That We are Endowed by Our Creator - A Christian's Look at God and the Second Amendment
Deeply enshrined in our founding documents is the concept that our rights come from God and not the government. The Declaration of Independence proudly proclaims "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." Because our rights come from God, or "our Creator" if you prefer, our Constitution was established to place restrictions on the government as to what rights we should allow to be altered or infringed upon. There is a solid Christian foundation to these principles and how the Second Amendment of our Constitution should be looked at.
I received an article I would like to share with you addressing this subject from a friend, Bonnie Lugo. Bonnie serves as a member of the Republican Party of Texas, State Republican Executive Committee for Senate District 13. SD13 covers portions of Harris and Fort Bend Counties.
Christianity and the Second Amendment
by Bonnie Lugo
The second amendment of The Bill of Rights reads: "A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."
America’s history is such that at one time it was actually illegal for Colonists to be unarmed. Not only was every family required to own a firearm, but they were to carry it in public, especially when going to church. The British government tried to institute a gun confiscation program because they realized that they couldn’t control the Colonists if they were armed. Eerily similar? The Westminster Confession of Faith (“the Calvinist theological” collection of faith, was published in 1643, and was later modified by the Baptist church in 1662) cited Exodus 22:2-3 as justification for upholding the Colonist’s gun laws. Additionally, if a family could not afford a gun, the U. S. government purchased one for them, until such time they could repay the cost.
An inspired George Washington said, “A free people ought to be armed." George Mason (father of The Bill of Rights and The Virginia Declaration of Rights) is quoted as saying, "I ask sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people except for a few politicians." And James Madison, the fourth President of the United States, said, "The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. A well-regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the best and most natural defense of a free country." These godly men, who helped birth our nation and put their lives, as well as their livelihood, on the line, wisely recognized the importance of armed citizenry.
But what does the Bible say about weapons in society? Actually, the Bible has quite a bit to say. Nehemiah, under assignment by God to rebuild the temple wall around Jerusalem, was threatened. He recounted in Nehemiah 4:9, “But we prayed to our God and posted a guard day and night to meet this threat.” Nehemiah spiritually covered his assignment with prayer and then secured the natural phase with a weapon. In verses 13-14, Nehemiah described the events, “Therefore I stationed some of the people behind the lowest points of the wall at the exposed places, posting them by families, with their swords, spears and bows. After I looked things over, I stood up and said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, ‘Don’t be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your families, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes.’” Armed with the weapons of his day, Nehemiah withstood eminent danger with a show of strength; successfully fulfilling his commission from God. He tells us, that “When our enemies heard that we were aware of their plot and that God had frustrated it, we all returned to the wall, each to our own work. From that day on, half of my men did the work, while the other half were equipped with spears, shields, bows and armor. The officers posted themselves behind all the people of Judah who were building the wall. Those who carried materials did their work with one hand and held a weapon in the other, and each of the builders wore his sword at his side as he worked. But the man who sounded the trumpet stayed with me" (Nehemiah 4:15-18). We can see that Nehemiah relied on God, but took steps in the natural to arm his workers. Even though God heard Nehemiah’s prayers and answered him, Nehemiah still equipped his workers with arms.
Let’s explore just a few more select scriptures:
- When you go to war against your enemies and see horses and chariots and an army greater than yours, do not be afraid of them, because the Lord your God, who brought you up out of Egypt, will be with you. Deuteronomy 20:1 (Actually all of Deuteronomy 20 describes how a people should defend themselves.)
- And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it. Numbers 13:30
- Then he gave the commanders the spears and shields that had belonged to King David and that were in the temple of the Lord. 2 Kings 11:10
- Like a muddied spring or a polluted well is a righteous man who gives way to the wicked. Proverbs 25:26
- Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked. Psalm 82:4
- Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter. If you say, “But we knew nothing about this,” does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who guards your life know it? Will he not repay everyone according to what they have done? Proverbs 24:11-12
- Beat your plowshares into swords and your pruning hooks into spears. Let the weakling say, “I am strong!” Joel 3:10
- Your hand will be lifted up in triumph over your enemies and all your foes will be destroyed. Micah 5:9
But, should the naysayer object that this is the Old Testament and not relevant for today, please carefully read a bold and surprising Luke 22:36. Here Jesus tells us, “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one.” At least one of Jesus’ men was armed. And Jesus, Himself, tells us in Luke 11:21, “When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are safe.”
Perhaps Christians confuse Jesus' recognition of His divine purpose on Earth and determination to fulfill the provision for mankind’s salvation with a misunderstood message of passivity. Just because Jesus did not resist His capture or fight the arresting soldiers in the Garden of Gethsemane, this doesn’t mean that He is against Believers defending themselves. Jesus Christ of Nazareth knew His destiny and purpose; He commanded Peter to put away his sword because He didn’t want Peter interfering in an outcome He knew he had to fulfill.
However, even Jesus used a weapon. In John 2:15, John tells us that Jesus used a weapon: “So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple area, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables.”This is not the passive Lord we have sometimes heard described! Jesus was defending His Father’s reputation and coming against evil with a weapon.
Likewise, King David wrote in Psalm 46:1, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” In Psalms 144, David enthusiastically declares, "Praise be to the Lord my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle.” David was not contradicting himself.
The recent tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School is currently shaking the validity of the second amendment. But what does God says about this? Going back to the very beginning, in the book of Genesis, let’s consider Cain – the very first murderer. It was the evil in Cain's heart, not the weapon that killed Abel. And, in His wisdom, God provided a standard to follow: Cain was banished, not the weapon (Genesis 9:5-6).
The God-inspired wisdom of our forefathers aligns with the Holy Bible. Weapons of defense rightfully belong in the hands of our citizenry and not only with the government, police, or military. In a Judeo-Christian nation, the Holy Spirit works within true Believers, who are then able to enjoy the freedom and liberty that only comes through Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Somewhere along the way we have forgotten that the government is to serve the people and is controlled by its citizens and not the people by our government. Our only sovereign ruler should be Christ Jesus.
What our nation is experiencing is a spiritual problem and it merits a spiritual response! “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.” We live in a fallen world. We don’t need more gun regulations or restrictions; we need more citizens transformed by the Holy Spirit (Romans 12:2). Recent court-driven decisions to remove the Ten Commandments from our nation have contributed to this nation’s broken moral fiber. There is a direct correlation between increased violence and America’s moral decay. Over 50 years of a concentrated effort to remove God from our society, a deteriorating morality exhorted in movies and TV shows, violent video games, etc., has yielded a people who are not socially, morally, or ethically in line with God. Not to mention a decrease in our citizenry’s love walk and compassion (1 John 4:7-8).
I was recently told at a political gathering that “an armed society is a polite society.” I tend to agree and believe that the Word of God supports this thought. The truth is that a real democratic republic is a byproduct of Christianity. Two Corinthians 3:17 tells us that freedom originated from God. There is no freedom or liberty apart from Christ.
We can boldly stand strong with the God-inspired Bill of Rights and the wise inclusion of the second amendment.
Author's Note: All scripture quoted is New International Version, unless otherwise noted.