Skip to comments.God and the M-60 Machine Gun
Posted on 10/20/2002 10:10:12 PM PDT by 2nd_Amendment_Defender
Do guns have a place in the life of a Christian? Should a born again believer in Jesus Christ, who we trust in for all things, own a firearm for defense? After all, what would Jesus do? A more important question would be, what would Jesus have us do!
I have heard of sermons from the pulpit condemning guns and offering up our Christian faith as proof that we should revile them and, at the least, not own or use them. We are quoted verses in the scripture such as turn the other cheek and thou shalt not kill. Many good Christians, upon hearing these proofs, would be hard pressed to explain why their belief in the right to keep and bear arms for any reason, including self-defense, is not contradictive to their faith in Christ and Christianity as their life defining religion. These people will be glad to know that Gods Law, His very word, which is the Bible, justifies and condones our use of guns in self-defense. Lets take a closer look at the arguments against the Christians use of guns and see through Gods Word why, as Christians, we have a Biblical, God-given right to own and use guns for defense and why guns are not the evil objects that some would like to make us believe.
There are those who would say that because Jesus did not carry a weapon when He walked the earth, then neither should we Christians who follow Him. Those who use this line of reasoning seem to forget that Jesus was God in the flesh and consequently did not need a weapon! Jesus was sent to save mankind by His crucifixion on Calvary; He would not have allowed His own death any other way. As for Jesus followers, they did carry weapons! Their weapon of choice was the Roman sword (probably the Roman short sword) that was then considered to be the most advanced personal military weapon of the day; the equivalent of the modern firearms we use today.
It was no secret to Jesus that His disciples carried weapons. At the last supper, Jesus tells His disciples that if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you dont have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one (Luke 22:36 NIV). The context of Jesus order at the last supper is that of preparation. He says in the next verse that He is numbered with the transgressors [and] what is written about [Him] is reaching its fulfillment (Luke 22:37 NIV). We see in this verse that Jesus knows the fulfillment of prophecy is near and the followers of Christ will soon take up the cross after His death. They will be persecuted and will need to defend themselves against a world unwilling to accept the truth of Jesus Christ. Scripture defines scripture and clearly Jesus is not concerned that His followers sell their cloaks to buy a sword in order that they have something to carve up a Sunday dinner with or to display over the fireplace mantel after He leaves. The sword was made for killing and Jesus knew that there would be a time for its use as Ecclesiastes 3:1,3,8 states there is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven a time to kill and a time to heal a time for war and a time for peace (NIV). Clearly, scripture allows for all things under heaven. There will be times when we must fight to kill and wage war, but also to heal and to have peace. Jesus did not condemn the sword. Rather, He recognized it as a tool that would need to be utilized for its intended purpose and He made this very clear to His disciples.
But what about the Bible verse that tells us to turn the other cheek? Based on this scripture, surely a Christian should be a pacifist and not take up arms against those that would harm him, right? Wrong! Matthew 5:39 reads, if someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also (NIV). The Christian pacifist will take Christs turn the other cheek instruction out of context and insist that it be applied to every situation that comes down the pike, including not taking up arms for self-defense. Jesus was teaching us to turn the other cheek in response to a slap in the face. He is telling us to keep our pride in check. Clearly, a slap in the face is not life threatening. Though being assaulted or murdered will hurt more than your pride. If someone murders your child, should you offer him your other child? Obviously, you would not. So what do we learn from this? That if we dont need to apply this teaching to any one situation outside of Jesus specific intent, then we dont need to apply it to any situation outside of His intent (matters of pride, not matters of life and death). The notion that we should turn the other cheek to those who would take our lives or liberty is mans foolish notion, not Gods.
Use the example in the book of Esther where those who hated the Jews began to carry out their attack against them as Haman had planned. However, an edict by the king made it law that every Jew would assemble and protect themselves; to destroy, kill, and annihilate any armed force of any nationality or province that might attack them and their women and children (Esther 8:11 NIV). And in fact the Jews did just that as [they] struck down all their enemies with the sword, killing and destroying them (Esther 9:5 NIV). Remember that this law was written in response to an unjust law plotted by Haman to destroy the Jews in all of the kings provinces (127 of them) stretching from India to Cush. In fact, so effective was their defense of themselves and their families that the Jews [celebrated] annually the 14th and 15th days of the month of Adar as the time when the Jews got relief from their enemies, and as the month when their sorrow was turned into joy and their mourning into a day of celebration (Esther 9:21-22 NIV). These two days of remembrance, known as Purim, are still celebrated by believing and non-believing Jews today.
Another verse of scripture misquoted by many Liberal theologians as proof that guns are bad goes something like the Bible tells us we should beat our swords (or in our case, guns) into plow shares. The actual verse from Isaiah is written in the context of the second coming of Christ at which time they will beat their swords into plow shares and their spears into pruning hooks (Isaiah 2:4 NIV). The prophet Micah, depicting the coming Millennial Age when the Messiah will reign and personally administer justice also gives this prophecy: Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore (Micah 4:3 NIV). Obviously, the second coming of Christ has not happened yet, making the use of this scripture to condemn guns a non-issue. Simply put, the use of weapons for waging war will not be necessary after Christ returns to administer His perfect justice. Until that time, we had better be prepared to use our weapons to defend our nation and ourselves.
