Does God give us the ‘right’ to keep and bear arms?
First, let me begin by defining government. According to the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, the American government is tri-partied. It consists of We The People, the States, and the Federal Government (not national which implies power over the people instead of a federal government, which is assigned certain tasks to complete on our behalf).
This is an important concept as concerns both U.S. and biblical law. Government is not just the federal government or the state government, it is us all of us.
Therefore, all duties of government belong to us all. However, we tender to the federal and state governments certain duties to be carried out on behalf of the whole government, which includes us. So, when someone says that only government should have guns, remember we are one-third of the government structure in this country.
Further, we are the first nation in the history of this earth which had no subjects. Every other nation considered their heads of state as rulers and the people as its subjects. Even Great Britain had—and still has—as a basis of government, the concept of their people as subjects. As Americans we have never subjects. We are free men who are citizens and government is subject to us and to our designs, not the other way around.
Our history includes numerous wars with Great Britain, beginning with the Revolutionary War. That war was fought for a number of reasons, including religious persecution. However, the catalyst for the commencement of hostilities was the British hubris believing they could simply march in and take our guns. Men bled and died; fortunes were committed and lost; families destroyed, and lives forever changed, but in the end, America prevailed and history was forever changed.
This land remained free for a number of spiritual reasons, but also because we believed that every man should be armed. We the People were the government and to disarm us was to disarm the United States.
Now, with the same imperial hubris, the strutting peacocks calling themselves “representatives” fire about legislation that pretends as if we have no history. They assume to themselves the position of royalty—not loyalty—in assuming they can pass gun control or confiscation legislation and steal the rights of We the People granted under the Second Amendment.
How would the nation feel if we decided tomorrow to end their rights under the First Amendment? What if government declared tomorrow that everybody has to be a Mormon and no one is allowed to criticize the President, the Congress or the Courts? Would they then say it is not an infringement, just a defining, or would there be an outcry that shattered every glass in the great halls of Washington D.C.? I suspect the latter.
Obviously, there have been stains on our history, such as those left by the blood guilt of slavery, but even that, after a long hellish century, was cured by the second Great Awakening as men of faith and compassion refused any longer to tolerate the ungodly, cruelty, and horrors of slavery. In the end the might of righteousness prevailed and the scourge of slavery was ended.
But it was the preaching of men such as George Whitefield (sometimes referred to as Whitfield), Charles Spurgeon, Charles Grandison Finney, and Jonathan Edwards that planted the seeds of faith and spiritual courage in the hearts of what would become the Christian Abolitionist movement. And this rare blend of compassion, courage and righteous indignation fueled what would become a demand for justice for all people, with an understanding that if one man was enslaved, then all were enslaved because We The People is all of us, united as one of the three branches of government.
Remember, in those days the army was comprised of the militias of the several states. It was We The People who often brought their own arms to the conflict that engaged in the bloody four year conflict that claimed the lives of 650,000 Americans. Remarkably, that was the same number of slaves that were present in the United States at the height of slavery. That amounts to one death for each man stolen from his land and brought here to the states as slaves.
So, were they right to take up arms to end slavery in America? More importantly, in the larger sense, are we today—their progeny—right in our demand to keep and bear arms? Do we truly have God-given rights protected by the U.S. Constitution; and more importantly, are these truly God-given rights in the light of scriptures?
The first answer is easy. Yes, we are both allowed and, in fact, I would argue we are expected to keep and bear arms.
“Passed May 8, 1792, provided for the organization of the state militias. It conscripted every “free able-bodied white male citizen” between the ages of 18 and 45 into a local militia company. Militia members were to arm themselves with a musket, bayonet and belt, two spare flints, a cartridge box with 24 bullets, and a knapsack. Men owning rifles were required to provide a powder horn, 1/4 pound of gun powder, 20 rifle balls, a shooting pouch, and a knapsack. Some occupations were exempt, such as congressmen, stagecoach drivers, and ferryboatmen. Otherwise, men were required to report for training twice a year, usually in the Spring and Fall.
