December 4, 2015

Christians and Gun Control

by Jordan Standridge

Hey Christian! Please stop talking about gun-control, just for a second, and think.

At least fourteen people were shot in San Bernardino, Ca. and Terrorism has not been ruled out.

keep-calm-and-close-your-mouthIf your first thought in reading that first line is something like,

“Ha! So much for strict gun control laws! or “I thought California was a liberal state!”

then I just have one request. I beg you: Please don’t talk to anyone! don’t update your status on Facebook. Don’t talk to anyone at work. I don’t care what you have to do, whether it’s take a cold shower, turn off your internet, go on vacation, or whatever it is, please don’t say a word.

14 people just died, and if they didn’t know Christ they are suffering divine judgment in hell. 

Do you realize that? Do you believe that? Sometimes I wonder whether Christians truly believe in hell. It’s so important to train our minds to think eternally!

I understand the frustration. So many liberals are so extreme, they will jump on the chance to blame guns for this issue, yet again. The president will probably use this opportunity to preach his anti-gun sermon again. But we must resist the temptation; we must be patient. Our first thought when someone dies should not be, “Wow, I wish this life would be a little better,” or  “Wow, I wish people that disagree with me would have views that aligned more with my worldview.” Rather, our thoughts should be with the fact that so many people, who were minding their own business, just got shot, stood before the Judge of all the earth, and are literally in heaven or hell as you read this.

And I get it: not everything we do in this life can have eternal consequences. When I eat a cheeseburger, brush my teeth, do well at my job, or sleep, I’m probably not making an eternal impact. But I can do all those things to the glory of God. Yet I doubt posting sarcastic statements about Democrats on Facebook 30 minutes after a massacre is glorifying to your King. There is a time and place to talk about politics. But I think it’s clear from scripture that God is most glorified when we think eternally. When we stop making such a big deal of this life and start thinking more about heaven. We must resist the temptation to return evil with evil.

Yesterday’s headline on the New York Daily News was God isn’t fixing this. They jumped on the gun controlopportunity to bash Republican leaders, with one of the most incendiary and anti-God newspaper covers I’ve ever seen. What are we going to do as Christians? Respond with sarcasm about gun control? That’s setting our sights too low. It’s looking at the transient things which are seen instead of the unseen things which are eternal (2 Cor 4:18). Perhaps God wants us all to wake up and start realizing that we aren’t guaranteed safety in this life — we aren’t guaranteed a government that makes wise decisions. Perhaps God wants our first thought when we hear about people dying to not be, “Man, I wish Democrats weren’t so stupid!” but rather, “Fourteen people have passed into in eternity today; I’d better make sure I know the Lord, and I’d better share the Gospel with anyone and everyone, because we all could literally die at any moment.

Jesus, when talking about the people massacred by Pilate, didn’t start first thing with arguments for or against sword control. He didn’t even question Rome’s ability to kill whomever they wanted whenever they wanted. His reaction was to tell the people around Him that they needed to repent or else they too would perish.

We must remember in times like these that the problem in man’s hearts is ultimately the problem of sin. You can try to take guns away from the bad guys, or give them to the good guys, but ultimately whether you live to 50 or 70, or whether your children grow up afraid to walk to the store or not, they all must repent of their sin in order to be saved from the greatest terror of all: hell.

Maranatha!

Jordan Standridge

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Jordan is a pastoral associate at Immanuel Bible Church in Springfield, VA, where he leads the college ministry. He is also the founder of The Foundry Bible Immersion. You can find his personal blog at surrender.us.
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  • Archepoimen follower

    Yep! Way too often instead of responding like Jesus we respond as if we belong to the world! As a matter of fact, I had to force myself to read this article since my initial thought was to assume “here we go, a liberal response dressed up in Christ!” Shame on me!

    Thank you for the accountability!

    Tim

    • Jordan Standridge

      Ha! Thanks for reading. Interesting that responding like Jesus has nothing to do with this life and everything to do with eternity.

  • Doug Evans
    • Lynn B.

      What a testimony that two of the men killed had witnessed to the killer who worked with them. I believe that the wife who said her husband was martyred is correct. May I be as faithful.

  • Lynn B.

    Thank you Jordan for a needful rebuke. I am guilty as charged and hopefully, I will remember your words going forward.

    • Jordan Standridge

      Thanks for your humility Lynn. I always appreciate your comments!

