Let Him Who Has No Gun Sell His Robe and Buy One

BY Herschel Smith
6 years, 2 months ago

From AJC:

A gun rights group filed a notice Wednesday that it will appeal a federal judge’s dismissal of a suit challenging a state law banning weapons in churches, mosques and synagogues.

John Monroe, the attorney for GeorgiaCarry.org, filed a notice that he plans to ask the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to review U.S. District Judge Ashley Royal’s decision. Royal ruled Monday that a 2010 law that lists places of worship among locations where guns are not allowed did not violate the First Amendment right to freedom of religion or the Second Amendment guarantee of a right to bear arms.

The lawsuit — brought by GeorgiaCarry.org, the organization’s past president and  the minister at the Baptist Tabernacle of Thomaston — challenged the inclusion of places of worship on a list of places where guns are not allowed —  government buildings, courthouses, jails and prisons, state mental hospitals, nuclear power plants, bars without the owner’s permission and polling places.

The suit called the handgun “the quintessential self-defense weapon in the United States.” Former GeorgiaCarry.org president Ed Stone and other worshipers argued that they should be able to arm themselves “for the protection of their families and themselves” without fear of arrest and prosecution on a misdemeanor charge. The Rev. Jonathan Wilkins of the Baptist Tabernacle said he wanted to have a gun for his protection while working in his church office.

The church claimed members’ efforts to practice their faith had been “impermissibly burdened” because they felt they needed to be armed but feared being arrested if they brought their guns to services.

And Stone wrote in a filing that his  “motivation to carry a firearm as a matter of habit derives from one of my Lord’s last recorded statements at the ‘last supper,’ that ‘whoever has no sword is to sell his coat and buy one … I believe that this injunction requires me to obtain, keep and carry a firearm wherever I happen to be.”

Jesus told us that “The things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man” (Matt 15:18).  Man is no tabula rasa, but guns are what theologians call adiaphorous, or morally neutral.  Christ knew that his people would need protection, and thus he commanded that self preservation come even before clothing.

That’s the key, isn’t it?  It’s something the pro-gun control lobby doesn’t get.  Ownership of firearms has nothing to do with wishing others harm or even in inflicting harm.  It’s always best if a weapon works as a deterrent.  But a man’s life is worth so much that God expects us to do our utmost to preserve and protect it.

Unfortunately, Judge Royal’s decision isn’t based on the idea self preservation.  This church (along with others like it) is now the most vulnerable place around for a perpetrator of a crime to cause carnage and take innocent lives.  The Judge doesn’t intend it, but she has made those parishioner’s time at worship much more dangerous.

Christ said “let him who has no sword sell his robe and buy one” (Luke 22:36).  Judge Royal has now come in between these men and their God-given duty to protect their families.


Obama Administration to Press for Gun Control

Second Amendment Challenge

UPDATE: Thanks to Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit for the link.

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36 Comments on "Let Him Who Has No Gun Sell His Robe and Buy One"

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I rather like your analysis and in the big scheme of things it reveals a greater truth of life. Good sermon.

Pierre Legrand

From the Nation of Cowards by Jeffrey Snyder

The Gift of Life
Although difficult for modern man to fathom, it was once widely believed that life was a gift from God, that to not defend that life when offered violence was to hold God’s gift in contempt, to be a coward and to breach one’s duty to one’s community. A sermon given in Philadelphia in 1747 unequivocally equated the failure to defend oneself with suicide:

He that suffers his life to be taken from him by one that hath no authority for that purpose, when he might preserve it by defense, incurs the Guilt of self murder since God hath enjoined him to seek the continuance of his life, and Nature itself teaches every creature to defend itself.

Pierre Legrand


It is a great piece of writing…sorry I forgot to add the link in my first comment.


There was a guy back east that formed a town and as I recall every member of the town had to sign a pledge to own a firearm before they would sell him a piece of private land. Then there was the preacher a while back that told everyone to bring a gun to serves on Sunday. I wonder how that Sunday service turned out.

