Following the recent school massacre in Connecticut, the debate over gun control in the US has raged in all the usual unhelpful places. As expected, the debate is deeply entrenched and often not a debate at all but a loud re-statement of existing views.

As I understand it, one of the chief reasons the constitutional right to bear arms is as a defence against government tyranny. Setting aside the nature of the tyranny of the English monarchy in the third quartile of the 18th century, a question that I want to ask Christian proponents of this particular argument is simply,WWSPW (what would St. Paul write).

In other words, would St. Paul have written Romans 13—including the command to obey the servant of God, and that governing authorities bearing the sword, etc.—if there had been a tyrannical government in place at the time? Say, an emperor such as Nero?

And, if you are Christian teacher, would you be willing to write and preach a Romans 13 to your flock when they were under tyranny?

And if not, why not?

 

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