FIREARMS:
Scripturally Defended

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Authority

Few Americans are more strident about their constitutional rights,1 particularly the Second Amendment guarantee to keep and bear arms, than are hunters and gun enthusiasts:

A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. (Amendment 2, United States Constitution)

Some of the most powerful Washington special-interest groups are the organizations (such as the National Rifle Association and Gun Owners of America) formed to protect these rights. As a gun owner and hunter myself, I am very concerned about my “right” to keep and bear arms. However, as the Christian head of my home, I am much more concerned about my God-given responsibility to keep and bear arms for the protection of my family, home, and possessions. Consequently, I am not a Second Amendment advocate. In fact, I believe Americans who tout the Second Amendment as their authority for their right to keep and bear arms may ultimately do more harm than good to their so-called right.

Because this is a “right” codified by the Constitutional Republic, and thereby brought under its jurisdiction, the Constitutional Republic can choose to divest its citizens of this right – something it has been doing incrementally for some time.

On June 26, 2008, in District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S., the Supreme Court decided, five to four, that the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to own and bear firearms. Most gun owners lauded the decision, but not this gun owner. Although I was pleased that the Supreme Court ruled as it did, this battle (which is far from over) concerning the Constitutional right to bear arms has diverted our attention from a larger and much more consequential battle.

Disconcerting as many people may find the erosion of the Second Amendment guarantee, it is even more disturbing that five people have the power to decide whether United States citizens have the right to protect themselves and their families, to what degree, and with what weapons. The Supreme Court essentially ruled that Americans have the right to bear arms, but only until they say otherwise.

Many Americans who extolled this decision overlooked the fact that it can – and likely will – be overturned by a future court, just as this decision overturned United States v. Miller, 307 U.S. 174, rendered in 1939. If you look to the Second Amendment for your authority to bear arms, that authority is contingent upon the fickle nature of nine fallible human beings.

The right of United States citizens to bear arms is also in jeopardy by future amendment, which could overturn the Second Amendment. This was attempted on March 11, 1992, by Major Owens of New York, “Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States repealing the Second Amendment to the Constitution” (H. J. Res. 438). Do not forget that the well-regulated militia provided for by the Second Amendment was, for all practical purposes, done away with long ago.2

Constitutionalists argue that that Second Amendment did not grant a new right but simply acknowledged an existing right. Although this assertion contains some truth, it does not alter jurisdictional overtones. Others maintain that the Second Amendment protects our God-given right to self-protection. This can only mean that Yahweh3 was impotent to protect Himself what He gave to us and that His Word was insufficient and required the Constitution’s guarantee.

Robertson v. Baldwin, 165 U.S. 275 (1897) affirms that “the ‘Bill of Rights,’ were not intended to lay down any novel principle of government, but simply to embody certain guaranties and immunities which we had inherited from our English ancestors” – rather than from Yahweh.

Whereas Yahweh’s law in no way prohibits a man from carrying a concealed weapon (a precaution that is sometimes warranted), Robertson v. Baldwin goes on to declare that “the right of the people to keep and bear arms [codified by] (Art. II) is not infringed by laws prohibiting the carrying of concealed weapons….”

The framers could have acknowledged the Scriptures as the foundation for this right, which would have alleviated any possibility of edicts prohibiting concealed weapons. They could have but they did not. Instead, they left it to Congress to implement such firearms restrictions as we have today.

If the responsibility to keep and bear arms is God-given, no one except Yahweh Himself has the right to withdraw it. If you are a Christian4 (and particularly if you are the head of your home), you were given the responsibility to keep and bear arms long before the United States Constitution was framed or ratified:

Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a twoedged sword in their hand; to execute vengeance upon the heathen, and punishments upon the people; to bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron; to execute upon them the judgment written: this honour have all his saints. Praise ye YH.5 (Psalm 149:6-9)6

The Second Amendment was not added to the Constitution on behalf of hunters and gun enthusiasts, but rather to deter tyrannous government and to protect individuals from such tyranny:

The importance of this article will scarcely be doubted by any persons who have duly reflected upon the subject…. The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered the palladium of the liberties of the republic; since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers; and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them.7

Why would Christian men need the Second Amendment to provide this entitlement when they already have Psalm 149 – unless, of course, they regard Yahweh as incompetent and His laws inept? To paraphrase Alphonso Bedoya in the movie Treasure of the Sierra Madre, “We don’t need no stinkin’ Second Amendment!”

