Maybe It’s Time to Abolish the 2nd Amendment

Another week, another shooting.

Did you even notice? How long will the thoughts and prayers last? How long till the cries for gun control legislation and the equally strident reaction against gun control legislation subside?

What sickens me the most is the dullness, the collective weariness, the paralysis due to fear and partisanship. Can we really take no steps?

I love guns. I own a gun. I want to be able to own a gun.

I likewise mistrust the government. Governments, though necessary, must be kept in check as they inherently seek to accumulate power. A government unchecked inevitably yields a people oppressed.

Yet, can we really do nothing? Why don’t we quit squabbling and act?

Maybe it’s time to abolish the 2nd Amendment.

Before you burn me in effigy or brand me a liberal (sheesh), hear me out.

The Founding Fathers composed the Constitution and the Bill of Rights in a different time, a different epoch, and really, in a different nation.

Our nation has changed, fundamentally perhaps irreversibly.

The Fathers wrote the Constitution with a certain paradigm, through the prism of faith and the proliferation of the common grace of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. All the Fathers were not Christians and all men of their day were certainly not of Christ, but the Gospel was taught and proliferated. The common grace of the Gospel is that its proliferation restricts sin. Where the Gospel is preached, things are just better.

We live today in a post-Christian nation. The Gospel is anathema to much of our country. The fastest growing religion is secular humanism and much of our nation is un-churched or de-churched, having walked from Christ years ago. A large and fast-growing segment of our nation is 2nd generation unchurched meaning that their parents were un-churched. They were not raised in the church or taught simple biblical concepts like sin, repentance, and salvation.

The Prince of the Power of the Air rules our nation today.

The Fathers could not have foreseen this when they composed the Bill of Rights.

Did they assume a nation that would drift this far from Christ? Did they assume we’d exchange the glory of God for a lie and worship and serve the created thing rather than the Creator?

Would they ever have anticipated widespread godlessness, that we would forsake the Lord and celebrate our sin? Could they have known that we’d slaughter our children in the womb by the tens of millions for the sake of convenience or that we’d embrace deviancy and fierce rebellion at every turn? Could they have foreseen the global and national epidemic of chemical addiction, addiction that enslaves a vast multitude?

Would they have written the 2nd Amendment as it is if they’d have known?

For reference, seven weeks into 2018 and there have been 8 school shootings resulting in injury or death. There have been 30 mass shootings overall this year, defined as a shooting whereby four or people have been shot.

Every year, it becomes ever more commonplace. Columbine. Virginia Tech. Orlando. Texas First Baptist Church. Las Vegas. San Bernardino. Sandy Hook. Aurora. Red Lake. The list goes on.

At some point this becomes sickeningly routine. At what point do we start counting this as the cost of a well-armed but largely godless population? What else would we expect?

I understand that this is a complicated issue. I understand that regulations already exist, that most gun-owners are law-abiding citizens. I understand the difference between a semi-automatic weapon and a fully automatic weapon and that criminals will always find ways to get a gun if they desire.

I truly understand these things but drastic times call for drastic measures. Perhaps its time to abolish the 2nd Amendment. Perhaps we no longer deserve the right to keep and bear arms.

Perhaps we surrendered that right the moment defense of that right receives more vigor and zeal than our call to make disciples of all the nations, starting with our children.

My heart weeps for our nation.

 

 

 

Bradford Smith

Bradford Smith

Author - Founder

Soldier, Pastor, Author – Bradford stays busy, with his wife Ami, raising their 9 children, serving the nation, pastoring, preaching, and writing books (#3 is due out October ’17).

THE 413 REPORT

If you loved this article, and would like to learn more about foster and adoption care, and to stay up to date on our projects, missions, and programs, as well as the release of Bradford's third book, Brave Rifles, please sign up for our Newsletter. The 413 Project is made up of common people empowering and serving others to accomplish an uncommon good.

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This is a powerful read in a small book. The subtitle hits the mark with its description of, "A Biblical Treatise on Adoption." The author poses a challenge to the reader to stop reading the book upfront if the reader does not want to be moved to action.

   Janice S. Garey  

The call that sounds for the incredible need of emotionally and physically abandoned and orphaned children and one that when answered manifests the love of Christ.

  Anne Rightler

This book is a must read for anyone affected in any way by addictions. So many of the situations in this book seem hopeless, but as Brad so clearly points out, Christ is the solution and the only hope of man. As long as there is breath, there is hope!

