I recently read an article on the controversy surrounding gun sight manufacturer, Trijicon, engraving Bible verses on their gun sights.
At first I was a bit ambivalent about the whole thing. Until I learned a few things.
One, the sights didn’t contain the entire verses, but referenced them on the serial number such as JN8:12 and 2COR4:6.
Some claimed this was proselytizing, a big no-no especially in Iraq and Afghanistan where the population is largely Muslim.
A reverend by the name of Welton Gaddy, president of the Interfaith Alliance claimed the little numbers violate the rules on soldiers not proselytizing. He added, “Images of American soldiers as Christian crusaders come to mind when they are carrying weaponry bearing such verses.”
I laughed. For one, no one would know that was a Bible verse by looking at the little number, and if they did, they would have to look it up.
As for the proselytizing, a soldier would have to run up to a person, Muslim or otherwise, and say, “Look at my gunsight! The serial number is a Bible verse! Here, let me drop my weapon, pick up my Bible and read it to you!”
The verses aren’t meant for the enemy, but for the soldier holding the weapon. Some would complain that it’s inappropriate to place a Bible verse on weapon designed to kill someone.
War by its definition is destructive, hell on earth if you will. But it’s a cold reality. Jesus was not so naive to think mankind would discontinue warring against itself when he came to earth. Nor did he attempt to stop war. He even said his coming would bring war, not peace. His mission was to save every man and woman’s soul, not create an idealistic utopia.
Nor did he say we should not fight; there are times when it’s necessary, if distasteful. In fact when he sent out his disciples he said they must take a sword, and if not, “sell your cloak and buy one.” (Luke 24:36) He knew the importance of self-protection. God protects us from many things, but they’re mostly spiritual. He doesn’t necessarily protect us from all the evil in the world. Would you tell a father to not protect his child from a kidnapper, his wife from a rapist, or himself from a murderous thief?
Would you tell a soldier not to protect himself, his fellow soldiers or his country? Regardless if you think a specific war is just, it’s there, it’s real, and we must deal with it. Where would we be if we did not fight in WWI or WWII? There were Christians on both sides of those conflicts, fighting and killing each other, and each believing their cause was God’s cause. Did God condemn one over the other, or did he judge each according to his own heart?
I prefer a soldier be reminded that Jesus is the light of the world on a gun sight than not at all. Yet as far as controversies go, this is minimal. Besides it’s moot now since they removed the verses. But if our government was to say no soldier is allowed to wear a cross or carry a Bible in his pack, then I would scream a little louder.
After all, what is a soldier but a living weapon? What is humankind but the greatest weapon of mass destruction, because it’s man who thinks up the weapons in the first place?
A knife cannot cut until someone picks it up. A gun cannot fire until someone pulls the trigger, and a number cannot preach until someone looks it up and repeats it to another.