It’s been a long while since I’ve posted here. Life took a very unexpected twist at the end of June and I have been unable to write much of anything beyond simple emails since then. I also haven’t sung much of anything since then. I’ve hummed a few bars of some songs, half-vocalized the lyrics to a couple of favorite songs, but opening up with a full voice has been beyond my mental and emotional capacity. I can’t even write about what I learned on the 29th of June of this year, at least not yet.
I have another topic in mind, and the grains of thought for this post have been sifting around in my head for a while. I’m going to explain why I think God is OK with us owning guns, not just for hunting and fun, but for self defense. I would not have given the idea two thoughts except I ran across either an article or a tweet somewhere that caused me to be interested enough in someone to subscribe to his email list. I don’t remember his name and it isn’t really pertinent to what I have to say. I remained on that list approximately two hours, terminating my subscription immediately after reading a post on his site that argued that we are selfish and are not trusting or faithful enough in God if we feel like we need to own a gun for self defense. He cited verses that spoke of putting our faith in and trusting in God for everything, because He would protect us, and, even if he didn’t physically protect us, it was all still good because our salvation was secure.
His arguments reminded me of the following old joke, which I will embellish to some degree to emphasize my point.
There was a God-fearing, Christian man who, when the rains poured and floods began to overtake his house, put his faith in God to save him. As the waters rose to his porch, a large four-wheel-drive truck came by. The truck stopped and the people in the back offered him a ride. “Come with us to safety,” they cried. Confidently, he replied, “No, you go on, God will save me!” The evacuees pleaded for him to escape with them, but he waved them away. The truck drove on.
Later, as the waters rose higher, a boat came by. The people in it who were escaping the floodwaters cried out to him, “Come with us! We’ll get you to safety! It is going to get worse soon!” The man, sure in his faith, replied, “No, you go on, God will save me!” They begged him to escape with them, but he waved them on. The boat moved on.
The waters rose and the man was forced onto his roof to escape the flood. Some time later, a helicopter flew over. It hovered and dropped a ladder. “Climb up the ladder to safety! The waters are rising even more!” “No!” the man cried, still convinced that God would intervene. “You go on, God will save me!” He waved them on and the helicopter flew away to safety.
The waters rose higher and the man was eventually swept away and died as a result of the flood. Being the faithful Christian that he was, he indeed went to heaven and as he approached God on the throne, he fell down and cried out to Him, “Why, God? I had all my faith in You. Why did you not save me?” God looked at him with love, chuckled, and replied, “Child, I sent you a truck, a boat, and a helicopter. What more would you have me do?”
You might find that joke a little sacrilegious, but I see some real truth there. While I put my trust in God to protect me, I also use what I feel is some basic common sense. As much as the man in the joke should have considered that God was saving him through the actions of others, I feel that I should use some common sense about how I should interact with others, particularly those that intend me harm. I am commanded to love my enemies, but does that mean that I allow them to harm me or my family? I am commanded to live in peace with others, but does that mean I don’t take basic precautions when going into high risk situations?
You can wag your finger at me and proclaim I need more faith, and that I should trust more, and you might be right, but I see no sense in simply throwing my life away when attacked by someone who wants to do me harm. I see God giving me the resources to defend or save myself, whether that resource is a truck, a boat, a helicopter, or even a gun. It must be said that I am referring to situations where there is a simple reason that someone is threatening me. That person just wants to do me or my family harm. I see no verse in the Bible instructing me to allow that to happen. Feel free to correct me, I am open to any attempts to show me how I am wrong.
With that said, I want to in no way take away from the concept that if someone is attacking me or my family because of our faith, we should count that joy, as Paul relates to us in Acts. If I or my family are attacked because of our faith, there is something gained regardless of the outcome. Am I as ready as Paul was in Acts 20? Probably not. Is it my goal to be that ready? Sure, but that will be a long process because I am a fairly selfish person and I love my family every bit and more as much as myself, so if I am not defending my faith through trust in God, then I trust that I am to take on the responsibility to defend myself and my family, through whatever resources and tools God provides for me, even if that tool or resource is a gun.
I’m serious when I say, “Prove me wrong.” Show me that God is OK with me allowing harm to come to me or my family when our faith is not in question. I don’t claim to know everything, and I definitely don’t claim to understand most of what I know.
God be with you.