The definitive list of why Jesus wouldn’t want you to lay down your weapons

There is a lot of commotion going on in the states right now surrounding the topic of guns.

Because of this I thought it was time someone sat down and looked at the topic objectively.

I’ve scoured the words of Jesus and his disciples and come up with a definitive list of reasons Christians should not lay down their arms.

Sorry I couldn’t think of a single thing that wasn’t totally and utterly insane.

By all means believe in violence.

Believe in killing one person to protect another. 

Believe in valuing your life more than another.

Believe in your rights to have guns.

Believe that violence can be a solution to violence.

But don’t you dare say that Jesus is invested in any of the above.

We already have enough people in the church presenting God as a nutcase… We don’t need more fuel on the fire!

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      • Have you looked at Israel lately? Even their teachers carry guns. Do you know why? If they laid down their weapons of defense then their enemies would destroy them with weapons of war.

        As long as the bad guys have guns, the good guys should have them too.

        Unfortunately, there is evil in this world, and it doesn’t listen to please and thank you’s. It listens to power.

        For this reason, when Jesus returns, he returns in power with an army. Not even Jesus can TALK men into being peaceful if they don’t want to be.

        • Israel like every other secular state does not derive its law or strategy from the Bible. What is more given the civil situation is a very poor example.

          If you love God, if you trust him as Your saviour, why do you not trust him with your life too. Clearly you don’t trust Him with your safety. God is our refuge. If you should be so unfortunate as to be attacked and killed, are you not ready togo to be with Jesus.

          • By your thinking we all (Christians) should just commit suicide and go to be with the Lord.Not to mention the fact No greater Love has a man then he lay down his life for another. P.S. If you read the Old Testament God told people to kill them all more than once ,I do believe he called them enemies .

        • ‘Not even Jesus can TALK men into being peaceful if they don’t want to be’.

          So not even the son of God can, by His mighty word, talk people into being peaceful if it was his will for them to do so?

          Wow, seems like a pretty weak Jesus that you believe in.

        • Where did Jesus ever condemn the Roman soldiers for carrying arms or using them?
          He recognised the lines of authority both God’s and Caesar’s, but he did teach us all to love one another including our enemies. One day when he returns from Heaven to rule and reign on Earth, there will be no more war, use of weapons, or murders, because all people will obey His rules and abide by the laws of Yahweh [ God ]. Those who refuse will be quietly disarmed and eliminated. It wont be a democracy but a theocracy where the will of God will be obeyed.

          • The New Testament is largely a series of documents condemning the Roman rule, albeit at times in carefully ‘coded’ words that only Christians would understand. Paul’s writings constantly contrast God’s way of bringing peace through love with the Roman way of bringing peace through violence.

        • When Jesus returns it will be with an army – of love alone, their only weapon. There’s a price to pay for being God; and Jesus pays it willingly. Those who choose to walk with him pay that price too, at the cost of their own lives if need be. It’s called carrying your cross. It never changes; but the final victory is assured, not because of power, nor because of might, but because of My Spirit, says the Lord. This particular gate is narrow, and not too many go through it – I couldn’t blame anyone who says it’s too hard; it probably is.

  1. Police should lay down their weapons? Soldiers? Guards? It’s just not that simple. Do we have any obligation to protect the innocent? I’m fine with martyrdom for myself…but should I decide that others around me should be martyrs too?

    • Hi Jennifer,

      Great questions.

      I think on the whole my commentary was not on police, soldiers etc – but on a personal level, should a Christian fight for the right to possess a firearm.

      That said the topic of police, soldiers etc are very interesting.

      I personally don’t know how much I hold to Jesus being pro-war – and even “just war” theory came into play hundreds of years after Jesus. The early church were ALWAYS against fighting in wars and responding in violence until Christianity became Romanised.

      There are plenty of police forces around the world which function without guns. A close family member of mine is a police officer here in the UK and they never have to bear arms and only on extreme cases ever call out officers who are specifically trained to use weapons. Even then VERY rarely do they get fired. Simply put we don’t see guns as a solution.

      In fact I read in the news just last month that a group of US police chiefs flew over to Scotland to discuss with them how they handle violent criminals and were amazed that at no point did we use guns. And even the weapons at our disposal (non-fatal weapons like taser and batons) were VERY rarely used to de-escalate and dis-arm violent criminals)

      Ultimately I think we have created a world where guns are unfortunately necessary to some degree – for now at least. But my point still stands I do not want us as Christians to say that Jesus would be happy about that fact or worse… support it! Jesus in all his teachings was off the scale non-violent, as were his disciples and the first 2-300 years of his followers!

