01 Dec What Does The Bible Say About Gun Rights?
Gun rights are becoming quite a hot topic in America today, especially as we face upcoming changes with our leadership on a state and national level. For centuries, Christians across the world have debated the topic of gun ownership. Should Christians even own a lethal weapon such as a gun? What is a Biblical stance on self-defense? These are important topics that we must discuss as we prepare to defend our constitutional rights as American citizens.
So, what does the Bible say about gun rights? As you may have assumed, the Bible doesn’t say about gun rights in particular – simply because guns were not even invented until long after it was finished! However, the Bible does have much to say on the topic of self-defense and the importance of preparing ourselves to protect those around us. This can be applied to the dilemmas we are facing in our current society regarding the ownership and use of guns.
As Christians, it can be tempted to claim our constitutional rights as the authority on a subject. God has blessed us greatly by establishing these rights and freedoms. However, we must not forget that God is our ultimate authority on all matters – including that of gun rights.
In this post, we will take a look at what the Bible says about self-defense. We will also share some practical advice on how Christians should approach gun rights in America today. We hope this information helps you navigate these often complex issues with grace and confidence as we seek to be salt and light to the world in which we live.
Understanding What the Bible Says About Gun Rights
As our society continues to change, there are more topics that are not specifically addressed in the Bible. Take cell phones and computers, for example. While guns and gun rights are not a topic of teaching in the Scripture, we can learn many valuable lessons from Biblical teachings on self-defense and the owning of weapons.
It is important that we carefully research the Scriptures, aligning our perspectives, and worldviews with the lessons we learn. A Biblical worldview will help us as we navigate our ever-changing society and stand up in defense of the foundational freedoms on which our country was established.
What Are Our Gun Rights in America?
While laws and legislation regarding gun rights in America continue to change, one of the foundational freedoms of our country is the right to bear arms. In the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, we read, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
As Americans, we have been given the constitutional right to own and bear arms. However, in our current society, we have many laws and legislations that ensure that guns are owned by responsible individuals.
One of the most well-known regulations regarding gun rights is the Gun Control Act of 1968. This act was put into place following the assassinations of President John Kennedy, Attorney General Robert Kennedy, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The Gun Control Act of 1968 provides regulation at a federal level. It imposed stricter licensing regulations and prohibited guns from being sold to felons, underage individuals, and other groups.
In addition to federal regulations regarding gun ownership, many state and local officials have implemented additional restrictions or regulations. Gun rights are a hot topic in our country today, leaving many Americans concerned about the future of this constitutional right.
It is important to educate ourselves on the topic of gun rights in America so that we can defend our constitutional freedoms and work towards a nation that promotes equality, liberty, and justice for all.
Does the Bible Say About Gun Rights?
As we mentioned previously, the Bible does not have anything to say about the specific topic of gun rights. However, we can apply the lessons taught on the topics of self-defense and preparing yourself for unsafe situations. Nowhere in the Bible are we prohibited from acquiring weapons to be used in self-defense.
However, many Christians wrestle with the topic of owning a lethal weapon. In Romans 12:17-19, we read, “Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”
On the other hand, there are plenty of instances throughout both the Old and New Testament where believers were instructed to purchase weapons, prepare for battle, or defend their households. While each Christian must come to their own decision regarding gun rights, it is safe to say that although owning a gun for protection is not prohibited in the Bible, it should never be used to carry out ill-will towards another.
Should Christians Own Guns for Self Defense Purposes?
As with many other issues, each Christian must decide upon their own stance of gun ownership based on their personal convictions. Gun ownership for the use of self-defense is not prohibited anywhere in the Scripture. However, if you choose to own a gun, there are several things you must first consider.
Christians Must Exercise Caution When Owning a Gun
A gun in and of itself is not able to cause harm. Guns only become lethal when someone is using it for that purpose. As Christians, we must exercise great caution when owning a gun. If a gun gets in the wrong hands, it can prove deadly in the blink of an eye.
Gun owners must take great lengths to prevent this from happening, always storing their guns in a secure, locked location. Additionally, if an individual has reservations about having the self-control necessary to only use a gun as a last resort, they may need to consider other forms of self-defense.
Gun Owners Should Complete Professional Training Courses
Regardless of your level of experience with guns, every gun owner must complete a professional gun safety and training course. This type of course is required by law in some states but is not required in others. A gun safety course will instruct you on the proper handling, care, and storage of your gun.
