Is it right for a Christian to carry a gun?  Or even own one at all?

I'm not here to debate pacifism.  For centuries, even millennia, there have been debates both among Christians and in general society over the legitimacy of war and even self-defense.  I can't settle that here.

Nor, despite the subject, is this about gun control, gun safety, or the Second Amendment.  It's about something much more important.

What I want to address is an idea currently making the rounds in the Christian community:  that a Christian who buys a gun to protect his family is proclaiming his lack of faith.  That he doesn't trust God to take care of him and the people he loves.

Such a statement is absolute nonsense.

I've heard that logic before.  I wonder how many of those who loudly proclaim that buying a gun means you don't trust God for your safety would agree with the following similar claims:

  • People who use birth control don't trust God to determine the size of their families and provide for them.
  • People who use doctors/hospitals/medications aren't trusting God to take care of their health.

I acknowledge that certain elements behind those ideas ring true.  There is in modern society what I'd call a "birth control mentality" that I believe has done great harm (blog post on that to come eventually, I hope), and blind trust in medicine has done its share of damage, too.  But the above statements, as they stand, are dangerous nonsense, and so is the same logic applied to guns.

God gives us resources, and the ability to develop and use tools.  It is our responsibility to use the tools wisely.  Embracing them uncritically and rejecting them out of hand are both extremes that risk insulting the Giver.  Even worse than insulting God (he's already handled more than we could possibly dish out), is belittling the faith of those who don't share our opinions.  "To his own master he stands or falls."

Posted by sursumcorda on Thursday, January 14, 2016 at 6:19 am | Edit
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...and those who use seatbelts, and those who use insurance, and those who use piggy banks, and those who use day planners or calendars, and those who check their account before signing a check, and those who agree on a designated driver, and those who go to premarital counseling, and those who read the terms and conditions before clicking "INSTALL," and those who brush their teeth. You're absolutely right: we all need to work out our own balance between trust and planning, between responsible stewardship and courageous liberality. We're in the middle of pondering insurance options, so thanks for the reminder!

Posted by Stephan on Thursday, January 14, 2016 at 4:32 pm


Posted by Eric on Thursday, January 14, 2016 at 7:49 pm

Eric's link was the one I was thinking of when I read Linda's post. Thanks.

Posted by dstb on Friday, January 15, 2016 at 7:38 am

I was just thinking of that story, also!

Posted by joyful on Saturday, January 16, 2016 at 2:53 pm
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