I know several brothers who own firearms. What do you think about Christians owning firearms for self defense? -- Jason Reichert (Atlanta)

Weapons for hunting are one thing... killing one's enemy is quite another.... but firearms for self-defense? Hmm.....

I'd say this is a judgment call for each brother to make. While I do not own any arms (apart from the two attached to my shoulders), I confess that I do keep a golf putter under my bed. Not to practice my golf--which is beyond redemption--but just in case I might need to scare off a burglar. I would not want to have a gun in my home, for a number of reasons. So why do I keep another "weapon"? Perhaps this is a sign of weak faith? Or common sense? Opinions will vary.

The same arguments against owning weapons ("trust God") could also, presumably, be used against locks, burglar alarms, savings, insurance... the list is endless! On the other hand, the Lord did say, "Put your sword back in its place! For all who take hold of the sword will die by the sword" (Matthew 26:52 NET).

And if you want to explore what the early church taught about violence, the gladiatorial games, military service, and so forth--well, that is an entirely different (though related) matter! But be prepared for some big surprises.

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