The militias were divided into “divisions, brigades, regiments, battalions, and companies” as the state legislatures would direct. The provisions of the first Act governing the calling up of the militia by the President in case of invasion or obstruction to law enforcement were continued in the second Act. Court martial proceedings were authorized by the statute against militia members who disobeyed orders.”(Source: Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Militia_Acts_of_1792)
Further, the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states: “A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
The definition in Webster’s 1828 dictionary defines infringed as “broken, violated: transgresses. Clearly the Founding Fathers believed that everyone should be armed.
“Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the people’s liberty’s teeth.” – George Washington
I will proceed no further with the hundreds of quotes that could be applied, but suffice it to say, both history and the law support our unabridged right to keep and bear arms – of any sort – without limitation. We are the government. We are not subjects of the government that may be stripped of our rights.
We The People are one-third of the government. You cannot strip this third of government of guns while allowing the other two-thirds to keep theirs. That would be as unlawful as Congress attempting to control the executive or judicial branches of the federal government.
So this discussion once again asks: Does God give us the right to keep and bear arms?
What about the sixth commandment which is oft quoted, “Thou shalt not kill.” Does that on its face not annul the right to keep and bear arms? Let’s look and see what the commandment really says.
The Hebrew word used for “kill” is ratsach. The word literally means to murder or shed innocent blood. Therefore, the command is not prohibition against killing, but against murder or the shedding of innocent blood.
In point of fact, scripture demands the death of murderers because murder requires the scales of justice to be balanced by the blood of the murderer. That is why we can be both prolife and pro-death penalty. Both are just.
Therefore, the sixth commandment is not a prohibition against keeping and bearing arms; nor is it a prohibition against shooting a home invader in the dark of night —someone who presents deadly force or even for the defense of others.
Let’s look at Psalm 82:3 and 4 where we are commanded to: “Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy. Deliver the poor and needy: rid them out of the hand of the wicked.”
The Psalmist says that to do otherwise is judging unjustly. If the wicked are strong and we are to deliver them—to rid them from the wicked hand—how are we to do it?
Here is what the Lord commanded David in 1 Samuel 30 when his family was kidnapped and his goods stolen:
8 “And David enquired at the Lord, saying, Shall I pursue after this troop? shall I overtake them? And he answered him, Pursue: for thou shalt surely overtake them, and without fail recover all.
9 So David went, he and the six hundred men that were with him, and came to the brook Besor, where those that were left behind stayed.
10 But David pursued, he and four hundred men: for two hundred abode behind, which were so faint that they could not go over the brook Besor.
11 And they found an Egyptian in the field, and brought him to David, and gave him bread, and he did eat; and they made him drink water;
12 And they gave him a piece of a cake of figs, and two clusters of raisins: and when he had eaten, his spirit came again to him: for he had eaten no bread, nor drunk any water, three days and three nights.
13 And David said unto him, To whom belongest thou? and whence art thou? And he said, I am a young man of Egypt, servant to an Amalekite; and my master left me, because three days agone I fell sick.
14 We made an invasion upon the south of the Cherethites, and upon the coast which belongeth to Judah, and upon the south of Caleb; and we burned Ziklag with fire.
15 And David said to him, Canst thou bring me down to this company? And he said, Swear unto me by God, that thou wilt neither kill me, nor deliver me into the hands of my master, and I will bring thee down to this company.
16 And when he had brought him down, behold, they were spread abroad upon all the earth, eating and drinking, and dancing, because of all the great spoil that they had taken out of the land of the Philistines, and out of the land of Judah.
17 And David smote them from the twilight even unto the evening of the next day: and there escaped not a man of them, save four hundred young men, which rode upon camels, and fled.
18 And David recovered all that the Amalekites had carried away: and David rescued his two wives.
19 And there was nothing lacking to them, neither small nor great, neither sons nor daughters, neither spoil, nor any thing that they had taken to them: David recovered all.”
How well do you think this same David would have done against Goliath had he not been armed with a deadly weapon. He certainly was nowhere near physically strong enough to take on the almost 10 foot tall giant. No, he need personal protection. He rejected military hardware, armor, sword and shield and opted instead for personal protection, a “handgun” if you will. He killed Goliath and saved his people from the Philistines.
