There is a freshman state representative in Texas’s District 93 by the name of Matt Krause. This is a dear Christian brother that I happen to know from back in our undergrad days in Southern California. He finally breached political barriers and began his career in Texas state congress.
On his campaign page (which is still where www.mattkrause.org redirects to) he lists several Issues. One of those issues is, lo and behold, the Second Amendment. Here’s how it reads:
2nd AMENDMENT: I believe the right for each individual Texan to keep and bear arms is an inalienable and undeniable right. A well-armed citizenry is a good check and balance against an overzealous government. The 2nd Amendment is the catalyst for a society of freedom and liberty.
For Representative Krause, the Second Amendment is obviously extremely important. Among his first bill filings was H.B. 938, the so-called “Come and Take It” Firearm Protection Bill. But I think we need to look at his position a little more intentionally.
I believe the right for each individual Texan to keep and bear arms is an inalienable and undeniable right.
While that may be a determination of man, is that something you find in Scripture? Is that something Jesus talked about? Did Paul communicate that somewhere? Peter? To call something inalienable and undeniable is to assign it some sort of divine stature. The words of man will pass away, but not the words of God. The only commands or rights that can be universal must come from God the Creator. Is the right to keep and bear arms one of those?
We Christians who happen to be American need to keep our focus on Jesus and his Kingdom. Our appeal should always be to the words, teaching, life, death, resurrection, and second coming of the Messiah, the King.
A well-armed citizenry is a good check and balance against an overzealous government.
This is one particular interpretation of the Second Amendment (known in some writings as the Insurrectionist Theory). It wasn’t the case in the late 18th Century, and it’s still not the case today. The point of the Second Amendment was to ensure southern slaveholding states could protect themselves, with an armed militia, against slave insurrections and rebellions.
To hold such a view today, particularly for the many Christians in America who do, is to live in a fear opposed to the teachings of Jesus. Is our safety and security in our own hands? Are we the ones who determine when we live, when we die, who God puts in our lives at certain times?
But, for the sake of argument, let’s for a minute take the angle that someone was able to present a case from the teachings of Jesus that justified, or even commanded, Christians bearings arms.
Aside from the un-Christian paranoia, the idea of the citizenry versus an overzealous government is unrealistic. Perhaps back in the late 1700s it would have been easier for a state militia to defend themselves against an overzealous federal government (though you’d have to consider what the government’s military/militia would have looked like). It would have been muskets and maybe canons (government) against muskets (state citizenry/militia). Today, even if you grant the citizenry a cache of assault weapons, the government will come with armored tanks, fighter planes, attack helicopters, and drones. Exactly what good will the hunting rifles be then? There’s no check and balance there.
Further, it assumes the point of owning the weapons is to use them against other humans. What happened to having the guns for hunting? Hunting humans now? In fact they would be other Americans. And these other Americans would be well trained. Not only that, they would be well meaning by some standards. They would love their country and be willing to defend it against those seeking to do it harm.
The 2nd Amendment is the catalyst for a society of freedom and liberty.
That is a tremendous amount of importance placed on the Second Amendment. Guns and weapons are the catalyst for freedom and liberty? Guns? The threat of fatality? Fear? Violence? That’s foundational to freedom and liberty? Not justice, or dissent, or responsibility, or opportunity, or health, or equality. No. Bloodshed.
Jesus was clear: “All who take hold of the sword will die by the sword” (Mt. xxvi.52). A society that is built on violence will die by violence.
While I disagree with Rep. Krause, his words are not an anomaly among Christians in America. Sadly enough. But who will respond? Who will enter the discussion? Who will present a positive case for Christians bearing arms using an exegetical examination of the Scriptures? Or is bearing arms against other fellow humans merely the idea of man?