In an interesting development, a US-based manufacturer of weapons, Trijicon, has been inscribing Bible references on their gunsights for years, according to the BBC “Gunsights’ biblical references concern US and UK forces”. Markings such as “JN8:12” are engraved into the sights by the company who claims to be a Christian company.
The inscriptions concern military leaders, in spite of their subtlety. One reason is that they could be used as propaganda if captured.
It should concern any Christian that a weapon used to kill would have such engravings. So much for “love your enemy”.
I saw this on Nightline Monday night, and had mixed thoughts about it.
Certainly it's not the sort of thing Jesus would recommend — given what He said to a sword-wielder in Matthew 26.
Yet some would say we're in "spiritual warfare" around the world vs. radical Islam — a radical agenda that would want to wipe out all traces of Christianity.
And a few people in my congregation love guns so much that they might order one of these as a collector's item. It's not the gun, they'd say — but how you use it.
I just want to make it clear that I am not being anti-gun here. I grew up on a farm, so hunting was a part of that life.
@Richard: So, I would agree that it's how you use it. Having said that, I would still feel conflicted owning one for being a collectible, as I would in a sense be supporting someone who intentionally sells them for a very different purpose. Not sure if it would be "wrong", but I'm just not sure I'd feel comfortable about it.
There definitely are those who say we are in a "spiritual warfare", but what does that really mean? The verse "We do not wrestle against flesh and blood" comes to mind.
Thanks for the update.
Some would say "we are in spiritual warfare". Who is "we"? Do you mean the USA or the Church of God? If the latter, then it is quite clear from scripture that true Christians should not wage war, kill anyone etc or support it.
@Porky: The ones I am aware of that say "we are in spiritual warfare" are the US evangelicals. Basically, many of them view it as a part of a war that Islam is waging against Christianity. I'm not aware of any in the main COGs that are claiming that in reference to the war in Afghanistan/Iraq.
The silence of many if not all the COGs on denouncing the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is deafening. I blame this on the right wing patriotic philosophy in the COG leadership that loves to denounce the easy target sins like homosexuality, but turn a blind eye to all the horrors of war, selling arms, etc. That certainly exists in LCG of which I am painfully aware of.
"The silence of many if not all the COGs on denouncing the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is deafening."
Rom 13:1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
Rom 13:2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.
Rom 13:3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:
Rom 13:4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.
Perchance they simply don't want to "receive to themselves damnation"?
God has given the governments of this world the responsibility to execute justice. When they fail this commission, they sin.
Luke 22:36 "…and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one."
Whose words were those? Do you have a sword? Are you disobeying The Master? It is a direct commandment from the Messiah Himself. If you don't have a sword (or the modern equivalent thereof) you are disobeying the direct explicit command of GOD ALMIGHTY HIMSELF!
Show me a centurion in the the New Testament who was commanded, let alone advised, to quit the Legions. See in particular Acts 10.
"So much for 'love your enemy'"? You can love your enemy and still kill him (that probably really blows your mind, doesn't it?). Think about this just a moment — who has the power of life and death?
Gen 9:6 Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.
That is an commandment from your SAVIOR! He, by whom and through whom all things were created. If and when GOD almighty wants you to be alive, YOU WILL BE ALIVE! Corporal Joe Sniper putting 180 grains of copper jacketed justice between your ears doesn't extinguish you forever, does it? No indeed, you just have fewer sins to answer for as you bend your knees before HIS throne. Keep in mind, if you had been in ancient Israel, you would yourself have been REQUIRED BY GOD HIMSELF TO STONE MURDERERS!
Mal 3:6 For I am the LORD, I change not;
@Richard K: You wrote, "if you had been in ancient Israel, you would yourself have been REQUIRED BY GOD HIMSELF TO STONE MURDERERS!"
Perhaps you meant to add "if they were found guilty by the governing authorities"?
I've written about that particular topic before. Certainly, Christianity in general has done a pretty poor job, IMO, of separating out the whys and wherefores of various laws in the OT. Protestants, of course, are so busy trying to prove the Law has been done away that they aren't all that interested. It seems to me that even in the COG, though, we have done a pretty poor job of explaining why we don't stone adulterers or disobedient children (the usual examples brought up by agnostics).
God separated the powers of ancient Israel into a religious and a civil authority. Naturally, the Church today is the religious authority.
So, I am left with a couple of burning questions: Should the religious authority never criticize the civil authority? How does one cry out aloud about the sins of a people if the civil authorities are never brought into account or at least questioned?
You mistake me. Did Samuel criticize Saul? Did Nathan criticize David? What was Jonah's commission? I am not against criticizing the government. I do it all the time. The church doesn't do it nearly enough. But it's one thing to criticize God's minister for not performing its duty; it's another entirely to condemn it for doing as God commands.
Go again to Romans 13:4 "For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil."
I'm tired of the pacifism. God has placed the sword in the hands of the governments of this world "for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil." It is their God given responsibility to execute justice. I'm tired of pacifists criticizing the government for doing the one legitimate thing God gave it to do. While it's debatable whether or not waging war in Iraq and Afghanistan is the right policy, it's not debatable that the government has the duty to wage war when it is the right policy.