It seems all the news currently is about guns etc. Since most Christians either do not know or refuse to believe what is recorded in the Sermon on the Mount, perhaps it would be wise to look again at what Jesus said in Matthew 5:38, 39, 43 and 44:
“Ye have heard that it hath been said, ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth .’
But I say unto you that ye resist not evil, but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also .
Ye have heard that it hath been said, ‘Thou shalt love thy neighbor and hate thine enemy .’
But I say unto you, love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them that despitefully use you and persecute you .”
Most arguments supporting the right to bear arms deal with the freedom to retaliate defend and protect against an enemy or the state. This all sounds good if the Constitution of the United States is greater than the Word of God.
The truth is, Jesus did not carry a weapon nor did His disciples. The only record of any violence was when Peter stole the guard’s sword and cut off his ear. Jesus immediately reprimanded Peter and miraculously reattached the ear on the man’s head. Jesus then said that he who lives by the sword shall die by the sword.
Throughout the New Testament there are exhortations to rejoice in persecution but nowhere is there a command to shoot, stab, beat or punch a person who wrongs you. In fact, Jesus exhorted us to forgive those that despitefully use us, persecute us and bedevil us. The love of God, as shown forth in the New Testament, is far greater than the desire for revenge and vengeance that fills the pages of the Old Testament.
All arguments in favor of utter freedom to own whatever arms one wants under the pretense of self defense or vigilantism are based entirely on Old Testament accounts for there is not a single place in the New Testament that urges this kind of behavior. In the Old Testament God’s people wrestled against flesh and blood enemies who needed to be eliminated.
In the New Testament God’s people wrestle NOT against flesh and blood but against spiritual powers aligned with the devil. No gun can kill a demon. No weapon of the flesh can defend us against the anger, bitterness, maliciousness and other things brought up by Paul throughout his epistles.
It is my understanding from the New Testament that we, as God’s people, need to see through spiritual eyes and not the physical. We are exhorted to lay down our physical arms and put on the armor of God which has only one offensive piece which is the sword of the SPIRIT and not some physical weapon of the flesh. We need to do what God says and not what man says.
I like this blog, and please let me tell you why.
I like it because it sets out plainly how we ought to be different from the world. How we ought to be seen to be different. How we ought to live by the words of God and not the words of man. How we ought to put our faith in God Almighty and not in ourselves.
As I have said before I have no view on the gun issue in your country. What I do have an issue with is people using the Word of God to shore up their argument concerning it.
God bless ( guv' ) Sorry,,, had to get it in at least once.
As a matter of conscience I can accept a Christians decision to choose nonviolence. It is a courageous and principled stand to take. I can't help but wonder though what the history of Europe would have been if the Moors had not been turned back at the battle of Tours by Charles Martel or if the Turks had not been defeated at the last siege of Vienna by King Jan Sobieski of Poland. I must point out that in Luke the disciples have two swords and in Matthew it states that the disciple drew "his" sword and struck off the servants ear. Also in Luke Jesus tells His disciples to sell their robes and buy a sword if they don't have one. I bring these up only to say the New Testament does not explicitly call for absolute pacifism. My only real question about pacifism is that being willing to suffer death seems a personal decision based on moral grounds but what about allowing the death of others because of that belief. Our own family, friends or even a stranger being attacked by someone else. These are difficult questions each person must work out on their own. I can't see complete pacifism being a commandment that must be obeyed. I will say again I think it is a courageous and principled stand for an individual to take but it is an individual decision.
One night, while my in-laws were visiting, my husband and I took them out to eat. The lot for the restaurant was across the street and down the block. As we were crossing the street, a man who had just been thrown out of the bar on the corner, began screaming and smashing windows. There we were in the middle of a busy street with a crowd behind us and of course, no one wanting to continue forward either. As my husband pulled me behind him I was suddenly aware that my father-in-law had moved in front of me as well and I saw where his hand was hovering, waiting and ready to protect his family if necessary. I'm relieved he didn't have to but truthfully... at the moment I felt a tad bit safer.
We don't have guns in our home. Our trust is in God rather than in weapons.
The argument that we must fight evil and therefore be armed may sound wise but is it?
Dietrich Bonhoeffer and others wrestled with this during WWII when a decision was made to try to assassinate Adolf Hitler. They discovered there was no easy answer.
There's an interesting book, now out of print, called "In Whom The World Was Not Worthy" which is an account of the family of a Slovene pastor primarily in the 1930's-1950's. The Balkans was one of the site of some of the bloodiest battles. The Christians were faced with the hard question. How do we respond to evil? There were those who took up weapons and fought but there were also those who while they joined the Partisans after losing their homes or having to flee for their lives, refused to carry a gun. Instead they shared Christ.
Perhaps if we did this. there would be no need for us to have to deal with this question.