Evangelical Christians and Guns: Are We Doing It Right? (by Alan Cross)

Alan Cross blogs at Downshore Drift, where this article was originally published. He graciously allowed me to repost this here.

In the days after the Sandy Hook Massacre, Gun Control advocates have pushed their agenda to center stage in the national debate. Or, maybe the whole issue about what we do with guns, why we have so many, and whether or not we even should have them took center stage all on its own in the wake of such a horror. The argument goes that since the mass murders that take place on occasion in America almost always involve semi-automatic “assault” rifles with high magazine clips, then those guns should be outlawed. Gun-rights supporters speak to the way that guns can be used to protect lives and defend people. They also bring up the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution and the “right to bear arms” noted there. Who is right? Apparently, President Obama is about to roll out a list of actions limiting access to guns and ammunition today that he plans to carry out via Executive Order. The fear that Federal power is encroaching on the rights of citizens is also growing to a fever pitch at this point. You throw guns and and kids and safety and the Constitution into an argument, and passions on all sides are sure to be heated.

But, how should Christians see this? Some say that Christians should not own guns, that when Jesus told Peter to put away his sword he was speaking to all of us at all times, and that we are to be strict pacifists. I have heard some go so far as to say that if you are walking down a street with your family and someone attacks them, that you are to let them do so because Jesus said to “turn the other cheek.” Others say that owning guns is a right that we have as Americans and that we should affirm and defend our rights and that any limit placed on those rights is an evil act. I have not heard many strong Christian arguments for gun ownership from a Biblical perspective as most arguments proceed from the 2nd Amendment and just assume that the Constitution was God’s idea. No one says that directly, but that is the impression I get.

Here is a perspective that might be both Biblical and workable. I firmly believe that the weak should be protected. God is our Protector and Provider. In the Bible, He says that He hates evil and injustice. When we pray for protection, we are praying according to God’s character and will and we see many prayers in Scripture along those lines. When a father or mother seeks to protect their family and their livelihood and they own a gun as a means of self-defense to do so, I believe that they are within the scope of Biblical morality. I do not believe that the gun should be used to assert your rights or to gain power over others. That would be an unjust act. But, if someone is breaking into your home and is attacking your children or placing their lives in danger, to sit idly by and do nothing when you could do something to save them does not seem to reflect the heart of God. God works through people and we are given charge over the weak and helpless. We are to turn the other cheek, but it is to our cheek and not the cheeks of our children who God has entrusted to us for care. Also, if someone attacks you to rob and kill you, I am not certain that the Biblical mandate is that you just lay down and let them. Life is precious and is given by God and this includes your own life. Turning the other cheek involves a slap on the face as a sign of disrespect and insult, which is different from someone trying to kill you. At the same time, we are not to always defend ourselves and strike back as we see Jesus and the Apostles submitting to arrest, torture, and execution. But, there are differences between that and a criminal breaking into your home, I think. So, I do believe that it can be Godly for someone to own a firearm that he/she would use in self-defense under extreme duress or when their family is in danger.

That said, a lot of the chatter that is going on about guns has to do with being armed so that one might resist the government. On the Conservative end of things, I am hearing a lot of talk about the purpose of the 2nd Amendment being that citizens would be armed to keep the power of the Federal Government at bay. For one thing, if the American Government decides to rain pain upon your house, your AR-15 is not going to stop them. Things will just be a lot messier. Two, when are Christians ever commanded to resist the government? Romans 13 tells us that we are to submit to the government because it has been instituted by God to keep order:

Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you. For he is God’s servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God’s servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience. This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. (Romans 13:1-6 NIV84)

Of course, we live in a Constitutional Republic which means that the government should hold to the 2nd Amendment of the Constitution on this issue. As citizens of the United States, we have the means and ability to remind our elected officials as to how our government is to operate according to its own governing documents. That is valid. But, beware the calls to participate in opposition to the government on the basis of defending your rights to keep and bear arms so that you can keep the government in check. That is not our job. That is God’s job and the greatest weapons that we have are spiritual weapons: prayer, sacrificial love, and even martyrdom if need be. We should not live in fear of what the power of man can do to us, but instead, we should fear God and trust Him. Siding with those who are giving in to fear over what the government might do in regard to firearms is siding with those who place their hope in the things of this world. That is what the Pagans do.

So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matthew 6:31-34 NIV84)

We should also be aware of the arguments against total proliferation of armament of all kinds by Americans. Some have legitimate concerns about this and attempts to keep guns in check and keep them out of the hands of people who would use them for evil could actually be seen as part of the Biblically mandated role of the government. We understand that man is born into sin and is evil and does evil continuously – there is none good, no not one. Since we understand that, Christians should see the wisdom in some forms of regulation. But, we are also wise enough to understand that the government can embody evil as well, so we do not place our trust in it. Our trust is only in God.

Through a great number of challenges and changes in our country, Christians have a renewed chance to point to the Kingdom of God as our real allegiance even as our way of life is under attack here. We have a chance to hold out the hope of the gospel of Jesus Christ as we lay down our lives and our rights for the sake of giving witness to Jesus as our great reward through sacrificial love for others. Let’s not get sidetracked on how the world wants to organize itself. Yes, it is justified to defend your family and even yourself against malicious attack and a gun is a legitimate way to do that. But, beyond that, let’s be careful not to engage in distractions that seek to define us according to the categories of the world, i.e. “pro-gun,” “anti-gun,” etc. We are to be pro-gospel and pro-Christ. We are to give witness to the Prince of Peace and our mandate is to find ways to do that faithfully and sacrificially. Representing Christ as HIS ambassadors must remain our top priority despite what happens.

Comments

      • Dave Miller says

        Do you really want to make your view on guns a test of biblical orthodoxy? Can one not read scripture – as Alan clearly has here – and have a slightly different view than yours on this issue and still be biblical?

        • Joe Blackmon says

          Oh, it isn’t a test of orthodoxy. I was just being snarky due to Alan leaning to the left on most socio-political issues.

          • Dave Miller says

            I think it might help to read his post more closely. Whatever Alan is, I do not think he is “left.”

          • Dave Miller says

            I think it might help to read his post more closely. I believe your characterizations of his views are not fair.

          • Joe Blackmon says

            I disagree. I think someone who calls Alabama’s wise and reasonable immigration law “draconian”, suggests that states that pay less in income taxes than they get in federal highway money are not “paying their way”, and then suggests that we have to submit to laws that violate the constitution sounds pretty left wing-ish to me.

          • says

            Joe, the issue that I have with Alabama’s immigration law is its effect on religious liberty in the state. Are you aware of that? It works to criminalize people who obey Scripture. That is what makes it Draconian. My personal view, which I stated and you ignored, is that if you are not here legally, then you should not be here at all. I would also expect to be incarcerated if I tried to illegally enter any other country. But, once someone is here it is not the role of private citizens to act as immigration officials. We should live under the reasonable expectation that if someone is here that they are here legally and we should not fear giving them aid according to the commands of Scripture.

            As for states getting back more from the government than they pay in in taxes while simultaneously slashing their own state tax rates and cutting the services that the states provide so the Federal Government can pick up the tab, yes, I think that is a problem. Since when did living off the Federal Government dole become a Conservative viewpoint for states?

            And finally, I never said that we should give up our firearms. I affirm the 2nd Amendment as an American. I am saying that using the rationale that we need to keep automatic weapons so we can keep the government in check is a losing proposition and one that I cannot find in Scripture. I also said that if the government is trying to regulate activity related to firearms to protect the common good, then it seems that that is a reasonable proposition. Do you own a fully automatic machine gun? Is it legal to do so? How about a mortar or RPG? We already have some regulation on the amount of firepower that a private citizen can own.

            None of these positions makes me “Left-leaning” Joe. I have come to the conclusion that you do not know your left from your right. You agreed with the post above and called it Biblical while disagreeing with my post, but they essentially said the same thing: Christians have a right to defend themselves according to the Bible. I simply questioned the Biblical basis for stockpiling arms to overthrow the government or to keep the government in check. Is that really the role of Chrisitans. You have yet to engage a single argument but instead seek to label.

          • cb scott says

            Alan,

            I may have misread your post. Actually, I hope I have. If not, in my opinion, this is the most totally wrong post you have ever written and I can hardly believe the Alan Cross I know wrote it.

            If I have read this post correctly, the entire colonial rebellion of our American forefathers was wrong and we, as a people, should still be under the British flag.

            Alan, there is a Higher Law than Caesar’s law and when Caesar’s law conflicts with the Higher Law, we must refuse to obey Caesar’s law.

            The strong must always defend the weak. There is no choice if you are among the strong and the strong among the children of God are the strong because God made them the strong. If the strong run, falter, or flinch in the protection of the weak among us then the strong sin before a Holy God who has gifted them to stand watch.
            Jeff Haney’s post is right.

            (BTW, Wade Burleson wrote one of the best articles I have ever read on this issue right after the Sandy Hook murders occurred. It would serve every reader of this blog well to read it. Frankly, I wish Dave Miller would ask Wade for permission to put the post up here on Voices.)

            Alan, again, I hope I have committed the worst failure in reading comprehension in the history of mankind in relation to printed communication as applied to your post. But if not, I declare again, you are wrong. This is not just another perspective you have written. It is simply wrong thinking and I don’t care if Dave or any other contributor or reader of this blog defends your post, it is wrong.

            There is evil in this world, a specific kind of evil, and the only defense against it is a stand of strength and a stand of strength to the shedding of blood if necessary. Some things cannot be negotiated or “Kumbayaed” away.

            Some things take deliberate action by strong men willing to stand no matter the consequences and may the devil take the hindmost parts with the rest of it.

          • Robert I Masters says

            Joe,
            I agree with you…on the “left” issue. All one has to do is look at the comments on Alans blog to come to that conclusion. Same people same response.

            Even Ben Shapiro said the same thing in his interview with Piers Morgan.

          • Joe Blackmon says

            Joe, I think you need to work harder to understand people’s views before your caricature them.

            Where’s the fun in that, Huggy Bear?

            Alan,

            Joe, the issue that I have with Alabama’s immigration law is its effect on religious liberty in the state.

            It has zero effect on religious liberty. Please, demonstrate from scripture that we’re required to determine the immigration status of anyone before we share the gospel or help them in other ways. Asserting=/=proving Also, in your resolution, you said we should welcome illegal immigrants so your comment that “if you are not here legally, you should not be here” is, well, how you say, disingenuous.

            State coffers are not unlimited. When they slash services it’s because they don’t have the funds. Alabama is not “slashing” income tax rates. Also, a state is not required to collect a certain amount of income tax to justify federal expenditures. In fact, most federal revenue isn’t paid to a state until that state has incurred an expenditure. It’s called governmental accounting. Look it up. You were making a point that blue states pay more in federal income tax than red states and therefore “red states aren’t paying their own way”. That is the exact opposite position to what a conservative would say.

            Therefore, when you claim that evangelical Christians don’t have it right about gun control and call for people to submit to the government no matter what the government says–just roll over and take it–you honestly think that comes across as the conservative, which is the only correct, position?? Srsly??

            I don’t own a gun. I don’t have a problem with the gun laws, not executive orders, that were on the books. I also don’t think that we have to just sit idly by while Obama and the left attempt to violate the constitution. I’m not in favor of armed rebellion but I’m not in favor of people being told they can’t do something that the constitution says they can.

          • Truth Unites... and Divides says

            Joe Blackmon said: ?I’m not in favor of armed rebellion ??

            Alan Cross: “I am not either and I am glad that we agree. Thanks.”

            Me three. I weep with deep shame that my country of America was birthed out of armed rebellion, including those of the Black Robe Regiment.

            I am miserable, wretched, and tormented soul because the life and freedoms that I enjoy today was because of the unbiblical, ungodly armed rebellion by this country in the 1700’s against the King of England at that time. The ends don’t justify the means.

            Woe is me, American Bible-Believing Christian, a socio-cultural citizen-descendant of armed rebellion.

          • says

            Joe,

            Ok. I will address your claims that I am a liberal on the basis of your three examples. I still believe that you do not know the difference between a liberal or a conservative because you seem to work from some other form of logic. But, here goes. You said,

            YOU: “It has zero effect on religious liberty.”

            ME: Have you read the law? I have. It criminalizes helping people in need if they happen to be illegal immigrants. It requires state workers to turn in illegals if they find them and it requires them to turn in other state workers if they see them giving illegals any help. It calls into question the actions that we are to take toward the poor as shown in Matthew 25. We are not able to be immigration officials. We are not to ask to see someone’s papers before we help a stranger on the side of the road. This law criminalizes activities that we are commanded to do according to Scripture.

            YOU: “Please, demonstrate from scripture that we’re required to determine the immigration status of anyone before we share the gospel or help them in other ways. Asserting=/=proving.”

            ME: I agree! We are not to do that. But, according to this law, if we give material aid to an illegal, we are breaking the law. In Scripture, we are commanded to help those in need. The law forbids that if they are illegals. The law, then, forbids Christians to obey Scripture in regard to illegal aliens. We are to turn them in if we find them.

            YOU: “Also, in your resolution, you said we should welcome illegal immigrants so your comment that “if you are not here legally, you should not be here” is, well, how you say, disingenuous.”

            ME: My point in saying that we should welcome them does not apply to welcoming them into the country by bringing them here or wanting them to stay illegally. I was talking about the ministry of hospitality to every person that we encounter because they are made in the image of God. Jesus said, “I was a stranger and you welcomed me.” (Matthew 25:35). He also said, “I was a prisoner and you visited me.” (Matt. 25:36). That is the context that I meant “welcome.” If I need to clarify that, that is fine. But, I was thinking in regard to the church and Christian ministry and not in regard to their presence in the country. I also said that we should submit to the law and the law is that they should not be here.

            YOU: “State coffers are not unlimited. When they slash services it’s because they don’t have the funds. Alabama is not “slashing” income tax rates. Also, a state is not required to collect a certain amount of income tax to justify federal expenditures. In fact, most federal revenue isn’t paid to a state until that state has incurred an expenditure. It’s called governmental accounting. Look it up. You were making a point that blue states pay more in federal income tax than red states and therefore “red states aren’t paying their own way”. That is the exact opposite position to what a conservative would say.”

            ME: It actually is not. Alabama has the lowest tax rates in the nation. Look it up. The state also has the lowest property taxes. Look it up. Alabama cannot pay for many of the services that are provided for its citizens, so the Federal Government pays for them. My point is simply that the states that are calling for lesser taxes and less government intervention are happy to take Federal dollars to provide social services – services that they do not have to pay for. And yes, Alabama benefits. All of that Federal money is spent in the businesses of Alabama and helps support our state economy. A truly Conservative position would be for an individual state to NOT be so dependent on the Federal Government as Alabama is because it provides for its own eductation, highways, and social services. I understand that some of these things are Federally mandated and that is why the government pays for them. But, where does the money come from? From other states. I am not saying that it is terribly wrong. I am simply saying that it should cause us pause when we are blaming others for some of the problems that we have as a nation. Many of those problems exist in very Conservative states with lots of churches as well.

