It was the 129th Nation Rifle Association (NRA) Convention in Charlotte, NC. Hundreds, if not thousands, were there to campaign for their 2nd Amendment rights as citizens of the United States of America. Many conservative Americans at the time had an unfavorable view towards Presidential-candidate Al Gore’s stance on gun control. Being an outspoken liberal (and a crazy leftist), he was against not only assault rifles, but all kinds of firearms believing that the 2nd Amendment was no longer valid. That is why this NRA convention, in particular, was very important to many gun owners in America.
Presiding over the 129th NRA convention in 2000 was none other than the legendary (my personal favorite) actor: Charlton Heston. Few actors had the charisma, the voice, and the influence like he did. There were also few actors, just like today, who held to conservative views and claimed to be Christian. When Heston approached the podium to deliver the speech, the crowd cheered until it was clear he was ready to speak.
Heston began by thanking everyone who attended the convention, praising the people for standing up for the very rights people died for in the American Revolution. He called for people to stand up for those rights as long as they had a voice, and as long as they had the strength. He spoke with grace, yet he was firm that the idea of taking guns away from people was a form of tyranny. Finally, he ended his speech like a true American, holding a flintlock musket, and he said these words:
So, as we set out this year to defeat the divisive forces that would take freedom away, I want to say those fighting words for everyone within the sound of my voice to hear and to heed, and especially for you, Mr. Gore: From my cold, dead hands!
Those words are very astounding, and to this day many gun-rights activists and pro-gunners (like myself) have quoted the last phrase. Up until a couple of years ago, I was convinced that no government would ever tell me to give up my guns, and anyone who would try to take them would be as dead as the silence during Amy Schumer’s stand-up. However, as I said, this was my view.
I came to ask myself: is this the right attitude to have as Christians? Would it be right for me, a person who is a follower of Christ and hope in His promises, to disobey my government over the issue of guns? I think this is a very important question to ask because it is very possible that we could be getting some serious gun control legislation coming at us. Christians are never called to do what they think is right, but what God says is right and what is clearly laid out in Scripture. If the FBI will come knocking at your door to take away your guns, what are you gonna? What does God want you to do?
Now, it shouldn’t be surprising that the word “gun” is never found in the Bible (I tried; couldn’t find anything in the concordance or on openbible.com). Nevertheless, the Bible is full of passages on government, rulers, and citizenship. The Bible gives us many passages that help us to understand the Christian’s role as a citizen of any state. The best passage is found in Romans 13:1-2 (ESV), and it says, “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.”
Dear friends, I love America. In my personal opinion, it is the best country in the world. It’s not perfect, it’s not flawless, and it’s not all that exceptional, but I wouldn’t live in any country. America is the only country where someone, like my father, could arrive with less than $100 in his pocket and make a five-digit income in a matter of a few years. America is the only country that actually has freedom of religion and free speech as a part of the law of the land (yea… let that sink in). I also love the fact that this country makes owning guns a fundamental right (to see my view on guns, click here).
Though we live in a great country, and though I love this country and my rights that Constitution gives me, we must all recognize that we are not exempt from having responsibility before the Sovereign God and His judgment. America is not invincible, especially compared to the One who makes nations rise and fall.
Make no mistake: God appoints rulers over a nation. Like it, hate it, or love it… God decreed for Trump to be the American President, for Putin to be the Russian dict– I mean President, and Trudeau to be the Canadian Prime Minister. God uses them to judge nations according to how He sees fit. It’s also important to note that he can use world leaders to bless countries too. Surprised? It’s because they don’t teach this ideology in either political spectrums. If you are carnal, your concern is if a government is serving you well; if you’re a Christian, your concern is if you are serving your government. The former has no value, the latter has glory.
So, now let’s apply it to the issue of guns: does God want His people to be caught up in a frenzy over guns? No; by no means! We are not to be silent of course. After all, we live in a country that allows for citizens to have political opinions, to be educated, and to speak up for God’s causes. I think God would advise us to use the rights He has blessed us with through America’s Constitution, but He doesn’t want us to fight our government. I am not convinced by Scripture that we are to be revolutionaries, rather we are to be preachers of God’s truth and His promises.
While there is a chance to fight gun-control through lawful defense, skilled argumentation, and heated debate, we must do so. However, if we lose our fight and the FBI comes knocking on our door to confiscate them, don’t fight. We should not fight brothers and sisters. We are to obey our Lord, and remember that He could easily change such unjust laws by His will. He is the greatest fighter for what is right, and He champions the just cause.
I can’t say, “From my cold, dead hands.”
What I can say: “Rest in God’s mighty hands.”
Soli Deo Gloria.