Should Christians Be Encouraged To Arm Themselves
Trusting In The Sword
First of all, it would be a mistake to leave this class trusting in the sword. Guns, knives, weapons… these are mere tools, and none of these things can guarantee protection, any more than owning a fire extinguisher guarantees that your house won’t burn down.
Psalm 44:6-7 For I will not trust in my bow, Nor shall my sword save me. 7 But You have saved us from our enemies, And have put to shame those who hated us.
We see in Nehemiah 4:14 that the people were armed and willing to use their weapons, but they were also trusting in the Lord:
“Do not be afraid of them remember the Lord who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your houses…. 20″At whatever place you hear the sound of the trumpet, rally to us there. Our God will fight for us.”
Do not put your trust in weapons. They are tools that are useful, but they are only dead, inanimate tools, at the end of the day.
“…the LORD does not deliver by sword or by spear for the battle is the LORD’s.”
The Biblical And Natural Right Of Self
The Democrats ever vigilant for improper mixing of politics and religion opened yesterdays news conference announcing their proposed assault weapons ban with a prayer from the dean of the National Cathedral, the Canon Gary Hall. As Drudge highlighted yesterday, he made brief remarks before the prayer and said, Everyone in this city seems to live in terror of the gun lobby . . . but I believe that the gun lobby is no match for the cross lobby.
I have no objection to the reverend speaking his mind. In fact, Im glad for clergy to contribute their thoughts to the gun-rights debate. My objection is to the substance of his position, not his participation in the debate. Simply put, self defense is a Biblical and natural right of man, and I fear that his words imply otherwise. There is nothing about the cross that requires me to allow someone to kill my family or anyone else for that matter. Indeed, I have a moral imperative to come to the aid of those in distress.
Many months ago, I outlined the Christian argument for self defense at some length in my Patheos blog, and I wont repeat it in its entirety here. There are, however, several key points to make:#more#
Third, these understandings are so ingrained in Western moral tradition that John Locke, in his Second Treatise of Civil Government, described the right of self defense as a fundamental law of nature:
Moreover, these fundamental laws of nature were inseparable from the will of God:
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A Natural Instinct Is To Boil This Issue Down To The Question Can I Shoot My Wifes Assailant
My answer is sevenfold.
1) This instinct is understandable. But it seems to me that the New Testament resists this kind of ethical reduction, and does not satisfy our demand for a yes or no on that question. We dont like this kind of ambiguity, but I cant escape it. There is, as I have tried to show, a pervasive thrust in the New Testament pushing us toward blessing and doing good to those who hate, curse, and abuse us . And there is no direct dealing with the situation of using lethal force to save family and friend, except in regards to police and military. This is remarkable when you think about it, since I cannot help but think this precise situation presented itself, since we read that Saul drug men and women bound to Jerusalem .
2) Our primary aim in life is to show that Christ is more precious than life. So when presented with this threat to my wife or daughter or friend, my heart should incline toward doing good in a way that would accomplish this great aim. There are hundreds of variables in every crisis that might affect how that happens.
4) I realize that even to call the police when threatened which, in general, it seems right to do in view of Romans 13:14 may come from a heart that is out of step with the mind of Christ. If ones heart is controlled mainly by fear, or anger, or revenge, that sinful disposition may be expressed by using the police as well as taking up arms yourself.
Are You Still On The Fence
My bet is that most people reading this already own a gun or are in the process. And there are some of you that know it is a necessary step but dont feel comfortable yet or dont want a fire arm in your home.
My advice to you is simple, learn about firearms and try to become comfortable. The reason most people are against firearms is because they dont truly understand them. Take a class or go to a shooting range before you make a purchase, then see how you feel.
Give yourself some credit, a responsible gun owner is far different than these people you see on the news that the mass media loves to hate. If you take the time to learn about firearms safety and take gun ownership serious you then become part of the solution regardless how many people say guns are the problem.
Jesus said, But now whoever has a purse or a bag, must take it and whoever does not have a sword must sell his cloak and buy one.’
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Does God Want Christians To Be A Good Guy With A Gun
Does Jesus want you to own a gun?
