God and Gun Control: The Bible's Perspective on Personal Ownership and Use of Weapons, and Related Matters
This page contains research detailing what the Bible says about owning and using guns.
(c) 1996, 1997, 1999 David C. Treibs
|Christians and Deadly Force: Point and counterpoint. (1.3 megs) An anonymous, highly knowledgeable author makes a case that Christians are forbidden to use deadly force, and I counter his points. If you don't mind trudging through sometimes complicated and hair-splitting discussions, this document is a great source of information.
|Questions answered by the
Do we have the right to resist crime and evil government if they are a judgment from God?
Isn't God's character peaceful and loving, and how can that be reconciled to force and violence?
Are we obligated to defend someone if we see them being attacked in some way, and will God hold us accountable if we don't?
Can you be pro-life and pro-gun at the same time?
Doesn't the Bible say that God is our shield and our safety, meaning we don't have to do anything to be safe?
Are we supposed to prepare for evil things that might happen, or can we just trust God?
Doesn't the Bible say things like: resist not evil; turn the other cheek; whosoever takes the sword will perish with the sword; the weapons of our warfare are not carnal; my kingdom is not of this world, else would my servants fight; let everyone be subject to the higher powers, and submit to every ordinance of man, including gun control?
How can you reconcile being a witness for Christ, and using weapons?
Shouldn't we support reasonable things like licensing, registration, and proof of competancy?
Shouldn't we limit who can own guns so crazy or dangerous people don't obtain them?
We won't have to suffer from the ravages of crime and a deteriorating society if we are righteous, will we?
Didn't God protect Lot from the Sodomites, and didn't he take him and his family out of the city before he destroyed it; and didn't he rescue Noah and his family?
Is it proper to resist the government, even by force?
How did the militia work back then, and how does it relate to today's militia?
The research is in the format of a verse by verse Bible commentary, meaning you won't very easily find the answers to the above questions. At this time I don't have concise answers easily accessible, although eventually I hope to have clues pointing you to some of the relevant scriptures that clarify the above questions. Since you are supposed to be reading the Bible through from cover to cover, you may find the answers yourself. (You are reading the Bible through, aren't you?!?)
Meanwhile, you can look at the Outline, following, to give you a pretty good idea of what the Bible says about many questions related to gun ownership. Do note that the outline is incomplete, and I will fill it out as I have time, which isn't available to me very often.
I would very much like to hear from anyone who takes time to read these materials, whether you agree, disagree, or don't understand. Some of the material is contradictory, some of it is in raw form and no one will understand it but me, most of it is not too well organized, and so on.
Verses and Comments--(follow the links) Bible verses plus my comments explaining how they relate to the basic theme of God and Guns;
Miscellaneous Comments--(follow the links) various ideas that I didn't connect to a verse but that have some bearing on the theme of God and Guns.
Contrary Arguments and Their Refutation--(follow the links) a few letters and comments that express contrary arguments to the sentiments of this research. If you write one that sounds good enough, and offers well-spoken arguments, I'll post yours, too.
Email me, if you like:
as of 19 Oct 97
God's Word is the Final Authority on All Matters
Logical Reasoning Based on Biblical Principles
Good and innocent and the helpless each is not equal
to evil (there is a difference between good and evil)
(as those who say shouldn't kill anyone trying to kill you because have no right to kill anyone (they value the evil person the same as the good person, and in so doing, place good and evil on the same level.)
There is constant war between them
Evil is constantly trying to destroy or harm or corrupt or use the good, innocent, and helpless
The destruction of the innocent is evil (even though God can bring some good out of it) as he demonstrates by allowing defense to prevent, and by severely punishing afterward. The destruction of the innocent is brought on by sin; even death of animals has been brought about by sin.
The wiser and stronger and more cunning will win
The righteous and the decent (not necessarily the same always) must defend the innocent and helpless, and must stop sin,
Because those being harmed are not always innocent, but what is being done to them is wrong no matter who it is being done to. We must reprove the unfruitful works of darkness--actively work to stop them--not just have nothing to do with them.
Special revelation vs no special revelation: just do the right thing and follow God's word.
