April 12, 2021

by John Carter

A gun is a gun. It is often a machine for killing. It is sometimes used for sport and pleasure, with no malicious motive. It is often a weapon for self-defense. But in itself, a gun has no evil intent and no passion. It is basically a lump of iron with a few additional bits and pieces. It has no mind, and no capacity to love or hate. That’s where humans come in. They take the gun and do with it what their minds demand. But the gun is an unbiased witness without feelings. A gun is not the only weapon available to us. There are knives, dynamite, ropes, fire, bombs, starvation, slander, forced labor, baseball bats, cars, trucks, swords, needles, drugs, and hands. It would be difficult to abolish all these things.

If all the guns in all the world were suddenly made to disappear, humans would still find a way to hurt, maim, and kill. Man is an inventive genius, and has a long history of destructive behavior. The gun is often his choice of cruel convenience. What is forgotten in the current debate about guns is the doctrine of human depravity, and the necessity of the New Birth.

“Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.’ Nicodemus said to Him, ‘How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?’ Jesus answered, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’” John 3:3-7 NKJV

Jesus said we are sinful and in need of spiritual regeneration. Preachers who imagine that salvation will come through politics and legislation are missing the mark. They are prostituting their talents. Worse still, they are part of the problem. The New Birth happens when as sinners we come to Christ repenting of our sins. The Holy Spirit works a miracle. People are changed. Haters become lovers.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17 NKJV

This topic of spiritual regeneration is seldom preached, seldom believed. It is easier to major on the minors and snip at the thorns, when the axe needs to be laid at the root as John the Baptist said. Today the politicians are busy sniping at the thorns. Some imagine that if we get rid of guns we will stop the killings. They are like the foolish old farmer who painted the pump when he discovered there was poison in the well. The well needs cleansing. The well is the human heart.

There are no short cuts, and no lasting political solutions. Only Christ will suffice.