Continuing: "Search for the Armed Christian." From Matthew chapter 10, verses 28 - 39, Jesus speaking, sending forth His disciples:
"And do not fear those who kill the body, but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both body and soul in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Therefore do not fear; you are of more value than many sparrows. Everyone therefore who shall confess Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever shall deny Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven.This passage does not speak directly to the armed condition, but it does speak to what I take to be the usual motivation for being armed: personal security. And, as with the other passages I've looked at so far in this inquiry, it does not exactly forbid being armed. But I'd have to say that our Lord is directing us to have an attitude toward the issue of personal security that would make being armed irrelevant at best, and perhaps a source of difficulty as well. We're not to fear those who can physically kill us -- although, to be fair, this is in the context of possible belief-based persecution, and so does not speak directly to what we're supposed to do when our lives are threatened as part of rape, plunder, or other such mundane aggression.
"Do not think that I come to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man's enemies will be the members of his household. He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who has found his life shall lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake shall find it."
The "sword" after the paragraph break is not, I am sure, meant as a physical weapon; rather, the Lord is saying that He's not there to unite us, but rather to divide sharply -- between those who accept Him for who and what He is, and those who reject Him (or who don't correctly identify Him as God). At the end of the passage, though, I think a fair reading would have to conclude that defense of our lives with our own power is at least being disparaged. In the balance of the evidence: another pebble on the "disarmed" side.
Hmmmmmm ... I might have a firearm or two for sale one of these days. I hope not, but one must follow the evidence wherever it leads.
Meanwhile, for more Words for (actual) Wednesday, click here.