The Armor of Light

The Armor of Light: New Documentary Makes the Evangelical Case for Gun Control.

How on earth could ANYONE claiming to be an Evangelical Christian have such a love affair with gun ownership and put so much faith in firearms?


17 thoughts on “The Armor of Light

  1. I’m not sure what you mean about the problem of gun control ignoring the sinfulness of men.

    No other western country has the same degree of mass gun murder as the USA where the controls on gun ownership are so weak.

    Does that massively higher rate of murder mean the sinfulness of man in the US is greater than elsewhere? Or does it mean that sinful man + greater availability of guns = greater frequency of gun-assisted mass murder?

    Whether or not a secular nation has gun control or not is matter for the secular government of that nation. It is sad and frustrating to see the US continually allow its citizens (so often children) be murdered in mass shootings because of some kind of national love affair with firearms.

    But as disturbing as that may be, it is the choice made by the US people and government. However, when Christians stand in support of gun ownership as if it’s a God-given right (rather than a right determined in a secular constitution), I find that much more disturbing because that attitude reflects on the Kingdom of God.

  2. The late Greg Bahnsen debated once with a gun control advocate. His defense was first secular in his appeal to the US Constitution which defends the right bear arms. Secondly, he masterfully argued from Scripture that citizens have a God given right to protect themselves. You can find his debate online. A summery can be found here

    I think the key word is guns. Substitute guns with golf club advocates or golf club control and people tend to back down. Why? Because they see guns as the issue. I own several guns and am looking to buy more. I openly encourage fellow Christians to get your CWP. I know of pastors who are carrying while preaching. I know of churches who have armed guards to protect the people. It is not fear that drives us but a desire to protect not just Christians but all people.

    The Bible Thumping Wingnut podcast recently had a great discussion on guns. I encourage everyone to listen to it.

  3. Sorry Roy, all I see in what you say is a very sad, sad example of what is wrong with the American “Christian” right – and how successfully they have been indoctrinated to be so fearful: a fear of neighbours that citizens of other western nations (with stricter gun controls) just don’t seem to have. Strange that!
    More guns = more fear.

    Anyone using scripture to justify their right to own and carry guns is guilty of abusing scripture for their own political agenda.

  4. Substitute guns with golf club advocates or golf club control and people tend to back down. Why?

    Perhaps because, while intriguingly imaginative, its a silly comparison and anyone who would make such a comparison isn’t likely to be swayed by reason. Golf clubs have a purpose that has nothing to do with violence and killing. When was the last time anyone went on a murderous rampage through a school with a golf club? When was the last time golf clubs was used to cause multiple deaths?

    Usually a comparison is made with knives, which can also be used to kill people. Should they be banned? Again, is the comparison valid? How often have knives been used “successfully” to the murderous degree that is all too common with guns? And unlike guns, both knives and golf clubs have a legitimate purpose not related to killing. And in comparison to handguns and assault/military type weapons, a purpose not related to killing people.

  5. I disagree. Guns save lives. Yes they can take them but guns do save lives. Furthermore, I own guns for protection of my family and friends. Is that not loving? I don’t want to kill anyone but I would to protect my family and neighbors. That is biblical. The Old Testament allowed for protection. Further, the framers of the Constitution got one thing right (among many), mainly that people are sinful including governments. The honest person should be allowed to protect themselves.

    Exodus 22:2 allowed for protection even to death. Christians should do the same. If a man breaks in my home to rape my wife and I’m home, he is probably a dead man. My 9 mm will either end his life or cause him serious harm. Why? Because I love my wife. It’s not the guns I love. It’s my family.

  6. Roy, I’m sure that the majority of believers elsewhere in the world also love their families and would protect them as far as they are able. However they don’t see the need to own an arsenal of firearms to do so. And as a result they find there is LESS of a need to protect their loved ones from gun violence – because there are far fewer guns out there to be a threat.

    It seems to those of us outside of the USA that the devotion to guns in the USA has blinded Americans to degree of the horrific outcome of your secular right to bear arms.

    From comparisons between gun deaths in the USA and the rest of the western world, it is clear that the most effective way of protecting loved ones is having LESS guns available in the community.

