A couple of weeks back my attention was drawn to some charges leveled against a gentleman I know, and a column he writes for a gun magazine. Now, knowing someone through the internet is a difficult proposition at best, and one can never really be certain if a person is who they say they are. Even when one knows someone face to face, frequently their true character is not known. Thus, the only real evaluation one can go by is the consistency of statements made and the consistency of the positions held. If a person is consistent time and again, it can be reasonably inferred that they are indeed what they claim to be. If not, then we know the answer to that one don’t we?
However, this article is not about a particular individual, but about appearances, misconceptions and underlying causes. The preface above is necessary as the following quotes illustrate a common problem today among individuals who say they support this or that, yet do not put enough effort in to really understanding the root cause of the problems of our day. This is particularly true of evangelicals and fundamentalists and their approach to resolving the problems of this nation.
In the following quotes, Mr. Codrea is David Codrea of War on Guns blog, and the quotes are excerpted from some Letters to the Editor concerning a column he wrote in which he contended that the Second Amendment did not grant the right to keep and bear arms.
I’d like to comment on Mr. Codrea and his recent article about the second amendment not guaranteeing the right to bear arms. My thought is maybe it does, maybe it doesn’t. The fact of the matter is we don’t need clowns like this idiot pointing this out to the antigun crowd.
I would suggest you take a long, hard look at what Codrea writes in the future, because in my opinion he could very well be a Trojan horse.1
David Codrea’s article “Privileges” ought not to have been written. What’s wrong with this guy? He sounds like an anti-gunner. What he said may totally confuse some people.2
Aside from the fact that the comments of the letter writers are ugly and unwarranted in their tone, they reveal an ignorance of where the Founders of this nation determined that all our individual rights come from. To be blunt, one has to be utterly ignorant and devoid of knowledge of the English language and its construction to not understand the plain text of the Declaration of Independence. Moreover, one would also have to ignore the documents that form the foundation of our constitutional form of government. One of the texts used was John Locke’s Second Treatise of Government, in which Locke’s entire thesis is predicated upon the fact that God created man, and man exists in this world to fulfill the will and purpose God has for him. Hence, our individual rights existed long before the Constitution or Bill of Rights. Thus, the Second Amendment did not and does not “grant” anything. Rather, it only recognizes a pre-existing right God gave to man. Being that man is evil, and ever given to acts of evil, the right to keep and bear arms is essential for the control of man’s propensity for wickedness.
Now, how does this apply to fundamentalists and evangelicals today?
In Scripture, which is supposed to be the beginning and ending of everything a child of God does, it is very apparent — plain even, that all the problems of man spring from our wicked and unregenerate hearts. The Lord Jesus Christ was very plain and clear in explaining this:
And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man. (Mark 7:20-23)
Now, it should not be necessary to recount all the references in Scripture that speak to this very thing and prove that it is our individual hearts which are the problem. Moreover, it should also not be necessary to prove that a man thinks and conceives of something prior to doing it. These things ought to be self-evident (like the statement in the Declaration of Independence), and need no explanation or proof by repeated citation of evidence.
So then, why is it that so many fundamentalist and evangelicals always want to seek the solution to America’s egregious moral and political problems through the vehicle of politics? Why is it that they want to hang their hats (so to speak) on the likes of Mike Huckabee, et al, instead of applying themselves to the task of setting forth Christ in every aspect of their lives? Is it that being a witness for Christ is not glamourous enough, or that it puts people off and makes them uncomfortable? Is it that playing politics is “fun,” whereas teaching the word of God isn’t? Or, it is really that you get to meet the “important, influential people” in government and society, and you don’t have to deal with “ordinary” people of you community?
You know, I have to ask: Whenever did politics change the heart of an individual?
If the statement of the Lord Jesus Christ is true and all problems spring from the heart, isn’t it also true that if the heart is made right so that it is not evil, those very problems would go away? Isn’t it true if you change the heart of an individual, you would also change the way they think about things, and thus the decisions they make would indeed be different? Didn’t Christ state that “evil thoughts” proceed out of the heart? Isn’t it true that, if we think well of our neighbor and fellow man, we would never do anything to harm them, or infringe upon their rights? Moreover, if we have Christ’s thinking in our hearts, wouldn’t we love our countrymen and respect the boundaries drawn by the Constitutions, State and Federal?
Beyond doubt, our “political leaders,” judges and such like do not come from Mars. No, they come from among us. They are our neighbors, members of our respective communities across the land. Our elected and appointed officials come from among us and our society, which is made up of — individuals.
Perhaps if fundamentalists and evangelicals put far more effort into reaching the INDIVIDUALS in our society, and less effort into politics, we would change the very character of those running for office in the first place. It is inarguable: if a society consists of predominantly good individuals, then those standing for political office are also going to be predominantly good as well. However, if all that is done is a continual chasing after political influence, then those standing for political office are more than happy to pander to another “special interest” group so that they can garner the votes needed to be elected. And, as we have seen, turn out to be not at all what they claimed to be.
No, I am afraid that the vast majority of fundamentalists and evangelicals are like the letter writers quoted at the beginning of this post — blind to the truth of the matter. Like the letter writers, fundamentalists and evangelicals cast away a solid foundation in favor of the whim of man. After all, if the right to keep and bear arms comes from Almighty God, who can take it from us? Instead, we would have to give it up by abdicating our responsibility. Even so, should a child of God cast away the most powerful, influential message ever to reach the heart of man — the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, in favor of a political solution?
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. (Isaiah 55:8-11)