Faith Without Works: The Christian Approach to Gun Control

Reported by Hannah Lee

This Valentine’s Day, a tragedy occurred that once again sparked the debate over gun control.

On Feb. 14, a former student walked into Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and began shooting an AR-15, killing seventeen victims and traumatizing the whole school.

While mass shootings are not new in America, this particular tragedy may be the turning point in effectively implementing gun control laws actually protecting children at schools. President Trump’s reaction to this horrific event has left many feeling angry and more helpless than ever.

“My prayers and condolences to the families of the victims of the terrible Florida shooting. No child, teacher, or anyone else should ever feel unsafe in an American school,” he tweeted.

Many liberals have found the phrases “thoughts and prayers” and “prayers and condolences” to be an excuse for a lack of action.

The United States has become known for its obsession with guns, to a point where American Christians are using scripture as a means of defending their Second Amendment rights. This not only ignores the problem, but causes further disgust towards Christians and
what they represent.

I recently returned from the Student Congress of Racial Reconciliation Conference hosted by Biola University. There were so many moments that strengthened both my political ideology and my walk with God, but one specific workshop stood out.

Adam Edgarly, pastor of the Newsong L. A. Church and member of Biola’s board of trustees, held several workshops about adaptability, the church’s political climate, and biblical social justice. In one of the workshops I attended, he said, “We are not called to be political because we are American, but because we are Christian.”

The conference was three weeks ago, but I am still thinking about this statement. James 2:14-17 urges Christians to not only be people of faith, but people of action.

While children are dying, Christians are fighting to own guns. What does this say about us? How are we portraying Christ to others?

Emma Gonzales, a senior at Marjory Douglas High School who survived the shooting, gave an emotional speech a few days after the shooting that has been one of the major moments unifying our nation to fight for change.

Gonzales quoted a teacher in her speech, saying, “When adults tell me I have the right to own a gun, all I can hear is my right to own a gun outweighs your student’s right to live. All I hear is mine, mine, mine, mine.”

On March 24, students in every state are marching for change. I encourage you to join me in Portland that day, not just to change our gun laws, but to represent Christ.