  • Mamatart

    I think I understand what you are saying. I think we should be preaching Christ AND speaking out as salt and light on other issues. God is sovereign and He is judge. He is ultimately the one who determines where we will end up, since it is He who calls us and give us the gift of faith so that we may believe the good news of the gospel. I have rolled these issues around in my mind because, yes, I am concerned for my kids. My oldest has a trip planned for NYC in a couple of weeks and we are wrestling with whether to let her go. All of these issues are right in the forefront as we go about life, and just like abortion, pornography, etc…they are all social issues, but some of them DO have eternal implications…and they do need our attention and our voices. So, I did actually stop and post about the fact that gun laws will not change men’s hearts, only the gospel will do that. So, we need to be sharing Christ….but I have also said plenty about abortion and politics and gun control. So, is it an either or? And ultimately, I have to remember that even though some of these folks who died are probably in hell…God ultimately is glorified in His judgement too. And it grieves me to some degree, but I also trust in His sovereignty knowing that there are many people who hear the gospel over and over, but still reject because God has not opened their eyes to the truth. I am not arguing with you, just trying to understand and balance the living daily life with an eternal mindset. We have to guard against our desire for vindication, but I don’t think that speaking out about the evil in social injustices and government policies are returning evil for evil. I just don’t think this is an “either/or” in regards to how we respond. Am I just misunderstanding what you are saying?

    • Jordan Standridge

      Hey Mamatart, thanks for the opportunity to clarify. I completely agree that having a proper balance is key in this conversation. I do not think that I would put abortion and gun issues in the same category, as the Bible is absolutely clear about murder, but it isn’t about gun-control. The point of the article is to urge people to be more evangelistic. To poke at your mind and ask you what your first thought is when you hear about death by gun. I think we ultimately agree. It’s just really easy to be sarcastic and worldly in how we think and talk and I think we need to be constantly reminded about our need to train our minds to think eternally. This post was directed to me as much as anyone else.

      • Jon Speed

        Actually the Biblical laws on self defense are quite applicable here.

        • Chris Nelson

          Amen

        • Jordan Standridge

          If the government came to take your guns away because they thought that citizens would be more safe without them, would you give them up?

          • Mark

            No. At that point the government is attempting to take away the power from the people which is what the 2nd Amendment protects. That is how our country was founded. The government must fear and work for the people, not the other way around.

          • mamatart

            My thought on that is that our government has sworn to uphold the Constitution of the United States. If they were to come and confiscate our guns, then they are no longer doing what they had sworn to do. Is God still sovereign? Yes. Honestly, until the government shows up at my door and asked for our guns, I really have no idea what I would do. I guess it would depend on the circumstances. If the 2nd Amendment was deleted and the Constitution was changed…then my thoughts on this might change. But until then, I feel justified in keeping my guns if the government unlawfully asks for them. But by NO means is gun control on the same level as sharing the gospel or making disciples. I agree with that. We are to keep our minds on things above…but we have to be able to walk through life from day to day and make choices that may or may not have eternal impact. But what I read in the article (and I will read it again) is that we are to shut our mouths in regards to gun rights. In light of the weight of the gospel, … in a vertical sense…we have no rights. It seemed to me that on a horizontal level, we are not to speak about guns. That was how it came across to me. I also think it is really good to just present the Scriptures and lead people to biblical application and conclusions. This came across to me as telling people how to think based on your conscience. I am not sure I am seeing the biblical implications of what you are communicating…I am seeing your application of those principles and that you are encouraging others to apply them in the same way.

          • Jordan Standridge

            I see what you’re saying. If this were a sermon here’s my 3 point outline. Don’t stop talking about gun control! Just don’t be sarcastic when you do and be more evangelistic. That’s all. Thanks for commenting.

  • rob999

    Thanks Jordon, a good reminder that there is only one way this gets fixed and it is not government or more laws.
    It is so easy to post on social media without thinking, maybe before posting run it by Jesus first.

    • Dave

      Rob, I would even venture to say, “there is only one way this gets fixed and it is not government (more or less) or laws (more or less).”

  • Dave

    Great post Jordan. This is the kind of thing Christian leaders should be focusing on.

  • Jason

    These events not only demonstrate our mortality, but it should aid us in having a better appreciation for the gospel.

    The promise that all the evil in the world is temporary is at the heart of promise of God’s coming kingdom. We could destroy every gun on the planet, or ensure that every person could carry their own weapon, and evil would still be expressed and suffering would still result. The Gospel is the only promise anyone has ever made that actually deals with the issue instead of the symptoms.

    • That’s the bottom line. More Christians need this perspective.

  • wesley scott

    I love the outlook on this!! I have been looking at Romans 12:2 and trying to have God take my every thought captive. We have to change the way we think immediately. To live is Christ, but to die is gain. Focus on where others could spend eternity, it helps clear things up. Good Read!!!

    • Jordan Standridge

      Amen Wesley. Thanks for your encouragement.

  • Ira Pistos

    Jordan, you’ve been granted a mighty gift. Though I know you will, allow me to say keep up the good work.

