Sunday, June 13, 2010

When liberal ideas hit Iowa

We have this:
While scripture talks of beating swords into plowshares, a community in southwest Iowa is putting that statement into a modern context. The Shenandoah Police Department is hosting its first-ever gun amnesty days next month.

Shenandoah to hold gun amnesty days
Scripture also talks about selling a cloak and buying a sword (Luke 22:36).

In honor of the Shenandoah police department trying to act like Omaha, I'm going to act out Luke 22:35 with a modern twist by selling something of value and purchasing a firearm. (Most of my coats aren't of value)


Anonymous said...

It's really cool how you can take bible versus out of context and imply that they mean pretty much anything you want them to.

Interestingly, the Bible also "speaks of" beating plowshares into swords and pruning hooks into spears...but I don't often see gun controllers quoting Joel 3:10, so I guess that one doesn't count.

Isaiah was prophesying about the end times. He was saying that God is, at some indeterminate time in the future, going to end all international disputes, so we'll no longer have need of weapons of war.

So, either the author of that piece believes we are "in the last days" (Isaiah 2:2), Or he's just your typical utopian who believes that if we'd just get rid of all those evil guns, peace and love would break out all over. God's intervention not required.

Or I suppose it could just be your typical "journalist" mindlessly repeating propaganda they've heard over and over again without bothering to research it at all.

strandediniowa said...

I did not think of using that retort, Curt. You handed us a very good citation.

Not only is there a context for the writings but also for the culture. "Turning the other cheek" was used as insult during that time and culture, not as a pacifist mantra. We also have to look at what the words meant at that time. The "Original Intent" of its time, so to speak.

Thanks for giving me something to think about.

Bawb said...

There's an old saying, most often attributed to Benjamin Franklin: "Those who beat their swords into plowshares will plow for those who did not."

I don't know if Franklin actually said it, but it pretty well sums up the harsh realities of how men treat each other.

Anonymous said...

It is important to note that Joel 3:10 shouldn't be construed as supporting being armed either.

Joel 3:10 is also a prophesy and is predicting that God is someday going to send his heavenly armies against the nations that have historically oppressed Israel. Joel was basically warning those nations that they'd better arm themselves and be prepared, because the wrath of God is coming.

I want to make clear that my point was not to say that the verses in Joel disprove the gun controller's argument, but that taking scriptures out of context makes for misleading arguments.

As you said: Jesus' entreaty to "turn the other cheek" was a command for us as Christians not to respond to insults with anger, it was not a plea for pacifism.

The story you allude to in Luke happened during the "Last Supper". When you read the entire exchange, from verse 35 to 38, it becomes clear what Jesus was saying. He was saying that, while He was physically on earth with them, they had wanted for nothing:

"When I sent you without purse, bag or sandals, did you lack anything?" "Nothing" they answered.

But that, because His task was nearing completion, He would no longer be around to provide for them:

"It is written: 'And he was numbered with the transgressors', and I tell you that this must be fulfilled in me. Yes, what is written about me is reaching its fulfillment."

Therefore, He warned them that they had better prepare themselves to fend for themselves in every respect:

He said to them, "But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one."

And verse 38 makes very clear that he was not talking about arming themselves to make war against the authorities, he was telling them to be prepared for self defense:

The disciples said, "See, Lord, here are two swords." "That is enough," He replied.

Many contend that the "swords" that they were talking about were merely long daggers, not the weapons used by warriors.

And they're probably right...further reinforcing the message that Jesus wasn't telling them to go to war to defend their faith against the government, but to be prepared to defend themselves against common thieves and criminals.

In other words, taken in the full context of the exchange and in light of the culture of the time, the passage in Luke indicates exactly what we say it does: That Jesus' not only supported self defense, but issued a COMMAND to his disciples to be prepared for it with the most effective, portable and concealable weapons of the day.

There is not one single piece of biblical evidence, taken in context and in the spirit of the culture of the times, that indicates Jesus was a pacifist or anti-self defense.

Sure, He didn't personally carry or use arms: he was the Son of God for crying out loud...He didn't need to.

I, on the other hand, am not the Son of God. Therefore, it is my Christian duty and imperative to follow His command to "sell my cloak and buy a sword" with which to defend myself, my family and other innocents from the evil that lurks in this world.

That's only one passage, there are many more, and many which are taken out of context by the gun controllers to support their false teachings, but this comment is already long enough. There's already plenty written about it out there for those who care about it and choose to look.

strandediniowa said...

Curt, brevity or not, your comments are a valuable addition to this post. Thank you.

I'm no theologian and I don't play one on TV, but you have given me something to think about and pointed me to some more reading. I appreciate a comment that might cause someone to stop and think, and your has.

Bawb, Ben Franklin or not, there's truth in those words.