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What The Bible Says About Gun Rights

“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 Amendment, United States Constitution.

What The Bible Says About Gun Rights

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It is amazing how so few words can grant such freedom to a nation, and how they can cause such divisiveness between Americans.

To those of us who recognize and honor our Founders’ intent in this amendment, it is perfectly clear that this refers to a right of individuals, and that the “Militia” is comprised of the entire body of an armed citizenry. As Christians, we should also be aware that the right to keep and bear arms is one of the inalienable rights with which our Creator has endowed us. If there is any doubt about it, turn to Scripture for guidance in this matter, and rest assured that the Bible supports your right to be armed.

Let us look for a moment at the mindset of our Founders. One of the lesser-known signatories of the Declaration of Independence, Dr. Benjamin Rush (1745-1813), summed it up rather succinctly when he said:

“I have alternately been called an Aristocrat and a Democrat. I am neither. I am a Christocrat.”

This book illustrates the war of worldviews in the economic and political realm…

Dr. Rush was a physician, psychiatrist, member of the Continental Congress, treasurer of the United States for more than two decades (1780-1813) — and a Christocrat. Contrary to “politically correct” thoughts, our Founders based the cornerstones of our country on biblical principles. In an eerily prescient moment, Rush stated:

“By removing the Bible from schools we would be wasting so much time and money in punishing criminals and so little pains to prevent crime. Take the Bible out of our schools and there would be an explosion in crime.”

Any questions?

In an earlier article I discussed the biblical justifications for armed defense of self, family and all innocent life. The biblical position is strong. It stands to reason that if the Bible allows for self-defense, it must also allow for the private ownership of arms. As it turns out, it does make provision for exactly that.

Luke (11:21-22) tells us that “When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace: But when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he taketh from him all his armour wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils.”

This piece of Scripture not only demonstrates God’s will that we be armed, but also sets the precedent for the Castle Doctrine (in this case, the “Palace” Doctrine).

We should revisit Luke 22:35-39 at this point, to see where Jesus stood on the issue of keeping arms.

“And He said to them, ‘When I sent you without money bag, knapsack, and sandals, did you lack anything?’ So they said, ‘Nothing.’ Then He said to them, ‘But now, he who has a money bag, let him take it, and likewise a knapsack; and he who has no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one. ‘For I say to you that this which is written must still be accomplished in Me: ‘And He was numbered with the transgressors.’ For the things concerning Me have an end.’ So they said, ‘Lord, look, here are two swords.’ And He said to them, ‘It is enough.’ Coming out, He went to the Mount of Olives, as He was accustomed, and His disciples also followed Him.”

shotgun-1181648_640Clearly, Jesus supports the right to self-defense. Furthermore, we can deduce that these arms are for the purpose of defense of self, of the faith, and of the nation (in this case, the people that followed Christ to the Mount of Olives).

John 18:10-11 tells us that when Christ was arrested:

“Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant’s name was Malchus. So Jesus said to Peter, ‘Put your sword into the sheath. Shall I not drink the cup which My Father has given Me?’”

The admonition was to sheath the weapon, not to abandon or relinquish it. This was not a renunciation of defense, merely a statement that it was not the time for it. Jesus might just as easily have said “Stand down, soldier, I’ve got this one under control.”

There is a long tradition in the Bible of God’s people bearing arms. The tradition is so strong as to be almost a mandate.

“Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruning hooks into spears: let the weak say, I am strong” (Joel 3:10).

There is also a strong tradition of the militia concept.

“They all hold swords, being expert in war: every man hath his sword upon his thigh because of fear in the night” (Song of Solomon 3:8).

Here we see not only an armed citizenry, but a citizenry “being expert in war.” Sounds a lot like our Founders’ concept of a “well-regulated militia,” doesn’t it?

In 1 Samuel 13:19-22 we are shown a picture of a government (the Philistines) denying a population the right to bear arms for obviously nefarious reasons. As the Founders knew, an armed population are citizens, an unarmed population are subjects.

“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 Jonathan his son there was found.”

When I read this passage, I see an image of a disarmed militia forced to rely on improvised weapons in defense of their faith and their nation.

convention of states georgiaIn 1 Samuel (25:13) we see David “calling out the militia.” “David said to his men, ‘Every man gird on his sword.’ So every man girded on his sword, and David also girded on his sword.’ It is important to note that every man strapped onhis sword. They were not issued weapons from a government armory; their weapons were already in their possession, being kept and ready to bear.

From the time of Moses on, the army of Israel was a militia after this model. Personal weapons were kept in the hands of the individuals who would carry them into battle.