But what of the sixth commandment, thou shalt not kill? Surely the idea of killing someone in self-defense would be in direct disobedience to this commandment, right? Wrong, again! Any accurate translation of the Hebrew text would clearly read the sixth commandment as, thou shalt not murder. Deuteronomy 9:11 defines the parameters of murder as when a man hates his neighbor and lies in wait for him, assaults and kills him (NIV). The Bible also defines instances where someone who kills another is innocent and not deserving of death since he [killed] his neighbor without malice or aforethought (Deut. 19:6 NIV). If someone intentionally tries to take a life because of hate or desire for that persons possessions and premeditates his actions and carries those actions out, then that person is a murderer and has broken the sixth commandment. However, if the victim were able to exercise his God given right to self-defense and kill his attacker, say with a gun, then the victim would be innocent of murder and would have taken a life justifiably to protect himself from his attacker.
In fact, we see in the book of Nehemiah that God is very much a part of assisting His followers when they take up arms to defend themselves. When Nehemiah returns to Jerusalem to rebuild its fallen walls, he and his fellow Jews do not meet with light opposition. When the Jews hear of the plots of others to kill them in order to stop the rebuilding, they prayed to [their] God and posted a guard day and night to meet this threat (Nehemiah 4:9 NIV). God is put first in their actions to protect themselves, but they do much more than just post a watchman.
Nehemiah posts entire families with their swords, spears, and bows [at the weakest points in the wall] (Nehemiah 4:13 NIV). He then speaks to them saying, Dont be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons and daughters, your wives and your homes (Nehemiah 4:14 NIV). This was not a band of sword, spear, and bow wielding lunatics to be sure. With Gods perfect blessing these people had taken responsibility for their own safety and that of their families. To neglect this responsibility would have been in disobedience to God!
Nehemiah goes on to explain that from that day on, half of [his] men did the work, while the other half were equipped with spears, shields, bows, and armor (Nehemiah 4:16 NIV). Not leaving their well-being up to chance, Nehemiah concludes that neither [he] nor [his] brothers nor [his] men nor the guards with [him] took off [their] clothes; each had his weapon, even when he went for water (Nehemiah 4:23 NIV). Also in chapter four, verses 15 and 20, Nehemiah acknowledges that God would fight for them and that He frustrated their enemys plans. These people did not stand idly by and expect God to zap their enemies; they put God first and took direct action; with weapons no less!
So what conclusion can we draw from this event in the Bible? The same conclusion that the disciples knew even as God in the flesh walked with them: God helps those who help themselves. And oh, yes, the wall was finished in 52 days, much to the fear of the surrounding nations who realized that this work had been done with the help of our God (Nehemiah 6:16 NIV). Imagine that, Gods children using weapons to defend themselves for Gods work. Hows that for a deterrent to crime!
If all of this evidence is still not enough to open our eyes to this question of guns and self -defense, then let us examine the very first murder. From the book of Genesis we know that while they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him (Genesis 4:8 NIV). Cain did this because he was jealous of the favor God showed to Abel and angry with God for rejecting the offering that Cain himself gave. Now, an interesting fact: the Hebrew word used in this passage for killed him is used elsewhere in the Bible for sliced the throat. We have a pretty good idea that Cain used a knife or other cutting tool to murder his brother. Prior to this act, God warned Cain, but if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it (Genesis 4:7 NIV). It is interesting to see here that God did not warn Cain that he had cutting tools laying around and their evil influence might cause him to sin. Instead, He warned Cain of the evil brooding in his own heart that would cause him to sin if gone unchecked. In defiance, Cain cut his brothers throat in cold blood.
And what about after the murder? God asked Cain, where is your brother Abel? and still in defiance Cain replies, I dont know. Am I my brothers keeper? (Genesis 4:9 NIV). It is at this point that God puts a curse upon Cain and drives him from the land, effectively condemning the evil in Cains heart and the deed that it bore. Note here that God did not cry out against the evils of knives and other edged weapons as the scourge of mankind! He did not attempt to demonize, demoralize, regulate, confiscate, or ban edged weapons in any way, shape, or form. He didnt even orchestrate a knife buy-back scheme! (*) Why? Because God knew something that many people in this day and age fail to see-- that Cain did not murder his brother, Abel, because of the availability of knives; nor did he murder his brother because there were not enough knife laws on the books; nor because the mere presence of a knife gave him the predisposition to become a murderous lunatic; nor because the knife culture in Cains day was out of control; nor because Adam and Eve (his mom and dad) forgot to lock up all of the knives; nor did he murder his brother because of the myriad of other excuses we might like to dream up. God knew that it was the evil in Cains heart that led him to commit such a horrible act. Cain could have used a rock, club, or a gun if any had existed, to finish out his murderous task, but the cause and effect would have remained the same. Indeed, if it were the weapon that God had condemned, we would see it clearly throughout the scriptures; we do not.
We know then, that the use of modern weapons as righteous tools for self-defense throughout the Bible is natural and expected. Only in our culture of Liberal enlightenment do we even beg the question of the appropriateness of defending ourselves, especially with a gun, against those who would do us physical harm. The farther we get from Gods perfect Law, the more we distance ourselves from common sense. Even children are born with an intuitive sense of fairness and injustice. They cannot explain it, but they know it and will act upon it. God has given all of us this same wisdom; it is our responsibility to use it. We cannot pretend that it is OK for man to implement laws that contradict the rights given to us by our Creator. When a right is regulated it ceases to be a right and becomes a privilege that can be taken away. We know, as God has established, the difference between right and wrong and it is the individual who is responsible for, and who must be held accountable for, his own actions.
What is the most important thing we provide for our families? Security of life.
Ah, to be young and foolish again.
And the smell of napalm in the morning ....
Someone who reads this will think I am crazed, gun loving, N.R.A. lunatic.
Oh well, about only 33% of the American nation supported the Revolutionary War which helped to create our country.
The very definition of FREE.