            YOU: “Therefore, when you claim that evangelical Christians don’t have it right about gun control and call for people to submit to the government no matter what the government says–just roll over and take it–you honestly think that comes across as the conservative, which is the only correct, position?? Srsly??”

            ME: I do not know the whole position of Evangelicals on gun control. I asked if we are getting it right. Some Evangelicals think that it is wrong to own guns or use them in self-defense at all. So, I addressed that and I believe that is a fallacy. Did you read the first part of my post? I was addressing extreme pacifism. I am not saying that Christians in America should submit to the government no matter what. We are the government. We can vote. We can advocate for the change of laws. We can appeal to the courts and to our representatives. We can engage in peaceful assembly and protest. We can run for office and write letters and try to persuade our fellow Americans. If all of that is done and the people of America decide against a position that we hold, then we must live with it. The people are the government. And, I not saying that being able to have assault rifles is the Christian position per se. A case can be made for defense with firearms, but I am not trying to apply that case to every possible kind of weaponry per se, although in cases, I see where one could.

            YOU: “I don’t own a gun. I don’t have a problem with the gun laws, not executive orders, that were on the books. I also don’t think that we have to just sit idly by while Obama and the left attempt to violate the constitution. I’m not in favor of armed rebellion but I’m not in favor of people being told they can’t do something that the constitution says they can.”

            ME: It does not seem that we disagree here. The laws on the books keep you from owning fully automatic machine guns and attaching them to your house in a turret where you could potentially strafe the neighborhood if riots broke out. That could be seen as an “infringement” upon the right to bear arms. But, you say you don’t have a problem with that standard. Fair enough. Our society might decide that the limits that already exist should now extend to semi-automatic assault rifles. I agree with you. You don’t have to just roll over an accept that. You can lobby, you can vote, you can work, and you can persuade. That is the beauty of the country that we live in. But, like you, I am not in favor of armed rebellion if I do not get my way on something. And, THAT is the sentiment that inspired this post. That, and a disagreement with the extreme pacifist position that states that Christians should not defend themselves or the weak with firearms at all or ever.

            We live in difficult times. We need to discuss issues and learn from each other. I am happy to listen and admit that I do not see everything right all the time. That is why I throw stuff out there for discussion. Show me where I am wrong. I am happy to be corrected if I am.

      • Jeff says

        Alan,

        I didn’t mean to confuse. When I said, “another perspective” I meant, here is an additional one of the similar kind.

        We are in agreement that the Bible authorizes “weapon ownership” among believers. It is not a sin to own, or use a weapon within the realm of Biblical responsibilities to protect your family.

        • says

          CB,

          You said,

          “Alan, there is a Higher Law than Caesar’s law and when Caesar’s law conflicts with the Higher Law, we must refuse to obey Caesar’s law.”

          I agree. When have I ever denied that? We must obey God rather than men.

          I am not criticizing nor defending the American Revolution.

          I also advocate the defense of the weak, even with the use of firearms. I tried to be very clear.

          What I am questioning from a Biblical perspective is some of the call that I am hearing for armed resistance to the government or for American Christians to grab weapons to keep the power of the government at bay.

          Defend the weak? Yes. Defend yourself? Yes. Use a gun to do so? Sure. If you want. Resist evil? Yes.

          But, beyond that, we need to ask how we can best resist evil on a massive scale. Is it through armed resistance? Is it Biblical? Would it work? Or, would we end up with a lot of dead Christians with guns in their hands thinking that they were serving God?

          Rhetoric is rising. A lot of Baptist pastors are saying things that they should not be saying right now. They are not thinking of how others are taking it. I worry about something happening in the future that has the name of Christ attached to it because of some of the things that people are saying now. That needs to stop. Romans 13 really does mean something and we have to figure out how we live that out, even if there is disagreement with what the government is doing.

          • cb scott says

            Alan,

            I made the following comment to Bill Mac. Read it and maybe we can come to a consensus here.

            “Bill Mac,

            I just got off the phone with a dear brother who is addressing this issue. Let me be clear here. I do not think that Baptist preachers need to be turning their pulpits into staging grounds for the advocation of overthrowing the government by violent means. Such radical behavior is without rational foundation and, frankly, just stupid.

            In addition, I think it was a poor move on the part of my beloved NRA to have used the children of the POTUS in a commercial to fight his efforts at gun control.

            At the same time, I think it is poor thinking on the part of the POTUS to believe he has a legitimate, constitutional platform to infringe upon the rights of my children to be protected by a well prepared and capable daddy as their first line of defense against the evil that men do.”

          • John K says

            CB,
            Did you hear the NBC report that no rifle of any type was used at SH. The shooter used 4 hand guns, had one rifle in his car that was never used. Goes to show how the news media and politicians can whip the populace into a frenzy with a false narrative. Then after laws are passed tell the truth. Thank God for the second amendment.

            Matt Lauer: Pete Williams, our chief justice correspondent, has got some new information as well, good morning.

            Pete Williams: Matt, good morning to you. This continues to be a very complex investigation, and there is a lot of contradictory information out there, but there is some new information this morning from a couple of federal officials and state officials. They say now that there were actually four handguns recovered inside the school. Not just two as we were initially told. Four handguns and apparently only handguns that were taken into the school.

            We knew that Adam Lanza… also had an assault-style, AR-15 style rifle that he had taken to the school that was in the car he drove there, his mother’s car. But we’ve been told by several officials that he left that in the car.

          • cb scott says

            John K,

            I have not read that nor have I seen or heard such from various news mediums. However, I do not doubt the possibility. Yet, 223 shell casings were found at the crime scene, that round did not come from a semi-auto pistol.

            In truth, I have not been following the story line of late. Frankly, I got into this particular comment thread because of who wrote the post.

          • cb scott says

            John K.,

            That last statement should be: Yet, “if” 223 shell casings were found. . . “

          • John K says

            CB,
            You mean the media and politicians were reporting previously .223 shell casings were found at the crime scene. Time will tell.

          • cb scott says

            John K.,

            That was my understanding. Yet, as you have acknowledged, time will tell. The truth is that many things were reported and that should be expected. That was/is a horrible event and even those who went there to report it were stricken with shock and understandably so.

          • says

            CB, you said,

            “Let me be clear here. I do not think that Baptist preachers need to be turning their pulpits into staging grounds for the advocation of overthrowing the government by violent means. Such radical behavior is without rational foundation and, frankly, just stupid.”

            I agree with this 100%. This thought is what prompted the post. I am not against the 2nd Amendment. I am not against having firearms or using them to protect the weak. But, I am against some of the rhetoric that I have heard from Baptist preachers and other Christians in the past days regarding this issue. It is unhelpful, unwise, and in many cases unbiblical. That is what prompted this post, not a desire for everyone to give up their guns.

            You also said,

            “At the same time, I think it is poor thinking on the part of the POTUS to believe he has a legitimate, constitutional platform to infringe upon the rights of my children to be protected by a well prepared and capable daddy as their first line of defense against the evil that men do.”

            I agree with this too. From a Constitutional standpoint, I do not believe that he is able to infringe upon gun ownership. At the same time, we both agree that neither of us can mount a .50 caliber machine gun on our roof to protect our home. There are already limits to what kinds of guns and armament we can have and those limits have been deemed Constitutional. It remains to be seen if a limit on semi-automatic assault rifles will fall within those limits as well. We have means of redress, elections, and the ability to appear before the authorities and magistrates and push whatever cause we deem appropriate. These opportunities were not available to our Founding Fathers so they rebelled with force. I think that we are in a different situation today. But, even so, whatever happens here will happen according to the will of the majority of Americans or it will be overturned. Let’s use discretion and cling to Christ.

            Maybe I am misreading, but I think we agree on what our focus needs to be.

          • cb scott says

            Alan,

            We agree on much here. Frankly, when I watched the news and saw those guys walking in the streets of their town with contemporary military type rifles, I was agitated to say the least. The truth is that most of those guys in that group, if a well trained combat unit attacked them, would either be slaughtered or throw their weapons down and run like overweight rabbits. Such actions do not help to maintain civil dialogue about the Second Amendment or the Christian’s responsibility to withstand evil.
            (BTW, the Christian’s responsibility to withstand evil does not hinge upon the Second Amendment or the private ownership of firearms. It does hinge upon the mandates of God’s Word for men of God to protect the weak, the innocent, and the infirm. However, it must be admitted that firearms does make the protection of the weak far easier than using a sling and smooth stone.)

            Also, I do not believe we should be allowed, as private citizens, to have a .50 cal mounted to the roof or hood of our cars manned by our wives or children when we drive to town to buy groceries.

            I also believe some of the rhetoric coming from gun-rights advocates is over the top when they begin to promote the gathering of arms for a hostile confrontation with the government.

            However, I would add, I do not want the general public to be disarmed to the point that a government gone mad could repeat what Hitler did to the pre-war Jewish people of Germany. It is just a plain and simple fact that armed Jews would have been much harder to throw in a flaming furnace than unarmed Jews. People tend to fight back when someone begins to throw their wives and children in a fire.

            Alan, balance as to gun rights is necessary. Why? Because men are sinners and many men are of a specific evil nature that only strong, deliberate, and right thinking men can defend the weak, the innocent, and the infirm against their evil aggressions.

            Therefore, in His providence, God gave Colonel Colt the inventive ability to make strong, deliberate, and right thinking men capable of successfully standing against the evil that evil men do. . . . and Mr. Smith and Mr. Wesson came quickly following after. ;-)

          • Bill Mac says

            If I can chime in, I am also in agreement with this general line of thinking. The government has already exercised its power to limit some kinds of weapons, and people generally think that is ok. We may disagree on which side of that line an assault weapon falls, but I think many would agree that AR15 type weapons are close to that line.

            But we don’t have an epidemic of gun violence because there are more guns. As a percentage of the population we probably have fewer guns than 30 years ago. (I’m just guessing) We have an epidemic of gun violence because we are fed a steady diet of violence through games and media from a very early age. Quentin Tarantino and his ilk are just as much a danger as Larry Flynt and Hugh Hefner.

          • cb scott says

            Bill Mac,

            You stated, “Quentin Tarantino and his ilk are just as much a danger as Larry Flynt and Hugh Hefner.”

            I tend to agree. It is beyond obvious that Flynt and Hefner are godless reprobates on their way to a devil’s hell and for that they are to be most pitied.

            It is also obvious that this Tarantino guy is a guy whose parents did not have much perspective on life and left him far too often to his own devices to entertain himself.

            In other words, he should have had far more “properly applied violence” to his rear-end than he was allowed to take into his mind and soul by viewing so much “gratuitous violence.” The boy is sick.

      • says

        CB,

        That is the balanced approach that I am calling for. I agree. Many who fashion themselves as private militia or defenders of the Constitution with their guns would last about 12 seconds in the face of a U.S. Military unit. It is a video game fantasy that some people have. We should not feed their delusion.

        I agree that the populace should not be fully disarmed for a lot of reasons and I do not see that happening. You make good points and I think that we are largely in agreement.

        This is a difficult subject for some. My initial post actually targeted both the extreme pacifist on the one hand and those calling for armed resistance on the other. Both views are wrong, in my opinion. That is what I was trying to say. Everyone needs to calm down and think through this a little better, I think. And, mostly, we need to think about what best represents Christ and the Gospel in a nation that has lost its moorings.

        • cb scott says

          Alan,

          I agree this is a difficult subject and there are many reasons for it being so.

          I agree that “. . . we need to think about what best represents Christ and the Gospel in a nation that has lost its moorings.”

          Also you indirectly mentioned something in your comment that does most certainly need to be addressed by men of God and by reasonable government leaders. That is the issue of video games which are filled with gratuitous violence.

          The taking of a human life should never be considered or viewed as a game and far too many young men sit for far too many hours in front of a computer fantasying that it is. And when the fantasy is no longer satisfactory . . . well, you know the end of the story and it is a sad one indeed.

  1. Dave Miller says

    I am no supporter of gun control, especially the seemingly draconic policies being advocated most recently.

    But, as one who has never owned a gun, I find myself a little perplexed at the passion sometimes demonstrated by preachers for their pistols, and rifles, and whatever.

    • Jeff says

      Dave,

      For me, 1 – it is an “American” passion for independence, as well as a great joy to hunt. As someone who has been broken into while sleeping at home and awakening with someone standing over your bed, it is also a serious sense of being protective of my wife and children.

      2nd, the fact is that the Bible does authorize me to own a weapon, and use it to keep my house from being “broken up.” The truth is that there is something inside us that rises up, when anyone tries to tell us we cannot do, what the Bible says we can do. (What that something is, and whether its right wrong or indifferent may be discussed, but it is there) Though weapon ownership is not necessarily mandated by scripture, it is authorized, and as long as it is a legal law of the land, in my home it will be utilized.
      Personally, I do not want it to ever become illegal. I think that would be unwise, and foolish, plus I like having guns.

      I only said all of that to answer your question and explain in some small sense why a passion exists in some preachers for their rifles and pistols.

    • Randall Cofield says

      Dave,

      But, as one who has never owned a gun, I find myself a little perplexed at the passion sometimes demonstrated by preachers for their pistols,

      You’ve obviously never pastored some of the churches in my neck of the woods…(he smiles while typing)

    • cb scott says

      “But, as one who has never owned a gun. . . ”

      Then buy one and learn to use it. . . and do so if necessary.

      • says

        Honestly, I have no desire to own a gun and know of no reason why I should. I do not feel less a man or a Christian because I do not have a gun.

        On the other hand, there was a time when I considered my turn-around fade-away jump shot in the lane a weapon.

        • cb scott says

          Dave Miller,

          Don’t do that. Owning or not owning a firearm has nothing to do with manhood or a measurement of one’s faithfulness in following Christ and no one has stated such in this thread. At least, I have not.

          Therefore, I would appreciate you not putting that particular spin on my comment. And, BTW, I stand by the comment. But, let me quickly state, I hope you never have an experience in your life wherein you come to realize why I made the comment in the first place.

        • Frank L. says

          “”no reason why I should””

          Here’s an element injected into this conversation that makes any consensus difficult.

          No one demands you own a gun. That’s one side of it. Second, owning a gun is not a privilege anybody, including the government, bestows on an individual. It is an absolute right under our Constitution. If one does not want to exercise that right, that is one’s personal choice.

          Another element that bears upon your question of “why should I own a gun” will probably not sit well with you. Any right you do wish to assert is guaranteed to you by someone who is holding a gun. There is no moral superiority to not owning a gun, nor to owning a gun for that matter.

