More about God and Guns
June 30th, 2009
We teach a Concealed Weapons Permit class as a community service and to implement the word of our Lord as in the Bible, book of Luke chapter 22, verse 36.
Jesus of Nazareth tells his disciples to get swords (the arm of the day) and those who do not have swords should sell their cloaks and buy swords.
The context is that Jesus had sent his disciples out to spread his word and a couple of them had gotten mugged on the road. References are earlier in the book of Luke and in the book of Matthew.
Christian theology has always advocated self defense, defense of others, and defense of community. Pacifism is a perverted deviant dogma that is not founded in Christianity. I have always felt that pacifism is a rationalization for cowardice.
Turning the other cheek refers to insults not deadly force.
To intentionally confuse the two is intellectually dishonest, on the part of cowards who claim to be Christians. Christians are brave, not cowardly.
On your blog today you talked about God and guns. One major stumbling block is the commandment: Thou shall not kill, when in fact it should have been translated as: Thou shall not murder.
As the vast majority of us have had a Judo-Christian upbringing, this was commandment was pounded into our heads and hearts from an early age and needs to be addressed. Check out the following: Matt. 19:18 and Exod. 20:13, there are others also.
For you, as someone who is named after the founder of the Jesuit order, perhaps a reference to the Biblical record is relevant.
Jesus is speaking here. Surely good advice for all time. This is a literal physical reference.
“He said to them ‘But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one.'”
Luke 22:36 NIV
The reference here is to a defensive sword not the offensive weapon used by say, the Romans.
The interesting issue is when St. Peter drew his and cut off the ear of the servant of the high priest – not a defensive act. Obviously Peter was not trained to use it well! If he were Jesus would surely have had to raise the servant from the dead not just reattach his ear. The rest of us have to be more circumspect in how we apply these tools.
Dr. Piazza captured that misconception quite well actually.
History tells us much more about God and Guns. In my own family that correlation was played out quite normally. My father was a small church pastor in rural Southeastern Oklahoma where the law was too far away for help most of the time. The packing of a pistol at times was not out of the question for him in some regards, but not a common occasion.
As a pistol packing chaplain myself I get into this subject fairly regularly with fellow clergy. While there are many beliefs towards the end of armed ministers and God’s view on the defense on the flock and oneself we must contend not only with theology but with history.
What the Christian considers the Old Testament and practitioner of Judaism considers the Torah are very clear on the ability of one to defense themselves. It is all too often that these very sacred and historical scriptures are misconstrued for the purposes of a person’s own personal agenda in belief.
I can almost guarantee you that if the young Shepherd Boy David would have had a .50 caliber available to him he might have chosen it instead of the sling and rocks. However, that does go against the moral of that story as he did have the King’s armor and sword given to him and choose the sling and stones instead so that God’s purpose and glory might be fulfilled. So, it is possible that I am in error in that regard. However, that little trist of a hypothesis does bring forth the overriding rule of God and Guns. If it is within God’s purpose and will display His hand in the event for all to see then it was most likely an event that was pre-ordained.
The founding of our country where the ownership of a weapon became a foundational right displays to us the pre-ordained need that we share as a people of faith in the usage of firearms. The eyes of modern history is all to quick to forget the Rev. William Emerson who lead the battle for the Concord Bridge on April 19th, 1775. This was part of the battle where we now know the “shot heard round the world” was fired. Rev Emerson had a surmountable cause in defending the town of Concord from the very well trained British Army. But he answered the call without reservation. I would hope that any minister in our country who would call themselves a patriot would do the same, but the call to arms is one that is not taken lightly by anyone and not truly woven into the heart of every man.
If anyone really wants to know what God thinks of armed self defense one only need to look at the Gospel according to Saint Luke, Chapter 22 Verse 36.
“Then said unto them, but now he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.”
Christ seems to be saying go naked but don’t go unarmed. I subscribe to this teaching.
In fact, if one is to understand the sword to be equivalent of a gun (as in beating swords to plow shears) Jesus commanded His followers to carry a gun.
(Luke 22:36 NIV) He said to them, “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one.”