    Thank you for the needed exhortation.

    • Jordan Standridge

      thank you Ira.

  • Andy Jones

    I’m not comfortable having Christians choose between temporal justice and eternal justice. When we hear of any shooting, we should want to see victims protected and perpetrators punished. We want to see all wrongs set right. We want people to be right with God as well. I fear your post may leave Christians feeling that the former should be devalued for the sake of the latter.

    • Ira Pistos

      The former has its place in this world. If history serves as a teaching tool, then one of the things that it teaches is that a community with a Christian majority excels at protection and justice.
      It is not devalued but must always be remembered to pale to before the later.

    • Jordan Standridge

      I’m not asking you to choose between the two. I’m also not saying that you cannot have concurrent thoughts. What I am saying is that Christians should think differently and respond differently than the world. So many people were posting sarcastic things on Facebook. I was tempted to think that way as well. This is a call to myself to be more eternally minded and you’re welcome to join me as well. We should value eternity above any comfort this life can offer.

  • Michael Payne

    Jordan, dualism is unbecoming of a Christian. Men are dead, and they are done here, but the saint is to take every thought captive and to separate Christian thought from politics is to be a humanist. Gnosticism is an old heresy that stated the physical is unimportant and the spiritual is important. Yet, Paul declared, I am a citizen of Rome! Dual citizenship is the lot of all saints. When there is a conflict between citizenship, we declare, JESUS is Lord. We are Christians and put forth the claims of Jesus as the King of kings and every area including gun control is under Him and important. The instant response of those who would disarm us and create a godstate does not wait for the funeral. Likewise in battle a soldier cannot grieve his friends death when the enemy is attacking. Our obligation as ambassadors of King Jesus is to press His crown rights over every area of life, including Guns. We would not need to react to the gun grabbers if they were not so quick to use crisis for disarming the people. Sadly brother, your imbalanced approach aids the threat and if effective will leave many more dead to grieve over. Perhaps a more church militant approach would have had everyone in that facility who was able toting a gun and many hell bound people would be alive to hear the Gospel of Christ, The King! Today, we are once again facing the real threat of Kaiser Curios (Caesar is Lord) and we once again respond Kaiser Jesus Christos (Jesus Christ is Lord). Gun control is no small unimportant area, the claims of Jesus Christ as King or kings is at stake in every area of life. May I suggest you read Gary North’s, Backward Christian Soldier or Greg Bahnsen’s, By This Standard. Both free online. While not free, I would love to recommend RJ Rushdoony’s Flight From Humanity also. Blessings brother!

    • Alex

      Michael, unless I am simply misreading your post, it seems you are advocating that our pursuit of Bible-aligning secular rights should be equally weighted with our pursuit of Bible-commanded evangelism. Further, that any attempt to prioritize between the two would result in “dualism.”

      I am not sure I can affirm your statement that “our obligation as ambassadors of King Jesus is to press His crown rights over every area of life, including guns.” I would be interested in where you find scriptural support for that idea. I certainly agree that when we, as Christians, are exercising our rights and our defense of rights, that it must be done in accordance with the commands and precepts belonging to Christ, found in His word. But that is a different idea entirely from the obligation to “press His crown rights” in every area. Let me say it another way: Jesus has appointed me, not as the Sheriff to enforce His authority, but as the messenger to announce His purposes.

      And lest you misunderstand my perspective, I am a proponent of the 2nd Amendment and an advocate for personally protecting oneself where needed. But, I do not consider those positions to be co-equal with my Christian nature or my obligation to evangelize and disciple. The point of Jordan’s post (and my comment) is not to say that Christians cannot support, advocate, or defend secular, temporal rights. It is that those rights must play second fiddle to our Great Commission mandate.

      • Chris Nelson

        Protecting innocents is not second fiddle, this echos the gnosticism Michael is warning about.

        • Alex

          I am in no way advocating that divine mandate does not intersect with secular authority and human practice. Nor am I proposing that salvation is found through special, spiritual knowledge reserved for “true Christians.” Furthermore, I fully believe that the one, supreme, divine God entered into the physical world via a hypostatic union in the person of Jesus which makes possible salvation for all who would repent and place their faith in Him. So, could we kindly drop the Gnosticism label.

          My mission to evangelize is not inextricably linked to my right to bear the sword. (Which, incidentally, is a right proscribed to nations in Romans 13.) I do believe that I have the right to defend myself and others, and I think Luke 22:36 is sufficient to affirm that personal protection is expected of Christians.

          But I am not commissioned by Christ as His ambassador for/against gun control. I wasn’t baptized into the NRA. I have a host of opinions, which I sincerely hope are informed by and aligned with Scripture, on a variety of topics, but none of which are my mission on earth as through Christ were making an appeal through me (2 Cor 5:20).

