Welcome to the Torch Leadership Foundation’s Cross in Culture Podcast where we consider different perspectives on what is happening in our culture and apply a biblical worldview. I am your host, Daniel Whyte III. This is episode #31.
This episode is titled, Can There Be a “Christian” Position On Gun Rights and Gun Control?
The mass shooting in Las Vegas left 59 people dead and over 580 injured. It also left Americans with yet another opportunity to do something — anything — that could prevent a similar event from happening in the future.
Statistics tell us that an event classified as a “mass shooting” occurs roughly twice a month in the U.S. Yet, in the aftermath of every incident, the same thing happens. One side rallies for passing gun control laws, and they are accused of “politicizing” a tragedy. The other side continues to claim that putting more guns in the hands of the “good guys” will actually save lives. New political initiatives begin, but as the weeks pass, the fires die down, and we settle into a comfortable stalemate… until the next senseless mass killing shocks us awake again.
And, to those who say the aftermath of a mass shooting is not the time to talk about what we can do to curb gun violence, they are wrong. Now is the right time to talk about it. If your home was burglarized, you wouldn’t wait till next month or next year to talk about getting a better home security system.
That said, can there be a “Christian” position on gun rights and gun control? While we have no “thus saith the Lord” on this issue, there should be a well-founded Christian ethic as it pertains to gun violence, gun control, and the second amendment.
First, we must constantly affirm that gun violence (and violence in all of its forms) is an assault on the divine image present in every human being. The massacre in Las Vegas was not only an attack on humanity, but an attack on God Who made every one of the 59 people who passed out into eternity in His image. He breathed life into every one of their bodies, and while His permissive will allowed their deaths, it is never His perfect will for the blood of His creation to be poured out like water, for the bodies He shaped before birth to be slaughtered.
Second, we must support the second amendment and the Constitutional right of the average American citizen to keep and bear arms for self-defense, for protection of life and property, and as a deterrent against government tyranny. However, we must be careful of making possession of guns a be-all and end-all issue as organizations such as the National Rifle Association have done. This is to raise gun ownership to the level of idolatry — to make a god out of guns.
Third, we must realize that the church is at fault for the level of gun violence in our nation. The Bible tells us that man’s heart is “desperately wicked.” Jesus said, “Out of the heart proceed murders.” We know that the solution to man’s desperately wicked and murderous heart is Salvation through Jesus Christ. The reason why many of us will never get a gun and shoot someone is because of Jesus Christ living inside of us. Yet, we have failed to faithfully share the Gospel message with the world around us.
Statistics show that laws alone will not solve the gun violence problem in the U.S.
– California and Washington D.C., despite having the strictest gun control laws in the U.S., consistently have the highest rates of gun murders and other gun violence.
– Chicago, which has more gun regulations than most metropolitan areas, has for the past three years recorded an average of 3,000 shooting incidents with 468 people killed in 2015, 762 people killed in 2016, and 486 people killed already in 2017.
– In recent years, weapons-related crime has gone up by 14% in Germany, despite the country’s stricter gun laws.
– Over the past three years, violent crime has risen by 7% in France and by 13% in the United Kingdom, both countries which have stricter gun laws than the U.S.
Only the Gospel — not laws — can change man’s heart. The solution to the gun issue is not taking away guns, but changing the heart and mind of man so that he will not desire to pick up a gun and harm another human being. By sharing Jesus faithfully, and praying for the Salvation of the nation, we can deliver our country “from death unto life.”
There is room in the Christian community for a diversity of opinions on guns, gun control laws, and the Second Amendment, but one thing we can all agree on is that God is intensely pro-life. John 5:26 says, “The Father hath life in himself.” John 1:4 says, “In him was life; and the life was the light of men.” Jesus said, “I am come that they might have life — not just life eternal life, but life in this world — and that they might have it more abundantly.” We must do all we can to preserve life. We must be as pro-life as God is. And He is not willing that any should perish — in this world, or in eternity.
In closing, let me leave you with some Scripture and a quote to think about.
Luke 20:38 says, “For God is not a God of the dead, but of the living: for all live unto him.”
Glen Stassen and David Gushee write in their book, Kingdom Ethics, “The Kingdom of God consists of peace with justice, of life unmarred by killing.”
In light of what we have discussed today, I want to remind you that in our ever-changing world, there is one Person who never changes. That person is Jesus Christ. The Bible says that He is “the same yesterday, today, and forever.” He is not subject to the whims of society or popular opinion. He has an unchanging, eternal love for you. If you do not know Him as your Savior, I encourage you to get to know Him today. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will. Romans 10:13 says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Thank you for listening to this Torch Leadership Cross in Culture Podcast.
Visit us online at www.torchleadershipfoundation.com
Until we meet again, remember to keep Christ first in our ever-changing culture.