Ayvaunn Penn, All Christian News
Everyone knows that one of the ten commandments is “Thou shalt not kill.” So, why are Christians split on the issue of gun control? Simply because it is not that simple. No one states it better than Jim Roope: “Christians of every stripe; conservative, moderate and liberal tend to agree with the Gospel’s message of love and peace. However, they don’t agree on what that Gospel message means.” In an effort to hash our the answer, CNN reporter Roope, recently conducted interviews with prominent leaders in the Christian community to attempt to hash out the answer.
One of the first people he speaks with is David Heim, executive editor of Christian Century Magazine. On the issue of gun control, Heim states, “Christian Ethics begins with love of neighbor; love and care of neighbor…We live in a country in which we have 10 or 20 times more gun murders than other comparable countries.” Heim then began to evaluate why that is. He questions if it is because the U.S. has more evil people or more mentally unstable people than other comparable countries. His resolve is that neither of the latter are true. His answer is that “it seems guns are a huge factor.”
For a different perspective, Roope then speaks with Mark Rogers, the founder of Christaingunowner.com. Rogers emphatically inquires, “When the next monster walks into a theater, mall, restaurant, college campus or grade school and begins to shoot and kill innocent men, women and children…who’s going to shoot back?”. Interestingly enough, Rogers even goes so far as to provide what he believes to be scriptural proof that it is okay for Christians to bear arms. “It was clear that Jesus’s disciples carried weapons of that day to defend themselves from common threats. While he told Peter to sheath his sword and never live by the sword, it was clear that Peter carried that weapon routinely,” Rogers states.
On the other hand, a professor of scripture at Loyola Marymount Catholic University says that although weapons are in the Bible, there is virtually no support for the notion of modern day weapons or the right to bear arms in the New Testament. Instead, the professor brings attention to Jesus’ sermon on the mount in which He proclaims, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” The professor also references Jesus’ instruction to believers to turn the other cheek.
So, where does all of this leave us? We are still at square one. Forget guns, Christians have always debated the interpretation of scripture. That is why there are so many different denominations. It is probably safe to say that Christians will never reach a consensus on the right to bear arms.
The founder of The Penn Speaks and Your Black Poets, Ayvaunn Penn is an award-winning writer pursuing her graduate degrees in dramatic writing and acting. To follow her on Facebook, click here. To have Ayvaunn Penn feature your original poetry on Your Black Poets, click here.