  Scott Doherty

In Scourge, Brad offers us more than cold statistics or a cautionary tale. Instead, he offers us the solution - faith backed by action - to overcome this insidious problem Insightful and provocative, Scourge is a warning flag, guide post and rally to hope for all of us.

 Chad Chasteen

Podcast – Devotional With Dad – Episode 1

Devotional with Dad – Episode 01

Welcome to our first podcast.  This is a project I am starting with my ten year old son, Jaymes.  We will be doing a devotional everyday for 30 days from THE ACTION BIBLE.  If you haven’t seen it, this kids Bible is really cool, its illustrated like a graphic novel and goes through the bible chronologically.  My son truly enjoys bible study time now. Since I have been dabbling in building webpages and starting podcasts, I figured this was a great way to spend time together.

Our goal is to spend quality family time together as father and son in God’s Word.  I hope that you all enjoy this adventure too. Each episode will be a short intro, and then Jaymes reading his devotional, and then we will discuss after.  I hope that if you have kids Jayme’s age you will enjoy reading along or listening.  It is really amazing how God reveals truth to kids, Jaymes comes up with some fantastic wisdom as I’m sure your children will also.  So i encourage you to use this as an opportunity to spend quiet time together.

Now on to the episode!

 

Tricking the Trickster

Genesis 29

SHOW NOTES

In this episode we are reading Genesis 29. It is the story of Jacob and Laban, and how Jacob was tricked into marrying Leah, instead of Rachel.  On the surface it looks like Jacob was just out conned by a Laban, his Uncle.  But remember, Jacob himself was a master con-man.  He along with his mom, tricked his father Isaac into passing the Birthright, God’s blessing on to him, instead of his older brother Esau.  There is definitely a bit of “what comes around goes around.”

Really, when we look deeper in the story, all of this still had to happen to fulfill God’s promise to Abraham.  Its sometimes hard to see how God is at work even in the bad things to bring about good for His glory.  This is one of those seemingly small bible stories that quickly becomes very significant in the lineage of Christ.

Jaymes offers his insight to God’s plan at starting at 8:20.  It is fun to see how Jaymes figures out the moral of this story, and how “Don’t repay evil for evil” is a key take away to him.

What sticks out to you in this story? In what ways can we learn from Jacob and his situation?  Have you ever felt like you were conned or swindled out of something that you worked hard for and deserved?

Write your insights and comments below, we would love to hear from you!

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Sex in a Godless Army (part 2): The Illusion of Gender Equality

I’m no Rambo, but I have never met a woman I couldn’t kill with my bare hands.

People will hear what they want to hear, see what they desire to see. Many will read this and hear sexism, patriarchy. They will denounce the conclusions before understanding. 

That is not a statement of either, but a statement of fact that bears relevance to certain discussions.

One of the primary manifestations of wickedness in the hearts of men is the oppression of women. The military in many ways foments this by bending to our civilian masters in refusing to acknowledge the fact that gender equality is an illusion, a charade, and harmful one at that.

A Permissive and Necessary System

Gender equality only exists as allowed by a system. Absent a permissive society, in the presence of anarchy, women are decidedly vulnerable due to their weaker bodies and kinder natures. Do exceptions exists? Undoubtedly, and women are as capable of brutality as any man.

Yet men possess a corner on the market for the application of brute force and brutality. Almost all violent crime is committed by young men. Almost all domestic violence is committed by men. Men, unrestrained, excel in the oppression of women and the application of violence. This is a fact borne out by history and declared by God in the Garden. (Genesis 3:16)

The key notion is restraint, and it is the Gospel of Jesus Christ that restrains the brutality of men and provides the conditions for equality. Jesus was the greatest proponent and protector of women. In the patriarchal 1st century Jewish culture, women were subservient, second-class citizens living completely at the mercy of their male overlords.

This is also the case in every other society since, other than those based upon a Judeo-Christian heritage. Can you name a single matriarchal society? I can’t. They don’t exist; they never have. Atheistic, Buddhist, or Hindu Eastern societies are all decidedly patriarchal. Never mind that every single Muslim society openly oppresses women, many in an extremely brutal fashion. No, it is the common grace of God through the Gospel of Jesus Christ that protects women from the sin of men.

As the Gospel ebbs from our collective conscience, I fear the consequences, specifically for women.

