Wednesday, December 9, 2015
Guns, Terror, and Which Gospel We Serve
This is NOT the Gospel of Jesus Christ:
"If more good people had concealed-carry permits, we could end those Muslims before they walk in and kill us.”
This IS the Gospel of Jesus Christ:
"Put your sword back into its place. For all who take the sword will perish by the sword."
American evangelicals seem to be rapidly and enthusiastically squandering one of the broadest and ripest opportunities for ministry that God has presented to us in quite some time. As refugees from war-torn Muslim countries pour into the West, instead of gearing up to shower them with the Gospel of Jesus Christ here at home, we're freaking out over whether a few of them might kill us, or make Uncle Sam confiscate our guns.
Now, let's be clear: This is not a debate about whether guns should be illegal. Whether you're a left-wing radical or a right-wing zealot, guns aren't the issue here. This is a soul-searching opportunity to realize those things - or people - in which we place our confidence.
As I've said many times on this blog, I'm not a fan of guns, but neither do I believe that more gun control will solve our problems with gun-involved violence in the United States. In fact, whether you're for or against gun control, wasting time and energy on this debate obfuscates the real issue at hand. We have a violence problem in our country, not a gun problem. How can I say that? Because the vast, overwhelming majority of America's gun owners never murder anybody.
Nevertheless, how much of your confidence is placed in your ability to pack heat? Sure, conceal-carry is one thing, but is that the primary thing? Is whether you die today, tomorrow, or 50 years from now dependent upon whether or not you've got a gun?
If you believe in the sovereignty of God, your answer is "no." Right?
But then the swaggering president of the supposedly "Christian" Liberty University incites his audience of sophomoric college students with what he's packing in his hip pocket, and that he wants everybody on campus to carry one to defend themselves against Muslims.
Can't you see the fallacy?
Meanwhile, I received an e-mail this morning from a missionary friend serving in Quebec. He and his wife speak French fluently, and a majority of their ministry centers on French-speaking Muslims temporarily living in Canada to attend college.
You see, these friends of mine believe that Christ's Gospel is the best way to combat violence, terrorism, and other forms of hatred. And they marvel at the ways God is bringing Muslims out of war-torn countries in Africa and the Middle East to North America, where - at least for now - some of them can be exposed to what Christ-followers believe to be true about humanity, our world, sin, and salvation from that sin.
In other words, my missionary friends relish the opportunities they're having of meeting and befriending Muslims. They're not afraid; they're eager.
Wow. Wouldn't it be nice to be that unafraid?
What about the rest of us who claim to follow Christ? What's the real issue facing us?
Terrorism? Gun control? Muslims?
All of the above, or none of the above?
Whose Gospel do you truly believe?