Christians With Guns
Should Christians carry concealed handguns. This question gets a lot of debate because it is in our constitution the right to bear arms in the Greatest Country In The World. How good is it for a God-fearing man to own a weapon and having to make a decision of ending someone’s life even if the other person is the aggressor.
Thank God, I have never been in that situation because, I have chosen to not own a handgun. I’m not saying that everybody has to do things like me but, that’s just the choice I have made. That would be hard decision for me and something I have to live with the rest of my life if ever I would have to use it.
I feel bad enough when I run over a squirrel when I am driving, so I don’t even want to begin to think about taking someone’s life. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying you are wrong or right about owning a gun and that I am right about not owning a gun, but in this article we will have some insight on what the Bible says about this issue. We will also look into why Pastors and Ministers are starting to bring guns into God’s house for protection.
We have all heard of stories of people getting mugged at gunpoint. You can be having a nice evening out and encounter someone that wants to take what is yours. Sure you can think about doing something when it is one mugger and weigh your options but, two or more would be more of a challenge and certainly not worth the risk. Hopefully they just take what they want and not harm you in any way.
Some might say: “If only I’d had been carrying a weapon of my own, I might have been able to turn the tables, or at least hold onto our wallets.” A good thought. After all, they say the best defense is a good offense, so why not be ready to take charge in such a situation?
An argument could be made that a gun might have helped. The muggers could have been forced to flee out of fear. The potential firepower might have caused panic, and I might have been able to take control of the situation.
But it’s also true that bringing a second gun into the picture might have escalated the situation. It is likely that the perpetrators did not plan to use the gun. There’s a good chance that the instigators might have found themselves in a desperate situation requiring desperate action. I’m pretty sure this situation would not have been improved by issuing a threat of violence in response to the initial threat of violence.
A response in kind, even in self-defense, is exactly what it sounds like: a response in kind and it is something the Bible tells us not to do. With these types of incidents happening close to where I live, in an urban setting, some might recommend that you buy a weapon to protect my family. That I prepare for the worst.
For me, carrying a weapon is in direct conflict with my desire to be a faithful disciple of Jesus. How can I justify responding to violence with more violence when I follow the Prince of Peace? How can I think of carrying a weapon designed solely to kill efficiently if I’m seeking to follow a God who instructs us, “Do not kill”?
How can I think of owning a gun when Jesus tells us to turn the other cheek, to love our enemies, and to pray for those who hurt us?
How can I stock up on ammunition when (Romans 12: 17-18) clearly instructs us to “not repay evil for evil” and to “live at peace with everyone”? Paul also says if your enemy is hungry feed him.
These days there is a lot of conversation about guns and gun rights, particularly in the wake of so many school shootings and in public places. Many say that it is their constitutional or even God-given right to carry a gun. Some are sure that the answer to the outbreak of violence in our schools, homes, and streets is not fewer guns, but more.
More guns in our schools. More guns in our homes. More guns in our neighborhoods. And that is not adding that a lot of people don’t have proper training in the use of a firearm. We don’t seem to have a problem with putting guns into our homes, schools and neighborhoods but, we have a problem with God being in these places, to the point that we have taken Him out of our schools, our home and our neighborhoods.
It doesn’t seem like a fair trade to me but, you can form your own opinion about that issue. God is our protection, he is all we need but, we just don’t realize it or forget sometimes.
The argument that we need more guns, and more people trained to use them, boils down to, we can kill before we get killed. At some level, this argument may be right. This strategy may well be effective and even the most effective.
But what kind of society do we want to have?
What kind of people do we want to be?
One response to violence is to admit that we live in a sick society and increase weapon proliferation to deal with the issue. It’s effective, I’ll feel safer are some of our thoughts. But do we really want a society in which there are more weapons that can be unleashed on a schoolroom full of unsuspecting children?
A society where our children are afraid to walk the streets because there may be a neighborhood watch person following them with a gun? Nowadays people can snap in a second, even though they have a permit to carry but, mentally they are not right. How do we explain all these mass shooting.
The more troubling question is, Do I really want to become someone who has to be trained to kill someone else as the answer to reducing violence? To me, this stems from a lack of imagination and a lack of hope. Let us remember that God wants us to put our faith in Him and that is all the protection we need. (Luke 9:24) says that whoever tries to save their life, they will lose it.