      Thanks for bringing up the point though – it’s a super complex one that I think we do need to think about and address.

      • Does Kingdom of God sanction violence as a tool? This has been on my heart for many years. I simply cannot see violence as a way of the Kingdom. The Jews were expecting a messiah who would forcefully, and with great violence, establish the Kingdom in the world. And they rejected him because his Kingdom was not of the world(did not act in worlds way). Today many Christians still hold that his Kingdom will be established in the world through great violence (the return of Christ and those “saved” on horses with swords) to effectively commit genocide on all who have rejected Jesus.
        Kingdom of God fights not against flesh and blood but in the spirit. As we take our anointed place and battle in the spirit, as we take our anointed place and respond with the love of the Father, the world will see the manifestation of the sons and daughters of God that they long for.
        Your statement: “Ultimately I think we have created a world where guns are unfortunately necessary to some degree – for now at least”. I don’t believe the ways of the Kingdom follow the lesser of evils. Although they may be difficult the Kingdom always has ways that are not evil.

      • The question isn’t whether a governing or policing authority should have guns, it is whether a Christian should. Big difference. and I believe that the idea that non violent Christians are arguing that governments should not wage war is a straw man fallacy.

        • Biblical, maybe not but We are at war. We are not talking about muggers here but people that are killing strangers. Terrorism works on Americans. Rather than give in to fear I think a lot of good people have decided to defend their families of need be.

          Would Jesus pack heat? No way. Should we choose to not resist evil and just lay down and die like sheep? Probably. Am I willing to watch my family get murdered if I have the power to stop it? You betcha!

          So, am I a bad Christian? Is every Sailor, Soldier, Airman, Policeman and any other defender of the weak going to hell for that choice?

          I think at some point we have to use our brains. We believe in a fused who is good all the time. At some point we need to decide whether we are on the side of good and willing to defend it or do we really leave it to Billy Bob with his AK and rebel flag or maybe Ahmed and crew making people become suicide bombers.

      • So, what I am hearing is that the police should never have shot and killed the San Bernardino shooters. They should have just…what?
        Unless it’s ok for them to use violence to stop people from doing harm.
        So, if someone had a gun on your child, even if you have the means to stop it, you shouldnt. But it’s ok for someone else to do it for you.
        Hmm, that’s like saying, God, I won’t steal that because it’s wrong, but I will have someone steal it for me. And that’s ok.
        I don’t think so.

      • “Jesus in all his teachings was off the scale non-violent…”
        Really? He certainly wasn’t non-violent in all his actions.
        “And making a whip of cords, he drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and oxen. And he poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables.”
        John 2:15

        Many Christians fought against the Nazis in WW2. Is there really no circumstance in which it is right for Christians to take up arms?

    • In the UK we have an unarmed police force, (who can call on tactical firearms officers, in the rare event of confronting an armed suspect) 10 years ago following a single school tragedy, (Dunblane) all privately held legal handguns were surrendered (I handed in 3 myself). Less people (total numbers or % of population) will be killed in the UK by firearms or any other means of violence in 2016, than have died from a bullets in the USA this year already (10 January) the US citizens are addicted to being fearful, and the arms industry & military feed their addiction, and the TV networks feed on the tragedy, The US lost interest in going to the moon after 3 trips, it’s only the evere increasing body count of children that makes the headline. 1 tragedy was enough for the UK….

  2. I guess I’m not sure why everyone only sees guns as something that only can be used as violence towards other people. My family has always only used them for recreational shooting and for supplying game for us to eat. I don’t see them as any more dangerous than the knife you have in your kitchen, the cigarette other people smoke around me, the alcohol that people drink to excess, the sugar and processed food we are given, and the cars that are driven every day. I guess every one has their own fears that they have to overcome. And banning guns is definitely caused by fear. I don’t walk around with one on me, but I don’t fear those who do either. If the US did decide to ban guns would I turn mine in? Probably. But I would also take up bow hunting, so would that be banned next? And if guns were banned would gun violence stop? I doubt it, criminals don’t care about laws. I don’t depend on guns for my personal protection, I live from the supernatural and have no fear of what man wants to do to me. But I understand how if you are not rooted in your true identity as a supernaturally protected Child of God that the natural world can be a fearful place. Do I think the government should ban guns? No, because it won’t solve any problems and our natural constitution is very clear about giving citizens the right to own guns. But if Chrisitans were living the life they were truly meant to live then even if a ban did happen, they would have no need to fight it or disobey. It’s all a matter of perspective and facing fears based upon where your trust lies really.