To Demostrate That Ownership and Use of Weapons is Not Evil
Define the violent man of Psalms--he who commits violent acts of evil.
the armed madman
the armed wicked
workers of iniquity
Various evil people use weapons to commit evil, but the focus is to put away the evil people, not to take away the weapons from everyone. At the very least we can see that weapons are morally neutral tools.
the case of pornography: that which sole purpose is to incite lust, ie sin, and is therefore inherently evil; and also because it is the display of nakedness outside of the marital bedroom, which is also a sin
Descerning God's Opinion of Ownership and Use of Weapons
God's character: completely in harmony with use and ownership of weapons.
God's weapons--both figurative and literal demonstrate he can own and use them.
His judgments include:
If we can't resist God's judgment, we can't resist any judgments, including rape, loss of property, having our children taken away, crime, evil government, etc. Good thing this is nonsense.
We are required to resist and fight against the evil, even when it is clearly God's judgment against our nation.
We are not resisting God when we do this. The purpose of the punishment is to bring repentence.
Refusing to repent is resisting God's judgment: fighting evil and defending our families and nation are not.
Fighting evil is obeying God's command to defend those we are able--as the watchman was to warn those he could warn.
"Standing by" when it is on our power to act is one of the sins in Obadiah.
In fact, fighting evil is part of repentence, because God command us: "put away the evil from among you," and you have to put away the evil doers to stop the sin and the destruction of the innocent, which angers God a great deal and brings judgment in the first place.
Praying and seeking God are also part of it.
Repentence must accompany resistance, or resistance will fail, or at least God won't help any, and may even fight against you.
Second only to repentance, our duty is to resist and throw off the oppression, to defend the innocent, the helpless, the oppressed, our nation, our people, our families, houses, and God's name, glory, laws, and principles.
We are required to resist even if the entire nation, or even most of the nation, is not repentant. God will decide if he will grant us any reprieve.
Our resistance must be zealous and furious, and of the most cunning, intelligent, skillful, organized means available to us, or God will be angry with us (smite the arrows 5 or 6 times)--we cannot be half-hearted. God may give us only what we work hard enough to receive--if we half-heartedly work for deliverance, we may receive only half deliverance, or none at all, or it may not be half that God wanted us to have, but because of our lazy, ungodly attitude and lack of faith, which produced a lack of action, he could do no mighty miracle.
Often, those who were fighting the punishments God had sent were the ones God had divinely sent to rescue his people. Good thing they didn't decide that to fight God's judgment was to resist God.
They didn't always have divine revelation that they were supposed to fight--they just did it because it was the right thing to do.
Those resisting succeeded when God was ready to grant at least some mercy, as in Ezra 9:7-8, they recieved "a little grace."
"Dying of fighting is no disgrace," Keep on the Firing Line (song).
Those who execute God's judgment will have to answer for what they do--if they harm the innocent, God's people, etc.
The righteous suffer with the wicked!
Being disarmed is a judgment from God and is therefore evil. That means gun control is evil. "I will bring evil upon you...."
Examples of Gun Control
I Samuel 13:19,22 Israel was captive to the Philistines, and disarmed
---possible examples: suggested or implied
Esther 8:11 It doesn't say they were disarmed, but being a captive nation, they probably were. Mordecai gave them the first Second Amendment: to form organized bands, to be armed, to do whatever necessary to defend themselves
Luke 11:21-22 first you take their weapons, then you take their goods
---loss of major defenses
Jer 52:14 walls of Jerusalem were broken down by the army of Chaldeans. This may be a fulfillment of 5:10-11
Being armed is a blessing and a gift and weapons are therefore not just neutral but good, desirable and necessary for success and prosperity and righteousness (to put away the evil, to defend the righteous and helpless).
Knowing how to fight and being trained in warfare is a blessing, and is something God desires for his people.
How God Works, and How He Provides
How God provides for us (everything, including life, liberty, property, and safety)
-by giving us an understanding of this world and it's laws, including physical laws, sin and death, cause and effect, etc
God's Laws of Reaping and Sowing, Cause and Effect
We live in a physical, cause/effect (reap/sow) world and must respond appropriately and effectively; and must prepare (instead of just responding afterwards, prepare beforehand (forsee evil and hide, ie, prepare ahead of time)) just as appropriately and effectively; at the level of the threat or use wisdom to overcome superior numbers or strength (don't lock door as sufficient protection from an invading army).
Trusting in God, and having Faith in God
Faith without works is dead.
Our trust is in God to prosper our efforts and to make our warfare effective. We don't trust our weapons or efforts: our faith is in God that "he will do it," and he will "give us good success."