State Licensing

Why do Christian men think they need the state to sanction self-defense or any other God-given responsibility? This is a question that should be asked not only by gun owners, but also by anyone seeking the state’s approval to be married and by preachers licensed by the government’s 501(c)(3) tax exempt incorporation status.

What Yahweh ordained and commanded does not require the state’s permission or license. If Yahweh’s commands need to be authorized or licensed by the state, then Yahweh becomes subservient to the state.

When the government requires a license, it does so to give legality to what otherwise, according to the same government, is illegal. Since when did marriage, preaching the gospel, and self-defense become illegal? Since the state chose to disregard Yahweh’s sanction of these activities and began licensing them. Although the state is presently lenient with most who preach without government sanction, marry without a license, and own firearms without permits, it may not always overlook these “transgressions.” When this occurs, it will be imperative for Christian men to recognize that their authority to keep and bear arms does not come from the Constitution but from Yahweh.

Of even greater significance is the Second Amendment’s usurpation of the power to grant the right to bear arms. A deity known as WE THE PEOPLE has commandeered this power, which belongs only to Yahweh. Their decision to “legislate” and adjudicate what Yahweh has already made lawful is evidence of this usurpation. This is not something new to our modern Congress and Supreme Court; this Pandora’s Box was opened in 1789.

For Christian patriots to “hang their firearms hat” on the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution – as so many of them do – is an acknowledgement that WE THE PEOPLE, and not Yahweh, is their god and that the Constitution, and not the Bible, is their supreme law, as per Article 6 of the U.S. Constitution.

Christian Americans need to recognize that the real battle for our responsibility to bear arms is not currently being fought in Congress and the Supreme Court, but was, in fact, lost in 1789 with the ratification of the United States Constitution. Until Christians realize this, we will be forced to watch the 2008 Supreme Court drama over and over again, with each and every decision determined by the prevailing “morality” of the then-standing Supreme Court’s deciding majority.

Firearms: Biblically Defended
Self-Defense

Because most of today’s pulpits are filled with antinomian, pacifist, anti-gun pastors, the majority of today’s Christians are unaware that Yahweh has ordered His disciples to arm themselves. Consequently, Christian men have had to look to the Second Amendment for their authority to keep and bear arms. Had they been following the Apostle Paul’s instructions in 2 Timothy 2:15 (“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”) instead of relying on such pastors, they would have found their authority in the Bible and not the U.S. Constitution.

The question regarding firearms is one of self-defense. Does the Bible sanction self-defense?

If the thief is caught while breaking in, and is struck so that he dies, there will be no bloodguiltiness on his account. But if the sun has risen on him, there will be bloodguiltiness on his account. (Exodus 22:2-3, NASB)

The crime described in this passage is not theft, but burglary. Bouvier’s Law Dictionary defines burglary:

The breaking and entering the house of another in the night-time, with intent to commit a felony therein, whether the felony be actually committed or not.8

Whereas theft is an Eighth Commandment (“Thou shalt not steal”) violation, burglary is a Sixth Commandment (“Thou shalt not kill”) and Seventh Commandment (“Thou shalt not commit adultery”) violation and is, therefore, a capital crime. Stealing is a crime punishable by restitution except when a thief is caught breaking into someone’s home under the concealment of darkness. Although not stated, the obvious reason for this distinction is the impossibility of determining an intruder’s intentions in the dark of night. Under such conditions, you cannot quickly ascertain whether the intruder is merely an unarmed thief or someone with a more malicious intent. During a night raid, Yahweh gives the benefit of the doubt to the homeowner and allows him, regardless the intruder’s intentions, to slay the intruder with immunity, just as if he were a known murderer (a Sixth Commandment violator) or rapist (a Seventh Commandment violator). In principle, the same would be true if the intruder’s intentions are dubious during daylight hours.