          There are some “practical” considerations, for any (and I don’t mean you, Dave) who would wish to assert a moral superiority of pacifism in regard to guns. It seems hypocritical to do so.

          My guns have never left there safe in about 8 years–since I moved to a big city from the desert. I can assure you I will not hesitate to get one and shoot you dead if you threaten my family.

          That’s why I keep my guns. This is a very real and moral principle for many people.

        • Jess Alford says

          Dave Miller,

          When I was growing up owning a gun meant food on the table.
          We raised hogs for meat, but one gets tired of pork.

          Ruffled grouse was great for a change so was squirrel and rabbit.
          I learned to love guns early in life. My first gun was an old single shot 16 guage. You had better hit with the first shot or pork again for supper.

          The first automatic gun I ever saw blew my mind, I thought what a waste of shotgun shells, that is just for someone who can’t hit with the first shot.

          If you feel that you shouldn’t own a gun stick with your convictions it’s the right thing to do. The reason I own one, is that it was part of life and I grew up with a gun. I don’t hunt much anymore and I basically have one around for protection. Not that I really need a gun for protection, it just makes me feel safer.

  2. Dale Pugh says

    I am a gun owner, enthusiast, and hunter. I enjoy my guns and gun sports. The Second Amendment speaks to the issue of gun ownership within the necessary context of a well-armed militia. A citizen’s militia is no longer a reality in our nation, thus the context of gun ownership has shifted to our rights to simply keep and bear arms.
    There is no clear biblical mandate on gun control. We have to refer to weapon ownership, principles of justice, and appropriate Christian citizenship. There are probably other biblical principles to which we can point in guiding our approach to the issue.
    I personally do not own an “assault weapon,” but I guarantee you that the vast majority of gun crimes in this country do not involve AR’s or AK’s. they involve weapons that are not in the gun control supporter’s sights (pun not intended). The gun owners I know would never perpetrate horrendous slaughter of innocent people.
    There is room for middle ground here. A reasonable, rational approach does not default to the extreme on either side of the issue. Using the president’s children to debate the issue is ridiculous. On the other hand, to say that the issue “is about our children’s future” is equally politicized and ridiculous. Executive orders will do nothing, and this topic is going to now come to the forefront of our legislative system. I hope for reason to prevail over politics on both sides of the debate.

    • Dale Pugh says

      Come to think of it, I own several assault weapons. A rock can be an assault weapon if one chooses to beat another’s brains out with it. The perpetrator is the problem, and that should be the focus of the whole conversation.

      • Truth Unites... and Divides says

        I have a baseball bat. If I take a homerun swing against someone’s ribs, knees, or head, or even if they use their forearms to block my swing, I think there’s gonna be serious damage.

        Is a baseball bat an assault weapon? Should the government confiscate baseball bats too?

          • Truth Unites... and Divides says

            “Protection is one thing. Assault is another.”

            There’s a hostile home intruder and I protect my family by taking a mighty swing with my baseball bat. Is that protection or is that assault?

            I’m in an elementary school. I hear shooting. I grab a baseball bat and I take a mighty swing against the shooter’s body. Is that protection or is that assault?

          • cb scott says

            In the real world, a baseball against a gun, especially if the baseball bat is untrained or unskilled in the being used as a weapon, the baseball bat loses 98% of the time.

            Buy a firearm. Get proper training. Get a legal CWP. If the intruder comes, pray God gives you the deliberate ability to hit center mass three times.

            By God’s grace you can live with the sorrow and pain of what you had to do, but you will thank God you are still able to look into the “living” eyes of your wife and children and know God gave you victory over evil on a specific day in your life.

    • Frank L. says

      “”A citizen’s militia is no longer a reality “”

      The temperature on the culture gauge says, “the militia may soon be a reality.”

      • Christiane says

        I don’t understand your comment, Frank L.

        you speak of a possible citizens militia here: “the militia may soon be a reality”,
        . . . would this ‘citizens’ militia’ turn their arms against our own military?

        • says

          Christiane,

          An equally important question would be: “Would the military turn their arms against the citizen militia?”

          The police of the state and federal government are in the habit of confronting the people in the street… The military “are” the people in the street.

          When the citizens become disgusted with the words and actions of the untrustworthy government, they rebel. It would be the same with the military in this form of media-socialist government.

          • Christiane says

            Hi FRANK L. AND JERRY CORBALEY,

            First, thank you both for responding.

            May I say this. If our government is freely elected by the people in accordance with our laws, your cases against that government are greatly weakened. Instead of a ‘militia’ solution, I would think you would seek a political one.

            Sometimes people decide to attack the government because they perceive it to be an ‘enemy of the people’. We saw Oklahoma City when the Federal Building was bombed by someone who was disgruntled and chose violence as a way to express his anger.

            I am SURE that our military is very patriotic. I don’t know about your families, or your communities, but my own family is filled with serving military, and one cousin gave his life in battle in Viet Nam, at the age of 19, may his memory be blessed. I know many of the children I taught over the years went to serve in the military. We have families in our community whose sons and daughters serve.

            These people are OURS. They LOVE this country. They are the best we have. I do feel that those individuals and corporations that stir up conspiracy theories have agendas that are un-American. You probably know of whom I speak. They want a political ‘base’ that can be manipulated by fear, and there are enough fearful people out there who listen day and night to the shock jocks on radio and television who feed that fear for reasons that are unwholesome and profoundly UN-AMERICAN.

            We have laws to address public concerns. We have a government structure that provides redress of grievances, and offers people opportunities to work towards change.

            My advice, for its worth, is to take another look at whose money support those who bombard the airways with conspiracy theories. Follow the money. You may find out that there is more to these people than they want you to know about.

          • cb scott says

            L’s,

            I am always amazed at how you, an adherent to Liberation Theology, who opposes all things consistent of biblical Christianity, and a proponent of abortion on demand, who has defended of Islamic terrorists can make any statement about supporting the American Armed Forces.

            I read your comment on Peter Lumpkins’ blog last week. Again, you struck another blow against conservatives and biblical Christians.

          • says

            Christiane,

            I am not advocating armed revolution. Such a thing can happen anywhere, and if/when it does, I am not one to lead the fight.

            But I am historian enough to know that governments can be corrupt and begin to oppress the people they rule. When the corruption and lying progress over years, then it becomes foolish to continue to trust the increasing trend of lies and broken promises.

            In my opinion, the legal trends in the United States are an expression of high-handed rule that does not originate from the people, but from the rich and the godless.

            And I am not a conspiracy-theorist, and am annoyed that you would imply that I am. The rich and the godless need to be rescued from sin as I need to be rescued from sin.

            What kind of government shall we hand to our children? Or shall we hand our children over to whatever the government shall become?

          • Frank L. says

            Less than 5% of the population of America has ever served in the military and currently only 1% serve.

            We do not have a citizenry that is knows the way of war–civil or otherwise. We do have some rednecks that know how to fight.

            I don’t know how far the citizen militia will allow itself to be pushed before it responds to an “act of war.” That sounds outrageous to some on this thread, but most on this thread at least know who Hitler was and how history works in regard to “Governments Gone Wild.”

            To dismiss out of hand that there could ever be another civil war in America is a dangerous naivete, in my opinion.

            You ask if the “military would ever fire on the citizenry and vice versa.” The Civil War involved brothers fighting brothers. So, I don’t think soldiers fighting citizens is beyond the comprehensible.

            One thing is absolutely certain that should weigh upon this discussion: America is no where to be found in the Last Days teaching of the Bible.

            This begs the question: “why?”

          • Christiane says

            I would like to affirm my statements concerning our military.
            My son’s pledge to his country? Take a look:

            “I am America’s maritime guardian.
            I serve the citizens of the United States.
            I will protect them.
            I will defend them.
            I will save them.
            I am their shield.
            For them I am Semper Paratus.
            I live the Coast Guard core values.
            I am a guardian.
            We are the United States Coast Guard.”

            My nephew? He’s a physician in the Navy who volunteers his services when he can in areas of the world where people have little help.

            My niece, a Navy nurse. Her own university awarded her their ten-year award for a graduate nurse. Why? Tours of duty in Iraq, Afghanistan, and service aboard the ‘Comfort’ hospital ship off the coast of Haiti after the earthquake. My niece has volunteered many, many hours among civilian populations overseas.

            I affirm my belief that they are people who love this country and serve it with good hearts.

            I don’t understand some of the statements made on this comment stream.
            I just don’t understand where they come from.

          • cb scott says

            “I don’t understand some of the statements made on this comment stream.
            I just don’t understand where they come from.”

            Well L’s,

            I just don’t understand why you are still lost and on your way to a devil’s hell, having read the biblical gospel as often as you have on this blog,

            However, you still are lost and on your way to a devil’s hell.

            But, there is still hope. Repent now, L’s and embrace the biblical gospel and leave that mumbo-jumbo, works based, religious poison you embrace behind.

          • Christiane says

            ‘having read the biblical gospel as often as you have on this blog’ ?

            C.B.,
            do you honestly think any blog is a substitute for sacred Scripture?

            I do not.

          • Christiane says

            ‘having read the biblical gospel as often as you have on this blog’ ?

            C.B.,
            do you honestly think any blog is a substitute for sacred Scripture?

            I do not.

            And once again, I affirm the decent men and women of our Armed Forces as patriotic and good-hearted people. If that affirmation brings down the kind of invective I see hear as response, I am not deterred from saying it again, and again, and again . . . thing is, they ARE people of good-will, and they will HONORABLY defend this country. That word ‘honorable’ means something to them, I can assure you.

          • cb scott says

            “do you honestly think any blog is a substitute for sacred Scripture?”

            L’s,

            I did not state, in any form or fashion, that this blog is a substitute for the Scripture.

            I did state that you have read the gospel on this blog. I stated that and more. I also stated that, having read the gospel on this blog, you are still lost and on your way to a devil’s hell.

            L’s, your effort to twist what I stated makes no difference regarding the truth that you are without hope due to your continued rejection of the biblical gospel.

            L’s, if you do not repent of sin and embrace the biblical gospel and be freed of your false religion of works and be saved by Christ and Christ alone, you shall be damned and hopelessly lost forever in a literal hell where the worm never dies and the fire is never quenched.

            I pray for you often, L’s even though I do not know your real name. I pray God breaks your hard and rebellious heart and saves you from your sin before you leave this earth lost and hopeless. You, as am I, are getting up in years and the day of our departure is closer now than earlier today.

            By the standards of humanity, I am most certain you are a better person than I. I am sure you have given of yourself to help many people as a teacher and in many other endeavors during your life. On the other hand, I have been guilty of heinous and grievous and terribly wretched sins during this journey on earth.

            However, by God’s good grace, He gave me mercy and grace through Jesus Christ, to birth me from above and give me eternal life. Therefore, I know that if He will give me, the wretch that I am, eternal life, He will most certainly give you, a woman of many sacrifices and services, eternal life if you will recognize yourself as a sinner before Him, repent and believe the biblical gospel of Christ and Christ alone for the saving of your soul.

            The Scripture declares with clarity, that whosoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be save. Therefore L’s, again, as I have for over five years now, I challenge, I beg and I plead with you to repent and believe the gospel.

        • Jake Barker says

          The question is not “would this ‘citizens’ militia’ turn their arms against our own military?” but rather would our military turn THEIR arms against our own people? Or would they assist an armed citizens militia overthrow a dictatorial regime that has usurped power over the citizens of this country?

          • Jake Barker says

            Christiane,
            What does your answer mean? The question I asked was simple….and requires a simple answer….is it “yes” they will join with an armed citizen militia or “no” and surrender their souls, lives and bodies to the devilish, communistic cabal that seeks to destroy our country?

          • Bill Mac says

            Jake: C’mon man, really? Can we not dial back the hyperbole just a little? Is our president really a devilish, communistic dictator? I’m no fan of his and I will certainly be happy when he leaves office, but that’s just the thing. He’s going to leave office. He was put there by the citizens of the United States, and the citizens of the US will put the next person there.

            Evangelical Christians scream bloody murder if anyone bad-mouths our military, and on this thread we’re talking about stockpiling weapons and ammo in case we have to kill them.

          • Jake Barker says

            Bill Mac,
            I was referring more to the Bilderberg group, George Soros, United Nations and the one world government type of organizations rather than to the current occupant. A legislator from New York was reported to be drawing up a bill that would seek to overturn the 22nd amendment, so don’t be so sure that the current occupant won’t be the next occupant. Take a look at FDR. Stranger things have happened.
            And further Bill Mac, where does anyone in this post say anything about “stockpiling weapons and ammo” to kill our troops? Can you point that one out to us?

          • Bill Mac says

            Jake: I can’t seem to find any definitive purpose of the Bilderberg Group, only conspiracy theories from the left and right.

            The NY legislator in question has attempted to introduce that repeal every 2 years since 1997. It won’t happen.

            George Soros is a raving liberal, but also a thorough-going capitalist so I don’t think he is plotting a communist overthrow of the US.

          • Bill Mac says

            Jake: I’ll withdraw the word stockpile. People are stockpiling weapons but I don’t think anyone here has explicitly advocated it. But they have been talking about being ready to use guns against our own citizens.

          • Jake Barker says

            Bill Mac,
            Until you provide proof of someone advocating shooting our own citizens you are just blowing hot air. You, yourself is the only one on this blog that has said anything about shooting our own citizens.

          • Jake Barker says

            Christiane,
            What you are calling your nephews “pledge to his country” is simply more of your mumbo jumbo. The actual “OATH” that must be sworn to is as follows and does not allow for the some “feelgood” variations.
            “I, (NAME), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.”
            Just thought that you ought to know the truth before you spin your stories again.

          • Christiane says

            JAKE BARKER,

            My quote concerning my son’s pledge to his country is called
            The Guardian Ethos.

            It was introduced into the USCG in 2008 and was defined by former USCG Commandant Allen in these words:

            ” The Ethos . . defines the essence of the Coast Guard and could be viewed as the contract the Coast Guard and its members make with the Nation and its citizens”

            “I am America’s Maritime Guardian. I serve the citizens of the United States. I will protect them. I will defend them. I will save them. I am their shield. For them I am Semper Paratus. I live the Coast Guard Core Values. I am a Guardian. We are the United States Coast Guard.”

            The members of the United States Armed Forces are sworn into duty through their oath which you quoted, and my son took his oath over ten years ago and I witnessed it, as did my husband.

            I honor the service of my son and all who serve in our military. And, JAKE BARKER, if you have served your country in our military, I honor your service also.

            My son knew Commandant Allen, who spent some time aboard my son’s first cutter getting to know all who served on it.

            I suggest this:

            if you have any questions or concerns about the Guardian Ethos, that you take them to the USCG.

