Many people carry around weapons these days. My dad almost never leaves the house without his pistol, and I usually do the same with my pocket knife. When I am able, I will keep a gun on hand as possible. A part of this is the desire to protect myself. I am not going to walk out of my house seeking death nor will I let someone kill me if I am able to stop them. Despite this, I am prepared for death. In fact, death to me is gain. One of my facorite verses in the Bible is and has been since my conversion is Philippians 1:21. In the ESV, this is, "For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain." I'm not going to say that I want to die, but I'm surely ready.
Why, then, do I carry a knife? And why will I carry a gun when I am able? Well, yes, there is a part of this that is self-preservation and self-defense. Contrary to what John Piper said (Here and Here), it is Biblical to both own a weapon and defend yourself. Jesus said in Luke 22:36 (ESV), "But now let the one who has a moneybag take it, and likewise a knapsack. And let the one who has no sword sell his cloak and buy one." When we look to the Old Testament we see that we are told, "in and is struck so that he dies, there shall be no bloodguilt for him…" (Exodus 22:2, ESV). So we know that self defense is not fowned upon by the Lord, who wrote such laws for the Israelites that permitted self-defense. When the people in the book of Nehemiah were building the wall and faced opposition, the same God who commanded us to buy a weapon and permitted a man to kill a theif at night if that needs to happen had this done, "From that day on, half of my servants worked on construction, and half held the spears, shields, bows, and coats of mail. And the leaders stood behind the whole house of Judah." (Nehemiah 4:16, ESV). Because of this, "Those who carried burdens were loaded in such a way that each labored on the work with one hand and held his weapon with the other. 18 And each of the builders had his sword strapped at his side while he built." (Parts of Nehemiah 4:17 and 4:18, ESV). So the idea of Self-Defense is clearly Biblical. However, that is not my only reasoning for being ready and prepared in case a violent situation happens.
So what are the other reasons for someone to stay armed? To defend others. One good reason is to defend your family. For Christian Men who are the head of their household, they are required to provide for their family. "But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever." (1 Timothy 5:8, ESV). This provision includes defense. If you provide food, water, shelter, clothing, instruction, and even luxury, but do not at least attempt to provide defense, it renders the rest void when someone breaks into your home ready to kill if you aren't willing to defend them.
You could take this out to the street too. If the local grocery store is being robbed and you are able to stop it, you would be loving your neighbor to do so. In having a weapon, if my neighbor was being mugged or assaulted, I would be better equipped to love my neighbor by protecting them, assisting them, or even saving their life. I have heard the argument that in killing someone who would aim to kill you, you are sending them to Hell. If that is the case, what of your Hindu neighbor who just moved in from India and is about to get shot? Wouldn't you be letting this man go to Hell?
It is better to be equpped to love your neighbor by protecting them. In fact, if you do not step in to protect them then you commit sin. You allowed them to be murdered when you don't protect them and could have. I am not saying it is sinful to not own a gun, but I am saying it is sinful to not protect your neighbor and it is foolish to not have to proper equipment to do so and still attempt it. "So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin." (James 4:17, ESV)
About the Author
Brandon C. Hines is a young writer from somewhere in northern Alabama who writes about Theology, Polemics, and Apologetics. His beliefs are best summarized by the 1689 London Baptist Confession.
You can search for various topics I have written about by going to Google and typing in a keyword, then typing site:Learningthepath.weebly.com after it.