Q: My husband has insisted that I get my conceal carry permit and is insistent that I carry once it is approved. Is this a good thing? Should Christians carry guns? What should I do?
A: Firstly, regarding your husband’s insistence that you carry, you should submit to that. He isn't commanding something God forbids or forbidding something God commands. And it is hopefully your combined wisdom and discussion on the matter, with his leadership a product of that. As far as Christians carrying, there is a lot to think through, which you are obviously doing, and I am thankful you asked me about it.
Personally, I am trying to process what I have seen and read. There are many differing and nuanced opinions on this matter, and I want to incorporate what I have understood previously with wisdom. There is a distinction to be made about gun ownership in general and the person who is responsible and wise enough to use a gun. Then there is the issue of being a Christian.
For the record, I am certainly pro 2nd amendment. I have no issue with people carrying a gun in general. However, I am also grieved by the tendency (of people in general but especially of professing Christians) to a fighting demeanor, a false sense of confidence, and fearful and overly suspicious souls. And it isn’t as simple as “get your gun, get your training, and get with it”.
We need to be asking some important questions. Would Jesus shoot an intruder? Would Jesus carry in public? We need to make some important and careful distinctions here. The case of the missionary in 1870 is much different than the homeowner in 2015, for instance. And carrying in public is different than a gun in the home. These are important considerations as we face the ongoing disintegration of freedom and safety in an increasingly anti-Christian world.
The use of force is irresponsible without the use of wisdom. Individuals and their particular personalities play an important part, and the answer to “should I carry a gun” will be different for different people. An angry person with a gun and a certain prejudice should have the right to protection, but their issue might manifest as someone who claims to be a victim while actually being a perpetrator. With anyone, even those who are trained and responsible people, what is the proper and appropriate use of force becomes entirely subjective in the moment of crisis. And it is far worse when someone is all out of proportion to begin with.
Proportion, prudence, discretion, and discernment are the products of wisdom. And so very many people, let alone Christians, have little to none of those. If everyone were armed then everyone would have their own ideas about the proper use of force, and some would shoot to kill someone else who was vandalizing their car. What about someone like me, a small man, who was forced to fight? I might just pull the gun, and let that be the end of it. But might I be tempted to pull the trigger as well? Of course, we could go on and on with both negative and positive examples.
This doesn’t mean no one should carry a gun just because some will not be wise with it. It means that while it is right to protect yourself from others, others may need to be protected from you.
For many Christians, even without carrying a gun, they already have a fighting demeanor, a false sense of confidence, and fearful and overly suspicious souls. For them, they need to think first about dropping their weapons and denying themselves.
For all Christians, if you’re going to carry a gun, you must first make sure that you are carrying your cross.
That’s the most important factor.
“Living For Today With An Eye For Tomorrow”©