I am an anti-gun Christian. Most of my friends are pro-gun believers. We worship in the same church. Watch the same Netflix shows. Drink the same communion juice. And most important, we love the same Jesus.
Oh yes, I struggle.
I struggle with their support of firearms. I struggle to understand its appeal or apparent need. Maybe it’s because I have never held a real gun in my hands; or because I have never been hunting or to the range.
The truth is that I always feel uncomfortable around guns. I was not raised in the south. I don’t have a grandfather with a closet full of cool rifles.
Also, my uncle was murdered when I was nine. Shot dead in his 30’s.
I have friends in prison because of gun violence.
And I have seen (yes, we have seen) way too many atrocities on the news because of gun violence.
So to me the equation is simple: People die because of guns = let’s have less of them.
But please don’t leave my beautiful pro-guns family! Stick with me for another 30 seconds.
My intention here is not to try to convince you to think like me.
I promise, I just want to talk. We need to properly converse.
“Powerful people do not try to control other people. They know it doesn’t work, and that it’s not their job. Their job is to control themselves.”
― Danny Silk in
Guns are not my enemy, neither are the people who lawfully support them.
The question today is whether Christians should carry a weapon to defend their families.
Well, should they?
By answering this simple question, you will know where you stand in this debate.
And no matter where you land: Jesus loves you, God is for you, you are the temple of the Holy Spirit, and I want us to be friends.
Now, the “protecting your family” rhetoric, seems to be the main argument for the Jesus-loving pro-gun crowd. As a father of two (soon to be three) I understand that argument. The dad-husband-sherrif-wanna-be in me understands that desire: To protect my family. To defend my home. To save their lives.
There is nothing wrong or ungodly with that.
I’m just conflicted with it. Because God the Son seemed to be less about killing His enemies and more about dying for them. And as idealistic (and unrealistic) as that sounds for us living in the dangers of 2015… I feel compelled to stick to that.
Now, if this conversation is going to be actually productive then we need to start with honesty. Let me begin:
To all my brothers and sisters who carry a firearm, I’m here to repent for my pride.
As man who loves peace, rejects war and believes in the Gospel of Jesus at all cost, I confess that I saw the pro-gun people are a lesser kind of Christian.
I have judged you and believed the worst. I have assumed that you were the problem and thought nasty things.
Yes, I sinned against you. It was wrong of me. And I’m honestly asking for forgiveness.
I fell into the temptation of thinking that I was somehow better than you; holier than you; more in-tune with Jesus than you.
And this is not to say that I will stop challenging the things that I see clearly as Americanisms as oppose to Christianity. I feel compelled to continually preach the Gospel of Jesus as He preached it (and not as we interpret it through our western lenses).
But that does not give me the power, or the right, to stop honoring you as my family. I need just as much to be challenged. And I need your support along the way.
Again, I’m sorry.
Maybe you have judged my side also? I have seen enough of your Facebook posts to know that you think we are wrong. I have heard your argument, “guns don’t kill people, people kill people” many, many times.
You might have thought of us who disagree with guns as peace-loving-hippie-liberals who are naive and don’t understand the law. And you might be right.
So let’s get the insults out the way and let’s begin the healing process.
You keep your guns and your faith.
I’ll keep my pen and my hope.
You have Jesus in Luke 22:36 saying, “And if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one.”
And we have Jesus in Matthew 26:52 saying, “Put your sword back in its place, for all who draw the sword will die by the sword.”
And yet, we both have Jesus in John 13:45 saying, “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
Let’s end this shootout of Bible verses, infographics and quotes from other sources.
Most of us want the same thing.
We want peace and safety. We want love and connection. We want the King and His Kingdom. Yes, we go about it in different ways but it’s identical in nature.
Could we please focus on that?
Isn’t that what healthy families do? Meet in the middle?
Why not try it?
We have enough opinions already. We need more dinners.
“Tact is the art of making a point without making an enemy.” – Isaac Newton
Try this: Not writing something negative when a pro-gun/anit-gun believer post something different to you on social media. Make the (superhuman) effort to put yourself in their shoes and think the best about them.
Only in honor, will we truly be able to come up with solutions as oppose to increase the division. Because it is when we go back to the business of love… that’s where wisdom will flow.
Communities will be saved. Relationships will be healed. And Jesus will be lifted high for all to see.
Pro-Guns and Anti-Guns, united as one.
[The purpose is] that through the church the complicated, many-sided wisdom of God in all its infinite variety and innumerable aspects might now be made known to the angelic rulers and authorities (principalities and powers) in the heavenly sphere.
Paul in Ephesians 3:10 (AMP)
* Read another perspective (from one of my gun-owning friends) For The Gun Owner Who Loves Jesus by Max L. Johnson.
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