A debate that has been ongoing for years is the question, “Are we able to legislate morality?” That question may have some relevance in the latest debate concerning the second amendment and gun control. New laws on background checks, size of guns, and bullets contained in a magazine are all under consideration. Depending on your perspective the legislation may or may not curtail violence in our society. But the question I believe as church leaders we should consider is how should we address violence in our society?
I believe our contribution and advice to our congregations needs to be much deeper than physical curtailment of weapons. It has to do with our mind. Paul writes to the Philippians, “Think about these things”; to the Ephesians, “Be made new in the attitude of your minds”. The Christ impact on our lives begins within us, how we think, feel, make decisions, set priorities and how we decide to do what we do. It is our minds that need to change if actions change. After all knives, guns, ropes, razors and the list of what have been used as fatal weapons is endless. What is the common denominator in all of the actions is what the mind was thinking.
We live in a society that feeds us endless streams of advertisements to sell products. Why do companies spend millions of dollars to do that each year? They do that because they want to control our minds. If that is true and if it works, than the question we need to ask our congregations to ponder is, “What is influencing our minds the most?” Is it the video games our children play, the TV programs filled with violence and casual sex or is it “Thing about these things” that the Apostle Paul lists as what we need to reflect on.
I have heard very little from the pulpit on in writing from the church on the effect of our social media on our lives. I do hear advocates of “gun control” in the church. I am not sure if we have really addressed the problem from the perspective of how our minds control our actions.
I would suggest that at your next elders meeting with your pastor(s) you have a discussion about how both adults and children need to be concerned about the things that influence their minds.