Guns, God and Spiritual Warfare 

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Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God… (Ephesians 6:10-17)

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While some Americans claiming to be Christian proclaim ‘guns, God and country’ as their religion, the idea would certainly be rejected by Christ Himself who claimed His Kingdom was not of this world.  Christ was proclaiming a heavenly Kingdom, not a worldly one (John 8:23; 17:14-16; 18:36).  Thus, St Paul, reinforcing the Gospel and message of the entire New Testament, points out Christians are involved in a spiritual warfare, not one involving guns or weapons (one example is the quote above).  We need spiritual armor to engage in the warfare to which Christ calls us.  We are called to warfare, but a spiritual one, not one involving weapons which kill.  I think it was St John Chrysostom who said Christian warfare makes the dead to live, not the living dead. St Maria of Paris, martyred by the Nazis in 1945, says of our Christian warfare:

8187082426_c5b1c05faf_wWe need to understand the meaning of mobilization. If a soldier on being mobilized must leave his well-loved family, his normal work, even his vocation [. . .], if all is taken from the mobilized soldier and all demanded, then our mobilization as Christians must involve personal demands which are no way milder. At this present moment Christ and the life-giving Spirit make demands on the whole person in all his totality. The difference between this and national mobilization is that the state compels us to mobilize, whereas our faith awaits volunteers. And to my way of thinking the fate of mankind depends on whether such volunteers will come forward, and if they do, on the degree of their self-sacrifice and dedication.”   (PEARL OF GREAT PRICE, p 74)

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Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.” (Luke 10:19-20)

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… and many peoples shall come, and say: “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths.” For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. He shall judge between the nations, and shall decide for many peoples; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. O house of Jacob, come, let us walk in the light of the LORD. (Isaiah 2: 3-5)