A Christian Call to Arms!!!

In the past year, it's been almost impossible to avoid the issue of gun control.  Gun violence has regularly dominated the news.  President Obama has vowed to make gun control a priority in his final year in office.  And, in response to recent events, many have felt the need to arm themselves, and gun sales have recently spiked.

What is a Christian to do in all of this? 

I firmly believe we are called to arm ourselves. 

However, I believe we are called to arm ourselves in a very different way than the likes of Jerry Falwell, Jr has called upon the students of Liberty University to do. 

I believe we are to arm ourselves to suffer.

The apostle Peter once said:

"Therefore, since Christ has suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same purpose, because he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, so as to live the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for the lusts of men, but for the will of God." (1 Peter 4:1-2; NASB) 

Armed to suffer? Say whaaa?  Ain't nobody got time for that.

...But Muslims!
...But Hitler!
...But the Second Amendment!
...But bad guys with guns!
...But late night home invasions!
...But Joel Osteen said I could have my best life now, and I can't do that if I'm dead!

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not saying it's immoral or sinful to own a weapon.  Jesus isn't going to send you to hell or strike you dead for owning a gun (after all, He did once encourage his followers to carry a couple swords). 

However, in listening to the news and chatting among family, friends, and other Christians, I can't help but notice that the primary tone of the conversations taking shape.  We want to own guns, not only because it is our right, but we want to be prepared to use lethal force so that we can avoid needless death and suffering. 

Suffering, even righteous suffering, is the furthest thing from our mind.  Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness dominate our thinking instead.

Preserving our life and our way of life have taken priority over everything else.  We are prepared to arm ourselves, but only in order to avoid suffering.  And we find the idea of being prepared to suffer and embracing suffering to be ludicrous and completely foreign to our way of thinking. 

Yet the consistent call of the New Testament from cover to cover is for Christians to prepare themselves to suffer, even unjustly, at the hands of madmen, and to do so with the greater purposes of God and the Gospel ultimately in mind.

Owning a gun is fine, and I'll never object to you owning one.  But instead of owning a gun, and getting all bent out of shape over whether or not President Obama is going to allow us to freely buy them, I believe we need to have a different focus.  We need to focus on arming ourselves to suffer.  It is better to be armed to suffer than to have two friends named Smith and Wesson at your side

I firmly believe in my heart of hearts that difficult times are ahead.  Violent and even life threatening times, from which none of us will be exempt, even those who own guns.  Times for which we need to prepare ourselves spiritually, because of all the suffering that may even be brought to our own front door. 

Times for which, I believe we as the church in America simply are not prepared for... but must get prepared for in our hearts.

Will you arm yourself to suffer?

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