“Moses spoke to the people saying, ‘Arm some of yourselves for the war, and let them go against the Midianites to take vengeance for the Lord on Midian’” (Numbers 31:3).

The Bible is quite clear on the matter, and lays the foundation for the Second Amendment: “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.”

Our Founders were wise and Godly men, and they realized that our Creator wanted all men to have the tools they needed to defend their Faith, their families, their lives, and their freedom. Life, Liberty, and The Pursuit of Happiness is the short list of the inalienable rights God has endowed all men with, and the right to keep and bear arms undoubtedly has a prominent place in the complete list. This is borne out in Holy Scripture.

Do you believe the Bible supports gun ownership? Tell us what you think in the comments section below. 

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  1. What a bunch of hogwash. The bible says nothing about gun rights. How dare you add to the Word of God.

    • The Bible addresses just about every topic relevant to human existence. The citations that I have provided are true to the word, and accurately address the topic. They have passed muster with several pastors of my acquaintance, and I stand behind my interpretation.

      Perhaps you should dust off your bible and give it an actual read, with an open heart and an open mind, which is how it should always be read. The answers are there, pray for discernment in your study.

      Even if you don’t agree with me, you should refrain from your “How Dare You’s”, you are not qualified.

      • I am impressed. You pulled a bunch of scriptures out of the bible and took them completely out of context. You took literal interpretations of these scriptures. How could Jesus have supported the right to bear arms when he mandated that we love our neighbors and turn a blind eye? Romans 12:18-20 ” If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.”

    • Robert E. Hays

      The Bible does not address gun ownership because there were no guns when the Bible was written. Duh. It does, however, address self-defense, and these days, going up against a gun-wielding thug with a sword just ain’t exactly self-defense.

  2. Thank you for your article. I am wrestling about knowing when to use my weapons. Defense of family and self seems obvious. But will I have a God-honored right to use my weapon when the government comes to confiscate it?

    • Once again, 1st Samuel 13 shows us the perils of allowing a government to disarm a population. This is clearly not seen as a good state of affairs. As in all things, however, prayer and meditation will lead you to discernment, God’s plan for you is unique, and what is revealed to another may not be the message intended for you. I feel that the time may come when the situation you envision may come to pass, so pray early and pray often!

    • If you are that paranoid about the government coming to confiscate your weapon, maybe you should reevaluate your life and your government. This bible verse may help, Matthew 26:52-54 ” Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword. Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels?” God does not given any right to use a weapon against anyone. That is up to you, but be mindful that you will have to explain that right to him.

  3. I find it interesting how FEW people actually read (or know) the Bible and the 2nd Amendment! I find this entire topic VERY REFRESHING, and it’s interesting parallels I had previously considered. There is more to the Second Amendment that is hardly ever read or known about concerning armed citizens and the government.

    I’m a veteran of some 16 years, and keeping in mind, I swore an oath to preserve and protect the US Constitution with my life, NOT a human being! The misconception the military exists to be humanitarians, re-distributors of goods, and protectors of humans. I will NOT die for another human (they have an obligation for their own self-preservation), but I will die for the Constitution!

    • As you, I too have taken an oath, as any veteran of any branch of military service did upon entry into their respective commitments. We (none of us) has ever been relieved of that oath. My 1st commitment is to Jesus Christ as part of the Holy Trinity. My 2nd commitment is to my family. My 3rd commitment is to my country, in that order. I will always honor that oath.

    • So you are saying that you will die for pen and paper. The same constitution could have been written in a population of 2,000 people, or less or more. As such, you can eliminate the people and still die to protect a pointless Constitution. The constitution was written for the people to protect the people. For you to say that you would not die for another human is absurd because you are essentially saying that you would fight to protect a piece of paper. You might as well be on a remote island with your constitution with population 1.

  4. “I will NOT die for another human”

    Eric, you should consider:

    John 15:13:

    Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

    Of course, this refers to friends, not random strangers who could be trying to do harm to you.

    • This passage does refer to friends, not strangers. But Jesus was friend to all, he considered strangers his friend. John 15:12-15:

      “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.”

  5. Some of the commentators are true idiots, fools who don’t know the Word of God. Gun rights are the right to defense. To protect lives from those who would take them. In 1993 in the St. James Church congregation in Cape Town, South Africa, Charl Van Wyk, a Christian Missionary attending services was armed with a .38 revolver with only 5 rounds cut short the terrorist attack of 4 men armed with AK-47s, grenades & molotov cocktails. Our Messiah died for us in order that we may live. Anyone not willing to do the same to save the lives of others doesn’t belong to him.