  7. Roy, I’m not really interested in how people use the Bible to try to justify their attitudes to guns. The Bible is NOT a legitimate tool for anyone to (mis)use to support pet beliefs – and misuse is ALL that the article does with the bible.
    And I can confidently say that believers of other nations would be very unlikely to see a need to look for scripture to justify gun ownership.

    I would be interested to know why it is ONLY America that has such an obsession with gun ownership, only America that has such an unbelievable record of gun deaths, including frequent mass shootings. That clearly shows how the claim that guns are needed for protection isn’t working.

    I see the opening of the article you recommend includes this suggestion from Jerry Falwell:

    encouraging students at Liberty University to be armed in case there is an ISIS attack at the school

    Can’t you even see the irony of that?
    Why mention ISIS in relation to potential school attacks? Americans have shown they are more than capable of conducting their own school massacres – and OFTEN!!!
    And why is it that America has such a record? Is it because there are not enough guns?
    Strange that such tragedies rarely (if ever) happen around the rest of the western world where guns aren’t so freely available.

    Another comment from your recommended article:

    Here’s what Falwell’s critics miss: Armed people save lives by making evil people think twice about attacking a person or place where there might be some armed push back.

    And has it worked so far throughout the US?
    I refer again to the fact that the US, gun ownership capital of the Western world, is also at the top of the chart of gun related mass-murders in the western world.

  8. So called gun control is regulation. Proper regulation makes sense.

    Besides that, we all/each need to make sense ourselves.

    If someone were to behave threateningly toward any of my children, I’d be
    okay with bashing that someone through the head with a heavy candlestick.

    Now, that’s in tandem with the fact that I would have died for each of my children
    when I was carrying them before and through birth. I was a seriously committed mother.
    [Not sure “was” applies, but they are all grown and out of the house at this point and space in time.]

    The candlestick is an example. I would be resourceful. As for guns, more women are harmed by them in their households than protected… not to mention the children by violence or by accident who are harmed way too often. My own children feel they — ah-hem — dodged a bullet, so to speak, but speaking candidly. We had guns, and their dad didn’t secure them. You can imagine what five boys may have done at times, just because it
    was possible to get their hands on a b-b rifle. Nobody was ever trying to hurt anyone. Add to that the fact their
    dad had a Ruger. He kept it under his side of the mattress. I think he kept it in the nightstand for a while. This actually was stupid. I will warn readers now that this story will get a bit circuitous.

    We had computers in our home sort of long before many people did. One evening, my youngest son was playing a game for toddlers called Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang [based on the kids’ movie basically] on one. For some reason, this game was telling little ones to call 911 like it was important and fun to do. So, we ended up with policemen at our house. Treating the matter like an emergency, the officers asked where the man of the house was. He was asleep. The officers went where he was sleeping (he was in bed) and took the gun right out from under him. I had not said anything about a gun or told them where to look; no one had. So, picture this. A few strange men came into my house and got a hold of the no-kidding-around gun. None of this was done quietly. The man who convinced himself he should have a gun for defense didn’t wake up in the least.

    He didn’t learn anything from this, by the way; he acted like this was a whole unheard-of story recently (years later, doing his “duty” of defending the idea of guns being safe and our never having a problem). The responders put significant effort into waking him… after they got the gun away from where it would be any use to him. But as I said, it’s not like they were trying to be sneaky or quiet before that. He was a heavy sleeper (and not drunk or anything like that, not a hard laborer for work either). Truly, had he awakened and thought to get the gun out, he would have been a disoriented mess about it anyway. He wasn’t honest with himself as to what he could do or what he was really like. And why would he listen to his wife on the apparent safety issues? I do mean apparent, observably real in his case. When “she” (I) told him how this had all gone, what did he care? He still finds it hard to believe when his sons say the same things about what happened. They are (and were) more conscious and more reality-based than he is. Understand: I wasn’t “against guns” as a deep conservative.

  9. Thanks Marleen, I think you’ve given valuable real-life examples that show up some weaknesses in the idea that guns are needed for security and protection; you show that the presence of guns have the real potential to increase the possibility of danger (intended or otherwise).

