Bible supports right to be armed, defend self

March 11, 2013 at 6:01 p.m.
Updated March 10, 2013 at 10:11 p.m.

Editor, the Advocate:

In her letter concerning "the right of gun ownership" published in the Advocate on March 2, Kim Smith made a number of assertions concerning gun rights that are factually incorrect, theologically unsound or both.

For Christians, those seeking to know God's will would ask, "What would Jesus do?" In the 22nd chapter of Luke's Gospel, the beloved physician reports that on the night of Jesus' arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane when those who were around him realized Jesus was betrayed, they asked, "'Lord, shall we strike with the sword?' And one of them struck the slave of the high priest and cut off his right ear." Then Jesus asked those who had come to arrest him, "Have you come out with swords and clubs as you would against a robber?"

All four Gospels report this story, which is illustrative for two reasons. First, "those who were around him" were Jesus' disciples, and it is clear that they were armed with swords, the "military-style assault weapons" of Roman Judea, and second, Jesus expresses no condemnation of "swords and clubs" as protection against robbers. There is no record of Jesus blaming Peter's sword or of his calling for sword registration or limiting the number or length of swords law-abiding Christians could possess. The Romans, on the other hand, made great efforts to disarm conquered people while enslaving them.

While acknowledging that "a God-given right to bear arms" was not included in the Ten Commandments or elsewhere in the Bible, I would point out that neither is freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, or any of the other rights included in the U.S. Constitution, the same rights with we have been "endowed by our Creator." It is universally acknowledged that the sixth Commandment instructs us not to "murder." The use of lethal force to protect the innocent is not murder. The Bible does, in many places, acknowledge the right of self-defense and call upon God's children to resist the evil among us. That's sometimes tough to do when evil is better armed.

W.E. "Casey" Crowder, Port Lavaca



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