Its a question Richard Berry said he wrestled with for years, unsure of how to match his Christian faith with his appreciation for firearms and self-defense. A native of Olathe, Kansas, he told Religion News Service he began grappling with the issue of God and guns in earnest following a 2017 shooting incident near his house.
In February of that year, Srinivas Kuchibhotla and Alok Madasani, both Indian, were enjoying after-work drinks at Austins Bar and Grill when a man named Adam Purinton began to yell and pepper them with questions about their immigration status. Purinton was tossed out of the bar but returned and opened fire, killing Kuchibhotla and wounding Madasani and another man who came to their aid.
Purinton later pled guilty to murder and hate crime charges and is serving four life sentences.
Berry said that after the shooting and other violent incidents in his town, he agonized over whether God would approve of him carrying a concealed weapon to help defend himself or others. He eventually decided that the answer is yes.
Even so, this good guy with a gun ideology doesnt always fit neatly into traditional religious or political categories.
The Apostle Peter Teaches Us That Christians Will Often Find Themselves In Societies Where We Should Expect And Accept Unjust Mistreatment Without Retaliation
Before we fire back our objections and exceptions to this truth, let us do our best to hear and embrace and be transformed in our self-protecting hearts by these texts from 1 Peter.
This is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly.
If when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God.
Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless.
If you should suffer for righteousness sake, you will be blessed.
It is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be Gods will, than for doing evil.
Rejoice insofar as you share Christs sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.
If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed.
If anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name.
Let those who suffer according to Gods will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.
Few messages are more needed among American Christians today than 1 Peter 4:12: Do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. Fiery trials are not strange. And the trials in view are hostilities from unbelievers, as the next verse shows: But rejoice insofar as you share Christs sufferings . These trials are normal. That may not be American experience, but it is biblical truth.
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The Garden Of Gethsemane
Now, the next passage we come to follows these events. Jesus and the disciples are in the garden, and the men come to arrest Jesus. At least two of the disciples are armed, with the knowledge and consent of Jesus. Here is the question: Will they use the sword against the armed multitude which has come against Him? Let’s look at the three passages which recount this event.
Luke 22:49-53 49 And when those who were around Him saw what was going to happen, they said, “Lord, shall we strike with the sword?” 50 And a certain one of them struck the slave of the high priest and cut off his right ear. 51 But Jesus answered and said, “Stop! No more of this.” And He touched his ear and healed him. 52 And Jesus said to the chief priests and officers of the temple and elders who had come against Him, “Have you come out with swords and clubs as against a robber? 53″While I was with you daily in the temple, you did not lay hands on Me but this hour and the power of darkness are yours.”
John 18:10-11 10 Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant’s name was Malchus. 11 So Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword into the sheath. Shall I not drink the cup which My Father has given Me?”
Why Christ tells Peter to put up the sword:
There is greater protection than swords.
A Wrong Admiration For The Man Of Violence
Thirdly, do not admire the “man of violence”.
Proverbs 3:31-32 Do not envy a man of violence, And do not choose any of his ways. 32 For the crooked man is an abomination to the LORD But He is intimate with the upright.
Those who resort to violence rather than Godliness are not to be admired. There are many similarities between David and Joab. Both were skilled at killing men, and both had killed many men. Were they both men of violence? Here is the difference: David, first and foremost, sought the Lord, trusted the Lord, and loved the Lord. Why didn’t he do violence against Saul? It wasn’t because Saul was his father-in-law. Rather, it was because Saul was the Lord’s anointed. It was because of David’s regard first for the Lord that he would not resort to violence.
On the other hand, Joab, over and over, resorted to the sword to deal with problems. Joab was a man of violence.
Proverbs 1:16 For their feet run to evil, And they make haste to shed blood.
Romans 3:15 Their feet are swift to shed blood
Earth was destroyed in the day of Noah because “the earth was filled with violence” . God hates violence. There is a narrow scope in which it is applied righteously, but it is only because of sin that such skill is necessary.
Beware of influences in your life which would encourage admiration of a Joab rather than a David.
