"I don’t need guns. My faith protects me."
Boy, I’ve heard that one. It’s amazing what a little biblical illiteracy can do to undergird a victim mentality. In today’s blog entry, dear reader, I want to walk you through the reasons I don’t find a contradiction between my faith and my gun.
I could start from the beginning with Cain and Abel, but then this blog post might turn into a book, and I have stuff I need to do today! Let’s hit the main points.
For the Bible believers, there seems to be some confusion based on a few main passages and also the role of Messiah, whether or not you believe His Name is Yeshua of Nazareth.
Let’s start with the 10 Commandments. The sixth one literally translates as ‘Do not murder’ . Notice, it does NOT say, ‘Do not kill.’ The verbs, in Hebrew, are completely different and distinct. Even if one did maintain that Moses spoke in KJV English, it’s logically inconsistent to have an instruction to ‘not kill’ in one sentence, and then soon after instruct the Israelites on the parameters of capital punishment.
The fundamental testimony of the Bible is 1) Respect and love G-d and 2) Respect and love your neighbor, and life in general. It is for this reason we carry guns. I respect my life and the lives of my loved ones. Nobody is going to trample on the Divine gift of life without a fight. It is the height of righteousness to defend what the Almighty deems sacred-- and innocent life is, indeed, sacred. Cain’s murder of his innocent brother, Abel, was clearly censured by the Creator. “ What have you done? The voice of your brother's blood cries out to me from the ground. And now, you are cursed from the earth.”
It is offensive to the Almighty when a human dares to unrighteously rob another of the Divine Spark that is life.
To illustrate, if you, as a parent, gave a precious gift to both of your two children, and one child brazenly, defiantly stole the gift YOU gave from the other, the affront isn’t just to the robbed child, it is also to you, the gifter. It is offensive to the Almighty when a human dares to rob another, unrighteously, of the Divine Spark that is life
If you’re a Jew, well there are plenty of examples of righteous dudes (and ladies, hello Yael!) who kicked ass with righteous zeal against wicked, depraved people. Gideon, King David , Pinchas, Joshua, Yehuda Maccabee, and many more. In each of those cases, there were some very bad people who needed to be put down. G-d could have sent a whirlwind or plague, but He allowed mortals to be the arm of mishpat (justice). The Tribe has a long and distinguished history of defending the Sacred. Let us remember, there were Temple Guards equipped with weapons at the Beit HaMikdash. Historically, when we have disarmed and/or forgotten ourselves and our responsibility is when trouble begins. Being disarmed and not collectively fighting evil led to the deaths of millions of our brothers and sisters in the Shoah, though there were some who did resist (e.g. Bielski brothers, Abba Kovner, etc), If we want Mashiach, we must walk in His ways and be prepared to defend the Sacred again.
Now, to the matter of the Christian who maintains that Christ set the example of ultimate pacifism by, not only dying, but also abolishing the entirety of Divine Scripture prior to his arrival, instituting a completely new standard of ‘lay down and take it for those heavenly crowns’, let’s just pump the brakes a minute.
Do you think that the G-d you serve is pleased in the death of innocent people in general?
Ask yourself this question. Do you think that the G-d you serve is pleased in the death of innocent people in general? Is your faith best served by offering yourself up for slaughter by a bloodthirsty criminal or mass murder? Okay, even if YOU really believe that your Faith is best served by death rather than life (hello, does THAT sound familiar?) What about your children? Do they deserve to have a parent who would let them be executed by some crazed lunatic without a drop of resistance? Do you think that when you die, you’ll be applauded by the Almighty for failing in your foremost duty as a parent, namely, the defense of your child’s life? Hmmm. Theological difficulties.
Even the Disciples carried weapons. Oh, but Jesus told Peter to put that sword back when, upon the arrest, good old Simon defends his master? Let’s get one thing straight, if you’re going to claim Jesus as the Messiah, you should probably familiarize yourself with Jewish law, and the markers of Messiah. The Sages of Israel during the Second Temple were looking for Messiah in one of two prophetic forms 1) The Son of Joseph, one who suffers for the sins of the nation without protest or 2) The Son of David, one who kicks ass and crushes the enemies of the Almighty. You be the judge, but for this round, it looks like Jesus/Yeshua is squarely identifying with the former by making sure to go quietly, like a lamb to the slaughter without defense. You cannot, however, make the case that all of his followers were to do the same.
To further clarify that Jesus was in a camp of his own with a special, limited calling, he even TELLS his disciples straight up in Luke 22, “If you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one.” There’s no getting around that. So you can either argue that Jesus/Yeshua was off his rocker, or that he had a plan, limited purpose and clearly defined objectives for his ministry. He had his mission, but he clearly emphasized that his disciples were to be armed and could expect violent persecution. And boy, they got it in spades from the Romans.
Israel had to show up for the fight. The outcome was in the Almighty’s hands.