Whether the church should take a position on gun violence or gun rights arises following every mass shooting. It is a question worth addressing following the recent tragedies in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio. For those of us in Florida, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and the Pulse nightclub will always be fresh on our minds and close to our hearts. We grieve with all of those who lost loved ones and offer our #thoughtsandprayers, a term that seems to sting more than comfort.
A world that does not understand the power of prayer is asking us to show them how that power transforms. They are asking us to stand up and commit our faith to action.
The church seems split on this topic, some denominations calling for stricter gun control while others clutch even tighter to their weapons, thanking God for the right to bear arms. As a whole the church has remained fairly silent, letting its members “discuss” and divide over personal opinions on social media. Even when gun violence has entered houses of worship, the church has shied away from taking a stand on gun rights. We tighten our own security and prepare for the worst.
There is validity on all sides of the table when it comes to gun ownership and gun rights. But is the issue truly about the gun we hold for protection, or is it about where our faith for protection lies?
The truth about gun violence
We are seeing an epidemic in this country that requires change. What that change looks like is where our opinions and debates get heated. Blame is thrown at video games, mental health, lack of local community, the president’s rhetoric, taking prayer out of school … the list goes on. We all have an opinion. The problem is, we aren’t actually doing anything about it.
Relevant magazine recently published “It’s Time for More Christians to Address Gun Violence.” The article addresses ways we can take action and be proactive about the violence and the overwhelming feeling our culture has created that tells some they need a gun for safety.
When we address the racial and economic divides, call out racism and demand an end to white supremacy, see ALL human beings as made in God’s image and treat one another as God commanded, then yes, gun violence will decline. Until that time, are AK-47s really worth the lives of our kindergarteners?
If you are wondering what it means to authentically follow Jesus, join us on Unfiltered Radio as we investigate who He claimed to be and how He taught us to interact with one another.