You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath… Exodus 20:4
I made a comment this morning during my sermon on the concept of gun control and my firm belief that we ought to protect our homes and families in the face of those that would wish us or our families harm. I personally own a few firearms and as long as it is legal for me to do so I will retain that ownership, Lord willing.
There are those whose desires are to be biblical and to rethink what we often times take for granted because of our culture. I not only applaud that I strive to do that myself as well. I believe that our culture plays too heavy a role in our understanding of the scriptures which is terribly unfortunate.
Let me first say that I am not an American, I am a Christian who has been blessed to be born and raised in America, to parents who also enjoyed that privilege; along with their parents etc. The distinction is that I hold firmly to the reality that Christians are sojourners in this land and as such our citizenship belongs to another kingdom. I also believe that the Bible gives us all we need for life and godliness and so I believe the answer concerning the ownership and usage of firearms can and ought to be addressed from the Scriptures and not the United States Constitution.
Essentially, the Scriptures take two positions and they could potentially be seen as contradictions.
But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. (Matthew 5:39-40)
But Jesus also said, “But now let the one who has a moneybag take it, and likewise a knapsack. And let the one who has no sword sell his cloak and buy one.” Luke 22:36
So, turn the other cheek or weild the sword? Without an in depth exegesis, I would say this; The one who is evil that slaps me (no threat of severe bodily harm, but is rather insulting me) or the one who would take me before a judge is not the same as one who, unlawfully, breaks my door lock, and enters my home purposefully to rob and possibly to harm my family. So I see a clear distinction between these passages as different concepts all together.
To go one further, I would also expresse the implication of the parable of the strong man… “Or how can someone enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man? Then indeed he may plunder his house.” Matthew 12:22 The implication is that the strong man defends his home.
However, let me also say this. The “you can have my guns when you take them from my cold dead hands” may be very John Wayne-American, but God calls His people, Christians, to obey the governing authorities that have been sovereignly placed over them by God. Wether that be Emperor Nero who wants us ripped to pieces, OR a president who wants to take away our guns. After all let’s not forget what Philippians 4:5 teaches us, “Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand”.
While Christians are to be known for their hope and reasonablness, and be “living at peace with all as far as it depends upon us…” most American Christians are busy barking about red coffee cups, and confusing the 2nd amendment and the 2nd Commandment.