          If you would like, I would be glad to meet you at the gun range and talk about the implications of the Great Commission while we send rounds downrange.

          • Michael Payne

            Alex, you are clearly a good mug brother; however, every opinion you and I hold that is not for Christ, is not neutral, it is against Him. He is involved hair count, fallen sparrows, lilies of the field, and you guessed it, every opinion on earth and in heaven. To claim neutrality is to oppose Christ and to believe an impossibility. If I drive by a burning wreck and people are screaming, I am not neutral. If I get out and watch their screams, I am not neutral, and if I yank them out of the fire, I am not neutral. Abraham Kuyper encapsulated this when he declared: “There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry, Mine!” – Abraham Kuyper Corrie Ten Boom and the Hiding place that hid Hid Jews from German barbarity did not happen in a vacuum. The pacifist church sang their hymns louder to drown out the cries of the Jews, or worse, manned the gates of concentration camps, but he church militant asked, what does Christ require of us? Corrie’s Daddy answered the same way Rahab the redeemed harlot and grandma of Jesus Christ did, resistance to tyranny is obedience to God. Not anarchy! Never! But faithful obedience to God bringing every thing God entrusts to us under Him. We create our own little section of the garden, restoring an inch for the King. What we touch belongs to Him. Isn’t it funny how a few sexual perverts get their way in our land, and millions and millions of Christians can’t seem to stem the tide of a few perverts? Do not attribute this to conspiracies. They do exist (Ps 2), but they always exist. It is God who decides, not some men in a closet. Read Deuteronomy 28, please. Recognize that God is covenantal, he sets before us the requirement to obey Him or suffer sanctions at His hand, by His agents. While this hell we desire will be for the good of the saints in the end, why would we ask for curses instead of blessings? We cannot claim it is not Christians. Look at Leodecia, a recipient of a loved letter from Christ.

          • Alex

            I have never heard the phrase “good mug brother,” but I like it! I hope it is a wonderful as it sounds. I’m picturing coffee.

            And I agree with the idea that there is nothing “neutral” in our opinions/actions. Either I am bringing every thought captive in submission to Christ, or I am not (2 Cor 10:5).

            That does not mean that every thought is co-equal. It simply cannot be. I have an opinion on Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Lattes. That opinion causes me to make purchasing decisions. Those decisions lead to actions. But those actions will always be second to the opinions, decisions, and actions which relate to the gospel.

            And I cannot allow my opinions about coffee/Starbucks/capitalism detract from my obligation to be an evangelist. In the same way, I am not pretending that my opinions concerning gun rights, or illegal search and seizure rights, or freedom of press rights are divorced from the heart change wrought by the work of the Holy Spirit in me. And I am all too willing to share my thoughts on those issues. But, we must be built on something stronger than concealed carry ideology.

            Let me express my reasoning this way… I wholeheartedly desire that my nation’s laws will reflect God’s character and intentions – especially as it relates to personal liberty and abortion. I will ardently support measures to see that happen. But, sinful people will make sinful decisions, elect sinful representatives, and pass sinful laws. If my desire is God-fearing government, it comes from individual redemption stories played out in macro-scale.

      • Chris Nelson

        We cannot evangelize a dead person, their spiritual state has been sealed.

      • Michael Payne

        Thank you for the integrity of your response Alex. I am not a regular, and was just passing through doing research when I read this well meaning brother’s comments. I seek not division, we have enough of that. Rather I seek unity in the truth and we must be able to challenge each other seriously.

        Let me try to explain: The great commission, read it slowly. Preach, baptize, and DISCIPLE NATIONS to obey Christ, the Prophet, Priest, and King. Prophet brought us and is truth, Christ the priest saved us by his own sacrifice, and Christ the King rules us. All men and nations are obligated to obey God’s Law, and Jesus is the same God who gave his Law in the Garden, repeated it with more clarity at Sinai, and still more clarity at the Sermon Mount and commanded His saints to teach it in the great commission. While all Christians know that we are saved by grace Eph 2:8-9 because we are all needy sinners, yet most, in our day have not been taught the next verse “unto good works”. Yet Rev 14:12 and 12:17 and Jesus and the epistles over and over tell us, the saints are those who have the testimony of Jesus and keep the commandments of God. Just like David, we love God’s Law. Never to justify us, but it is the reflection of God’s Character and is our source of ethics. Or we listen to the serpant and determine good and evil ourselves.

