While the mainstream media, and many religious broadcasters, as well, have flooded our airwaves, print media and internet news feeds with stories about the new pope, one headline did catch my eye. The headline said, "Unpredictable Pope Worries Security Team" (AP News, 20 March 2013). As I read the article detailing how the pope's recent activities have included stepping into the crowd and riding in private cars or in the pope mobile without the bullet-proof bubble, I wondered, again, how God feels about Christians who so desperately try to protect themselves.
Don't get me wrong, I do believe we, as humans and Christians, are allowed to take precautions with our safety, but I wonder what He felt when a protestant preacher recently began wearing his pistol in a holster on his hip, even while in the pulpit preaching? Jesus was quite clear that we are not to retaliate, physically, when someone strikes us. He told us that we should turn the other cheek to someone who has struck us on the face; He did not say we are to tackle them, strike them in return and He definitely didn't say anything about using a firearm to shoot them! And, of course, we have the story in the 7th chapter of Acts on Stephen's martyrdom as an example of how we're to respond to a crowd attacking us. Stephen didn't fight back, he took what they offered, all the while praying for them.
I know the world today has gotten crazier, and there are always threats to our physical well being, but I believe Jesus meant what He said to Peter on the night He was arrested in Gethsemane, when Peter used a sword to strike a Roman guard who was trying to arrest the Lord. Put your swords (weapons) away! If you live by weapons, you will die by weapons.
After all, where would we be if Jesus had responded to threats the way we do, today? We would have no salvation because He would never have been crucified; and without the crucifixion, there would have been no resurrection!