Donald Sensing
Luke 22:36: ” He said to them, “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one.” V. 38: The disciples said, “See, Lord, here are two swords.” “That is enough,” he replied. So two of the 12 disciples had a sword, and Jesus told them it was enough. Hmm … not exactly a ringing endorsement of bearing arms there, I’d say. Later, when Jesus was being arrested in the Garden, Peter drew his sword to fight the Temple police. Matthew 26:52: “Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword.” Curious that Stone doesn’t mention these passages. Sorry, no, you can’t use Jesus to buttress Second Amendment rights. I own several firearms. I am a Methodist minister and I would have no problem with a CC permit holder carrying in my church. I think the law they are challenging is flawed and should be challenged. But really, there’s no Gospel backing for the challenge. But there are certainly challenges that can, and should, be made on the basis of Heller.… Read more »
Steve Skubinna

Warbucks, I believe you are thinking of Kennesaw, GA, where every household is required by law to keep a firearm and ammunition.


“let him who has no sword sell his robe and buy one”

Luke 22:36 is not a call to arms. Please do not misrepresent Jesus.


Rev. Sensing,

When reading that passage, I was under the impression that the Romans detailed to seize Jesus quite outnumbered the Apostles, and that to draw a sword in that situation would be tantamount to suicide.

If that was indeed the case, would it be fair to think that him telling his followers not to resist is not a blanket condemnation of carrying arms and using them for self-defense?

Michigan Bill Would Eliminate Gun Free Zones In State « TeeJaw Blog

[…] Some place restrictions are just absurd. Georgia prohibits permit holders to carry their guns in any place of worship, even if the church gives its permission. This precludes a pastor from having his gun in his own […]


Its pretty obvious from the context that Jesus was speaking descriptively about the troubled times to come. ‘That is enough’ is perhaps an impatient response to people busily missing the point.

And there were plenty of arms other than swords at the time; bows were already widespread (eg Jonathon) , spears (eg Saul), clubs, slings, knives and so forth.


“Jeanne Assam”

One armed person in the right place at the right time can make a difference.

The author of this commentary is absolutely right. Self-defense is not only an unalienable right bestowed upon us by our Creator, it’s a moral position which reaffirms the gift of life. Self-preservation is no vanity and liberal “Christians” had better reread their Bible, particularly Luke 22:36. JESUS WAS NOT SPEAKING IN METAPHOR. Even when Peter later recklessly drew his sword to keep Jesus from His own destiny (how could Peter know, right?), Jesus did NOT command Peter to throw or cast away his sword away but rather “to put it away” in its scabbard. The language of Luke 22:36 is rather clear, despite anti-gunners attempts to obfuscate. The Christian founders (no, they weren’t European Deists, they were the product of the Christian enlightenment compliments of the 1840 Great Awakening movement) consistently reaffirmed a free man’s right to arms. The Second Amendment is the reaffirmation of our God-given right to self-defense as a part of the militia. If the Second Amendment was designed to protect the “right” of a national guard which did not then exist, it would have used the terms “state militia”, “national militia”, or “select militia” instead. A “well-regulate” militia is one in which each man regulated himself… Read more »
M. Simon

(no, they weren’t European Deists, they were the product of the Christian enlightenment compliments of the 1840 Great Awakening movement)

A century too late.

The most dangerous man is the sleeper who thinks he is awake. Be careful out there.


So he missed the 7 on the keyboard.


Federal Judge Downgrades Right to Keep and Bear Arms in Georgia « MJ Mollenhour's Blog on the 2nd Amendment, National Defense, and Terrorism

[…] here.  Thanks, also to my ex-City Councilman, for bringing this to my attention.  Hat tip to The Captain’s Journal. No thanks to President George W. Bush appointee, Judge Royal, who, given an opportunity to proclaim […]

No, Luke 22:36 is not a “call to arms” as some have said, but it is a call for prudent precaution and self-defense as they prepare for their missionary activity in the coming years. This is the clearest sense of this verse. (The only way ‘sword’ in this verse is a metaphor is if the other commonplace items – knapsack, moneybag, sandals – are also metaphors. But this would be a peculiar reading of the verse that one would only resort to if they were trying to read a pacifist meaning into the verse, rather than extract the true meaning out of it.) Scripture makes it clear that vengeance (and vigilantism) are out of bounds. i.e. if you’ve been wronged or insulted, turn the other cheek. The correct response to past insult or injury is forgiveness. However, self defense from imminent *present* injury is permissible, which is why Jesus told them to have swords. Why were two swords “enough”? Because that would be more than sufficient to defend the group from any bandits they might encounter on the road. Indeed, the very fact that he says the two swords are “enough” indicates that Jesus has not prohibited the disciples from… Read more »
Alec Rawls
Minister Sensing’s interpretations of Jesus are both terribly out of historical context and ignorant as to Jesus’ purpose. On the history, Sensing ignores the fact that it was ILLEGAL for Jews to carry swords in Roman controlled Judea. Jesus advocated swords even in the face of laws against it, but Sensing denies that this is much endorsement of bearing arms because Jesus considered two swords enough. Ridiculous. Ditto for Jesus’ warning that it would be suicide for his compatriots to try to do battle against the Roman soldiers who would take him into custody. It is absurd to read this highly situational warning to his compatriots (“put your sword back in its place”) as a general moral judgment against forcible resistance to evil. Then there is the religious purpose of Jesus’ instruction to acquire swords. He was fulfilling the prophesy of Isaiah that the savior would be “numbered amongst the transgressors.” Isaiah 53:12: “Therefore will I divide him [a portion] with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the… Read more »
Alec Rawls

