The sword that Christ told His compadres to purchase was not a QVC decorative Claymore to hang on their walls to commemorate the good times they had when Yeshua was around. The original word used for sword in this text was a large knife used for killing animals and cutting flesh. It was particularly fashioned for short, deadly thrusts in hand-to-hand combat.
Jesus didn’t tell them to carry a whistle, a shofar horn, or a bag of sand to blow in bad guys’ eyes, but a dagger-like sword — a vicious, nasty and deadly weapon not used for cutting vegetables, spreading butter or splitting a bagel, but for violently tapping a lung or heart in case of an attack.
Now, in a 21st century WWJD context, what do you think He thinks about His followers defending themselves with deadly force, huh, Mr. Francis?
Look, our first parents, Adam and Eve, sucked and caused this sinful mess we’re fielding because they didn’t proactively deal with evil (the serpent). If we take our cue from Christ in raising our kids, then our children will grow up to be slayers of serpents. They will not be a pacifist in the face of evil. They will not roll over and wet themselves when they’re confronted by evil. They will not play the wimp when faced with difficult situations.
I know it’s hard for some of us to square Christ with confronting evil – given all the androgynous, soft- focused paintings of Jesus that we’ve had jammed into our psyches for the last few centuries. However, if, if, we take the scripture straight, the man of peace is painted as an eschatological warrior who has great joy in giving the devil hell.
No matter how hard the softies try to make Christ out to be the benign, bearded lady raconteur, the exegetical fact remains: if you take the holy text in its entirety, He does not fit into the Left’s effete mold of holy tofu for horrible tools.
Therefore, mom and dad, I say, in contrast to Rev. Rodney, to have your kid get use to confronting nonsense – first and foremost in themselves. Gear them up to be a fighter and defender of that which is good. Let them play with toy weapons (if you can find any). They’re not going to turn into a terrorist. It’s not going to warp their wheel. Your kid has to learn that they are growing up in difficult times that demand that they be able to deal with “snakes.” Yes, your kid needs to learn not only to be nice, but also to be strong, sacrificial and courageous.
Finally, and humbly of course, I think if Pastor Francis truly wants to make a difference in our SNAFU’ed society he should forego the toy gun buy back and instead host a “Crappy Parent Buy Back” initiative because therein lies the real conundrum.