Yep, gun owners are heretics according to “Formerly Fundy” Patheos blogger and Fuller Seminary doctoral candidate, Benjamin L Corey. Following the anti-Christian hate crime by the son of the devil who slaughtered nine people professing the name of Christ, Mr. Corey seized the moment on twitter to condemn Christian gun owners:
The face that U.S. Christians are so rabidly pro-gun suggests they are a people group who need to be evangelized and converted to Christ.
I will be frank – that is one of the most asinine things I have ever read. But, I’m not surprised as it comes from an emergent progressive who denies the inerrancy of Scripture and the existence of hell, and affirms homosexual sin.
Mr. Corey is in good company with another heretic who goes by the name of Pope Francis, who suggested gun manufacturers and investors who profess Christ are hypocrites. Now, let me be clear, I do not call either of these men heretics on the basis of their anti-gun rhetoric, but on the basis of their denying essential Christian doctrines. But, their anti-gun rhetoric and condemnation of Christian gun owners are becoming more popular, especially after massacres like Oregon.
How does one get to a point that they would deny a fundamental right to protect oneself from harm, or protect innocent bystanders from harm? They have to twist God’s Word, of course. In response to a tweet requesting Mr. Corey offer further explanation, Mr. Corey responded:
Jesus followers by definition love their enemies. Guns are for killing enemies. (source)
In one fell swoop, this rabid pacifist has condemned all Christians who would dare seek to protect their loved ones from harm. Yes, Mr. Corey, guns are for many things, one of which is killing those who would seek to do harm to innocents. Loving our enemies and loving our neighbors are not mutually exclusive. They are not in conflict whatsoever. And, in fact, to allow a wicked man to harm my neighbor is the epitome of cowardice (and we know what God will do to cowards – see Revelation 21:8).
In true liberal fashion, Mr. Corey twists the Scripture for his own gain. In Matthew 5:44, Jesus, by no means, indicates loving one’s enemies equates to not stopping them from performing their wicked deeds against the innocent. Jesus makes it clear (within the same verse, mind you), that we are to love our enemies in the midst of being persecuted:
But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.
As the verses that precede verse 44 dictate, Jesus instructs His disciples to not return insult for insult, to not take revenge against one who has wronged us, or to not refuse to help someone genuinely in need. But when men would abuse us for righteousness’ sake, that is when we are to love our enemies and pray for them. Earlier in the chapter, Jesus told His disciples the result of suffering for righteousness’ sake:
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. – Matthew 5:10-12
So, we know that is the context of Jesus’ command in verse 44. When we are persecuted for the name of Jesus, we need to remember that we are blessed (and how blessed are any Christians who died at UCC yesterday!). When we are mocked, reviled, and slandered, we need to give an answer for the hope that is within us (1 Peter 3:15). We are to remember that we are to bless those who persecute us, repay no one with evil, and know that vengeance is the Lord’s (Romans 12:14-21), who will destroy unrepentant persecutors with everlasting destruction (2 Thessalonians 1:5-11). Unless they repent and believe the Gospel, that will be their fate (and I pray that will not be Mr. Corey’s fate).
Yet, while we are to bless and pray for our persecutors, that doesn’t mean we throw out the rest of the Bible that tells us to:
Rescue those who are being taken away to death; hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter. – Proverbs 24:11
Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. – John 15:13
And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” – Luke 10:27
Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.” – Luke 10:26-37
In the social gospel according to Mr. Corey, he not only suggests that gun owners cannot be Christian, but he demonstrates he would rather see wicked men prevail over their victims, just like Barack Obama did yesterday. He demonstrates he is not a neighbor to rescue those in the face of being slaughtered, that he does not love his friends or his neighbors, and would like to disarm Christians who would show their neighbor mercy by protecting them from harm.
While Christians are to love our enemies, it doesn’t mean we must love them more than our neighbors. Let me be clear, I love my neighbor more than my enemy. My love for my neighbor prevails over my love for wicked men who would do them harm. My love for my family and their physical security prevails over my love for the soul of my enemy who would abuse them. And, I regret there was not an armed Christian in the Umqra Community College classroom yesterday, who could have demonstrated his love for his neighbors by incapacitating the shooter before he slaughtered nine people. Perhaps if that courageous victim, Chris Mintz, who valiantly charged the shooter to sacrificially protect his neighbors, could have done just that if his Second Amendment right was not violated on that college campus.
Ultimately, in response to the pope, Mr. Corey, and President Obama, I challenge all applicable, able and willing American Christians to purchase their first firearm, be trained in its responsible use, obtain a concealed carry license as needed, learn to be vigilant, and be willing to protect your neighbor with lethal force if God ever puts you in that increasingly likely situation. That is how love wins.
Be sure to check out my good friends at Reformed and Reloaded for podcasts and discussions dedicated to a biblical perspective on gun rights and firearms culture in the United States.