Why do many fearful Christians put more faith in guns than God? We all have fears. We fear failure, debilitating illness or death. We’re afraid of violence. We fear the unknown, the other and, sometimes, the truth.
“Life is made of fear,” says Mary, the protagonist in the novel “Other People,” by Martin Amis. “Some people eat fear soup three times a day. Some people eat fear soup all the meals there are. I eat it sometimes. When they bring me fear soup to eat, I try not to eat it, I try to send it back. But sometimes I’m too afraid to and have to eat it anyway.”
Fear is also an emotion people of faith should reject.
Jesus told his disciples, “Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:27) He also said: “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.” (Matthew 6:34)
The Christian and Hebrew scriptures are replete with admonitions about rejecting fear.
“There is no fear in love.” (1 John 4:18) “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” (Psalm 23:4)
“The Lord is my light and my salvation — whom shall I fear?” (Psalm 27:1) “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” (2 Timothy 1:17)
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you.” (Isaiah 41:10) “The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid.” (Psalm 118:6)
So why, in this part of the word at least, are Christians the most fearful, well-armed people many of us know? Why do so many Jesus followers reject one of his fundamental admonitions about being afraid?
Put another way: Why do so many Christians put more faith in their guns than their God?