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  • Writer's pictureChapman Chen

Jesus is Pro Second Amendment! 耶穌撐持槍權!By Chapman Chen, HKBNews

Updated: Dec 23, 2020

Summary: Jesus would defend the Second Amendment -- the right to keep and bear arms. He said, " I came not to send peace, but a sword." (Matt. 10:34). Before his crucifixion, he instructed his disciples to purchase swords for self-defense in future missions (Luke 22:35-38). People frequently argue that it is wrong for Christians to exercise self-defense by referencing the two following speeches of Jesus'. First, in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus seemingly asked people to "turn the other cheek." But the point there is: when someone insults you, do not respond by insulting in return. Second, when Judas took a band of armed officers to arrest Jesus, Peter drew his sword, but Jesus ordered him to put up his sword into the sheath, "for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword" (Matthew 26: 52). There Jesus was accepting arrest so that biblical prophecies can be fulfilled, and he was concerned with Peter's safety as he was outnumbered. Moreover, in the Old Testament, every Israelite was expected to keep their own arms for defending their nation and it was not considered a crime or sin to kill a burglar.

“Jesus is a proponent of carrying”

The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution reads: "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

According to conservative leader and Wall Builders founder David Barton, the original intent of the Founding Fathers when writing the Second Amendment was to guarantee citizens "the biblical right of self-defense." Indeed, “Jesus would fight for our Second Amendment,” wrote Former Gov. Sarah Palin (R-Alaska) on her Facebook page on 20 November 2015. “Shoot, even the Lord said to take up arms and defend yourself and protect the innocent,” added Palin, who was a GOP vice presidential candidate in 2008. Palin then refereed to Biblical scripture in defense of her position on gun rights protected by the Constitution. “Don’t believe me?” she asked. "Look it up – Luke 22:36. Proof that Jesus is a proponent of carrying.”

Jesus Commanded his Disciples to Buy Swords

As recorded in Luke 22, while delivering his farewell speech to the disciples before going to the cross, Jesus instructed the apostles to purchase weapons to carry for self-defense. To borrow the words of Mary Fairchild (2018), "He was preparing them for the extreme opposition and persecution they would face in future missions":

And he said to them, "When I sent you out with no moneybag or knapsack or sandals, did you lack anything?" They said, "Nothing." He said to them, "But now let the one who has a moneybag take it, and likewise a knapsack. And let the one who has no sword sell his cloak and buy one. For I tell you that this Scripture must be fulfilled in me... And they said, "Look, Lord, here are two swords." And he said to them, "It is enough." (Luke 22:35-38, ESV)

"I came not to send peace, but a sword"

As a matter of fact, Jesus said, "Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword." (Matthew 10:34 KJV).

Quite a few Pharisee-like pastors and ministers often try to persuade people to give up and even to condemn militant resistance against evil forces and dictatorships by quoting Jesus' famous phrases of "put up thy sword into the sheath" and "turn the other cheek." Let us debunk their myths once and for all.

Put the sword back in its place rather than get rid of it

When Judas took "a band of men and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees" with "torches and weapons" to arrest Jesus, Simon Peter drew his sword and "smote the high priest, and cut off his right ear". Jesus, however, said "unto Peter, Put up thy sword into the sheath: the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?" (John 18:3-12 KJV), "for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword"(Matthew 26: 52 KJV). Nonetheless, note that Jesus told Peter to put the sword back in its place rather than get rid of it. And the command has at least 2 significations.

1. Jesus was accepting arrest and death so that biblical prophecies could be

fulfilled (Matthew 26:35; Kopel 2017).

2. Jesus was warning Peter against fighting the whole band of armed officers alone lest that he would get killed (Barnes' Bible Commentary).

"Turn the other cheek" = Don't return insult

Fake ministers frequently quote Jesus’ words in Matthew 5:38-42 in order to brainwash believers into kowtowing to totalitarian regimes.

38 Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: 39 But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40 And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also. 41 And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. 42 Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.

"However, to argue that it is wrong to defend yourself and others – even when it involves lethal force – is an abuse of this text and actually cheapens Christ’s words," as stressed by Ben Giselbach (2014).

Look, in Matthew 5:38-42, Jesus was simply not talking about physical assault, wherein one’s life or security is endangered. Otherwise He would have used a different instance than a sheer slap on the cheek. "Christ did not intend to teach that we are to see our families murdered, or be murdered ourselves, rather than to make resistance...all laws, human and divine, justify self-defense when life is in danger," Albert Barnes wrote in his Matthew Bible Commentary. "Rather, Jesus is talking about insult and slander. Since most people are right-handed, how does one slap you on your right cheek if they are standing in front of you?" (Ben Giselbach 2014). What we find in verse 39 is imagery of someone striking your right cheek with the back of their hand, which was an ancient humiliation (cf. Job 16:10; Lam. 3:30; Matt. 26:67; John 18:22; 2 Cor. 11:20). A smack on the face was demeaning and dishonoring (Crain n.d.:183).

The point is this: when someone insults you, do not respond by insulting in return. The same is true for lawsuits for the purpose of selfish gain (v. 40), requests that are inconvenient to carry out (v. 41), and property rights when others have proper need (v. 42).

The OT endorses armed self-defense even more emphatically than the NT

Calvary Chapel St. Petersburg elder Mike Wilsbach reminded Mary Fairchild (2018) that in the Old Testament, "the Israelites were expected to have their own personal weapons. Every man would be summoned to arms when the nation confronted an enemy. They didn't send in the Marines. The people defended themselves."

"Every man strap on his sword!"

We see this unmistakably in passages like 1 Samuel 25:13:

And David said to his men, "Every man strap on his sword!" And every man of them strapped on his sword. David also strapped on his sword. And about four hundred men went up after David, while two hundred remained with the baggage. (1 Samuel 25:13 ESV) So, each man had a sword ready to be holstered and used when necessary. Moreover, in Psalm 144:1, David wrote: "Blessed be the Lord, my rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle..."

God Himself even raised up leaders such as Gideon, Ehud, Jepthah, Samson, and Deborah to throw off with weapons and armed forces tyrannical governments. These leaders are well praised in the Book of Judges and Hebrews 11: 32. Ehud actually assassinated King Eglon of Moab, who oppressed Israel.

God sanctioning self-defense

Apart from instruments of warfare, weapons were used in the Bible for the purpose of self-defense; nowhere in Scripture is this forbidden. Consider the following example of

of God sanctioning self-defense:

"If a thief is caught in the act of breaking into a house and is struck and killed in the process, the person who killed the thief is not guilty of murder." (Exodus 22:2 NLT)

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