            They do not disrespect honest inquiries, and you will be treated by them with the respect you deserve as one of the citizens of our country.

            I am very, very proud of the members of my family who serve.
            And I consider all the young men and women of the USCG as a part of my son’s ‘family’ now, so they too are very dear to me.

  3. says

    I recently preached on the turn the other cheek passages. Just before saying that (in the Matthew account), Jesus said, “…resist not evil.” I concluded that does not repeal government checks (resistance) against evil, does not exclude spiritual warfare against spiritual/moral evil, and does not prohibit self-defense. It is limited to the kind of evil in the context. The smite on the cheek is about insult and injury, not assault and battery. But I must say that, despite my emotional and natural attachment to the concept of self-defense, I found myself floundering somewhat to make a strong biblical case for it. I found pretty much what Brother Jeff found in his blog post linked above.

    Alan, you ask, “when are Christians ever commanded to resist the government?” I believe that is covered under Peter’s statement that we ought to obey God rather than men (Acts 5:29). So, imo, we could and should “resist” the government in cases where it involves obeying God against the commands of men. (Not sure that obeying God should/would ever lead to armed rebellion, though our American forefathers apparently thought so.)

    Finally, I liked reading this perspective because so much of what even Christians write on the subject is about the protection we have in the second amendment rather than about trying to consider what the Bible might say about it. For Christians, it should not be about “pro-gun” or “pro-2nd amendment”. It should be, “What does the Bible say.”

    [An aside: Much has been said that assault rifles are only good for killing (as opposed to hunting, etc). Well, I guess that is pretty much right, though one might add maiming. But if killing in self-defense is warranted, then wouldn't using an assault rifle for self-defense also be warranted? I thought about this re that swords, rather than guns, are mentioned in the Bible. A sword was pretty much for killing too, wasn't it? It was too large and unwieldy for slicing tomatoes, and far too short (for my taste) for hunting lions!]

    • Jeff says

      The question has been asked, “When are Christians ever asked to resist the government.”

      There are two times, that come from the Bible. Both are in the book of Daniel, and then underscored by Peter.

      Christians are to resist the government #1 – When the Government Commands them to Disobey God. #2 When the Government Forbids them From Obeying God.
      See, Daniel in the Lions Den, and Azariah, Hananniah, and Meshael. Both are examples of civil disobedience.
      Daniel was Forbidden from being obedient in prayer – he was anyway.
      The 3 Hebrew children were commanded to be disobedient to God and bow, they wouldn’t bow.
      When either of those cases apply, we are to obey God rather than man.
      The problem many have rests in that we often want to resist the government when neither is the case.

      • says

        In both cases they practiced non-violent civil disobedience and were willingly obedient to the laws of the land. God protected them. There are multiple instances in history where Christians obeyed God and were executed by the governments they opposed.

        You’re not going to find a passage where God calls for Christians to rise up and use worldly weapons to wage war on a government that is oppressing them. It’s not in there. Considering that is the time and place Jesus was born into (a society under the oppression of the Romans- much more brutal than anything we are experiencing in the USA today) I think we can safely assume that we can’t claim the “right to defend ourselves from the government” as a tenet of Christianity.

        And before anyone starts accusing me of being anti-gun, I own several and am not opposed to people owning them. I just don’t think you can make an argument from Scripture that owning weapons is a biblical mandate.

        • Jess Alford says

          Ryan Abernathy,

          Sir you are 100% correct, I’ve read on this blog talk of citizen militia and many other comments that are not bible based.

          It’s our duty as citizens to submit to those who have rule over us,
          not to fight against them but pray for them. I don’t want to give up my guns. If it became the law of the land I would. It would probably force me to buy a bow for protection.

          • Frank L. says

            What’s the difference between defending yourself with a bow and defending yourself with a gun? I don’t see a moral distinction or a biblical one.

            “Submission” is so widely distorted as a biblical doctrine. Only one submission is absolute, the others are all relative. Jesus never suggested anything like an absolute submission to government. I have no absolute duty to government.

      • Jess Alford says

        Frank L.

        If you shoot someone with a bow you can say you were cleaning it and it accidentally went off.

  4. John K says

    An assault weapon did not kill people at Sandy Hook.
    An evil person did.
    What does the bible say about evil?
    The answers you should be looking for in the bible should not focus on an object but it should focus on the evil that was committed by an evil person.

    God does not rule over assault rifles he rules over people.

    • cb scott says

      John K has written wisely. Thank you John K., whoever you are, for making a common sense statement in a world gone nuts.

      Evil men with stones, knives, spears, C-4, garrotes, poison gas, or firearms all constitute the same menace to humanity. It does not matter if evil comes in small numbers or large, the strong are to defend the weak.

      The strong cannot defend the weak with their hands tied behind their backs, on their knees, begging evil not to kill the weak. But, the strong can defend the weak against evil if the strong is deliberately prepared and willing to put themselves in harm’s way to defend the weak.

      • Jake Barker says

        CB,
        LBJ and his group of misguided and evil men thought it quite right to tie not one but both arms of our soldiers during Nam.

  5. Frank L. says

    “”Romans 13 tells us that we are to submit to the government . . .””

    This is a much abused passage used to support an idea of pacifism that is not supported by the broad context of the Bible. This is not a “broad, universal principle” relating to all government actions by all governments of all times. It is like the general principles of the Proverbs: general.

    Taking to the extreme this passage would prevent someone from defending himself or herself in an action brought by the prosecutor (a government agent) even when one knows he or she is innocent. It would also prevent someone from defending someone else against the evil actions of a tyrannical government.

    It would also have prevented the freedom that underscores the foundation of our government.

    It’s interesting that God’s Word takes both the position of a hawk and a dove, using the same metaphor. Isaiah 2 is the “dove version,” and Joel 3 is the “hawk” version. So plowshares and swords are both part of God’s divine economy.

    Interestingly, the Founding Fathers–the overwhelming majority being Christian and nearly 100% living according to a Christian world-view–said that it was a “Divine Right” for citizens to defend themselves “against the government.” In fact, Thomas Jefferson and others spoke of a necessity for a future revolution against the government should it get out of line.

    True, fighting the government would be “messy” (as the post suggests). The piles of dead bodies at Prison Camps in Germany were pretty “messy.” Yes, freedom can be “messy.”

    • says

      I find it odd that you lump diests and universalists into “living a Christian worldview.” Few if any of the Founding Fathers were anywhere close to orthodox Christians.

      Just because someone says we have a “Divine Right” to something does not make it biblical. I don’t think they were quoting chapter and verse from the Bible although I am sure Jefferson would have written it into his personally chopped up copy if he thought it would have suited his purposes.

      • John Wylie says

        Few of the founding fathers were anywhere close to orthodox Christians? I’m sorry Ryan but that simply isn’t true. Yes Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Paine wer deists, but the lion’s share were from mainline denominations.

        Of the 55 delegates to the 1787 Constitutional Convention:
        49 were Protestants, and 2 were Roman Catholics (D. Carroll, and Fitzsimons).
        Among the Protestant delegates to the Constitutional Convention
        28 were Church of England (or Episcopalian, after the American Revolutionary War was won), 8 were Presbyterians, 7 were Congregationalists, 2 were Lutherans, 2 were Dutch Reformed, and 2 were Methodists.

        • says

          Nice quote from Wikipedia there John.

          If you would like to count the 47 members of that convention who were Anglicans, Congregationalists (which were by then Universalists in the colonies) and ardent Universalists as “orthodox Christians” then be my guest. However, I suspect you and Frank and most of us on this board would not be as willing to accept the theology of those 47 men in any of our churches.

          Their Christian bonafides may help sell David Barton’s DVDs but they would not work for a Sunday School teacher in 2013.

          Nice try.

        • John Wylie says

          So I used wikipedia, I’ve noticed that when you are confronted with evidence from the left and the right you always choose left leaning sources. To make the claim that most were deists or even most were universalists is an asinine proposition. It’s not just an asinine proposition it’s a blatant lie and you have fallen for it because you honestly trust liberals.

          • says

            No John, I trust historians not people who are trying to make a quick buck off of deceiving my brothers and sisters in Christ with revisionist history.

            What’s sad is that based on your statement I have to assume that you have dismissed an entire group of people as dishonest based simply on the fact that their conclusions do not agree with yours. That’s what keeps many of the people who I work with and minister from wanting to interact with Christians and churches. I pray that Jesus will soften your heart toward those you demean.

      • cb scott says

        Yes Ryan Abernathy,

        You have your right to your opinion. . .and God provided strong men to guarantee to protect that opinion. . . and they did shed blood with the weapons at hand to protect it. So, enjoy your freedom Ryan Abernathy. . . earned at the expense of strong men who, in the providence of God, stood in harm’s way on your behalf and still do.

        • says

          Where exactly did I say that was not grateful for strong men who have fought and died for my freedom? I am the grandson of a WW2 vet, the son of a Navy man, and the brother in law of a guy who did 6 tours in Iraq. One of my elders is currently TDY in the Middle East with the Air Force and another church member served in Desert Storm.

          I am plenty thankful for their service and that of others and my comments said nothing of the fact. What exactly is your problem with me and what I have written CB?

          • cb scott says

            Ryan Abernathy,

            Don’t twist what I stated here. I did not state you were not/are not grateful for those who fought for your freedom.

            I did state you have your right to your opinion and strong men, in the providence of God, fought for your right to have it. Whether you appreciate that fact or not is not that of which I addressed.

            Now, as to your direct question regarding you and what you have written here in this thread and in other threads; I agree with John Wylie. You do tend to lean toward the left a great deal of the time theologically, philosophically, and politically.

            I, on the other hand, tend to lean toward the right a great deal of the time theologically, philosophically, and politically.

            Therefore, I would assume the “problem” with what you write and think is that what you write and think is quite often in opposition to what I write and think.

            Thus, a natural conclusion on my part would be that I tend to think what you write and think is wrong in most all things theologically, philosophically, and politically.

            However, I am willing to fight to defend your right to be wrong. . . and I tend to be of that nature because that is the American way and the American way is based squarely upon a Judeo-Christian ethic.

            “Oh say can you see by the dawn’s early light . . . . . ” ;-)

  6. says

    In terms of “resisting the government” as it relates to the Second Amendment, and Romans 13 (and 1st Peter), I believe something from THE founding document of this country is very relevant.

    From the Declaration of Independence we read:

    “Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

    The Second Amendment was apart of the Bill of Rights, not to enable the population to rebel for “light and transient causes”, but rather to ensure that if a government so abuses the people to which it is no longer a government of, by, and for the people; but rather becomes a tyranny or absolute despotism; then the people would have the functional ability to defend themselves, and remove such government from power.

    Indeed, if you conclude that Romans 13 states that we should not resist any government at any time, then you would by necessity say that men like Dietrich Bonhoeffer was in violation of Romans 13 when he resisted the Nazi government. And while Bonhoeffer was more pacifistic than I would like, he still came to the conclusion that Hitler needed to be forcibly removed for the good of the German people, and indeed the world. Unfortunately far too many Americans believe that something like that could never happen within the United States. Far too many people think that a Hitler, or Stalin, or Nero could never rise to power within this country. But what they dont realize is as our rights slowly get whittled away within this country, it is becoming easier and easier for a despot to take over. What happens if a President, as commander and chief does decide to abolish the congress and institute an absolute despotism? Who or what would stop them? This is what the Second Amendment was designed for whether you like it or not.

    • says

      You make a very good point about Bonhoeffer. I am reading his biography by Metaxas right now and am almost to the part where he begins his internal debate about joining the assassination attempt. Can you remind me, does he cite Scripture in his joining the coup attempt, or is he simply persuaded that he cannot stand back and do nothing any longer while Hitler murders Jews? I’m honestly asking and not sure.

      • says

        From the writings that survived from Bonhoeffer (a lot of his letters are lost, destroyed by the Nazis), he seemed to shy way from trying to justify himself, and rather state that if it is sin, it is his sin, and took responsibility. I have not gotten a chance to read “Ethics”, but that book goes into some of his internal debates and theological struggles surrounding his fight against the Nazi’s.

        If Bonhoeffer’s position then that such rebellion against government is theologically wrong, but socially required for the good of the current and future generations, then I believe this adequately supplements the quote from the Declaration of Independence I quoted. Indeed, to be honest, it is an issue I have struggled with as it relates to vigilanteism. Is there a time where evil is so pervasive, that I would be willing to risk damnation to my own soul in order to provide a future, peace, and security for others? Indeed, as I believe my salvation is not mine to loose (as I was sealed by the blood of Christ for fellowship with God, a bond which I cannot break), is it wrong to sin for the benifit of others in the face of tyranny and evil? Is such actions sin? Ultimately, where I come out to, is that no action itself is sinful, but rather it is the motivations behind the action that is sinful. As such, two people might both decide to rebel against their government. One is doing it for personal gain, the other is doing it to protect the current and future generations. For the first it is sin, for the second, especially if the second, like Bonhoeffer is wiling to take responsibility, it is not sin.

  7. says

    There’s a lot to commend here. There really is. But let me quibble with you a little. Of course Romans 13 is an almost “Loctite” text on the relationship between citizens and their civil authorities. Civil authorities have been instituted by God for national order and to bear the sword. We are even cautioned that “whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed.”

    So here’s my comment. I believe Romans 13 is just about always the rule for life. We shouldn’t resist the authorities. We should be in submission, almost always, to our “rulers.” But like I said, Romans 13 is “almost ‘Loctite’.” In other words, I believe some extreme circumstances call for civil disobedience. Whether it be tyranny, tax dollars used to fund abortion, or an enforced state church upon the state’s citizens, there MAY BE biblical cause for resistance or civil disobedience.

    What about our own American revolution? Was it biblically permissible? Perhaps you could make the case that it wasn’t. I would venture to think there were Christians on both sides of the debate—loyalists and patriots. (That in itself is an unacceptable aspect of this sinful world—Christians on either side of one’s own cross hairs.)

    Not to defend our American forefathers in all they did, but it seems to me that they understood that they must make a “biblical” case for their Declaration of Independence. That is what it seems they attempted to do. They made their case that a tyrannical monarch had taken from them their inalienable rights—rights that were afforded to them by God, which only God could rightfully take away. They had to have solid reasons to resist their civil authorities.

    Point is: if we ever decide it’s our duty to resist our “rulers,” we better be able to live with it, and we better have a biblical case for it.

    (I only scanned svmuschany’s comment; sorry if there’s a lot of overlap.)

    • Frank L. says

      “”Point is: if we ever decide it’s our duty to resist our “rulers,” we better be able to live with it, and we better have a biblical case for it.””

      By the time it becomes crystal clear . . . it is too late.

      Christianity is not about certainty, but about faith.

      We always face a “mirror dimly.”

      • kschaub says

        Hey Frank –

        I don’t think so. Not for me. Without a clear, biblical warrant for civil disobedience, I won’t do it.

