FAITH and FIREARMS
By Dr. Peter Hammond
“But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the Faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” 1 Timothy 5:8
Fathers and husbands are required by Almighty God to provide for their families. This includes not only providing food, housing, clothing, education, medical care, love, discipleship and spiritual guidance, but also protection. Of what worth is all the other provision if one does not provide protection as well? Anyone who fails to provide for their family has denied the Faith and is worse than an unbeliever. In fact, those who refuse to protect their young are worse than an animal. What animal will not fight to protect its offspring?
Our Lord Jesus Christ told His disciples that: “He who has no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one.” Luke 22:36
The Law of God is clear. “If the thief is found breaking in, and he is struck so that he dies, there shall be no guilt for his bloodshed.” Exodus 22:2
The Law of God establishes the basic right of self-defence. Any person is justified in defending himself, or his family, whenever they are attacked or their lives are endangered. Any weapon is permissable for use in self-defence. The Law of God does not say that the home owner is guilty if he uses a sword, but innocent if he uses a club. The issue is not one of weapons, but the right and duty of self-defence.
Resistance to Tyranny
During a slide presentation at a church in America, the pastor objected to the Christians in Sudan taking up arms against the Sudanese government. He was much offended by the prevalence of fire arms in the hands of Sudanese Christians. So I asked what Christians in America celebrate on the 4 th July? He seemed somewhat confused, so I reminded him that their Founding Fathers had unilaterally declared Independence from Great Britain on 4 July 1776. The British called it a rebellion.
The American colonists took up arms against the Crown because the British had failed to rule the Americans in accordance with the Magna Carta of 1215 and the English Declaration of Rights of 1689. King George had violated his coronation oath. The American Founding Fathers maintained that the British government was no longer an authority to be submitted to, but a tyrannical power to be resisted. How then could Americans object to Christians in Sudan doing what they had done in 1776?
Protecting our Families
I then pointed out that, in the entranceway to their church, they had a framed, colour picture on the wall, of early American settlers walking to church, carrying their rifles with their Bibles. I reminded him that many churches in America, in the 17 th Century, fined men if they came to church without a rifle! 1 Timothy 5:8 requires men to make provision for their family and declares that any who fail to do so deny the Faith and are worse than an unbeliever. Churches penalised men who showed such irresponsibility as to fail to carry a weapon for the defence of their family.
I then had to point out that Sudan, today, with slave raiders kidnapping children, burning crops, looting cattle, poisoning wells, destroying churches and crucifying pastors, is far more dangerous than America was in the 1600s.