Sunday, October 15, 2017

A Biblical Viewpoint on Bearing Arms

Whenever a mass shooting takes place, there is increased talk in the media about gun control. That is happening again following the recent tragedy in Las Vegas, Nevada. From two 32nd story hotel windows, 64-year-old Stephen Paddock used automatic weapons to fire upon a crowd gathered for a country music concert. 59 people died and over 500 others were wounded. This surpassed last year’s Orlando nightclub massacre as the deadliest shooting by a lone gunman in U.S. history.

Back in 2012, Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher shot and killed his girlfriend before committing suicide hours later at the team’s practice facility. The next night during a nationally televised football game, NBC Sportscaster Bob Costas stated, “If Jovan Belcher didn't possess a gun, he and Kasandra Perkins [Belcher’s girlfriend] would both be alive today.” Some Americans think taking guns out of public hands will reduce the amount of murders in this country. One of my Facebook friends posted this interesting analogy: “Jim Jones killed a lot of people with Kool-Aid. Thank God Kool-Aid wasn’t banned or I wouldn’t have had a childhood.”

Although I'm not a gun owner, I strongly support the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution, which protects the right of civilians to keep and bear arms. President Ronald Reagan stated two years after surviving an assassination attempt, “You won't get gun control by disarming law-abiding citizens. There's only one way to get real gun control: Disarm the thugs and the criminals, lock them up and if you don't actually throw away the key, at least lose it for a long time...It's a nasty truth, but those who seek to inflict harm are not fazed by gun controllers. I happen to know this from personal experience.”

Back when Jesus walked the face of this earth, the sword was the gun of its day. Both civilians and those in authority carried them. According to Luke 22, Jesus was not a pacifist like some anti-war demonstrators want to believe…

36 Then He {Jesus] said to them, “But now, he who has a money bag, let him take it, and likewise a knapsack; and he who has no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one. 
37 For I say to you that this, which is written must still be accomplished in Me: ‘And He was numbered with the transgressors.’ For the things concerning Me have an end.”
38 So they said, “Lord, look, here are two swords.” And He said to them, “It is enough.”

Of course, Jesus didn’t condone indiscriminate use of weapons. In response to Peter cutting off the right ear of the high priest’s servant, the Lord said in Matthew 26:52, “Put your sword in its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword.”  

The problem isn’t the National Rifle Association or gun ownership but wicked criminals who possess these weapons. Guns do not come alive and kill people on their own. Somebody has to pull the trigger. The solution can be clearly illustrated in this poem written by Darrell Scott whose daughter Rachel was killed during the 1999 mass shooting at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado…

Your laws ignore our deepest needs
Your words are empty air.
You've stripped away our heritage.
You've outlawed simple prayer.

Now gunshots fill our classrooms.
And precious children die.
You seek for answers everywhere.
And ask the question “WHY”?

You regulate restrictive laws.
Through legislative creed.
And yet you fail to understand.
That God is what we need! 

“But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.” – Matthew 15:18-19

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