God’s View of Gun Control

The year was 1984. The cloaked Arab slid through the dense Jerusalem crowds. His heart would have been pounding, but his religion and experience in this sort of thing overruled his more natural nervousness and fear. He glanced across at his partner on the other side of the square; he was ready. Where was the third? Panic gripped his heart, but then he saw the other member of his team. Why were his palms sweaty? He brushed them off, leaving dirty smudges on his hands. He had mowed down crowds of innocents before with no qualm, why would now be different? He gritted his teeth against his urge to hesitate, and threw back his cloak. The bark of his machine gun exploded across the dusty street, sending death biting into the Israeli populace. His two team members opened fire on his signal and joined him in what they thought would be carnage. Suddenly flashes and sharp cracks echoed around him, and a burning pain ripped through his chest. Six shop owners had returned fire with their sidearms. His two comrades fled as he lay in a pool of his own blood… and died. Only one Israeli had fallen with him. After that, terrorists preferred long range attacks on Israel: machine-gunning armed civilians was too risky.

That is my rendition of a true, historical, factual event that really did occur. ‘The Seven Myths of Gun Control’ by Richard Poe was my source for the history of the event. This book is highly recommended by me to help you to understand clearly, from many statistics, logic, and history, how gun control increases crime.

Here is my article on the subject.

I could go about this in the same way that the aforementioned book did. I could use perfect logic, irrefutable statistics, and solid research, gleaned from reputable sources. But that has already been done quite well, and the best I can do right now is refer you to them. I am instead going to take a different tack.

I am going to look at it Biblically.

Basically I am going to be examining the question: Is it a crime to own and carry weapons?

If it is a crime, then of course government should punish those who do so.

If it is not a crime, then what sort of justification does government have to prohibit it?

Basically put, a crime is a sin that government can punish. Many sins it cannot punish (if you disagree with that, I hope you get out of the lunatic asylum soon πŸ˜› ). Many sins it can (if you disagree with that, you are an anarchist, and that is a whole different discussion). The debate is which sins it can and cannot punish, for the most part.

Of course, if something is not a sin, it cannot be a crime. This is something that is painfully obvious, but which many many people miss utterly.

If God does not tell us that something is a sin, it is not a sin.

If God commands someone to do something, it is not a sin.

So, if God tells someone to carry a weapon, or if He does not tell them not to, then it is not a sin for them to carry a weapon.

And is therefore also not a crime. And government cannot punish them for doing so.

Now, of course, it is impossible for someone to prove that something is impossible or non-existent (theoretically). And so of course I might have missed it…

But.

The Bible does not forbid people from bearing arms. And there are very few passages that might be even construed to say that. I might be forgetting some, so if I am missing a couple, let me know in the comments and I will do my best to address them. Thanks!

In reality, the Bible consistently assumes that people have weapons, or that, in a normal situation, they would. And in one place, Jesus actually commands his disciples to carry swords (Luke 22:36-38)! I am pretty sure those weren’t for plowing or making fancy shish kebabs. πŸ™‚ And of course guns are the modern equivalent of a sword.

God gives several laws to the Israelites regarding their swords, such as the one mandating that they all have a special tool on the back to serve as a digging implement (Deuteronomy 23:13). This was to prevent the camp from being defiled, and is thus a sort of ceremonial law, and should not be construed as license for governments nowadays to mandate the manufacture of weapons.

It was assumed that every man had weapons in several places (i.e. Genesis 34:25, Exodus 32:27, Deuteronomy 1:41).

Granted, when Jehoiada masterminded the overthrow of Athaliah and set up Joash in his rightful place as king, he had to arm the Levites who were to guard him (2 Kings 11:10, 2 Chronicles 23:9). But realize however that Athaliah was a murdering tyrant who was mortally afraid of revolt (which is a valid fear for every tyrant), and she might very well have banned weapons (like the vast majority of other tyrants in history), which would explain why Jehoiada had to arm them out of the treasury.

There are multitudinous passages that could be examined on this subject, but they all come to the same conclusions as above given: the Bible assumes that in normal situations the average man owns and carries weapons.

Now I know of two passages that people generally bring up when weapons are mentioned. The first is in the Sermon on the Mount (which is representative of the other similar passages that they bring up), and the other is when Jesus was arrested. First we will talk about the arrest.

