A co-religionist friend of mine asked some years ago, “What is the [Catholic] Church’s teaching on firearms…? Does it recommend an assault rifle or a shotgun?”
He was kidding, of course, but not so funny are some recent attempts by liberal “Christians” to turn Jesus into Sarah Brady. Motivated by their unique brand of religiosity in the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting, they say that the Lord would never condone gun ownership. Why, didn’t He state, “[A]ll that take the sword shall perish with the sword”?
Were I to steal a leaf out of the liberals’ book, I’d now become conveniently literalistic and say that if anyone wants to consider sword control, I’m game. But let’s address the matter seriously.
When the temple guards of the Sanhedrin came to the Garden of Gethsemane to arrest Jesus, the apostle Simon Peter leapt to the Lord’s defense, drew his sword, and sliced off the ear of a slave accompanying the guards. This is where the quoted Bible passage comes into play. The gospel of Matthew (26:52) tells us that Jesus rebuked Peter, saying, “Put up again thy sword into its place: for all that take the sword shall perish with the sword.” Quite a pacifist message, huh?
Yet there’s something generally overlooked here. Peter only had a sword to draw because he had one on his person — and Jesus obviously took no issue with this. In fact, even during Jesus’ rebuke, He never told Peter to throw his sword away. The command was simply to resheath it.
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Selwyn Duke (photo)