| Re: |
There are only two ways people interact with each other, reason and force. When there are no guns, the strong make all the decisions for those weaker. But with a gun, 80 year old granny has equal footing with 200 lb thug. Now Mr. Thug has to resort to reason with Granny or he's going to get plugged. Even playing fields make for civil societies.
The American founders, steeped in Christian thinking, gave all this lengthy consideration and concurred that citizens should be individually armed. This did not produce a chaotic prolonged gunfight, but peace and prosperity hither to unknown on the human stage.
The recent mass killings in the US and particularly with the guy in Norway had a chilling common feature. There wasn't anyone there to return fire and stop the slaughter. They just calmly reloaded several times and kept on killing.
The lady in Denver a couple years ago, on the security team at church, took down a man who entered the church with guns a blazing. I'm sure glad she had her gun that day and was willing to use it.
During the Vietnam war I served as a medic with an infantry unit. I had gone into the service as a conscientious objector, I did not carry a weapon. But one day in a terrible battle I had to take up an M-16 to protect two men. "A time to heal" the Bible says, and a "time to kill.". I know what that feels like, and His grace is sufficient even then.
(I did not need to fire the rifle- but I know I could have.)
Mostly I look at the character of those who think I shouldn't have a gun. And I think I'll stop right there.
| 2012/7/30 0:36||Profile|
| Re: |
Since when did truth lie in the hands of mens perceptions? The Scriptures are clear about submitting to authorities and the colonists were certainly rebels. rebelling against an authority way less cruel than that of Nero. Yet I agree with Robert that since we live in these days we Christians are called to submit to the authorities and not to re-write history, but by the same token you do not get to call upon the logic of the rebels of the past to justify your actions of today.
I think that you jumped to conclusions here.
First of all, I am not taking the side of what you conclude to be the "rebels" from 238 years ago. I am simply stating what they believed about themselves. They didn't see the Declaration of Independence as an act of "rebellion" against their own king. Rather, they explained it via the quote from the Declaration that I quoted earlier.
The founders stated in many writings that they were already self-governed through their own elected and appointed state authorities and had been for years. They stated their case that theirs was a government of consent...and that only political ties were binding the states with England. The founders argued that those political ties had become destructive in regard to consent and liberty and that, as self-governed states, had a right to "alter or abolish" those former ties.
Now, this is not from the "hands of men's perceptions" any more than those who paint a different picture of history. I am simply stating the views of the founders. Consequently, I strongly reject any insistence that I wrote this to "justify" my "actions of today."
Personally, I view my American citizenship as being immeasurable distant behind my Heavenly citizenship. The reign of kings, kingdoms, nations and even the opinions of men are fleeting in terms of expanse of Eternity.
Kings and kingdoms rise and fall. The oldest existing hereditary monarchy can only claim to trace itself for a couple of thousand years. Even the reigns of the "mighty" kings and empires eventually came to an end when others arose to take their place (or to simply reject the authority of the old order). I view the American nation as yet another nation that God ordained (Romans 13). In this case, it wasn't another kingdom that conquered an existing world power, but a government of consent.
In the sense of "liberty" or "rights" to bear arms, I stated that I have no reason to do so. I don't hunt because I buy my meat at supermarkets and restaurants. However, in answering the question posed in the first post, there are individuals who do so and I see nothing wrong with that.
Now, there is a legitimate debate regarding whether or not guns can be used for purposes other than hunting. I understand the views of some "non-resistance" brethren who view this as a conflict with the faith. Yet, I gave my thoughts earlier and I will simply leave it at that. I don't think that anyone here -- myself included -- should prop themselves up at the end-all authority of the matter. God's Word is the only truth on this matter...and there are obviously varying opinions on what the Word does or does not say on the matter.
Like you, I praise God for the true freedom that He has given me and the grace that I experience through Him. It transcends the temporary governments of man and provides the peace that passes all understanding to those whose hearts are resting in Him. Even if I was under the threat of death, imprisonment or torture from a hostile power, I understand that to live is Christ and to die is gain! I am prepared to live or die for the cause of Christ with His peace in my heart.
At the same time, I am glad to live in a nation that is still relatively free. There is a lot of responsibility in this. Americans and other free (or relatively free) nations have been given a valuable talent.