How the militia worked
The first recorded act of weapons and warfare (weapons and acts of violence were previously mentioned, but not organized warfare) was carried out by Abraham's militia and had the personal blessing of God himself, ie, Melchesedec. Blessing Abraham and his militia and receiving his spoils are Melchesedec's only recorded actions.
Israel at their exodus
--they may have taken some when they "borrowed" stuff from the Egyptians
--they likely garnered a few from the drowned Egyptians who washed up on shore, since it was standard practice to take weapons from defeated foes
--they took them from the nations they defeated
They were all _commanded_ to be armed, and Moses didn't provide the weapons, they provided or adapted their own
They were commanded to fight until everyone's enemies were annihilated
Israel in the promised land
local men on both a family and a community basis formed militia groups for local defense (they were all men, by the way)
each tribe had their own defense forces: these were the largest family based militia units operating in Israel
the kings could use their national army, if they had one, and/or they could call up the people if they needed to
The king was not permitted to amass large quantities of weapons (horses): he was not to have a large standing army, but rather trust in God and use the militia.
Military activity was initiated at all levels without supervision or permission from above
--local groups fought as necessary without anyone's help or permission
--the individual tribes acted, and sometimes called other tribes to help them when necessary
--the king acted against the biggest threats, invading armies, etc, but sometimes the smaller groups helped the king, or if the king was stupid or cowardly or unavailable, the local groups did the fighting
What our Attitudes Should and Should Not Be
Our purpose in life: to please God, follow his word, be a light and a witness to the world, and to do whatever it takes to make that easier to do. Be in power to keep the wicked out so they don't stop the spread of the gospel like they do in Communist/secular humanist countries.
Last days/end times attitude (God has determined that things will wax worse and worse, and we can't stop it, so why try?) is not to sit and wait and do nothing--it is to "occupy till I come".
(Wrong!) Christ will rapture us from all the evil to come so we don't need to prepare for it or try to stop it, since it is predestinated to succeed anyway and we can't stop it and in any event we won't do any suffering!
Obeying the law:
Second, the Dec of Indep says certain laws are inalienable and are from God, and any gov't that denys these rights are illegitimate and should be changed. Our Bill of Rights establishes some of those inalienable rights, including the 2nd A, and when gov't goes against this, even state gov'ts, they are contravening the Dec of Indep and God's law, and we have no duty to obey them, but again, a duty to disobey and change them.
Third, the Bible says we ought to obey God rather than men, and when man's law contravenes God's law, we have the duty to obey God rather than men, only we have to understand that we may have to bear the consequences of these actions. The Bible commands us to do many more things besides preach the gospel, and we can violate none of these commands.
Resist not evil.
Whoever takes the sword will perish with the sword.
Turn the other cheek.
Ye know not of what spirit ye are (in response to, Lord, shall we call fire down from heaven on them?)
The weapons of our warfare are not carnal.
My kingdom is not of this world, else would my servants fight.
Let everyone be subject to the higher powers, which are ordained of God (Rom 13).
Whoever lives by the sword will die by the sword.
Be subject to every ordinance of man
Why we suffer
--We reap what we sow, even years later, the paths we choose and the consequences of those choices and the fruits of the seeds. We both as a nation and an individual reap what those before us have sown, even several generations back.
--God is conforming us to his image--He doesn't care too much about our happiness as much as He wants up to be like Him, he has to chip away at our rough spots and put us through the furnace to make us like pure gold and to try our works and burn up all but the gold. It it not our purpose to remain unharmed, if being harmed will further God's kingdom. His grace is sufficient.
--The devil and the world hate God and his word, and therefore us, they are out to wear us down and destroy our usefulness for Christ and nullify our work, cause us to sin, or kill us.
I will focus mostly on reaping and others' sins. The nation reaps, and the innocent suffer from others.
Gun control earns the curses of Obadiah 1:10-15
"Neither shouldest thou have stood in the crossway,
to cut off
(going along with others who destroy without being in the forefront and heading it up, again letting others do the dirty work, but it is one step removed from #1, making it harder for victims to escape their oppressors)
3. (10) stoodest on the other side, thou wast as one of them (standing by while people are being destroyed when it is in our power to stop it) (Judges 6:25-27: Gideon did not stand by)
4. (13) nor have laid hands on their substance in the
day of their calamity (also see 2 Chr 28:2-6,8-16)
(reaping the fruits of evil knowing where those fruits came from and not doing anything to undo the damage and restore those harmed)
There is no real distinction among the 4 crimes, they are all lumped together and referred to as "violence against they brother Jacob" (10), when it's not even recorded here that the Edomites personally killed anyone, because each plays a part in destroying Israel by helping her enemies, even in very passive and indirect ways.
