God & Gun Control8 min read
Gun control is a hot topic guaranteed to ruffle someone’s feathers. It seems like everyone has a strong opinion on the subject. Since the deplorable Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, it has become a very emotional topic, and sadly, a very political issue.
Naturally, as an American nationalist and strong believer in the Bill of Rights, I am very much opposed to anything that infringes on the freedoms guaranteed to me as an American citizen. I am one of the most ‘pro-gun’ (pro-freedom) people you’ll ever meet. But now that I am a Christian, my primary citizenship is in heaven (Phil. 3:20). The important question every Christian needs to ask on the subject is, “What should God’s children think about the issue of gun control?”
Gun Control Is Simply A Non-Issue To Christians
Like Jesus, we must be “about our Father’s business” (cf. Lk. 2:49). Consider the man who asked Jesus to settle an argument between him and his brother over dividing their father’s inheritance (Lk. 12:13). Jesus replied, in essence, “What business do I have with your material possessions? If you fight to improve your quality of life in this world – at the expense of your spiritual life – what have you gained? Absolutely nothing” (Lk. 12:14-21).
How important are gun rights to your relationship with God? If you value your firearms more than eternal life, then you certainly deserve to lose both. Everything should be put into perspective of Matthew 6:33. Ask, “Can I ‘seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness’ while dedicating my life to the preservation of my gun rights?
I believe with all of my being that as long as Americans have the “right to keep and bear arms” we will be a free people. Gun rights are what separate ‘citizens’ from ‘subjects.’ But is it wrong to be subject to someone? Did Paul tell Philemon that it was wrong for someone to be subject to him? What does the 2nd Amendment (or the any other Amendment) have to do with the Gospel of Christ? What does it have to do with souls? Nothing. I simply cannot dedicate my Christian-self to the preservation or expansion of earthly freedoms. Regardless of my ‘rights’ or ‘freedoms,’ I cannot help but “preach Jesus Christ and Him crucified” (1 Cor. 1:23; 2:2).
I believe God looks at His children with shame when He sees them more vocal about petty politics than they are about His precious Son.
There Is Nothing Inherently ‘Evil’ Or ‘Good’ About A Firearm
A firearm does not have free moral agency. A gun has never killed anyone. It is simply a tool to fulfill the wishes of its user. Obviously, guns can be used for murder and other baseless acts. But they can also be used for recreation, defense, and investments.
It Is Not Wrong To Own A Weapon
My Lord’s disciples carried weapons. Jesus, the “King of Peace,” did not think it was contradictory to His nature to allow His disciples to carry swords. On one occasion He actually told His disciples that if one did not own a sword, he should sell his garment to buy one (Lk. 22:36). While the meaning of this verse may be debatable to some, we can certainly infer an implication that there nothing inherently wrong with owning and carrying a weapon.
Also, there were some soldiers who came to John the Baptist and asked, “What shall we do?” John replied, “Do not imitate anyone or accuse falsely, and be content with your wages” (Lk. 3:14). If it were wrong to have weapons, surely John the Baptist would have told them to lay them down.
Nowhere in Scripture are weapons condemned. The Bible only condemns them when used in an illicit fashion. Jesus, for example, after Peter cut off the high priest’s servant’s ear for laying his hands on Him, scolded Peter, “Put your sword in its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword” (Matt. 26:52). Violent men will certainly die by violence. Weapons must be used in Truth, which brings us to an additional point:
The Bible Teaches Personal Accountability
After the awful Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, wherein 20 children and 6 adults were murdered in cold blood, the media focused on something odd. The major stories didn’t center around the murderer, but on the gun itself. I believe what we are seeing in America is a diminishing of personal accountability – blaming sin on someone else (or something else). The ideology of gun control, by its nature, undermines the principle of personal accountability. As a Christian, I cannot blame the gun when I should be blaming the person holding the gun.
The Bible stands in opposition to diminished personal accountability. “Each of us shall give account of himself to God” (Rom. 14:12). “We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad” (2 Cor. 5:10). “Work out your salvation with fear and trembling” (Phil. 2:12).
We are responsibility for our actions on earth, and ultimately the eternal fate of our souls. I am accountable for my actions, and will answer for everything that I do. I must not minimize the seriousness of such a reality.
Christians Must Submit To Their Government
Christians are commanded to submit to their government – the only exception being when submission requires us to directly disobey God’s Will. Consider what the apostle Paul commanded:
1 Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, 4 for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. 6 For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. 7 Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed. (Rom. 13:1-7, ESV)
Consider three (3) points based upon this passage:
- God instituted our government. To resist government is to resist God.
- Government is one of three divine institutions (the others being the home and the church). Each institution is comprised of human beings, so naturally problems will arise. The government may abuse its power, but every citizen must still submit to its laws. In much the same way, the husband may abuse his role in relation to the wife and an eldership may abuse its position in relation to the flock, but it is not optional for the wife to be disobedient to her husband or for a congregation to be insubordinate to its eldership (cf. Eph. 5:22; Heb. 13:17).
- Even if I must disobey the government, I must do so with a submissive spirit. There may be a time when a Christian must chose to “obey God rather than man” (Acts 5:29). If I cannot in good conscience obey my government, I must never put aside true submission.
Consider the example of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego (Daniel 3:12), who could not worship King Nebuchadnezzar’s gods, even though law required it. They did not exhibit a rebellious attitude; they did not advocate an overthrow of the government. Indeed, they were so submissive that they were willing to pay the price of not bowing down to false idols – the death penalty! They still demonstrated a submissive attitude, even when they could not submit to the law.Also consider Peter & John when the Sanhedrin demanded that they stop preaching Jesus. Though they couldn’t stop, they were not disrespectful and did not challenge the authority of the governing body. Their response demonstrated a submissive spirit, even though they could not obey them (cf. Acts 4:19).
The above examples demonstrate the spirit I must have when asked to do something in direct opposition to God. How much more petty is the issue of ‘gun control’ in comparison? If the government decides to take away my guns – and further legal or diplomatic recourse is not optional – I must be submissive. I must give up my guns, lest I be insubordinate to the government.
What else would Jesus expect of me? If someone came to Jesus’ door and demanded His guns, would He respond with violence? Would he shout, “I’ll give you My guns when you pry them from My cold, dead hands”? I can’t imagine Jesus responding in any other way other than full submission.
The answer to violence in America is not gun control (which is just a politically correct way of saying ‘civilian disarmament’). Guns are not the problem. Sinful people are the problem. The answer is Jesus Christ. The Bible must be promoted, not minimized, and the teachings of Jesus Christ must be taught.
As our nation decays and falls further away from God, freedoms will inevitably deteriorate. If the 2nd Amendment is further infringed upon, I must react in a manner that will please Christ. I do not believe God is glorified when I respond with insubordination. Such a statement may be opposed to the typical ‘Don’t Tread On Me’ American mentality, but it is a Biblical one.
No matter what, I must dedicate myself to the Lord and His Church (cf. Matt. 6:33). The church is the “pillar and ground of the truth” (1 Tim. 3:15). Regardless of what the government does, I will always preach the existence of God – He speaks to us through the Bible – our greatest problem is sin – we need a Savior – and to be saved by God’s grace we need to be obedient to Him.