Yahweh’s law clearly provides for self-defense as demonstrated in this statute. Because this statute is case law, it likewise vindicates a person who kills a daytime assailant.

It might surprise some people to discover that our Savior was a proponent of self-defense:

…if the head of the house had known at what time of the night the thief was coming, he would have been on the alert and would not have allowed his house to be broken into. (Matthew 24:43, NASB)

When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own homestead, his possessions are undisturbed. (Luke 11:21, NASB)

This last passage teaches that the better armed we are, the less likely someone is to steal from us or harm us and our families.

Yeshua9 (Jesus’ given Hebrew name) commanded His disciples to purchase weapons:

Then said he unto them … he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one. (Luke 22:36)

Yeshua’s command agrees with Psalm 149:6-9. Note that Yeshua did not tell His disciples to register their swords with the government.

Fredrick Bastiat described self-defense as a natural right:

Each of us has a natural right – from God – to defend his person, his liberty, and his property. These are the three basic requirements of life, and the preservation of any one of them is completely dependent upon the preservation of the other two. For what are our faculties but the extension of our individuality? And what is property but an extension of our faculties?

If every person has the right to defend – even by force – his person, his liberty, and his property, then it follows that a group of men have the right to organize and support a common force [as with a militia] to protect these rights constantly.10

What Bastiat depicted as a natural right, the Apostle Paul described as a God-given responsibility:

…if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel. (1 Timothy 5:8)

After first providing for your family’s spiritual safety, your next priority should be providing for your family’s physical protection. Providing food, clothing, and shelter is of little benefit if you are unprepared or unwilling to defend your family against thieves, rapists, and murderers. In other words, it is not unchristian to practice self-defense – it is unchristian if you do not! According to Paul, anyone who fails to provide for his family deserves serious judgment.

Defense of Others

Abraham and Moses provide biblical precedent for taking the law into one’s own hands when it is necessary to protect the life of another person or to thwart a capital crime. In Genesis 14, Abraham killed in order to rescue his nephew Lot from kidnappers. In Exodus 2, Moses slew an Egyptian taskmaster who was assaulting a fellow Israelite. Thus, vigilantism is biblically justified when defending or rescuing another person from being victimized11:

If a damsel that is a virgin be betrothed unto an husband, and a man find her in the city, and lie with her; then ye shall bring them both out unto the gate of that city, and ye shall stone them with stones that they die; the damsel, because she cried not, being in the city; and the man, because he hath humbled his neighbour’s wife: so thou shalt put away evil from among you. (Deuteronomy 22:23-24)

The unstated implication is that if a woman cries out, any man within earshot is to come to her rescue:

If the bystander has an obligation to render aid “with all lost things” of another man [Deuteronomy 22:1-3], he has an even more pressing obligation to help rescue the man. Thus, this principle of responsibility appears in Deuteronomy 22:24. A woman assaulted in a city is presumed to have given consent if she does not raise a cry, the origin of the hue and cry common law. At her cry, every man within sound of her voice has a duty to render immediate aid….12

An eyewitness to a crime has an obligation – a debt if you will – both to the victim and to society. He is duty-bound to intervene and do whatever is necessary to stop the perpetrator. Imagine how many crimes would be averted if thieves, rapists, murderers, and potential criminals knew that every Christian man within sight or earshot stands ready to do whatever is necessary to stop a crime. How much more so, if every law-abiding, able-bodied man were also required to carry a firearm, as per Psalm 149 and Luke 22, for his own, his family’s, and his neighbor’s protection?

The idea of a citizen arresting a criminal probably originated from Deuteronomy 22:23-24 and Psalm 149:6-9. Armed citizens are much more likely to intervene and arrest lawbreakers than are those who are unarmed.