Christians Must Follow Gun Safety Rules & Laws At All Times
As laws and legislations are introduced that alter our gun rights, it may be tempting to disregard the laws. This is especially true if we feel as if they are infringing upon our rights. However, as Christians, we are called to respect and honor the leadership that God has placed over us, even if we do not agree with their leadership.
You can learn more about what the Bible says about government here.
A Biblical Understanding of Self Defense
If a Christian chooses to own a gun for the purpose of defending themselves and others, they must take the time to understand what the Bible says about self defense. Fortunately, the Bible has much to say on this topic. These important lessons can help us as we establish a Biblical worldview on both gun ownership and self-defense.
In their book, The Life and Death Debate: Moral Issues of Our Time, theologians J. P. Moreland and Norman Geisler write, “to permit murder when one could have prevented it is morally wrong. To allow a rape when one could have hindered it is evil. To watch an act of cruelty to children without trying to intervene is morally inexcusable. In brief, not resisting evil is an evil of omission, and an evil of omission can be just as evil as an evil of commission. Any man who refuses to protect his wife and children against a violent intruder fails them morally.”
Definition of Self Defense
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines self-defense as “the act of defending oneself, one’s property, or a close relative”. Self-defense includes the right to protect ourselves. Self-defense also includes the right to protect your property and the other people around us when we sense an imminent threat of danger.
At a basic level, self-defense is acting to protect yourself or others in a situation when an unknown aggressor with unknown intent presents an imminent threat. Self-defense is an offensive act, not a defensive act.
Perhaps one of the clearest passages on self-defense is found in Exodus 22:2-3. In this passage, we read, “If a thief is found breaking in and is struck so that he dies, there shall be no bloodguilt for him, but if the sun has risen on him, there shall be bloodguilt for him. He shall surely pay. If he has nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft.”
The homeowner in this scenario would be acting in self-defense if they killed or harmed the thief breaking in at night as they did not know the intent of the thief. However, during daylight, when the homeowner could judge the intent of the thief, there would be a penalty for his death.
Self Defense is Responsible Action
We find many examples and teachings regarding self-defense in both the Old and New Testaments. One such example is found in Luke 12:39. It reads as follows, “But know this, that if the master of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have left his house to be broken into.”
In this passage, we find that the master of the house would have prepared to protect his home should he have known of the attack. We learn that self-defense is promoted in Scripture. And not only is it promoted, but it is also the responsible action.
It Is Wise to Prepare for Self Defense
In addition to learning that self-defense is responsible, we also are taught that it is wise to prepare for the possibility of having to defend yourself or others. In fact, even Jesus instructed His disciples to carry swords.
Luke 22:36-38 reads, “He said to them, ‘But now let the one who has a moneybag take it, and likewise a knapsack. And let the one who has no sword sell his cloak and buy one. For I tell you that this Scripture must be fulfilled in me: ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors.’ For what is written about me has its fulfillment.’ And they said, ‘Look, Lord, here are two swords.’ And he said to them, ‘It is enough.’”
Preparing for self-defense is the best way to ensure that you will be able to steward the gifts you have been given. These gifts include your very life as well as the lives of the people around you.
Bible Verses On the Topic of Self Defense
The Bible does not prohibit the use of guns or other weapons in self-defense. Because of this, each Christian must work to refine their convictions when it comes to these complex topics. The best way to do so is by studying Scriptures on the matter.
Here are a few Bible verses about self-defense in which to begin your study:
- Exodus 22:2-3
- Ezekiel 33:1–9
- John 15:14
- Luke 22:36-38
- Luke 12:39
- Mark 3:27
- Nehemiah 4:17-18
- Psalm 82:4
- 2 Corinthians 11:26-27
By taking the time to study the Bible, we can develop our worldview on important topics. In this way, we can view issues such as gun rights and self-defense from a Biblical perspective. This will better equip us to share our convictions and beliefs with the people around us.
America seems to be at an important crossroads on the matter of gun rights and gun control. Many individuals on both sides of the debate are highly-involved and have strong opinions. As Christians, we must develop our view of gun rights from a Biblical perspective. The Bible does not prohibit the use of guns for self-defense. However, it is important to approach gun ownership with caution. Finally, as Americans, we must continue to defend and protect our constitutional rights, including the right to bear arms. By educating ourselves and others, we can promote a nation in which our freedoms are protected.