2016 brought a new law to the Texas Republic – ok, we are a state but let me dream – in open carry. It is now legal in the State of Texas for licensed gun owners to pack their heat where all can see. While new, it’s not a drastic change. Texas is the 45th state to allow this so we are not exactly on the leading edge here, and in the past it has been legal to carry a gun with a license provided it was not in plain sight.
What creates the buzz about this law is that it is Texas, and it recalls a time when we were the frontier and justice was left to each cowboy to enforce. It also comes as our president, fighting battles only lame-ducks take on, is bringing up the issue of guns and tonight, in fact, holds a nationally broadcast town hall on the subject. Personally, when it comes to politics I do not like being told what I can and cannot do, and as a political science guy in college I like our 2nd Amendment. What irks me a little, though, is thinking of it from the church side. Is there a Christian lesson in open carry?
I think there is.
If we want to change the world, show people who we are, bring peace to the world in a lasting way – do this – carry your Bible openly in public.
American Christians today have no swagger. In our current obsession with Christian hipster entertainment we are creating believers that are spectators only in worship and even more cowardly in the world. When was the last time you put your faith out there for everyone to see in a bold, Sprit-filled move? The last time you were in church, what was the riskiest action you were asked to take? Maybe today’s world is what it is because today’s Christians are fearful and do little to really show who they are?
Carry your Bible publicly for a week and see what the Spirit does. Now that in and of itself is not earth-shaking, but the conversations it starts could be. Put your Bible on your desk at work. Put your Bible on your desk at school. Put your Bible on the table at Starbucks. Take. It. Everywhere. Because in Texas, you know, when it comes to the Bible we are an open carry state and it is interesting that our right to be one is found just above Amendment #2.
Jesus sent his disciples out to be bold. In Luke 10 Jesus appoints 72 and sends them in every direction out to be the gospel in every town. They rock the world, and when they get back to Jesus the Bible says,
The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.”
They prayed, healed, worked miracles, and made evil submit. Evil brought down – that’s church.
Something tells me they did not hide their faith as they moseyed into town. No, they put their faith out there and when the Spirit moved…they pulled the trigger.
It’s time for you and me to do the same.
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