Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

When Your God Is a Gun

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The image above is from John Pavlovitz’s thoughtful post, which begins:

Christian.

To paraphrase a wise man, “They keep using that word. I do not think it means what they think it means.”

Every day my timeline is filled with God and Gun Christians.

The two words are frequently given the same place of adoration.

They are spoken of with kindred reverence.

They are allotted equal fervor.

God. Gun.

Those two words are used with such similar frequency on their social media bios, and often so tethered together in their conversations and in their sermons that they are inextricable. 

And what you realize if you pay attention, is that the God and the gun have been conflated: that they really only worship one of those; that only one has their hearts.

Whenever I see these posturing professed disciples of a heat-packin’ deity, whether friends, strangers, influencers, or politicians, I don’t need to know anything about them to be certain of one thing about them: they have no idea who Jesus is.

They may have an image on their wall or in their heads that they worship; one burned into their psyches by brimstone-breathing preachers and angry older relatives and NRA ad campaigns—but it sure as heck ain’t Jesus of Nazareth.

It is not the gentle, compassionate, open-hearted, non-violent rabbi Jesus who shunned retributive violence, who warned against eye-for-an-eye myopia, who preached the blessing of peace toward the world—and who allowed himself to be unfairly arrested and beaten and murdered, to show that love is the last, loudest word.

I feel deep sorrow for these people, because I see the scalding fear that they mistake for spiritual passion; the perverted narrative that plays in their heads that tells them danger lurks around every corner; the paradox of a God who protects them and yet compels them to strap a weapon to themselves because that God likely won’t.

What does it say about your faith or about the character of the God you profess that faith in, that you must be armed at all times: at the grocery store or picking up your child at day care—or the halls of Congress?

How do you reconcile a supreme and loving Creator you supposedly trust enough to go maskless in a deadly pandemic, but not enough to leave a weapon at home when you go to your son’s little league game?

What kind of exhausting theological gymnastics do you need to do, to . . .

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

4 June 2022 at 1:44 pm

Posted in Daily life, Guns, Religion

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