    • I agree totally Phil. This issue has always bugged me. It is the easiest way to start a fight on Facebook though. Lol. Phil, will you please debunk the common remark “well Jesus want all roses and pink balloons. He turned over tables and charred people with whips.” People think he was violent and ignore the whole gospel, which is love. How do you respond to these type of people?

    • Tell that to all the Christians in the middle east that are being executed. I do not faer death because I know who I belong to but I will not ever be a helpless victim. David wiped out whole villages and the people of Israel took land by force. The cross changed how I have a relationship with God. It did not change God.

    • “But I understand if you are not rooted in your identity as a Supernaturally protected child of God that the natural world can be a fearful place”

      What do you mean by this? Are you saying that God protects his children from the problems and sufferings of the “natural” world?

    • Well said! We need to remember that it’s what is going on in someone heart that causes “murder” not guns. Its also a very sensitive subject unless you’re living in the midst of all this chaos. My two daughters and their families live in Baltimore and my oldest who is a small very pale Caucasian women with long red hair works smack downtown in a rage popular hotel working the front desk and office. She watched the riots and was forbidden by hotel management and police to leave the hotel unless being driven home. It was terrible as a parent to not be able to help her but as said above my trust was in Jesus protecting her. There’s nothing wrong with having firearms. If you read history you’ll see that every country that has given up firearms has been taken over militarily. If people in those theatres in Paris had had firearms many would have lived and not been attached. They were sitting ducks as the terrorist knew already.

  3. Does Kingdom of God sanction violence as a tool? This has been on my heart for many years. I simply cannot see violence as a way of the Kingdom. The Jews were expecting a messiah who would forcefully, and with great violence, establish the Kingdom in the world. And they rejected him because his Kingdom was not of the world(did not act in worlds way). Today many Christians still hold that his Kingdom will be established in the world through great violence (the return of Christ and those “saved” on horses with swords) to effectively commit genocide on all who have rejected Jesus.
    Kingdom of God fights not against flesh and blood but in the spirit. As we take our anointed place and battle in the spirit, as we take our anointed place and respond with the love of the Father, the world will see the manifestation of the sons and daughters of God that they long for.

  4. This line of thinking assumes that guns in the hands of a Christian equals more violence. What it misses is that a balance of power can prevent violence. I’ve seen it first hand: Group of guys out to do harm approaches loan man, man displays a firearm, group leaves. No fight, no shots, no violence. If he hadn’t been carrying that day I strongly believe he would have been hospitalized or killed.

  5. Hey Phil,

    It’s good to see you posting more teachings. I always appreciate your insights and have been encouraged by your teachings on grace. I was just wondering if you had a chance to watch John Crowder’s Jesus Trip video on pacifism he posted last year. I’m curious to know your points of agreement/disagreement.

    Love you brother, hope you are blessed!


  6. Its great to see you back Phil. However, I believe first your post is somewhat controversial, depending on where the reader lives.

    For those outside of the US, we don’t ‘get’ the gun culture the people in America have. We don’t seem to have a fear that, at any moment, someone wants to take our lives, our liberty and our freedoms and we need a semi automatic weapon to protect ourselves and our family. For those of us outside the US, we have stopped crying over babies and little children who are killed by mass shootings or by accidental shootings when they are playing with loaded weapons, instead we merely shake our heads and wonder if Americans will ever put down their obsession with guns. And those outside the US throw up our hands when we hear their president wants background and mental health checks on people buying guns and people immediately act as if he is a dictator, taking away their most precious possessions.

    I’m an Aussie and the closest I’ve ever been to a gun is when I see police officers who have them on their holsters. My biggest thought is that they look heavy. My husband learned to fire one when he was in the Air Force but has no desire to go hunting or even fire them at targets for fun.

    Maybe I would have a different opinion on guns if I had one pointed at me. I honestly don’t know. I’d like to think I could be a martyr I wouldn’t know unless I was in that position.

    • I totally agree with your statement. As a fellow Aussie, I simply can’t get my head around the gun culture of the US and the pro-gun arguments of so many Americans. Why does the United States have such a high level of gun-related violence and deaths? Because they have a gun culture. If the United States is such a dangerous place that everyone needs a gun to protect themselves, who on earth would want to live there? What a horrible, fear-filled place it must be. Protection in your own country is for the police force, and protection from without is for the military. I’m totally ok for police officers and soldiers to carry firearms, and I’m quite content in letting them do their job rather than carrying a gun myself. I’m not afraid of being hurt by someone with a gun – I don’t know anyone who has one and I’m fairly sure most people in Australia don’t own a gun. We don’t have a gun culture here and as a result, we have relatively few gun-related deaths. Certainly gun-related massacres just don’t happen here, not since Port Arthur. If America wants to reduce gun-related deaths, get rid of your gun culture. It’s not rocket science guys, just common sense.

