“He who loves violence” and Guns

This TED talk, by Netherland’s chief of defense Peter van Uhm, explains why we can’t do without guns. With insight and balance, van Uhm explains from a humanistic and humanitarian perspective why guns are now a necessary part of life.

What van Uhm fails to bring into the discussion is that we are living in a Genesis 3 world, which is why evil men use guns for evil, and others try to use guns to stop evil. Guns, like any other technology, are neutral in themselves and only enter the moral realm when humans use them to reach an end.

But what Christians often forget in our discussion of guns is that God hates violence, and the people who practice it (Psalm 11:5). There is no specific form of violence singled out here – apparently, God hates all of it because it is man, with no authority or with selfish motives, destroying other men whom He has made in His own image.

Our culture is so full of violence, that we are often blinded to it. As a culture, we practice it, whether by watching violent films or playing violent video games for fun, setting up targets with images of particular people for sadistic target practice, being violent in the way that they hunt to put food on the table, acting violently in the home, or any other selfish way that we hurt other humans who are made in God’s image.

I realize that the military has soldiers play video games with battle scenarios to prepare them, and that police and other public and private defense personnel practice shooting at human targets in order to prepare them to take out dangerous individuals. That is legitimate use of force that protects the vulnerable, brings freedom, and punishes evil. But so often, American evangelicals are blind to the violence that they condone either by participation or by silence when they are confronted by it. We would never let our teens watch porn, but we let them watch films where people are brutalized, disfigured, and murdered. Turns out that a Dutch soldier has thought more about the morality of force than many church goers.

God hates violence. Do we?