The question may arise, how could the curses be applied to actions such as registration, licensing, background checks, etc which in themselves do not disarm anyone and therefore do not directly harm anyone. The answer is, they are all part of the process of disarmament, regulating, and restricting the RTKBA, and in the end, giving the gov't the tools and information to render us helpless and rule over us as tyrants, and to lead them into the mindset of servitude: that gov't is our provider and that we should surrender our responsibilities including our God-given responsibility to defend ourselves and our families, to gov't, and gov't is the best trustee of force and the means of force (weapons), and we as individuals are not, and gov't must carefully monitor, check, regulate, and control that amount of force that it leaves in our hands. Pvb 25:26 When the righteous fall down before, that is, render themselves subservient to, the evil, that is troublesome and bad. When people render themselves prostrate, vulnerable, surrendered, and open to gov't, that is the same.
b. It did nothing to reverse the process, even though it also did not help, just like standing by on the other side and watching didn't in any way harm the Israelites, and didn't even enable the enemy to more easily kill them (like blocking the way and turning them over to the enemy did), but they didn't help them fight off the enemy or escape.
It is evident that licensing and registration are part of gov't control and disarmament: with the fuss about licensing cigarette distributors and sellers, an article appeared in USA Today noting that someone wanted sellers to be licensed and registered so they could be controlled--have their license yanked if they failed to operate properly. There also was an article in 97 in the American Rifleman about a man who went to live somewhere with tough licensing and registering requirements, and it took forever for his guns to go through, and it was evident to him that licensing and registration were tools of control.
OT principles, examples, and scriptures are valid for NT people.
Outline and notes of Sermon given at Fredericksburg Baptist
mid-1999, by David C. Treibs
4 Major points in this brief:
--God has put his approval on being armed
--God has used his people armed to accomplish his will (not that you have to be armed, but you will suffer the consequences if you aren't)
--God hasn't changed his mind
--The Second Amendment is based on God's Word, and we should not trample either one.
Since the school shootings, and other mass shootings, much debate has occurred over gun control. As Christians, our duty is to determine God's will on these matters, and act upon it, instead of being swayed by the world and it's faulty reasoning.
I. We must determine God's will by diligent study.
B. We must diligently examine evidence for and against from SCRIPTURE, not just people's uninformed opinions: Acts 17:10-11
C. We must prove GOD's will. He has only 1 opinion on
subject--scripture is not open to contradictory interpretations. We must find God's opinion, which is revealed in scripture. 2 Peter 1:20
D. 2 Timothy 3:15,16. The Old Testament is referred to as scripture in v. 15, and, according to v. 16, is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, including the doctrine of gun ownership and self-defense.
II. One of the simplest ways to demonstrate God's approval of ownership and use of weapons is by studying examples where God divinely blessed the ownership and use of weapons.
Background information: two major concepts in the
the militia is necessary to the security of a free state;
the right to keep and bear arms
Don't be side tracked by false ideas: the Second Amendment is not about hunting or target shooting.
Also, although you can't believe what the media says, don't be side tracked by abuses that are played up by the media: kooky or murderous militias, and abuse of weapons.
A. Melchesedec and Abram (Abraham): God himself explicitly blesses actions that are based on the Second Amendment
While it is not recorded that they had the equivalent of the Second Amendment, it is obvious that they lived by it.
Abram had numerous armed and trained fighting men. Obviously he armed and trained them himself, because they survived using the principles of the Second Amendment, a strong militia, and heavily armed.
This large a military operation could not be carried out by novices. The immediacy of the response, the degree of coordination, the skill, and the efficiency, could only be accomplished by men who are highly trained in warfare. This instance is the first detailed account in the Bible of warfare involving the good guys, and they were clearly a well trained militia, and they were armed to the teeth.
