Few pastimes are more entertaining than witnessing a smug, non–orthodox Jew giving instruction on New Testament theology to Christians. Last Saturday the most reverend Lisa Miller in her Washington Post ‘Belief Watch’ column asked readers, “Is gun ownership Christian?
This puts believers at an immediate disadvantage because Christ did not spend much of his ministry discussing consumer goods. He mentions the odd cloak, fragrant ointment, sword and widow’s mite, but one would not confuse Him with Ralph Nader or other marketplace stalwarts.
Besides, since Miller picks and chooses what she believes in regard to her own faith, she has no problem distorting the Gospel in an effort to draft Jesus into Code Pink.
She begins by completely misunderstanding the significance of Jesus on the cross. Miller writes, “The Christian Lord allowed himself to be crucified rather than fight the injustice of the death sentence imposed on him.” To co–opt Mark Twain; this is an inability to distinguish between lightning and the lightning bug.
On the contrary, it was not a miscarriage of justice. The sentence was the fulfillment of divine justice. Christ willingly substituted Himself on the cross in place of a sinful mankind. God did not alter the terms of the first Covenant with Abraham. There was a price to be paid for man’s rebellion and he decided to pay it Himself. (This refusal to “evolve” on the part of the creator, should give pause to modern “Christian” leader’s attempts to revise and soften the New Testament, but it doesn’t.)
Consequently, Christ was not the earliest recruit for the left’s anti–capitol punishment movement. Christ died for our sins. He willingly paid the price we could not pay and ushered in the New Covenant.
There would be no Christians without Christ’s death on the cross. Even if the Jerusalem chapter of the Innocence Project had tried to get Him off the hook, He would have refused the offer, because to do so would have rendered His work pointless.
After that inauspicious beginning, Miller moves on to the point of her column, “How do such Christians reconcile their stalwart commitment to the Second Amendment with their belief in a gospel that preaches nonviolence?” And then she quotes Matthew 5:39 – “If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.”
This leads me to believe Miller was also not a fan of the excellent “Machine Gun Preacher”
Then it left me wondering if I had missed a recent development on the violence front, so I did an online search on “strike AND cheek AND gunfight” to see if there had been a rash of concealed carry permit holders (CCW) lighting up people who slapped them.
That search string was a bust, so I tried “strike AND cheek AND shoot” with the same result. Evidently there is no problem with Christian gun owners initiating violence. Miller’s goal appears to involve persuading Christians to join the ranks of the defenseless. This decision, however, would not be made in a vacuum. Should a Christian head of household decide to disarm because he believes guns are inherently evil, like cigarettes or 16 oz. sodas, his decision would not affect him alone. His wife, his children and mom in the basement would all instantly become draftees in the War for Pacifism.
And the family would be misguided draftees at that. As Adam Clarke points out in his commentary on the passage, these “exhortations belong to those principally who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake.” Say for example, an orthodox Christian that leftists like Miller slap up the side of the head for refusing to support homosexual marriage. Following Matthew, the Christian would turn the other cheek as he said he does not approve of the homosexual lifestyle either.
The verse is most certainly not directed toward ancient or modern Christians with a desire to defend their persons or their family.
Then Miller snidely intimates that “conservative Christian leaders are not falling over themselves to proclaim in public their pro–gun theologies.” But then Miller proceeds to list various Christians who are doing just that.
She takes issue with Richard Land, a former Southern Baptist Convention official, who said during a December interview on National People’s Radio (NPR) that he supports arming teachers. And Miller concludes with David French, senior counsel for the American Center of Law and Justice, who told her “Turn the other cheek does not mean turn your wife’s cheek or turn your children’s cheek.”
Miller — who works for an organization sporting guards who check commoners before they are allowed to enter — replies, “Provocative, but unconvincing. Jesus identified with the weak, not the strong; with the victims, not the shooters (or the people with the guns).”
Wrong again. Jesus praised a Roman centurion who controlled his own sword and 90 others — for his faith, saying, “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith.” What’s more, Jesus reached out to the weak and the victims, but unlike leftist community organizers, He considered Himself a shepherd and the shepherd doesn’t hand the wolf a napkin as he approaches the herd.
There is another verse that’s very germane to this discussion, although Miller manages to overlook it. Luke 6:42 advises, “Either how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye?”
Miller would do more to protect the innocent life of children if she would worry less about the imaginary threat of “assault weapons” in the hands of Christians and more about the real threat of “assault doctors*” who are responsible for the deaths of over 1 million innocents each year during abortions.
*Thanks to my wife, Janet, for this inspired term that aptly describes a depraved occupation.
It might also behoove Miller to remember Jesus, just as He was arrested and about to be taken away, DID advise His Disciples that the time was nigh to start packing heat with the most high-tech defense weapon of their time ~ a sword. Luke 22:36
I was tempted to use that verse, too, but didn’t because various commentaries differ on the meaning and if you will recall, when the sword was used in the garden, Jesus told the wielder to cease and desist and He healed the ear that had been cut off.
So I decided to stick with unambiguous verses, but I do thank you for mentioning that.
Please continue to be a reader in the future.