Today, a missionary spoke to our local congregation about the things that he has faced. I can't help but compare the liberty that we know here in America with the difficulties that he faces overseas. Yet, I also can't help but wonder if we have been a good investment. What have we done with the talents that God has given us? Are we burying them under the sands of religious discussions, arguments and/or assertions with other believers? Or, are we making the most of the opportunities for which we have been provided?
May the Lord help us to do what we can with what we have to bring about the increase that the Lord will provide!
| 2012/7/30 2:53||Profile|
| Re: Should A Christian Own A Gun?|
More hysteria about guns. I own a gun and if it is a sin to own one then it would have also been a sin for Peter to own that sword, which by the way, Jesus TOLD him to BRING along that night. If it is a sin to own a gun then it is also a sin to own a knife. Might as well say it is a sin to own a scissors too, since even that can be used to kill. Do you eat meat? That animal was killed so you could eat meat.
People who WANT to murder will find ways to murder no matter what. I have two or three encyclopedias of serial killers and you know what? Very rarely were guns used by them!
| 2012/7/30 4:11||Profile|
| Re: |
One more quick opinion here.
There is a very subtle effort underway to verify and locate the guns in American homes. Particularly with medical intake interviews, there are new questions relating to mental health history and point blank questions about guns in the home.
I strongly suggest that when posting on any public forum like this one, you not affirm personal gun ownership. While all new guns being sold are being registered, thousands of guns are owned by families and individuals that precede those new laws.
A government afraid of the people they rule most certainly want to know where those guns are. Guns in the hands of citizens is a strong deterrent to tyranny, as has been so painfully learned in dozens of countries around the world where human slaughter was preceded by gun confiscation.
| 2012/7/30 14:17||Profile|
| Re: |
I hear what you are saying, but did not the American revolutionaries arm themselves because they were " afraid of the authorities?" Was Britain not " God's minister to you for good?" And if they were, was not this " right to bear arms," established in contradciton of God's word ? Just some food for thought :) America has the highest murder rate per capita in the western world, four times higher than its nearest rivals. It also has a huge prision population, higher by far, by head of poplualtion than any other western country. Could this be a result of a basic violation of Gods word or is it simply just the most violent country? .............bro Frank
Frank, et.al.: In all that I have studied about our war for independence, I see God's hand in breaking free from Great Britain and establishing this nation as a sovereign power. Surely this nation has played a great part in God's plans and purposes in this earth. I really believe that our declaring independence was ordained of God.
That being said, the point you brought up is food for thought. Obviously we know that when the authority demands of a Christian that which he cannot do in obedience to God then we must obey God rather than man. Obviously, if the authorities in my nation outlawed assembly for prayer and Bible study I would have to "forsake not the assembling..." regardless of what those authorities said.
It seems that the colonists saw the actions of Great Britain's leaders as unjust and their declaration of independence an act of obedience to God rather than to man. I guess it is debatable as to whether that really was the case, and we could analyze history to try to prove one way or the other. But not being there at the time causes any of our arguments to lose a great deal of force.
But the founders of our nation wrote great volumes speaking to their conviction that they were just before God in doing what they did. One has only to search online databases of Washington's writings and others to hear that they felt their actions Biblical and just before God. So whether they were right in resisting Great Britain or not could be, I guess, questionable, but they were convinced they were right in doing so, and I think I agree with them.
I think the question of whether it is right or wrong for a Christian to own a gun is a rather odd question. Pilgrim's questions point that out pretty well. A gun is a tool. I might use it to put food on my table, to protect myself from a wild animal, to end a varmint's forays into my garden, for relaxation at the shooting range, or to defend my family from an aggressor. Another man might use it wrongly to try to take what does not belong to him, or to commit murder. The use is entirely dependent upon the man holding the tool.
| 2012/7/30 16:42||Profile|
| Re: |
In the midst of America and the right to bear arms. Jesus taught a different paradyne. First he said my kingdom is not of this world. Meaning we are of a spiritual kingdom. Not a temporal one. Sorry that kingdom is not America.
