Should Christians Own Guns?

by Dr. Dillon Burroughs

Liberty University president Jerry Falwell Jr. recently urged students at his college—the largest Christian university in America—to carry concealed weapons on campus to defend against potential jihadist terror attacks. His view has created a firestorm of media, leaving many Christians wondering what God’s Word says related to this issue.

Should Christians own guns? In this discussion, a disclaimer should be made: The Bible was written before guns, but not before armed conflict. The Bible includes detailed descriptions of various wars, including predictions of battles in the end times (such as in Ezekiel 38). Therefore, any Bible discussion about guns is based on principles, not direct commands, and is subject to debate among those studying this issue. What biblical concepts can be found related to guns?

First, at least for Americans, gun ownership is a legal right. The Second Amendment clearly includes the right for all citizens, Christian or otherwise, to “bear arms.” Interestingly, the focus in the Second Amendment was not hunting or sport shooting, but defense. The text reads, “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

Second, gun ownership is at least an option according to biblical teachings. For example, when soldiers repented at the preaching of John the Baptist, they asked, “What should we do?” John answered, ““Don’t extort money and don’t accuse people falsely—be content with your pay” (Luke 3:14). They were not commanded to leave the military or become pacifists. The disciples also carried small swords at the command of Jesus (Luke 22:38), though Peter was told to put away his weapon at the Jesus’ arrest (Luke 22:51).

Third, the Bible includes ample evidence to support self-defense. Ecclesiastes 3:3 mentions there is “a time to kill and a time to heal.” Verse 8 adds “a time for war and a time for peace.” Scripture includes accounts of those who have died for their faith; it also includes accounts of those who have entered armed conflict to defend themselves, their family, and their nation.

From a personal standpoint, one could ask, “If an armed robber came at (me, my child, spouse, parent, or friend) with a weapon, would I intervene with a gun if I could?” Would God permit or even encourage such an action? Again, the Bible does not command a person to own or use a gun, yet it also allows for self-defense and defending others.

Those who argue Christians should not own guns have noble intentions of peace and love. However, in this life there are those who wish to cause harm. We must both recognize this reality and prepare how to best defend ourselves, our loved ones, and our nation in such situations.

12 Comments

  1. Walter on January 20, 2016 at 7:21 am

    If Peter was told to put away his weapon at the Jesus’ arrest (Luke 22:51), are we as Christians allowed to use guns, if we are to be arrested for our faith?

    • Dr Col on August 4, 2016 at 1:24 am

      Dear Walter, It is clear you did not read John Ankerberg’s excellent opening comments at the top. John did quote Scripture properly. In any inspiration from God it is imperitive to take the WHOLE council of God’s Word. Not just one part out of context.
      Go back and read John’s proper quote from Ecclesiastes 3:3. Then ask yourself does God know what is right and what it wrong…the answer is a clear YES. So there ARE times when self defemce is RIGHT IN GODS EYES. And that includes KILLING ..no matter what you or I think.
      Gods Word is to be read from start to finish for a clear understanding.
      No Christian should ever take God;’s Word out of context. Onlya New Christian or a non believer takes God’s Word out of contex…and non believers do it simply to confuse the issue with satan’s help
      Dr Col….Shalom

  2. Meg Safranek on January 31, 2016 at 9:50 pm

    Guns for protection is one thing, but how can one justify semi-automatic weapons in the hands of those other than the military? Those are where I have a problem with gun ownership.

    • Dr Col on August 4, 2016 at 1:04 am

      Dear Meg, The issue is not the type of weapon. the issue is…Does God Give HIS PEOPLE the right to bare arms….And the answer is a clear YES. God told HIS followers two swords were enough.
      Go figure out what you make of that as you will. As for me it is clear that God is stating be prepared for what the current situation requires. Do you think two swords are enough when you are facing a Muslim terrorist Meg ??? Do you think a single shot gun is enought against an automatic gun Meg.
      This does not take into account that one may be taken totally by suprise by a Muslim at any time…in which case,the Christian can only stay faithful and if one is to die at the hands of a Muslim terrorist then be greatful that the next thing you will see after death is Jesus:-

  3. Jack Mann on February 28, 2016 at 7:44 am

    Our “Bill of Rights” says, “…A well regulated militia has the right to bare arms.” So how does that translate into the individual of modern day caring weapons? We are not Colonialists fighting for our land any more.

