When I originally released this article some readers assumed that I was claiming that someone couldn’t be a Christian and support the NRA. That was not my intention at all. My goal was to use dramatic overstatement to get Christian gun owners to rethink their allegiance to a worldly organization through the lens of the gospel. I do not apologize for what I said about the NRA, but I definitely apologize for giving people the impression they couldn’t disagree with me and remain devout in their faith. I could have been much clearer and I am sorry that I wasn’t. Hopefully, the new title and a few added phrases here and there will help clarify my original intent. – Brian
If you’re a Christian that supports the NRA (National Rifle Association), you are either unaware of what this organization is doing to this country, or unaware of what such a tightly held allegiance to a worldly organization looks like through the lens of the cross. There is no third option.
Before I go any further I should probably tell you that I am a gun owner, and why.
I own a Glock 19 handgun and a Remington 870 Express 12-gauge shotgun. I also have a concealed carry permit. It would probably also be helpful to know that I am a Christian and the Senior Pastor of a Bible-believing megachurch. For some readers, the first two sentences of this paragraph probably seem irreconcilable with the third. This is unnecessary.
Like almost all gun owners, my connection with guns began with hunting. After much begging, my parents gave me a 20-gauge shotgun for my 16th birthday so I could go rabbit and squirrel hunting. Where I grew up in the Midwest, this was normal. A year later I purchased a 22 semi-automatic rifle, again, for small game hunting. For those not familiar with guns, both are beginner-level types of firearms.
Today, the reason I own a handgun is simple: my wife and I enjoy backwoods hiking, and we often find ourselves in extremely remote areas of the country. I carry my Glock 19 handgun to protect my wife from both two-legged and four-legged predators (like this summer when we stumbled upon and came dangerously close to getting trampled by a 1,500-pound moose while hiking at 10,000 ft. in the Grand Tetons). I obtained a concealed carry permit because it provides the least complicated way possible to transport my handgun inside and outside the state of Pennsylvania. I only carry this gun when I go on these types of trips. Like most gun owners, I own a shotgun for personal home defense.
My goal is to NEVER have to take aim at another human being unless I am forced to do so in order to protect the lives of my family members against lethal force. I will let you hurt me. I will not let you hurt anyone in my family.
I mention my story to provide context for saying this: the NRA is easily one of the most anti-Christ-like political action organizations in our country. All Christians everywhere must unite to stop its influence.
I could care less whether you are a Republican, Democrat, Independent, or whatever. This is not a political issue. This is an issue of Biblical justice. Like the great Old Testament Prophets of the past, as a Christian, you must exert every ounce of influence you have to neutralize the effects of this insidious organization (Micah 6:8).
The NRA Blocks Research On Gun Violence
In 1996 the NRA pressured Congress to pass a bill drafted by then Rep. Jay Dickey (Ga.) forbidding the CDC to spend funds “to advocate or promote gun control.” Some call the amendment a ban, but technically it is not. It does allow for research on injuries or deaths from firearms. But, after the bill was passed, Congress cut funding for the CDC by the exact amount that had been spent on gun research in the year before. When that $2.6 million in funding was eventually restored, it was earmarked for brain injury research.
According to the CDC’s $7 billion 2016 budget, $11 million was earmarked for the prevention of arthritis. Another $6 million was earmarked for research into prion disease, an illness that affects an estimated 300 people in the U.S. each year. The CDC’s budget for the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System–All Injury Program (NEISS-AIP), which tracks data on all injuries nationwide, including firearm-related ones, isabout $50,000 a year.
Take a look HERE at this list of all of the mass shootings that have happened since the Dickey Bill came into effect. Such as the 32 students killed on April 16, 2007 on the campus of Virginia Tech, or the 50 people murdered in the Orlando nightclub shooting. The list will make you sick to your stomach. There is a reason Jay Dickey now regrets having introduced that bill.