        Now, let us look at your example, of a magistrate (sherriff). Let us suppose that I am a lawmaker. I go to my Bible and I believe locking men in prisons like animals is satanic and not permissible for God’s minister of justice. I posit another bill that says we may not oppress the poor or the rich, we must meet out justice and not posit mischief as law. Low and behold Scripture tells me that if a man robs his neighbor of $10K, he is to repay his neighbor $20K. Restitution, return what was stolen and an equal amount to what was stolen given to THE VICTIM. Not the state, no fines to encourage thieving judges, police, or any other would-be magisterial thief. However, so many of my brethren do not think the Bible applies to every area and they vote for cages and build a gov’t corporate fascist model 🙂 . Now, said thief gets the victims taxes raised, is housed at anywhere from 50-250k a year in a large business, that always needs customers – prison. Radical I know, but we went over 200 years without prisons or police departments in America, and we didn’t hang everyone as ignorant people posit. When Caesar recognizes his rightful place to punish evil doers, evil is driven more from the land and it restores creation more under Christ. When Caesar, and I might add millions and millions of saints forget this, you get Abortion on demand and perversion in marriage. Now, let us fast forward. On the docket is a bill to hack the hand off thieves because wicked men flood our nation with Islam.

        Anyways, now the Muslims are pushing for limb removal, and they win. Alex is the Sherriff and he is instructed to bring a young man to hand removal. What governs Alex’s response? Is it Scripture? Emotion? Convention? Now, I cite the NT, even though the saints didn’t have it for centuries until in God’s providence it was presented to the bride as a fuller revelation of our God. Timothy new the Scriptures from his youth, and it wasn’t the NT. However, because we have been taught God evolved, I will cite the NT. We do not see, lock in cages, or hack off hands, so do we presume that since God didn’t forbid tripping blind people in the NT it is OK? What if I like being tripped, can I do it to others? No.

        We see, let him who stole, steal no more, but work with his……hands (plural), tada. No limb removal. We get our ethics from precept (direct commands), principle derived from those precepts, and normative patterns.

        For example, in the NT, we read of the condemnation of murderers. Here I will cite the Westminster Shorter Chatechism’s understanding of the “Thou Shalt Not Kill”, the 6th commandment, most saints still believe murder is forbidden, and even want pagan abortion doctors to be held to account for it and long for the day when righteous men will rule and punish these evil murderers. Praise God. Anyways, here is a question and answer (from memory). What is required of the 6th commandment? Answer: do all in your power to preserve your own life (no suicide), and the life of those around you (in your jurisdiction). Now, if the tyrannical state does not take away the modern swords that Christ told us to buy, we then glorify God by placing well aimed shots on Mr and Mrs Muslim when they enter that facility to murder all those image bearers. Now, the health department is evil, but they know not what they do. However, they may love you and hear your proclamation of Christ because you honored God by stopping an evil husband and wife team. Perhaps you did a poor job and the wicked are still breathing, now in God’s providence you have an opportunity to tell them of their need of Christ, and not to delay, as they will meet Him shortly as either savior, husband, and king, or as king and judge.

        Here is the reality brother, there but for the grace of God, you and I are suicide bombers, or serial killers. I recently watched Ted Bundy’s interview with James Dobson, hours before his execution. He needed to be executed; however, I wept tears of Joy hearing him speak of Christ. Oh, do not think I care not for the wicked. I weep for them, preach to them, but my great concern, greater concern, by far is the Bride of Jesus Christ and she is being ravaged by well intentioned men who have a not so great commission that births many babies, praise God!!!! But sadly, leaves them to survive on pablum and perpetual childhood while they sit and wait while the walls are in rubble. We were made for better things.

        Rise up, pick up your sword, and your trowel and do what you were made for, work and war. Recognizing that we are educated by those who would make us stupid, I speak in metaphor. We are armed with truth and we have a work of dominion to bring everything under Christ. If you are not the sherriff, you don’t have his jurisdiction, if you are not the president you do not have his. But we demand they obey God Ps2. But you do have your jurisdiction, and it is being taken from you and shepherds are complicit. Dominion is an evil word when a pascifist church hears it and it scares the wicked to hear the saints use it, but it is our work through the great commission. It is our job and dominion does not go away, it only transfers, to your boss, wife, the state. Dominion is what the Puritans did to build this country and though they are lied about and maligned, they were spiritual giants and we are like spoiled brats living off the spiritual capital they saved. When that account is empty hell will break loose and it won’t be end times nonsense, it will be God’s sovereign judgment on the Church in America. It is not too late: 2 Chron 7:14.

        Today, we are witnessing another tower being built, the godstate. It is not a sign of the end times, it is a sign of Deuteronomy 28 and the only way to remove a curse from our land is to see what the curser says about it. Your conservative, Christian, prolife, anti-homo politician won’t do it. Salvation is of the Lord. This is not promoting passivity, to the contrary, it is a declaration of war on all God’s enemies, and a demand that they surrender unconditionally to their rightful King, Jesus Christ or suffer His displeasure and wrath, whether they believe it or not. It is time for men of God to grow up. Frankly, I am rebuked writing this to you.

