Does The Bible Really Teach That Weapons Are Bad?
Pastor David Green

In this passage, let us examine some of the verses used by those who would oppose the idea of Christians owning and/or carrying weapons (swords, handguns, etc).   This is not a complete reference on the subject, but rather only "part" in a series.  For more info, please be sure to check the links at the end, particularly the link to my "Gun Rights" page.

“Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.”  (Romans 12:19)

Vengeance is not the same as self-defense. Far from it. Allow me to illustrate: A man comes into my house and tries to do harm to my family and I. I shoot and kill him. That is defense.

Vengeance is different. Someone does something to hurt my family while I am away. I seek vengeance by going after that criminal.  That is vengeance.  

“But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.”  (
Matthew 5:39)

 Some folks would twist this passage to mean something like "if someone rapes your wife, then give him your daughter also.  That just is not what the Bible is saying here.  A smite on the cheek is nothing more than an insult. An insult is not life threatening. Let them mock you and say things about you. It won't kill you.

“Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.”  (Matthew 10:16)

Answer: This passage is about Spiritual matters. Jesus is not telling them to never defend themselves. He is speaking of Spiritual persecution. We do not, nor have Baptists ever believed in defending ourselves during periods of Spiritual persecution. Go back and read Matthew 10 in its entirety and then compare that with what Jesus said in Luke 22:35-36. There is a time for defense and there is a time for not.

 “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)”  (II Corinthians 10:3-4)

Answer: In the context of Spiritual warfare, we do not use physical weapons. This passage does not forbid personal use of weapons in the are of self-defense nor does it forbid the use of weaponry for a soldier of a nation who is fighting in a war.

For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel's, the same shall save it.”  (Mark 8:35)

Answer: Jesus is speaking about religious persecution. The key to this is the phrase, “... for my sake and the gospel's...” A man who dies for the passage of Scripture he preaches will indeed be blessed by God. On the other hand, the man who will not raise a finger to protect his wife from evil and wicked men is negligent of his duties to protect his own and is worse than an infidel.

 “Blessed are the peacemakers....” (Matthew 5:9). To make peace requires resolution, courage and action. Jesus Himself illustrated the necesssity of being armed in order to keep peace in Luke 11:21-22. I like the quote attributed to David Livingstone, that famous preacher who was a missionary in Africa: “I love peace as much as any other man, in fact, I go quite beyond you, for I love it so much I would fight for it.”

Conclusion.  This is only a brief look at some of the Scriptures which are used to argue that guns ought not to be a part of the daily life of a Christian.   Human opinions, feelings, and preconceived ideas must always submit to the authority of Holy Scripture.  We must not wrongly divide the Word of God, but always rightly divide it for it is the Word of Truth!