Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Christians and Defending Possessions!

There is something that I have been lamenting over. It has simultaneously made me sad and yet an anger shut in my bones like fire needing to get out.

It is this, and this may be the harshest I have ever said anything: You cannot be a Christian and believe it is ok to kill someone over possessions!

I will not make the same argument for gun ownership. I would rather people not own guns, but I don't see this conflicting with being a Christian. But holding the position that it is ok to kill someone in the defense of possessions is absolutely contradictory to the teachings of Christ and the church.

"My next door neighbor wants to BAN all GUNS!
Their house is NOT ARMED!
Out of RESPECT for their opinions I promise NOT to use
MY GUNS to PROTECT THEM"
I am not thinking of anyone specifically, but I have seen numerous pictures and words on facebook from Christians, of all people - those who are supposed to be "little Christs," that have expressed this exact position.

I know it is your right as an American citizen to defend your stuff, but you are not primarily citizens of America - you belong to another Kingdom altogether, which has a higher ethical claim on your life. "For many live as enemies of the cross of Christ; I have often told you of them, and now I tell you even with tears. Their end is destruction; their god is the belly; and their glory is in their shame; their minds are set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven, and it is from there that we are expecting a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ" (Philippians 3:18-20). Is your god your belly? What about your stuff? Where is your mind?

There are infinite verses about stuff, about possessions. Christ was very clear about their negative impact on our lives. We can only serve one master for we should hate the one and love the other (Matthew 6). Stuff is deceitful and stifles us (Matthew 13:22). To follow Christ we must renounce our things to begin with (Luke 14).

But of all the teaching about wealth in the general sense, Jesus is quite clear about defending stuff: "And if anyone takes away your goods, do not ask for them again"-Jesus (Luke 6:30)

This teaching is hard, I make no bones about it. I am not even saying that we have to follow it literally. But one small take away I think we can be sure of: We cannot kill someone who is stealing our stuff. We cannot even think it is ok to hold such an opinion. If we're going to be "pro-life" we should also be consistent in our beliefs about life - which is that all life is precious, even the life of our enemies, in this case the thieves and robbers.

This teaching is found smack dab in the middle of teaching about loving enemies, lending to enemies without expecting a return (a gift!!!), and showing mercy as our Father has shown us mercy. Not 20 verses later Jesus says, "Why do you call me 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I tell you?"

Again, I am not talking about owning guns. Do what you want there! That is another conversation that should be had at a greasy spoon at 2am (teetotaler's bar!). But it is in no way appropriate to think that we can defend our stuff, any of it, all of it, in a way that physically harms anyone.


1 comment:

  1. I completely agree, but the fact is that quite a few people that break into homes are armed and if someone is home they're not going to just back out and excuse themselves. Self defense is a whole different story, which is why I would own a gun. Not to protect my things -they can be replaced- but to protect myself from someone that wishes to do me or my family harm. This is probably slightly off topic but if someone was to break into the house unarmed and the owner shot this person, the owner would be the one to receive a harsher sentence due to his or her actions against an unarmed person.

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