Is it Acceptable for Christians to Exercise Our Right to Bear Arms?


----- Original Message -----
From: Name Withheld
To: Paul Stringini
Sent: Friday, March 07, 2014 3:47 PM
Subject: Semper Fi
  Good after noon Reverend,
   I also am a Marine (69-72), Accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Savior in the late 70's.Been reading the Word daily since. I try to live according to the Word of God but find myself "wrestling" with some worldly junk, i.e.: Constitutional Rights. I truly believe God says do not murder. Some of my "Christian" friends tell me I should not own firearms. I strongly disagree under the belief that I MUST protect my family as Moses, Abraham, Gideon and a host of others protected theirs and their neighbors. We, (wife and I) also carry firearms on occasion as we are older and cannot fight well anymore, and also believe we should be free to walk, drive etc UNMOLESTED anywhere in this life. Am I off the wall on this or not? I still have much of my Marine Corps training alive and well and hope I NEVER have to use it, but glad I know how. Bless you and yours....keep fighting the good fight brother. Semper Fi

Name Withheld

My Response:  (The Style "Reverend" means "one who must be respected"  I do not call myself by that style).

----- Original Message -----
From: Paul Stringini
To: Name Withheld
Sent: Friday, March 07, 2014 8:58 PM
Subject: Re: Semper Fi
There is a time for every purpose under heaven.  At one time, Christ commanded his disciples in this way:
Luke 9:3 And he said unto them, Take nothing for your journey, neither staves, nor scrip, neither bread, neither money; neither have two coats apiece.
But later, he had this to say:
Luke 22:35 And he said unto them, When I sent you without purse, and scrip, and shoes, lacked ye any thing? And they said, Nothing.
Luke 22:36 Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.
"But now," we see that times can change. Jesus commanded his disciples to buy swords.  Because the times were changing.  At that time, Christ apparently considered possession of state of the art weaponry to be more important than clothing. 
Even so, just possessing a "sword"  does not mean that you will kill.  It just means that wicked men cannot walk over you.  A gun does not make you a killer.  A gun makes you a free man who has the power to uphold righteousness and peace against those who would oppress our nation.  Just because I wield a sword does not mean I will use it to kill.  But my willingness to kill makes me powerful.
We should never take any kind of killing lightly.  But sometimes it becomes necessary to take life to preserve life.  Sometimes it is necessary to lay our lives down.  You can observe this in the life of Christ.  There were many times that his enemies sought to slay him.  But it was only at the very end that he allowed himself to be captured, when his mission was complete. 
We have to seek the guidance of God's Holy Spirit.  There is a time to kill and a time to make peace.   There is a time to save your life, and a time when Christ will require you to lay it down.  Everything is beautiful in its time. 
I consider it a duty to protect the weak and defenseless.  If I observed a man engaged in rape and the only way I could save the victim was to kill the rapist.  I would do it.  I would consider that a last resort, and I would pray that I never find myself in that situation.  But, if it became necessary, I would personally consider it an act of righteousness to kill such a person, maybe I would regret it later, I don't know, I've never faced that.  Obviously, it is better not to kill, we should seek peaceful solutions to conflicts. 
Maybe it would be wrong to summarily execute the rapist (we are subject to the Laws of the Land)  but certainly, if you possess the force sufficient to stop an act of violence, you should use that power to the degree required to stop the evil.  If that means pointing the gun at him and calling the cops.  Then it is just, any who say otherwise are blind. 
 If it means killing a violent man.  We will answer to God, according to our consciences. But even if it is a sin, it is not premeditated murder.  I would rather risk my soul defending the weak, and risk being charged with murdering a rapist, than live with the regret of having stood by while evil men did their will and thus condemn myself in my heart for failing to do what I could to save them.  I will submit myself to God's judgment, but I will not stand by while the violent oppress the innocent.  If it is a sin, I will commend myself to God's mercy and submit myself to His judgment.  Sometimes virtue requires us to do more than what we think is "safe" for ourselves.
I have often wondered how the Good Samaritan would have dealt with the situation if he had come on the scene, before they had beaten the man and left him for dead.  How would the Good Samaritan handle the situation if he came upon a rape in progress?  Suppose he was alone, but armed.  Supposed he was in a company of armed men.  Should they allow violence to proceed without interceding?  I say no.
I don't want to get entangled in the affairs of this life.  And I certainly do not want to get entangled in a situation where I have to make life and death decisions.  I believe that in Christ we have been called to suffer and die for the gospel, but I do not intend to lay my life down for any other cause.  I will defend my life and the lives of others with any force necessary against violent men.  I believe God will deliver them into my hand.  But I would rather escape than kill, as Jesus did many times.  So rather than kill my enemies, I prefer that God deliver me out of their hands. 
Consider this also, the Jesus and the Jews of his day were living under Roman rule.  Yet what Christ says implies that they were free to buy swords.  It seems that even in the Roman empire they recognized that the Government did not need to disarm law-abiding subjects.  Even subjects who were not full citizens of their empire.
Thanks for writing, I hope that answers your question. But you know what is right. If you have any other questions, I am at your service.
Paul Stringini

Emailer's Reply:

----- Original Message -----
From: Name Withhleld
To: Paul Stringini
Sent: Saturday, March 08, 2014 7:39 AM
Subject: Re: Semper Fi
Thank you sir. You wrote exactly how I believe. My concern was I am following God's intent for my and our lives and NOT my "personal" feelings. God's best to you and yours

Name Withheld