        Alex, I offer you two books: first one is free: Gary North, Unconditional Surrender it is a primer on Christianity that may help you to get a more balanced view. Second one just came out and is really relevant to how a sherrif for example or governor, or you and me should respond to tyranny. Matthew Trewella, The Lesser Magistrate.

        BTW, George Grant gave a lecture titled: Abraham Kuyper, the Man Hitler Feared Most. It is the story of one man recovering a nation through a return to the Scripture as Sufficient for every good work and taking EVERY thought captive to the obedience of Jesus Christ.

        Does a fish know he is wet? Do we know how to think like Christians?

        • Alex

          Michael, I likewise thank you for the integrity of your response, and seek unity in truth.

          I’m not really sure how to respond to your comment. There is much about your comment that I would affirm and esteem.
          – “All men and nations are obligated to obey God’s law…”
          – “…we are saved by grace…unto good works…”
          – The Law cannot justify us, but does reflect God’s character and is the source (transitively) of our ethics.
          – Much of our governmental system is corrupted and strays from God’s law and character.
          – It is only the grace of God which separates my sinful heart from that of history’s most vile persons.

          However, I am not sure we are approaching this discussion from the same perspectives, and so the trajectories of our lines of reasoning begin to separate.

          I would not affirm that the Great Commission is a mandate to make disciples of the nations themselves. I understand your position (I think) as: it is the responsibility of the Church and her members, to bring the nations under her instruction in order to align with God’s Law (OT) and law (precepts). Passive Christians who fail to force all secular institutions, but especially governments, to align with such instruction are poor stewards of their jurisdictions. (Am I close to summarizing your position correctly?)

          I would say that we are called to make disciples from all the nations. I hold that position because disciple-making is an inherently individualized activity. Because nations, lacking a soul, cannot be discipled or redeemed. Because the general description of the NT is that Satan is the prince of the power of the air/this world, and that he exercises control over nations, albeit not sovereign control. I get that we might disagree on this premise, and that it will become a major source of distance in our conclusions.

          Having said that, with all charity, I think we are going to have some disagreement. I don’t think that the causes of “abortion on demand and perversion in marriage” is the abdication of either Christians or secular governments to enforce the Law. It is the depravity of sin made evident in a world filled with unredeemed sinners. Secular laws can no more change hearts today than it could under the kings of Israel.

          The general purpose of nations is to check evil and promote good (Gen 9:5-6; Rom 13). Where Christians find themselves empowered with dispensation of that national authority (as sheriffs, judges, presidents, etc.), they should do so in accordance with the precepts of Scripture. Individual Christians can continue to administer their jobs even in secular nation states, who are not working toward evangelizing the world (think Daniel working for kings Darius and Cyrus).

          I don’t think it is the mission of the church to build nations or redeem nations. It is to share the gospel with individual sinners. And, praise be to God, when those sinners exercise their Christian consciences, nations are changed in their wake. But I would not want to confuse secondary effects from primary intents.

          Finally, just a couple of questions from your post, which I don’t expect answers from, but I wasn’t sure how to interact with…

          – “However, because we have been taught God evolved, I will cite the NT.” I’m not sure what you are trying to say here. Perhaps this is a veiled reference in opposition to dispensationalism, perhaps not. Either way, I don’t believe God evolved. He is the same God from before the foundations of the earth, and continuing through eternity (Mal 3:6). That does not mean that God chooses to relate to all people in the same manner at all times. The OT Law was binding on Israel and a reflection of the unchanging character of an eternal God. The NT is the description of His covenant of grace which is the foundation for how His church should conduct itself.

          – “…so do we presume that since God didn’t forbid tripping blind people in the NT it is OK?” Gonna go with a not okay here. God’s principles concerning interpersonal relationships do not need to specifically address tripping for me to know I should not trip blind people. But, I think you’re making that same point as well, so I’ll just let it go.

          – “What governs Alex’s response?” I hope it is governed by conscience, informed by Scripture, and led by the Holy Spirit. I hope that I will obey man’s laws, and even enforce them, when I am not violating God’s laws in the process (Acts 4:19). I hope that I will work to elect officials who will do likewise in the discharge of their duties. I know that I will trust in God.

          – “It is not too late: 2 Chron 7:14.” I cringe at the application of this verse on the United States of America. Ditto for Deuteronomy 28. I recognize that this is a nigh unavoidable collision from our perspectives on Israel/people of God. But, the Mosaic Covenant made between God and Israel, whose blessings and curses are described in those passages, was not made with the USA nor the church in the USA. While the character of the God found in that covenant has not changed. We were not parties to that covenant. (I say this with charity, and not to incite a riot.)