The second thing Jesus taught is all who draw the sword will die by the sword. No where do I see the New Testament teach lock and load for Jesus. And blow em away to kingdom come.
Just my thoughts.
| 2012/7/30 17:57|
| Re: |
There is a local bail-bondsman here who advertises with this jingle:
"It's better to know me and not need me, than to need me and not know me!" When you need it and don't have it...?
I think it is largely a given in this conversational theater that guns are not Jesus' weapon of choice. Nor swords for that matter. Here it is better by far to teach, to persuade, to enlighten, and to comfort one another with studied wisdom.
Even in desperate human events we should call upon that mighty Name, even to invoke it to stop demonic criminal acts. This is the course of men and women of faith, and there is no better place to be than to be speaking the Will of God to an evil world.
The gun thing to me is to be understood on a more political level, where honorable men defend those who cannot physically defend themselves with force the world understands. It has nothing to do with the force used by governments and some religious systems to secure the obedience of the helpless. Those who draw that sword certainly will die by it as the Lord has spoken.
A vigorous back and forth over this issue here can't hurt, and may help some clarify in their own hearts where they stand. But when you see corrupt government officials working in evil ways to disarm the population, watch out!
The Fast and Furious scandal was a direct attempt to make it look like the easy availability of guns in the US was arming the drug cartels. The truth is still being suppressed in this matter, but it exposes some very embarrassing ugliness. Christians who ignore these political issues and don't vote for righteous candidates may find the gun ownership issue standing on their doorstep in a blue uniform.
I'm probably wading into much deeper water than I want to be in, but I grieve to see my country fall into such sin as to give God no choice but to bring judgement. Whether you own a gun or not, believe in the second amendment or not, please do this:
Pray for the Awakening America so desperately needs, and vote for candidates who understand how precious freedom is...was??
| 2012/7/30 20:18||Profile|
| Re: |
With the doctrine of "defending" yourself (by the arm of the flesh) Christians end up killing Christians.
During the War Between the States you had Christians in the North killing Christians in the South.
In World War II, German Christians were conscripted into the Military and became part of the Nazi machine. While that was happening, American Christians were told that it was their "Christian duty" to take up arms and defend this worldly nation called America. End result? American Christians killing German Christians and vice-versa.
Luk 6:27 But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you,
Luk 6:28 Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.
Luk 6:29 And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloke forbid not to take thy coat also.
Luk 6:30 Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again.
Luk 6:31 And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.
| 2012/7/30 21:14||Profile|
| Re: |
I remember in boot camp where I was assigned to a school to learn to be a medic. I was with a group of men like myself who had been conscripted for the war effort in Vietnam. My other choices would have been to run from the country or learn to be a killer. The conscious objector route seemed to be the most practical, though I wanted none of it.
Knowing what loomed over all our heads, the conversations in the barracks were pretty intense as we all pondered and justified our Christian obligations against the military duties we were under. Mike D'Angelo swore he would not ever use a weapon... But when his unit was pinned down and getting overrun with Vietcong, many of the other men dead or wounded, he did what he had to do, saving the life of his wounded Captain.
It's different when you're there, suddenly the guns are blasting, people are screaming, bodies crumpling, and all the discussions and philosophying are lost. You fight, you kill fast because more are coming, your head goes empty and your mouth is so dry you couldn't utter a prayer if you wanted to.
Funny how in Jesus' teaching, He used the illustration of the King going out to battle and considering how many troops he would need to accomplish a victory. He knew all about this stuff, and spoke the narrative of human conflict. The human story has always been one of war, and it's not over yet. And when Jesus spoke to the Roman soldiers He told them only to be content with their wages. He who created the world did not use power to halt human killing.
I grew up in the idyllic American fifties. Lived in the country, had a dad who loved my Mom, became a Christian early in life. I went off to war under the yoke of stupid political realities, a timid little kid scared to death. I came back an experienced soldier, with images in my mind and heart that will never leave.
Yet it was good, because of the grace I received to know and love God with all my heart. I saw how He took what I could in no way appreciate and used it to implant His Son in my soul.
I have heard Him utter words to me in my heart I have no right to hear-
"You are My son, whom I love, and with whom I am well pleased!"
| 2012/7/30 23:29||Profile|