A Dangerous Fantasy

I have an aunt who maintains a decidedly liberal outlook on all matters. At the height of the national debate concerning bathroom use and allowing men who identify as women to use female bathrooms and changing facilities, she made the comment to me that she didn’t need my protection in a bathroom. She could take care of herself.

During the 2016 Miss USA pageant, the eventual winner, Miss District of Columbia who also happens to be a reserve Army officer, was asked about the Pentagon’s decision to open ground combat positions to women. Without hesitation, she declared her enthusiastic support, “We are just as tough as men!”

Both of these women live in fantasy world.

My Aunt is a little old lady and any grown man who followed her into the bathroom could literally do whatever he wanted, were it not for the intervention of…another man. The veracity of Miss USA’s statement depends on what you mean by tough. My wife is one of the toughest people I know. She is a fearless mother, tireless and strong. In fairness, I would not want her next to me in a gunfight. Miss USA’s statement rings true while she’s wearing a glittery dress, replete with tiara and a bouquet of roses. Put her under a rucksack confronted with a bevy of grown men trying to kill her and her comrades, and the charade loses its luster.

Refusing to acknowledge the inherent godly differences and that a system is necessary endangers both women and the mission. Removing the veil of Christ’s protection and provision for women places them at risk, yet we cannot acknowledge that lest we offend the sensibilities of the secular masters of this nation.

The Rhino and the Butterfly

Peter writes,

Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel(1 Peter 3:7)

As much as concepts of submission offend so readily, so too does the idea of weakness. Many seethe over the connotation.

Consider another angle. Consider weakness in terms of fragility, as in the fragility of a ceramic vase—weak, fragile, beautiful really, delicate, and valuable. Consider a ceramic vase versus a steel pot, the man, or perhaps a butterfly versus a rhinoceros. Some situations require the attributes of a rhino. Would you really send a butterfly to do the work of such a beast?

A recent deployment aboard an Air Force C-17 provide a nice example. The assistant loadmaster was a young lady, though it took me a minute to realize it. She sported a short, boyish haircut and walked and acted like a man, sort of. It took me a minute to realize that this was, in fact, a female. Once I did, it was extremely obvious that this was a female acting like a male. Now, whether she was ‘trans’ or not, whatever that actually means, I don’t know. Maybe she was just a boyish female. Either way, her femininity was obvious despite her best attempts to portray masculinity.

It became even more obvious when she had to do things. The loadmaster on a C-17 is responsible for all the cargo, to ensure it is loaded correctly and safely. At one point, the head loadmaster directed the young woman to secure a pile of plastic boxes with a cargo strap. I stood out of the way and watched this young lady fumble with the industrial strength cargo straps for several minutes with no success before needing the assistance of the loadmaster, a man. She simply did not possess the strength and leverage to make the straps work.

Shortly before takeoff, the loadmaster directed the young lady to close the door to the aircraft and yet again, she could not complete the task, lacking the strength and leverage. After several failed attempts, she once more required the assistance of the loadmaster, a man. He walked over, casually threw his weight into it, and slammed it shut.

This young lady literally could not generate the torque and leverage that the man could though he was no bastion of masculinity. She actually appeared to be in better shape. He was a middle-aged, slightly overweight, E-7 with a beer belly. Yet, he could generate the brute force that this young lady could not, and no matter how much she wanted to look like a man the instant brute force became necessary, her femininity became intensely obvious.

This is not to impugn this young lady. I maintain great respect for her service and the fact that she needed assistance is no issue. Certainly there are men who might require assistance with these mundane tasks. What I seek to highlight is that to ignore the distinction between men and women is a most foolish thing to do.

She was a butterfly and that fact was never more obvious than when she was required to do that which is expected of the rhino.

In this case, the inability to generate brute force did not prove decisive. However, I can think of numerous situations where this ability might just be the difference between life and death. Situations exist where the restraint of the Gospel ebbs, where the smoothing effects of civilization and society wane, where the ability to generate and respond to brute force and brutality might just be the difference between victory and defeat. I’m thinking specifically of combat, definitively ground combat.

The Obama administration opened all positions in the military to women despite the obvious folly of such an endeavor. A Marine Corps test of infantrymen versus integrated infantry proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that infantrywomen do not perform well as infantrymen. Go figure. We don’t need tests to demonstrate this. Anyone who has served, including most women, will attest that this is an endeavor fraught with peril that will ultimately cost lives.