        (I assume that’s what you mean by “by the time it becomes clear it’s too late.”) On the one hand, I will admit that we shouldn’t act so certain of our own decisions that we lack the humility to reconsider our course of action. On the other hand, I believe it’s dangerous to act without a clear, biblical warrant to do so.

        I stand by what I said: “If we ever decide it’s our duty to resist our ‘rulers,’ we better be able to live with it, and we better have a biblical case for it.”

        BTW, what makes faith uncertain?

        “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” – Hebrews 11:1

        “No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised.” – Romans 4:20–21

        I don’t know of a faith that isn’t certain. Just because we trust in God who is unseen, and we hope for things not seen, doesn’t mean we aren’t certain.

        Of course it’s not a certainty in what’s seen. It’s instead a certainty in the God who is unseen. I take him at his Word. So I believe Scripture outlines how we are to interact with the civil authorities, and makes provision for civil disobedience in extreme circumstances. I trust the Lord to act according to his Word, and I’m certain that obedience to his Word will please him—even if I should suffer.

        In other words, I’m certain in my faith because of who I trust in.

        You’re correct that we often don’t have a clear vision of things. That’s fine with me because our lives are to be lived in the dependence of faith. Since I’m confident in the Lord, I will go to him in my time of need. Should I ever think I MAY BE called to civil disobedience, I should hope my first action is to pray for discernment.

        Like I said above, our forefathers made a case for their revolution in the Declaration of Independence. Whether one agrees with them or not, I think it’s wise for Christians to consider the whole counsel of God ahead of time, and know where (or if) they should ever draw the line in the sand when it comes to civil disobedience.

        Our American forefathers evidently drew the line at “unalienable” rights, which, they believed, the tyrannical monarch of England had become “destructive to those ends.” It appears they saw it necessary to consider these things before declaring independence.

        FWIW.

        • Frank L. says

          “”I don’t know of a faith that isn’t certain””

          Why then have “hope” if you have certainty? Seems a contradiction in terms.

          I personally seem to be certain of less and less as I get older. I accept that you might just be stronger in the “faith” than I am. I do not always know the “certain” application of biblical principles to worldly matters.

          I am coming to understand that life is not “fill in the blank” with only one clear, right answer. I must struggle with issues and because of my faith I can be certain that even when I make the wrong application of biblical principles as I see them, God is still sovereign and His will will ultimately prevail.

          I don’t know what Biblical principle clearly and unequivocally outlines the specifics of how to apply the Second Amendment, or if the Second Amendment is even biblical as some have charged.

          Please give us the clear, unequivocal answer. Then we can all act in one accord and the problem will be solved.

          • kschaub says

            Hey Frank –

            I would answer the same way I did above. To be honest, I wouldn’t write much differently than you just did. My best guess is that you are using “faith” and “hope” differently than I have. By “certainty,” I’m not saying that I “know everything.” I’m saying that my trust in the One who does, the One who I depend on, is such that I can be certain in him. Based on that, if God’s Word is sufficient for all of life, then I’m “certain” His Word can answer the question of whether or not to disobey our civil authorities in a given extreme circumstance.

            That’s not to say that I can’t be wrong in my interpretation (i.e. my interpretation of whether or not civil disobedience is warranted in a given situation). That’s not to say that I shouldn’t act humbly, especially when it comes to such a weighty decision. It’s even not to say that I shouldn’t be willing to back track and repent if I’m wrong. In all of life, I believe we should bring Scripture to bear on what we do, to prayerfully seek God’s will in it.

            Instead, what I’m saying is, with Romans 13 primarily in mind, you better have a strong, biblical case for civil disobedience, because Romans 13 doesn’t leave a lot of room for it.

            What is my answer? Well, I do believe that it MAY BE biblically permissible for civil disobedience in certain extreme circumstances, and that every Christian will need to make up their own mind as to whether or not they should resist. We’ll each stand before the Lord on Judgment Day on our own (and be thankful for Christ, our mediator and substitute). In other words, should the terrible day ever come where a nation’s citizens must decide whether or not to throw off a tyrannical government, the decision shouldn’t be made lightly, especially by Christians.

            That’s all I’m saying.

            That’s what I believe our forefathers did. They carefully considered whether or not they would be right to go to war with the crown. Whether they were right or wrong, that’s what they did.

            You asked, “why have hope if you have certainty?” My answer as far as God’s promises go would be, “Why hope if you don’t?” That’s the category that I’m addressing with the terms faith and hope. My faith and hope are in promises God has made for his people that are all “yes and amen” in Christ Jesus. They are as good as done, as good as ours. Just because I don’t see God yet, or see the heavenly city yet, or feast at table with Christ Jesus yet, doesn’t mean that I’m not certain I will.

            As far as the Second Amendment goes, if it can be shown that civil disobedience is biblically permissible in certain extreme circumstances, then it can be argued that the 2A is a government-granted right that ensures that revolution is possible. Can a biblical argument be made for the protection of the weak (in the case of a revolution, the people) to be defended against a strong agressor (the national government)? I think it can be.

            Why not unequivocal? Because it depends on the circumstances, and, because it’s such a weighty decision.

            If anyone is interested in some reading, the wiki on “just war theory” is a decent introduction: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Just_war_theory

            Thanks Frank. I really appreciate your comments toward me.

          • Frank L. says

            “””2A is a government-granted right””

            Do your really mean to say this? Rights are inalienable, endowed to us by the Creator. Anything the government gives, the government can take away.

            I’m thinking you mean this differently than it sounds.

            I think I could sign on to your explanation. Having taken up arms, and then laid them down, I will know when it is time to take them up again.

            We’d be a much safer country if every male was required to give two years of military service to the country. Then those who pontificate about war and peace, guns and violence, tyranny and freedom would have a better context to discuss the matter.

          • kschaub says

            Hey Frank –

            Yes I do mean it. I will not characterize the right to keep and bear arms on par with the “unalienable” rights endowed to us by our Creator. Our forefathers extended to US citizens in the Constitution a number of rights that not all other nations extend to their citizens.

            Whether I can make a case that some “rights” are “unalienable” and some are “alienable” will have to be for another time. But, no, I don’t hold the Second Amendment to be on par with “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

            I do believe our Maker has endowed us with “unalienable” rights—rights which no human ‘ruler’ has the right to suspend or take away without just cause (and I think Romans 13 describes cases for their just cause to suspend or violate these “unalienable” rights).

            I wouldn’t argue that the Constitution’s Bill of Rights are “unalienable rights endowed to us by our Creator.” Instead, I would characterize them as rights endowed to us by the Constitution in order to define some ways in which our “unalienable” rights are protected in our relationship with our civil authorities.

            Of course, these “government-granted” rights themselves are worded such that they can’t be dissolved or repealed without the federal government violating the Bill of Rights itself. Perhaps “government-granted” isn’t the best phrase. What about “constitutionally-granted”? That might help express that it was the states that pushed for the ten amendments “in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of [the federal government's] powers.”

            This will be my last rodeo in this comment stream.

            I do agree we agree mostly here. Just a bit of miscommunication, I think, probably due to this being the internet!

            Glad talking with you, Frank.

  8. Bruce H. says

    I would agree to gun control when they agree to scalpel control in the womb. Otherwise, I agree with what has been said already.

    • Truth Unites... and Divides says

      That’s a great trade offer! Repeal Roe v. Wade and kick it back to the states, and if you do that, I’ll help support your gun control legislation.

      Deal?

      • says

        I had an old friend comment that he didn’t think pro-death penalty and pro-life (anti-abortion) were compatible.

        So I told him I’d take the deal: ban the death penalty and abortion, both. That will save the small number of potentially innocent people that could get the death penalty and the thousands of innocent children that do.

        He then backpedaled, very rapidly.

        • Dave Miller says

          That would be a great trade. The pro-death-in-the-womb crowd would never make that deal.

          • says

            Nope. He doesn’t talk politics with me anymore.

            I even offered to give up guns if he could guarantee everyone would, and that we would arm the military to defend the borders, but there would be no guns in anyone’s possession, including the government, more than 5 miles from an international border. Wouldn’t go for that either.

          • Truth Unites... and Divides says

            “Nope. He doesn’t talk politics with me anymore.”

            Doug, does this dadgum Libber friend of yours profess to be a disciple and follower of Christ too?

          • says

            Last check, professing Roman Catholic who believed that all will be well with everyone, no matter what, unless you were mean and thought Jesus really meant that whole bit about “No man comes to the Father except through me.” In his view, hell is only for the intolerant people like Baptists, since we’re so mean now we deserve it, and the people we’re mean to are being put through hell on earth by us, so they don’t have to go for eternity.

          • Christiane says

            Hi DOUG HIBBARD,

            there is a Roman Catholic prayer, this:

            “All shall be well,
            all shall be well,
            and all manner of thing shall be well.”

            but it is connected in meaning with Our Lord’s Prayer, this:
            ‘Thy Kingdom come,
            Thy Will be done,
            on Earth as it is in Heaven’

            I suppose you could say that Catholic folk seek the Will of God in all things, and trust Him in this way:
            whatever happens that is His Will
            is ‘well’

            hope this helps the discussion a bit :)

          • cb scott says

            L’s (Christiane)

            The truth is, you still need to be born again and the religious system of which you adhere has fueled the fire of multitudes of murderous savages for centuries and still does.

          • says

            His view is this: if there is only one way, it’s by the Roman Catholic Church.

            If the RCC is not the only way to heaven, then any other way is to heaven, unless you claim the Jesus says that you must be born again. In which case, you are who hell is for: those who claim Jesus would ever reject anyone.

  9. says

    Let me say that I do believe that civil disobedience is called for if the government would force you to sin or would command you to stop preaching the gospel or pray to a false god, etc. We see this with Daniel, Peter & John in Acts 4, and every martyr ever. So, obviously, the government has limits in what it can ask and our Founders agreed. America is partially built on a sense of the limitation of governmental power.

    My question comes in regard to the attempt of government to regulate for the common good or even for its own ends. Obviously, we should not submit to a command to turn in all the Jews to go to the Death Camps. But, we should pay taxes, obey laws and regulations, and try to live peacefully with all men. We have to have discernment as to what we are to advocate for and what we are to submit to. Obviously, if our government provides a means of redress, we should take it. That is our right and privilege as Americans. I am here speaking to the strong reactions that I am seeing from Christians to the idea of any gun control at all. I think we should consider what we are trying to promote and on what basis.

    • Bruce H. says

      Eventually, you may be required to turn in people you know who own an AK-47. If it is the law, will you do it? Or, will you risk jail time and a bad background check? You could lose your job and children, too. All of your friends will be harassed because the government would think you told them. The pace our country is heading that direction is about 10 years.

    • says

      Where is the line between acceptable civil disobedience and unacceptable? Were the actions of Martin Luther King Jr and others who fought against the “segregation” laws in the South wrong? “Separate but Equal”, what is wrong with that, a southerner might argue. Clearly this was not on the level of the Nazi’s and the Holocaust, so was it wrong? Who decides what laws are to be suffered under, and which ones should be resisted?

      • says

        I think one of the answers here is in the methodology employed. MLK is a great example of standing against the government in a way that aligned with the principles of Scripture. He preached and practiced “non-violent civil disobedience” even when many of the people he was working to liberate derided his methods and accused him of being too soft. (Malcolm X, Nation of Islam, Huey B. Newton, Black Panther Party all made this accusation at one point in time) MLK was attempting to right a wrong because the laws of the nation were against the laws of scripture that told us in Christ there is no “Jew nor Greek”- in other words no racial division. At least that’s my take.

        • says

          Ryan is right. The ends do not justify the means. Martin Luther King, Jr. was engaging in Civil Disobedience against unjust laws in a way that lined up with the ends of a just society. His nonviolent resistance approach was an appropriate way to stand against a corrupt government.

          I think that in all of this the Early Church is our model. What did they do? What evidence do we see in Scripture? Nero was emperor in the 60’s AD when Paul was writing many of his letters. Is America more corrupt than Rome?

          The call that we have is to obey God first and submit to the authorities out of submission to God. Yes, there are times when we will not be able to obey both God and the state. We need to be aware of unjust laws and we need to follow God. I agree with the stand that Hobby Lobby has taken, for example. We will be called upon to take more stands like that. I am simply opposing the call to gather weapons to stand against the government. I do not think that is a godly position at this point. I do think that in a case such as Nazi Germany where the government was engaging in evil acts against its citizens and putting them on trains to be killed, then armed resistance is called for. Bonhoeffer demonstrated that. But, throughout the 1930’s he tried every other angle. We should heed his example.

      • cb scott says

        svmuschany,

        Just for the sake of clarification, I would like to address something in your comment.

        From the perspective of one born in the Southland, and a perspective he held before and after he was made a child of God; “Separate but Equal” was, is, and always will be wrong, pathetically wrong.

  10. David Rogers says

    It seems to me a consistently pro-life position places a premium on the value of saving innocent human lives. If it can be successfully demonstrated that certain gun control laws end up reducing the deaths (whether by 5% or by 95%) of innocent victims, I am all-ears. I know that statistics can be made to say whatever you want them to say, and this is an especially complex issue in that regard. But I do think, as a Christian, and as a pro-lifer, this issue must be kept at the forefront of any discussion we have. Some say it is inconsistent to focus on gun control while abortion remains legal. I agree. But it is also inconsistent to say you are pro-life and not be interested in doing what is in your reach to save any innocent human life, whether, in the meantime, other problems remain unsolved or not.

    • Joe Blackmon says

      It isn’t remotely inconsistent with a pro-life position to oppose gun control laws that violate the 2nd amendment. You hear the “inconsistent” term bandied about by people who claim it’s inconsistent to claim you are pro-life by opposing abortion while not wanting to fund ridiculous government handout programs for people who could work but don’t want to work.

      • cb scott says

        Bravo, Joe! . . .and without the Liberation Theology slant that stains many of L’s’ comments.

    • says

      Legally owned firearms are used but in a fraction of the gun related crimes in this country. The vast majority of guns used are those obtained through illegal and fraudulent methods. As such, laws restricting honest citizens from owning firearms will do little to nothing to curb the loss of innocent life. In the past 30 years when states have allowed for some form of Concealed Carry within the populace, violent crime rates have either statistically stayed the same as prior, or actually have dropped. This despite the larger numbers of guns in circulation within those states. Varrious studies have shown that a criminal is less likely to target a person/home if they believe them to be armed. Criminals like easy targets. So one can argue, indeed I do, that making easier for honest citizens to own firearms, and rather making the punishment for misuse of firearms, would save lives. I am a proud gun owner, I own 5 (will be getting 2-3 more within the next month, and that is not the end), I have a CCW, and still consider myself strongly pro-life. I pray I never have to use one of my weapons to take a life, but if it comes down to killing a criminal thug to protect myself or my family I will do so without hesitation. And that is completely consistent with a pro-life view.

