The following announcement was made at Missiongathering's Sunday Service on March 25, 2018 by Lead Pastor Brandan Robertson.
Yesterday, dozens of folks from the Missiongathering community marched in downtown San Diego in support of the “March for Our Lives”, an international demonstration to end gun violence. First and foremost, I want to commend those in our community who marched and took a stand for the way of peace and justice, which is the way of Jesus.
One of the most basic calls of the Scripture is to speak truth to power, and the March For Our Lives was a potent demonstration of just that.
Proverbs 31:8-9 says:
Speak out on behalf of the voiceless,
and for the rights of all who are vulnerable.[a]
Speak out in order to judge with righteousness
and to defend the needy and the poor.
Yesterday, all who marched were fulfilling this command, speaking for those children whose voices were silenced when their lives were taken away by those who gained access to firearms.
Yesterday, children and adults, young and old, gay and straight, stood together to speak up on behalf of the vulnerable.
Yesterday, millions around the nation demanded righteousness from our lawmakers.
In our nation, we are addicted to guns. We are addicted to power. We’re addicted to our false sense of security. No other developed nation in the world has the sort of policies that we have concerning guns, and no other developed nation has seen as many mass shootings as we’ve had in the United States.
Church, this morning I want to be clear that this is not a political issue. This is not even primarily a policy issue. This isn’t about the second amendment at all. No, this is a gospel issue.
This is about whether we truly believe in the good news of Jesus and if we really believe in the message Jesus embodied. Jesus called his disciples to a posture of non-violence and of self-sacrifice. He revealed that the path of violence, even violence used to defend ourselves, will only perpetuate more violence.
There is absolutely no justification for followers of Jesus to support the lax gun laws that we have in this nation.
There is no justification for followers of Jesus to cling to weapons as a source of security or safety.
There is no justification for followers of Jesus to act out of the selfish motivation that would prefer to protect the rights of folks to shoot guns for sport before they’d support the rights of innocent children not to be murdered in schools by fellow children who gained access to those guns.
The Book of Isaiah calls all of us towards a day when:
“They’ll turn their swords into shovels, their spears into gardening hoes. No more will nation fight nation; they won’t play war anymore. Come, family of Jacob, let’s live in the light of God.”
That’s the biblical call of all followers of Christ.
The reason I am saying all of this this morning is because now that the march is over, it is time for us to take action.
Marches are great starts. They’re great soruces of inspiration and support. But if they end with a single event on a single day they’re useless.
Today, I want to invite every member of Missiongathering gathered here this morning to get involved in this important fight for justice.
In sacred grounds after service, there will be about 8 different clip boards floating around for you to sign up for the “Gun Sense” Pledge. The pledge is simple. It says:
“As a follower of Christ, I pledge to support local, state, and federal candidates and policies that fight for common-sense laws to reduce gun violence.”
If you sign up, we’ll register you with “Gun Sense” and organization organizing around the nation to fight to reduce gun violence so that you can be involved more locally and nationally.
Again, this isn’t political. It’s not democratic or republican. We’re not Anti-Second Ammendment. In fact, we are pro-life. We simply want to see gun violence reduced so more people live abundant and flourishing lives here and around the nation.
I want to encourage all of us to do this- this is the heartbeat of who we are at Missiongathering- a community radically committed to following Jesus wherever he may lead us in our world today. Let’s let our light shine, church, and let’s be channels of transformation in our community.