Protection or Peace

I’m going to make an attempt at a response to a comment about my most recent posting titled “Fight or Flight” (Apr. 16, 2013).  After sifting through the profanity-laced ranting of this particular comment, I came to understand that the writer thought that there would be no reason for us to flee from anything….that’s what guns are for; to protect ourselves and our “God-given rights.”  Since the subject of guns and 2nd amendment rights is such a hot topic these days, I suppose, though I would face more hateful comments, attempt to discuss my feelings  and questions about this issue.

First, I would like to say that Jesus is my guide.  While it’s easy to fall into the path of least resistance and acquiesce to what the world wants, I will one day have to answer to Him.  I feel confident and have faith that following Jesus’ example is the best way to approach things of this world.

So what was Jesus’ example or teachings concerning weapons or defending yourself?  If we dig deep, we find much concerning living peacefully with others and turning the other cheek.  The most telling verse in the bible on this matter leads me to believe that God wants us to find a way to handle earthly things in a spiritual way.  Romans 12:17-19 says, “Do not repay anyone evil for evil.  Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody.  If it is possible, as much as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.  Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath.” 

This idea of not repaying evil with evil or not taking revenge is a hard pill to swallow at times.  What if I or my family is physically threatened?  What if my life is in jeopardy?  It is no more than Jesus faced during His false conviction and execution, and yet He didn’t lash out at His accusers or killers.  We are to be “living sacrifices” for our Lord and for those around us, forgiving those who would wrong us and allowing God to make final judgement.

So what does this mean for the right to bear arms?  My conclusion is that this is not a God-given right but a right afforded us by our Constitution.  But as a Christian, I must seriously ask myself how owning a weapon helps me to “live at peace with everyone.”  I’m not promoting whether it’s right or wrong, but rather our motive for our decisions.  Ultimately, I must look to God for this answer and not to any wave of sentiment that our society feels.  It is He who I must live for.

-Joe

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