WE’VE HAD SO MANY SHOOTINGS since guns have become more accessible to all souls crazy, weird, and whacked, that it’s probably time we put together a checklist that Christians can work through after the shooting like the one Wednesday night at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina.
The following aren’t my recommendations. I’m reporting observations I’ve noticed over the recent years.
- Cry. Good people have died. They are worthy of our tears.
- Reach out to the hurting. If family and friends of the victims are in our herd of friends, contact them. Send an email, a card, a letter. Make a call. Take a meal. We don’t just sit on our butt and give our friends the space they need to cry and yell and cuss at God. Misery loves company.
- Reach out to the shooter’s family. They are likely feeling all the pain everyone else is experiencing – along with a mountain-load of shame. Jesus understands shame. He died on a cross, the most shameful death of all…reserved for the worst offenders.
- Lobby a politician. From a Bible point of view, there’s nothing Christian about any interpretation of the Second Amendment to the American Constitution. Not to the argument that everyone should have a right to guns. Not to the argument that the Amendment refers only to the right to arm militias. “If someone strikes you, stand there and take it…. No more tit for tat stuff….Love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst” (Matthew 5:39, 43). With that in mind:
—Ask the politician to vote for laws that make it harder to get guns and to carry them in public.
—Ask the politician to support the movement to make healthcare freely available to everyone, so that people with mental problems can get the help most can’t seem to afford.
After a shooting like the one this week, once the grieving is over, we generally hear arguments like these:
- “We need fewer guns out in the public. Angry people are more dangerous when armed. And we’ve got a lot of angry people.”
- “We need more guns out in the public. If we’re armed, we can shoot back.”
- “The solution isn’t to take away our guns, it’s to get the crazies off the street.”
- “Guns don’t kill people. People kill people.”
Guns make it easy to kill people. Most folks who have pulled a trigger can agree on that. We’ve seen the ease this week. Again.
As Jesus tells it, God isn’t in the business of blessing people who fight for the right of all souls to pack steel.
“God blesses those who work for peace,
for they will be called the children of God.” (Matthew 5:9)
I’m wondering if Christians might need a longer checklist.
For more on this tough topic
- Who should we believe? God, who said in the Old Testament, ‘an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth,’ or Jesus, who said in the New Testament, ‘turn the other cheek’? 100 Tough Questions about God and the Bible, page 219
- Can’t Almighty God stop a shooter?
- Where is God when bullets fly?
- Did Jesus tell his guys to lock and load?
- Q&A: Christians, guns & self-defense
Bible Gateway Blogger
You always have a way of covering every emotion and always filling our hearts.
Stephen M. Miller
And you, Janice, are always kind. More power to you.