    John 10:11-18: “[11] I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. [12] The hired hand, who is not a shepherd and does not own sheep, sees the wolf coming and abandons the sheep and runs away. So the wolf attacks the sheep and scatters them. [13] Because he is a hired hand and is not concerned about the sheep, he runs away. [14] “I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me— [15] just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. [16] I have other sheep that do not come from this sheepfold. I must bring them too, and they will listen to my voice, so that there will be one flock and one shepherd. [17] This is why the Father loves me—because I lay down my life, so that I may take it back again. [18] No one takes it away from me, but I lay it down of my own free will. I have the authority to lay it down, and I have the authority to take it back again. This commandment I received from my Father.”

    John 15:13: “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

    1 Timothy 5:8: “Moreover, anyone who does not provide for his own people, especially for his family, has disowned the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”

    …If you aren’t willing to care for the people of Messiah then they don’t belong to he who is the ‘Word of Truth’ (2 Timothy 2:15), the ‘Word of Yahweh’ (Revelation 19:13).

  6. In. The last chapter of the book of Genesis it mentions that Jacob blessed his sons round his bed before he died he told the to teach your children the use of the bow and arrow and all wepeans of war so they may learn to effend them selfs.
    And in the book of exodus when the Israelis left Egypt out of bondage they left fully armed as this was a symbol of freedom In the battle of Jericho they went to do battle they were armed.
    Old testaments makes mention many places about being armed bookof Samuels with king David whom told his 400 men to come armed for battle.

  7. Genesis mentions to learn use of arms to defend thhemselfs
    And book of exodus.

  8. As I write the US begins burying 17 People shot by a nineteen year old in yet another school mass shooting. One was a 14 year old girl called Alyssa, same name as my own daughter. I can only begin to imagine the horrific journey her family are just beginning.

    To own a gun in New Zealand I need a license and I am Glad that’s the case.
    To get a license I need to attend a firearms safety course, provide referees and be interviewed by a police officer and I’m glad of that.
    Even if I meet these criteria I can’t own a pistol, automatic or semi automatic weapon without meeting a whole further set of requirements. I am so so pleased that’s the case.

    We could have a mass shooting tomorrow But it’s soo much less likely because it’s harder to get guns and very hard to get automatic weapons.

    After the Port Arthur Massacre in 1996 Australia introduced strict gun control it reduced mass shootings from about 1 every 18 months to zero (zero since 1996!).

    The American constitution is a stunningly great document but it’s not an appendix to the bible.
    I believe that the key message of the New Testament is that we should love one another, guns have no place in that.

    St Teresa said
    Christ has no body now on earth but yours
    No hands but yours, no feet but yours,
    Yours are the eyes through which is to look out Christ’s compassion on the world,
    Yours are the feet with which he is to go about doing good
    Yours are the hands with which he is to bless people now.

    For your own children’s sake, maybe it’s time Christ’s eyes saw common sense and his hands and feet did something about it.

  9. I would gladly give my life that others may live. I am taking steps to own and use firearms in such a way that, if I am in a position to stop a mass-killing, I would be able to do so.

    By the way, to Roopods6, the perpetrator of that attack was known to want to be a professional mass killer. A month before the attack, the FBI was contacted about the statements that this asshole made on a blog. Agents talked with the complainant and that was the last the complainant heard about it.

    NOTHING was done by the FBI. They didn’t follow up, or even communicate this to the LLEAs (Local Law Enforcement Agencies). They dropped the ball, being more concerned in tearing down an incumbent, duly elected President Trump, than doing their actual jobs! This is treasonous activity by the FBI who are supposed to be non-partisan! This should show just how much the swamp needs to be drained!

  10. I read this article twice and cross referenced the verses with other Bible variations to see if any of the verses you posted could be misconstrued… I concluded that some are and some aren’t for what you are trying to convey. However, I did come to the conclusion that your overall rhetoric is great for that time period when their government was highly unstable and/or aristocratic.

    So… Question: In this day and age, is America highly unstable and/or aristocratic? I strongly believe that it is not! And I am beyond certain that I’m not the only one. You see, the 1st Amendment grants us a phenomenally more powerful tool, and that is what makes us by far better than some archaic form of thinking. By the by, the 1st Amendment isn’t stated in the Bible, yet, regardless of our varied beliefs, we hold it ever so dearly as if it were a God-given right. Thus, considering how far we have advanced, renders the 2nd Amendment sadly archaic for what it was truly meant for. As for the necessity to defend ourselves from criminals, obviously being armed is preferable for those who live in high crime areas; whereto a shotgun, bolt-action rifle, or revolver is more than sufficient.

    And lastly, your cultish revering of firearms is incredibly disheartening. I pray that someday you’ll become more pragmatic in your thinking and using the Bible to justify it.

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