Why Gun Control is a Spiritual Issue

This post originally appeared at World Net Daily here.

Immediately following the Parkland, Florida, shooting there was a call for – get this – gun control. A fury was led by Parkland students David Hogg and Cameron Kasky, who were given expert status by the media simply because of geography. (They were in a school while a shooting took place, apparently giving them unassailable wisdom. By this logic the entire city of Chicago is genius.) That fury was directed:

  • Against the shooter who actually killed the people? No.
  • Against the FBI for ignoring tips that the shooter was going to shoot? Ridiculous.
  • Against Sheriff Israel, who lied about how much contact his department had with the shooter, his weapons, etc., while talking about his own “amazing leadership,” (which coincidentally led to the deaths of 17 people)? Try again.
  • That the shooting took place in a “gun-free” zone, where 98 percent of ALL mass shootings take place? That’s some Einstein thought calling a place “gun-free” would repel rather than attract shooters?

No no no. The fury is against the NRA, a Second Amendment civil rights group of 5 million citizens. The NRA had no part in the shooting. Its members have never committed a mass shooting, but an NRA member did use his AR-15 to stop the Sutherland Springs shooter.

Most significantly, there is a lot of talk about “gun” violence and “gun” control and “gun” deaths. What’s missing? The language of “murderer” control and “criminal” violence and “terrorists caused” deaths.

Why? Why propose limiting the power of the citizenry instead of expressing anger at a government that can’t follow its own rules to stop a killer? Where is the rage at the mass shooter and his bloodlust? What’s behind this thinking?

The answer is this: Gun control is a spiritual issue based on a spiritual worldview.

Let’s consider two views in light of what God says about this issue in the Bible.

The two views are:

  1. The weapon makes the person do bad things. If people didn’t have guns, everyone would be safe.
  2. The person is the problem and responsible for all his or her actions.

Let’s examine both from a Biblical perspective.

1. The weapon is the problem. It makes people do bad things – or global warming does, or Christian football players kneeling in prayer (may provoke ISIS), or whatever is “out there” that might trigger someone.

What does God say about this? Nothing.

God NEVER, EVER says a condemning word about spears, javelins, rocks, arrows, axes, clubs, whips or other tools used to kill. (Guns weren’t invented until around 1364). That is remarkable. There are many, many many words in the Bible. It’s incredibly wordy! Over 807,000 words! But God doesn’t use one word to condemn weapons used in an actual murder!

The first murder in all of creation is recorded in Genesis 4: Cain kills Abel. But God doesn’t even name the weapon! If the very first murder weapon in the world was to blame, seems like God would name and condemn it. What a great opportunity for God to ban the weapon. Instead, He will later famously say, Thou Shalt Not Murder.

Which only makes sense if it’s not the inanimate object that causes the problem.

2. The person is the problem.

Short summary for those who like to skip ahead: This is the view of the entire Bible.

God always and only blames individuals for evil done in the world. He claims that it’s a heart problem, not an inanimate object problem. He sent His Son to die on a cross to deal with the problem in the heart of every person.

To further demonstrate, while God never says, “ban the weapon” He does say “punish the wrongdoer.” He says good government is put in place to do (Romans 13) “terror to those who do bad” and that the government “does not bear the sword in vain,” and “carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer.”

No wrath against the sword! No terror against the knife or gun! Instead, we see actual wrath and terror against the wrongdoer (God’s Words not mine). That’s scary stuff! And, by the way, the only thing criminals fear.

Rather than banning the weapon, in a very real way, God commands banning the murderer.

He says,”If anyone takes a human life, that person’s life will also be taken by human hands. For God made human beings in His own image” (Genesis 9:6). God is pro-capital punishment, no ifs, ands or buts (read more here).

It’s not about weapon control. It’s all about murderer control and armed robber control and wife beater control and child killer control and rapist control and terrorist control.

Our Founding Fathers, (not all Christian but shared Biblical values) never feared an armed citizenry. They did fear an unchecked, armed government and the criminal. So, they enshrined in our Constitution the God-given right of a free press and the right to bear arms to protect everyone against criminals and tyrannical government.