The NRA Blocks Responsible Gun Law Reform
To purchase my Glock 19 all I had to do was walk into my local sports store and fill out a piece of paper that said I didn’t have a history of mental illness nor had been convicted of a crime. After a quick background check, I walked out of the store with the exact handgun the Navy Seals use. This is the same process I went through to obtain the exact shotgun police officers have in the trunks of their squad cars. No training required. Nothing.
To obtain my concealed handgun permit from the State of Pennsylvania all I had to do was walk into my county courthouse and fill out paperwork similar to the handgun purchase paperwork. 10 minutes later I walked out with a card that gave me the ability to carry a handgun underneath my shirt inside grocery stores, libraries, malls, etc. When I was handed my concealed carry ID card I was shocked that, quite frankly, the nutty people who were in line with me were given the same privilege. No training required. Nothing.
Christians, there’s a reason 12-year-olds aren’t given driver’s licenses. There’s a reason I can’t open a pharmacy in my garage. There’s a reason if you want to practice medicine, you need to go to medical school and pass your boards.
But if you want to own a gun in this country, there’s virtually NOTHING required for you to get one. And this makes sense how?
Here’s what I believe:
- There should be a singular nationwide process for obtaining a gun.
- There should be a minimum six-month waiting period.
- You should have to obtain a medical and psychiatric background check beforehand.
- You should have to train and be certified prior to purchasing a gun.
- You should have to put in a certain number of hours of supervised training each year to keep your gun.
- There should be uniform laws and equipment standards dictating how guns and ammunition are stored in homes to prevent childhood accidents.
- Guns should be revoked when certain behaviors trigger an alert in a national database of combined medical care professionals and civil/law enforcement agencies.
I don’t know any Christian gun owner who would oppose strict regulations like these.
According to our constitution, owning a gun is a right. But rights come with responsibilities. Getting and maintaining a firearm should be no less stringent than getting a driver’s license.
This is just common sense.
But the NRA opposes, at virtually every turn, any possible discussion by lawmakers of common sense changes to the status quo. I mean, how exactly did children in Sandy Hook get massacred and NOTHING happened afterward? You know how that happened!
Look at the NRA-PVF website (the NRA’s political action committee). It is a massive, coordinated monitoring system which alerts its members, donors and Super PAC’s to show up, protest, and exert their influence to block ANY legislation that might restrict gun ownership in any way. Opposing the NRA is political suicide in many districts.
Engaging The Powers Of Darkness
The NRA stopped gun-control legislation reform in its tracks immediately after Sandy Hook because it is a perfect example of what the Apostle Paul called a “principality and power” (Colossians 1:16) – a worldly, systemic structure that stands in opposition to God’s purposes in the world. In the biblical worldview, there are actual, personal demons that are called “principalities and powers.” Then there are societal structures, like the Nazi party, or human trafficking channels in Thailand, that are also called “principalities and powers” that are equally demonic. The NRA is such a principality and power.
Jesus said if someone hurts a little kid, it would be better for them to strap a rock around their neck and jump off a bridge into a lake somewhere than to face his wrath (Matthew 18:6). How much more so an organization that holds 300,000,000 people hostage to ineffective gun laws that result in countless deaths of children before our very eyes?
Where are the pastors willing to risk losing members to speak out about this? Where are the biblically functioning churches willing to stand up for justice? Where are the bloggers and authors willing to risk losing readers to speak the truth in love?
The NRA will continue to hurt children until Christians choose to stand up to them.
Christians, those of you who believe that Jesus is the hope of the world and that his Church is charged with being the salt and light of society, DO SOMETHING.
Sign this petition led by Sarah Clements, the daughter of one of the teachers that survived the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting. Contact your representative in Congress using this easy to follow guide. Share the link to this article on Facebook and Twitter through the buttons at the bottom of this article. Forward this to friends. By all means, vote for Republicans, Democrats, and Independents who aren’t “owned” by this heinous organization.
This isn’t a political issue.
This is a Biblical justice issue.