CHRISTIAN CONSOLATION FOR THOSE AFFECTED BY THE JOURNAL NEWS GUN MAP CONTROVERSY
by Rev. Barbara Sexton
Dear Ones Healing Ministry
Jan. 5, 2013Dear Ones:
The next time someone asks if you, a Christian, are a gun-owner, I want you to repeat after me and say:
"YOU BET I AM ARMED!"
And say this 'loud and proud'...because you ARE!
In this day and age, where pundits think nothing of pejoratively taunting Christians with 'well-what-would-'your'-Jesus-do?' queries falling off their tongues, we need to pay heed to old advice which is as valid today as it was over 2000 years ago.
Make no mistake about it; when Jesus sent out the twelve, he warned them that it would be no picnic.
In fact, what he said shocked and astonished them with his dire predictions!
34 “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to turn
“‘a man against his father,
a daughter against her mother,
a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—
36 a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’[c] Matthew 10:34-36 (NIV)
Yes, certainly we gasp at the thought of Christian believers being told that their Lord and Savior promises them not 'peace', but quite the opposite. The going was rough and it's going to be rough, for us.
So Christian brothers and sisters reading this today, take heed!:
Jesus continued (to his disciples):
16 “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves. 17 Be on your guard; you will be handed over to the local councils and be flogged in the synagogues. 18 On my account you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles. 19 But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, 20 for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you."
Matthew 10:16-20 (NIV)
The above is sometimes misinterpreted by those who seek to justify 'violence-in-Christ'. We look to the Crusades as an example of this.
The fact is that while there may be times when 'violence' IS justified' for a Christian in/from the United States today (such as for those in law enforcement, the military, etc.), this is not commonly the case for civilian Christian Americans living stateside.
Unless they have the misfortune of encountering a mentally ill, drug-crazed, criminally-oriented violent individual of some kind, that is.
Jesus clearly did not send out a bunch of 'wimps'. And he is quite clear that when violence is 'necessary', such as when a defenseless person is being attacked, it is never to be 'glorified'.
In fact, when read in the context of other Scripture, Jesus's tough words above clearly emphasize that 'the sword' (or, more appropriately today, 'the firearm') is to be used sparingly and only in the most dire of circumstances in self-defense.
He even counseled his disciples to flee rather than face potentially threatening people, advice which holds its wisdom today.
"12 As you enter the home, give it your greeting. 13 If the home is deserving, let your peace rest on it; if it is not, let your peace return to you. 14 If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet." Matthew 10:12-14 (NIV)
Tragically, we cannot always 'flee' when we must. Nancy Lanza could not and was killed by her son. And the blessed little Sandy Hook Elementary precious children and their teachers and protectors could not escape that very same madman.
Yet...we were 'generically warned':
21 “Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. 22 You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. 23 When you are persecuted in one place, flee to another.
Matthew 10:21-23 (NIV)
Every so often in the modern U.S., Christians attempt to use some passage in the Bible to justify their own violence.
But we have the beautiful and fiercely-worded advice from Jesus himself to his disciples whom he loved so much, just as he does us!
Christ prepared them, as he prepares us, for what they and we will undoubtedly encounter. He was 'hardening' them verbally, guiding them and emboldening them. This much is certain--we will suffer, but (and this is a big one) true Believers will be fortified, protected and filled with the Holy Spirit.
In a word, we will be 'armed', yes, with a 'sword' (or a gun in today's parlance), but also with much more.
Challenges about 'gun control' vs. gun/Second Amendment rights and opportunists seeking to take advantage of a progressive liberal newspaper's indiscretions are not the only 'challenges' we have.
We have a challenge not to 'hate' Peter Lanza. We have a challenge to not hate 'journalists'. We have a challenge to not 'hate' those who paint with a 'broad brush'--be they liberal or conservative.
26 “So do not be afraid of them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. 27 What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs. 28 Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.
Matthew 10:26-28 (NIV)
As Christians, we realize that the physical body is perishable and will not endure. Morally and ethically, we are challenged to live the best lives that we can. So...
We WILL have difficult times..
We WILL have difficult decisions...
We WILL be treated unfairly...and sometimes 'cruelly', if recent 'The Journal News' rhetoric is something to judge by.
I know that my words here do not apply to those Christians--especially here in progressive-liberal Connecticut--who do not agree that the Second Amendment is worth fighting for.
I understand that opinions vary, and that tempers may fly. But mark this: If we Christians properly tow the line, we will see God.
We will see God and then we can ask him 'why?' for the many sorrowful sorrows that we must witness.
Until then, I pray that your days are wonderful, your nights restorative and that everything in your life be blessed and fully vetted to the Will of God, our Father through our Christ Jesus.
God Bless you,
Rev. Barbara Sexton
Dear Ones Healing Ministry