The Grace of God

That Brings Salvation Has Appeared to All Men (Titus 2:11)

Proudly Armed Christians, or Humble Cross-Carrying Disciples?

***The following is a note I published on Facebook, after being grieved by the warmongering, gun-praising,  civil-war promoting, and president & party-bashing that is happening among professing Christians.***

I recognize that guns are not responsible for the murders we are seeing, and confiscation of guns cannot prevent them.

I recognize that our constitution has made provision for self-defense and the rights of human beings (except unborn children, of course, who continue to die while we post on Facebook and YouTube about our rights.)

However, I also believe that guns will not be responsible for saving us all from the brokenness in our government and nation. Whether the current surge of murders is caused by lone lunatics strung out on psychotropic drugs,  or the government itself sacrificing people to disarm us (as some say), I do not know for sure.  The brokenness is pervasive. The whole head is sick and the whole heart faint, from the leadership to the unknowns in the streets.

What I do know is that I am a follower of Christ–not a tea-partier, gun advocate, or Republican (or Democrat). I do not follow Alex Jones;  I follow Jesus Christ.  God has not given me the spirit of fear that Alex Jones exudes, but love, power and a sound mind.  The “revelations” of Alex Jones may very well be true to some extent, but the revelations of Jesus Christ are TRUER.

Not a hair of my head will perish even if I perish. I am not to fear those who can kill the body.  I am to give my witness boldly and with confidence, and if I die doing so, my life will be bettered by far.

I do not want the raging attitude of Alex Jones;  I want the attitude of Jesus, who “made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and…humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” (Phil. 2:7-8)

I am armed with only one cure for my God-hating nation–the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And my duty is to take up my cross, deny myself–and my rights–and follow Jesus.  My duty is to take this message into all the world, beginning with those close to me, and teach others to obey Jesus. I know this–those who do obey the gospel will not become mass-murderers or plot to take away the rights of others.

If this stance makes me “weak” in the eyes of some, then I will glory in my weakness, choosing it rather than to appear strong in their eyes.

Jesus is not telling me to buy more guns, post pictures of our president with horns on his head, or encourage my children to kill those people who infringe on their rights. I cannot do what He is not telling me to do, nor can I approve of those things.

Yes, satan is the god of this world, and a nation that hates God will have plenty of puppets doing his will.  This is understood, yet Scripture does not command us to rail against our governments or prepare for civil war.

What Jesus is telling me in secret, I will declare here on this “rooftop,” knowing in advance that some will not receive it, yet hoping my testimony will make a difference–Get your personal house in order, keep oil in your lamp, share the truth of true freedom from sin & death with as many as will listen, and endure to the end in faithfulness to the King.

His kingdom is not of this world. His kingdom is not America, Great Britain, your neighborhood, or your personal property fortified with stores of bullets and dehydrated food that will last a hundred years.

The Hebrews 11 saints who lived in caves were too good for this world, according to God. Some of us are too in love with this world to be any good for it.  This is a snare set for our souls.  Many saints have had their goods confiscated for Christ, or have watched their children die before their very eyes. These are blessed and their good works have followed them, and they will not lose their reward.

What has changed in the hearts of Christians over the centuries?–Whatever it is, it needs to be crucified. Crusaders in the past never advanced true Christianity, and they cannot advance it today.

Christians are called to die. We speak of the cross in such poetic terms and then we declare proudly that we will kill others to protect our homes and our stuff. Are we so easily drawn away from the One we profess to follow?  Do we really follow the Lamb wherever He goes, or have we put qualifications on our obedience?  Are we letting patriotism and self-love lead us off the true path onto a path that seems right but ends in death?–For those who live by the sword will die by the sword.

The church of Jesus Christ is not American, British, or any other nationality. It consists of remnants of many nations made into one Body, one holy nation, a royal priesthood, a peculiar people who love one another and choose to love their enemies. If you cannot love your enemies, then you are not so peculiar, for even sinners love those who love them (Luke 6:32.)

These peculiar people do not learn war anymore, but have turned their instruments of death into plowshares, and are busy trying to bring forth lasting fruit for the kingdom of God.  They are eager to turn their enemies into followers of Jesus.  They are too busy interceding for their enemies’ souls to study how to kill them.

They know that this nation cannot last, just as the beautiful stones in Herod’s temple–so admired by the misled disciples–would all be cast down.  For there is only one Kingdom that lasts forever, and it shall break in pieces and consume all other kingdoms (Daniel 2:44). Nations that forget God shall be turned into hell (Psalm 9:17).

The peculiar people of God know that war is inspired by lust, and self-defense is not a Kingdom-of-God principle.  They believe that in order to produce fruit that will last, a seed must enter the ground and die. They are willing to die if need be, not to protect things that moths eat and rust destroys, but to glorify the Truth in Christ that is incorruptible.

They recognize that the slave who is in Christ is the Lord’s freed man, and the Lord’s free man is also a slave.

They understand that this nation is falling–as all nations that hate God fall–but it cannot be resuscitated  by the fleshly arms of patriotism and militarism.

They see through the vanities of this life, and pursue the things that cannot be destroyed.

I know some will read this who have arguments for “just war” and self-defense. I know the arguments. All I am asking is that we examine ourselves and see if we are really walking in the Spirit of Christ in this world. It is heartbreaking to watch our nation crumble and become so literally insane. It is hard to see the just punished for what the wicked do, especially if the government itself is deceiving us (a possibility, in my opinion.)

But what should be our response if we are to remain blameless before God?

I have said this before, but it bears repeating. Some of us are fighting the wrong enemies in the wrong war with the wrong weapons. We need to make sure that our efforts are being spent in a way that pleases God.

The Word declares that we do not fight against flesh and blood but against spiritual powers, and our weapons are not carnal–guns, bullets, raging words–but mighty in God for the pulling down of strongholds. Is our focus on setting flesh and blood free from lying strongholds with the powerful Word of God, or is our focus on storing up carnal weapons to fight flesh and blood for rights and belongings we think we deserve?

Are we sidetracked by the subtle enemy who says, “Do things my way and I will give you all this?”–I say that many of us are, and we need to be very careful.

What was the response of Christ to tyranny, and what was the response of His disciples to wicked governments and unjust laws? Where did they submit, and where did they refuse to surrender?  Did they defend the truth of the gospel to their own deaths, or did they defend their personal rights and their personal stuff with carnal weapons?

In our search for answers, let us not draw from the “founding fathers of America,” but let us draw from the Scriptures and the examples given us by the great cloud of witnesses. For we are not called to make Americans and patriots, but converts to the eternal Kingdom of God.

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