Dear Mr. Latimer,
I became a prepper last year and a Christian the year before. I am currently working through various issues of my faith, and your website has worked very well for helping both preparedness planning and my faith. I’m in my junior year of college, pursuing a teaching license. I’d prefer to teach private school, but if God calls me to teach in a public school I’ll do it and hopefully do some good there. To be brief, my question is whether or not a Christian should, in good conscience, violate laws banning weapons for self defense in schools.
I know Romans 13 orders us to obey the laws of our nation, but does that apply when the laws violate the 2nd Amendment, which I would view as being the higher law of the land? I can understand this verse being applied to taxes and such, along with smaller things like speed limits and other matters, but should I apply it to defending myself and my students as well? Thank you very much and God bless. Merry Christmas! – E.B.
The Bible has very little to say about dealing with a secular government. When it does talk about it, it is usually within the context of finances (Give unto Cesar…) or God’s punishment. We are expected to be good citizens because our faith demands moral decisions based upon the ethics that God lays out. Our citizenship is first with the Kingdom of God, though we participate in the worldly governments because they have direct bearing upon our lives. When there is a conflict between the two, we choose the heavenly kingdom without hesitation.
That being said, Romans 13 is probably one of the most misquoted scriptures that I know of. We must always look at the context of scripture because pulling it out of context is an easy way to get bad theology. Romans 12 is about the congregation and how they are to deal with each other. It is about the Body of Christ, and as individuals we all have our separate parts to play. Romans 14 is also about how believers interact with each other within the congregation, including the concept to not judge each other’s salvation over trivial things.
Why, in the middle of that conversation, would Paul suddenly start talking about obedience to a secular government? No, Romans 13 is about being submissive to church government and church discipline. The whole thing is about how Christians interrelate to each other, not how we relate to a secular government.
While God can and does use secular governments to bring about judgment upon a disobedient people, He does not ordain sinful men to positions of authority. God does not ordain a secular government. He does, however, ordain church government and those who have been ordained speak with God’s authority. (Note that I’m talking about those who have been ordained by God, not those who have been through a seminary’s ordination process. You’ll know the difference because those ordained by God speak with wisdom, knowledge, and understanding. Those ordained by man speak only with knowledge, and usually not too much of that.)
As to your question, SurvivalBlog cannot make any recommendation. Only you can make the determination. If you choose to carry when it is against the law, there will be consequences if you are caught. God does not often relieve us of consequences to our decisions. There are two risks that I can see:
- If an incident occurs and your concealed carry saves lives, you will still probably face charges and your career as a teacher will be over, at a minimum. You might even go to jail for a long time. (But at least you are alive, as is anyone you saved.)
- You may get caught and face those same consequences without the reward of having saved lives. Speaking as a teacher of high school students for eight years, I can tell you that there is very little that escapes the attention of students, and all it takes is one child to notice your illegal behavior and end your career.
Civil disobedience has long been a part of U.S. history, but just because you stand for what you believe is no guarantee that you will be released from the consequences of breaking the law. Only you can make the determination of what your convictions are and whether you are willing to face the consequences of such a decision.