In itself, this would all but eliminate the need for a hired police force. It is impossible for the police to prevent a crime, unless an officer just happens to be at the right place at the right time. “When seconds count, the police are only minutes [or hours] away.” Their presence in a community is more for investigative purposes than crime prevention:

General Sessions Court Judge Bob Moon said Friday [June 27, 2008] that crime in Chattanooga [Tennessee] “has become so rampant that it is no longer possible for the police department to protect our citizens.” He told a woman who had been pulled from her car and beaten in the head that she or her mother needed to “purchase a weapon, obtain a gun permit and learn to protect yourself.”13

In other words, “a gun in the hand is better than a cop on the phone.”

In Castle Rock v. Gonzales, 545 U.S. 748 (2005), the Supreme Court ruled that the police have no obligation to protect citizens. Conversely, it has been demonstrated in cities like Kennesaw, Georgia (a suburb of Atlanta), where every household is required by law to possess a firearm, the need for police protection is all but eliminated.

Tragically, the United States federal and state governments have practically stripped their citizens of their inherent God-given responsibility for self-protection and intervention, with the exception of those who petition and jump through the government’s hoops to secure a concealed weapons permit. Keep in mind that one of the definitions for a permit or license is the permission to do what the government otherwise considers illegal, which makes a criminal of anyone who desires to fulfill his biblical responsibilities without the government’s permission.

By employing the term “assault weapons,” the anti-gun lobby associates all gun owners with criminal intent. Yet, the vast majority of gun owners are not criminals and have no intentions of assaulting anyone. They do not own assault weapons; instead, they have armed themselves with defense weapons.

Despite the attempts of the government, the media, and even certain preachers to vilify self-defense, every Christian man needs to assume the “homesteader mindset” depicted in Matthew 24 and Luke 11. Every Christian householder is commissioned by Yeshua and by the law of Yahweh to defend his family, his possessions, his fellow man, and himself. Every Christian woman without a man to protect her should likewise arm herself.

Where Does Your Authority Come From?

Now there was no [black]smith found throughout all the land of Israel: for the Philistines said, Lest the Hebrews make them swords or spears: But all the Israelites went down to the Philistines, to sharpen every man his [plow]share, and his coulter, and his axe, and his mattock.… So it came to pass in the day of battle, that there was neither sword nor spear found in the hand of any of the people that were with Saul and Jonathan…. (1 Samuel 13:19-22)

The desire to deprive us of our arms is nothing new. It has been with us from nearly the beginning of time. Consequently, it is imperative for us to know that the authority to arm ourselves comes from Yahweh.

Nearly all gun enthusiasts point to the Second Amendment as their authority for possessing firearms. In other words, their authority to keep and bear arms can be traced back to 1789. Where did the men living in America prior to 1789 get their authority to be armed in defense of themselves, their families, their communities, and their nation? I suspect they got it from Exodus 22:2-3; Deuteronomy 22:23-24; Psalm 149:6-9; Luke 11:21, 12:39, 22:36; and 1 Timothy 5:8 – just as those living before 1870, when the first marriage license was issued, got their authority to be married from Genesis 2:21-24, etc. Why did what was already lawful by Yahweh’s standards suddenly, in 1789, need the authorization of the Second Amendment? There is only one answer to this question: The people had transferred their allegiance to a surrogate god.

If your authority to keep and bear arms is derived from the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution –from WE THE PEOPLE – it is unlikely that you will react any differently from the British and Australians who surrendered their weapons without any significant struggle when required to do so by their respective governments. On the other hand, if your faith is in Yahweh’s sovereign authority, you will be far less likely to turn over your weapons to any government unauthorized by the omnipotent Supreme Ruler of the universe.

End Notes

1. For a more thorough study contrasting the United States Constitution with Yahweh’s Laws, Bible Law vs. The United States Constitution: The Christian Perspective may be read online.

2. “…the National Guard is not the ‘Militia’ referenced to in the Second Amendment…. Congress had organized the National Guard under its power to “raise and support armies’ and not its power to ‘Provide for organizing, arming and disciplining the militia.’ The modern National Guard was specifically intended to avoid status as the constitutional militia, a distinction recognized by 10 U.S.C.311(a).” Report of the Subcommittee on the Constitution of the Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate, Ninety-Seventh Congress, Second Session, February 1982, Senate Document 2807.

