Scripture: Romans 5:12; Romans 8:13; Galatians 5:16
Author: Mitchell Dillon
“I’ll give you my gun when you pry it from my cold, dead hands” was a bumper sticker slogan made popular by the NRA (National Rifle Association). Then on May 20, 2000, at the 129th NRA convention, actor Charlton Heston, who served as the organization’s president at the time, famously concluded a speech by pausing to wave a replica of a flintlock rifle in the air.
“So,” said Heston as he gripped the gun, “as we set out this year to defeat the divisive forces that would take freedom away, I want to say those fighting words for everyone within the sound of my voice to hear and to heed … ‘From my cold, dead hands!'”
Mr. Heston would conclude each of the NRA conventions over which he presided with that same declaration.*
In similar, though rather humerous fashion, the 1997 farcical comedy, MEN IN BLACK, portrayed a scene in which a farmer, disturbed by a load noise, exits his house only to discover that an alien has crash landed in his front yard.
When asked to drop his shotgun, the farmer replied, “You can have my gun when you pry it from my cold, dead fingers.”
The alien calmly responded, “Your proposal is acceptable.”
The farmer is not only killed, but the alien then dons the farmer’s skin to wear as a disguise.
Since the time when Eve first held the forbidden fruit in her hands, we have clutched the want for power and control with a deadly grip, in essence telling God, “You can take it from me when you pry it from my cold, dead hands.” To which God responded, “Your proposal is acceptable.”
Since then, as the Apostle Paul explained it, “… sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned (Romans 5:12).
Nevertheless, God promises, “If by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live” (Romans 8:13).
We can only fully experience life as we loosen our grip of control, “die daily” to the power of self and sin, and allow the Spirit of God to manifest the life of Christ in and through us.
Like the alien in MEN IN BLACK, God wants to live His life in our skin!
“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20).
“So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16).
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*Click link to source above to see a video of Mr. Heston’s call to arms.