January 13, 2013

There are a lot of views on the meaning and application of the Second Amendment.

The one that guarantees or allows the common citizen to own and use a firearm. The two main camps, as you know are the “get rid of em at all costs” camp and the “only after you pry it from my cold dead fingers” camp.

I have my views and if you want to know them write me, I’ll tell you – I am not ashamed. But here is a view muffled by the dramatic shouting from the two camps… universal sin in each and every human; sin as the basis for misbehavior.

Now that fact of universal sin may make a case for getting rid of the tools sinners use to disabuse others – guns, hammers, baseball bats, etc. Or it may make a case for legitimate self protection for the sane and self controlled from the out of control folks who hurt others. You decide.

But what makes me most crazy about this debate is the absence of a voice about the need to treat the heart of the issue as a first remedy to criminal actions – whether a fire arm, bomb, airliner or a baseball bat is involved.

Many today are “blaming” the massacres at Aurora Colorado or Sandy Hook elementary in Connecticut to a host of categories which are divorced from the fact of inherent human sin. Semi automatic rifles, large volume magazines and hand guns are a major focus in the debate. Another focus is mental illness. And a third is the question of best defense for schools – anywhere for arming teachers to better security and access restraint for anyone seeking entrance to a school. And for all of these, government legislation and tax money is the ultimate fix for the problem.

But, what of sin as a topic to address?

Isn’t sin the ingredient that makes one an actor in a crime? Isn’t sin the common ingredient in every crime? Isn’t it true that if sin were removed, or at least held in check, there would be less criminal acting out? Isn’t that sense of “self control” over sinful impulses the difference in the definition of “law abiding citizen” and “law breaker” – criminal?

My take on this is what scripture teaches – “that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God”…and that… “the wages of sin is death”.

It seems to me that the math in this is simple, remove the sin and you remove the death.

Remove one target – sin and you won’t have to devote so much energy, imagination, money and other resources in trying to remove all other targets of opportunity for the sinner to act out destructively.

And if that is true, then the scriptures resolution to its indictment of sin is true too. “The wages of sin is death”, sure enough (Romans 6:23a) but equally true is the rest of that verse… “but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our lord”… who took away sins by His death on a cross” (1 Peter 2:24), giving each new redeemed man the ability to live a good, descent productive life as a “law abiding citizen”.

Yep, the gospel is still the key to good and godly society. Sin must be the first thing dealt with if we want “peace among men” (Luke 2:14), as the gospels declare.

Therefore, until America figures out we have crime because we have unbridled sin in mankind, we will have more social disasters by criminals, more arguments by those affected and more laws by our authorities. But we won’t have more men doing the right thing because they have been given a new heart, a new life in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17).

I say before we pull the trigger on gun control we pull the trigger on the gospel. How, by pulling aside our neighbors in order to share Christ through the gospel with them?

American needs spiritual revival, not more debate on the trouble with guns, or mental illness. We need the lawless to made law abiding in Christ (1 Peter 2:24). Then we’ll see crime of all categories recede and we can get back to a safe and sane existence with our neighbors and in or schools.

– Article contributed by Jim Coté, President of the Master’s Men ministry.