I know I am in the minority on this issue, but I’m perplexed by the faith that so many Christians place in their guns. While I tend to agree with John Piper that, while owning a gun for self-defense is not definitively wrong, it’s not very wise.

The simplest reason being that I find it difficult to desire the death of anyone who would likely be on their way to hell. It is probable that anyone who would choose to attack or steal from us does not have Christ, therefore, our first concern as believers should not be our physical health but their spiritual health.

It is because of this worldview that I became sick to my stomach last year listening to Liberty University president Jerry Falwell encourage students to get their concealed carry permits so they could “…end those Muslims before they walk in and kill us” – only to be met with excited cheers and applause from thousands of Christian college students.

A few months ago, John Piper wrote an article about the issue of guns which attracted a firestorm of comments and response articles from the Christian majority. However, this article really resonated with me and spoke to many of the personal convictions I had developed about not owning a firearm.

While Piper was pretty clear about his personal convictions, he was ultimately asking bigger questions than the simple “Should I own a gun?”

“The issue is not primarily about when and if a Christian may ever use force in self-defense, or the defense of one’s family or friends. There are significant situational ambiguities in the answer to that question. The issue is about the whole tenor and focus and demeanor and heart-attitude of the Christian life. Does it accord with the New Testament to encourage the attitude that says, “I have the power to kill you in my pocket, so don’t mess with me”? My answer is, No.”

Unfortunately, many Christians seemed to skim over the deeper issue presented, and became upset, with some commenters claiming he was a pacifist, liberal, etc.

A few months later, at the Bethlehem Conference for Pastors + Leaders, he commented on the issue once more. I personally don’t think a Christian could speak to the topic of guns more beautifully and more precisely than in the statement given at that conference.

Rather than edit it down, I have chosen to transcribe the entire quote, as I think it’s important for every Christian to grasp. If you’d prefer to listen/watch, the five-minute video is located at the end of the article. Please listen to what Piper has to say on this topic.

“If there is someone in your church clamoring for you to show them from the Bible that they have a right to carry a gun and defend themselves and their family from suffering, by all means, spend ten cents dealing with that. And then, spend a million dollars dealing with [joy in suffering.] You get that?

‘Why would you say that Piper?’

Because you don’t need the Bible and you don’t need the Holy Spirit to encourage human beings to defend themselves. None. They are so ready. ‘Just tell me it’s okay because I want to do it.’ And so does the world, without the slightest need for regeneration, or the Holy Spirit, or the Bible, so yeah, by all means, give it ten cents, and then work on miracles! Right?

Who of you rejoices when you’re slapped? Who of you rejoices when you’re insulted? Who of you rejoices when the marriage has difficulty and the kids are breaking your heart, and your church is splitting apart? Who of you has that miracle working in your life? Spend a million dollars on that!

That’s my burden. And if somebody says – and they’re going to write in; I’m going to get emails about this – ‘There you go again Piper, confusing a burglar breaking into your house with Christian persecution.’ I’m not confusing that. I said, ‘Give it ten cents. Just tell them what you need to tell them.’

It’s worth ten cents. It is! It’s in the Bible.

Now, when you’ve spent your ten cents – telling them the most obvious thing in the world that their carnality wants anyway – make some miracles happen. Get on your face before God and ask to become a new kind of person that the world cannot explain.

The world does not ask you for a reason for the hope that is in you if you tell them it’s in your holster. Nobody is going to get converted by the Christians being ‘savvy when the Muslims show up.’ No, they’re not. And talking like that does us no good!

I labor it for a very simple personal reason, I’m not like that yet. And I want to be because I’m going to meet Jesus soon. I mean, do you get that? Are you like that? Do you rejoice in suffering?”

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