BAPTISED FOR REPENTANCE seems appropriate for 2018. To quote Rev. Nancy Nord Bence of Protect Minnesota: “…2017 was the most deadly year for gun violence in modern American history. According to Gun Violence Archives, since January 1, 2017, there have been 60,833 shooting incidents, including 342 mass shootings, that resulted in 15,437 non-suicide deaths and approximately 22,000 suicides, totalling over 37,000 gun deaths – a startling increase. 3,943 of the victims were children and teens. Meanwhile, the NRA spent over $4 million this year lobbying for Concealed Carry Reciprocity, the de-regulation of silencers, and other devastating bills that would make it even easier for dangerous people to have access to guns.”

I would suspect that a good number of the gun lobby folks in the NRA and Gun Owners of America, as well as House-Senate-Executive leadership attend church or at least put on a good show to convince voters of their love for Jesus. I would also suspect that most have been Baptized.

I would call upon them to live out their Baptism promise, parts of which are to “serve others and work for peace and justice.” These are works of repentance. To repent is to turn around and change your ways, to do no harm but to work towards loving others, enabling and empowering others to love each other. This would mean to pass laws to lessen gun violence carnage. Such laws would prevent Concealed Carry Reciprocity, prevent selling of silencers and prevent Stand Your Ground laws. Responsible people could still buy guns.

O, then there is the Baptism part of granting forgiveness of sins. Yes, forgiveness is needed for being negligent in refusing to pass life saving gun laws. You are forgiven so you can pass gun violence prevention laws. This is repentance. Repentance and forgiveness go hand in hand.



Rev. Dr. Ron Letnes