  7. As a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, I do not fear death. The spirit of God who dwells within me, gives me freedom to love all not fear any. That is some amazing grace cause I used to think otherwise.

  8. “He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. [14] And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. [15] From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty.” (Revelation 19:12-15 ESV)

    Jesus in NOT *ultimately* “non-violent”.
    He does not *ultimately* value other lives above His own.
    He is not *ultimately* an altruist or a pacifist.

    Be careful with your moral preening, lest you blaspheme His *ultimate* ends.

    • I think I will take moral preening any day after that vision of a vengeful God as described in Revelation. Why that book made it (narrowly) into the canon, I will never know? Just shows even Church councils can be deluded.

      But to the main point – it is important to consider who carries the weapons? Here (in the UK) gun control laws are onerous, police can be armed under certain circumstances but not the general population. Result much lower gun crime than in the US. People in the US seem to fear ‘terrorism’ but more people die in accidents, random crime and from the domestic ‘deranged’ than from terrorism. So who precisely is being protected?

    • robe dipped in blood = shed blood of Christ (note – robe is bloody before any action begins)
      “From his MOUTH comes a sharp sword” = words of judgement, obviously figurative
      Tread the wine press = blood of the martyrs that fuel God’s judgement

      Revelation 19 needs to be interpreted in light of the rest of the New Testament (and the rest of Revelation for that matter). Christ conquers through suffering and sacrifice. The slaughtered Lamb has already overcome through his death. The battle has already been won at the cross. The violence of Babylon and the Beast are rejected and overcome ” by the blood of the Lamb and word of our testimony”. Nowhere in Revelation are Christians ever authorized to act violently or take revenge. Completely consistent with the radical non-violence of the Gospels and Epistles.

  9. I’ve followed you through alot of great grace teaching. But this sounds more like law than liberty, Phil. The law of our land (USA) proclaims a person’s right to arms, primarily to hold governments (both foreign and domestic) accountable and also for defense of life.

    When his kin were taken captive and the people of his region’s possessions taken, Abraham did not call the police. He took 318 trained men of his own household, armed them, and went forth to victory with the blessing the blessing of God.

    Our US constitutional rights are being eroded without due process. Working within the laws of our land, I will stand against such invasion, particularly when it would have done nothing to prevent the instances which prompted same.

    Can’t follow you on this one.

    • I agree with you. If I was being attacked by an evil person and my husband stood by and did nothing where is his love towards me? For him to standby and do nothing has nothing to do with martyrdom.

  10. I’m surprised that you took up this topic. It’s kind of like preaching on sin. It’s adding to the list of do’s and don’ts. It’s ‘what would Jesus do’ rather than ‘what has Jesus done.’
    I think it is a cart before the horse kind of issue. Let’s focus on allowing the Holy Spirit of God living inside us to express His life through us. Everything else will take care of itself.

  11. I think this article fails the Comment Policy outlined at the bottom of the comment section.

    Calling others utterly insane and saying, “We already have enough people in the church presenting God as a nutcase… We don’t need more fuel on the fire!” does nothing to speak life over those you are addressing, nor does it build up, and is a disrespectful approach to making your point.

    I think the article should be removed as it fails the test. (And this has nothing to do with whether or not I agree with your point.)

  12. True, the Bible has little on guns, not least as they weren’t invented nor imagined by the bronze-agers that wrote the stories.
    A large pile of stones however, would have been useful to dish out many of the killings prescribed by Jehovah for any imagined transgression.

  13. The issue being highlighted here is gun control in the USA. Note it is gun ‘control’, not the abolition of guns from the face of the earth. Not the removal of guns from soldiers who protect us from evil. In the UK we have gun control. You don’t see ordinary people walking down the shopping isles packing a glock ready to shoot someone by the check out. Parts of the police force don’t have guns, yet other parts do. Indeed lots of criminals don’t have guns either – because they are controlled. In the same way you can go to the shops without fear that someone is going to shoot you! You can take your kids to school without fear that someone is going to shoot them while they are there. Guns are controlled, not abolished or abandoned altogether. There is a difference.

  14. Jesus preached a doctrine of love, love, love. When He returns, it will be in the clouds, surrounded by angels and with the trump of God. (I Thess. 4:16). Until then, Satan is the prince of this world (John 14: 30) and will do his utmost to spread his wickedness, knowing he has but a short time. (Rev.12). Until Christ returns, we have to make sure we are on the right side and are ready to meet our Lord, whether that may be when He returns or whether He takes us before then.

