Why Some Christians Don’t Believe In Gun Control: They Think God Handed Down The Second Amendment

BY Herschel Smith
4 months, 1 week ago

The Washington Post, by three sociologists.

We’re now at a point when Americans are killed or injured in a mass shooting almost every month; by some definitions, almost every day. Despite this, resistance to stricter gun control in the United States remains fierce.

As researchers of religion, we know the power of religious identities and beliefs. And so we wondered: How does Christian nationalism influence Americans’ attitudes toward gun control?

In our newly published and freely available study, the connection between Christian nationalism and gun control attitudes proves stronger than we expected. It turns out that how intensely someone adheres to Christian nationalism is one of the strongest predictors of whether someone supports gun control. One’s political party, religiosity, gender, education or age doesn’t matter.

[ … ]

But what is Christian nationalism?

Christian nationalism is an ideology that argues for an inseparable bond between Christianity and American civil society. It goes beyond merely acknowledging some sincere religious commitments of the Founding Fathers.

Rather, Americans who subscribe to Christian nationalism believe that America has always been ― and should always be ― distinctively Christian in its national identity, sacred symbols and public policies. What’s more, for adherents to this ideology, America’s historic statements about human liberties (e.g., the First and Second Amendments) are imbued with sacred, literal and absolute meaning.

I happen to be trained in theology at the graduate level.  This may be the most stolid analysis I’ve ever read, and the lack of theological training of the academicians undermines and renders useless the study they have published.

There are a number of category errors in this commentary, and at the risk of sounding too much like Gordon Clark, I recommend that these folks retake their course work in logic, and specifically that they study Aristotle’s Logic and Metaphysics before tackling some more difficult texts in systematic theology like Hodge, Warfield, Calvin, Shedd and Turretin.

Seriously, this is a supremely dense run of prose and it’s almost impossible to know where to begin.  But let’s try anyway.

God is no respecter of persons or countries or tribes.  That’s over.  He is the creator of the universe and calls all men to account and all governments to His holy law.  It is equally wicked for America, Russia, China, South Africa or any other country to enact gun control schemes.  Indeed, all gun control is wicked.

The Bible does contain a few direct references to weapons control. There were many times throughout Israel’s history that it rebelled against God (in fact, it happened all the time). To mock His people back into submission to His Law, the Lord would often use wicked neighbors to punish Israel’s rebellion. Most notable were the Philistines and the Babylonians. 1 Samuel 13:19-22 relates the story: “Not a blacksmith could be found in the whole land of Israel, because the Philistines had said, “Otherwise the Hebrews will make swords or spears!” So all Israel went down to the Philistines to have their plowshares, mattocks, axes, and sickles sharpened…So on the day of battle not a soldier with Saul and Jonathan had a sword or spear in this hand; only Saul and his son Jonathan had them.” Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon also removed all of the craftsmen from Israel during the Babylonian captivity (2 Kings 24:14). Both of these administrations were considered exceedingly wicked including their acts of weapons control.

Defense of home and hearth is not just a duly recognized right in the Holy Scriptures, it is a solemn duty, something the Almighty expects of men because men are made in His image.  The second amendment is not given from God.  God didn’t write the constitution, the constitution is a covenant between men.  It has blessings and curses for obedience and breakage, respectively, just like any covenant.  It is the agreement under which we have concurred to live together, and that agreement includes the right and duty not only of self defense and defense of family, but the amelioration of tyranny.  It was understood that way by the founders.

Jesus, who wasn’t the Bohemian hippie flower child pacifist he’s made out to be in contemporary culture, demanded that His followers find weapons themselves.  It’s important to remember that this command involved disobedience to the state.  Jesus’ command involved civil (and if necessary, violent) disobedience, thus forcing his followers to become criminals if they followed His command.

