The Bible Against American Gun Culture Assignment

The Bible Against American Gun Culture Assignment

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Assignment 8-1: Question 3 Reflection Essay

The premise behind God and Guns reflects the obsession with the acquisition and usage of firearms to kill humans, which goes against God’s love for the universe. That is, considering that God commanded humans to care for each other with love and compassion from when He created the universe. Therefore, the intent to kill humans is not only supported by the New Testament since, in the Old Testament, it is clear that God is the only Being that has power over human lives. That portrays human beings that purchase God not merely to protect themselves but rather to kill other humans as disobeying God. Therefore, the reflection will focus on the third question, “Strawn’s and Hays’s arguments argue against guns using the Old Testament. Summarize and evaluate their arguments. Did their arguments defy expectations, given the usual presumption of a bloodthirsty OT God? Explain.” The Bible Against American Gun Culture Assignment

Strawn and Hays On Gun Argument

The book begins with chapter one, where Strawn focuses on the Old Testament violence portrayed in the Book of Joshua during the Canaan conquest. As a result, Strawn tries to acknowledge the violence as expressed in the Bible, which he tries to show that most American Christians tend to associate themselves with such instances in the Bible as a way to justify their gun violence and ownership (Crouch & Hays, 2021). In that case, Strawn indicates that one way to start confronting gun violence in America using a Christian perspective is by understanding first the genesis of the American approach towards gun violence. Hays explains gun violence and religion in chapter three, where he explores the self-defense issue. In that case, Hays explores various Old Testament chapters, including Isaiah 22 and 44, and links them to the New Testament Gospels and the Book of Revelation. Thus, the assertion, “Do not be afraid.” Hays links these books to portray why Christians should focus on changing their minds and hearts. The Bible Against American Gun Culture Assignment


That is, most individuals who use guns wrongfully but use biblical encounters to salvage their acts as self-defense should understand that Christianity and guns act as two competing religions. Hence, Hays counterargues that the only allowed self-defense in Christianity is hoping for God’s protection but not engaging in physical violence. That is well explained in Luke 50-51, where after one of the individuals coming to take Jesus was struck by a sword, Jesus went ahead to heal and restore his ear (Crouch & Hays, 2021). Therefore, instead of solving issues through physical violence, individuals must learn to solve the problems as noble beings and with sobriety since violence castigates more poison. That makes it one of the reason most gun violence tend to be an eye for an eye, thus blinding the humanity among races. Therefore, Hays believes that fear is the root cause of gun ideology, but Christians should always echo the biblical refrain of “Do not be afraid.” The Bible Against American Gun Culture Assignment

Analysis of Strawn and Hays Argument

The argument portrayed by Hays and Strawn argument is essential in the modern world, where gun violence has been causing more harm than good in the name of self-defense.

For instance, Crouch and Hays (2021) focus on Americans who purchase guns to harm children, women, and men rather than for adventurous activities like historical collections or sports shooting. An example that illustrates the factor is portrayed in The Forward, written by Stanley Hauerwas, which begins with a bit of tension concerning the link between Christianity and gun ownership. From the information provided, Hauerwas indicates that after being in Yale Divinity School for two years, the father gifted him a gun once he returned home. However, he took it ungraciously, failing to identify it as his father’s love gift. Then, Hauerwas discusses broadly why believers believed that Jesus owned a gun, making him recommend the readers to read the book since it projects the nonviolent nature of Jesus to encourage the reader to avoid being violent to one another. Also, in the opening section, Hays and Crouch provide statistics to portray the effects of guns on Americans between 2017 and 2019 by stating that gunfire kills 1700 teens and children annually, while three million children witness yearly gun violence instances (Crouch & Hays, 2021). Such factors show that America as a country experiences a wide range of gun injuries and deaths despite having the most significant Christian base who tend to be pro-life. Consequently, these claims are disregarded, yet individuals are advocating for Americans to purchase guns, including AK-15 weapons. The Bible Against American Gun Culture Assignment

