Evolving on Guns: Considering the Morality of Gun Ownership Now That I Refuse to Be a Victim
Why did Jesus encourage his disciples to carry a sword?
April 29, 2013 - 9:00 am
First, I wanted to consider how this morally neutral, inanimate object might change our home. We live in the kind of neighborhood where crime is almost unheard of and people don’t always lock their doors — and we like it that way. When friends come over in the summer, they’ll tap on the screen door and then walk right in. It’s not unusual for my son’s friends to just walk in at 11:00 p.m., shout “Hello!” and then head down to the man cave. I don’t want that to change, so I wonder if our laid-back lifestyle seems incongruent with arming our home for self-defense.
I don’t want to live in such a way that I feel like I’m lying in wait for an intruder. I don’t want to make the night of the Boston police manhunt a way of life, yet at the same time, I want to be prepared in case something happens. But I can’t imagine answering the front door with a Ruger tucked into my yoga pants. It would seem a profound loss of liberty if I lived like my home was an armed bunker. I’m not exactly sure how to reconcile safety and freedom at home. I’d be interested in hearing others’ experiences of how they balance home defense with family life.
Another question that I wrestled with is whether purchasing a gun demonstrates a lack of faith in God on my part. Before I became a Christian, fear was a constant companion in my life. I was afraid of everything from fires to tornadoes to intruders to ghosts. Though I had a general belief in God, I didn’t trust that He had any power to protect me from harm or that He had any control of events in my life. All that changed when I became a Christian and began to understand the theology of God’s sovereignty. This doesn’t mean that I am immune from harm or danger or pain because I am a Christian. Indeed, the Bible teaches that I should expect persecution and suffering because of my faith.
Though God created a perfect world and pronounced it “good,” he created man with free will and the ability to choose good and evil, and since the first man and woman chose to sin we all inherited the fallen nature that separates us from God:
Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned. — (Romans 5:12).
For some, that sin manifests itself into heinous acts that harm others; they rape, kill, maim and terrorize. God does not promise to protect his children from the devastating effects of the fall — if that were true, Christians would not die.