Melchizedek--which most people consider a pre-incarnate Christ--personally blessed Abram and received a tithe of the spoils. In fact, these are his only recorded actions in all of scripture! If Abram's militia, or his being armed to the teeth, or his fighting had been abominable to God, he certainly would not have blessed him, nor would he have received a portion of the spoils--it would have been blood money. This is the first recorded instance of God personally blessing someone being armed to the teeth, and using a militia to carry out God's work.
In case you don't believe the OT, and you think it doesn't apply today, Heb 7:1-4 sets the record straight. God repeats his blessing on Abraham and his militia, his weapons, and his warfare.
(Also, be aware that Heb 11 blesses many for acts of warfare, which is a subject for another study.)
B. Nehemiah: another example of someone living by the Second Amendment, while engaged in God's work, with God's explicit blessing.
Set the scene:
Nehemiah was doing God's work, rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem, but the enemies of God and the Jews was determined to stop them, by force if necessary.
Nehemiah's response was to 1. pray, 2. prepare to fight.
Pay particular attention to v. 16-18, wherein they did God's work with a work tool in one hand, and an weapon in the other. Every worker was armed, and there was a plethora of weapons both in number and in type. Each worker was bearing arms.
Also note v. 19-20,22-23 they had a command structure, communications, plans for battle and troop movements, etc, as any militia company would have.
(Another important point, not covered here, is that God is credited with doing the work (v. 15), even while the people are the ones doing the work of both building the walls and preparing to defend themselves. In many instances, God uses the work we do to accomplish his will, such as providing our protection, security, etc. Just because the Bible says God protects us, that doesn't relieve us of our duty to protect ourselves and our families.)
Perhaps most importantly, we see that God's personal blessing was on their work, both to build the wall, and to defend themselves against the enemy: v. 15.
Finally, we can thrill to the words of Nehemiah when he rallied the people to remember God, and to fight valiantly for all God had given them, much as Patrick Henry did when he raised the roof with his "give me liberty or give me death speech," v. 14.
C. Esther and Mordecai: the first known instance of a government decreeing the Second Amendment. (Yes, I know God grants rights, and government's job is to secure what God has granted, but this was a start towards that understanding.)
The law could not be reversed by other legislation, so it had to be countermanded.
The queen persuades the king to countermand the decree. The king gives his ring to Mordecai, Esther's uncle, so he can make whatever law is necessary to countermand the decree. Mordecai grants all Jews the right to stand together, armed, and to fight to defend themselves and to destroy those who would hurt them.
Mordecai grants the Jews all the elements in the Second Amendment: to form militia groups, to be armed and to use those arms, and to defend their security by force.
III. Application to today's situation
God has used his people armed to accomplish his will. He has given personal blessing on his people forming armed and trained militia groups to accomplish his will. He has personally blessed his heavily armed people using their weapons to defend themselves.
What, then, should we make of efforts today to disarm us? Obviously, it is contrary to God's Word.
Those who are disarming us can be easily compared to the evil people in the 3 examples above: the evil kings would have disarmed Abram if they could have, so he couldn't have stopped them from plundering; the enemies of Nehemiah would have disarmed them so they could have stopped them from rebuilding the walls; Haman and those who wanted to kill the Jews would have disarmed the Jews so they could have slaughtered them all.
We can conclude that disarmament, gun control, and present efforts to ignore or rescind the Second Amendment are contrary to God's Word, and are the work of evil doers bent on destroying God's people, stopping God's work, and accomplishing other evils.
Let's stand together to protect and restore the blessings God has given to us as Christians and as a nation, including the Second Amendment.
###End of Outline###
Verse By Verse Commentary On Matters Related to God and Guns
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USA Flags, State Flags, Custom Flags, National
Information on Gun Control, History of Texas' 1835 Come and Take It Flag,
Modern Come and Take It Flag with Assault Rifle
The above links take you to notes completed as of May 31, 1996. The updated notes are from 1999. Sometime I'll post another update to the notes, with some revisions and additions to the outline.
These notes will eventually become a book on the subject. Until then, I am making my notes available for anyone interested in plodding through them. These are several years worth of work already, it will likely be several more years before they are even close to manuscript form, much less publication.
No part of this work may be copied or used in another work, including the spoken word, without crediting the author, and without written permission from author.
This file may be copied onto electronic bulletin boards or Internet sites, provided it is copied as is. You may not modify it in any way, including adding or deleting anything, unless you have written permission.
(c) 1996, 1997 David C. Treibs. All rights reserved.
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