Here is a harmony of the gospels (a compilation of a passage from each of the gospels), showing in context with each other everything that is said to have happened in this passage under question:

β€œWhen they which were about him saw what would follow, they said unto him, Lord, shall we smite with the sword? Then Simon Peter having a sword, stretched out [his] hand, and drew his sword, and smote the high priest’s servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant’s name was Malchus. Then said Jesus unto Peter, Put up thy sword into the sheath: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword. Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be? The cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it? And Jesus answered and said, Suffer ye thus far. And he touched his ear, and healed him.”

The passage that most people quote, out of context, is Jesus’ words: β€œall they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.” Or, as it is sometimes put: β€œAll those who live by the sword shall die by the sword.”

This last version is either absolutely wrong, or not absolutely true. David lived by the sword (which is why he could not build the temple, 1 Chronicles 28:2-3) and he died not by it, but peacefully with his son on the throne. The same for many others (Samuel, who hewed Agag in pieces, and did other similar things, died peacefully of old age), although many of those who lived by the sword did die by it (Joab for one).

In the context of this passage, it is very clear what Jesus was saying: it was God’s will and His will for Him to be taken away. He was laying down His life willingly. God would not fight on His behalf, and He would not ask Him to. And a handful of fishermen would be slaughtered by the trained soldiers if they tried to resist. It is actually very simple: Jesus was protecting them.

As for the other passage, it is in reality the strongest argument that I have found against bearing weapons, although it is weak enough.

Matthew 5:38-47 Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:
39 But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.
40 And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have [thy] cloak also.
41 And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.
42 Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.
43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.
44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?
47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more [than others?] do not even the publicans so?

This is more against using a weapon than having one, but of course they are connected.

The context here is talking about behaving unselfishly, being charitable, and being longsuffering. Now, of course it would be not very charitable or longsuffering for you to shoot someone merely because they called you stupid. That would be merely proving their point. πŸ™‚ But is that really the question?

In NT Israel, a back-handed slap was an insult, an attack on your pride. If you are slapped on your right cheek, then that is a back-handed slap: an insult. Which you are to ignore… and turn the other cheek.

A palm slap is a direct challenge to combat. A serious threat to your life. It is a clear overture of intent to kill. This is a slap on your left cheek: your other cheek.

In other words: ignore insults, but check to make sure that the person isn’t really about to kill you. But what then?

Each of these things listed here are merely superficial, things that are β€œless than your life” (Matthew 6:25), not your life itself, which is interestingly excluded from the citation of lex talionis: An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth. The original included Life for Life. The original was also directed towards the government, not towards regular citizens. So it seems that we are supposed to forgive and let things slide as much as possible… up to a certain point.

Which is when we would need a weapon to defend ourselves.

Exodus 22:2 If a thief be found breaking up, and be smitten that he die, [there shall] no blood [be shed] for him.

Intriguing…

Genesis 9:6 Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.

Important.

Now of course at about this point people start panicking: β€œBut then there will be chaos!” β€œEveryone will be shooting instead of being nice!” β€œAll the criminals will have free rein!” β€œThere will be anarchy!”

Notice that all those are gut reactions, not stemming from any sort of experience or research, but merely from propagandist hype that has embedded its sophistries into the natural instincts of the populace. The fact of the matter is that the exact opposite of all of the above exclamations are true. The reasons why are sadly outside the scope of this article, and I must again refer you to something like ‘The Seven Myths of Gun Control’ by Richard Poe.

If something is outlawed, only outlaws will get it.

No limitation of righteous liberty can bring about anything but tyranny and rampant crime.

With joy and peace in Christ,
Jay Lauser

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20 Responses

  1. Very good article Jay. πŸ™‚

  2. WOOT! You go dude!

  3. Hmm? πŸ˜€ I was just saying thanks for posting this! I totally agree with you! Gotta love the story at the top. Made any progress on the blueprint/layout of the castle? πŸ˜€

  4. “Gun control means being able to hit your target. If I have a ‘hot button’ issue, this is definitely it. Don’t even think about taking my guns. My rights are not negotiable, and I am totally unwilling to compromise when it comes to the Second Amendment.” πŸ™‚

    I found the palm/ right cheek slap was very interesting. I’d hadn’t known that before now. Thanks for sharing! Good post!

    ~Tiffany

  5. This is an issue I am still thinking through, and although your post brought up some good points, I’m still not convinced one or another.

    I have had this discussion with some men from my church, all of them I respect, all of them bring up some good points, but they all had differing viewpoints on this topic.

    I do, however, want to bring up the question “if the government made it illegal to carry guns, would you obey that law?” Romans 13 and 1 Peter 2 tells us to obey all authorities. That includes laws. However, we don’t obey any law that would cause us to sin. I don’t think not carrying a gun is a sin, so we would have to obey the law, right?

