ROMANS 13 AND THE SECOND AMENDMENT
When I seek to make an ethical decision, I look to interface the Word and the world. Bonhoeffer’s dictum of: “We cannot experience the reality of the world without the reality of God, nor the reality of God without the reality of the world” guides my quest. Therefore, I see a positive correlation between Romans 13 and the 2nd Amendment, with the words “authority” and “regulated” co-mingling to produce a truth.
The Second Amendment in the Constitution says: ” A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” The operative word is “regulated.” Supervision and some degree of accountability was and is mandated for owning weapons. There was no unlimited, free-wheeling purchase and use without some form of record keeping by an authority.
Romans 13: 1-7, would seem to concur with the need for an authority to insure accountability. Consider: “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities; for there is no authority except from God….For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad….Therefore whoever resists authority resists what God has appointed….for it is God’s servant for your good.”
Paul expresses God’s purpose for government authority. There is a God-given responsibility given to government to insure the “good.” What is the “good?” The good is “love.” Government has the calling and authority to insure love for its citizens. This is clear because the verses prior to Romans 13 and immediately following speak of love as the norm. Love “bookends” the authority of government. Bonhoeffer, in THE COMMUNION OF SAINTS, writes: “The state in itself is willed by God, and good, and it is the consequence of sin that the power of punishment and of compulsion is necessary….Its task is to care for order and welfare.”
Therefore, the government has the Constitutional right and responsibility to regulate guns. Romans 13 would support this R and R. Love for the citizen is the mandate.
Christians can take heart in demanding gun regulation as being a Constitutional mandate and Christian imperative.