If anyone doubts that Jesus’ purpose with the swords was to fulfill the prophesy of Isaiah, it is right there in Luke 22:35-38.

(35)Then Jesus asked them, “When I sent you without purse, bag or sandals, did you lack anything?”

“Nothing,” they answered.

(36)He said to them, “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. (37) It is written: ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors’[b]; and I tell you that this must be fulfilled in me. Yes, what is written about me is reaching its fulfillment.”

(38)The disciples said, “See, Lord, here are two swords.”

“That is enough,” he replied.


“Unfortunately, Judge Royal’s decision isn’t based on the idea self preservation. This church (along with others like it) is now the most vulnerable place around for a perpetrator of a crime to cause carnage and take innocent lives. The Judge doesn’t intend it, but she has made those parishioner’s time at worship much more dangerous.”

For example the murder of Dr. Tiller in his Kansas church.

The Captain's Journal » Christianity And Self Examination In Light Of the Norway Killings

[…] have made my position clear on personal ownership and carryng of weapons, and Christian scholars far better than I have already made a case against […]

The Captain's Journal » The Wrong Way To Argue For Gun Rights

[…] pressure, votes and power, a man can take away what God has granted.  There is more background in Let Him Who Has No Gun Sell His Robe and Buy One, and Dr. Greg Bahnsen has much more.  But the short version is that the right to self defense is a […]

The Captain's Journal » Stupid Evangelical Tricks

[…] don’t come back with some claptrap about a pacifist Jesus.  Just go spend your time singing verses of John Lennon’s Imagine during your next worship […]

The Captain's Journal » Jesus, Guns and Georgia

[…] Post, and others.  Gun control is certainly a religious issue (at least for me), as I discussed in Let He Who Has No Gun Sell His Robe And Buy One.  The question “what would Jesus do” if he had the chance to have weapons or jettison […]

The Captain's Journal » Christians, The Second Amendment And The Duty Of Self Defense

[…] course, Christ himself commanded His disciples to go sell their robes (if necessary) and buy swords for their self defense (Luke 22:26).  I reject interpretations of this passage as metaphorical, pointing to their […]

The Captain's Journal » Churches Offer Concealed Carry Classes

[…] Finally, what would Jesus shoot?  Answer: a gun.  Swords were supplanted by more effective weapons. […]

The Captain's Journal » Connecticut, Jesus, Totalitarians And Other Notes

[…] idiots write letters.  Guns didn’t exist in the time of Jesus, but swords did, and Jesus told his disciples to carry them.  As for church, I think his ninja use of the whip (Matthew 21:12) was enough to convince most […]


Another thought on the subject, quite handily crushing the pacifist arguments.

The Captain's Journal » Dear Christians With Guns

[…] no more sense to you than the notion that Jesus told his disciples to get swords for their self defense.  You say that “As an American citizen of equal value, I can’t let you claim this […]

The Captain's Journal » Dancing In The Blood Of The Slaughtered

[…] hippie pacifist flower child” sermon.  So the solution isn’t difficult in this case.  Jesus is the very one who told them to go get weapons.  In Matthew 26:50-52 He is saying that contrary to popular wish, the Holy Spirit persuades men to […]


You are currently reading "Let Him Who Has No Gun Sell His Robe and Buy One", entry #6171 on The Captain's Journal.

This article is filed under the category(s) Federal Firearms Laws,Firearms,Religion,Second Amendment and was published January 27th, 2011 by Herschel Smith.

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