Be Careful in Using the Bible to Prove Your Point

In a recent article proving that God is in favour of people using handguns to defend their property, a Bible teacher wrote the following:

The Lord had more to say about self-defense in Luke 11:21:
“When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace.” *
Here the Lord authorized the use of arms in defense of one’s property as well as in defense of one’s self and one’s family. While the Lord was making a spiritual application from this principle, it is important to notice that He does not condemn the principle of defending one’s goods.

He also talks about Jesus’ command for the disciples to buy a sword (which was a military weapon used only on people, so the author writes.) What I see here is more critical than whether or not God approves handgun ownership. Rather, it is the intentional use of Scripture to prove that God endorses gun ownership.

This could be a summary of this article:

  • God approves the ownership and use of handguns by a property owner.
  • Here are a few verses (and parts of verses) to show that this is true.
  • And while we’re on the subject, let’s talk about how war is right.
  • If you disagree, that’s OK. We understand. But we felt we must shed some Biblical light on such an important issue.

If you’ve read the excellent book Deer Hunting With Jesus, you’ll understand how intense the whole gun ownership thing is in the United States. And this goes hand-in-hand with Americans’ view of God and the Bible.

Some of this misguided partnership is exemplified at Gunowners.org where they have gone to great lengths to prove that the Bible endorses the ownership of guns:

The wisdom of the framers of the Constitution is consistent with the lessons of the Bible. Instruments of defense should be dispersed throughout the nation, not concentrated in the hands of the central government. In a godly country, righteousness governs each man through the Holy Spirit working within. The government has no cause to want a monopoly of force; the government that desires such a monopoly is a threat to the lives, liberty and property of its citizens.

The assumption that only danger can result from people carrying guns is used to justify the government’s having a monopoly of force. The notion that the people cannot be trusted to keep and bear their own arms informs us that ours, like the time of Solomon, may be one of great riches but is also a time of peril to free people. If Christ is not our King, we shall have a dictator to rule over us, just as Samuel warned.

For those who think that God treated Israel differently from the way He will treat us today, please consider what God told the prophet Malachi: “For I am the Lord, I do not change…” (Malachi 3:6). (Read more if you wish here.)

Given the context so vividly portrayed in the Deer Hunting book, I cannot expect anything different. The history, values, and tradition of the U.S. of A. is so steeped in this way of thinking and many Americans learn that this is the way it should be from the day they enter this world. These dear folks laugh at countries like Australia where gun control laws are somewhat effective and have prevented the large-scale tragedies seen in the U.S. in recent days.

I just wish they wouldn’t quote the Bible to support their gun-toting paranoia and that they wouldn’t think God wanted it this way.

Just because a story is told in the Bible, doesn’t mean God endorses its characters or their ideas.

Just because weapons are used as pictures of ‘spiritual warfare’ does not mean God endorses their ownership in the wider community.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *

“We claim that we are treating the Bible with great respect as the final arbiter of all things. What we are really doing is making our interpretation of the Bible the final arbiter of all things. Therefore what we are ultimately arguing is that WE are the final arbiter of all things. Our assertion, in other words, is not really that the Bible is inerrant and infallible, but that we are.” – from http://www.patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism/2012/10/do-you-mean-the-bible-is-inerrant-or-that-you-are-inerrant.html

*   *   *   *   *   *   *

The belief in “the inerrant Bible” dares to promise certainty regarding truth about God independently of God. In other words, it dares to say we can know this truth objectively, through modern science and historiography, and we can prove it by these means! In its excess, it puts the true believer in the false position of making God and object of our own control—a truth we can know without knowing Him. – David E. Fitch, in The End of Evaneglicalism? pg. 63

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* Verse 22 continues to say, ‘ But when someone stronger attacks and overpowers him, he takes away the armor in which the man trusted and divides up his plunder.’ (NIV) If verse 21, speaking of ‘a strong man’ is so assuredly showing Jesus’ endorsement of the defense of property, is the very next verse an endorsement of taking property by force? Just asking.

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