Welcome to tomthinking.com Friday, October 19 2018 @ 03:07 PM UTC
Recently I watched the movie, Son Of God. Toward the end of the movie I was deeply moved by the long portrayal of Jesus’ suffering, from his beating, to carrying his cross, and finally the crucifixion. I’ve seen a good number of movies and plays about Jesus but I was never moved so emotionally by a portrayal of the crucifixion like I was watching Son Of God. Why is that?
As Americans, we live in a sanitized and antiseptic culture. Everything is clean, orderly, and has its place. Even our suffering. Most Americans don’t experience extreme brutality like Jesus experienced for us. And that got me thinking again about suffering.
I'm going to attempt to present a biblical defense for weapon ownership. This article will not be an exhaustive look at the Bible and weapons. There are too many passages to address here. I would like to present a 30,000 foot view of the issue and try to draw a few conclusions.
This article does not present a legal or constitutional view on the right to gun ownership. If you want to pursue the historical or legal issues there are other outlets to do that. My concern is solely with what scripture seems to say or imply about weapons ownership, use, purpose, and consequences. And it is only from the scripture that I wish to make my arguments.
My approach is to ask the scripture what principles it provides about weapons. In any controversial topic there is always the temptation to search out scripture for support of your argument, rather than seeking what the text says and changing our views accordingly. As an example, when I first researched this subject in 1993 I was of the opinion that the scripture licensed killing an attacker who invades your home. But then, I discovered Mosaic Law that would seem to deny that idea. As I studied the passage I had to change my opinion to bring it in line with scripture. I’ll deal with this specific issue later. The purpose here is to note that though the scripture is ancient, it still contains relevant truth for modern issues—including the political right of bearing arms.
I’ll address the subject of weapons ownership in five areas:
Let’s be honest for a moment and acknowledge something about creationism that we all know. To most unbelievers, creationists seem, not just ignorant, but downright silly. And while it may be easy to label a nonbeliever as having his heart and mind darkened by vain philosophy or a lack of knowledge about creationism, the reality is that for most of us, we’ve earned the reputation we have.
There is one turn of phrase that creationists use that has often turned my stomach. Creationists who employ this phrase think they are being smart or saying something of profound faith. But the reality is that it’s a phrase that is nothing more than a cop out. It’s something we say when we don’t have an intelligent way of making our arguments. What is that phrase? Hold tight. You’re not going to like it, because you’ve used it. Everyone has used it. Even me. Here it is.
Let’s define what we mean by Moral Evil, Functional Evil, Functional Good, and Moral Good.
Regarding the problem of evil, the atheist objects saying, “How can God be all-knowing and all-loving and let evil exist?”
Underlying the atheist’s mindset is not that God is all-loving, rather, it assumes that a moral God must be only-loving. In fact, God possesses the full range of emotions and intellectual capacity as man, more so, thus, saying God is all-loving does not imply that he is only-loving.
In the scripture, when do we see the Holy Spirit active the most? The answer is that we see him most often during various beginnings. In other words, we see him at Jesus’ conception, Jesus’ baptism, and so on. The Holy Spirit is at these beginnings: creation, Jesus’ conception, Jesus’ trial in the desert, Pentecost, the gentile believers speaking in tongues.
The Holy Spirit is present at significant beginnings in the scripture. Here are a few:
Challenged by my pastor, Chuck Auschwitz of Conway First Baptist Church in Orlando, I’d like to present a brief comparison of two world views that at first would seem to be dissimilar, but upon deeper reflection, have a set of core values or beliefs that are identical. These world views are political Socialism and Prosperity Gospel; both, which I hate.
For some, Socialism is notoriously hard to define because there have been several varieties of it in existence over the decades. In some ways, Prosperity Gospel can also be hard to define in that there is no hierarchal authority that expresses the core values of its theology. However, learning through history we can deduce a set of principles common to both.
I’d like to propose that there are certain behaviors and beliefs that are common to both. We might say that Prosperity Gospel is the Socialism of religion and Socialism is the Prosperity Gospel of politics (except that only politicians gain prosperity through Socialism, which, ironically, is just like Prosperity pastors).
Let’s look at seven things that are common between Socialism and Prosperity Gospel.