Christians and Guns
The sixth commandment forbids murder. By implication, we are authorized to use force, if necessary, to preserve our lives from unlawful assaults. In this world, with current technology, this means access to firearms. Obeying God necessitates the Christian to have the means at his disposal to protect his life, his family’s life, and the lives of those for whom he is responsible.
When a people are invaded and taken over by a foreign power, as Israel was in the days of the Philistines, the prohibition or removal of the ability to self-defend and resist deadly tyranny is a leading objective of the subjugating power (Jud. 5:6-8). By this it creates fear in the populace, suppresses dissent, and marginalizes resistance.
Our colonial fathers believed strongly in an armed citizenry to allow for self-defense against a tyrannical government. Their insistence upon this right was directly tied to their resistance to the ideas of standing armies and ubiquitous police forces, as well as to allow citizens with the means to defend themselves from foreign invasion. They had learned firsthand that an enemy can be an occupying power that claims the right of law.
If the force of law is utilized to criminalize gun-owners or to restrict access to firearms for the law-abiding, then the centralization of power into the hands of statists will be a fait accompli. This is occurring in our nation. The federal government is seeking absolute submission. For the present, it is content to utilize crises to create public furor and nibble around the edges of liberty, especially gun rights. When there is not a crisis, its legion of bureaucrats dream up ways to extend control by executive fiat. Questioning its directives is increasingly dangerous. If it declares global warming the new orthodoxy, then deniers are criminals and a threat to its authority. If it legitimizes sodomy, then deniers are enemies of the state. Our President recently said that we do not have religious tests in America. This is a lie. There is one religious test, and it is directed against Bible-believing and practicing Christians.
Only ignorance and laziness explain the slowness of the American populace to realize that centralization of authority in the hands of a monolithic federal government is the death of liberty and that centralization has been the aim of the Federalist Party from the beginning. The southern states once fought a war against this Babel-building plague. The victors have done all in their power to suppress the fact that this was not a war between slave and non-slave holders. It was a war between supporters of expansive government authority and defenders of Constitutional law and limited government. The efforts of the victorious Federalists to gobble up everything under their authority continue unabated to this hour. It is because this truth is not recognized by conservatives that their “hold back the beast” mentality has been unsuccessful. Until the Tower of Babel it toppled, trying to clean up its suburbs is futile.
At the present hour, the refusal to uphold the Constitutional citizenship requirements, the failure to preserve our national borders and enforce immigration laws, coupled with terrorizing the world to impose our political and economic will, propping up the Jewish state and completely destabilizing the Middle East, placing missiles upon Russia’s doorstep (an incredibly provocative act that has not resulted in a nuclear showdown only due to the patience of Russian leadership), are very much that “long train of abuses” against which Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence. When to these are added the destabilization of our currency, astronomical national debt, and corporate rule of the Congress, then the issue facing us as a nation far transcends who wins the next election. It is whether we shall survive as a people at all. It is practically too late, in my opinion, to worry too much about what stripe of centralist we have in power. Most are committed to the idea that government has the answer to everything, that enough laws, money, and control will secure us. This is the central lie of Federalism; it is Babel rebuilt; it is atheism. The leadership in both national parties is equally committed to this blasphemous lie. Neither party will give up its billions from lobbyists, foreign wars, and control over every aspect of our national life. Each is as corrupt as the other, albeit with diverse corruption preferences. We must pray for and support the exceptions.
This leaves American citizens who love liberty and want to be ruled at least by the Constitution with few options. We can continue to vote for the centralist, the government-lover, who professes to love it less, but this is national death by a slow, painful disease. We can jump into the trenches, face the nerve gas, and salvage what we are able. We can support the occasional maverick who promises to buck the system. Whichever option one believes wisest and most righteous, all believers’ eyes need to be wide open to the centralist blitzkrieg unfolding. Everything is under attack: currency, marriage, education, borders, trade, privacy and property rights, and religious liberty. The goal is nothing less than the subjugation of the American people to total despotism. The government and its armies of security agencies are concerned not with the safety of the American people but with sustaining the current system and the criminalization of anyone who has the will and the means to resist their agenda.
I quote Jefferson in full: “But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such a government, and to provide new guards for their future.” Godly men may differ on how long the train is or whether it can be returned to the station. Jefferson was no Christian, so we must be careful in following the advice of the blind. He was right on this point. The defense of liberty is sometimes the same thing as the defense of one’s very life.
Thus, the right to keep and bear arms is worth the Christian citizen’s efforts. It is a necessity if we are to resist the efforts of our government to reduce us to serfdom. The would-be tyrant must at least pause in the face of a well-armed people. I am not advocating armed resistance. We lack credible Christian leadership. We lack churches who take seriously their role as a kingdom of priests. We lack the theological acumen and the practical wisdom to undertake such a weighty decision. We love our lives and this world too much, and thus lack the stomach to bleed in defense of the crown right of our Savior. It may not come to having to fight to defend our lives, but we must be ready for whatever the future holds. Statists love the chaos of social revolutions, mass-shootings, and violent public protests. A significant number of people prefer security to liberty and will forfeit their God-given right to self-defense to the local chapter of the militarized police.
The modern Babel-builders have declared war against Jesus Christ. Statism’s bag of tricks – fear, murder, crisis, chaos, and control – is satanic. Satan is behind all statism. He is the dragon behind the beasts, and his target is the church of Jesus Christ. We have the means to fight back spiritually, and we must also make physical provision for our safety. We must love while we defend God’s truth and our lives. We must speak the gospel and educate those willing to listen. Discipleship is more than the Romans Road. It is a whole-orbed world and life view rooted in the complete Scriptures of God, including the reign of his Son as King of kings. It is resistance to tyranny, not as hotheads but as thinking, humble men who are willing to die for the truth that “Christ, not man is King.” Sometimes God’s people die at the stake; sometimes on battlefields; always we must die daily to self, to the world, and to the flesh. Whatever the Lord’s will for this and following generation, with body and soul we must joyfully lay down our lives for the Lord of glory.
These are serious issues. Some prefer to remain asleep. Surely this will all die down. Government will step in and resolve these crises. Can the statist fruit of national atheism and rebellion against Jesus Christ be the source of the solution? It is unlikely. Present western governments are not kissing the Son, and his wrath is kindled (Ps. 2:12). He is also wise and longsuffering, and he rules over all things with an eye to what she can bear. We may feel agitated by current events, but he is ever calm and deliberate in his working to build his church and confound his enemies.
In times of social upheaval, our Lord’s counsel to his disciples is pertinent. “And he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one” (Luke 22:36). Christians have ever been in the vanguard of resistance to tyranny, for they are willing to lay down their lives for Jesus Christ. They do not fear those who can only kill the body but him who is able to cast both body and soul in hell. Fearing God, we may look upon the future with steady confidence and assurance that God will deliver us from evil. Jesus Christ is the dragon slayer. The beast of statism may have many heads, but he will slay them all.