Is it Christian to own a gun?I fail to understand how Republican Christians can be so 'enthusiatic' about the right to own guns. Why would/should a Christian want to possess a device that was...

Is it Christian to own a gun?

I fail to understand how Republican Christians can be so 'enthusiatic' about the right to own guns. Why would/should a Christian want to possess a device that was designed to kill people? 

Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword (Matthew 26:52, King James Version)

Are gun-owning Christians awful hypocrites? Or are they intelligent, sophisticated Biblical scholars who understand the nuances of The Bible better than I?

Expert Answers
bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Just a simple reminder that guns can also be used for defensive purposes, self-protection and for providing food. My own home was broken into one time and my step-mother--a fine Christian woman--was pistol-whipped by the intruder. She was unable to protect herself from the robber with the gun because she did not own one at the time. She would have been within her legal right as a Florida citizen to have shot the man had she had the foresight to have kept a pistol nearby. She spent the night in the hospital, and the gunman got away--confident in his escape to duplicate his actions on the next defenseless person he chose. The right to bear arms and Christianity are two completely separate and unrelated beliefs, and I'm sure there are plenty of Christians, non-Christians and atheists who carry guns.

clairewait eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This discussion is similar to the debate of whether or not it is "Christian" to fight in a war.  Many "believers" who are also soldiers have claimed to believe that this is a constant struggle for them.

I tend to believe that though the Bible is provided as a book of love and wisdom for the followers of Christ, God created humans with the capacity to think and reason beyond the confines of words on a paper and the opinions of others.  There are hundreds of concepts in the Bible that can be looked at legalistically and hypocrite finger-pointing could go on all day.  The bottom line is that every human is called to use his brain and his heart (together) and to act accordingly.

As such, I don't think gun-owning Christians are hypocrites.  God 

wannam eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I don't know that this verse can really apply to gun ownership.  Living and dieing by the sword is an expression which refers to a different lifestyle.  It speaks to not seeking revenge and not taking matters into your own hands.  If a person owned a gun so they could harm other people, then could be seen as an un-Christian attitude.  Most people do not own a gun to harm others.  They own a gun because it can be a hobby.  They might own a gun to protect their family.  The Bible often refers to putting away a sword.  In general, this is usually referring to putting aside feelings of revenge and hatred.  

lsumner eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I believe owning a gun is a matter of personal preference. I do not believe owning a gun affects your status as a Christian. When you think about it, Jesus Christ was an activist rather than a pacifist. He laid down his life in one of the most bloody of deaths. He paid the price for my redemption. I believe owning a gun has nothing to do with Christianity. While I am against violence, I do believe in self defense. 

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

You should note of course that Simon Peter wasn't really acting in self-defense.  Jesus didn't tell him that he shouldn't have a sword in the first place.  He just told him not to use it right then and not to "live by it."  You could easily argue that having a gun for self-defense does not constitute "living by" that gun.  Using the gun in self-defense would also be more legitimate than what Simon Peter was doing.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator
I don't think the two have anything to do with each other. Sometimes they point to the Old Testament "eye for an eye" as justification. Republicans also usually strongly favor individual rights, including the right to bear arms. It may seem contradictory, since Christians are supposed to forgive.
rrteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

It is not inherently anti-Christian to own a gun, I suppose. You might run into some theological issues surrounding the use of it, but those seem to have been elided from modern evangelicalism.

btmlsu | Student

Anybody has the right to own a gun. It is Christian as long as it doesn't cause violence. If you need the gun to 'shoot' someone or something, this means that the person or thing is trying to ATTACK you first. So I say of course it is. 

wanderista | Student

I don't think it's a matter if you're Christian or not by owning a gun, I believe the question should focus more on what you do with the firearm.

jillyfish | Student

The right to bear arms and Christianity are two completely separate and unrelated beliefs. - Bullgatortail

Not if you're a Christian, surely? If you are a Christian, you can't isolate the ownership of lethal weapons from your religion's instructions, or can you?

frizzyperm | Student
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’[a] 39 But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. 40 And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. - KJV

 41[US version only] On the other hand, said Jesus, if you 'Mericans really aren't into all that liberal, hippy stuff, just stand your ground and plug that no-good, wrong-doer with your Colt 45. Two to the body and one to the head, in Jesus's name. Amen.

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