Perhaps there might be a way we could honor our God-given sexuality and still have women serving alongside men. 

But first we’d have to acknowledge the foolishness of supposed gender-neutrality. That would ultimately require us to acknowledge the author of our sexuality, God. And therein lies the issue.

Bradford Smith

Bradford Smith

Author - Founder

Soldier, Pastor, Author – Bradford stays busy, with his wife Ami, raising their 9 children, serving the nation, pastoring, preaching, and writing books (#3 is due out October ’17).

THE 413 REPORT

If you loved this article, and would like to learn more about foster and adoption care, and to stay up to date on our projects, missions, and programs, as well as the release of Bradford's third book, Brave Rifles, please sign up for our Newsletter. The 413 Project is made up of common people empowering and serving others to accomplish an uncommon good.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

This is a powerful read in a small book. The subtitle hits the mark with its description of, "A Biblical Treatise on Adoption." The author poses a challenge to the reader to stop reading the book upfront if the reader does not want to be moved to action.

   Janice S. Garey  

The call that sounds for the incredible need of emotionally and physically abandoned and orphaned children and one that when answered manifests the love of Christ.

  Anne Rightler

This book is a must read for anyone affected in any way by addictions. So many of the situations in this book seem hopeless, but as Brad so clearly points out, Christ is the solution and the only hope of man. As long as there is breath, there is hope!

  Scott Doherty

In Scourge, Brad offers us more than cold statistics or a cautionary tale. Instead, he offers us the solution - faith backed by action - to overcome this insidious problem Insightful and provocative, Scourge is a warning flag, guide post and rally to hope for all of us.

 Chad Chasteen

A Resolution for Men—Quit Doing Curls in the Squat Rack

If this is you, stop it. Just stop it!

You know who you are.

An old weight-lifting buddy of mine whom I had not spoken with in some time, messaged me out of the blue with an old but not unfamiliar lament. Some doofus was doing curls in the squat rack forcing him to wait as there was only one rack. He ran his options by me and though I don’t recall them exactly, at least two of them involved punching this man in the face.

I advised restraint, assuaging anger with a modicum of concealed scorn.

Man invented the squat rack to facilitate…the squat. The squat ranks as the most valuable and functional exercise. The human body is basically a giant hinge joint around the hips; no other exercise develops whole-body strength, power, and explosiveness like the squat. It’s also one of the most taxing exercises. A proper and deep squat demands commitment, courage even.

It’s bad for the knees—stop being a sissy.

I use the Smith machine—not quite the same.

I use the leg press sled instead. Watch me do 900lbs—please.

To clarify. I hate to squat, always have. I’m not a good squatter, but every Monday morning, the very first exercise I do is the squat. There is something oddly clarifying about placing a well-loaded bar across my back first thing Monday morning. After that, the rest of my week is a breeze.

And woe to you who dare to curl in the squat rack. As valuable and functional as the squat is, the curl ranks near the top of superfluous exercises, alongside donkey calf raises. “Curls for the girls!” If you feel led to curl, go right ahead, but you can curl anywhere. You could even, gasp, set your bar on the floor and pick it up to curl. Weight-lifters need the rack to squat.

Take your do-rag, weight belt, and weight-lifting gloves elsewhere, back to the 90’s if need be.

The squat rack was designed with a very specific function in mind.

A Fleeting Gift

A new year dawns, beckoning us to the future, the blessing of time. Some of you may not see another year. Some of you may not make it out of January. Each day, every hour, each breath is a gift, undeserved of our Creator.

The Psalmist reminds us of a sobering truth. “Behold, you have made my days a few handbreadths, and my lifetime is as nothing before you. Surely all mankind stands as a mere breath!” (Psalm 39:5)

As does Isaiah, “All flesh is grass…The grass withers, the flower fades.” (Isaiah 40:6,8)

I recently received a reminder of the fleeting nature of our days as I stood before my friends and family and retired after 22 years in the military. Twenty-two long years ago, I raised my right hand and swore to support and defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic. Twenty-two years, a veritable lifetime. As I contemplate the naïve and brash young man, standing with his entire life ahead of him, I long to communicate to him, to exhort him to make the most of his days, to not spend them on idle and frivolous pursuits.

Twenty-two years in the blink of an eye.

Our time is perhaps our most precious asset, never redeemable, once spent, gone for eternity. What will you do with your time, that which remains? What will you do with this year before you?

I have resolved to no longer curl in the squat rack.

