Can Christians Own Guns?

Q. I can’t find anything regarding this on your site or in scripture. I know that before Yashua was crucified, He told His disciples to arm themselves. Is there anything more that answers this question? Is owning a gun show a lack of faith?

A. Let’s take this opportunity to clear up a misunderstanding. On the night of the Lord’s betrayal when they were confronted by the soldiers who had come to arrest Jesus, the disciples asked if they should strike with their swords (Luke 22:49). One of them actually attacked the servant of the High Priest, cutting off his ear. (According to John 18:10 it was Peter.) Jesus said, “Put your sword back in its place, for all who draw (take up) the sword will die by the sword” (Matt. 26:52).

Some use the Lord’s statement to justify banning all weapons, but Jesus wasn’t criticizing Peter for owning a weapon. Earlier that day He had advised the disciples that if they didn’t have a sword to sell their cloak and buy one (Luke 22:36). Apparently they took Him at His word and were armed.

There are three points to understand here. First, this was a specific instance, and not meant as a general admonition. In telling them to put their weapons away, He was simply warning the disciples that they were hopelessly outnumbered and if they attacked the soldiers they would be killed.

His second point was He didn’t need them to defend Him anyway. He had forces of His own that were more than sufficient (Matt. 26:53).

And third, He didn’t want to resist His arrest because things were proceeding according to the plan laid down in Scripture (Matt. 26:54, 56).

A few years later Paul wrote, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath” (Romans 12:18-19).

Christians are supposed to make every effort to live in peace, but as far as I can see there is no prohibition in Scripture against owning a weapon.

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