:36. Then He said to them, “But now, he who has a money bag, let him take it, and likewise a knapsack; and he who has no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one.

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