If this present life is most important to you, then we will try to do anything in our power to try to protect it. You will not put yourself in harms way. By contrast if following Jesus is most important to us then we might find ourselves in situations that are unsafe, uncomfortable and unhealthy. We might risk life because, we know that He will raise us to eternal life. We live on this earth but, our citizenship is in heaven (Philippians 3:20).
I’d rather we work on connecting better with our neighbors, getting involved in our neighborhood schools, and learning the opportunities and challenges we face together. Try to get God back into public places. We should deal with mental health issues and make counseling accessible to those who need it. We must rather be a person who is trained to love than one who is trained to kill, even in self-defense.
We have to love our brothers and sister like the Word says. That’s why I am simply not interested in carrying a firearm. In the U.S., the Constitution may grant me such a right. But I follow someone who eschewed his rights to self-defense (and many other things).
Many will point to Jesus endorsing the carrying of swords in (Luke 22) and note that even he knew when it was time to arm oneself. Yet when the disciples say, “See, Lord, here are two swords,” Jesus replies, “That’s enough.” Or as another translation puts it: “Enough of that!” The point is not that he endorses the private right to carry weapons.
Rather, the display of two weapons in the face of a contingent of armed Roman soldiers from Pilate makes the point that Jesus and his disciples are not there to act in violence. He wants us to use our Spiritual Sword. The Sword of the Spirit is the sword with which the disciples of Christ must furnish themselves. Jesus notes that he has the power to call down legions of angels to his defense.
But he refuses to resort to such violence, even when self-defense might call for it. He says, My kingdom is not of this world, otherwise my servants would fight.
I was invited one time to a church by some close friends where they were congregating and what I saw was surprising to me because, I have not seen it in my church or any other church that I have visited. The Pastor actually had body guards and they were by his side or close to him when he would preach. I know some might think, well he is the pastor and they have to protect him, but where do we leave God.
Isn’t that all the protection we need?
Do we forget about what Paul told the Romans in (Romans 8:31)? (Isaiah 54:17) mentions the same.
Isn’t God’s’ word everlasting?
The Apostle John also tells us that no one will snatch us out of His hand (John 10:28). I’m sorry but, I cannot listen to preaching about trusting God when we have financial problem, marital problems or any type of problem we can think of including illness and say we need to trust God and he will look after us.
To me that is contradictory because, we can pick and choose what we want God to protect and solve for us. It’s through his Grace that we find protection and healing. When, something is meant to happen it will happen no matter how much we try to do to stop it. In the Gospels when Peter cut off the ear of one the high priest’s slave, he did it without knowing that it was something that had to happen (Jesus’ Arrest).
The scripture said it was supposed to happen, even though the disciples saw it as bad, in reality it was meant for good. Not only for them but, for all of us that believe in our Lord And Savior Jesus Christ. He did it to give us abundant life (John 10:10). The problem is that we see things sometimes with our human eyes and not with our Spiritual eyes. Our eyes will be opened when we have that personal relationship with our Father.
When the kingdom of heaven breaks in, there is a refusal to respond to violence with more violence. There is a love that is greater than calling upon our rights. There is a forgiveness that can be extended even to those who would put us to death, as Jesus and many of his earliest followers exemplified. In our society, people have the right to carry or own a gun. But I’m not going to be one of them because my hope for peace outweighs my desire for personal safety.
Because, my desire to follow Jesus exceeds my desire to defend myself. And because responding to a threat upon my life with an act of love, even if it costs me my life, might be one small piece of God’s kingdom being realized here and now.
There are no easy answers or solutions to the reality of gun violence in our nation and our world. But should that stop us from dreaming? What if we tried to enact the prophetic dream now, and gave up our obsession with violence? What if we didn’t wait for someone else to get rid of the guns but, set the example ourselves? What’s the worst that could happen?
At the end of the day it is a personal decision we have to make whether we want to carry or not. Here I gave you a few good points for which I don’t own a gun because, that defeats the purpose of me putting my Faith in God, our protector, our provider, our healer and He is our everything. That alone should be enough to put us at ease and trust in Him.