Does Jesus Shoot An AR-15?

BY Herschel Smith
2 years, 5 months ago

So retired Lt. General William Boykin has stirred up some controversy alleging that Jesus will return to earth carrying an AR-15.

Boykin, a retired Army lieutenant general who now works at the lobbying group, was paraphrasing the biblical prophecy in Revelation 19 that describes Jesus returning to Earth as a “warrior” with a “sharp sword.”

But he believes the scripture is due for an upgrade.

“I’ve checked this out — I believe that sword he’ll be carrying when he comes back is an AR-15,” Boykin told the crowd at the Pro-Family Legislators Conference in Dallas.

“The sword today is an AR-15. If you don’t have one, go get one. You’re supposed to have one. It’s biblical,” he said.

More fascinating is the reaction from one Lt. Col. Robert Bateman.  We’ve had our run-ins with gun control fanatic Bateman before (here and here).  In order to understand what Bateman says, you have to listen to Boykin.  Bateman says of Boykin:

Wow, seriously? You believe that the fellow who preached “turn the other cheek” and “the meek shall inherit” and all that other stuff from the Sermon on the Mount, is coming back with blood on his robe?

The Second Amendment is from God. Hmmm. But yet surely, all this Jesus shooting a 5.56 NATO standard bullet from an AR-15 sticking out of his mouth must surely be metaphor, right? I mean that is how it has been interpreted for centuries. And then Lieutenant General, Three Star General Boykin (Ret.) continues:

“I know, everybody says that was a metaphor. IT WAS NOT A METAPHOR! …And that was the beginning of the Second Amendment, that’s where the whole thing came from. … I know that’s where it came from. And the sword today is an AR-15, so if you don’t have one, go get one. You’re supposed to have one. It’s biblical.”

Bateman in his previous encounters with us pretends to be a historical scholar.  Here he is pretending to be a Biblical scholar.  And he is intentionally conflating what Boykin said.  He (Boykin) wasn’t referring to Revelation 19 and whether it was metaphorical.  He was referring to whether the notion of bearing weapons for self protection (as Jesus discussed in Luke 22:36) is metaphorical.

Of course, just a little research could have shown Bateman that the idea of God as warrior is thoroughgoing in the Old Testament and a motif that is carried into the New Testament as well.  Jesus was no doormat or pacifist (see Matthew 10:34-36), and he certainly used violence when it was called for (Matthew 21:12).

Finally, we’ve covered how the American revolution has its roots in continental Calvinism.  I cannot speak for Boykin and what he sees as metaphorical or literal.  To me, Jesus upholds all things by the word of His power (Hebrews 1:3), and so doesn’t need an AR-15.

But He certainly didn’t intend to dissuade people from self defense (with Boykin I assert that it is a Biblical duty), and imagining Jesus as a long haired peacenik commits the error discussed by John Frame of applying an exclusive reduction (rather than an emphasizing reduction) to God.  Or perhaps Bateman has never read John Frame.

  • MattBracken

    Luke 35
    And he said to them, “When I sent you out with no moneybag or knapsack or sandals, did you lack anything?” They said, “Nothing.”
    36 He said to them, “But now let the one who has a moneybag take it, and likewise a knapsack. And let the one who has no sword sell his cloak and buy one.”

  • inquiring minds

    “Or perhaps Bateman has never read John Frame.”
    That is most probably a fair assumption. The faulty assumption is that he can read.

  • Pingback: Does Jesus Shoot An AR-15? | The Gun Feed()

  • Frank Clarke

    Tsk. ;-)

  • Paul B

    I thought the later Billy Jack movies handled this pretty well. You have to project a strong image in order to show forbearance. An armed person turning the other cheek is a more powerful message that a unarmed peace hippy doing the same thing.

    The bad guys might have beat Billy Jack up some, but pay backs where a bitch.

  • Chuck Holton

    Why would anyone listen to a quisling traitor like Bateman?

  • Heyoka

    Hello Mat, Glad to see you up on the scripture too. Jesus also ran the money changers out of the Temple calling them all thieves. He pronounced a curse on the attorneys-those who interpreted the law and rendered judgement-because they had made the Law God gave Moses into something no man could live by, he also called the Publicans-tax collectors-
    “Extortionists”. Wow how things have not changed….
    I Kings Ch. 10-12 tells of the first tax revolt. The amount was 6 hunder 3 score and 6 talents of gold. Interesting number and one that repeats in Revelation.
    Keep writing fellow squid!

  • Ned Weatherby

    The “turn the other cheek” passage has been as misused by anti-rights zealots as the “render unto Caesar” passage.

    Biblical scholars – some even from JPFO – claim that the “turn the other cheek” reference was, at that time, a proscription against starting a fight.

    For example, if some fellow is glaring at you, don’t glare back. “Turn your cheek” and don’t give the guy a reason, or just leave. Incidentally, that’s what most CCW carriers practice. Be aware of your surroundings, and stay out of trouble, and places where one may likely get into a fight. Neither Jesus nor his Father ever taught that you should allow some evil goon to beat you to death without defending yourself. See, for example, the Luke passages cited by Matt Bracken.

    The “turn the other cheek” BS is a non-sequitur to the argument. My belief is that Jesus needs no man made tools with which to assert his authority.

  • Herschel Smith

    All learned comments, to be sure. But also see my links, where I’ve dealt with the passages in Luke, whether Christians should carry, the right of revolution, etc. I didn’t leave those issues unaddressed.

  • QuietMan

    I think the AR15 is a spear. The Glock 19 would be the sword. (Ducks incoming.)

    Psalm 144:1

  • greeneyedjinn

    Other than poking fun at hypocrites, why does anybody bother to consider ANYTHING said by Master Bateman?

  • Greg Hopkins

    I invite you to check out my book, ” A Time To Kill: The Myth of Christian Pacifism”, publish January 2013. In it, I show that Jesus never taught or practiced pacifism. Pacifism was an idea that crept into Christianity about 150 years after Jesus ascended. Throughout the Bible, God not only allows, but commands us to use legal force if necessary to save the innocent. I survey the entire Bible, including how Jesus feels toward soldiers and police, and the Bible on the death penalty. I’ve taught the bible to people for 40 years. I’ve been a lawyer, prosecutor, criminal defense, and city judge for 24 years. I’m a nationally certified use-of-force instructor for cops and civilians, and a court-certified expert witness on firearms and self-defense law. You can see the book on Amazon, or my website:

  • Rob Crawford

    Constantine certainly didn’t think Christ was a pacifist. “In hoc signo vinces”.

You are currently reading "Does Jesus Shoot An AR-15?", entry #11901 on The Captain's Journal.

This article is filed under the category(s) Firearms,Guns,Religion and was published February 21st, 2014 by Herschel Smith.

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