Governing Authority, Political Violence, and Selling Your Cloak to Buy a Sword

Governing Authority, Political Violence, and Selling Your Cloak to Buy a Sword The Garrett Ashley Mullet Show

As of this past week, several news items caught my attention along similar lines. 

For starters, Joel Abbott at Not the Bee reported on journalist Tom Elliott putting together inflammatory political rhetoric from leftists over the couple of weeks.

Paul Sacca at The Blaze reported on an 84-year-old pro-life volunteer being shot in Michigan after she had a ‘heated’ exchange, and Dave Urbanski at The Blaze reported on a 74-year-old woman who says she was fired from Circle-K after her boss disbelieved a man she tried to stop from shoplifting cigarettes was armed. 

Meanwhile, over at The Daily Wire, Ryan Saavedra reported on the Fargo, North Dakota man accused of intentionally running over a ‘Republican’ 18-year-old pleading that he doesn’t want to lose his job, life, and house because of bond, and is therefore no flight risk.

Simultaneously, Dr. Michael Brown offers up some analysis at The Daily Wire on whether Jesus really told his disciples to take up swords, concluding such is not at all what Luke 22:35-38 is getting at.

The meaning of this passage could be an advocacy for self-defense in one interpretation, as Dr. Brown points out. But he says he disagrees with this take, preferring instead the notion that what was more the point was the fulfillment of the prophecy which Jews bearing swords under Roman occupation would achieve.

My question is why there can’t be a significance to Christ telling his disciples to buy swords which is both literal and figurative, practical and spiritual – all at the same time. Romans 13, for instance, makes clear enough to my mind that there is a time and place for deadly force wielded against wrongdoers. Otherwise, what sense can we make of “he does not bear the sword for nothing”?

That is, God is not scandalized or self-contradictory when He sets up, according to the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Romans, a mechanism by which wrongdoers have God’s wrath carried out against them, or have terror on this Earth held for them in the civil magistrates.

The Devil is, as usual, in the details. Do the governing authorities know right from wrong, for instance? Moreover, what are the law-abiding to make of increasing license given to outright criminals even as decent citizens are increasingly maligned as villainous merely for being conservative and principled?

It really does get to feeling sometimes as of late as though up is down and everything is inside-out in the eyes of some who purport to not only comprise a part of our government in the United States, but to be the State in and of themselves and their political party.

American Christians must surely grapple with these dynamics in a more robust way to be wise and maintain a good testimony, plus fidelity to God and His Word. That much is for sure.

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