          As a man who has picked up both sword and trowel on behalf of nation and Kingdom, I do not want to conflate the two in my mind. They are not co-equals in my heart.

          I apologize for my long-windedness. I appreciate your kind tone, and I hope it has been reciprocated in my comment.

          • Michael Payne

            Alex, you responded well. Thank you brother! Sadly, I think the issue was hit on well, when you stated you believe God is only interested in individuals salvation in heaven, essentially. I was not trying to attack dispensationalism; however, I implicitly did. Sorry, I refuse to take this thread that way. Jordan is clearly a good brother, and it is inappropriate for me to do that. If you ever drop me a line at Penguin Yell Coffee, we can talk more, because I do not desire to hijack this brothers thread. I will however assert that God’s Law is binding on the saint: Rev 12:17 and 14:12 and every book in the NT says the same. Also, I never would assert salvation by Law either individually or civil. However, every law ever written or spoken in the history of man is forced morality, forced religion, right down to speed limit signs and eat your veggies Johnny. We force what we believe about ethics, metaphysics and epistemology. The Christian must get his ethics from God’s Law, such as husbands be not bitter and love your wife. If we attack capitalism and posit socialism, we attack God and oppress the poor and build tyranny in the form of corporate fascism or individual soialism, two sides to the same coin. This oppresses the poor and is an affront to God and His Gospel. The beloved Apostle Paul says we are to pay faithful shepherds, by quoting Deut 25:4, don’t muzzle the Ox, a laborer is worthy of his wages. Why? Well, Jesus said Love God (Deut 6:5) and love your neighbor (Lev 19:18) on these two commands hang all the LAW and the prophets. So, how do I love God? Commands 1-4 in Exodus 20:5 No other God, No Idols, No messing with his name, and find time for your husband, Jesus. How do we love neighbor? Niceness?? No. commands 5-10, honor mom and dad, don’t murder, don’t love your neighbors wife while he is away from the house, don’t rob your neighbor, even by majority vote, don’t bare false witness againt your neighbor, and don’t even do any of these things in your heart. The barn animal is merely a case law, an example of the ten commanments, which is summarized in the two commandments. We pay pastors because of a barn animal in Det 25, because if you don’t pay a man you owe, or an animal for that matter, you are a thief and have broken the 8th commandment, and as a result you don’t love your neighbor (pastor), and how can you say you love God and hate your neighbor. Love is not sentimentality it is the fulfillment of the Law, which means we need to repent daily and love, or be noise. I wish I could say amen, but I think I need to say ouch. Now to beg God for grace to love. How do you take issue with a brother who says he is led by the spirit to do???….. Every thought captive or only some?

            Christ is a master and has slaves; however, his yoke is light. None love Him more than those he slew, their hearts are on fire to spread His gentle reign. As to nations, America’s founders did not happen in a vacuum, they were the offspring of Puritan thought. That is why American Law – property law, criminal law, tort law, etc.. were all taken from common law, which was lifted right out of Exodus 20 and the rest of the Old Testament. Christians took dominion because they sought a city on a hill. A Christian nation. Sure we can look at David, ancient Isreal or early America and find sin, lot of it, but let us not be deceived by the myth of the noble savage. Cannibalism the term came from the American Indian. Savagery abounded, and I could write a book. But if I go back in history and decide on a side, I can make either side look evil by what I choose to remember. Christians are woefully ignorant and can little more than quote humanist historians that are largely at war with Christendom and are not governed by integrity. But I digress.

            I know the context of Deut 28 and 2 Chron, but I also am convinced of its applicability to the our nation today. Jesus Christ, not Satan is the Governor of the Nations, the King of Kings. As Luther said, he may be the devil, but he is God’s devil and goes no further than the chain allows. Any nation that has been gospel enlightened and shrinks back, is judged. I think you might be persuaded by your charitable nature and apparent commitment to God’s Word. I know what I believed for years, as I come from your tent; however, being in the same camp, I exhort you brother to consider giving your theological opponents an opportunity on the witness stand before believing the prosecuting attorney (other theological camps). I don’t know if you have given your theological opponents an opportunity to challenge your theology, or if you know of your opponents only from your tents pulpits. Proverbs 18:13 declares it is folly and shame to decide a matter before looking into it. Hearing only one sides perspective is hardly a fair trial. God’s Law or tyranny, anarchy, and God’s judgment.

    • Chris Nelson

      Good word Michael

  • Chris Nelson

    A misguided piece, we must reject this dualism that smacks of gnosticism. Dead people cannot be evangelized, their spiritual state is sealed.

  • 4Commencefiring4

    Your point is well taken regarding eternity. No one can argue that’s not ultimately important.

    We can, however, walk AND chew gum. Matters of this life should still be addressed even as some other matters are more important. Jesus fielded questions about the mundane and the perplexing issues of daily life–divorce, inheritances, health, taxes–while still reminding them of eternity, as He did when citing the tower in Siloam that fell, killing 18 people.

    Christians need to be actively plugged into the happenings of the day, it seems to me. We can’t be “salt and light” by standing on the sidelines while the evil of this world prospers. The dark side is sure engaged, so we’d better be–or they will win…until eternity.

    • Jordan Standridge

      Absolutely I completely agree, but i’ll say my main point again, you (general not 4commence) are not being salt or light by being sarcastic and downright hateful. Like Alex said I’m all for the 2 amendment and am against gun control, I’m merely calling on Christians to care more about eternity rather than how comfortable we are in this life. I am tempted to care about my security, and I need to beat myself over the head in order to remember to store up treasure in heaven rather than on earth. I’m not judging anyone’s heart but after seeing dozens of anti-gun control posts and sarcastic comments about California/Obama/Muslims etc… and enjoying them, I realized I was being tempted not to think about the souls that just were judged, and I put my thoughts down on a blog. 700 people liked it and 2 folks on the comment board called me a gnostic.

      • 4Commencefiring4

        Well, don’t beat yourself up too bad over the naysayers. The older I get, the more I’m convinced that there is not one single statement with which absolutely everyone agrees (except, perhaps, that one.)

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  • Diane Tucker

    How do we know they are in hell? That nine of those killed hadn’t accepted Christ?

    • Jordan Standridge

      Hey Diane we have no idea where they are the point is that they are somewhere and that they are still living.

  • adamantcritique

    This is such a weakly written post that it is hard to even comprehend my criticisms…but I can sure try.
    1. Yes, great lets think about the people who died and their eternal condition, but we should not just think. After ANOTHER of these horrific attacks, it would make sense to actually do something, especially to prevent people from dying whose eternal fates may lead them to hell.
    2. Essentially we should work towards and with those who are attempting to prevent murder, and if that means standing with or GASP agreeing with a political party attempting to make positive change in this country to prevent more senseless murder than so be it.
    3. Looking at the Daily News cover. Was it crass and in your face? yes…was it necessary…also yes. Instead of jumping on the “christianity being attacked” bandwagon, how about respond with…the christianity being represented by the republican party is being attacked…and rightly so. Look at the politicians represented on the cover and their pious tweets about praying for victims and families. How are their prayers and deep solemn thoughts to be taken seriously when all of those politicians refuse to do anything to fight the infrastructure that allows gun violence. It is hypocritical and idiotic, and that is what they Daily News is pointing out.
    4. Dualism. We are both citizens of the world God created, and of his eternal kingdom. While we obviously await the day when we are welcomed into that we cannot ignore our present situation and the world around us. What kind of world do we want to live in? A country where people fight for the right to own weapons that are designed with the intent to kill, and allow that to happen on a regular basis, or rather live in a country that adamantly works to prevent violence such as this, through proper legislation inhibiting the ownership and possession of weapons that allow for senseless murder.

    So before you go and attack democrats and people who fight for more gun legislation, it seems important to think about the intentions of both sides. Yes, we may not be guaranteed safety in this life but does that mean we should allow gun violence to go unchecked. Sounds pretty stupid to me. Especially coming from someone who lived in a country where gun laws are extremely stringent and the effects are evident, this is an extremely surprising stance.

    • Jordan Standridge

      Hey Luke,

      Thanks for your thoughts. I appreciate you stopping by and commenting. You talked to me more in this comment that in the year and a half I’ve been at Immanuel! I would love to chat with you face to face sometime. As you can see in the comment section this post has made people angry on both sides not just democrats but republicans as well. My desire in posting this was not to mock Democrats, but instead to call Christians to follow Jesus and find hope in Him rather than legislation. I don’t have a very strong stance on this issue and am open to learn more. Hopefully you’ll finally take me up on the offer to hang out!

  • flyslinger2

    Our founding fathers, religious fanatics by today’s standards-normal back then, clearly understood that without self protection there wouldn’t be religious freedom. You can’t witness if you can’t protect yourself.

    • “You can’t witness if you can’t protect yourself.”
      I strongly disagree with that statement. We are to turn the other cheek, make peace with our accusers, and bear persecution for the sake of the gospel. We witness by “being persecuted for righteousness’ sake” and “when others revile you, and persecute you and utter all kind of evil against you falsely” on the account of Christ. “Defending yourself” more often than not undercuts your witness, it doesn’t establish it.