Is it a sin to protect and serve?

Military Police Patch

Military Police Patch (Photo credit: D’oh Boy (Mark Holloway))

I won’t go into all of the details, but I made a comment on a Google + post last night.  I said that I would keep my guns.  I was immediately attacked by another user.  He stated that the fact that I had a gun meant that I was not living my Christian faith and was not following Jesus.  There was really no need to get into an argument with him, so I’ll ask the question here.

Am I a bad Christian for owning a gun?  Some may have a quick answer here.  Saying that Jesus was all about peace and my gun ownership is then wrong.  To be honest, that’s a very compelling argument if it is expanded upon.

But the question must go deeper than that.  I was an Army Military police officer for 5 years and a civilian police officer for another 5 years.  During that time it was required that I carried a gun and other weapons.  My sworn duty was to protect and serve.  To protect someone meant that I may have to use deadly force.  So, did my job make me a poor Christian?  Did my desire to protect the innocent mean that I was incompatible with Jesus?

Now let’s take a look at me without a badge.  I have gone through the proper legal channels in order to carry a gun.  I carry it for the same reasons as when I was a police officer.  I want to be able to protect my family and those around me if needed.  To be totally honest, I’m not that worried about protecting personal property.  Stuff is replaceable, people are not.  Am I therefore falling short of my call as Christian?  Is it better to watch people get seriously hurt or die?  Does laying down and dying make me a better Christian?  Is my calling to stand at a distance and pray while another person is attacked?

It’s very easy to sit behind a keyboard and pass judgement.  The problem is that life presents many varied situations.  Most of the time the clear-cut answer does not exist.  In a police action shooting for example, there is always the question that is left after the fact.  Did I need to shoot?  Could I have shot the person in the leg and still have stopped the aggression?  Could I have just talked to the offender a little while longer and stopped the situation?  Or, if I had waited just a couple of seconds longer, would the assailant have killed us all?

There is more to the gun debate than just should a person be protected under the 2nd Amendment or not?  There’s a whole myriad of questions that must be answered.  I never ever want to have to shoot a human being.  Never.  But, should I in order to protect the lives of others?  Am I only required to protect another human being if I have a badge?   Honestly, I’m not overly concerned with my own life.  I know what Jesus has waiting for me when I die.  But again, the question remains, is a Christian called to simply lay down, die and let others die in the process?  All honest, non-combative answers are welcome.

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2 comments on “Is it a sin to protect and serve?

  1. There are a lot of people out there with evil or misguided intentions towards others. As a mother, I know I would give my life to save my children. But then my children would be motherless. So, yes, I would use a gun to protect my family. My hope is that the sight of my gun would thwart their misguided attack and no bullets would have to be fired. Why should the attacker be more protected than the victim? My (Christian) conscience is clear. God did not call me to be a doormat (at least, not today).

  2. Just to put it in context, I was a Marine, I am a Christian pacifist, and I own firearms (It sorta goes with the territory on a farm in South Dakota).
    But I would refer you to Charles Spurgeon for further reflection: “As I understand the Word of God, I always rejoice to find a soldier a Christian, but I always mourn to find a Christian a soldier, for it seems to me that when I take up Christ Jesus, I hear one of His Laws, “I say unto you, resist not evil. Put up your sword into its sheath; he that takes the sword shall perish by the sword.”
    http://spurgeonwarquotes.wordpress.com/
    Blessings, brother.

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