Weapons don’t make bad guys do bad things. They do bad all on their own. So, they should be met with force, punished forcefully and yes – kept away from guns. But never at the expense of the liberty of the law-abiding.

Amen and amen – David Ruzicka

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A Powerful Secret for Radical Change

Everyone has a secret to change your life. You’ve seen some of them. Here are some great ones:

  • Dollar Shave Club.
  • Hair Club for Men.
  • Viagra – from the commercials on my TV, this strange blue magic pill called Viagra turns you into a strong cowboy who knows how to pull a truck out of the mud with horses or fisherman on the wild and angry sea. Call me a cynic, but I question that.
  • Sea Monkeys!

Of the above, I think Sea Monkeys have the highest probability of life change.sea-monkeys

Best Life-Change Story I’ve Heard

Frank Laubach was a missionary in the Philippines in the 1930’s.Today missionaries all over the world send emails, Skype, even have websites.

An American missionary stationdfgfgded in the Philippines in the 1930’s would be completely removed from the world he knew. Contact with home could only be made via boat or plane. So he was:

  • Isolated.
  • Alone.
  • On his own.
  • With only Jesus to trust to fulfill his (and His) mission.

How did he do it? He tried an experiment. He determined to take ONE second of every minute to turn his mind to Christ. A moment here, a moment there, connecting with His Creator.

How did it go? It changed the trajectory of his life.

In his own words:

“I feel simply carried along each hour, doing my part in a plan which is far beyond myself. This sense of cooperation with God in little things is what so astonishes me, for I never have felt it this way before. I need something and turn round to find it waiting for me. I must work, to be sure, but there is God working along with me.

God raised Frank Laubach from being a lonely missionary in the Philippines to a Christian world statesman, the founder of World Literacy Crusade, and a great influence on the United States foreign policy in the post-WWII years. And he attributed all of his brilliant ideas and incredible energy and effectiveness from this practice: practicing the presence of God.

You can have moment by moment guidance from the One who makes the universe safe, for your marriage, your work, your ministry, your life.

The Bible refers to this. It says right there in, 1 Thessalonians 5:17 “Pray all the time.

How in the world do you do that?

It’s easier than you think.

It’s called, “breath prayers.” “LORD – PLEASE GIVE ME GOOD BREATH WHILE I GO TALK TO THIS CUTE GIRL,” says I, as I walk across the business school to ask my future wife out.

But that’s not what I’m talking about. Stupid me.

Christians have practiced breath prayers for a long time. It’s picking a simple phrase or Scripture that you can say in one breath and praying it all day long, over and over, Frank Laubauch style, keeping the conversation going with the Father. Like  this:

  • I love you, Lord.
  • For me to live is Christ.
  • Use me today Lord.
  • I am Yours.
  • Make me pure.
  • Make me holy.
  • You are my God.

Pray it all day long to honor God and keep in constant contact with Him. My experience is that it keeps my mind sent on Him, and my heart (affections) directed toward Him.

hike

HINT: Set a reminder on your phone for 5 minutes from now with the breath prayer you want to pray. When it pops up on your screen, pray it, snooze it for 5 minutes, or just leave it and look at it every few minutes. Mine has said, “For me to live is Christ!” all day today.

Here’s what I can promise you: If you begin to constantly practice the presence of God while standing, sitting, waking, sleeping, working and playing, you’ll never lack the Father’s presence – pouring out His peace, direction, purpose, kindness, goodness, making Christ known,  and divinely leading you through the morass of life on this earth.

His promise to you:

You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in You, all whose thoughts are fixed on You!
Isaiah 26:3

Now get on with it. He is waiting for you.

Amen, amen.
Transformation

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Banned Phrase: Follow Your Heart

As we were on vacation this last week, my youngest daughter said “I hate that phrase ‘follow your heart’! It’s so crazy! Your heart is just a thing in your chest!”

I told her she’s right on the money in terms of it being bad advice. And that actually God would agree with her (on the “what” of the statement – not necessarily the “why”).

We hear this all the time and it sounds so sweet, so wise, so sentimental: “follow your heart.”

By that we mean “follow that inside voice or passion that longs for something, that draws you  like a moth to a flame to something.”

