Guns and the Bible

    In my last blog, I talked about growing up and loving to fish as a child. My dad instilled in me a love for the outdoors in general. But I would have to say that even more than fishing, I loved to hunt. I began traipsing through the woods and into duck blinds carrying just a BB gun when I was barely of school age. I still remember arguing with Dad over who actually killed the duck. I was honestly convinced that the one BB that came out of my spring-loaded Daisy was the lethal shot that landed our dinner.
    What’s interesting is that I don’t remember a lot of what my dad taught me about hunting per se. What I do remember is the gun safety he taught me. He was very concerned that I grew up knowing how to properly respect the power of a firearm and that I knew how to handle myself around a gun. At the age of twelve, like most boys growing up in Wisconsin, I took the DNR’s Hunter Safety Course. But I honestly could have taught the class. My dad had already thoroughly taught me more than the instructor could have had time for.
    I struggle with our society’s attitude towards guns in general. I realize that the misuse of firearms has become a huge problem in our country, particularly in metropolitan areas. Things were different in small town Wisconsin, and I understand that. But I have had people express shock when they learn that I, personally, own guns. Its almost as though they do not believe that a pastor, or any upstanding decent person, should own a gun. But I usually remind people that not that long ago, many more households in America, if not most, had guns, and few of them locked up their guns. Yet, firearm violence did not approach the problem that it is today. What has changed? It isn’t an increased availability of weaponry, that has actually diminished. It is the value system of our population. Owning a gun is not the problem. Lacking love for other people and respect for all human life is.
    I could go on with a lengthy treatise on the culture milieu that has led to our propensity for violence, particularly in the inner cities, but this blog isn’t about that. I have another application.
    I have seen that just as some people view “possessing a gun” to be evil or dangerous, in and of itself, many Christians view “possessing a Bible” to be good or beneficial, in and of itself. Just like guns, its not the possession that makes the difference, its the use. Just having a Bible, or even carrying a Bible to church, does no one any good. There is no magical spell placed on the leather or cardboard cover, onion skin pages, or ink (black or red) that brings God’s blessing to anyone. God’s blessing flows through the truths, the principles, the words of Scripture, to those who read, study and practice them (Joshua 1:8). Having a Bible does nothing for you unless you read it, learn from its teaching, and put it into practice at home, work and with your friends. God doesn’t care if you have a Bible. He cares if you read it!
    So….do you?

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