As I write this first sentence of a blog post titled “Gun control and the kingdom of God,” I realize it will be a post with more questions than answers.
Before I begin, a disclaimer is appropriate. This is an incredibly emotional topic. I have been surprised in the last few months just how emotional people get about the “right” to own guns, and I have been shocked at how passionate I have become about this issue. I have also been surprised at how I disagree with the majority of my brothers and sisters in Christ about gun control. I am in favor of greater gun control, specifically measures like universal background checks. Again, I have been surprised at how passionate I have become. This issue has been a constant reminder of the wisdom of 2 Timothy 2:23.
I would love to invite comments on this post. We don’t usually do a lot of comments here. I am interested to hear what you think, but let’s keep it civil. I also want to stay away from the political discourse. This post is not interested in what the framers of the constitution intended in the second amendment, why you believe background checks are the first step in the liberal government disarming the people, or why the government shouldn’t impede our rights in any way. While our thinking cannot be segregated into distinctly political and spiritual areas, it is the spiritual component of this issue that should influence our political activism, not the other way around.
Jesus’ mission, the reason for his incarnation, his death, resurrection and ascension, is to initiate and invite us into the kingdom of God. This means the kingdom is available to us here and now. The call of Christ is to follow him and join him in the kingdom life. With this as our starting point, I want to ask a few questions about how we should approach the issue of gun control with a kingdom mindset.
- If relationships are a cornerstone of the kingdom life (Matthew 22:34-40), how does that influence our approach to gun control?
- Where do guns fit into Jesus’ command to turn the other cheek and love our enemies? (Matthew 5:38-42)
- How are our personal rights affected by entering into a kingdom marked by personal sacrifice? (Luke 14:25-27)
I don’t have the answers to these questions. I have thoughts, and I am sure you do as well. I would love to hear them.