The Idolatry Of Security

BY Herschel Smith
3 years, 9 months ago

Baptist News Global:

Of course, the problem with “the devil made them do it,” is that personal and social responsibility are minimized to the point that we are off the hook. There is no way to prevent every tragedy, but why the push-back against laws that might minimize tragedy?

Can you imagine if that was the Church’s response to other tragic and violent situations?

…like Human Trafficking and Sex Slavery – “The devil made that man kidnap those girls, so there’s no reason to pass laws that might prevent human trafficking, and certainly no need to talk about it.”

Such an approach is not only irresponsible from a biblical perspective, but from a social and moral one.

Another pastor wrote in a forum:

“We cannot stop this stuff from going down. The world is going to hell in two handbaskets.”

Actually, part of what makes these tragedies so infuriating (and painfully sad) is that in other developed countries, mass killings do not happen with anywhere close to the same regularity we have in the States.

Can you imagine if the response of Christians to every moral dilemma was like the one above?

…like Racial Segregation – “We cannot stop segregation because the world is going to hell. The Bible says it will get worse before it gets better!”

Preposterous. Such a view is escapist, and denies Christ’s call to help usher in the Kingdom of Heaven in our present reality. Unfortunately the escapist view is rampant among American Christians, and common sense gun legislation isn’t the only issue held captive to such faulty thinking.

I even heard a pastor say:

“As Christians we shouldn’t expect politicians, judges and other leaders to make moral choices that usher in God’s Kingdom.”

Then as Christians, why do we elect them? I’m all for separation of church and state, but just because the state should not favor a particular religion or denomination doesn’t mean we should expect the worst from our government, or not care when violence (that can arguably be minimized) runs rampant.

What if the above view was taken in other situations?

…like Payday and Predatory Lending – “Why should Christians expect society to limit predatory financial practices that prey on the poor and vulnerable? If the Church was just salt and light then maybe these companies would go away.”

Don’t count on it. On many issues the church works to affect change for the better in our culture including human rights, economic initiatives, racial reconciliation, and environmental stewardship. If the church is salt and light in the world, wouldn’t legislative change materialize as fruit of our collective witness?

The non-answers, the posturing, the moral avoidance and theological escapism have got to stop – especially among Christian leaders. It’s time for a reality check.

In my opinion, the reason this debate is seemingly intractable is nothing short of idolatry masquerading as weak rhetoric, tired arguments, and a refusal to face the truth – We have an idolatry problem in America.

  • Idolatry of the individual self
  • Idolatry of guns
  • Idolatry of “personal security and protection”

“The idolatry of security.”  This is a remarkable quote (and perspective) from a man who would be a boy, perhaps not old enough to have children or a wife who is precious to him and who depend upon him for protection.  He is old enough to be a Doctor of Ministry candidate, but not wise enough to study the Scriptures rather than the political scene for his world view.

Remember what we’ve seen concerning what the Holy Writ says about our responsibilities.

God’s law requires [us] to be able to defend the children and helpless.  “Relying on Matthew Henry, John Calvin and the Westminster standards, we’ve observed that all Biblical law forbids the contrary of what it enjoins, and enjoins the contrary of what it forbids.”  I’ve tried to put this in the most visceral terms I can find.

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 yet in spite of God’s expectations for us, the man-child actually recommends that we subjugate our personal security – and that of our family – for the greater social good, whatever that means!  We don’t know what form it would take – universal background checks, which wouldn’t do what he wants, bans on certain kinds of weapons, which wouldn’t do what he wants, or what.  But something must be done, because remember the children.

I am remembering the children, son, and perhaps you will one day too.  That’s why I won’t subjugate my right to own whatever weapons I deem appropriate for the defense of my family to any perceived social good.  And if your seminary is teaching that you should, I suggest you discuss with your wife, or future wife, the notion that you want her to sacrifice some of the security of your children for the greater social good.  You can have a long, perhaps contentious conversation on how much that “some” should be as your children lay in their beds at night.

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Comments

  1. On October 12, 2015 at 1:56 pm, Fred said:

    The scripture does not tell us to hire our neighbors to make a bunch of rules and programs for us so we can have a better society. God tells us to use OUR hands, OUR money, OUR time, OUR feet, OUR talent, OUR effort, OUR personal sacrifice to directly effect the desired condition among OUR neighbors. This is why America has lost all moral credibility. Because so called Christians are failing to do their God assigned job. When was the last time government taught a man to fish or any other self sufficiency? When was the last time your church did?

  2. On October 13, 2015 at 12:05 pm, Archer said:

    It’s really very simple. The Bible says, “Greater love has no man than this: to lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13). It does not say, “to lay down his life for whatever feel-good measure makes political leaders happy while leaving himself and his friends more vulnerable.”

    Cross reference with John 10:11: “[Jesus said,] ‘I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the
    sheep.'” We can safely determine this to mean a good shepherd risks his life – and sometimes loses it – protecting the sheep by fighting off wolves and other predators. We can also safely conclude that making the wolves’ job easier by giving up our defensive tools does not make us good shepherds. (Here’s a hint: a shepherd’s rod and staff aren’t just for guiding lost lambs.)

    This guy needs to put more than a cursory glance into his Bible study.

  3. On May 24, 2016 at 9:03 am, Dr. Detroit said:

    The Sheepdog, of which I am proudly one, will lay down his life for both Shepard and Sheep.

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You are currently reading "The Idolatry Of Security", entry #14168 on The Captain's Journal.

This article is filed under the category(s) Gun Control,Religion and was published October 11th, 2015 by Herschel Smith.

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