… for some evidence, see Digest 48.6.1: collecting weapons ‘beyond those customary for hunting or for a journey by land or sea’ is forbidden; 48.6.3.1 forbids a man ‘of full age’ appearing in public with a weapon (telum) (references and translation are from Mommsen 1985). See also Mommsen 1899: 564 n. 2; 657-58 n. 1; and Linderski 2007: 102-103 (though he cites only Mommsen). Other laws from the same context of the Digest sometimes cited in this regard are not as worthwhile for my purposes because they seem to be forbidding the possession of weapons with criminal intent. But for the outright forbidding of being armed while in public in Rome, see Cicero’s letter to his brother relating an incident in Rome in which a man, who is apparently falsely accused of plotting an assassination, is nonetheless arrested merely for having confessed to having been armed with a dagger while in the city: To Atticus, Letter 44 (II.24). See also Cicero, Philippics 5.6 (§17). Finally we may cite a letter that Synesius of Cyrene wrote to his brother, probably sometime around the year 400 ce. The brother had apparently questioned the legality of Synesius having his household produce weapons to defend themselves against marauding bands. Synesius points out that there are no Roman legions anywhere near for protection, but he seems reluctantly to admit that he is engaged in an illegal act (Letter 107; for English trans., see Fitzgerald 1926).

“Christian Nationalism,” whatever that does or doesn’t mean, has no more to do with this than my dog.  Moreover, if I were a betting man, I wager that God is quite unhappy with America at the moment.

Any nation whose leaders usurp the power and throne of the Almighty by rendering the family and church powerless, which murders more than 70 million babies, which robs from men and women by the power of a badge and gun to redistribute wealth (wealth that God ordains will be redistributed by families and churches), that exists solely based on usury and debt, and which seeks omniscience through spying on its own people, cannot and will not be long blessed by God.

The researchers are counseled to learn theology so that we can keep the length of this essay to a minimum rather than attempt to repair the fault lines in their theoretical framework.

No one I know, and likely no one you know, believes that God handed down the second amendment or anything else contained in the constitution.  This dumbing down of thoroughgoing and full-orbed world and life views into jingoistic nonsense and word salads is insulting and worthless.

There are reasons that Christians believe in the ownership of weapons, and they have nothing whatsoever to do with belief in Christian nationalism.  God may decide to demolish this country on a bed of rocks with a mere breath, and if He does, we’ll have to start over.  Either way, His holy law stands forever as immutable truth because it is based on his immutable character, and the degree to which He blesses any such new country will be a direct linear function of obedience to His holy law.

To the “researchers.”  Go back to school and learn something.

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Comments

  1. On August 8, 2018 at 11:38 pm, Georgiaboy61 said:

    @ Herschel

    “Christian nationalism” sounds like the same old Cultural Marxist wine in new bottles. They never quit, do they?

  2. On August 9, 2018 at 7:49 am, Fred said:

    The kings foreknew if they could just get gun control that the Utopia on earth, a new Babel, perhaps even a new Garden would magically and finally be ushered into being. So…

    “The king cried aloud to bring in the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers. And the king spake, and said to the wise men of Babylon, Whosoever shall read this writing, and shew me the interpretation thereof, shall be clothed with scarlet, and have a chain of gold about his neck, and shall be the third ruler in the kingdom. Then came in all the king’s wise men: but they could not read the writing, nor make known to the king the interpretation thereof.”

    Oh look, here come three of the kings astrologers now. Oh wise sages of sociology do divine the things of the LORD for us, for we are but ignorant lowly peasants. But they could not and America burned. The End.

    I’m not as sure @Herschel, that more schooling will help these soothsayers. I think they need to read the Holy Scriptures and pray to our LORD for understanding, the kind of understanding that can only come with knowing Him.

    (Sorry LORD if I abused your Word a little here but it’s just too funny.)

  3. On August 9, 2018 at 9:52 am, Herschel Smith said:

    @Fred,

    Of course you’re right about the issue of real understanding. But like Gordon Clark had said about Bertrand Russell, he understood more about Christianity than most Christians, he just didn’t believe any of it.

    Is it too much to ask of academicians that they not make category errors and smear definitions to the point of meaninglessness? Is it too much to ask that they at least understand their discipline, even if they don’t agree with the subject of their study at the moment?

    Anthropologists seem (sometimes) to be able to manage that.

  4. On August 9, 2018 at 11:09 am, Fred said:

    I take your point. They cite these versus as adequate reason for concern about gun control:

    “Now there was no smith found throughout all the land of Israel: for the Philistines said, Lest the Hebrews make them swords or spears: but all the Israelites went down to the Philistines, to sharpen every man his share, and his coulter, and his axe, and his mattock. Yet they had a file for the mattocks, and for the coulters, and for the forks, and for the axes, and to sharpen the goads. So it came to pass in the day of battle, that there was neither sword nor spear found in the hand of any of the people that were with Saul and Jonathan: but with Saul and with Jonathan his son was there found.”

    And those are excellent selections to make the point as I’m certain you agree. But what of these:

    “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.”

    “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

    “If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.”

    So why not simply cite these additional versus and conclude that we followers of Christ are right? That we are less nationalist in the sociological or anthropological sense but in fact a separate people, a separate nation for His glory. Their problem is that they are in the tunnel of their field of study so they apply human history (or something) to God’s word instead of God’s word to history. That’s the problem with these “sciences”. They don’t start with the truth they conclude their own truths outside of God’s Natural Law.

    I’ve seen Cicero’s Rome example cited elsewhere. They never fail to mention that the need is because there aren’t enough Roman po po near by as though if it were a more successfully robust Police State then gun control would be acceptable. Frankly I don’t care what Rome, the mass murdering people who threw live infant babies on the city trash heaps to not be bothered with them did. But I think it’s a good example to point out that after Christ crushed Jerusalem he went on to thrash the abominable Rome.

    If they want to call me a Nationalist or how about a White Christian Nationalist will that help them feel better about herding us onto boxcars? No, You can’t have my guns via any of these arguments.

    I say again; The king’s charmers and witchdoctors could not discern the time, and America burned. The End.

  5. On August 9, 2018 at 3:58 pm, Gryphon said:

    I think that they are using “Christian Nationalism” in the same (derogatory) way they use “White Nationalism”, and do not really Understand how someone can refer to “God-Given Rights” when they do not believe in God.
    To the communist, the STATE IS GOD, and thus flows their program of “Cultural Marxism” to try and Destroy any vestige of the Majority (Christian) Religion.
    At the end of the Day, the bolsheviks/marxists demand that you WORSHIP THE STATE OR DIE.

    Buy Lots (more) of Ammo Today.

  6. On August 9, 2018 at 5:20 pm, Pat Hines said:

    They certainly should go back to school, or leave the North American continent.

    The whole of the continent was founded by Christians pioneers for Christians. Nine of the 13 states ratifying the US constitution had state government religions.

    https://www.amazon.com/Orthodoxy-Heterodoxy-Complicated-Religious-Landscape-ebook/dp/B06ZY61QVG/

  7. On August 10, 2018 at 10:36 am, June J said:

    “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
    – John Adams

    Detractors will counter that Adams was not referring solely to Christianity, but Adams also said:

    “The highest glory of the American Revolution was this: it connected, in one indissoluble bond, the principles of civil government with the principles of Christianity.”

    “I have examined all religions, and the result is that the Bible is the best book in the world.”

    “The Christian religion is, above all the religions that ever prevailed or existed in ancient or modern times, the religion of wisdom, virtue, equity and humanity.”

    This phrase “Christian Nationalism” is just another leftist smear against those who aren’t buying into the socialist progressive agenda. It sells well at WaPo along with all the rest of their tripe. Outside the leftist enclaves, it is creating greater support for Trump and MAGA.

  8. On August 10, 2018 at 3:23 pm, Gryphon said:

    Also, let’s not forget that the Founders wrote the First Amendment not only to Protect the Right of People to Believe whatever Religion they followed, but to Prohibit the State(s) from Imposing an Official Religion, a concept that they were Well-Aware of the Strife this had caused in Europe.

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You are currently reading "Why Some Christians Don’t Believe In Gun Control: They Think God Handed Down The Second Amendment", entry #19809 on The Captain's Journal.

This article is filed under the category(s) Religion,Second Amendment and was published August 8th, 2018 by Herschel Smith.

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