Also, Yolanda Norton discusses chapter 2 using the 2nd Samuel 21 story concerning Rizpah, Saul’s wife whose two sons were hanged under the authority of King David in the midst of ending the three-year famine (Crouch & Hays, 2021). Despite being hurt as a mother, Rizpah ensures that she guards all seven bodies that were not buried and is not selfish only to guard her son’s remains. Her act challenged King David’s authority to ensure that bodies receive proper burial where the famine ends after the burial. For Norton, the author describes Rizpah as more human than the King since she ensured that all the slain souls got their respective justice despite her loss. Considering that most gun violence in America is associated with Blacks, Norton perceives Rizpah as one of America’s Black mothers who takes the challenge to seek accountability and justice for all black sons who get subjected to intentional gunfire, such as mothers of Tamir Rice and Trayvon Martin (Crouch & Hays, 2021). Hence, Norton’s writing shows the passion she has for gun violence and death subject matter that proves that the Old Testament and American violence are deeply embedded and state-sanctioned. That is because the safety myth is the factor that continues to cultivate America’s gun culture. Shedding blood is a massive crime against God since even when Cain killed Abel, God gave Cain an eternal punishment since Abel’s blood did not deserve to be shed since God is the giver of life. The Bible Against American Gun Culture Assignment

Therefore, just like Lemo in chapter four states, Christians should clearly understand the symbolic nature of Jesus’ crucifixion since despite having all the defense weapons such as bows, only the Cross that crucified Jesus will save the Christians during the last days. Therefore, Christians should ensure that they interpret the scriptures towards nonviolent circumstances since reading the Bible presents more of a double-edged sword than Christians interpret depending on the verse or book that supports their actions (Crouch & Hays, 2021). Also, since Christians already know the implications that gun violence brings around, it is necessary to choose what is right or wrong since they have that capability. That is because Jesus, despite being fixed by Judas, knew violence would not save the situation and decided to make peace by restoring the ear of one of his oppressors. The Bible Against American Gun Culture Assignment


Gun violence has left so many Americans, both adults and children, dead or injured since most take the use of guns as a self-defense mechanism. In most cases, American Christians using guns tend to salvage their actions using verses in the Bible that promote violence but fail to engage logical thinking on the effects that their actions will have on the general population. However, as a Christian who understands the initial aim of God to humanity, it is evident that God never intended to experience human beings killing each other, as evident in the story of Cain and Abel. Therefore, in as much as the Bible presents as a double-edged sword when assessing violence, Christians should be guided by compassion, care, and love for each other. The Bible Against American Gun Culture Assignment


Crouch, C. L. and Christopher B. Hays, eds. God and Guns: The Bible Against American Gun Culture.Westminster John Knox, 2021. ISBN: 978-0664266820.

Crouch, C. L. and Christopher B. Hays, eds. God and Guns: The Bible Against American Gun Culture.
Westminster John Knox, 2021. ISBN: 978-0664266820.


After completing the reading, answer (with nuance) ONE of the following questions in two (2) single-spaced pages. This is a reflection paper, therefore MLA formatting is NOT needed.

(1) Many of the authors cited the passage in Luke where Jesus tells his disciples to take their swords with them (22:36). What were their various takes on the passage? Evaluate their analyses. How do you relate Luke 22:36 in light of 22:49-51? The Bible Against American Gun Culture Assignment


(2) Lemos and Matthews offered explicitly “feminist” readings that were not compelled to affirm American evangelicalismâ€s core doctrine of inerrancy. What were their arguments? Evaluate them. Do their arguments and positions require a rejection of inerrancy? Either way, explain. Do you think the words of Jesus and Paul are incompatible?


(3) Strawnâ€s and Haysâ€s arguments argue against guns using the Old Testament. Summarize and evaluate their arguments. The Bible Against American Gun Culture Assignment


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