The December 14, 2012, Newtown, Connecticut, Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting has impacted all Americans—but not necessarily in the same way. Nor should we expect it would. Regardless which side of the gun debate we find ourselves on, all of us grieve for the families of those whose loved ones were killed. However, beyond our shared empathy, we will respond to this needless murdering of innocent lives in ways that reflect our individual world views.
What’s Your World View?
As expected, the anti-gun establishment immediately started calling for stricter gun-control measures, while Second-Amendment proponents reiterated their worn-out retorts that “guns don’t kill, people do,” “you can have my gun when you pry it from my dead cold fingers,” etc., etc., etc. We’ve heard it all before. But such posturing and any laws that have resulted from either side’s position didn’t make a lick of difference to the twenty children and eight adults and their families in Newtown last week. For that matter, they haven’t made any difference in any other similar shooting. Something’s wrong with this picture!
While both sides of the debate focus on whether or not we should have guns, the underlying issues are seldom identified, let alone dealt with from a Biblical paradigm. And the genesis of America’s moral depravities is almost never addressed.
The carnage in Newtown is indicative of the devolved sense of personal and national ethics that has led America to the brink of moral destruction. If we hope to ever halt America’s present suicidal course, we must get to the root of our current cultural abyss.
The Genesis of America’s Cultural Abyss
There has to be a defining point in history that’s responsible for where America finds herself today, as compared with the early 1600s. Until we figure out what it is that caused America to abandon her 17th-century moorings and restore her Christian foundations, we are doomed to more of the same and worse:
If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do? (Psalm 11:3)
What destroyed our Biblical foundations? The Prophet Jeremiah provides the answer:
Who is the wise man, that may understand this? …the land perisheth … [b]ecause they have forsaken my law which I set before them, and have not obeyed my voice, neither walked therein; but have walked after the imagination of their own heart…. (Jeremiah 9:12-14)
When did this occur in America? It occurred when the constitutional framers rejected Yahweh’s sovereignty and failed to expressly establish the United States Constitution and government upon Yahweh’s immutable morality as codified in His commandments, statutes, and judgments. If you accept Yahweh’s perfect law and altogether righteous judgments (Psalm 19:7-9) as the fabric that creates and maintains a righteous society, you can’t escape the fact that 1787 was the precise point in history when America, as a nation, began her fall into depravity.
Because mankind will always continue to operate from a depraved heart, crime will never be completely eradicated. However, if we intend to turn the tide (identified in Acts 17:6-7 as Christians turning “the world upside down”), we must not only identify the Constitution as sedition against our God, we must also point our people back to Him by way of Christ’s blood atoning sacrifice and His law for ourselves, our families, our churches, and government. For the sake of our posterity, please join me in awakening our people to this imperative.
A good place to begin is by teaching Christians how Yahweh’s moral law still applies today. I recommend Law and Kingdom: Their Relevance Under the New Covenant.
As for the Gun Debate:
In case you’re wondering, Yahweh’s law settles the gun debate:
It is imperative we understand the authority to arm ourselves comes from Yahweh. Nearly all gun enthusiasts point to the Second Amendment as their authority for possessing firearms, which means their authority to keep and bear arms can be traced back to 1791. Where did the men living in America prior to 1791 get their authority to be armed? Do you suppose they might have gotten it from Exodus 22:2-3; Deuteronomy 22:23-24; Psalm 149:6-9; Luke 11:21, 12:39, 22:36; and 1 Timothy 5:8. Carrying a weapon was already lawful by Yahweh’s standards, so why, in 1791, did we need the authorization of the Second Amendment?
If your authority to keep and bear arms is derived from the Second Amendment – from the god WE THE PEOPLE – it is unlikely you will react any differently from the British and Australians who surrendered their weapons when required to do so by their respective governments. On the other hand, if your faith is in Yahweh’s sovereign authority, you will be far less likely to turn over your weapons to any civil government unauthorized by the omnipotent Supreme Ruler of the universe.1
The Bible knows nothing of rights, only responsibilities.2 Rights are easily licensed and limited (consider what has occurred with the Second Amendment since its adoption by the States). Responsibilities remain unchanged, regardless what the government says or does:
But if any provide not for his own [including protection], and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel. (1 Timothy 5:8)
We don’t need the Second Amendment (which merely recognizes a right) when we have Psalm 149 (which charges us with a responsibility):
Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a twoedged sword [or today’s equivalent] in their hand; to execute vengeance upon the heathen, and punishments upon the people; to bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron; to execute upon them the judgment written: this honour have all his saints. Praise ye Yah. (Psalm 149:6-9)3
Implicit in this Psalm is that only the righteous are to be armed. However, since the Second Amendment was added to the Bill of Rights, the “right” to bear arms in defense of ourselves, our families, and neighbors has been incrementally taken away from the unrighteous and righteous alike. The Second Amendment has actually facilitated gun control, including gun-free zones such as Sandy Hook Elementary School:
All of our mass murders in the last 20 years have occurred in Gun Free Zones [even Fort Hood, Texas was, for the most part, a gun-free zone]…. Hopefully the Connecticut tragedy will be the tipping point after which a rising chorus of Americans will demand elimination of the Gun Free Zone laws that are in fact Criminal Safe Zones…. Gun Free Zones are a lethal insanity….4
Better yet, may Yahweh use this tragedy to start a movement back to Him and His law for all society.
Unlike today’s constitutional form of government, the Bible does not sanction gun-free zones. Moreover, after being convicted in a Biblical court, murderers are not put away in tax-funded prisons or psychiatric wards, nor are they tried again and again for the same crime at tax payers’ expense. They are quickly put to death (Ecclesiastes 8:11), ridding society forever of their evil influence and deterring others from joining their wicked lifestyle. These are but a few of the advantages of a society based upon Yahweh’s perfect law and altogether righteous judgments.
The Second Amendment: A Knife in a Gunfight (an audio message)
3. Larry Pratt, Executive Director of Gun Owners of America, agrees. You can listen to his views here.
4. Larry Pratt, “They Have Blood on Their Hands,” 15 December 2012, http://gunowners.org/a12152012.htm.