Perhaps one of the greatest areas of division in our nation today is the debate over guns. For the last several decades we have seen politicians, celebrities, corporations and even religious groups come out against the idea that Americans should be able to own guns, and carry them on their person. Firearms known as “assault rifles” — in particular AR-15’s — have been heavily targeted by activists and politicians.
Despite our national debate, our Constitution, through the Bill of Rights, codifies this fundamental right with these words:
A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.
“To keep and bear arms…” Can there be any clearer wording? But for what purpose was that right codified?
Of course, the phrase just before those five words, provides some insights: “the security of a free state.”
Whenever there is a discussion of the right to bear arms, people generally cite one or more of these three reasons for owning guns:
- For hunting
- For self defense and personal protection
- To maintain a free state (and stave off tyranny).
It should be clearly noted that the 2nd Amendment is NOT about hunting. Rather, when the 2nd Amendment affirms that “a well regulated militia [is] necessary to the security of a free state” it is clearly inferring that without arms, a state is more likely to descend into tyranny. Armed citizens pose a tangible threat to political leaders whose intents are less than pure.
But there is a deeper value than simply staving off tyranny.
At the heart of preserving a free state is the idea of self-defense. One does not seek to preserve a free state simply for the value of the state, but ultimately for the benefit that flows to the individual. Thus, it is the epitome of self-preservation to maintain a free state. As such, the foundational value to the 2nd Amendment is self-defense.
I have discussed and debated this topic over the years with friends on both sides of the issue. Some opponents have occasionally cited scriptural passages to assert their belief that guns should be banned, or at the very minimum, greatly restricted.
But one would have to be completely illiterate of dozens of Biblical passages to suggest that God opposes the concept of people possessing and using weapons. Today, I’d like to highlight just a few such passages that not only establish clear examples of the concept of self-defense, but more importantly, they teach a principle any responsible person should incorporate into their own lives.
The stories of Esther and Nehemiah both highlight the principle of self-defense and how these two individuals, greatly used by God, would not have prevailed, but for the role of weapons, and the personal ownership and use of arms by ordinary citizens.
In Esther, we read the story about the attempted annihilation of the Jews by Haman, an evil government official who was second in command to King Xerxes. Through deception, Haman convinced King Xerxes to issue a mortal decree which we read of in Esther 3:
The decree was written in the name of King Xerxes and sealed with the king’s signet ring. Dispatches were sent by swift messengers into all the provinces of the empire, giving the order that all Jews—young and old, including women and children—must be killed, slaughtered, and annihilated on a single day. This was scheduled to happen on March 7 of the next year. The property of the Jews would be given to those who killed them. (Esther 3:12-13)
When Haman’s malicious plot was uncovered and he ultimately lost his life over it, King Xerxes issued another decree that granted the Jews the authority to defend themselves (their version of the 2nd Amendment):
The king’s decree gave the Jews in every city authority to unite to defend their lives. They were allowed to kill, slaughter, and annihilate anyone of any nationality or province who might attack them or their children and wives, and to take the property of their enemies. (Esther 8:11)
And we see a few verses later how the Jews exercised their right to self-defense:
On that day, the enemies of the Jews had hoped to overpower them, but quite the opposite happened. It was the Jews who overpowered their enemies. The Jews gathered in their cities throughout all the king’s provinces to attack anyone who tried to harm them. But no one could make a stand against them, for everyone was afraid of them. So the Jews went ahead on the appointed day and struck down their enemies with the sword. (Esther 9:1-2, 5)
Did you note the reference to a sword? (I wonder if that sword might have been an Assault Sword, perhaps referred to as an AS-15?)
If there’s one thing that should be learned from this story, it is that the Jews were held up as an example of what to do when threatened by an enemy. Passive submission was not the default. Rather, these ordinary citizens picked up their arms and actively sought to defend their families and property. It should also be noted that as the enemies who sought the Jews harm realized the Jews were armed and prepared to defend themselves, many of the enemies backed away from the fight, illustrating that strength acts as a deterrent.
In the story of Nehemiah, the setting is in Jerusalem as the Jews are seeking to rebuild the wall around the city. As they are working day and night to complete their task, we again find the Jews threatened by an enemy that seeks to harm and kill them. Nehemiah, their governor, is a wise man whose walk with God is exemplary. Upon seeing the threat posed by the enemies of the Jews, the governor encourages his citizens to fight:
The Jews who lived near the enemy came and told us again and again, “They will come from all directions and attack us!” So I placed armed guards behind the lowest parts of the wall in the exposed areas. I stationed the people to stand guard by families, armed with swords, spears, and bows. Then as I looked over the situation, I called together the nobles and the rest of the people and said to them, “Don’t be afraid of the enemy! Remember the Lord, who is great and glorious, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your homes!” (Nehemiah 4:12-14)
Because the threat was imminent and ongoing, Nehemiah and his fellow citizens even found it necessary to remain armed at all times as we see here:
During this time, none of us—not I, nor my relatives, nor my servants, nor the guards who were with me—ever took off our clothes. We carried our weapons with us at all times, even when we went for water. (Nehemiah 4:23)
So in just these two biblical examples, we see support for the underlying principle in the Second Amendment, self-defense. If the time allowed, we could cite dozens more.
But here’s where the rubber meets the road for you.
Pressure will no doubt intensify in the coming months to restrict and control gun ownership, with the ultimate goal of subverting our Second Amendment and disarming you. If you allow this to happen, or if you ultimately acquiesce to any unlawful “decree” by Washington, you will be ignoring the preponderance of history that reveals that a disarmed citizenry leads to an oppressed people. But more importantly, you will be violating a fundamental biblical principle, the value of self-defense, which is not only your right, but your obligation to stand for your family, and others who are threatened by thugs, criminals… and politicians.
If you are a gun owner and want to learn how to better handle your weapon, we will be hosting a Basic Self-Defense Course at our private shooting range at Liberty Ridge Ranch October 28-29. The course, led by elite instructors from the US Army Special Forces, will be a day and a half event and will provide you with the rock-solid foundation for protecting yourself, and your loved ones. Spots are very limited. For more info, please email me at [email protected] or click reply, if you received this as an email.