For reflection: “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?…” (Luke 6:46. See verses 47-49 also.)
OK, I’m going to poke the stick at the bear on this one. Lately I’ve been getting into discussions with people on the matter of nonviolence, especially Christians who vehemently defend their rights under the Constitution to keep and bear arms. Certainly you are entitled to your rights politically and legally. And I’m just as entitled to my right to trust in the Higher Power for everything in my life, including safety, and to not keep and bear arms.
Personally, as a Christian who takes the Lord’s Word seriously, I’ve been giving this a lot of prayerful thought, and examining these matters in the light of Jesus’ teaching.
First of all I’ve always been a pacifist (not “pass-a-fist”, if you catch my drift). I did not grow up in a household that bears a resemblance to an arsenal. This wasn’t even in our consciousness.
As the years progressed, and I experienced deeper Christian conversion, I realized that the problem with weapons may not be the weapons themselves, but the fear and aggression in human beings which drives people into seeking out weapons and using them. The problem is a human condition called “sin”. However, what purpose do weapons have, except to kill or hurt someone or something?
Additionally it does not make a person a coward, just because he or she chooses not to be armed, as is implied by many of the gun-toters.
I also realized, in surrendering my life to the Holy Spirit, that it is Jesus Christ Who provides the solution to the human aggression problem through redemption, the plan of salvation, and the transformative work of the Holy Spirit to set us free from these fears and aggressive tendencies as we grow in grace.
This is the beauty of the Christian message and a major reason why it is so important, especially in these times, for once again we find ourselves on the brink of thermonuclear annihilation as we play yet another round of “my gun’s bigger than your gun”. For when aggression grows in the human heart, apparently so does the size and sophistication of the weapons.
The question is, when and where will it stop? “When will they ever learn? When will they ever learn?” So goes the old folk song.
As Einstein said, one cannot solve problems on the same level they were created. My point here is that Jesus Christ provided that higher level of solutions in everything He taught and exemplified. As I prayed about this issue, over and over, the answer I kept being reminded about was the beginning text quoted above. In modern English, it would say something like, “How can you call Me your Lord when you do not do practice My teachings?” He really was quite blunt and to the point about the matter.
He knew that the adversary of souls is where the real weaponry must be aimed, that it is on a spiritual level – a warfare which calls for peculiar spiritual artillery where “the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds.” (2 Corinthians 10:4). That is the root and source of all Humanity’s woes!
“Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.”(Ephesians 6:13-18) This is what Jesus’ “army” looks like.
The opening verse for this article comes near the end of Luke’s version of the Sermon On The Mount. Jesus had spent the entire night in prayer. He calls His twelve apostles out of a large crowd of His disciples. We’re told (Luke 6:19) that many people were trying to touch Him, due to the great power emanating from Him. As He healed them all, He turns to His disciples and begins to deliver this magnificent and completely other-worldly teaching to them. This was a word for disciples!
There is a lot of “radical” instruction here (You might like to read Luke 6 for yourself at this point.) Everything He teaches is diametrically opposed to the way the world system looks at things. A few examples: bless those who curse you; if someone takes something from you don’t demand it back; love your enemies – that’s what makes you different from the world, since it’s fairly easy to love those who love you.
And Jesus basically winds it up with a provocative challenge: If you’re calling Me your Lord, why aren’t you living according to My teaching?
I see this as His challenge to Christians in our times where we need a solution above and beyond bigger weapons and the fearful, vindictive attitudes which drive their proliferation.
So instead of weapons proliferation, how about some “pro-life-eration” instead?
Maybe it’s time to finally beat those swords into plowshares and those spears into pruning hooks. If not this generation, then who and when? Tomorrow will be too late. Why expect the next guy, and the next guy, and the next guy to implement nonviolence as a fact of Christian life and experience?
Whatever happened to “Let there be peace on Earth, and let it begin with me”?
Yet many say, “Well, I know Jesus taught this, BUT…”
If further insights and enlightenment are desired, read the entire chapter. Ponder well.