In the wake of the Sandy Hook School massacre (so soon after the Denver movie theatre shooting), there is a new call for America to enact more gun control laws, even ban guns.
There are lots of good reasons why this makes sense, one of the clearest being the
success of other countries such as Australia in reducing their gun-related crimes by
banning guns (sounds so obvious doesn’t it?).
What concerns me more though, is that the biggest opponents to gun control are largely
right wing, Republican, conservative, CHRISTIAN Americans. The word we often hear
from these guys is rights. I have the right to bear arms under the constitution, I have the
right to defend myself, I have the right to engage in recreational gun activities.
Whether or not these arguments are valid (and people have argued both ways to
exhaustion), what seems strange to me is that somehow rights are being used by
Christians as the unbeatable principle in guiding their actions and lifestyles.
Philippians 2:5-8 says.
In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature[a] God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature[b] of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
2 Corinthians 5:21,
God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the
righteousness of God.
Jesus had the right to do what he pleased. That he came on earth to sacriﬁce himself for
us instead is the amazing centre of Christian belief. It is what shapes the Christian
worldview and life. It is the non-negotiable crux of the Gospel that forms a lens that
Christians should have their opinions and attitudes seen through.
Note also that we are speciﬁcally encouraged in the beginning of the Philippians passage
to emulate Jesus in this. Actually more than that, we are to have the same mindset as
Jesus. One of the foundations of our lives, thoughts and actions should be to give up our
rights for the sake of others.
For the American Christian (or any Christian) who argues they have the right to bear arms,
what matters isn’t whether you have that right or not, what matters is whether you are
willing to give up that right in the same way that Jesus gave up his life.
Are we all as Christians doing this same thing to things in our lives? What other things do
we hold tightly to because we have the right to instead of considering that our rights don’t
necessarily come ﬁrst?
The author of this post is Jackson Stace. Jackson loves Jesus. He is moving to Sydney to study Gods word at Moore College and join the team at Resolved Church to reach the people of Sydney. He loves fantasy fiction but thinks that Game of Thrones book 4 was boring.
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