I can't speak for everyone, obviously. But I can honestly tell you why I'm so against the current government making *any* laws about the 2nd Amendment. And the answer is, in complete seriousness, the way they handled gay marriage.
As we both ask and acknowledge every time we say the pledge of allegiance or sing (the full version of) the national anthem or sing "God Bless America," God has blessed this country tremendously. But yet despite all of His blessings (not to mention the plain fact that He is God, and we are not), we spit in his face and overtly rejected His authority when it came to gay marriage, and even more so when we began to actually CELEBRATE something that is so clearly an affront to God.
Now, this country allows a lot of sins, including greed, sex out of wedlock, and so forth. You can't legislate someone's heart into loving God (which requires obedience, John 14:15-24), nor should we really try. But it's a different issue entirely when we try to re-define something that God has already defined. At that point, we are no longer simply rejecting His clear commands and authority, but actually saying that we know better than He does. God defined marriage as being between man and woman, and for the purposes of producing godly offspring. (Malachi 2:13-15; Matthew 19:4-6)
We do not have the authority to take His place on the throne, or to change His commands -- but yet, the world has always tried to do those very things. The first time insurrection against our Creator got out of hand, He destroyed the world for rebelling against Him. After doing so, He provided the rainbow as a reminder of a promise that He would never again destroy the world by flood. (Genesis 9:13.) The next time that a large group of humanity got dangerously out of hand was Sodom and Gomorrah. God destroyed those places largely for rampant sexual immorality and extreme homosexual behavior, as well for generally rejecting Him. But yet we take those very things, combine them, celebrate them, and then use God's rainbow to indicate our "gay pride." (And even leaving all of that aside, don't forget that pride itself is an abomination to God (Proverbs 16:5; see also, e.g., 1 John 2:16).)
When we do those things, we spit in the face of a God who has blessed us so tremendously, time and again.
All of that was bad enough. But then the government took those things, and then began to force even God's own people (the Christians) to either participate, or else be subjected to financial punishments or even incarceration. Now they're trying to un-accredit Christian universities and force various Catholic institutions to participate in their godless ways, including paying for abortions and birth control and forcing them to hire people who are living in open sin. (I'm not defending the Catholic church per se, but I am defending their right to function as an entity separate from state control.) What's next -- forcing Christian churches to hire atheist pastors? Forcing Christians to remain silent about the portions of the bible that society deems to be "offensive" or "hate speech"? We are headed down an extremely slippery slope, careening towards a very dangerous ending in the ways of God, even if not in the ways of the world.
And how did we get there? Here's how this all plays into my concerns about touching the 2nd Amendment. When the whole "gay marriage" "debate" started 10 or so years ago, or even just going back five years ago, the constant refrain from the left was, "Just let the gays get married. It won't bother anyone else." First, you see how quickly the swell of public opinion changed. Fifteen years ago, gay marriage was an absurd idea to all but a relative few. Today, to even question the idea of gay marriage results in you almost automatically being accused of hatred, bigotry, and homophobia. And I know, because I've been personally accused of ALL of those things.
But more to the point, once the LGBT community / lobby got an ounce of power (and the wave of public opinion) behind them, suddenly "Just let us get married, we won't bother anyone else" became "We're going to force the Christians to participate in our wicked ways, or else!"
You see, to most non-Christians, bondage and oppression come in the form of physical slavery, of being forced to do things against your own will. But to most genuine Christians, the worst form of bondage is bondage to sin. God has changed our hearts from the inside to the point that we GENUINELY hate sin and GENUINELY love and want to obey God's ways (see Ezekiel 36:27 -- if you read none of the other verses that I posted, please read that one, as it's essentially foreshadowing the NT Gospel via an OT prophet). To tell us that we can't obey God, I would seriously sooner sit in jail (or honestly even be killed) than to be forced by the government to sin against God.
To us, government overreach in telling us how to worship God is the worst form of tyranny there is -- and I mean that from the depths of my soul, and from the bottom of my heart. I'm not just saying that to make a point for a debate. I sincerely mean those things, and so do A LOT of other Christians.
And so what's the Constitutional answer to government tyranny? The 2nd Amendment. (Along with obedience, preaching and prayer, which are the spiritual answers.) Most Christians have no desire to ever shoot someone even in self-defense, let alone to go and shoot up a school or nightclub. But the mere ability to bear arms is designed to protect us, first and foremost, from governmental tyranny. Simply owning guns makes it harder for the government to just impose its will and overstep its bounds, because they know that the citizenry is capable of fighting back if need be. And that right there is why this administration in particular has zero chance of making any changes on 2nd Amendment issues, and it's precisely because of how much they overstepped their bounds and rammed homosexuality (and now transgender stuff) down our throats.
