Just when you thought you have heard the last from me on the subject of guns and Christianity, I come back with yet another post. Ok, this isn’t quite “my”post, but it is instead a reference to another post that has recently come to my attention on precisely this issue.
I should warn you, the post is slightly more polemical and provocative than what I’ve been offering here by way of commentary, but the sentiment and hermeneutic lens is the same. Bottom line: individual ownership of firearms is simply not compatible with the Gospel. One may chose to sidestep that dimension of Christian life, but that is something that needs to be acknowledged as a personal choice to do one’s own thing (free will is a kicker, huh?) without claiming that “Jesus would say it’s ok.”
I am still waiting for someone to offer a compelling and theologically grounded argument to support this claim of compatibility. Most of the negative comments posted in response to Ben Witherington’s post are simply angry diatribes with little substance beyond expressing one’s personal frustration at the possibility of having his or her guns taken away.
Here is a snippet from Ben Witherington’s post on his regular blog at Beliefnet.com, titled: “Guns and Religion — Enough is Quite Enough.” Witherington, I should add, is a professor of New Testament for Doctoral Studies at Asbury Theological Seminary and on the doctoral faculty at St. Andrews University in Scotland. So, presumably, he knows a thing or two about Scripture.
To my fellow Christians that like to think guns and Christianity go well together— enough is more than enough. You are living in denial of the Gospel, and its time to grow up. ‘Thou shalt not kill’ does not have a codicil of addendum to it which reads ‘except in self-defense’ or the like. But let’s deal with the gun issue itself. We need to clear away some of the ridiculous rhetoric of the gun lobbyists.
To read the full blog post (which has more than 100 comments already) go to: http://blog.beliefnet.com/bibleandculture/2011/01/guns-and-religion—-enough-is-quite-enough.html