Gun Control

Praying WomanSorry, this post really isn’t about gun control, I just wanted to get your attention.

I have started and stopped several posts since the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. I have a lot of thoughts about the issue of gun control and the comments I have seen from people on both sides. I don’t think I am going to write anything about my thoughts on gun control because I get the feeling we are still not ready to have a reasonable, civil, discussion. Bring up gun control and people immediately jump to the extremes. I don’t get it. I don’t understand it, and so I will leave it alone.

The tragedy last week has affected me like very few things before. It is not equal to 9/11, but it is close. I can’t watch the news about it anymore. It is to sad…and confusing…and evil…and unexplainable. I have tried to put myself in the shoes of the parents whose children were killed, and I can’t. I don’t know how a parent can process something like that. In some weird way I can process (and even explain) events like 9/11, but I can’t even come close to processes (and explaining) Friday’s events.

All I can do is turn to my faith and ask why and seek some sort of guidance and solace and peace. Unfortunately, God never obligates Himself to answer my questions. Fortunately, He does offer guidance and solace and peace. I learned a long time ago that we don’t live by explanations. We live by promises.

The guidance I think I received over the weekend is found in Romans 12:21 – “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

Here is a quick study on the key words in that verse.

  • “overcome” – means to conquer or prevail; the greek word is nikao, which is a derivative of the greek word, nike, which means “victory” (I wear Nike tennis shoes and clothes. Every time I see the Nike swoosh I am going to pray for the victims in CT and remind myself to do something good. I challenge you to do the same thing everytime you see the Nike logo.)
  • “evil” – a general term for all things bad, refers to evil men (or women), evil things and evil actions; sometimes the greek word (kakos) can be used to describe crime and criminals
  • “good” – a general term for all things good and kind, refers to good men (or women), good things and good actions; kindness, goodness

So, using the fuller meanings of the key words, Romans 12:21 could easily be paraphrased…

…do not be a victimized by evil but be victorious over evil by being good and kind.

…do not let evil conquer you, rather, you conquer evil by living a life of goodness and kindness.

…do not let evil prevail in your life, but let your life prevail over evil by doing good.

…do not let crime and criminals overcome you, but overcome crime and criminals by doing good and being kind.

The answer to the evil in our world (and in our own hearts) is not more evil. The answer is not revenge, or more violence, or more anger, or more hatred. Those things make evil the winner, victor, prevailer, overcomer.

The answer to evil is to do the opposite of how you are feeling. The answer to evil is goodness, kindness, patience, peace, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control; and in case you don’t notice the answer, read Galatians 5:22.

The question is, what does it mean to overcome evil with good? What is good? How can I be good?

Here are some suggestions:

  1. Treat people the way you want to be treated not the way you have been treated.
  2. Leave work early and to do something with your kids.
  3. Take kids of that single-mom you know with you on that activity.
  4. If you don’t have your own kids, be a mentor to someone else’s.
  5. Instead of rushing out and purchasing another gun, volunteer to read and tutor students at your local elementary school.
  6. Let that person in front of you at the grocery line, or in traffic.
  7. Instead of curing the darkness, light a candle.
  8. Volunteer at a local hospital, nursing home, or homeless shelter.
  9. Practice random acts of kindness.
  10. Stand up for the voiceless.
  11. Take care of the widows, orphans, immigrants, and poor among you.

“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

POSTSCRIPT: I can’t help myself. I have to say something about guns. Please understand, what I am about to say is just me and my personal feelings and beliefs after much reflection. In no way do I want to interfere with your right to own guns and in no way do I mean to sound judgmental. I do not think this is a spiritual issue. To be honest, deep down, I am rather glad not everyone will reach the same conclusion I have reached. But after much prayer and reflection I have come to the following conclusion for me and my relationship with God. What I have concluded is my way of working out my salvation. My conclusion is a personal conviction that is not meant to be imposed on anyone else. Ok, here it is: I do no own a gun. For me, at this point in time, purchasing a gun would be allowing evil to overtake me instead of me overtaking evil. All weekend I have been asking myself, “What would Jesus do?” And for the life of me, I cannot conceive Jesus packing heat.  Now Peter, that’s another matter.

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7 thoughts on “Gun Control

  1. kind of the same thoughts. I do not own a gun for this simple fact. Even if I was defending myself or a member of my family I could not point a gun at a person and decide if I should pull the trigger or not. Even justified by the worlds standards I couldnt do it. I am not saying that I wouldnt fight for myself or my family but I couldnt put a gun in my hand and decide what I should do. I am not telling others what to do about guns and dont want my statement to be taken as support of either side. Any new laws or regulations that come from this event will most likely be band aids of the real problem of mental health issues and the growing trend of absent fathers in America. 70% of all men in prision had no father in their life!

  2. Molech has many faces. He came in the form of a firearm last week. It is not his most hideous mask. His most-to-be-feared mask is unrecognized, coming in the form of the smiling, intellectual face, producing slumber, and one that counsels calm, level headed moderation, and with sleight of hand points to the shouting, gun waving voice as the one to be feared. and indeed, it makes our gut churn, and raises “righteous indignation”, And thus he smiles, and accepts the daily sacrifices, surrendering the pawn to capture our king. And the daily sacrifices continue, unnoticed, unloved, uninterrupted, “unblogged”. We are fools.

      • I speak in parables, so that seeing, they may not see…. Just kidding. I used caution and parable, probably more than anything else, to protect myself from being accused of callousness. The truth is, I am angry, and in agony over so many things this shooting is producing. It is agonizing to think that anyone could pull a trigger on an innocent child. I am angry that we have come to this place. I am angry that anyone is naive enough to think that gun control is the answer, or part of it. I am angry that we have leaders who seem to weep over loved children by the dozen’s, and build into their political platforms the freedom to slaughter unloved, unwanted innocents by the millions (there are Molech’s pawns and kings). I am angry that whistle past this massive hypocrisy, and even seem (to ourselves) to be justified in such an attitude. I am angry that we feel the churning ache over the overt slaughter of elementary children, while suctioned and sectioned bodies are dropped in a bag and burned, unmourned, and the perpetrators go home for supper and TV with the wife and kids, and make it to the PTA meeting on time. I am angry that we have come to the place where it some consider it a matter of pride or higher nobility or righteousness to not own a gun than to own one. I am angry that we are not angry or acting over the right things. I am angry that some who counsel caution and tolerance over millions of deaths because they would appear to step on someone’s right to control the body of their soon-arriving child since it infringes on their body for the moment, would stand up on a stump and demand that I surrender my arms, and my right and freedom to protect my family from murderers or from a government that has lost its moral compass. I am angry that “A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest”, is coming to pass for our nation. It goes on to say, “and so shall thy poverty come like a vagabond, and your need like (oddly enough) an armed man.

  3. I have come to a place of prayer more than ever. Not the “God bless the World” prayers, but spiritual battle prayers. And the opportunities to love in deed…every one that comes…I have sworn to make the most of. I have sworn, and am attempting to fulfill the oath, to be light in dark places, and to those living in the agony of bondage to the things that are killing their hearts and spirits.

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