    • says

      Gun control is a possible response to what happened in Newtown, but, I think, a mistaken one.

      I have never read (or heard) a seriously robust argument for firearms control. Never. What seems to make sense in theory is actually completely flawed. Gun control can’t stop mass murder, unless it can be shown that it actually controls or hinders murderers, who, by the way, are not known to be murderers prior to their murderous actions.

      President Obama has said, “If there’s even one life that can be saved, then we’ve got an obligation to try.” I agree!

      Totally.

      His proposed measures, however, won’t work.

      • Truth Unites... and Divides says

        “President Obama has said, “If there’s even one life that can be saved, then we’ve got an obligation to try.””

        Good! Then you don’t mind pro-lifers being obligated to save unborn life too, do you Mr. Pro-abortionist President?

    • Bruce H. says

      David,

      It would seem that they could request all owners of the gun they want to control show proof that they own a means of locking up the gun under certain means or requirements. It would create additional sales of lockable gun safes and that would produce tax revenue. Then they would make laws to force the owners to keep them locked up. That would be “Owner Responsibility”. They could create a 3rd party home inspector to generate additional revenue and independent jobs. That is the only way our government will get away with gun control; creating jobs and making revenue at the same time.

      I worked in the elevator industry and they have done something similar. Elevators have to be inspected annually by a 3rd party certified by the government and the information submitted to a government agency verifies approval.

      • says

        A gun meant to be used for self defense does no good in a safe. A gun meant for self defense is best loaded and ready to go in easy access to wherever you are in your home. Gun safes are good for storing other guns (like ones used for hunting or target shooting). But to require that all guns in a home be locked and unloaded at all times is an unrealistic requirement. And no, the government will never be allowed to come in and “inspect” my guns. How I store my firearms in my home is no business of theirs.

        • Frank L. says

          “” And no, the government will never be allowed to come in and “inspect” my guns. How I store my firearms in my home is no business of theirs.””

          Unfortunately, while I applaud your tenacity, I cannot agree with your conclusion. Remember Ruby Ridge? You will not be able to hold off Obama’s thugs with the threat of violence. His threat will be much greater. I stand with you in principle and hope we can derail this runaway train before too much damage is incurred.

          Remember Hitler? By the time the Jews realized they must take a stand, they had already let Hitler take their guns.

          My hope is that we stop this before Obama completely shreds what is left of the Constitution.

        • Bill Mac says

          A gun meant to be used for self defense does no good in a safe. A gun meant for self defense is best loaded and ready to go in easy access to wherever you are in your home.

          Wow, no offense meant but I, and I think most hunters have it hammered into our brains that you never, ever bring a loaded gun inside. Having a gun, loaded, in the house, within easy reach is a recipe for a tragic accident. Kids find them, you forget they are loaded, or you have provided a loaded gun for a robber or assailant.

          I suppose if you are carrying a concealed pistol or something that might be different, but if it isn’t in your hands, it should not be loaded.

          • cb scott says

            Well then Bill Mac,

            You might as well just put a sack of rocks by the door. That will be quicker. A home invasion happens fast in most all cases. The time it takes to retrieve and load a weapon is not adequate time in many cases to make a self-defense firearm of any value against evil, unless you are Nolan Ryan and can throw it 94 mph for a strike between the eyes of the assailant . . .and then you better pray he is not working in a pack.

          • Bill Mac says

            CB: Understood, and in my case I think the risk is justified. Perhaps if I lived in a high crime area I might think differently. My 4 year old nephew lies in a grave in a nearby town because he and his brother found a shotgun that was loaded and ready at hand in their house.

          • says

            Bill Mac,

            That is truly tragic about your nephew. All gun owners I know are meticulous about safety in the home. It is drummed into our heads in training courses. And those who keep loaded firearms inside use password protected and other types of safes for quick access and to be safe at the same time.

          • cb scott says

            “. . . It is drummed into our heads in training courses.”

            Bill Mac and Les,

            I think the statement by Les above is a major key to the reality of owning and using firearms.

            Bill Mac, I hate that your family suffered such a tragedy, but I know of other families who suffered at the hands of evil because they were not prepared.

            Guys, please know I am not in favor of everyone running out and buying guns and then having no responsible training and personal accountability for them.

            I think the mentality of some people about weapons is maybe as much a problem as in some discussion as is the ignorance of true evil.

            I have always thought Teddy Roosevelt had it right. “Walk softly and carry a big stick.”

            We should never seek to be known as “bad men” in our culture. However, it is my opinion that those who are truly badmen ( those with evil intent) in our culture should wish they had not messed with us if they do.

  11. Bruce H. says

    Smuschany,

    I was only talking about the “gun they want to control” to be locked up. It should not be left out at any time for any reason anyway.

    I would have a hidden hand gun called “The Judge” for personal protection or a pump .410 with buck shot within easy reach. I would lock up any and all high powered guns.

    In all political issues, whatever it is, there will be some type of government control. Keep in mind, we use to pray in school. They continued to fight it and it finally was ended. Same with guns. I think I have presented a good response based on how the fight usually ends.

  12. dean says

    We have all heard how the media portrays us as Christians. We are right wing religious nuts who love our guns. We remember the president commenting about people in Pennsylvania being bitter because they cling to guns or religion… In America today when the masses think of born again believers they should think of people who love Jesus – yes, people who are opposed to abortion – yes, people who are opposed to homosexuality – yes, people who are for religious freedom – yes, people who defend gun rights – no. I drive a pickup and own guns but owning a gun is not part of our faith. If ministers get caught up in this issue they are side tracked.

    I have seen a lot of comments about Romans 13 that I find troubling in this thread. Romans 13 is not as conditional as some seem to want it to be. If the government demands you sin you obey God rather than man. However, that is about the only condition. I can’t rebel against my government because they outlaw things I enjoy. That is true not only of guns its true of extra large soft drinks in the communist northeast part of America. The end of Romans 13 reminds us that the return of the Lord is near. I hope I don’t waste a lot of time campaigning as a minister of the Gospel that we need loser gun control. I am afraid that will fall under the hay, wood and stubble category.

    • Dave Miller says

      For Christians, civil disobedience is a last resort, as when the Christians in Acts were ordered to stop preaching.

      We should try our best to live within the laws and only stray when forced by conscience.

      • cb scott says

        This is true.

        Therefore, Dave Miller, be prepared for that “last resort” if it becomes openly necessary.

  13. Bill Mac says

    I am conflicted about this. I believe in the 2nd amendment and own several guns. However when I hear about people stocking up on AR15s, 30 shot clips, and tons of ammo, that frightens me. These are guns whose design is for killing people. Someone mentioned it wasn’t an AR15 that killed all those kids at Sandy Hook. That’s true. But if Lanza enters that school with two handguns instead of an AR15, there’s no way he kills 26 people. The second amendment isn’t absolute. You can’t simply own any type of weapon you choose. I believe Justice Scalia (certainly no lefty) has said that assault weapons are not protected by the second amendment.

    Other than if defense of our lives or the lives of others, when can Christians be justified in killing people?

    Ultimately guns aren’t the problem, crazy people are. But if we can’t stem the tide of crazy people, then we might have to limit their access to guns.

    We are a violent society, and getting more violent all the time. Christians are oddly accepting of violence whereas illicit sex brings out all our rage. We should remember that God brought the flood because the earth was filled with violence, not filled with sex. We fight against pornography but do little to combat violence-porn.

    Restricting gun ownership may not be the answer, but neither is arming everyone. I don’t have a problem with schools choosing to employ armed protection, but the idea of turning all our schools into armed compounds with the equivalent of the TSA at every door is just stupid. And armed volunteers? Seriously? Think of the crazies that would bring out of the woodwork.

    • John K says

      Bill,
      How do you define an assault weapon?
      If I strike someone with my fist is not my fist considered an assault weapon?
      More people are killed with hand guns than with rifles.
      The second amendment is protection from tyranny as you know.

      We allow the secular society to define this debate and avoid the real issue. The real issue is disturbed evil people using weapons that have guaranteed your freedom.

      We need to define and address evil people, not the object they choose to carry out evil.

      • Bill Mac says

        John: An assault weapon is a military style semi-automatic rifle, typically with a short stock and barrel, pistol grip, high capacity clip, and accessory interfaces for things like bayonets or grenade launchers. You can kill people with rocks, but rocks aren’t designed to kill as many people as possible in a short period of time.

        Do you think you have the right to own any type of weapon you want?

        • John Wylie says

          Bill Mac,

          I must respectfully take issue with your statement that Lanza would not have been able to kill 26 with two hanguns. He could have easily killed 26 with two handguns. Most 9mm semi automatics hold between 13 and 17 rounds. And magazines even for a slow person could be changed in less than 15 seconds. A school would be close quarters so the assault rifle gave Lanza no accuracy advantage.

          • John Wylie says

            Although he had a Ruger Mini 14 as well most the 67 people that Anders Behring Breivik shot in the 2011 Norway mass shooting were shot with his Glock 17 9mm pistol.

          • Bill Mac says

            John: I don’t agree. Handguns are notoriously hard to be accurate even at 10 yards. He had handguns in his possession. There’s a reason he used the assault weapon. Think about the Tuscon shootings. Handguns. 19 people shot, 6 died. Sandy Hook: 26 dead, two wounded, with an assault rifle. One boy shot 11 times.

          • Bill Mac says

            John: People can obviously be killed with pistols. But can you really suggest that pistols are as deadly as an assault rifle?

            Back to my question: Do you think people have the right to any weapon they choose? Does the government have the right to restrict any weapons? If so, why?

          • John Wylie says

            First yes I’m suggesting that in close quarters a person could kill just as many with two handguns as with an assault rifle. Second, the government already restricts the types of weapons we are allowed to have. We are not allowed to have RPGs or full autos without a collector’s license. Is there a limitation to what we can have? Obviously that answer is yes.

            But banning assault rifles will do nothing to disarm the criminal, look at the Mexican drug cartels.

            I own an AK I’m not ashamed of it. I’m not some crazy person.

          • John Wylie says

            Also, once again with respect. Please don’t mistake my passion with any animosity toward you brother.

          • Dale Pugh says

            Bill Mac, if there is a target the size of a head within 10 yards of my .40 caliber Springfield XD, all 12 rounds will go in it. The second clip would go in quickly and another 12 rounds would be placed in that same target easily. At that close range pistols can be just as deadly as an assault rifle. No question. All it takes is a little practice.

        • John K says

          Bill,
          John Wylie answered your questions about hand guns accurately. In this country today people have full automatic machine guns along with tanks and jet fighters. If you have the correct training and abilities I have no issue nor desire to take these objects away from them.

          Why is it that you have an issue with the object and do not express a desire to deal with the real issue, that being the evil person that uses an object for evil? In the bible I cannot find anywhere God judging objects, only people does God judge. We always fall for the pagan secular argument and assign blame on an object. Sad.

          • Bill Mac says

            John K: You didn’t read my comment if that’s what you think.

            I didn’t say I favored an assault weapons ban. I said I’m conflicted. But there’s no doubt that assault weapons are designed for one thing: to kill as many people as possible in a short amount of time.

            I like firing guns. I have no doubt I would have fun firing an automatic weapon. But if people start stockpiling people-killers, that makes me nervous.

            I think, as I alluded to before, that American Christians are inured to violence, and that we do not nearly take a stand against violence like we do against extramarital sex. When we are as outraged about a Quentin Tarrantino movie as we are about porn movies, then we might make some progress.

        • says

          Bill Mac and others,

          I’m not sure agree with you on the design to kill as man as possible statement. Many people just enjoy target shooting with them and hunting with them.

          But as to a ban on so-called assault weapons, even the liberal NYT has an article about ho difficult it is to define such. Check it out. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/17/us/even-defining-assault-weapons-is-complicated.html?pagewanted=1&_r=0&hp

          And next I’ll post a link with some pictures and details of rifles which really make the ban that was under Clinton and what some want now…to be really a joke. It;s all cosmetic.

        • Jake Barker says

          Bill Mac,
          What you have described as an “assault weapon” is not an “assault weapon”. You described a semi-automatic rifle that many people use for sporting purposes ie: wild hog hunting, steel target shooting etc. Had you allowed for a “selective fire mechanism” ie: a lever that has three or four settings, safe, fire, burst, auto then you would have an assault rifle. This type of rifle is only allowed if one has a specific type of license from the BATF. It is already controlled, well controlled. I know of few individuals that choose to wade the bureaucratic cesspool to obtain this license.

    • cb scott says

      “But if Lanza enters that school with two handguns instead of an AR15, there’s no way he kills 26 people.”

      Bill Mac,

      That is simply an erroneous statement.

      • Bill Mac says

        CB: I respect your opinion but I don’t think we know that for sure. I’ll concede that it depends upon his level of training but I’m willing to bet the average gun-familiar person is consistently more accurate with a bushmaster than a glock.

        • says

          I hate to be graphic here, but Bill, this isn’t about accuracy, it’s about firepower and bullet design.

          1) I’d bet (if I were a gambler) that he had full-metal jacketed 9mm ammo (cheaper) rather than hollow points.

          2) 1st graders are normally not more than about 10″-12″ from front to back and flesh is soft and so are their bones (not fully calcified)

          3) The power of a 9mm is underestimated because it is a small bullet, but most on the market travel at a very high rate of speed. Also, the class rooms are small (maybe 40-50ft across)

          4) Consequentially, he wouldn’t have to be terribly accurate: the bullet would probably travel through at least 2 if not 3 of his victims before it lost enough velocity to be deadly.

          The tragedy lies at the feet of the shooter, not the weapon.

          • Dale Pugh says

            Add to that the fact that the natural human instinct would probably be to cluster together within that confined space instead of scatter out and the tragedy just gets worse. Then it just becomes “point and shoot.” Horrible. Makes me shudder to think that people are so evil.

  14. Jess Alford says

    I ask myself one question, does anyone need more that a ten round clip?
    My answer would be NO.

    When I sleep at night my life insurance policy is always about two feet from my head. It’s a good company and it’s name is Smith and Wesson.
    I always pray and ask God to not allow anyone to try to break in my home
    after I fall asleep for the night. It would be dangerous for the thief.

    I think someone with a criminal record or someone that has mental problems should not have a gun.

    I have no problem with a police officer guarding each school. I am totally against teachers having guns. I am for the second amendment.

    Great Post, I don’t own a sword so I cannot put it back in the sheath.

    • cb scott says

      “I think someone with a criminal record or someone that has mental problems should not have a gun.”

      Depends on the type of “criminal record,” but in general, I agree. There are people who should not own firearms . . .or kitchen knives, ice picks, or big sticks.

