Gun Control? Let’s try Self-Control

As expected, Emperor Obama declared Sunday from behind his heavily-armed fortress we call The White House, "This massacre is a further reminder of how easy it is for someone to get their hands on a weapon that allows them to shoot people." The President has said similar things in the past, using the opportunity to illustrate the seemingly increasing problem of gun violence. As a side note, why is it that he is allowed to bring up the issue of guns so close to the time of the shooting, but Christians can't touch the topic, if at all? "Just pray." Okay, I prayed. Now what? We usually call them opportunists

At any rate, 50 people were gunned down at a "gay bar" in Orlando by Omar Saddiqui Mateen, who was a Muslim living in Florida. Other people have opined about the various issues, but I want to take a different approach today. Whenever something like this happens, Statists rise to occasion. "Gun control" always becomes a trending topic on Twitter, and the "conservatives" and "liberals" take the time to shout at each other. Once more we talk about the Second Amendment, and once more Statists blame both the inanimate object itself and the rest of the law-abiding citizenry. Oh, and someone argued that Christians are to blame for this. I believe the word is obfuscation.


What's impressive to me about all of this discussion is that not once do we ever actually get to the root of it all. Without the Christian worldview, you can't get to the root because only Christianity gets to the heart and soul of a man. Unless we start with the Triune God who grants laws of logic, morality, and a strong foundation for meaning in the world, we can't really have the conversation. If we don't start with our presuppositions, we're just shouting at each other. We might as well keep quiet and go play a board game. Now, I realize that what I'm about to say will be about as well-received as a ketchup flavored birthday cake, but it needs to be said: I'm fine with background checks and some reasonable laws regarding gun control. But that's not the issue. The issue is man's self-governance underneath the law of God. You want to deal with gun violence, Mr. President? How about we promulgate the Gospel during your press conference? The only thing that can prevent a man from taking the life of another man is the restraining grace of the Holy Spirit. That's it. Discussion over. This has been the perennial problem since time began: "The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually" (Genesis 6:5). When the hand of God is withdrawn from a nation, you get America today.  

Why can't that be the national discussion? Aside from the fact that the sexual-devolutionists despise self-control–after all, any hindrances to the fulfillment of our lusts is oppression!–why can't we go here? Why can't we talk about morality? These are obviously rhetorical questions. We can't have the discussion at the national level because the unbelieving worldview with all its paganism, immorality, and idolatry can't account for morality. At best situational ethics and utilitarianism are the ethics du jour. At worst anything goes and we get this sort of thing. We can't have the discussion because men hate God.

Which is why the gospel announcement is a declaration of war on Satan, sin, and death. It's a declaration from the capital city–a memorandum, if you will–that the new King has been enthroned, and that it is now the duty of all men everywhere to come and pay tribute to this King. The only way to deal with the problem of sin is by atonement. The only atonement that has any bit of efficacious effect on a man is Christ's substitutionary work on the cross. When men repent and believe the gospel, men are saved. When a person refuses to give herself over to the lusts of the flesh, but instead seeks to be governed by God's law under the freedom of the gospel, self-control becomes one of the fruits of the Spirit. 

The unbelieving worldview cannot work because it's a house built on sand. Only the gospel answers this problem, so Church, let's start there. I agree with President Obama, who remarked in this same speech, "We have to decide if that's the kind of country we want to be." Amen. 


Jason Garwood

Rev. Jason M. Garwood (M.Div., Th.D.) serves as the teaching pastor at Cross & Crown Church in Northern Virginia, and is the author of Be Holy and The Fight for Joy. Jason and his wife Mary have three children.. He blogs at Connect with him on Twitter: @jasongarwood.

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