Monday, October 5, 2015

Guns, Rocks, and Christians

I saw the image to the right shared on Facebook today by multiple friends.

A couple of thoughts jumped to mind:

1.  If you misspell your Biblical reference, it makes it hard to take your detailed Biblical ideas seriously.

Cain's brother was ABEL not ABLE.

2.  The context of the verse should really be eye-opening.

In Jeremiah 17:5-9, the prophet is pointing out that when men become idolatrous, they begin trusting in themselves and things other than the Lord in order to obtain their salvation and their security.

What does Jeremiah 17:9 say to conclude the section about why you shouldn't trust in things other than God for salvation? It ends by saying: "The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure."

If I didn't know better, I would think that people picked this passage with subtle satire in mind...because the gun owner has missed the entire point of this passage, which if anything argues AGAINST his case! 

This passage is arguing that we cannot trust in anything other than God, because our hearts are deceitful and this is not something which we can cure. We have an incurable heart problem and therefore, because of this heart problem, we cannot trust our own decisions or our own actions to bring us security/safety/salvation.

Jeremiah is identifying those things which we seek security in--like guns--to be our idols.

As I posted here just the other day, you could argue that guns are our major Christian idol today. We trust in guns to protect us, we trust in guns to give us strength, we refuse to allow people to 'blaspheme' guns, we think the answer to problems with guns is more guns.

Yet we are so immersed in this gun culture that we even use verses that should shame us as defenses.

3.  Finally, this is a ludicrous argument which shouldn't take a lot of thinking to see through.

When is the last time you heard of a child finding a rock at home and accidentally killing themselves? Or of someone being raped or robbed at rock-point? Or do you see the TSA worried about rocks getting past security checkpoints? Name for me the last mass killing at a school that you can attribute to rock-throwing.

Be honest - because when you "share" the image above, you are basically saying that you are just as worried about a crazy person with a rock as you are a crazy person with a gun.

To say we don't have a gun problem is absurd. People in the US are 54.4 times more likely to be murdered by guns than in the next-closest developed country. The only countries that give us a run for our money are those dominated by drug cartels.

Now keep in mind--I'm not arguing whether they should be constitutionally legal or not.

I'm arguing that we clearly have an idol worship problem. That we have made guns an idol in our culture.

Think about it - how do people defend the need for guns? The most common arguments are: (1) it's legal; (2) it is how I guarantee my protection; and (3) I'm a good, law-abiding, trustworthy citizen so it doesn't do any harm.

If someone made these arguments about a goat statue or a magic wand, you would either dismiss them as crazy or occultists, wouldn't you? Nothing has changed here.


Are we really that much better than the worshippers of Molech, burning kids at the altar, whom God saw fit to wipe off the face of the Earth?

Guns are the idol of our day, and we as Christians should be at the forefront of ensuring that they are limited and used wisely if at all. See my past posts about this here and here.

One day, we will all stand before Jesus and give an account for our lives. What argument will you be making?

  • I wasn't sure You would protect me so I thought I had to protect myself
  • I was willing to kill someone You loved if they came into my house and might take my stuff
  • I didn't personally misuse them so why should I give up my fun hobby just because someone else is crazy?
  • I know you said that those who live by the sword die by the sword, but I didn't think you meant me
  • I know you said that peacemakers would be blessed, but I thought that making peace through intimidation and firepower was probably okay
  • I just assumed if you were around today you'd be packing heat too
  • The deist-founded, largely-atheistic, abortion-protecting, war-obsessed, greed-run country I am a part of said it was my right, so I figured that overruled Your desire to live peaceably

You must REALLY love you some guns if you're willing to make one of those arguments to Jesus.

Postscript, because I can predict the question you will all bring up.

When I've had conversations on guns before with Christians, the argument always boils down to one thing. I can prove that just because something a secular American right does not mean that it is approved by God (there are dozens of examples of this). I can get them to agree that the facts are that we have more gun deaths than other countries. I can get them to agree that no, Jesus and the apostles were not likely to be packing heat. I can show them from Scripture that we are supposed to melt down our swords and make them into plows instead (i.e., to give up violence and instead help set things right). I can show the Scriptures that we are to love our enemies instead of kill them, seek peace instead of violence, and that Christian history says the best among us are those who "turn the other cheek" even unto death. I can show them that the first Christians even quit the military and civil jobs and refused to be judges lest they take someone's life with their decisions.

And they always ask one question:  But Michael, if someone broke into your house and was going to rape your wife and kill your kids, wouldn't you kill them?


No, I would not.

And because I would be tempted to do so, it is better that I do not have a gun handy.

I know what awaits on the other side for me and my family. We are all believers. No matter what a criminal wants to do to us, all they can do is hurt our bodies for a short period of time.

You see, I actually believe God protects us.

I actually believe God loves the desperate criminals too.

I actually believe that God will heal us, no matter what bad things happen.

I actually believe that nothing is more important than shaping my life to be more like Jesus. To ensure that I end up with Him forever.

I actually believe that we have a job to do as the image of God, which is to heal the hurting and fix the broken and forgive the sinner...not to kill them.

So no, I would not.

Or at least--I hope I wouldn't. But, as the Scripture above says--the heart is deceitful. If I'm being honest, I probably would kill someone in the heat of the moment in self-defense or family-defense...even though the Bible and my thoughts in the calm say I shouldn't. That is a good reason not to have a gun in the house, for me. Just like it is good not to have access to porn if you might be tempted to use it. (Of course, being the red-blooded 'Merican male that I am, I do have a 100,000 V stun gun, a professional alarm system, deadbolts, and pepper spray. My castle is well-defended.)

But if someone gets through and even puts my wife and kids at risk, I will not kill my enemy.

I hope I can even do more. I hope I could truly forgive them. I hope I could actually HELP them with whatever troubles drove them here. I hope I could LOVE them. I hope I could BECOME FRIENDS with them.

I'm probably not that good. But Jesus would have done this. And Jesus died for them just as much as me and mine.

No, I will not kill.

That really shouldn't be such a shocking statement. It's kind of been our "thing" historically.

We should all be ashamed of the idol-worship of our time. And we as church leaders need to beware that we are not complicit in it. When you teach people that it is okay to idolize and trust guns for your safety instead of Jesus, that it is okay to kill your enemies instead of forgive and love them, go read Luke 17:2, and reflect on the fact Jesus says that you'd rather have a stone tied around your neck and be dropped into the ocean than to face Him after causing others to stumble.

No comments:

Post a Comment