Welcome to tomthinking.com Sunday, June 17 2018 @ 09:59 PM UTC
In 2006, an itinerate evangelist held a series of large rallies in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia to share the Gospel. At that time, I was Managing Director of Eagle Television in Mongolia. We decided not to take part in promoting or reporting on the event because I believed the evangelist taught elements of Prosperity doctrine. Thousands of people came to the events, and healing miracles seemed to be happening on stage.
One morning after an event one of my friends reported that her mother had been brought forward for healing. She suffered from bad eyesight and while she could see, her sight was very bad. The evangelist prayed over her and the woman proclaimed in front of the crowd that she was healed. Everyone was excited by this miracle. There was only one problem. She still couldn’t see well. Like many people who come forward for healing, when it doesn’t happen they become too embarrassed to admit that nothing has changed. This can be especially true in a country like Mongolia which is somewhat oriented as a shame-honor culture. The psychological pressure to confess a healing, despite the reality of the situation, becomes overwhelming.
The next day a video crew from the evangelist’s ministry went to her home to record the testimony about her healing for fund raising purposes. The woman was feeling embarrassed by this time because she knew she had not been healed. She admitted to the video crew that she was not healed and still had great trouble seeing. When the crew questioned her further she began to feel embarrassed again and then told them that her sight was just “a little better” in one eye. Naturally, she did not want to lose face—common in Asian cultures. Upon learning that her sight in one eye was “a little better” the producer accompanying the video crew declared that it was miracle too, so they tried convincing her to record a testimony about her healing—a healing that never took place.
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:
- What is the purpose of my life?
- Why do I exist?
- What is the meaning of life?
- Will my life ever amount to anything worthwhile or important?
Here are nine things Jesus never said:
Have you ever heard someone pray, "Satan, I bind you?" Or perhaps you may have uttered such a thing yourself? I've heard many people use phrases like this in their prayers, and while I don't want to belittle a person's heartfelt cry to God against evil, I can't help but dig into this phrase a little and ask the question, "Is this a biblical way to pray?" Can we really bind Satan or demons or is this a flaw in our theology?
To put it plainly, there is no passage of scripture which tells us that we can bind Satan or a demon from doing harm. Demons can be cast out of a person, but is this the same as binding? What does it mean to bind Satan?
When the various words in the Bible that are translated into bind, bound, or chained (252 instances) are used there is only one instance when it is used about the devil. It is found in Revelation 20:2, which says that an angel, "Seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years." This is a specific reference to a period following the Great Tribulation as the millennial reign of Christ begins. Satan is bound for a thousand years so that he may do no harm during the millennial reign of Christ. But his binding is only temporary. In fact, this language suggests that since Satan is bound at the end of the age, that he has not been previously bound.
What is interesting, however, is how the Bible uses the language of binding about who does the binding. Take a brief look at these examples: