Now More than Ever We Need Women to Shoot!

So imagine the following scenario:

You are at a holiday office party. Conversations are flowing as swimmingly as the beverages. You notice out of the corner of your eye a person who seems to be bulkier than usual. You look over and see this person taking off a back pack and removing from it an automatic hand gun. He starts to shoot. Your wife, who is registered for “open carry,” prefers to keep her Sig Sauer P220 in her purse. She proceeds to remove her handgun and shoots the gunman just as he fires his first two rounds. Her shot does not kill but it does incapacitate the assailant. You call the police. The party breaks up but no one dies.

Consider the scenario that Harry Reeder proposes so oddly close chronologically to the shootings in Southern California:

It’s late at night. I hear the glass in the door downstairs breaking, the door opening and then footsteps. I turn to my wife and say “Honey, someone is breaking into our home downstairs and since I know you are willing, why don’t you go downstairs and see if you can overpower him? By the way if he maims you or kills you don’t worry! I have two daughters who are brave enough to follow you and risk their life to protect our home while I remain here safe.”

Reeder uses this case to argue against women in the military:

The unbelievable reality is that the men of this nation now allow politically correct elected officials in general and a President in particular (along with the elite self-appointed culture-shapers pontificating while shielded in the media and the academy) to institute policies which send our wives and daughters, not into the military to use their unique skills and abilities to enhance our armed forces, but into combat units to protect our Home(land) while they (and we) remain safely tucked away in our rooms. Forget for the moment the obvious arguments of how ignoring gender differences will inevitably force the adoption of inadequate training regimens, lowered physical and combat readiness standards, the redefining of combat protocols, inevitable sexual mayhem and a loss of combat unit efficiency which will cost lives (documented by a Marine Corp. study- more on this in Pt.2). Yes, I am aware of the claim that combat zones are now defined differently. But hand to hand combat, dragging a 200+ lb. comrade to safety, carrying 85 lb. support equipment, etc. has not and will not change.

But why couldn’t the first scenario work to argue for women in the military? If women may carry weapons for self-defense, how far removed is that from defending the homeland? And if women can defend themselves and their kin here in the United States, why not overseas (one reason is that we should not have so many troops overseas, but that’s a different question)?

But arguably the biggest question of all, why do you bring up biblical arguments against women serving in the military now when many Americans feel threatened by terrorists?

Timing is everything.


23 thoughts on “Now More than Ever We Need Women to Shoot!

  1. Being Macho enough to own a gun is all of a part of getting holy in some other way in addition to the bloody death of Jesus Christ. Sure, that’s true, but the guns will be a means of grace by which we become “more and more” united to Christ. And holier than the antinomians who depend on their wives to do for God what needs done.

    Gospel Reformation Network Affirmations and Denials

    Article IV – Union with Christ and Sanctification
    We deny that sanctification flows DIRECTLY from justification, or that the transformative elements of salvation are MERE consequences of the forensic elements.

    “The Sanctification Connection: An Exploration of Human Participation in Spiritual Growth”

    synergist participation in moral progress
    Pilot and co-pilot
    Teacher and classroom
    Primary and secondary cause
    Commander and troops
    A jazz band


  2. Let me get out of the room first. Hopefully somebody’s keeping a calendar. If blue laws can keep me from buying liquor on sundays…………..

    But yes, the political timing is convenient.


  3. Let’s first note that the title of this article is ambiguous.

    Second, nobody is drafting these women. They are volunteering for such duties. So the question goes back to whether the analogy given above truly represents what is happening.

    Finally, I lean away from sending women in combat.


  4. But why couldn’t the first scenario work to argue for women in the military?

    Surprising an active shooter is not comparable to serving in an infantry division. Combat mixed units will be disastrous for morale and unit effectiveness as the soldiers will trade sexual favors for duties.

    But official, uniformed soldiers, are becoming secondary in importance in the world due to the advent of 4th Generation Warfare. So the concealed carry wife and mother really will be on the front line of the coming war just like Tashfeen Malik fought as a “soldier” for her side.

    Americans haven’t spoken or written about it too much, but their actions say much more by purchasing enough guns over Black Friday to arm the Marine Corps. They no longer believe the government, officially sanctioned forces can keep them safe so they are arming themselves as San Bernardino becomes common place.


  5. Darryl, I’ll give you this, our politicians can’t be any better than ‘their’ politicians when it comes to utliizing religion to motivate their base. They’re all bastages. Btw, you do know we train the Saudi’s, Kuwaiti’s, Jordanian’s, Iraqi’s, UA emirates, Mexican’s, Aussie’s, English, and seemingly everybody else at our bases? The Saudi’s because they’re better than all their Arab neighbors even pay the military to have their own dorms and facilities at a number of the bases. So, we’re not exactly uninvited occupiers in these arab lands. The street needs to take issue with their own governments.


  6. @Mark
    You wrote “Being Macho enough to own a gun is all of a part of getting holy in some other way in addition to the bloody death of Jesus Christ.”

    I’m not really sure what you mean by that but… Can’t one can easily turn that around and point out that your zealous preaching and “obedience” to not owning a gun and not supporting the right of the individual or State to defend itself is your “addition to the bloody death of Jesus Christ?” Couldn’t the way in which you harp on about guns as evil instruments of those who only want to kill (“I thank you Lord that I’m not like that Christian who isn’t a pacifist”) make you sound like your own pacifist version of the “Obedience Boys?”


  7. Jack, it’s the difference between the law and the gospel. We can (and do) disagree about the law, without disagreeing about the gospel. It’s not “legalism” to talk about the law. It’s not legalism to disagree about what the content of the “law” is. if you teach “do not steal”, I can reject the law’s application to me by saying, “that Jack is a self righteous person who is claiming that he never steals or even has thoughts of stealing”, But that’s not what I should do. I should see that the demand of “do not steal” makes me need the gospel. And from the gospel, I can even see how great the demand of the law is.

    I know we agree about this distinction. I know we disagree about the law, not only from which covenant we find it, but also about other assumed distinctions (moral vs ceremonial etc). I am all for us continuing to discuss the content of the law. But in the meanwhile I am not going to accuse you of being ‘antinomian” because you are not pacifist, and I hope you are not thinking of me as ‘antinomian” because I am not first day sabbatarian.

    As I think we agree, even “legalists” are antinomians if they think that God is going to be satisfied by what God enables them to do by way of obedience to God’s law. We judge by only one rule.

    Galatians 6: 14 I will never boast about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. The world has been crucified to me through the cross, and I to the world. 15 For both circumcision and uncircumcision mean nothing; what matters instead is a new creation. 16 May peace come to all those who follow this standard,

    So when it comes down to it, how am i being like Harry Reeder? Because I am talking about politics and culture? I just happen to be on a different (reverse) side? Well, I know that not all two kingdom people are alike, but I don’t know any of them who forbid us talking about politics and culture. They are not saying–if you talk about politics, then you think what you are saying is gospel. Rather, the idea seems to be that—it’s fine to talk about politics, but don’t do it as a church, and on some things, talk about them but don’t act like the Bible or Jesus has something to tell us about those topics.

    Sometimes it comes down to this. Theonomists can talk about the military and politics, because they think the Mosaic legislation applies. Neutral on the second kingdom because we have to work with others folks can talk about the military and politics, because they are not pacifists. But the pacifists, that’s fine for them to be that way , we understand some people have scruples and maybe we need their voices in the mix, but when it comes to the military and politics, they just need to shut up.

    I am not putting these words into your mouth, Jack, because you have always shown me enough respect not to be condescending in that way. if you let me define it, I too want to be an “obedience boy”. I don’t think obedience will cause me to become “more and more united to Christ”. I don’t think obedience will cause me to be more holy. The Romans 6 math is clear. Less sin, not more grace. More sin, not less grace. But I want to obey, not only for the sake of my family neighbors but also in order not to bring reproach to the One to whom all my sins were imputed. Now that I know that I do not obey the law in order to be sanctified, I still want to obey the law.

    I know you want that also, Jack. And maybe some day we will agree about all that means. As for myself, I continue as a habit and as a characteristic pattern of my life, to fall far short of obeying the law I know to be law, the commands on which Jack and I are agreed.

    I affirm that the transformative elements of salvation are ONLY consequences of the forensic elements. Since we are in Christ by God’s imputation, works are not faith and even faith is not the reason we are in Christ. And our works are not the reason we stay in Christ.


  8. Mark,
    Thanks for your thoughtful response. As I think you know, my questions/implications were for making a point or highlighting something. I don’t doubt your dependence for salvation upon the ground of Christ’s righteousness apart from works. You defend that holy ground regularly. What gets me scratching my head though is this emotional emphasis on pacifism and your understanding of the 6th commandment to the exclusion of say the 4th or the 9th, which emphasis often comes out as not just discussing the content of the 6th but the wagging of the accusatory finger at those who disagree. Maybe that’s not your intent but that first sentence of yours is hardly a dispassionate examination of the 6th. And I’m thinking mainly of the many other conversations we’ve had on this. Cheers…


  9. Jack, we are looking at the law two different ways. I never said a word about the Ten Commandments.
    I never claimed to be examining the Sixth Commandment. I am not asking you to give me a pass, but to remember that I am not “Reformed” confessionally or otherwise. I believe that definite atonement is the gospel, and not something extra that sets me apart as “Reformed” or “more informed”

    I believe that every law God ever gave was a reflection and a result of God’s moral law. I also believe that God has only one gospel, and that with a change of covenants there is a change of law. Not every law God ever gave is still law today. You agree on that conclusion also but how we get there is a different story.

    In retrospect, I should have made it more clear that what bothers me about Harry Reeder is not only his ethical nostalgia for the old south but his “gospel”.

    ) The category of ‘moral law’ is an extra-biblical category that should play a role in our reflection but should not be brought to bear inappropriately on the primary work of scriptural exegesis. To quote New Testament scholar Doug Moo, “As has often been pointed out, the threefold distinction of moral, ceremonial, and civil law as separate categories with varying degrees of applicability is simply unknown in the Judaism of the first century, and there is little evidence that Jesus or Paul introduced such a distinction.” For more on this see Moo’s excellent article, “‘Law,’ ‘Works of the Law,’ and Legalism in Paul,” Westminster Theological Journal 45 (1983): 73-100 [85]).

    2) When scripture uses the word ‘law’ it ordinarily refers to the law given at Sinai, that is, the Mosaic Law, representative of the of the whole Mosaic Covenant as a unit, encompassing all three categories of what later theologians called the moral, ceremonial, and civil law. (Sometimes, of course, it also refers to Old Testament scripture in general. But the former is the default meaning.)

    3) Scripture decisively, explicitly, and repeatedly identifies the Ten Commandments as the Sinai (or Mosaic) covenant itself. The Ten Commandments were the “tablets of stone” placed in the ark of the covenant. Exodus 34:28 declares of Moses on Mt. Sinai, “And he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the Ten Commandments.” This is a fundamental claim in my argument. See Exodus 34:1-4, 27-30; Deuteronomy 4:11-13; Deuteronomy 9:9-15; Deuteronomy 10:1-5. Cf. 1 Kings 8:9; 2 Chronicles 5:10; Jeremiah 31:31-34; Exodus 24:12.

    4) Scripture never identifies the Ten Commandments in this way with the timeless, eternal moral law of God, despite the substantial degree of overlap between the two.

    5) The New Testament writers decisively, explicitly, and repeatedly direct our attention from “the law” to Jesus, whether as the true fulfillment and interpreter of the law (Matthew); as the one who, in contrast to Moses as the giver of the law, brings grace and truth and directs his followers to “my commandments” (John); as the one who has made a new and “better” covenant and thereby rendered the old one “obsolete” (Hebrews); as the one who has fulfilled and abolished the law, creating in himself the new man (Paul).

    6) The New Testament writers decisively, explicitly, and consistently describe the Christian life, including what we would call obedience to the moral law, in terms of obedience to Jesus, following Jesus, putting on Jesus, conforming to Jesus, walking in Jesus, walking worthy of Jesus, or living in the Spirit (of Jesus). The New Testament almost never summarizes Christian obedience (including to the moral law) or sanctification primarily in terms of obedience or conformity to the law.

    7) Paul and Hebrews both explicitly identify the Ten Commandments, “the tablets of stone,” with the old covenant or ministry that was temporary. See Hebrews 9:4, especially in context of Hebrews 8:6-9:15. Paul in 2 Corinthians 3:3-18 explicitly identifies the Ten Commandments, in the context of Moses’ coming down from the mountain and his face shining, as the old covenant, the ministry of death, condemnation, and of the letter that kills, in contrast to the new covenant, which he describes as the ministry of righteousness and of the Spirit that gives life. As if to remind us that he is talking about sanctification, not simply justification, Paul concludes that it is through this new covenant that we are “being transformed into the same image of Christ.”

    8) Paul often explicitly identifies “the law” as that which came at a specific point in time, that is, at Sinai. It came “430 years” after Abraham as a guardian for the people of God (Galatians 3:17, 24). The Gentiles did “not have” the law, the “written code” (Romans 2:14-15, 27-29) because it was not given until the time of Moses (Romans 5:13-14, 20).


  10. I don’t have the time or desire right now to talk about the importance of “hearing Him”, and looking to the Lord Jesus as our law-giver (and not only an exegete of Moses, who clears up “misunderstandings”). Jesus the Anointed speaks as one with authority. What might possibly be interesting for some here is to think about why not only the New England puritans but so many other city builders preferred the authority of the Ten Commandments over the Sermon on the Mount. It was not only that their study Bibles told them “this is only for private individuals, and even then only in church, and not when your family needs to be saved”.

    I recommend all three parts of this essay by Matt Tuiniga, and his other essays on “The Ten commandments” as well. I think it’s very cool how he can say these things, and still be kinda “Reformed” (David Gordon attempted to defend Lee Irons also)


  11. Hi Mark,
    Terms, definitions indeed. The Mosaic Law or Ten Commandments as a covenant. The moral law as summarized in the Ten Commandments. To love God and neighbor as the fulfilling or keeping of the law, i.e. the Ten Commandments. The law under the covenant of works to be fulfilled by Adam… the same law covenant that Jesus fulfilled imputed to us under the covenant of grace, the same moral law that is our grateful obedience. Under grace as a covenant not under law as a covenant, yet not without law. So my reference to the Ten Commandments wasn’t law as a covenant, but shorthand for the Christian’s duty for discussion purposes. Is the moral content of the 6th, 4th, and 9th still reflective of Christ’s law as the Christian’s obedience to God?


  12. Darryl, sure. What are they gonna do? They let the Turks shoot them down. Plus, once we lift the oil export ban, we’ll just go ahead and make them another satellite. The Saudi’s may bury them before we do, it’s a race.


  13. Calvin (commentary on second half of Leviticus 26):
    “But if ye will not hearken unto me. Thus far a kind invitation has been set before the people in the shape of promises, in order that the observance of the Law might be rendered pleasant and agreeable; since, as we have already seen, our obedience is then only approved by God when we obey willingly. But, inasmuch as the sluggishness of our flesh has need of spurring, threatenings are also added to inspire terror, and at any rate to extort what ought to have been spontaneously performed.

    Calvin— It may seem indeed that it may thus be inferred that threats are absurdly misplaced when applied to produce obedience to the Law, which ought to be voluntary; for he who is compelled by fear will never love God; and this is the main point in the Law. But what I have already shewn, will in some measure avail to solve this difficulty, viz., that the Law is deadly to transgressors, because it holds them tight under that condemnation from which they would wish to be released by vain presumptions; whilst threats are also useful to the children of God for a different purpose, both that they may be prepared to fear God heartily before they are regenerate, and also that, after their regeneration, their corrupt affections may be daily subdued.

    Calvin— For although they sincerely desire to devote themselves altogether to God, still they have to contend continually with the remainders of their flesh. Thus, then, although the direct object of threats is to alarm the reprobate, still they likewise apply to believers, for the purpose of stimulating their sluggishness, inasmuch as they are not yet thoroughly regenerate, but still burdened with the remainders of sin

    Lee Irons—Does the moral will of God bind the Christian?

    The Mosaic Law, as a covenant of works, has been fulfilled by Christ. He has fulfilled both its positive demands and its curse sanction. Therefore, we have been released from the Law and are now under the new covenant in Christ.

    On the other hand, it is not as if the Law of Christ and the Law of Moses are fundamentally incongruous or discontinuous. It is true that the revelation of the moral will of God in the Law of Christ constitutes a redemptive historical advance upon the revelation of the moral will in the Mosaic economy (e.g., the new commandment to love even as Christ has loved us). But it is an increase not a decrease. The ethic of Christ heightens but does not relax the Mosaic ethic. In Christ we are called to love God and our neighbor, just as the Law commanded. But in Christ that call comes to us in a very different form. It is no longer in the old covenant form, “Do this and live,” but in the new covenant form of the indicative and the imperative, “You have been made alive in Christ, therefore walk in accordance with that life.”

