Pro-life or Pro-Gun:
The Left’s Attempt to Divide Christianity
By John Poland
I recently watched a re-airing of a PBS Independent Lens program titled “The Armor of Light”. Labeled a documentary, it was actually just a campaign ad meant to start the division of the Christian community over the gun issue. It was first aired on May 9, 2016. Trump’s victory set back the gun control lobby at that time, but they have not given up. This program is being replayed now, with the democrats in a better position to control the legislative agenda this session.
This program portrayed the pro-gun lobby as being in opposition to the pro-life movement and even went so far as to show a minister preaching to a congregation that supporting the second amendment is directly in opposition to the word of God. The featured preacher is Rob Schenck, described in Wikipedia as an American Evangelical clergyman who ministers to elected and appointed officials in Washington, DC, and serves as president of The Dietrich Bonhoeffer Institute.
I found the entire sermon delivered by Mr. Schenck on YouTube:
The full sermon is nearly 34 minutes long. It is worth listening to as a lesson in how scripture may be manipulated to support a political position. The portion used in the documentary may be found at: A Sermon on Gun Violence
One particular quote from a sermon shown in the program stands out:
“There are many people – many Christians – who are arming themselves because they are fearful – terribly fearful, about potential or imagined threats to them, to their families, even to their churches.
When God’s people are in bondage to fear I think we as pastors, shepherds of souls, should be concerned. I’ve asked pastors where and how they get their information on gun issues. Most tell me ‘Fox News’ or ‘the NRA’. Brothers and sisters, Fox News and the NRA are not spiritual authorities. I’m concerned about the NRA promoting the idea that the best way to solve the most vexing problems in our society is to be prepared to shoot people dead. That doesn’t sit well with me as a Christian, moral vision.”
Note how every argument is phrased as “either God, or guns, but not both.” Clearly, the Progressives are attempting to drive a wedge between those who are pro-life and those who are pro-gun. The goal is to weaken Christianity in America to the point where it is reduced to a politically powerless group that is unable to muster any significant opposition to either gun control legislation or pro-life issues.
Many Christians will probably fall for this rhetoric. Such strong emotional arguments may convince many that there is no place in the Christian faith for gun ownership. Those who maintain a right to own firearms may find themselves ostracized from their Christian community.
What these believers will fail to notice is that in exchange for giving up their gun rights, they will gain nothing. It is foolish to believe that the pro-life movement will be advanced in any way by cooperation with the Left. The Left will never support pro-life issues. In the end, dividing Christians in this way will only serve to weaken Christianity as a whole, and strengthen those who wish to subjugate all of us.
The portrayal of those who support both gun rights and pro life issues was, as would be expected, intended to show them as having only a weak argument mainly based on fear. This is of course not true at all. Though most shootings happen outside of churches, the numbers of people killed in church shootings are still significant:
The National Church Shooting Database recorded a total of 139 shootings in churches between 1980 and 2005. In all, 185 people died, including 36 children. These numbers don’t include other types of violence that don’t involve guns, such as bombings, nor do they include the places of worship of non-Christian faiths, such as synagogues or mosques.
Perhaps Mr. Schenck believes these people were meant to die violently in the name of passive resistance. Perhaps he believes they were more Christian to die as unarmed victims. If so, these are opinions he is entitled to have and even preach. I would hope that he would leave the choice as to whether or not to be armed up to the individual Christian, rather than preach the use of government restriction on that choice. Perhaps I am too optimistic in regards to the motives of Mr. Schenck.
Rather than go through the arguments in favor of gun rights and their compatibility with the Christian faith, I refer the reader to the excellent podcasts put out by KrisAnne Hall and also by JJS at Radio Free Redoubt on the subject. They have done excellent work on this topic.
What we must do is be active promoters of personal liberty. These movements to disarm Christians must be opposed, socially and politically. Encourage your fellow church-goers to support the fight for the Constitution. Christians can not stand by, doing nothing, and expect to live in peace.
The founders of this nation were active believers in God, and were willing to fight the Revolutionary war to start this country. How then can we do nothing, when they gave so much? Unless we fight politically, within the system that the Constitutional framers gave us, we stand to lose all that they gained.
Most importantly, talk to your fellow church-goers. Have the discussions with them about these issues. Work together to come to resolutions that build understanding and cooperation between Christians. Do not let the Left control the discussions. Pastors must be willing to have honest conversations about these topics and allow members to have a say in how matters of church safety and security are addressed. This is a time to demonstrate the character that the Christian faith is meant to build. May it be that the Christian community sees through these attempts to divide it, and use these times to grow in understanding and unity.
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