Friday, November 11, 2011

Christians and Weapons (Guns).

Christians and Guns:  What do you think?

Should Christians be armed? 
Should Christians enlist in the armed forces?

These and other questions are faced every day by believers who declare Christ as their Lord and Savior.  This became an issue that I encountered among just a couple of my fellow church goers. I enlisted in the United States Air Force in 1971.
Some believers said that a Christian should not bear arms.  Others said that if I enlisted, it should only be as a conscientious objector to be assigned to duties where I would not bear arms.  That was unacceptable to me, and recalling the example of our (for the most part) Christian Founders. I had the full support of my pastor, F. G. Foster whose ministry in San Antonio, was a great outreach to the military.  Thankfully, I never was in a position to use lethal force, and for that I thank my God.  

My personal beliefs, as both a Christian and an American, if called upon I would fight and pay whatever price necessary to uphold the Constitution that guarantees our freedoms, our inalienable rights for which every soldier, police officer, elected official and the President swore to defend.  Unfortunately, many have not kept that oath, and now we are experiencing as loss of rights guaranteed by the Constitution.  Officials have used tragedies to take those rights away. 

 In the infamous words of Rahm Emanuel when he was President Obama's Chief of Staff, "You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it's an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before."

After moving to California, I ultimately chose a career as a California Peace Officer in the Department of Corrections.  At my oral interview, the issue came up about my religious beliefs raised by a Lieutenant on the interviewing panel at Folsom Prison.  "What if you had to use lethal force?  In view of your religious background, could you?"  My answer was that I would exhaust all reasonable means before using deadly force. 

I was hired, trained and was assigned to an activation team to open the first of California's fast track prison program initiated under California Governor George Deukmejian.  Though I participated in quelling numerous disturbances and was involved in altercations, I was blessed never to have been in a situation to employ deadly force. 
For over two decades now, I've carried personal weapons.  I've never had to use them, since any weapon I have is defensive, strictly for my family's and my personal defense.  
Now there were no fire arms when Jesus walked the earth, but they did have swords and spears.  Those were their deadly weapons and soldiers were highly trained in their use. 

It is interesting that Christ made this fairly unknown statement to his disciples:  "But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one."
 In the Old Testament, believers were involved in some really bloody battles.  One time Elijah, God's prophet, slew 450 of the prophets of Baal (1 Kings 18:40).
Another time, following an all night prayer meeting, godly Samuel chopped an evil king to pieces with a sword. 
1Samuel 15:33 "And Samuel said, As thy sword hath made women childless, so shall thy mother be childless among women.  And Samuel hewed Agag in pieces before the LORD in Gilgal."

Ultimately, it is up to the individual's conscience and personal beliefs, but there are two sayings that I keep in mind as I live in America. 
1.  When seconds count, the police are only minutes away, and
2.  I'd rather be judged by 12 than carried by 6.


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