“Oh, to be sure, I won’t give up my weapons, not a single one of them, and I will defend myself and my family as we are threatened, whether by the state or other actors. I will do so because I have beentaught by my master that I must do so. But it goes deeper than a few guns.”
He makes my feet like hinds’ feet, and sets me upon my high places. He trains my hands for battle, so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze. Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation, and thy right hand upholds me; and Thy gentleness makes me great,” Psalm 18:33-36.
The New York Times has published a call for gun control in the wake of the Islamist actions in San Bernardino. An excerpt follows.
Certain kinds of weapons, like the slightly modified combat rifles used in California, and certain kinds of ammunition, must be outlawed for civilian ownership. It is possible to define those guns in a clear and effective way and, yes, it would require Americans who own those kinds of weapons to give them up for the good of their fellow citizens.
The Washington Post has a pitiful, confused and yet halting agreement with the editorial, as if the writer, in terrible fear for her life, doesn’t know what else to do.
Then, there are those matters that are beyond practical political reach. Suffering, death, danger and maltreatment aside, a policy solution to these problems simply has no real path, no viability at all.
And in this moment, it would seem that any and all policy related to guns would belong in that third group. Gun control — or any discussion of a coordinated effort to stem the tide of gun deaths that set this country apart from almost every other industrialized nation — is going nowhere. It’s a reality we acknowledge regularly on this very blog, most recently on Saturday morning, the day the New York Times saw fit to devote its first front-page editorial in 95 years to gun control.
There are numerous reactions to this editorial, most of them edging towards the “this means war” sentiment. I want to take a different approach to this call for more gun control, and all of those like it across America.
It’s tempting to take the approach of commenter Mike Bishop at WRSA, who says “The Manhattanites have about as much relevance in my personal, local, life, as a rookery of penguins.” Mike is right, and such gun control will never obtain, but it goes much deeper than relevance.
There is a war between light and darkness, and it has been advancing since the very beginning. Statism and Islam are different facets of the same stone (there are other facets), and they are merely the societal manifestations of the struggle between light and darkness. The war occurs individually and corporately, and while men see the consequences and effects of the war, and get brief glimpses into the deeper things, in large measure we don’t truly see the battle in the heavens.
Angels and demons are warring in the heavenly places, and there is war within the souls of men. God isn’t barely victorious, nor does be barely win. Nay, He sits and the heavens and scoffs at the rulers of the world. It will all end as He has said it will.
“For I am God and there is no other; I am God and there is no one like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things which have not yet been done, saying, ‘My purpose will be established, and I will accomplish all My good pleasure’,” Isaiah 46:9-10.
As for individual men, there are those who are lost. The New York Times editorial board is lost. No, not collectively, but individually, each and every one of them. The war is over in their soul, or better, it never occurred. There are those men who have been given a taste, and who know the truth, but who suppress it in unrighteousness. They will never find peace or rest, not now and not in eternity.
But there are those who would be lost if left to their own devices, who know their sins, but who have been awakened by the sovereign hand of Almighty God, who reaches down in His kind providence and bestows His love on them. They are saved by grace and through faith, not of their works, lest they should boast.
For this last category, God “chose us in Him before the foundation of the world … He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself … according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will,” Eph 1:4,5,11.
If the former believes that upon death their bodies cool to ambient temperature and then get planted or burned, and that’s the end, they are merely observers to the great war, not even pawns. They are worse than irrelevant. They see the effects, but cannot effect change. For those of us who believe, there are no volunteers to this war.
We were created for it, and we were drafted to this army. Our volunteering occurred simultaneously with our being called, and upon being called, we had no other choice. The sheep know their master’s voice, and only follow Him.
Oh, to be sure, I won’t give up my weapons, not a single one of them, and I will defend myself and my family as we are threatened, whether by the state or other actors. I will do so because I have beentaught by my master that I must do so. But it goes deeper than a few guns.
I know that the New York Times editorial board, for all their bluster, isn’t relevant to this war because they don’t even know there is one. Looking for peace, they may as well slash their wrists and bleed before Baal for fire to come down from heaven as to look to the state for a solution to evil.
I have been called with a heavenly calling, like all of His people, not of themselves, but of His great mercy and from before the foundation of the world, to fight this great war. The war is present everywhere and all of the time, whether visibly and by implements of fighting, or in our souls for our devotion and affection of the divine.
It has become commonplace to charge people carrying weapons with cowardice.
PARIS—For most of the last two centuries, Europeans have been puzzling over their American cousins’ totemic obsession with guns and their passion for concealed weapons. And back in the decades before the American Civil War, several British visitors to American shores thought they’d discerned an important connection: people who owned slaves or lived among them wanted to carry guns to keep the blacks intimidated and docile, but often shot each other, too.
In 1842, the novelist Charles Dickens, on a book tour of the United States, saw a link between the sheer savagery of slave ownership and what he called the cowardly practice of carrying pistols or daggers or both. The author of Oliver Twist listened with a mixture of horror and contempt as Americans defended their utterly indefensible “rights” to tote guns and carry Bowie knives, right along with their “right” to own other human beings who could be shackled, whipped, raped, and mutilated at will.
Charging us with sin is the devil’s game, and in my corner as defender is the Son of God who has paid the price, past, present and future. I’ll just let Him handle it. I am unaffected by the game. Since I am a warrior in the great war of all time, how can any man say that I am a coward?
Coward if left to his own devices, sinner, and even worthless worm. But saint by the shed blood of the lamb, warrior in the great war, at battle ever since being called, at battle until the end of my life, servant of the most high king. My days are in His hands. I will live all of the days to which I have been ordained, and will not perish until it is time that I meet my savior and master. Who can understand this except those who have been called?
“You will not be afraid of the terror by night, or of the arrow that flies by day,” Psalm 91:5.