    • Brian Keller on April 22, 2016 at 8:14 pm

      “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

      The first portion ‘A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state’ is the Prefatory Clause, meaning that it announces a purpose, but does not limit or expand the scope of the second part, the operative clause. The Operative Clause’s text ‘ the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.’ and history demonstrate that it connotes an individual right to keep and bear arms.

      To cite a logical example not dealing with guns look at this sentence. “A well regulated restaurant, being necessary to the preparation of a nutritious meal, the right of the people to purchase and eat food shall not be infringed”. In this example who has the right to purchase and eat food? The people or the well regulated restaurant? I think you will find it is the people.

      I hope this helps and God Bless.

    • Dr Col on August 4, 2016 at 12:31 am

      From Dr Col….Here we go again with yet another word of human wisdom that does NOT ask God for HIS WORD on the subject. We are asked by God to grow in the WORD NOT in human opinion. Besides the founding Fathers were mostly Christians who did their very best to comply with the wisdom of God;s Word in Scripture. For the most part it seems to me they did a dam good job of it. For one thing they did follow Gods\\Word. That is why they agreed with God…which does advise carrying arms for defence. If anyone thinks a Muslim terroist is not out to KILL as many Christians as he possibly can. then it clear that person is insane, missguided, or doesn’t give a toss about God’s advise to God Friend’s. Shalom From “Down Under In The Land Of Thunder We call OZ.

  4. clair on July 30, 2016 at 10:43 am

    It’s not about what the weapon of choice, but it is about the intent of use. a baseball bat could also be classified as a deadly weapon if used for the wrong purpose.

    • Dr Col on August 4, 2016 at 12:15 am

      Ddar Clare, You state “It is about the intent of use” Strange I thought the subject was about ..What does the WORD of God have to say in His BOOK & NOT about peoples “intent” or otherwise !!!
      Clearly Scripture..which is God’s message to the saved as well as the unsaved…Therefore it is God and His hall mark for all to start with. It is God’s opinion NOT THE OPINION OF THOSE GOD CREATED THAT SHOULE BE THE FINAL AND ONLY RELIABLE THINKING WORTH TAKING IN.

      It is because so many people think differently to God in the first place that this world is in the mess that it is in. God states His Blessing & INSPIRATION is in His Scripture given us. This makes US responsible to read the criptures and they say we are to carry WEAPONS FOR DEFENCE. So we should all be faithful stewards of God’s WORD. We should all read and DO as God gives statemnts in His Scriptures to clearly carry arms for defence against those who would do us or our loved ones harm. In this day & age it is unlikely that a baseball bat would be of much use against a Muslim with a gun that he intent to use to kill us. Therefore I will take ZGod’s advic and have a gun ready to stop any terrorist that is clearly out to do me opr mine any harm. God clearly states I should do so & I will do as God recommends no matter what some do-good politicaly-correct idiot says
      Dr Col Shalom From… “Down Under In The Land Of Thunder We Call Oz”

  5. Rita on March 1, 2018 at 5:49 am

    test

  6. Rita on March 1, 2018 at 5:58 am

    In Luke 22:38 it said: “And they said, Lord, behold, here are two swords. And he said unto them, It is enough.”
    ‭‭It did Not say that all of the disciples were given or were carrying their own small swords as you see above!

    • Doug on March 18, 2018 at 8:36 am

      Rita, did you bother to look up the context of this verse? It doesn’t seem you did. The disciples were told to sell their cloak and buy a sword if they did not already have one. This implies it is more important have a weapon for protection than the temporary warmth of a cloak. Please read the verse below in context, and better still, always research it yourself:

      35 Then Jesus asked them, “When I sent you without purse, bag or sandals, did you lack anything?”
      “Nothing,” they answered.

      36 He said to them, “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. 37 It is written: ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors’, and I tell you that this must be fulfilled in me. Yes, what is written about me is reaching its fulfillment.”

      38 The disciples said, “See, Lord, here are two swords.”
      “That’s enough!” he replied.

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