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Daily Thought - Guns, Gun Control, And Christianity

Discussion in 'Thoughts for Today' started by anthony wade, Jan 16, 2013.

  1. Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say, “I will take revenge; I will pay them back,” says the Lord.Instead, “If your enemies are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals of shame on their heads.”Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good. – Romans 12: 17-21 (NLT)

    Twenty children were laid to rest in Newtown Connecticut. All under the age of ten years old, America was once again shocked into having to deal with the face of evil in this fallen world. The unthinkable resulted in the same old conversation politically. Same as after Aurora, Colorado. Same after Virginia Tech. Same after Columbine. This time there seems to be more of an appetite for the harder questions; probably because of the ages of the victims. The first topic usually on the agenda is guns and gun control. That is where the real fight starts and ends. Everyone can talk in semi agreement around other issues but once guns are put on the table, it seems we are more opposed than ever. Inevitably, the subject ends up in Christian circles as the body of Christ is so easily distracted in these end days.

    Before we get to the Word of God however, I would be remiss if I do not disclose my own personal opinion regarding this subject. I want to be very clear. Neither side has the whole truth going for them. Both sides are filled with talking points that border on the absurd to simply inaccurate. I can tell you this – gun control measures will not prevent the next Newtown. Evil is evil is evil. As we head further into the end times we see what has been prophesied coming true:

    Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.– Matthew 24: 12 - 13 (NIV)

    Can there be any doubt regarding the increase in wickedness? Cain did not need a gun to kill Abel. That being said, we are not talking about eliminating gun ownership. We are talking about what we can do as a society that fancies itself civilized to minimize the damage at the next Newtown. I am not for the elimination of the second amendment because I do not want to be in a country that calls itself free yet the government is the only ones holding the guns. I taught history; I know where that leads to. That said however, is it not reasonable to try and use common sense? Do hunters really need armor piercing bullets? Is there a new breed of deer wearing Kevlar that I am unaware of? I would like to think that reasonable people can disagree reasonably and find common ground. But our society has devolved into these two opposing camps where compromise is seen as weakness and not to be tolerated. Twenty kids beloved. Can’t we do better than to be petulantly adamant and refuse to move from our pre-formed positions? I hold no illusions however. These arguments of mine are carnal arguments – not Christian arguments.

    I read an article yesterday defending guns written by a Christian website yesterday. The entire piece seemed to be about setting up strawmen for the author to easily knock down. I am going to focus on this crux of their argument:

    “Obviously, the gun itself is amoral, an object that can be used for good or for evil. More important is the morality of the person wielding the gun, and that is too often the missing consideration in the gun control argument. The fact that some sinners use guns to commit sin does not mean guns are the problem. Sin is the problem, and that’s a moral and spiritual issue. Since the very beginning of humanity, people have been killing other people, with and without weapons (see Genesis 4). Taking a certain weapon out of circulation might make murder more difficult but by no means impossible.”

    I cry foul because the writer appears intelligent enough to realize how empty his position is. Yes, this problem is spiritual but to deny the carnal element of the gun is simply ludicrous. Yes, a gun sitting on a table is amoral but once someone picks it up and chooses to use it they are making a moral decision. I am not just speaking about Newtown. The writer seems to imply that some who choose to use guns are not sinners even though the Bible says we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Not everything is as black and white as Newtown. Look at the Trayvon Martin case. I am sure the shooter felt that he made a just and moral decision when he shot Trayvon but that doesn’t make him right, especially not in the eyes of God. The larger point is can’t we as a society find other ways to resolve our problems? The writer above finishes with the point that taking certain weapons out of circulation might make murder more difficult but not impossible. Exactly! That is the entire point! No one is foolish enough to say that banning assault weapons or semi-automatic weapons is going to prevent the next Newtown but maybe it will lessen the damage? Isn’t that the point? If we accept the fact that sin exists and Satan will keep up his pressure on this fallen world then isn’t the next responsible step to lessen the grief? Lessen the victims? Without the semi automatic capabilities and the high capacity magazines, how many children would have survived Newtown that were buried this month? The world sees Christians as being overly concerned with life prior to birth but not so caring once the child is born. How profoundly sad.

