|David Cloud, Way of Life Literature|
Is It Time to Bear Arms? Response to “Churches Must Address Fundamentals, Not Symptoms”
June 29, 2020
David Cloud, Way of Life Literature, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061 866-295-4143, [email protected]
I received the following important response to the article “Churches Must Address Fundamentals, Not Symptoms,” June 15, 2020:
Thank you for sending this. One thing that I am struggling with is what is my responsibility as an American Christian in all of this? Are we to sit idly by and watch our country fall to this communist backed chaos? ----- from where I live a small town was invaded by BLM & Antifa protesters on Friday night. They were threatening a local business owner who was also on the school board. He refused to bow to their social justice demands by apologizing for statements that he made against them. Heavily armed militia groups surrounded his place of business. The BLM protesters issued threats of intimidation on social media and said they were coming to town armed. In the middle was ------ who was on the police swat team. In the past month he has been to two riots and seen one of his fellow police officers brutally gunned down by two black thugs who car jacked an innocent woman [see website report]. None of this of course made the national news.
The weekend prior to this in a small town close to where I live nearly a thousand protesters from Detroit were bused in by Antifa and BLM. ----- who is a firefighter and EMS medic was on standby for trouble all weekend. He trains with the county SWAT team as a medic. In both of these cases we prayed much for peaceful resolutions. So far, that has been the outcome, however my patience with doing nothing is wearing very thin. These groups are openly using intimidation tactics and receive praise for doing so.
I am an ex paratrooper and I know many Christian veterans who are struggling with watching this mess unfold and doing nothing. My first allegiance is to Christ. I am willing to do whatever His will is concerning this matter even if it means watching our country fall to communism. Unfortunately as a nation we have chosen the path that we are on and God had been no where near us for a long time.
That said, is there a responsibility as an American Christian to bear arms to defend our freedom in such a time as this? I have asked this question to many a preacher and have never received a straight answer. I am not looking for a green light to follow my flesh. What I would like is a Biblical answer in relation to the God given right to bear arms and free speech that we were granted by our founding fathers. Do we have a Christian responsibility to stand up against tyranny? Like I said my first allegiance is to Christ. I just don't want to watch my country fall to communism having not done anything to try and stop it if I should have. I hope this makes sense.
I also totally agree that prayer is the greatest weapon that we have, and that is has been the most under utilized.
REPLY FROM BROTHER CLOUD
Following is an edited edition of my reply to this man:
I appreciate the response. You have expressed the issue very well.
There is not one answer to your question for everyone, but Scripture gives us some clear truths that provide light in these times. Following is how I understand the practicality of the Bible’s teaching for today:
1. Americans do still have some rights to bear arms, and they should be used to defend life and property insofar as possible. Legal firearms have stopped multitudes of rapes, beatings, thefts, and murders. Legal firearms have stopped would-be mass murderers, even in church services. Many churches have appointed armed guards within the membership, and that is wise. The citizens of most nations today don’t have this liberty, and Americans should use it as long as they have it. But beyond that, what can be done with arms? Shall conservative Christian militias go to war with Antifa, BLM, et al? You know very well that it would only make matters worse and it would be very short-lived. The U.S. government today is much more likely to side with Antifa/BLM than any Christian militia or even someone lawfully bearing an arm in self-defense against Antifa/BLM. The following is an example -
2. We do have some free speech, and it is a precious, hard-won right that we should use. I would love to see more pastors and Christians speak out publicly to give a biblical perspective on prevailing issues. In my experience, most pastors are hiding and not even speaking out much when they are behind the pulpit itself. They are truly the silent majority. Some write to me and say, “I support what you are saying, but please don’t use my name.” Cowards! I thank the Lord for men who are outspoken, but they are certainly in the extreme minority. Speak out for truth and righteousness, brethren! We would hasten to say that one must be very careful about he uses his time. Speaking out against the problems that blight our nation can easily become a full-time job and can entice you into the addicting and unwholesome world of “conservativism.”
3. We have the responsibility to obey God when man’s laws contradict God’s. “Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men” (Ac. 5:29). Many churches exercised that responsibility during the coronavirus lockdowns when some state governments put Walmart before churches and tried to force unreasonable conditions on the assemblies. When the government impudently exalts itself over God’s laws, such as in the matter of marriage, we must obey the higher law. We have to be ready to pay the price, of course, but this is legitimate Christian duty.
4. Personally, I’m not going to spend any time with demonstrations and sign waving and politicking, and very little time even speaking out on such matters, because God has given me more important things to do, as I have described in the report “Churches Must Address Fundamentals, Not Symptoms.” I’m going to spend my fleeting time in prayer, lots of prayer, serious Bible reading/study/meditation, preaching/teaching God’s Word, building New Testament churches, building up godly homes, discipling youth, training preachers, preaching the gospel. There is infinitely more life-changing, community-changing, nation-changing power in those things than standing on a corner holding a sign or waving the flag or going face-to-face with BLM. Others can do those things.
5. We have to understand the times. “And of the children of Issachar, which were men that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do” (1 Chronicles 12:32). The 21st century is not the 18th. Taking up arms as a patriot in the 1770s was an entirely different thing than taking up arms today. I am convinced that it is God who is judging America, and I have no intention of fighting against God. We could wish that America could be split into two parts, one that holds to its founding principles and the other a leftist state, but it’s nothing going to happen. It’s not time to build nations; it’s time to build churches. It’s time to focus like a laser on the imminent return of Christ and let loose of this old world and be ready to go, to make sure we are not like Lot’s wife, whose heart was so attached to Sodom that she could not bear to leave it. “And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof” (Romans 13:1-14).
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