Buying a gun doesn't mean that you are going to kill someone. In fact, MOST gun owners never killed anyone, nor will they ever kill anyone.
Getting an abortion 100% means that you're going to kill someone. Every. Single. Time. That's the point of abortion.
Don't hear me wrong, what happened in Orlando was awful. Fifty people died. They're never coming back. A nation mourns, and rightly so.
But every single day in America, an average of 3,000 babies are aborted. Real people with real souls, given to them by God. People who will never even get a chance at life. And they aren't coming back, either.
Three thousand babies per day. More babies are killed in one five-day "work week" than all of the people who died from gun violence in all of America in all of 2015 combined.
Three thousand babies per day. But we've become completely numb, because we've bought the lie that it's a "woman's right" to kill what is living inside of her body, a "woman's health issue" that allows her to destroy another human life.
Even most non-Christians realize that their body has a soul, something deeper than just their intellect and emotions and physical body parts. Souls don't develop at the 3-month point of a pregnancy. Souls are given to us by God from the outset of pregnancy -- just as when He knit King David together in his mother's womb. (Psalm 139:13)
But yet we still kill 3,000 babies per day, and no one says anything.
Except for when they complain that it's too hard to kill the 3,000-and-first.
I agree that mass killings are a problem. But yet half of this country passionately supports mass killings, as long as they're to their own benefit. After all, who wants the inconvenience of a gift from God?
If guns are on the table, then let's REALLY get serious about death and put abortion on the table, too. Now is as good of a time as any to talk about THAT issue of mass murder -- and much longer overdue than the gun debate.
Life is short. Last night, 50 people died in a nightclub in Orlando. But hundreds, if not thousands more died from various other causes throughout this country. Some were old and had lived a full life. But for many others, their time had come at a much younger age. Despite how good (or bad) your life seems to be at the moment, you could be next.
To be sure, this tragedy will incite all of the normal social and political battles. “If we had completely eliminated guns, this never would have happened.” Yes, it would have. Maybe in a different way, but guns are not the problem. Cain killed Able with his bare hands, or perhaps a rock. Suicide bombs are even more devastating than both rocks and guns, and there’s no practical way to outlaw them. This tragedy still would have happened even without guns -- perhaps in a different way, but banning guns would not have eliminated the sin in mankind’s heart.
Conversely, you may hear, “Well, it was a gay club! They got what they deserved!” Yes, and no. In response to a similar tragedy that befell Galilee many centuries ago, Jesus Christ Himself said this: “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:2-3) Their sin is no worse than my sin or your sin. We have all sinned and fallen short of God’s holy standard. (Romans 3:23) And as a result, we all deserve death. (Romans 6:23) That’s every bit as true for an atheist doctor as it is for a homosexual club goer who rejects God, and for that matter, even for Christians who know God.
The difference is not whether we deserve to die, or whether we will actually die, because absent a rapture, Christians and non-Christians alike will all die. The difference is not even whether we will live to old age. Some dedicated servants of God have died at very young ages, including David Brainerd, Keith Green, and Jesus Christ Himself. The question is not one of life or death, or even of timing, but rather, what happens when we pass into the next life.
And therein lies the greatest tragedy of this all: Apart from Christ, absolutely no one will be justified before God at the final judgment. No one is “good enough” apart from Christ. (Luke 18:19) No one can love enough or do enough good works to be pleasing to God apart from faith in Jesus Christ. (Romans 8:8; Hebrews 11:6) In fact, apart from genuine faith in Christ, even our best works are like filthy menstrual rags before God – perhaps accepted or even glorified by man, but completely repulsive and unpleasing to a righteous and holy God. (Isaiah 64:6; Hebrews 11:6) And so, when all is said and done, no one will be “righteous” enough, or “justified” before God, apart from Christ. (Ecclesiastes 7:20; Romans 3:10, 3:20; Galatians 3:11) There is, quite simply, nothing we can do on our own to merit heaven, to merit eternity with God and in His presence. (Revelation 7:9-17)
Nevertheless, although we have done nothing to deserve salvation, God has given us everything we need for it. Jesus Christ Himself left the glories of heaven to come to this Earth – and make no mistake, this Earth was every bit as depraved in His day as it is today, and was without our modern technological comforts and conveniences to boot. He lived the perfect life that we could not live, and then died the death that we deserve. Although He was the only person in the history of mankind who did not deserve death, He laid down His own life so that we may have ours. And although we deserve noting except death, God gave us everything we need for life through His own merit.