    As always, we should not base our opinions on carnal arguments – mine or anyone else’s. We are to base what we do and believe on the Word of God. Despite so many attempts to butch up Jesus – He remains the Prince of Peace. He believed in turning the other cheek. He believed that anger alone was on par with murder. Christians should not be so quick to deal in death; even if they feel it is justified somehow with more carnality. What do the key verses teach us? Never pay back evil with more evil. The nature of the crimes in Newtown do not trump Scripture – in fact it only confirms the Bible. Those of you have not read the Cross and the Switchblade; I challenge you to read it. While you are reading it ask yourself what would have happened if David Wilkerson had chosen to buy a handgun for protection after his first run in with Nicky Cruz? Certainly he would have been justified by society and probably the church as well. After all, Cruz had slapped him and threatened to kill him. Instead Pastor Dave prayed and continued to tell this warlord of a local gang that Jesus loved him. I am amazed when Christian writers correctly assess something as a spiritual battle and then argue for a carnal solution. We are supposed to be set apart beloved. The way the world thinks is not supposed to be how we think. If our enemy is hungry we are supposed to feed him, not buy a gun in case he comes back. If they are thirsty we are to give them a drink. David Wilkerson understood that and because of it, not only was Nicky Cruz saved but the entire gang was. Cruz went on to become a preacher of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

    I understand that some will read this and think that it is too naïve. I am ok with that. I serve a big God who solves big problems when we take them to Him. Guns sitting by themselves are neither good nor evil but man is always evil by nature. And it is man who eventually picks up a gun and determines on his own what is moral and not moral to do with that gun. Therein lies the rub. If you want to make arguments on either side of this debate I really do not have a problem with that as long as you recognize they are carnal arguments. Scripture reveals that blessed are the peacemakers – not the gun owners. Not the lobbyists. Not the gun control crowd either. They both have good arguments on their side mixed with nonsense. My hope is that the 20 dead children would make people want to find common ground instead of pointing fingers and yelling at each other. Whichever side you find your heart leaning though, leave Christ out of it. If only we would spend as much energy and passion reaching the lost. If only.

    Rev. Anthony.
    Rusty and spk...1 say Amen and like this.
  2. Hence my dilemma...Yes , I agree and disagree. those with the guns control those without the guns-historical fact. As a Christian I am bound but many of the scriptures you put forth. At the same time as a veteran and ex-contractor during Operation Iraqi Freedom, I find it foolish to roll over rights clearly given to the citizens of this country for protection against the bureaucratic dictatorship we now live under.

    Do we as Christians lay down our lives for the cause of Christ as Christ in the ultimate act of humility and sacrifice? My heart says yes.

    And then I think of my daughter...and those left behind when I am departed to deal with the monstrous deluge of power hungry loonies sure to come. I think my life better well spent defending my family-giving my life in their defense-and my odds are better matched if I can at least have comparable weapons to the common soldier.

    Then I think again-will it make a difference in eternity-probably not, that's Christ's call.

    If it were only myself-I would turn my guns over this day, quit my job, and walk the streets professing the wonders of our God...I suppose, I could lay it all down anyway...

    Maybe I am selfish and prideful.. "who can know it..."
  3. Anthony Wade,

    Thank you for your post. I am surprised at how well you discern things. I too have a confession though. I have a simple long-barrel (goose) shotgun for keeping crows at bay on my blueberry farm. I had up to 300 of them about to take away a large part of my crop one year, for I didn't have the heart to harm them. I would just shoot to miss and scare them. Those birds seemed smart enough to figure me out and seemed to laugh at me with my bad shooting. I had resolved to stop this problem the hard way. I bought some hi-powered shells and did some target practicing. I went into the blueberry field and opened up the skies. Needless to say that the three hundred crows gave me an upward spiral signature group flying pattern way above the farm. I didn't even want to kill them, so I stop shotting them and just watched as they kept climbing talking to each other as they gain altitude. After a few minutes when they got as high as the clouds, they made a B-line straight to the North. I never had a problem again. It sadden me to have to kill the beautiful birds. One bird stayed around the farm crying (calling out) for almost two weeks at the lost of its mate from my shooting day. It almost seemed angry with its calling as though to tell God and me about its heartfelt lost. I don't reach for my shot gun anymore. It is getting rusty over the years. I couldn't ever imagine using it on a human being. I keep the gun empty, hidden, out of reach and far from its shells. Since my oldest young son is now almost 7 years old, I may move the shells further away (outside of the house) and locked them up. I plan to invest in a gun lock as well.

    I like you, can not see straight as to use a gun against other people, however evil they are. Sounds stupid to most sane people. Jesus didn't ask us to be logical about following him. He asked us to just follow him to reach the Father and be known by Him. This is an evil world and we are for sure in it. We are asked to not be a part of it. Like you stated, we are asked to love those who do evil to us. It may seem foolish to people to follow Christ in the way that he told us, but as we trust him and follow him, we trust that God will be with our family. He is quite able and willing to do good things for his children. I have witnessed plenty. We don't need miracles to believe in him. We just need to have a heart to heart conversation within us and commit truly to Christ's. Is it so hard to be truly a follower of Jesus Christ? Isn't that the only way to obey the will of God, as his children of Light in this world of darkness?