    Be careful though – the gun lobby might now have a new analogy to add to their arsenal of arguments: along with knives and golf-clubs they can now point out the potential lethality of candlesticks. 🙂

    I’m not sure whether I said it on this blog, but I know I considered elsewhere whether I’d be willing to take the life of a terrorist if I had the chance to stop them murdering anyone else. At the time I concluded that I could be willing if circumstances allowed. However, that willingness could never be carried out through any “foresight” or expectation on my part that led to me carrying a firearm (just in case).

    I don’t go about my life, at home or in the community, expecting the need to defend myself with lethal force. I have no need to live with a constant fear that would drive me to that expectation.

  10. Scripture should be the litmus test in all things. The right to carry a gun to protect yourself and others, fight government for that right is human. Not spiritual. The Kingdom of God, scripture clearly tells us what will NOT enter the Kingdom.

    The Seeking Disciple said ” I own guns for protection of my family and friends. Is that not loving? I don’t want to kill anyone but I would to protect my family and neighbors. That is biblical.”

    Jesus says, “And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

    Thou shalt kill, even. Love your enemy. Esteem everybody higher than ourselves. Have no fear, IF He is with you. Psalm 23:Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.

    Doesn’t say draw your sword. Jesus and the Apostles never carried a sword. The Word of God was their sword.
    Galatians 5:19-23 19 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21 envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

    To take another human life is murder. Our lives are to be living as Jesus Christ did, following His footsteps to the cross, following His commands in faith. Knowing Him is knowing His sovereignty and that vengeance belongs to the Lord. Using a gun would be against that in so many ways.

    The want to carry a gun for protection…where is faith in that? My God is my protection and I believe all things that happen are ordained by The King of the Heavens and the Earth, that was, is, and is to come, for His purposes. Don’t you believe God has everything under control? Evil in the world is because of the sins of the people. Evil that God allows (judgments) to try to bring folks to their knees and know that He is God.

    Don’t you know the promise to those who truly love Him? Psalm 91:He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
    will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
    2 I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress,
    my God, in whom I trust.”
    3 For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler
    and from the deadly pestilence.
    4 He will cover you with his pinions,
    and under his wings you will find refuge;
    his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.
    5 You will not fear the terror of the night,
    nor the arrow that flies by day,
    6 nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness,
    nor the destruction that wastes at noonday.

    In Him is PEACE in all things…He said so. Think on this: Where is your faith and peace in all situations? Don’t you believe what scripture is saying? Why the need to protect yourself? God wants your faith to be big enough to know that HE will be our protection if we are in Christ.

  11. Thanks for your comment Shoshana.
    Sadly, while all of us would claim to have faith – the faith we have tends to be far too abstract, and we make excuses when it doesn’t have a concrete affect on our lives.
    While we claim to have faith, we worry about our finances.
    While we claim to have faith, we trust in doctors rather than in the Lord.
    While we claim to have faith, we trust things other than the Lord for protection.

    From birth we are conditioned by the world’s standards* and renewal of the mind isn’t instantaneous, but is a process.
    The more we grow to know God, the more our faith in Him develops, but each of us may find ourselves stronger in one area of faith than in another.

    * That conditioning can differ depending on where we live. That is why you’d very rarely find any (western) Christian outside of the USA arguing in favour of gun ownership. The American attitude to guns has given birth to fear, that itself has created an ongoing perception of the need for protection. Ironically the thing instilling the fear is also seen as the means of salvation from the thing feared.

    But while other cultures don’t have the same attitude to guns, I’d guess that each cultural background has created its own distinctive problems.

  12. Just want to add that killing someone is not necessarily murder; for instance, someone who invades your house and tries to kill you or anyone else or is raping your daughter. I’m not a passivist.

  13. Yes Marleen, that’s the kind of thing I considered when I thought about my response if I could stop a terrorist murdering more people. Would it be wrong to kill him if the opportunity was there?
    Personally I don’t think so.

  14. Yes, and I appreciate your additional statement that you aren’t, then, going to walk around with a chip on your shoulder, so to speak. Nor stock up and be ever suspicious of people and afraid.

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