There are times when only force will do. Here is the Lord’s commandment in Exodus 22: 2 “ If a thief be found breaking up, and be smitten that he die, there shall no blood be shed for him.”
But one might ask, What about the New Testament? Are we not commanded to love, forgive and turn the other cheek?
Yes, we are, but we are not commanded to be enslaved by weakness. If we are enslaved without any means to protect ourselves, how do we deliver the hand of the oppressed from the hand of the wicked? No, Yeshua says in Luke 22:36: “[Christ] said to them, ‘But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one.”
Paul says in 1 Timothy 5:8: “8 But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.”
This passage is a very wide intent. The words “provide not” are all inclusive. This passage does not define provision as food and shelter. No, this passage is purposely open ended. It means total provision, including protection from whatever may come. It is foolish not to assume that whatever means of protection it takes to guard ones family is both legitimate and required.
For Paul declares that one who provides not for his family has “denied the faith and is worse than an infidel.” Infidel means someone who is outside the faith. Yahweh forbid that we get caught falling short of this mandate to protect our families. We then are charged to protect our household by whatever means necessary, be it “assault” rifle, or hand gun, or any other weapon essential to the protection of our family.
Others will remind us that our protection is in the strength of the Lord for he will provide all things. Does that mean we sit down, do nothing, and expect a roof to magically appear over our heads, food to mystically appear on our tables, and money to wondrously show up in our pockets?
What foolishness! We work to provide a home, food, income and, yes, guns and ammo that we might be able to care for our loved ones needs, comfort, and safety, while keeping in mind that we are also responsible for delivering the downtrodden from the oppressor.
What about turning the other cheek? Just as in the example above, where the thief is breaking in, we are allowed to use deadly force when it is required. However, turning the other cheek is applicable for insults, theft, when no life threatening force is presented, etc. Romans 12 says that we turn the other cheek saving room for the wrath of God. Romans 13 describes government as that wrath and it carries not the sword in vain. For they (government) are to be a rewarder of good and a terror to evil. In fact, that is the test to determine if an entity is just corrupt power or government.
We often hear quoted Romans 13:1-2:
“Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. 2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.”
There are two problems with the way this quote is often used. First, one must continue reading the rest of the passage which says:
3 “For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: 4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.”
But if what is called “government” is not following the command to be a terror to evil and not a terror to good, not being a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil,” then it is not government by this definition and must be opposed. Disobedience to tyrants is obedience to Yahweh.
The second problem with this quote is the verbiage. In this passage the word “power” is mistranslated. Historically we need to remember that King James was at that time in history usurping a throne that was not his. He had the power to ascend the throne, but not the authority. Therefore, he often use synonymously the words power and authority.
The word that was translated “power” is not the Greek word dynamis which means power (as in dynamite) but the word exousia which means power derived from just authority. Therefore, we are to be subject only to power derived from just authority. If the entity calling itself government does not derive its power from just authority, then it is just tyranny — not government.
The federal branch of American government attempting
to disarm one-third of the American government
is not government, but tyranny.
Therefore, I must conclude that any attempt to disarm the people in any way, is sedition because it is in violation of our history, deprives one-third of the government—the people—of a right inherent to all, and despotically limits armaments to only two parts of government. Further, it nullifies the ability to carry out the divine command to one-third of the American government—the people—to deliver the poor and oppressed from the hand of the wicked. Additionally such a disarmament dramatically reduces or eliminates one’s ability to protect their family, home and nation.
As a citizen we are bound to protect this nation against all enemies, both foreign and domestic. Any attempt to disarm We the People of this country is immoral, illegal and therefore violates the First Amendment as well as the Second Amendment, in addition to violating the commandments in the holy scriptures. To disarm the people is at once an act of war, and, in fact, a coup d’état. It is treason and sedition against the government of the United States, comprised of We The People.
Finally, any home that is not prepared to protect its children, women, aged, infirmed, or weak is living in an unbiblical state of wanton disregard of a Biblical edict, historical precedent, and common sense. As a result, we have not only been given the “right” by Yahweh to keep and bear arms, we have been given the obligation to keep and bear arms both as a spiritual matter and as a matter of U.S. law and historical understanding.