Some Christians are cowards.
What else explains their belief that guns are ever a Christian choice?
Plenty of churches have no problem with guns, with violence, with the idea of ‘defending’ others with violence.
If a congregation believes it needs to be defended by armed guards, it has lost the point of the Gospels.
Some will say killing is justified if it is done to defend others. This is the “just war” philosophy.
Many Christians say that guns and violence were needed to defeat the Nazis. But Nazi Germany was a failure of Christians. If German Christians had better lived the lesson of Jesus, the Nazi party would never have taken power. If Christians in Germany had refused to take up weapons, there would have been no Nazi and no need to stop them.
What about other countries, or terrorists, who resort to violence? How do Christian societies respond to their violence, you may ask.
In all of history, no war, no conflict, no disagreement, no argument ends with a final gunshot. Wars finally end at the table of peace negotiations. A fight can’t occur if one side refuses to fight. Rather than act violently, if the needs or interests of violent actors are addressed, it reduces their need for violence. If access to weapons of war are restricted, then the chances of violence are reduced even further. If Christians lived the teaching of Jesus, there would be less suffering, less hunger, less scarcity, less want; fewer reasons for violent people to be violent
Guns are the ultimate form of violence, and violence is the ultimate failure. Christians believing guns are the right answer is the ultimate failure of Christianity.
If Christians have Jesus, why do they need guns?
If Christians have guns, do they really have Jesus?
Violence isn’t the teaching of Jesus, it’s the exact opposite of the teaching of Jesus. If someone strikes us, Jesus didn’t say defend ourselves.
In Christ’s example, there is no room for violence. Christ could have responded with violence, he could have defended himself. And he did not. For hundreds of years, followers of Christ followed his example and died, rather than defend themselves.
Nowhere in scripture does Jesus suggest killing or hurting anyone.
Some misunderstand Jesus when he says, “do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.” (Matt 10:34) This is metaphorical, not literal. It represents the people who are separated from others because they follow Jesus.
In the only Biblical example of a Jesus follower acting violently, Jesus stops him. When Peter cuts off the ear of a Roman, Jesus heals the wounded man and tells Peter, “put your sword back in its place, for all who draw the sword will die by the sword.” (Matt 26:52)
“In disarming Peter, Christ disarms all Christians.” — Tertullian (160-220 CE)
Jesus tells us to not respond to evil with evil. To turn the other cheek. To love our enemies. In fact, Jesus tells us to love everyone.
Why do people carry guns? Because they are afraid they will be confronted by someone else with a gun. And they surrender to fear.
It’s fearful and irrational to believe that guns are a Christian response. What’s Jesus’ response? To fight back, or to allow himself to be hit again? Do we curse those who attack us, or pray for them? Do we pull out a weapon, or do we love them like God loves us?
Jesus tells us to not be afraid.
More than 300 times, scripture says to not be afraid.
You can’t shoot people while you’re following Jesus. It just doesn’t work that way. Scripture is clear. Jesus is clear. The life and example of Jesus are crystal clear.