Introductory Thoughts… to be Fully Addressed in Future Blogs:
Increasingly, it seems to me that our society in the United States of America is crazy. I chose that word for a good reason. According to Miriam Webster’s Dictionary, the two top definitions of crazy are: 1) full of cracks or flaws: unsound and 2) not mentally sound: marked by thought or action that lacks reason.
Every time I learn of a mass shooting at a school or elsewhere, I find myself in a daze with a large group of people, amazed by another violent action that lacks reason. Every time I hear the debate about guns, I am dumbfounded about the cracks and flaws in the arguments. These reactions seem to me similar to witnessing a rabid animal, fiercely snarling at someone or something that is no threat. Obviously, something is seriously wrong with the animal.
Would any sincere Christian agree that it is normal to be crazy?
Consider this stunning fact: In 2017, the United States had over three times the number of deaths by guns per 100,000 people than the combined total of Canada, India, Japan, Germany, and the United Kingdom. This measure is per capita, not by population. If upon reading this statistic, your reaction is equivalent to a shrug of the shoulders, you have grown inured to our national craziness!
Let me assert that there is one who is not inured: God. Genesis 6:11 informs us that the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of violence. God saw the violence; if you do not already know, I suggest that you read the next two verses to see how God reacted. If you consider yourself a Christian, does it matter to you what God thinks?
In 2011 as I was studying in an online seminary class, I remarked in the class online forum that it struck me as strange that one of the most popular Christmas gifts was a gun. I was perplexed that as nationally we celebrated the Prince of Peace, we were stocking up on more guns and ammunition than ever. One of my classmates responded, “People must be able to protect themselves.” I agreed, but the more that I questioned, the more entangled I found myself in the strong arguments of some of my fellow students of Jesus that in the USA it is foolish to contemplate living with fewer weapons around us.
After all, the second amendment of the Constitution, guarantees the right of citizens to bear arms, and more recent laws legalize automatic pistols and rifles. Yes, guns are constitutional and legal, but with so much bloodshed from these weapons, can we Christians justify having more guns than there are people in this nation?
In the next Blog, we will consider the subject of pacifism.