THE BLOG

The NRA, Big Government, Israel and Jesus

02/20/2013 06:14 pm ET | Updated Apr 22, 2013

I like that title.

I confuse people. Sometimes I say that's my spiritual gift -- Confusion. Not sure if that's in the 1 Corinthians or Romans 12 lists, but if it's not -- it should be. I have the gift of Confusion.

It's a good gift, to be honest, since most people are not confused, I can help them! They know exactly what they believe and why they believe it. Just ask them. I grew up surrounded by a world who knew what they believed -- and I gladly joined them. in this world, which, of course, was fully supported by ample Biblical texts -- God loved Israel. He also liked guns quite a bit and so did I. And naturally He was Conservative. You have to be Conservative if you're God. Think about it. He sticks to his guns (pun intended -- after I wrote it). He doesn't change. He's the same yesterday, today and forever. If that's not Conservative, I don't know what is. And the reason God is for small government is because we all know that Big Government (notice the capital letters) replaces God.

So that's how I grew up. I can't remember my parents ever telling me I should believe all those things, but I did. And most of my friends did. We all belonged to the NRA. I had a patch on my jacket. We were Republican because they had morals -- the other side didn't. We were pro-life (at least when that life is not yet born), and we were pro-Israel since they were God's chosen. Life was simple. Clear. And pretty dang good!

Then I started daring to venture out into the rest of the world. Where I met d...d...democrats who seemed to love God and their neighbors at least as much as I did. And people from Chicago (like my dear Chris) who only knew guns as killing tools for bad guys -- she was horrified when I first showed her my closet full of guns. I met Palestinians who claimed that God's Chosen weren't treating them well. And I realized that many poor people (who loved God) almost seem to need the government for a time. Odd.

Unfortunately these debates are quickly polarized by both sides into simplistic sound-bytes in order to paint a black and white picture -- if you're not 100 percent with us, then you must be a ________.

I own guns and would like to continue owning guns. I might even buy some more guns. I like to hunt. Kill animals and eat them. But I never ever need more than three shells in my gun -- neither in my shotgun (for bird hunting or shooting clay pigeons) nor in my rifle (for big game hunting). When I go target shooting, I also don't need more than just a few shells in my gun. Ever. When I buy a new gun, I will be delighted to have a background check -- actually that might be interesting in my case. Anyway... I'm still happy to do it!

I prefer small government. I think people of faith ought to take most of the responsibility that government now does. So... whenever they (we) start doing that -- it'll be better. I'm a fan of the free market system. No bailouts. None. Not of banks or businesses. If they fail -- we rebuild. The hypocrisy here is that my friends who supported Bush's bank bailouts, are all furious over Obama's. Wonder why that is?

I still love Israel. Actually more now than ever before. As I get to know Israeli Jews, I am encouraged to find out that they are exactly like the Arabs I love so much. Imagine that. After all, they are half brothers. I'm even happy for them to be "chosen." Personally, I enjoy being "chosen," so why can't they!

And, as always. I come back to the way Jesus seemed to engage difficult and controversial issues. He was pretty clever about it. He somehow stood firm without being clear which side he was supporting. He consistently put the question back to the questioner. He went to the heart while often dodging the issue brought up. I wonder if I could be more like that? I'd like to be.

To be a demo-repub-pro-life-all-the-way-careful-gun-owner-lover-of-the-poor-IsraePal-lover-of-God and Follower of Jesus, person. A gifted Confuser who brings people back to the ultimate Answer of all confusion -- Jesus the Messiah.