My Thoughts. . .

Thursday, 09/19/2019

Jesus was not anti-gun, or I should say anti-sword.  He believed in a person protecting himself and those he loved.  In Luke he told his disciples that if they did not have a sword, they should sell their garment and buy one (Luke 22:36).  Then in verse 38 when they informed him that they had two, he said that was sufficient.  Such advise does not fall from the lips of someone who is against personal defense.   Later in the garden, Peter wishes to protect Jesus from the arresting mob and draws his weapon for that defense (John 18:10; Matthew 26:51; Mark 14:49; Luke 22:5o).  Jesus stopped Peter, not because it was wrong for him to be defended, but because this event was foretold by God and needed to be fulfilled (John 18:11; Isaiah 7:14; 53:4-12; Zechariah 12:10).  Jesus did not object to Peter nor one of the other apostles wearing a deadly weapon nor Peter’s wiliness to use it.  Peter’s weapon was so sharp that with one blow he took off an ear.  I doubt if he was aiming for Malchus’ ear.

Some will point out that the Lord told his disciples to, “Love your enemies” (Matthew 5:44; Luke 6:27, 35).  Yes, and he also said, “Husbands, love your wives” (Ephesians 5:25; Colossians 3:19).  If I have to make a choice between a criminal and my wife and family, I will defend my family because my love is greater for them than someone who wants to harm them.  Some will object by saying “Your family is saved and will go to heaven if murdered.  However, the criminal is not.  If you kill him, you take away his opportunity to later become a Christian.”  There may be some truth in that statement, but what if he later goes on a kill spree?  Wouldn’t your failure to stop him make you partially guilty of allowing him to continue on his murderous rampage?  What if those others he murders are not saved?  Wouldn’t that make you guilty of failing to give them a second chance by not stopping their murderer when you had the opportunity?

Jesus gave his permission to the apostles to buy a deadly weapon.  Should one indict Jesus if those apostles killed a criminal defending themselves?  A person who would sacrifice himself rather than shoot a criminal has a right to that belief.  However, is it fair for him to make his decision mandatory for his family if they have the ability to use a weapon to stop the criminal?  I will not bind my convictions on him, and he does not have the liberty to bind his belief upon me nor upon his family!  Some argue that if a break-in is in progress, the homeowner should call the police and allow the law to protect him.  The usual response time of the police is five or more minutes unless they happened to be cruising in your neighborhood.  However, if one’s faith will allow him to sacrifice his family to the whims of a criminal, why put a policeman’s life in danger by calling him?  What if the officer is not a Christian?  By calling him, you put him at risk.  Why not keep your faith consistent by trusting God to either deliver you or help you to face death?

Some argue that one should trust in God rather than place their trust in a gun.  On the surface that sounds biblical, yet when examined, inconsistencies appear.  If trusting God means one cannot own a firearm to stop the criminal, when he desires to steal, rape, and murder, then why do those who say they trust God possess house, car, hospitalization, accident, and warranty insurance?  Don’t they trust God to protect them?  When Jesus told his apostles to sell an article of clothing and buy a sword, was it because he didn’t trust the Father to protect them?  The argument judges the gun owner with the sin of misplaced trust.  Yet the hand that points has four fingers that condemn the pointer with that same type charge!

Peter had his sword because Jesus authorized him to buy one.  We are not told who possessed the other sword.  He too was authorized to own one.  Jesus gave them that authority.  If I were guessing, a good candidate would be Simon the Zealot.  That is just a guess.  What is not speculation is that Jesus authorized his followers to buy, carry, and use weapons when necessary.  Each individual must decide for himself whether his conscience will permit him to possess one and use it.  For whatever reason, ten out of twelve apostles did not carry.  They depended upon the ability of the two to protect them if that help became necessary.