Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Being filled with grief is OK, being filled with fear is not
There are two truths here that are somewhat at odds.
First it is no surprise that mass shootings typically happen in places where the resistance is lowest, places where people are massed together and unarmed. Even disturbed individuals don't go to a police station and open fire, they pick schools because the victims they have chosen is almost certainly defenseless and the few adults there are often women and always unarmed.
The second is that Christians are exhorted to not fear man and to be content in the Lord. It is troubling that I see so many Christians living in fear. Sure we can dress up that fear in high minded rhetoric but at the core is a deep seated fear of others. Jesus said:
I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him! (Luke 12:4-5)
I don't get why people who trust God as sovereign live in such fear of mortal life. Too many of us are Calvinists when it comes to salvation but Arminians when it comes to self-defense. I trust God when it comes to saving stony hearted sinners but not when it comes to keeping me and mine safe from a lone gunman? I shouldn't fear for my own life nor should I fear for the lives of my wife and children if I truly trust God. That is hard, I get that but that doesn't make it less valid.
I own guns. I own handguns. I own several high capacity magazines that I have no use for but bought during the Clinton assault weapon ban to make a political point. I don't walk around armed at church or in the mall. I understand why some do having no assurance of a sovereign God but is that proper for Christians? I know I beat this dead horse again and again but every time something like this happens we see the same reaction from Christians. We need to talk about this. Not as Americans, I absolutely affirm that the 2nd Amendment guarantees an individuals right to own firearms and gun control legislation is foolhardy, but as followers of Christ and what it means to trust God in a violent culture. I wish we could have this conversation without dividing up into left/right political camps. Maybe someday.