(I realize this is a hot topic right now. I also realize that many readers of The Renewed Mind hold a variety of views. But unlike many posts and articles I’ve read recently, this is not an attempt at commentary or political positioning. I intend to put forward a Biblically-based approach. Sometimes, no matter what you intend, people receive what you write the wrong way. For this I apologize in advance for my failure to communicate clearly.)
(2 Timothy 1:7) ”For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”
Just in the last week there have been events of enormous significance. The gun control argument is once again in the headlines as the U.S. Senate decided against a bill yesterday. Most of us probably know about recent tragic bombing in Boston (and we pray for those victims and those responsible would be captured and brought to justice). Even in what we call “modern times”, we see plague, famine, war and incomprehensible crimes against humanity. There is a lot to be afraid of in the world. But what kind of mindset and lifestyle does God call us to live?
From Paul’s day all the way down to our own times those who speak the name of Christ have been persecuted under oppressive regimes. Paul’s letters to Timothy are addressed to a young pastor who suffers persecution. Yet there is encouragement to gain spiritual strength in the calling rather than be drained of the motive and motivation to preach. We can all take away the intent of this epistle and apply it to our own thinking. The focus is not on those who want to do harm but rather the focus is on ministry and calling. Giving in to a mindset of fear and focusing on those things that are meant to cause it drains the life and power out of what God intends for us to be in this life.
We should step back once in awhile and examine our own lifestyle to determine the motivations and basis on which we live. Is my lifestyle and focus in life around those things that cause me to be afraid? Is the message I communicate with others born out of fear? Are my words aligned with the gospel or are they aligned with a focus on the world? As we apply this mindset to the position of gun control, we should ask ourselves – Is my position on gun control based on fear or is it based on common sense and a desire for something positive?
Regardless of how you come down on the issue, the Bible gives us God’s position on the mindset and motivation for living in a violent world. The Church has always existed in this type of world. Ultimately, fear is an individual issue. You must determine whether fear or faith will determine your lifestyle and life decisions. As goes the individual…so goes the Church.