Another Shooting, More Christians Pontificating (Including Me, Sorry)

By Joel A. Hess

Another shooting. More pontificating. Along with the hopeless, Christians scurry to draw lines in social media sands. Some hurriedly throw out the hypocrite label to anyone who disagrees with their version of gun control. Others feign fear that the Red Army is coming to burn churches whenever someone even mentions any sort of gun control (as if there is currently no gun control going on right now).

Reading some pastor’s posts, an innocent bystander might conclude that gun control/gun rights somehow belong to the essential doctrines of the Christian Church. Then there are the poor fellows who actually think they might be helpful to the mourning mother by pointing out there is really nothing anyone can do about such violence. It’s in our DNA. It’s incredibly unoriginal, yet original sin. This is true but not the best bedside manner. Are we to then conclude that because we will never perfect this world, we shouldn’t try to make it better? There should be no laws, police, etc.? Of course not.

Sadly, many pastors jump in on the arguments! They act as if there is any hint of advice in the Scriptures regarding gun control.  Meanwhile the angry pastor spewing about gun rights or gun control leads outsiders to believe they and their views aren’t welcome.

How quickly pastors can fall into the Devil’s trap of getting our passions wrapped up in matters other than the Gospel. This is not to denigrate the importance of good policies and policy makers. God bless them and may they be encouraged to do their best. But their best on this issue may fall into quite a wide spectrum that has no specific encouragement in Scripture except to love our neighbor as our self and St. Paul’s, “God gave Government the right to bear the sword,” in Romans 13. St. Paul also encourages Christians to obey governing authorities. What was Rome’s view on bearing arms? Did they have a second amendment?

We have a responsibility in times like these. For sure we should stand beside people who are hurting. We should pray for justice and pray for peace and possible policies which will ensure these things. Most especially, though, we are to comfort those who mourn, to call people to repentance and hope in forgiveness and resurrection! We are called to point people to a day when there will be no more sin, violence, or death!

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3 thoughts on “Another Shooting, More Christians Pontificating (Including Me, Sorry)

  1. Excellent points. Common sense gun control measures should be implemented. Too many AR-15 assault rifles around these days. We get it that the Second Amendment permits us to defend ourselves against forces within and without, but where do we draw the line? I am sure that if God forbid we have a revolution in this country, the Left against the Right, there would be enough weapons to go around, enough mayhem to cause the greatest misery since the Civil War. But the problems are much deeper than gun control. Other weapons will be used in mass crimes if the will is there on the part of a perpetrator. America’s problems with drugs, crime, violence and mass shootings are symptoms of spiritual decline and social conflicts which cannot be resolved easily. Lord, help us.

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  2. I always enjoyed this site as a place to read of the promises of Christ and The Gospel.
    I can find political postings everywhere.
    Hope this site and podcasts get back to bringing Christ to the masses.

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  3. Amanda, you are correct to be concerned that many Christian sites spend time on political topics, and you would prefer more about “the promises of Christ and the Gospel.” Actually, the JW does that in many articles I have read here, emphasizing the Gospel as the anchor of our lives as Christians, and looking at society, politics, and relationships through the prism of our faith. Remember that separation of religion and politics, something we hear all the time, is impossible. It was not possible at the time of Our Lord Jesus, during His earthly ministry, and it is not possible now as well. Many things affect the practice of our faith, political and social currents which wind around us as we make our earthly journey as followers of Christ. In our volatile political environment, Christians are still called to exercise citizenship and impact our society for good, never behaving indifferently in the face of injustice and immorality. While some in our culture see no problem with the murder of unborn children in the womb, Christians cannot remain silent. When some in our political arena have called for censorship of sermons by pastors critical of homosexuality, Christians cannot remain silent. Our silence on these issues, whether it be gun control, abortion, euthanasia, transgenderism, denotes disengagement from real life issues. We cannot use the idea of separation of religion and politics as an argument to avoid making waves in an ungodly society. It is incumbent upon us to share the Gospel while we still can, but the issues which result from living in a sinful and fallen world require us to let the voices of faith and reason be heard.

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