    • I will leave it up to your judgment in the final decision, of course. It is easy to be wrong, it is harder to admit it: and that is true of everyone. πŸ™‚

      Ah, that question. Well, aside from the usage of those two passages (which from my studies aren’t even talking about that at all), I agree that not carrying a gun is not a sin (in most situations), and therefore if a government mandates that you not, then it might be wise to avoid carrying one just to be nice. But that is something that has a lot of baggage with it, and it is hard to answer independent of situational context.

      I will leave it with my belief that there are some situations where it would be a sin to not carry a gun, despite the government’s contrary mandate. But it is a rather extreme situation: Godly revolution. πŸ™‚

  6. “Godly revolution”…that’s another issue I would have difficulty agreeing with you on. You’re not a dominion theologist are you? πŸ™‚

    • That depends on what you mean by a dominion theologist. If I am, then that would be strange, because I have never been able to find any label that fits me. πŸ™‚

    • I was simply jesting πŸ™‚

      Dominion theologians believe the millennium already happened, and we, as Christians, have to overthrow the government, or set up our own.

      Your “godly revelution” comment made me think of that. But, I am not ascribing you to that theology, I was simply making a joke πŸ˜‰

    • Ah yes, heard of them. In my view, eschatology has 0 bearing on how we ought to run government. πŸ™‚

      I get the joke now. πŸ˜€

  7. Hey Jay,

    I don’t know if you remember me, but it’s Ethan Sausville, the kid you once knew way back in Washington. I have been following your blog for some time (if you wish to follow mine it is http://www.eblog.coredynamix.net, though it isn’t much yet I only recently started blogging).

    Although I thoroughly agree with your conclusion, there are a few flaws that I see in your argument. For instance you said:

    “Of course, if something is not a sin, it cannot be a crime. This is something that is painfully obvious, but which many many people miss utterly.

    If God does not tell us that something is a sin, it is not a sin”

    I would argue that the government has the right to institute certain laws that are not specifically named in the Bible. For instance punishment for speeding, the Bible does not tell us β€˜thou shall not speed.’ It does on the other hand tell us to be obedient to our government (Romans 13:1-7, Mathew 22:21, and Hebrews 13:17a to name a few). Our job as Christians is to obey the law, if tells us not to do something than it is our duty to obey our government as long as there law do not specifically go against how the Bible has told me to live my life.

    Now don’t get me wrong I believe that it is the right and responsibility of every Christian to bear the arms to protect themselves and there families. Especially as a American this is important to me, for without the bearing of arms by the commoner over two centuries ago this nation would not have come to exist.

    My point is that it is our duty to obey the word of God, and in doing so we must obey our authorities. That said there must be some reasonable means to change our governments laws, and I believe that the Biblically means of incurring changes is through lesser magistrates who agree with our beliefs. However, I do not believe that the answer lies in being disobedient to the government.

    Your Old Friend
    ~ Ethan

    PS I know what the laws of carrying arms are like in America, what are they like in Ireland?

    • Hello Ethan!

      I don’t believe I would be able to forget you even if I tried. You were one of my best friends, and I hope that we will be able to get back in contact again!

      “I would argue that the government has the right to institute certain laws that are not specifically named in the Bible. For instance punishment for speeding, the Bible does not tell us β€˜thou shall not speed.'”

      This is an argument that I hear often, and there are many ways of going about answering it, because there are several different factors that are involved.

      The short answer to that is that the principle of not speeding is in the Bible (in the concept of negligence, threat of crime, and things like that). The regulation is not a law, it is merely a defining of a manifestation of a law.

      Another aspect of this, I touched on in my article: we are not commanded to bear arms (in most cases), and so not bearing them when the government tells you not to is not breaking God’s law. Therefore it is best (again, in most cases), to obey your authorities.

      Whether or not a true, God-ordained government would tell you to do that, and whether we should obey them or not is a different article. A whole ‘nother can of worms. πŸ™‚

      I agree with you about the lesser magistrates and America’s founding. Though I would like to point out that we were warring against a nation that claimed to be our government, although their actions showed otherwise.

      Ireland is bad when it comes to gun control. Basically you can only have guns for sport: self-defense is not a valid reason to have one. And even then there are tons of regulations for owning sport guns that keep you from using them for anything but sport. Bad. That is why we don’t have guns anymore… so far. πŸ™‚

      Thanks for the comment! I will be glad to talk with you more about many things.

  8. Hi Jay!

    Excellent article! Would you mind if I posted it as a guest post over on my blog? All credits and links to you of course πŸ˜‰

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