It’s most often used in reference to love. Everyone else is saying “that guy or gal is bad news!” But we know better than everybody and we don’t want to give up on that guy or gal, even if they are in prison for 5 to 10. So some well meaning shallow thinker (WMST) comes along and with a doe eyed gaze and a soft voice says “follow your heart.” Most ridiculous example lately? Twilight. Read my post about it here.

What “follow your heart” really means is “toss all reason aside, be stupid, ignore all the folks who have loved you, cared for you and sacrificed for you all of your life and DO WHAT YOU WANT TO DO!”

Took this photo of Grim Death at
midnight in graveyard in Colorado.

And of course we latch onto that advice like grim death (see inset), because we all want to do what we want to do.

 

Good syrupy – with
which God is well
pleased.

 What Does God Say?

That sappy, sugary, syrupy, overused Hallmark admonition is about 180 degrees out of phase with God’s thoughts on the heart.

God says this about our hearts in Jeremiah 17:9 (I like the KJV here):

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? 

Let’s just think about that for minute. Shouldn’t take long. We have years of history to reference in regards to this verse.

First Part: The heart is deceitful. True or false?  Well true. Just listen to your heart for a few minutes. My heart tells me all kinds of crazy things. Selfish lies like “I’m always right, everyone else is always wrong. It’s never my fault. It’s always someone else’s. I deserve the best now.”

Great example – you don’t have to “teach” a kid to do wrong. They come by it naturally. There are no books titled “Raising a Corrupt Kid”. Don’t get me wrong – they can learn along the way how to do more wrong, but innate in the heart of every child is a propensity to do wrong. The job of the parent is to teach a child to do right.

Don’t believe me? See if these Toddler Property Laws (author unknown) don’t ring true:

1. If I like it, it’s mine (true story-at 5, neighbor girl tried to pull our cat through the chain link fence by it’s tail saying “its mine, its mine” Cat did not go through).
2. If it’s in my hand, it’s mine.
3. If I can take it from you, it’s mine.
4. If I had it a little while ago, it’s mine.
5. If it’s mine, it must never appear to be yours in any way.
6. If I’m doing or building something, all the pieces are mine.
7. If it looks just like mine, it is mine.
8. If I saw it first, it’s mine.
9. If you are playing with something and you put it down, it automatically becomes mine.
10. If it’s broken, it’s yours

We have thousands of years of history that tell us the heart is deceitful. Wars and laws and laws broken are the every day evidence of deceitful hearts.

The heart also tells me dangerous lies.
Lies like: “you’re too far gone. God can’t stand you. Just look at yourself! You’re too fat, too old, too lazy, too stupid, too useless, too ridiculous, too (fill in the blank) for God to use or love! You’re tired of you, imagine how He feels! Jesus died for everyone…but you. No one is as bad as you. There’s no forgiveness for you.”

My heart tells me great big fat fibs all the time. The truth is found in God’s Word.

Second Part: The heart is desperately wicked.  True! I know my heart. My heart wants what it wants regardless of the moral content of any action. God’s grace allows me to say “no”, but the natural inclination is to say “yes” to the wrong thing.

Not sure about that? Just look at history. Hitler followed his heart. His heart hated the Jews. Stalin followed his heart. His heart loved power. The Boston bomber followed his heart. His heart hated anyone not Muslim. Rolling Stone magazine editors followed their hearts. Their hearts loved (guessing the motive for their callous stupidity here) money from notoriety.

But those are big time aberrations, right? Wrong. There is a reason we have those things called “laws.” We have laws, because the natural inclination of the human heart is toward wrong. Without moral guard rails, every man and every woman will follow their hearts right off a cliff.

The natural inclination of the heart is toward destruction. Paul, while awaiting execution, wrote of the common end of  “following your heart”: This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy. 2 Timothy 3:1-2 

You could summarize that passage this way: People will follow their hearts. Or if you want to get all Biblical on me, you could quote Judges 17:6 Everyone did what was right in their own eyes.

So the phrase “follow your heart” is banned for all time. I’m sure everyone, everywhere will follow my decree.

But even if they don’t, I’d encourage you to replace that phrase with a better, simple one: Follow Jesus.

God Speed,

Pastor David

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PS: Grammar checking may be off this week. My apologies.