  15. Luke 22:

    35 Then Jesus asked them, “When I sent you without purse, bag or sandals, did you lack anything?”

    “Nothing,” they answered.

    36 He said to them, “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. 37 It is written: ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors’[b]; and I tell you that this must be fulfilled in me. Yes, what is written about me is reaching its fulfillment.”

    38 The disciples said, “See, Lord, here are two swords.”

    “That’s enough!” he replied.

  16. Phil, Words matter. Your use of the word violence in the context of self defence is erroneous. According to the Oxford English dictionary1Using or involving physical force intended to hurt, damage, or kill someone or something:a violent confrontation1Law Involving an unlawful exercise or exhibition of force.
    I have a loaded gun that I hope and pray I never have to use. I will never use it to be violent however I would not hesitate to use it to protect my life or my family from violence against us by a person or government that would threaton our lives. It is of course the responsibility of our government to protect against violent aggressors and above all to protect human life. In the same way out of obligation to value and hold God given life in the womb to the tomb, we must value life as much as God does. So yes, I am wiling to sacrifice my life if need be to defend and protect my life and my family from violence and with a clear conscience before God. I’m glad Winston Churchill and the millions who sacrificed their lives to stop evil violence understood their God given responsibility to resist evil and violence or we possibly wouldn’t be free today to have this discussion much less even be here today.

  17. “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.”

    There are two points I would like to make.

    The first is regarding our lives, our rights, and 1 Peter. As it stands in the United States, we have the right to own weapons. Unfortunately, most American Christians get their idol, the Constitution, the flag, the soil… mixed up with their theology. If the states legally eliminated the Second Amendment (true story, it CAN be stricken legally!), Christians would have to honor that law as per 1 Peter. Guns and weapons are simply not mandated by the Bible and therefore I can’t see any justification to break the law, were that law to ever actually come into being.

    The second is the fact that Christ showed us how to have compassion. He taught us to love our neighbors as ourselves (this includes gays, murderers, and Democrats [read:humor here]), but He also teaches us that not all is kind, happy feelings. When He returns it will be the violent destruction of His enemies. He even commanded his disciples to sell their tunics to buy a sword. We are not meant to lay down and die for no reason. If we are to be persecuted for Christ, it is very different than defending yourself or another during a robbery.

    There is nothing wrong with resisting evil (in the sense of protecting life), true pacifists will allow their families to be butchered; their wives and daughters to be raped. There is nothing Christian about that. The same God that teaches us to not get angered when someone wrongs us also sent His people to slaughter His enemies. While we don’t slaughter enemies anymore, I think it is wise to not confuse insult with murder and rape. Don’t confuse personal retribution with defending one’s life. They are totally separate matters. I would be wrong to get into a name calling argument or to slander you behind your back. I would be wrong to slash your tires after we had a heated debate. I would not be wrong for shooting a violent person who was killing kids at a school.


    Yes, American Christians tend to be idolatrous about Constitutional issues. Christians around the world have OTHER sins of their own to worry about. But let’s keep these two issues separate. The Bible does not call us to pacifism nor does it call us to fight for our political views or to make God’s law into a secular law. We shouldn’t force our beliefs on the populace, nor should we believe that we aren’t allowed to defend ourselves IN LEGAL WAYS using the government-granted laws that we do have. If those laws are taken away, it would be our duty to follow THOSE new laws, even if that meant losing our current right to defend ourselves.

  18. Jesus was not nice. He didn’t need guns but He had them so to speak if you consider that He had supernatural weapons. He told his disciples near the end before he went to the cross to pick up a sword. Plus his angels have flaming swords. His word was also a weapon stopping the Pharisees in their tracks until he let them put Him on the cross. After He rose from the dead He knocked Paul off his horse (I don’t call that a gentle Jesus). And he used Paul or Peter(can’t remember which right now) to cause a sorcerer to be blind for a season because he’s trying to thwart the preaching of the gospel. In Revelation we see Him being protective and He’s not happy with Jezebel and personally to protect the innocent I’d kill the attacker then raise him from the dead maybe. I mean it’s an option. If someone tried to attack me they might back off if they saw angels but God could just as well have me use a gun. We can either use supernatural weapons or natural but they have their place. If God can use all things to make them work together for our good then that should include using guns especially if they further the preaching of the gospel. Some Christians with “little faith” or even more perhaps want/need guns.

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