A Gift with Purpose

Paul exhorts the Ephesians,

Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.” (Ephesians 5:15)

Paul calls us to walk intentionally, deliberately, wisely, likening the Christian life to a walk. Earlier he tells them to “walk worthy of the calling to which you have been called” (4:1), to “no longer walk as Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds.” (4:17)

Walk in a manner that redeems the time and is worthy of that to which you’ve been called. In other words, don’t waste your life in idle and vain pursuits. Don’t waste your life seeking fulfillment in that which will never fulfill.

Our time is the most precious and valuable of assets and as such, Paul calls us to “walk in love” (5:1) and to “walk as children of light” (5:8).

Only such a walk is worthy, wise, making the best use of our time. From the Westminster Catechism,

          “What is the chief end of man?”

          “To glorify God and enjoy Him forever.”

God gives us life for a very specific purpose. Anything less than that is a life unrealized.

An Unredeemable Gift

And yet men seem determined to fill our lives with the mundane, the trivial. We continually invent new ways to spend our time, each seemingly more pointless than the last. My sons, if I allow them, will watch videos of people playing video games—not actually playing themselves, a pointless activity as it were—but watching other people. The existence of thousands of hours of such videos on the internet speaks to a demonic sap of our most precious resource, our time.

Do you walk worthy? Wisely? 

Why are the days evil? The days are evil because time, if left unspent, will spend itself. One day you’re gonna wake up and be forty, or fifty, or sixty, or older wondering where your days went. Where did they go? Some stunning queries confront the conscience in such a manner including perhaps the most vexing of inquiries,

          Did I matter?

Did I even matter at all? Had I never of existed, would anyone have cared? Would the world have been any different?

Death summons us continually, an unwavering procession to the grave. The second we’re put under the soil, the world will begin the process of forgetting all about us. Tell me, who was the richest or most popular man in your town thirty years ago? Twenty?

No man on his death bed proclaims,

          “If only I’d spent more time watching t.v.”, or

          “I wish I’d spent more time at the office,” or

          “If only I could’ve spent more time accumulating.”

No man says these things. How many men go to the grave ashamed and regretful of a life wasted, confronted with the tragedy of unredeemed time. This is why Paul so vigorously exhorts the Ephesians to make the most of the time, advising them that the days are evil.

Perhaps you’ll not change the world. God calls some men to such a task. But this I know, you could change the world for one, maybe a few. Could you change it for your wife, your children maybe, perhaps a fatherless child?

Men, the world needs us to engage, desperately. Our wives, our children, our nation needs us to engage, to lead. They need us to get up from in front of the television, turn off football, set down the video game controller and claim that which God intended, that we would lead, that we would love our wives as Christ loved the Church, that we would bring up our children it the ways of the Lord.

Hurry! You may not have much time…the day is drawing near even now.

As for me, I resolve to no longer tarry about in life, toying with the inconsequential and trite pursuits of feckless men. I’m determined to spend whatever time I have left on that which matters.

I resolve to no longer curl in the squat rack. 

Bradford Smith

Bradford Smith

Author - Founder

Soldier, Pastor, Author – Bradford stays busy, with his wife Ami, raising their 9 children, serving the nation, pastoring, preaching, and writing books (#3 is due out October ’17).

THE 413 REPORT

If you loved this article, and would like to learn more about foster and adoption care, and to stay up to date on our projects, missions, and programs, as well as the release of Bradford's third book, Brave Rifles, please sign up for our Newsletter. The 413 Project is made up of common people empowering and serving others to accomplish an uncommon good.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

This is a powerful read in a small book. The subtitle hits the mark with its description of, "A Biblical Treatise on Adoption." The author poses a challenge to the reader to stop reading the book upfront if the reader does not want to be moved to action.

   Janice S. Garey  

The call that sounds for the incredible need of emotionally and physically abandoned and orphaned children and one that when answered manifests the love of Christ.

  Anne Rightler

This book is a must read for anyone affected in any way by addictions. So many of the situations in this book seem hopeless, but as Brad so clearly points out, Christ is the solution and the only hope of man. As long as there is breath, there is hope!

  Scott Doherty

In Scourge, Brad offers us more than cold statistics or a cautionary tale. Instead, he offers us the solution - faith backed by action - to overcome this insidious problem Insightful and provocative, Scourge is a warning flag, guide post and rally to hope for all of us.

 Chad Chasteen

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