    I have associations with people who hold on to an abundance of guns of all types and some are most likely illegal. They do plan on using these in self-defense. How am I to tell them what Jesus tells us to do, but I should. We are to be children of light in following Christ. We are asked to love and not sacrifice. We are asked to give mercy and forgiveness. If our lives are lost, they are won being with Jesus. Why is that so bad or not a hope of all Christians?

    I think in the last days, there will be increasingly a difference between a cardinal Christian and truly Jesus'. Isn't it better to know that you are following him?

    So far, I am spared the crow problem, but it may come again one day. I have tried to tolerate a few of them over the years. I hope that my gun stays a little rusty. I may clean it to keep it in safe condition, but never to defend myself or my family. It is God who defends us. He knows his children and cares for them. The only thing that evil will inherit when they try to kill the light is less darkness. Evil will be overcome by the only way that is possible, with love from the children of Light.

    To everyone:

    I don't need miracles to believe in God, but he has sent plenty. They make me ashamed of myself and my sinful nature. I know that he cares and has a beautiful plan. Be in his care and not that of worldly ways, especially through its weapons. Love the weapons that really work and defeats evil at its roots. It won't grow again from its source when you use the weapons of God through Christ. Christians are really suppose to be fearless warriors fighting evil and destroying it completely. I did a little here and there. I don't know how the battle is going in these souls' lives. I pray that they were touched and mature towards the light of God through Jesus Christ. Every time that you show kindness, love, mercy, forgiveness, trust and faith in others, you are helping to bring these souls out of darkness. Have a great day in the Lord.

    Please listen to this miracle:

    I was on a mission trip to Mexico back in the summer of 2004, I was walking mostly to the rear of a part of our mission group there with a few of the Mexican Christians that we were helping. We were walking down the city streets near our Church. The young Mexican Christian couple walking just behind me, all of a sudden moved quickly ahead of me to join the main group. I don't know what hit me, except to say that I saw in my mind danger like lights and sirens going off. I could see in my mind four young evil adult males speaking to each other with malice in their hearts coming after us. I knew that I stood between our group and these bad guys. I turned around to face them in my heightened fear. I then saw four well dressed mature tall young men quickly advancing to me and the group. In my heart, I knew who the leader was and stared at him with a defensive fear to protect the Christians. I am not a fighter nor could I be. I was afraid that they would rob or harm us. All I knew was that I was going to try and stop them. I didn't even break my pace walking backwards facing them to repel them in my uncertainty and great fear. When my gaze fixed onto the leader, the others turned to him as he motioned them to divert from this confrontation. Maybe, he saw my fear as the uncertainty in his planned bold attack, knowing that I was determined to stop them. If he did attack and God did not intervene, I would have been killed, yet maybe my group would have been spared. It is possible that God would have given me great strength or great weakness, he intervened. I really prefer that he gives me his will in my life, even great weakness as humility and love. I don't ever want to harm a soul. I have done enough evil in my past and never want it again. I think that maybe, I would have spoken to them in their language through the Holy Spirit to love them and lead them away from their darkness. I am glad that any violence was adverted. Whatever could have happened, I trust God and want to follow him only. The real enemy that we face is ourselves (our human flesh) being against the will of God. God gave me the warning, not so much to protect me, but to divert the evil men from their harm to our group. God does protect us. We need to trust him. In our weakness, we need to be strong to be as Christ has told us. God is our warrior and protector. He gives us our weapons (from the teachings and commands of Christ) while we are here. Follow Jesus, the pathway is sure.

    There are many such happenings in my life and in that of other Christians that I know. Protection is one of God's specialities; courage and fearlessness should be ours. Was I fearless when fear was written all over my face? I may have been a little mad with my fear at the time. I only hope that I wouldn't hurt a soul. Did you know that if you have faith in Jesus and trust him that the battle is over before it starts? The real battle is in ourselves and that is where it is over, if we have faith. Please follow Christ Jesus and have a wonderful day everyone.
    Rusty likes this.
  4. Thanks for sharing. Who knows what the Holy Spirit showed that thug to make him change his mind but praise God either way. On the guns, I am not inclined to live where the government are the only ones allowed to have guns. I just think that we need to realize that there are carnal arguments for what society we live in and Christian arguments. I just want to keep them separate.
  5. I completely agree. And a great testimony of your mission experience.
    anthony wade likes this.
  6. Thoughtful.

    Just talked with my little brother. He just returned from an extended conference he lead in teaching 26 new pastors in Tijuana, Mexico, one of the gun happy murder capitals of the Western world.

    I asked him if he or others carried guns:

    "Sure; the Gospel Gun!"

    I think God protects those that totally trust in Him, and lets those who trust Him not worry.


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