What drew attention to the nativity scenes were signs posted above Joseph, Mary, and the baby Jesus stating the deaths of recent shootings along with a quote from Jesus: “If only you knew the things that make for peace.”
There are two issues concerning this report:
For one, CNN (and the left) routinely and naively conflate gun ownership with murderous rampages. Guns can be used to take and save lives. It is the operator of the gun, not the gun itself, that presents the greatest threat to our society, just as it is the operator of a vehicle, not the vehicle itself, that pose the threat. And as we all now know, terrorists are using vehicles to commit mass murder. Using CNN’s faulty logic, vehicles should also be banned to prevent more murderous acts.
“It is the operator of the gun, not the gun itself, that presents the greatest threat to our society”
Naive thinking like this leads to laws that leave criminals with all sorts of deadly weapons while stripping peaceable, loving, law-abiding citizens without the proper weapons to defend themselves.
Secondly, linking gun violence stats with the Jesus’ statement shows either a lack of biblical understanding or a willful disregard for exegetical context. While I commend the parish for their display that encourages “prayer for the families affected by these shootings, their victims and even the perpetrators of such violence,” when we take a verse out of the immediate and overarching intended context, we do violence to the Word of God and lose credibility.
Let’s examine the facts:
- All of the shootings stats listed were acts of hate-filled murder. Period. And a heart full of hate is patently against the heart of a born-again believer in Jesus Christ, which is filled with the love of God.
- Whether the murder is committed with a gun, sword, truck, or any other instrument, the people who do so have willingly chosen to shake their fist against the God who came to deliver them from themselves.
- Jesus was not talking about gun violence or gun control when He spoke “If only you knew the things that make for peace.” What was Jesus referring to in Luke 19:42? Ironically He was referencing His sadness (“Jesus wept”) over His people rejecting Him as Messiah. I say ironically because this issue is centered around the Nativity scene, which heralded the announcement of the long awaited Messiah.
- The immediate context of Jesus’ statement includes His prophetic warning of the violent judgment He was authorizing to come upon His disobedient people by the Romans in 70AD (the Temple was destroyed and Jerusalem was left utterly desolate).
- Jesus also said: “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.” (Matthew 10:34) [emphasis added] While this verse should not be used to incite unjust violence, Jesus did do violent things, such as forming a whip and literally whipping unrighteous people out of His Father’s House (the Temple).
- This same Jesus who would prefer peace commanded His disciples to buy a carry weapon for self-defense: “And let the one who has no sword sell his cloak and buy one.” (Luke 22:36)
What is the lesson?
Until Jesus comes the second and final time to restore ALL things to a state of blessed paradise (the new heavens and new earth), evil and evil people will continue to do evil deeds. These evil people will invent weapons if all weapons are taken away. And only those who are righteous, with noble and sincere intentions, are our best hope to defend against pandemic evil.
“Disarming the righteous is foolhardy and naive…”
Disarming the righteous is foolhardy and naive because the unrighteous will always find a way to steal, kill, and destroy just like their father, Satan, who was a liar from the beginning.