3. YHWH (most often pronounced Yahweh) is the English transliteration of the Tetragrammaton, the principal Hebrew name of the God of the Bible. For a more thorough explanation concerning the sacred names of God, “The Third Commandment” may be read online, or the book Thou shalt not take the name of YHWH thy God in vain may be ordered from Mission to Israel Ministries, PO Box 248, Scottsbluff, Nebraska 69363, for a suggested $4 donation.*

4. Not everyone claiming to be a Christian has been properly instructed in the biblical plan of salvation. Mark 16:15-16; Acts 2:36-41, 22:1-16; Romans 6:3-4; Galatians 3:26-27; Colossians 2:11-13; and 1 Peter 3:21 should be studied to understand what is required to be covered by the blood of Yeshua and forgiven of your sins. For a more thorough explanation concerning baptism and its relationship to salvation, “Baptism by the Scriptures” and “Fifty Objections to Baptism Answered” may be read online, or the book Baptism: All You Wanted to Know and More may be ordered from Mission to Israel Ministries, PO Box 248, Scottsbluff, Nebraska 69363, for free.

5. Where the Tetragrammaton YHWH (or its abbreviated form YH) – the four Hebrew characters that represent the personal name of God – has been unlawfully rendered the LORD or GOD in English translations, I have taken the liberty to correct this error by inserting YHWH where appropriate. For a more thorough explanation concerning the sacred names of God, “The Third Commandment” may be read online, or the book Thou shalt not take the name of YHWH thy God in vain may be ordered from Mission to Israel Ministries, PO Box 248, Scottsbluff, Nebraska 69363 for a suggested $4 donation.*

6. All Scripture is quoted from the King James Version unless otherwise noted. Portions of Scripture have been omitted for brevity. If there are questions regarding any passage, please open your Bible and study the text to ensure it has been properly used.

7. Joseph Story, Three Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States, 3 vols. (Boston, MA: Hilliard, Gray and Company, 1833) vol. 3, pp. 746-47.

8. John Bouvier, “Burglary,” Bouvier’s Law Dictionary: A Concise Encyclopedia of the Law, 3 vols. (Kansas City, MO: Vernon Law Book Company, 1914) vol. 1, p. 404.

9. Yeshua is the English transliteration of our Savior’s given Hebrew name. Jesus is the English transliteration of the Greek Iesous, which is the Greek transliteration of the of Savior’s Hebrew name Yeshua. For a more thorough explanation concerning the use of the sacred names of God, “The Third Commandment” may be read online, or the book Thou shalt not take the name of YHWH thy God in vain may be ordered from Mission to Israel Ministries, PO Box 248, Scottsbluff, Nebraska 69363, for a suggested $4 donation.*

10. Fredrick Bastiat, The Law (Irvington-on-Hudson, NY: The Foundation for Economic Education, Inc., [1848] 1987) p. 6.

11. For a study on unlawful vigilantism, the book The Phinehas Hoods: A Biblical Examination of Unscriptural Vigilantism may be read online, or it may be ordered from Mission to Israel Ministries, PO Box 248, Scottsbluff, Nebraska 69363 for a suggested $3 donation.*

12. Rousas John Rushdoony, The Institutes of Biblical Law (The Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company, 1973) p. 464.

13. “Judge Advises Crime Victim to Arm Herself After Attack: Moon Says No Longer for Police to Protect Citizens,” 27 June 2008, <http://www.chattanoogan.com/articles/article_130537.asp>.

*We are admonished in Matthew 10:8 “freely ye have received, freely give.” Although we have a suggested a price for our books, we do not sell them. In keeping with 2 Corinthians 9:7, this ministry is supported by freewill offerings. If you cannot afford the suggested price, inform us of your situation, and we will be pleased to provide you with whatever you need for whatever you can send.





















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