    This casts doubt on the notion that the Law, not as a covenant of works but as a rule of life, is binding on the believer. Exegetical study of Paul’s teaching on the Law has convinced me that it is impossible to separate the stipulations of the Law from the sanctions. The very fact that the stipulations are telling you to do something or warning you against disobedience implies that they are speaking to you apart from your union with Christ, as if you were not doing what the Law required or as if you might be tempted not to. The Law of Christ speaks to us from a totally different, new covenant ethical framework. It speaks to us in a voice which implies that the Law’s demands have already been completely satisfied.

    Irons—If the Law itself has been abolished in an ontological sense, we would be saying that the merit of Christ has also been abolished. Thus, as Paul argues so eloquently in 1 Cor. 9:21/Rom. 7:1-6, we have died to the Law, not in order to be anomos, as if we were now widows without a husband, but in order to be ennomos Christou, married to another. Our moral obligation to the core ethic of the Law has not been severed, but is now mediated through Christ. It comes to us, not directly as a set of bare commands, but indirectly as the indicative of our identity as those united to our Law-fulfilling Head and Husband.

    Lee Irons–So the three-fold division of the Law is wrongheaded, but its fundamental concern to maintain that large swaths of the Mosaic Law reflect the moral will of God founded on God’s righteous nature and man’s identity as the image of God is valid. This moral will, however, must not be equated with the Decalogue, nor can it be defanged into a list of bare non-covenantal commands – “the moral law not as covenant of works.”

    This approach means that we must still study the Mosaic Law. We study it not as those who are under it, as if it were directly binding. But having the mind of Christ, and with the guidance of the NT and its inspired commentary on the Law, we are enabled to weigh, discern, test, and approve those aspects of the Law which reflect the moral will of God and to see how those aspects are fleshed out in the ethic of the new creation.

    How do we know what the content of the Law of Christ is? How do we avoid subjectivism?

    If we can’t go directly to the Mosaic Law or the ten commandments as the immediate standard of Christian conduct, it might seem that we cannot avoid a kind of Quaker or Charismatic subjectivism which relies on the inner promptings of the Spirit as a sufficient source of ethical guidance. This could be viewed as a kind of “situation ethics.” If in any given situation you do the loving thing, as prompted by the Spirit, you will be doing what God requires, even if it means you have to break the letter of the law.

    The primary difficulty of such approaches is that they are arbitrary. Even the most sanctified Christian has a corrupt heart. If the subjective feelings of our heart are the only rule of right and wrong, how do we know that we are really doing God’s will rather than our own? “The heart,” says Jeremiah, “is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick” (Jer. 17:9). Without any objective standard, our deceitful hearts are prone in one of two directions: either to lower the standard in order to make room for the flesh, or to add to God’s revealed will by making man-made rules and regulations in an attempt to be justified by our works.

    So where do we go to learn the content of the Law of Christ? It is objectively revealed in the New Testament. It includes all of the ethical teaching of Jesus (e.g., the Sermon on the Mount; the new commandment, etc.) and of the apostles (e.g., the extensive exhortations of Paul in his epistles grounded in the indicative-imperative dynamic of evangelical obedience).

    The New Testament also reaches back into the Old Testament to draw out ethical implications from the Mosaic Law, interpreted in light of its fulfillment in Christ. This provides a hermeneutical model for us to follow. We should study the Mosaic Law, not as if it were directly binding on us, but as those who have the mind of Christ we should weigh, test, and approve what is that good and perfect will of God (Rom. 12:2; Eph. 5:10; Phil. 1:9-10).


  14. bjohnson: I thought I was jumping on a completely different bandwagon.

    hmmm, hey… wait a minute… no….don’t think anything may have changed making it a ‘more than ever’ desire , i.e. having always been a ‘more than ever’ desire?!


  15. I think the ambiguity was deliberate. Women in the military who shoot are also women in the military who will be shot. The first is arguably positive; the second definitely negative.

    The government giveth; the government taketh away.


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