    • cb scott says

      “When I sleep at night my life insurance policy is always about two feet from my head.”

      Who is holding it there for you while you sleep, Jess Alford? Is it Flo, The Geico Lizard, or the Allstate guy?

      • Jess Alford says

        cb scott,

        I don’t get your point, are you off your medication again.
        No one holds it there, it lays in a night stand all by it’s self.

        • cb scott says

          Jess Alford,

          Dear boy, I do declare.

          The point was: Who holds your insurance policy while you sleep? Is it: Flo, The Geico Lizard, or The Allstate Guy?

  15. Jess Alford says

    I guess I had better clear something up, I’m against teachers having guns in the classroom or anywhere in the school building.

      • Jess Alford says

        cb scott,

        Teachers have no business with guns in the classroom, there are some crazy teachers out there. I said “some”. Don’t you remember on the news teachers having sex with underage children. Teachers locking children in closets, and taping their mouth shut.

        No thank you cb, I can’t believe you said such a thing. Teachers don’t need guns in the classroom or even on school property.

        • cb scott says

          OK then, Jess Alford,

          let’s just all move into caves and keep our children safe and teach them to communicate with future generations by drawing pictures of crazy teachers on the walls.

          • Jess Alford says

            cb scott,

            You know arming everyone is not the answer. I have no problem with an armed guard at each school. Schools waste enough on nonsense to pay for a guard.

          • cb scott says

            Jess Alford,

            Just as I have not stated everyone should:
            be allowed to drive cars,
            be allowed to eat beans and onions before riding an elevator,
            be allowed to fly an airplane or jet,
            be allowed to operate the cash register at Wal-Mart,
            be allowed to take part in a B-B-Q or Chili Cook-Off, or
            be allowed to raise man-eating animals and reptiles in their backyard;
            I have not stated that everyone should be armed.

      • Jake Barker says

        I taught school for a few years after college graduation. In the early 70’s in rural Oklahoma every high school boy and may girls had a gun rack in the back glass of their pickumuptruck…..these racks were NOT empty they contained on various days 22 rifles for small game or maybe a 30/30 during deer season or even a 12 gauge shotgun for turkeys. I cannot remember even one gun going missing while the student was in class, nor was any teacher afraid that a recently paddled student would go grab a gun and return for a retribution for the paddling. Had a gunman showed up to do evil I would have trusted those students to do just what their parents or a teacher would have done….eliminate the evil one.

          • Jake Barker says

            CB,
            We fought a cultural war with both arms tied behind us and our mouths duct taped closed. We allowed the socialists to take over unopposed, we fell into gross sin…..take your choice or maybe it was all of the above. Whatever it was, it was a lack of discipline primarily and all the above fit lack of discipline. We tried to be “nice people” rather than disciplined people, we allowed illegal aliens to live among us as if they were here legally, we took from those who worked and gave to those who loafed. Most of all we failed to be on our knees asking for mercy and strength to do that what is right.

  16. Robert I Masters says

    Please remember the great heroes of God and Country in the this debate;the Black Regiment!

  17. John K says

    Bill,
    I read your comment and saw that you where conflicted that is why I replied to you. I just think Christians fall for the secular framed issue regarding the object and do not address the evil of the person. I was hoping you might consider addressing the issue God addresses, not many are willing to address evil and I thought you might.

    • Bill Mac says

      John: My comments about violence in our culture are my attempt at addressing evil. Christians shudder at porn and give violence a pass.

        • Bill Mac says

          I’ll retract the “pass”. Do you think contemporary Christians oppose violence (in media for example) as vociferously as we oppose illicit sex?

          • John K says

            Bill,
            I am not knowledgeable enough about any comparative studies regarding individual Christians oppositions to illicit sex vs. violence to comment other than antidotal information. I think Christians oppose Sin, although they themselves are Sinners.

          • Bill Mac says

            John: Forget studies. What about your own experience? In your own experience have you seen as much opposition to violence as to illicit sex?

            Sure we oppose sin, but do we really oppose all of them equally? In practice?

          • John K says

            If you require an answer from an uninformed person then I would say that I hear more about violence but that could just be the current news cycle speaking in my mind.

            Speaking of current news cycles did you here the NBC report that no rifle of any type was used at SH. The shooter used 4 hand guns, had one rifle in his car that was never used. Goes to show how the news media and politicians can whip the populace into a frenzy with a false narrative. Then after laws are passed tell the truth. Thank God for the second amendment.

            Matt Lauer: Pete Williams, our chief justice correspondent, has got some new information as well, good morning.

            Pete Williams: Matt, good morning to you. This continues to be a very complex investigation, and there is a lot of contradictory information out there, but there is some new information this morning from a couple of federal officials and state officials. They say now that there were actually four handguns recovered inside the school. Not just two as we were initially told. Four handguns and apparently only handguns that were taken into the school.

            We knew that Adam Lanza… also had an assault-style, AR-15 style rifle that he had taken to the school that was in the car he drove there, his mother’s car. But we’ve been told by several officials that he left that in the car.

  18. says

    And FWIW, I’m a big believer in the 2nd amendment. I own lots of guns. I carry sometimes. But, I will not take up arms against the government over my right to buy, own and use guns. i.e. I will not shed blood over it.

    What I think resistance should be over is religious liberty and/or some kind of forced abortion policy. That is different.

    • says

      That was part of the discussion around church: those of us who have children at home: do we deprive them of their fathers in an attempt to hold to our firearms? Do I refuse to surrender my old 30-30 and go to prison, or risk armed insertion into my home by BATFE and risk lives, or do I accept the loss of one part of freedom to keep the rest?

      The perspective differs, I think, on stages of life. Disarming Americans now means our grandchildren will face either invasion or tyranny, but (if a disarmament law is passed) not doing so means our children face being orphans for the sake of the firearm.

      One thing to do that for the sake of Christ. Another entirely for the sake of Glock.

      • cb scott says

        “One thing to do that for the sake of Christ. Another entirely for the sake of Glock.”

        Amen about 10 or 12 times.

    • says

      Doug,

      “One thing to do that for the sake of Christ. Another entirely for the sake of Glock.”

      Great sentence. And that is my point. I can’t find scriptural support to fight to the death for my guns, as much as I like them.

      Here’s a question: What if in god’s providence He wants us to live under a tyrannical government? Wouldn’t be the first time in history.

      • cb scott says

        No, it would not. Nor would it be the first time, in God’s providence, men rebelled against a tyrannical government.

      • says

        I agree of course CB. The question then is rebel over what issue(s)? Shed blood over the constitutional right to own a Glock? I don’t think so.

        • cb scott says

          Les,

          I don’t defend Glocks. They are made in Austria. I defend S&W and Ruger. They are made in America. :-)

          • says

            Some Glocks are made in Georgia….or at least part of them are.

            I find the Glock lighter than the S&W, so one is for all-day and the other for special purposes. The trigger pull difference is also a factor, as the Glock is about half the S&W and so is easier for those members of the household with weaker hands to shoot.

          • cb scott says

            Doug Hibbard,

            You are right as the rain. My admiration of you grows daily. Not as in Charles Daily shotguns, but as in Sunday — Saturday. ;-)

            Have you had any experience with the new M&P Shield from S&W?

      • says

        That’s a good question. It has certainly happened to God’s people more often in history than they have lived in freedom.

        I think that gets into the whole idea of defending human life and freedom based on the image of God in man and the value of life. Tyranny itself, after all, has degrees: it is one thing to be economically oppressed, another entirely to have armed death squads roaming the streets. God in his providence may intend even the latter, but there I would risk his rebuke at the gates for fighting against it.

        So: yes, I would take a shot at Hitler if I had the chance–but probably not until 1940. In 1936 I would hope that i would see him as evil, but to be fought based on the existing laws and structures. When you see the Warsaw Ghetto, it’s time to dig up those unreported weapons you buried in the backyard and stand to.

        And I know that we both: do not know what we would have done in those times and do not expect identical situations. However, if we illustrate from history, we refrain from name-calling in the present.

        • says

          Not, ahem, that I have buried anything in the backyard nor that I have intentions of doing so. Living in a parsonage, my yard is church property and a decision to do that, if taken, would have to be done so as not to involve the church in the situation.

  19. Bill Mac says

    Let me ask the question again: Other than in self defense or the defense of the lives of others, when are Christians justified in killing people?

      • cb scott says

        2). In the legal and biblical execution of those who have forfeited their right to live freely in society due to their actions against other people.

      • cb scott says

        Bill Mac and Les,

        Let me add, before condemned as a mad man, that if the government does ban firearms, I will not take up arms and attack the nearest government office, just as I have never taken up arms and attacked the nearest abortion clinic.

        I will continue to pray God’s movement upon the hearts of those in government leadership that they cease to be Neo-Pagan Vandals and Visigoths and reprobates.

        I will also begin to work on a clothing and harness system that enables a person to carry a concealed crossbow, patent it, and put it on the market for sale. The demand will be great.

        I will then become richer than Bill Gates on a worldwide market and become the largest contributor to Lottie, Annie, Wycliffe Bible Translators, Gideons International, and some Southern Baptist colleges and seminaries, and Christ-centered orphanages in the history of mankind.

        • Bill Mac says

          BTW, I agree with your conditions. That’s why I’m wondering why Christians are talking about taking up arms against the government.

          • cb scott says

            Bill Mac,

            I just got off the phone with a dear brother who is addressing this issue. Let me be clear here. I do not think that Baptist preachers need to be turning their pulpits into staging grounds for the advocation of overthrowing the government by violent means. Such radical behavior without rational foundation and, frankly, just stupid.

            In addition, I think it was a poor move on the part of my beloved NRA to used the children of the POTUS in a commercial to fight his efforts at gun control.

            At the same time, I think it is poor thinking on the part of the POTUS to believe he has a legitimate to infringe upon the rights of my children to be protected by a well prepared and capable daddy as their first line of defense against the evil that men do.

  20. says

    While I am not interested in debating gun control here, I think it can be helpful to analyze the differences in the way both sides of that issue think, and the communication problems that result. Here’s how I understand the differences…

    Gun rights advocates and gun control advocates have very different views of the public and of morality. The former are more foundational and absolutist in their thinking, while the latter are more relativistic. This results in gun rights advocates viewing the public as a polarized body consisting of a stable subset of responsible, law-abiding citizens as well as a subset of irresponsible, scoff-laws and would-be criminals. The more relativistic view of the gun control advocates results in their view of the public as a morally homogeneous group of which every individual is a potential criminal and violent perpetrator. Therefore, while the gun rights advocate sees the need for protection from the criminal element, the gun control advocate sees the need for protection from every member of the public. The former objects that if guns are made illegal, then only law-abiding citizens will be denied access to them, leaving everyone unprotected from those who are the real threat; while the latter sees the main threat coming not from some criminal element but from those very citizens who are ordinarily law-abiding.

    Such a vast philosophical difference in how the two sides think and view the world precludes any real progress on the issue. This is the same kind of difference in thinking that frustrates some theological debates.

  21. Robert I Masters says

    I would highly recommend Wade Burlesons two articles on this issue. I have not seen any better articles on the internet.

    Gun control and the tragedy at Sandy Hook

    The Main reason for the 2nd Amendment

  22. Robert I Masters says

    An interesting fact concerning this issue:
    Before the Sandy Hook tragedy a thousand rounds cost 270 dollars online!
    Today those same rounds cost just a little less then 900 dollars online!

    Well maybe that is the type of economic growth “King Obama” is encouraging these days.

  23. Truth Unites... and Divides says

    Pharaoh and his men were hot after the departing Hebrews. Grievous harm and forced abduction and slavery were on the agenda. Violent death would likely occur to some of the Hebrews, as well as plunder and rape.

    The people were very afraid.

    What did God do to Pharaoh’s army?

    Violent death.

    Sometimes God uses “good” godly violence to stop evil violence. And we need soldiers of Christ to sometimes use “good” godly violence to stop evil violence.

    • cb scott says

      Yeah,

      It would be an advantage to be able to pack a “Red Sea” in a shoulder holster to unleash now and again, would it not?

      • Truth Unites... and Divides says

        Well, you can nickname the piece in your shoulder holster the “Red Sea” if you want.

        ;-)

    • Bill Mac says

      I agree that sometimes violence is necessary. I don’t think the bible forbids it. But I still maintain that Christians have not taken a stand against violence with the same zeal that we have taken against sexual sins. I know Rob disagrees but I just have not seen it.

      • Truth Unites... and Divides says

        “I agree that sometimes violence is necessary. I don’t think the bible forbids it.”

        This is a good agreement.

  24. Ian Docker says

    One of the challenges of being a Christian, disciple of Christ, is that of self awareness and whether ones culture dominates ones faith. Though it might be a painful exercise, its often helpful for the soul to ask what is it that I truly fear? What is it that makes me, concerned? anxious? and where is God in the context of my concerns and in the context of his sovereignty, his character and his desire that I seek to be holy with my thoughts, words & actions? Secondly, is my socialization such that I’m trying to hold on to a perceived way of life that is somewhat flawed and which will eventually slip through my fingers no matter how hard I try to hang on to it? Is there then a citizenship that’s not only true but also eternal? And what values, principles, transcend this short life for such a citizenship?

  25. Frank L. says

    “”I am miserable, wretched, and tormented soul because the life and freedoms that I enjoy today was because of the unbiblical, ungodly armed rebellion by this country in the 1700?s against the King of England at that time. The ends don’t justify the means.”””

    Unbelievable. I guess you have contempt for those of us who risked our lives — and many who died — to offer you the opportunity to pontificate on your great sorrow of being an American.

    I might remind you we have no quota on “emmigration.”

    Not that the facts seem to matter but we were in this country long before any “armed rebellion against your king.” We did not ask for the fight, we just decided that sacrificing our freedom and that of our children and grandchildren was not an option.

    • says

      Frank,

      I am pretty sure he is being sarcastic.

      I think that tying the American Revolution to anything that is happening now is a huge mistake. They are two totally different contexts. The American Colonies had been basically left alone by England for well over 100 years. All of a sudden, after the end of the French and Indian War, Britain begins to assert dominance and control while trying to extract wealth from the Colonists to pay the debts of the Crown. Of course, the Colonists had no vote, no say, and no recourse. They could start no political movements, had no representatives, and could not rightfully oppose the actions of King George III. The power that England had begun to exercise was a new thing and the Colonists opposed it because they had basically acted as a free people before this. When the oppression began, they could not do anything at all about it.

      We still have the ballot box. We still have representatives. We still live in a free nation. We have much recourse and a long way to go before any talk of anything like the American Revolution should even be thought of.

      Now, Civil Disobedience when the government dictates that Christians do things against Scripture might be right around the corner. Look at the Hobby Lobby situation. But, they would be wrong to take up arms in that situation.

