ABILENE—Christians who advocate gun rights on grounds of self-defense have lost sight of the radical nature of Jesus’ message, a Hardin-Simmons University professor told a student-initiated forum on gun violence.
“Americans have a deep love of salvific violence, the idea that with the use of force—the use of deadly force—against the right kind of people, we can make things turn out OK,” said Rodney Taylor, assistant professor of theology at HSU. “I think the cross, however, says something very different. What we see in the cross is the overcoming of violence, not through resistance, but rather through trust in God.”
Speaking on “God and Guns: The Way of Jesus in a Violent World,” Taylor critiqued the argument of self-defense as a natural right by comparing and contrasting it to Christian beliefs about premarital sex. To non-Christians, a prohibition against sex outside marriage seems like a “strange command,” he noted.
“But there are a lot of other strange commands there that Jesus gives us that seem counterintuitive,” he said. “I think the problem with the natural right of self-defense is that it loses sight of the kind of radical message that we see in the gospel—this radical approach that Jesus gives us that is counterintuitive, that doesn’t really seem to fit.”
The reason it doesn’t fit is because it is nonsense fabricated entirely out of their minds rather than being found in the Bible.
We’ve covered this before in Christians, The Second Amendment And The Duty Of Self Defense. There are at least a couple of problems with this forum and its pronouncements on guns. First, professors in anything, those who have spent vast quantities of money and time in so-called “higher education,” want to believe that they’ve discovered something new, something exciting, something breathtaking, something no one has ever seen.
To get a little pointy headed here and diverge into a sidebar comment that few of my readers will know about (but these professors will), this is one of the features of the so-called new perspectives in Paul and N. T. Wright. No one before him, he must necessarily believe, not Augustine, not Anselm, not Calvin, not Beza, not W.G.T. Shedd, not Hodge, not Dabney, and on the list could go, has gotten it right. God left it to him to really explain what the apostle Paul was saying. Everyone else in history was wrong.
Likewise for this forum, every other theologian was wrong about the justification (and even necessity and duty) of self defense. This is quite an arrogant way to live and think, but academia is shot through with it. The second problem is that this forum is comprised of progressive, contemporary theologians who believe in nothing much except the social gospel. Thus, they want to correct or ameliorate broad, sweeping social ills not by preaching salvation by grace through faith to individuals, but by statist control over the collective.
This is easy, folks. The sixth commandment controls us in this matter. God forbids the opposite of what he enjoins, and He enjoins the opposite of what He forbids. Thou shalt not kill means thou shalt save life. These forum members would sooner allow their wives to be raped and murdered by home invaders than lift a hand to save the one God gave them to protect. Or, they would fight to save their wives, making them to be liars, and worse, profoundly stupid liars because they chose to use one of the least effective weapons to defend the loved ones under their charge.
Take your pick. Silently stand by and watch their wives be raped, or they become liars; not even they believe a word of what they have to say, and so you shouldn’t either. And for the record, God has made no promise to save their wives in home invasions while they silently stand and watch. Let’s make this even more visceral by quoting what I said earlier.
God has laid the expectations at the feet of heads of families that they protect, provide for and defend their families and protect and defend their countries. Little ones cannot do so, and rely solely on those who bore them. God no more loves the willing neglect of their safety than He loves child abuse. He no more appreciates the willingness to ignore the sanctity of our own lives than He approves of the abuse of our own bodies and souls.
God hasn’t called us to save the society by sacrificing our children or ourselves to robbers, home invaders, rapists or murderers. Self defense – and defense of the little ones – goes well beyond a right. It is a duty based on the idea that man is made in God’s image. It is His expectation that we do the utmost to preserve and defend ourselves when in danger, for it is He who is sovereign and who gives life, and He doesn’t expect us to be dismissive or cavalier about its loss.
And even more to the point, “If you believe that it is your Christian duty to allow your children to be harmed by evil-doers (and you actually allow it to happen) because you think Christ was a pacifist, you are no better than a child abuser or pedophile.” So here is a challenge for the forum members. Prove to me and my readers that your views don’t really mean that you wouldn’t save a child being harmed or your spouses being raped. Prove to me that you’re better than a child abuser or pedophile? And if you would act to save a life in this way, why would you choose a means that ensured your failure?