Gun Control and the BiblePosted: January 17, 2013
I can think of nothing that makes a believers blood boil hotter, than outright blasphemy and slander against the Son of God and the Word of God. When the name of Jesus Christ is ridiculed, and the infallibility of the Bible is scoffed, something swells up on the inside that causes the corpuscles and blood vessels to prepare for battle. Emotions quickly outpace brain waves, and articulate words do not come fast enough. The name of our Savior is sacred and holy, and the Word of our God is infallible and final, and wherever the devil tries to sully one or the other, the Spiritual Warrior wants to rise to the occasion.
If there is anything next in line for those feelings it is in the conflict that has become labeled as the issue of “gun control.” Should law-abiding citizens of our nation be able to own certain kinds of weaponry?
Of course the generality of the debate speaks to the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution, particularly the part that says, “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” While that is the general discussion, the specifics in the debate deal with “what kind of arms” do the people have the right to bear.
Though the debate has been ongoing for decades, it once again has reached a fever pitch since the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Lawmakers, the President, and the all knowing moral authority of news talk hosts, have mounted a publicity campaign to educate and illuminate the unenlightened about the evils of an armed society. Without pretending to be an authority on anything, I do know where the final authority lies, and it is the Book of God that we must get all of our thinking from.
What does the Bible say about a man and his guns, or a man and weaponry?
The answer in the main is “very little.” Though it doesn’t say much, it does say something, and while it may say little it is not silent. When we turn to the Bible for our wisdom and for our answers pertaining to a man and his gun there are a few examples that shed some light on the subject. Of course there are no guns in the Bible, but there is the issue of swords and personal weapons, and it is there that we look for our answers. These are not exhaustive and do not intend to be considered to come from an exhaustive study. Upon first search of the subject, these things stand out.
The first example that stands out is in the book of Nehemiah. Nehemiah had been charged by God to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem that had been ruined during the Babylonian captivity. When such a work was met with opposition, Nehemiah armed his people so that they could continue in their work. The Bible says in Nehemiah 4:17-18 – “They which builded on the wall, and they that bare burdens, with those that laded, every one with one of his hands wrought in the work, and with the other hand held a weapon. For the builders, every one had his sword girded by his side, and so builded.” It was “bring your weapon to work day” so to speak. Nehemiah’s people were not military, nor were they trained soldiers. They did have the authority of the “federal government” to do what they were doing, but the weapons that they possessed were private weapons.
The second thing that comes to mind, is found in the Olivet Discourse. In Matthew 24:43 Jesus was speaking of His return and used an illustration that speaks volumes to the issues of “self-defense” or defense of your family and possessions. He said, “But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.” The purpose of the illustration is to teach readiness about the return of the Lord. Within the illustration Jesus explicitly states that the “head of the family”, if doing his job, would not let someone encroach upon his family. Never get the idea that the “turn the other cheek” of Matthew 5 is a doctrine of doormats, and means no Christian should ever defend himself or his family. It is true that we are to never do anything to bring harm to the gospel, even to the point of suffering wrong for the gospel’s sake. However that truth works in harmony with the responsibility that one has to protect others that God has placed in their care. One of the tools of the gospel message is the Godly man. For the sake of the gospel our lives are to reflect Godliness in the roles and responsibilities that the Lord has given to us. What kind of Godly example would a man be, who would not be a shelter for, shield to, and defender of his family?
The third thing that jumps out at me, is Christ’s final instructions to His disciples, before He went to the cross. In Luke 22:36, Jesus warned the disciples that life was about to become dangerous, and they would need to carry personal protection. The Bible says, “Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.” Of course it wasn’t but just a few hours later that the Lord told Peter to put up his sword, and warned him that whoever lived by it, died by it. Jesus did not say get rid of it, seeing that he had told him to buy it in the first place. Peter’s rebuke was not for having it, but for using it at the wrong time, on the wrong person, and in the wrong place. We might do well to say that the instructions had to do with responsible sword ownership.
Now all of that being said, (and there may be more upon a more exhaustive study) the Bible does in fact allow a Christian to own a weapon. Furthermore, it comes nigh close to commanding Christians to be prepared to defend their families and homes against invasion and harm.
There are two problems that cause the issue to become even more incendiary. 1, Too many of the wrong people have talk shows. 2 Too many people think those talk show hosts are authoritative and credible, just because they have a talk show. Sometimes I listen to Piers Morgan, and my heart hurts for him. At first listen, the things that he has to say are at best uninformed, and at worst painfully ignorant. At second listen they are words of a man that sounds lost, disconnected from reality, and void of the foundation of truth. He and some others like him stand in need of serious prayer. That being said, not to be insulting or degrading, but he truly does not understand what is a “value” and what is not, what is morally right, and what is not. His messages should not be received by any clear minded person, nor regarded as having any merit. His message is to be brushed aside in flat rejection, but his soul is to be lifted up in intercessory prayer. We can truly pray for him, “Father forgive him, for he knows not what he says.” As well as all the other talk show hosts who spread false messages to their world wide audiences.
As Christians, we are to always think inside the Book, and in fact gun and/or useful weaponry is authorized by the Word of God for the people of God. Ignoring that truth, or entertaining another message is not a change worth making.