      Acting as though we are on a definite slippery slope to the worst-case scenario is not acting in faith. Worrying about tomorrow because of some acts today is not the way to go, in my opinion. If you think that these Executive Orders oppose the 2nd Amendment, then say so and work to see them overturned. Contact your Congressman. Write letters. Organize protest movements. Lobby and persuade. Avail yourself of the liberties inherent in being an American. But, let’s put away the violent rhetoric. And, let’s also ask ourselves what Christ would have us do in this situation and how the primacy of the Gospel in every situation influences how we act here.

      • Frank L. says

        We are most certainly on a slippery slope. That is a biblically warranted conclusion supported by numerous examples from history.

        Enjoy your hope and change, trust your useless elections
        , but I’ll stick with the biblical prophecies and historical realities.

        It will never get me elected but my platform is “ichabod” writ large across our national landscape.

  26. Robert I Masters says

    Mr Miller,
    If you would like to obtain yourself of a nice firearm may I suggest Shirts and Shooters in LeMars . It would be a great drive for some ice cream at the Blue Bunny parlor and my cousin will gladly sell you some quality personal protection.

  27. says

    “Enjoy your hope and change, trust your useless elections, but I’ll stick with the biblical prophecies and historical realities.”

    If you think that I am placing any weight on Obama and his false promises, you are mistaken. My hope is only in The Lord and not in any political solutions from Washington. The Biblical prophecies and historical realities point to the fact that Jesus is victorious and that He will establish His Kingdom in the hearts of men as the Gospel goes forward. That is the battle that I am fighting and I’m not going to be persuaded to give in to fear because of what a President might do.

  28. says

    I was raised by folks who were born before the frontier passed away, people who believed in the right of self-defense and who really understood that the rights we have were derived from the biblical world view and especially from the Bible and the idea of a Just War, all of which had been developed and argued out by the early settlers of these colonies, among whom were my ancestors. I probably fired a gun for the first time at the age of six, supervised and approved by my grandfather and other adults (uncles, etc.). The first gun I received as a gift for my 9th birthday was a 410 gauge shotgun. By that time I had already been hunting on many occasions for rabbits and squirrels and birds. It was my privilege to work in the cotton fields with my grandfather’s brother who had served in four wars (Spanish American, Philippine War, World War I, and World War II) who knew most of the Generals as well as Theodore Roosevelt from the charge up San Juan Hill. Having done the research on the evils of the Inquisitions and religious wars, I can tell you right now that we don’t even want to think about the possibility of losing our rights of self defense. After all, seeing a loved one dragged off to a concentration camp or to an execution, if not executed before the families very eyes as sometimes happens, is a misery not to be believed. We need to be insistent, while we still have the right to be resist. Wringing one’s hands, when wives and daughters are raped in front of the family, as one group did in several situations, might be okay with them, but it hardly comports with the rights of a free people who know they are obligated to protect their own. In deed, we held the Germans accountable, though they claimed they were just obeying orders, for the extermination of the Jews and others. We held them accountable as to a higher law, the law of God. Does God hold people accountable who stand and do nothing, when they have it as a right and responsibility to resist tyranny? Is not resistance to tyranny obedience to God?

  29. says

    I’d like to see the post – Evangelical Christians and Fun: Are We Doing It Right? Because after 199 comments in this post the answer is certainly no!

  30. Dale Pugh says

    I’ve decided to preach on this topic next Sunday. The working title of my sermon is “The Christian and Gun Control: Aim Small, Miss Small.”
    :-)

  31. volfan007 says

    “Our VBS director is causing a big stir pushing her doctrine of Preregistration.” – Rev. No Respect

  32. Elizabeth says

    A christian should not own a gun. The crux of the gospel is about defying death. Its about eternity. “When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.” Read Psalm 91 and claim that promise. If God intends to give you long life to you and famliy your WORTHLESS gun will have nothing to do with it. If he wants to take your life at any point, he intended to do that too. Gladly receive it! Your daily yearning should be to meet your maker, not try to extend your life in this world.
    I recently went to my children’s public school, put my hands on the wall and claimed this promise for my children and the school. There is power in prayer, because the we fight the weapons of darkness. That CANNOT BE FOUGHT BY GUNS!!

    Psalm 91
    1 Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
    will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.[a]
    2 I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
    my God, in whom I trust.”

    3 Surely he will save you
    from the fowler’s snare
    and from the deadly pestilence.
    4 He will cover you with his feathers,
    and under his wings you will find refuge;
    his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
    5 You will not fear the terror of night,
    nor the arrow that flies by day,
    6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
    nor the plague that destroys at midday.
    7 A thousand may fall at your side,
    ten thousand at your right hand,
    but it will not come near you.
    8 You will only observe with your eyes
    and see the punishment of the wicked.
    9 If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,”
    and you make the Most High your dwelling,
    10 no harm will overtake you,
    no disaster will come near your tent.
    11 For he will command his angels concerning you
    to guard you in all your ways;
    12 they will lift you up in their hands,
    so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
    13 You will tread on the lion and the cobra;
    you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
    14 “Because he[b] loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;
    I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
    15 He will call on me, and I will answer him;
    I will be with him in trouble,
    I will deliver him and honor him.
    16 With long life I will satisfy him
    and show him my salvation.”

    • Dave Miller says

      I do not own or use guns, and I understand your passion. But I think you have a hard time making a biblical case that owning or carrying a gun is sinful or is contrary to the gospel or to scripture.

      You certainly have every right not to be a gun owner (as with me) but I do not think you have the right to judge those who make a different choice here.

      Gun owners, as a whole, do not wish to harm children or shoot up schools. That is an unfair caricature.

    • Dale Pugh says

      Have you ever heard the statement “so heavenly minded it’s no earthly good?” I don’t often use it. But in this case I’ll make an exception.

  33. Elizabeth says

    I think you completely missed my point. Why would a christian advocate something that allows taking a person’s life that Christ has forbidden to do. “Gun owners, as a whole, do not wish to harm children or shoot up schools. ‘ But they try so hard to advocate keeping guns??? You cannot tell me that all these mass murderers were mentally ill. Adam Lanza obtained guns that were legally bought. There are a lot of people in this world that are unhappy with their lives, go off the deep end and do these acts of evil and will continue to do so. As a christian, what is the right thing to do? Not own a gun or advocate owning a gun.

    “Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. ”

    Dwight D. Eisenhower

    • Dave Miller says

      Yes, but there are plenty of reasons to own and use guns other than to shoot people, are there not?

      You have every right not to own a gun, but to sit in judgment on others who make a different decision seems arrogant and judgmental to me, on an issue in which biblical evidence is lacking.

    • Dave Miller says

      Would you have America disband its military? Would you have Christians refuse to serve in the Armed Forces? Would your advice be that we simply let terrorists or tyrannical dictators do as they wish and not resist? Would you have Christian police officers NOT carry guns?

      You cannot say, “Christians should never own a gun” without advocating unilateral disarmament. That is wishful thinking at best, and national suicide at worst.

      • Jake Barker says

        Dave,
        You are starting to get the picture of the anti-gunners. Go get U one, my recomendation is a S&W M/P 40 or 45. Get some target rounds, go to a range or out in the back 40 and learn to shoot. Call me or CB…..both of us would be happy to teach you how to hit the 10 ring.

    • Truth Unites... and Divides says

      Elizabeth: “Why would a christian advocate something that allows taking a person’s life that Christ has forbidden to do.”

      Obama militantly supports abortion on demand, the premeditated murder of an unborn person’s life. Obama professes to be a Christian.

      There are numerous people who profess to be Christians who vote for pro-abortion politicians and pro-abortion legislation.

      Why would a professing Christian advocate something or enable something through their voting behavior that allows taking a person’s life that Christ has forbidden to do?

          • Jake Barker says

            Pro-choice women repent of the murder of an unborn child and we defenders of the unborn will consider giving up our self defense armaments.

          • cb scott says

            L’s,

            Do you think Elizabeth is right? Did you read her comments?

            If you did read her comments and you do think she is right, your comments about the support of American Armed Forces is sheer hypocrisy.

          • Christiane says

            ‘Elizabeth’s opinion is of course her own, and she is entitled to have one. Her choice not to own a gun IS RIGHT for her, if that is in keeping with her own conscience.

            I don’t know Elizabeth’s ‘story’ (we all have a ‘story’), and I do not know what has helped to towards forming her opinion. But it is hers. And she has the right to have that opinion for herself. And, in THIS country, she has the right to express that opinion as well.

            Do I AGREE?

            I see the ethics of defense and self defense through the teachings of my own faith, which does permit the defense of self and the defense of the innocent. There are many more biblical, ethical, and moral considerations also in my faith.
            If you wish to read some of them, Part Two, Chapter 11 of the following source is excellent:

            “http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/justpeace/documents/rc_pc_justpeace_doc_20060526_compendio-dott-soc_en.html

            you would have to scroll down into Part Two to locate Chapt. 11, if you wished to do so

            “CHAPTER ELEVEN
            THE PROMOTION OF PEACE

            I. BIBLICAL ASPECTS

            II. PEACE: THE FRUIT OF JUSTICE AND LOVE

            III. THE FAILURE OF PEACE: WAR
            a. Legitimate defence
            b. Defending peace
            c. The duty to protect the innocent
            d. Measures against those who threaten peace
            e. Disarmament
            f. The condemnation of terrorism

            IV. THE CONTRIBUTION OF THE CHURCH TO PEACE

            Is ‘Elizabeth’ right? Yes, if her conscience directs her to personally avoid the use of guns. In the end, the conscience of a person must be for them the voice of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’, if they have prayed about it, and have considered the reality of the situation they personally are in.

            In matters of war, conscientious objectors have always bravely served along side of warriors. How? As medics, as pastors, and in other ways that did not require them to personally go against their consciences.

            I know you know a lot about this, C.B. You don’t need for me to ‘lecture’ you on the historical place in Christianity for the presence among us of ‘conscientious objectors’.

    • cb scott says

      Dwight D. Eisenhower was in direct reference to the man made hell of WWII when he made that statement.

      Elizabeth, it is pathetically wrong for you to use that statement out of context to peddle your false bravado and pseudo-Christianity of left-wing elitism.

      I do not know if you have children, but if you do and some godless reptile of a man stole your child to sale her to another worse godless reptile of a man so he could ravage her to satisfy his sexual depravity and blood lust and you were privately contacted by men who told you they could get your child back and they would have to shed blood with weapons to do it . . . you would sale your home, your car, empty your bank accounts and take out every loan you could to pay the price of the extraction . . . and you would pray that those men would bring your child back home and leave her captors cold, dead, and rotting in the sun.

      You know, Elizabeth, I wonder what it would have been like to have lived peacefully in your fantasy world and sleep like a baby every night rather than to have lived in a real world where sleep is often hampered by nightmares caused by memories of the evil men do.

      Elizabeth, there is a kind of evil that is only stopped by strong men with the ability to perpetrate violence in a skillful manner and firearms are only one tool of many they use.

      A gun is a tool and no better or worse than the man using it. An unarmed public would soon become a killing field for evil men. History has proven that to be true over and over since Cain bashed Able’s brains out with a rock.

    • volfan007 says

      There’s nothing wrong with killing someone, who needs killing. If someone breaks into my house, to do harm to my wife and family, then I will ask God to help me to shoot as straight as I possibly can. I will call on him, like David called upon God to help him kill Goliath.

      Owning guns is not wrong…there’s nothing sinful about it. Nothing.

      We’re getting crazy in this country.

      David

      • cb scott says

        “. . . I will ask God to help me to shoot as straight as I possibly can.”

        That prayer has been prayed by many men. Obviously, it was answered. How do we know this? Because the primary language of Great Britain and the United States is still English rather than Japanese or German.

    • Jake Barker says

      Elizabeth,
      While that evil sack of human excrement is raping you and 911 has put you on hold, you will wish that you knew how to use a gun or knife or rock or whatever is available.

    • John K says

      Elizabeth,
      “You cannot tell me that all these mass murderers were mentally ill.
      Actually according to the Secret Service who investigates all mass murders, they have written extensive reports detailing these cases and in ALL cases of Mass Murder the murderer was either on psychotropic drugs or recently coming off their medication. These reports are available on the internet if you choose to be informed.

  34. says

    Jesus said to turn the other cheek (Matthew 5:39); He also said if you don’t have a sword, sell your garment and buy one (Luke 22:36).
    It sometimes depends on the individual situation.
    David R. Brumbelow

    • Frank L. says

      The “turn the other cheek” does not necessarily refer to absolute pacifism in the face of imminent danger for you or someone else, as the Luke passage points out.

      Jesus also formed a whip, up-ended tables and demonstrated a clear dislike for those money-changers.

      The “turn the other cheek” passage does not seem to fit the discussion of self-defense and the use of guns. It seems to fit, as some scholars have suggested, a matter of personal insult–the right cheek, hence a back-handed slap.

      • Bill Mac says

        Frank: I agree that turn the other cheek is about insult and not pacifism. At the same time, the “buy a sword” passage is not about armed resistance.

  35. cb scott says

    It seems that former president, Bill Clinton, is calling for a common sense approach to the efforts of the POTUS and his administration in its goals to bring reform to the privileges guaranteed in the Second Amendment.

    Politico reported the following:

    “Former President Bill Clinton has a warning for top Democratic donors: Don’t underestimate weapons rights supporters.

    Clinton, speaking to a group of Democrats at the Obama National Finance Committee Saturday, said gun control gets a special emotional response from people in rural states, and dismissing pro-gun arguments can backfire.

    “Do not patronize the passionate supporters of your opponents by looking down your nose at them,” Clinton said, Politico reported.

    “A lot of these people live in a world very different from the world lived in by the people proposing these things,” Clinton said. “I know because I come from this world.”

    Some polls say that the public supports proposals for increased gun control, Politico reports, but Clinton said emotions will rule when it comes to legislation on gun control.

    “All these polls that you see saying the public is for us on all these issues — they are meaningless if they’re not voting issues,” Clinton said.

    I think the boy from Arkansas who became the POTUS is right. I also think that in his latter years, common sense is returning to a man who knew better than to do some things he did, but got lost somewhere along the way.

    The Bill Clinton story should be a warning to all of us about the danger of power and how easily it can swallow us up if we do not, on a daily basis, take up the cross, die to ourselves, and follow Jesus.

      • cb scott says

        Duckman Dale,

        Strange, is it not? The longer I live the more L realize, The United States is an amazing place to live. It is also an amazing place in which to be a follower of Christ. And just like anywhere else on the planet, the fields are white unto harvest. The challenge is simply amazing.

    • Jake Barker says

      The more Bill stays away from that foul jezebel that he is married to the more he will resemble the good governor of Arkansas that he was. Didn’t say he was a moral governor, just a good one that brought lots of jobs to that state.