Please note: this post was intentionally written with a little bit of “bite.” Its tone is meant to be bold, vulnerable, with a hint of satire. Read at your own risk. 🙂
My heart hurts for the violence in this world, both what is noticed and mourned by the world, like school and police shootings, as well as the dozens of others who are killed in poor neighborhoods like mine without the world taking hardly any notice. Both are deep tragedies, that are not often equally mourned by our world, even though I know they are equally mourned by God.
I do not believe we were meant to live in a world of such violence. This is not as it should be.
Can I pause for a second? This might be the only thing most people agree on: this world is not as it should be. The world we have is not the world as it’s meant to be. Something in us knows things should be different. We can all agree: this is not how it should be. Something’s wrong.
Of course, that’s as far as our agreement goes. How to fix this broken world is exactly what we disagree on.
For me, I am convinced that the way of Jesus is the best answer to the brokenness. And while many friends agree, that’s also as far as our agreement goes.
Some might say: don’t mess with the world at all, only wait for the day Jesus is coming back. Others will cry out to God, “thy will be done today, on earth, as it is in heaven.” Some will argue that we don’t actually disagree at all. Oh, the irony!
For me, I believe our call is to surrender all for the sake of bringing God’s kingdom to earth. We should be willing to sacrifice any comfort or privilege. Including any so-called “rights.”
Which inevitably brings us to the gun debate. We can suggest that this isn’t the time or place, but that is irrelevant. For the conversation is already happening, whether you want it to be or not. Saying it shouldn’t be, when it already is, is merely a distraction.
We have already acknowledged that we disagree on the solution, and this is the perfect example. So let me share my thoughts, so you have another person to agree with or disagree with; another post to share or block. Another reason to like me more or like me less.
Here is my position, so read it carefully:
I have no problem with guns, I just don’t think they should be used to kill humans.
Go ahead, don’t read any further. Just hide the post, unfollow me, or jump to the comments. It’s what we’ve been conditioned to do.
Either way, that’s what I think. I don’t think we should kill people. Is that so very unreasonable? Of course not. Once again, most will agree with the simplicity of this statement, just not all the variables that stem from it. So let me go one step further so you can truly find where we dis/agree.
For me, this truth leads to the logical next step. Every safe-guard available should be put into place to make sure guns (or anything else that kills people) aren’t used to kill people. If putting seat belts on guns made them kill less people, I’d vote to put seat belts on guns. In fact, I’d go one step further. I’d make it illegal to use a gun without a seat belt. I would.
“Amen,” some think, “I’m glad someone is being reasonable.”
“Darn you, Joe,” others proclaim, “you are becoming more and more liberal!”
Yes, I know. Some agree. Some don’t. We’ve covered this already.
Oh! And lest we lose sight of what’s really happening: yes, the issue is people. The issue isn’t guns. It’s people. Hurting, broken, violent people. I could care less about guns. I’m not suggesting better gun control because I don’t like guns, as if i preferred knives or something. People are the problem, or more accurately, the evil forces of this world playing out in the lives of people.
But I do believe people can change. In fact, I believe that through Jesus anyone is able to change and be free from the forces of evil in this world. This belief fuels nearly everything I do. So much so, I’d rather not kill someone even if they “deserved” it for fear I would rob them of the chance to change. I would rob them of a chance to experience freedom from evil.
And killing someone who “deserves” to die doesn’t do anything to fix the evil in the world. In fact, logically it would seem to just perpetuate it. Can we really overcome evil with evil?
For real change to happen in our world, people need to be transformed, to be set free, to change. But as we settle vehemently into our already established biases and ready ourselves for a congratulatory comment or a sharp attack, let it remind you that people don’t change very easily. In fact, I have found that we tend to get very easily stuck in our ruts. Especially if those ruts are lined with hate and dug from the treads of abuse, addiction, isolation, arrogance, neglect, or sorrow. Change doesn’t happen easily. Not for any of us. Not for me. Not for you. And I rarely see it happen outside the work of Jesus.
So until I learn how to submit my life perfectly to Jesus and convince every other person to do the same, I’ll rest in the fact that seat belts exist and I’ll gladly encourage their use.