What is our part in all of that? Admit that we can’t do it on our own. Admit that apart from Christ, we are as sinful as the openly gay people partying into the wee hours of the morning. Admit that apart from Christ, we are as lost as the Muslim shooter who openly rejected Christ as His Lord and Savior. (And yes, I do know that he openly rejects Christ as His Lord and Savior, because part of accepting Islam is rejecting Jesus Christ as God, Lord, and Savior.) Admit that you need Christ every bit as much as those who died last night, even if you’re a “successful” doctor, lawyer, engineer, teacher, coach, or parent. Because as I said at the outset, you could be next. Or “do you [still] think that these [Floridians] were worse sinners than all the other [Americans], because they suffered in this way? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”
The greatest tragedy in all of this is not simply the pain and aguish felt by so many last night. The greatest tragedy in all of this is that the fifty openly gay club goers, as well as the shooter, all seemingly died in unrepentant sin, in open rebellion against God, and thus without a saving relationship with Jesus Christ. The greatest tragedy is not thinking about what so many suffered through last night, today and beyond, as horrible as that is; the greatest tragedy is realizing that eternity apart from Christ will be forever unspeakably worse, but yet that tragedy could have been avoided if the seed of the Gospel had fallen on soft hearts that were willing to listen to the truth before it was too late.
Christians don’t preach to judge you. We preach because we care. We preach because we've been where you are, and because we know what's on the other side -- the wonderful, and the terrible. Please listen to us. And if not to us, then please listen at least to Jesus: “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:2-3) Please listen before it’s too late for you. Because as harsh as the suddenness of last night’s tragedy was for so many, you could be next.
The "blank page" between the Testaments represents spiritual darkness, a period without any light or new revelation from God for around 400 or 500 years.
During this period, the Jews went back and forth between oppression and freedom. The Jews briefly won their independence back in 164 BC, at which point the Maccabean family of priests began to rule over them. The following is from the ESV Study Bible (p. 1784):
"From the second generation onward, the Maccabean rulers became progressively dictatorial, corrupt, immoral, and even pagan." Dictatorial. Corrupt. Immoral. And pagan, or rejecting God. That sounds eerily similar to the state of America today -- and I'm including the leading politicians on BOTH sides of the aisle, including President Obama, Secretary Clinton, and Mr. Trump.
"Internal strife led Jewish leaders to ask the Roman general Pompey to come and restore order." In America, faced with a similar situation, we are on the verge of turning to General Trump to "restore order." Some of you may cheer at that. But then read the next passage (and these quotes are all in order, and in context):
"Pompey did so, but he also brought Roman rule, which began in 63 B.C. and lasted into the fourth century A.D.
When Pompey took Jerusalem, he entered the temple and even the Most Holy Place. To the Jews, this was the ultimate insult and sacrilege." My Christian friends especially should realize the arrogance and sacrilege associated with that, the complete disrespect for God and His Ways. Sort of like rejecting the sanctity of life, the sanctity of marriage, and the sanctity of Holy Communion, although this was admittedly even more bold.
"The Romans could not understand why the Jews resented the various exercises of privilege and control by their conqueror." The same is true today for the left's inability to understand why their "tolerance" of sin and "progressiveness" away from God's ways are so offensive to the right, and particularly to the conservative Christians on the right.
"Hence deep suspicion and ill will began growing, lasting over a century until the Jews rebelled and the Romans destroyed the Jewish state. The NT reader must remain aware of this seething undercurrent that colors much of what takes place, even during the ministry of Jesus." Deep suspicion and ill will. I can hardly think of better words to describe America today. Each party deeply distrusts the other, and in a great many cases that has manifested itself in a thinly-veiled hatred for "the other side."
Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. But fortunately, the solution today is the same as the solution was 2000 years ago: Jesus Christ Himself.
The difference between now and then is that today's church is powerless. We are so focused on historical Christianity that we fail to make history of our own. So focused on doctrine that we forget about obedience. So focused on life that we forget about Jesus' command to die to ourselves. So focused on comfort that we forget about carrying our Cross, which isn't just a burden but a complete surrender of this life, complete death to self so that we may FULLY live for Christ.
The early church had the Holy Spirit in full measure, but lacked most of the New Testament. But relying deeply on God and on His teachings in the Old Testament, they "turned the world upside down." (Acts 17:6)
Church, what's stopping us from doing the same today? Our politicians cannot save us, nor can church history or even perfect doctrine (if there was such a thing). Christ and Christ alone can save us, and God's power through the Holy Spirit can change us and the world around us. Only when we turn back to doing things God's ways, to becoming clean vessels that are completely empty of self, and thus completely prepared to be filled by the Holy Spirit, only then can we truly make this country -- or even our individual communities -- great again.
"For I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God." (Acts 20:27)