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Rabbi Shlomo Bar Yitzchak Solomon The Son Of Isaac Also Called Rabbi Shlomo Yitzhaki Hence The Acronym Rashi
Rashi is celebrated for his detailed word-by-word commentaries on the Torah and Talmud, comprising an enormous volume of work which is still studied as an essential text. The Rashi commentary on the Torah remains very widely read, with most observant Jews have a Torah with Rashi in their library.
In Exodus 22:1 we read: If, while breaking in, the thief is discovered, and he is struck and dies, he has no blood.
Rashi, who gathers together millennia of interpretation, comments: He has no blood. this is not murder. It is as though he is dead from the start. Here the Torah teaches you: If someone comes to kill you, kill him first. And this one has come to kill you, because he knows that a person will not hold himself back and remain silent when he sees people taking his money. Therefore, he has come with the acknowledgement that if the owner of the property were to stand up against him, he would kill him .
Under Jewish Law there is an obligation for a private citizen to assist another in trouble: You shall not stand by your fellows blood. I am the Lord and as Rashi comments, quoting the legal texts of the Talmud: You shall not stand by your fellows blood. watching your fellows death, when you are able to save him for example, if he is drowning in the river or if a wild beast or robbers come upon him.
Should Christians Defend Themselves
More By Erik
Should Christians defend themselves?
When we hear this question our minds are immediately drawn to the use of guns or other weapons. However, before considering the implications of the answer, a fundamental consideration must be given to the general question of self-defense. Is it permissible for Christians to defend themselves?
We might consider Jesuss words in Matthews Gospel, where followers of Christ are taught not to resist the one who is evil, but, if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn and give him the other also . Most Bible commentators see this slapping as personal insult rather than an act of physical violence. Instead of returning an insult or another blow, the believer is to be content to endure the stinging slap.
On the other hand we do see examples of believers offering self-defense. In fact, Jesus foretold that his disciples would need to defend themselves against accusations, even noting that the Holy Spirit would aid them in their defense . And the apostle Paul found himself regularly defending himself .
The more controversial question has to do with whether or not Christians may defend themselves with use of force when in danger. In particular, can a Christian carry , use force, or otherwise act to stop an attack upon themselves or others?
In conclusion, I believe that self-defense is biblically permissible for Christians.
Here are two reasons why:
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The Biblical Obligation To Preserve Life
We begin by first looking at the Biblical obligation to preserve life. The Bible clearly teaches that we must preserve life–our own lives and the lives of other people. 1 Corinthians 6:19f teaches that our bodies are not our own. Rather, our bodies belong to God. Our bodies are His property and so we are not permitted to treat or destroy them as we please:
19 Or know ye not that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit which is in you, which ye have from God? and ye are not your own 20 for ye were bought with a price: glorify God therefore in your body.
Not only are we to take care of our bodies and the life contained. We have an obligation to preserve the body and life of other people. Psalm 82:4 even cites an obligation to protect those who are in danger:
Psalm 82:4 Rescue the weak and needy Deliver them out of the hand of the wicked.
Consider also Proverbs 24:11, which indicates we have a duty to preserve the lives of those who are harming themselves:
Proverbs 24:11 Deliver those who are drawn toward death, And hold back those stumbling to the slaughter.
Ezekiel 33 is a well-known passage:
Ezekiel 33“… 6 ‘But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, and the people are not warned, and a sword comes and takes a person from them, he is taken away in his iniquity but his blood I will require from the watchman’s hand.’
The principle could hardly be stated more forcefully: you must protect your life and the lives of others.
Does Jesus Christ Support Self
Jesus advising the disciples to buy a sword in Luke 22:36: But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag and if you dont have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one.
First, lets look at a Gospel setting in which Christ absolutely endorses self-defense. But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into . Isnt Jesus saying here that violence or certainly the threat of violence is not just the reasonable, but even the responsible, option to take in protecting ones property, never mind ones person or ones family?
Then, we have this next quotation from the Gospel of Mark: But no one can enter the strong mans house and plunder his goods unless he first binds the strong man . Now, why would the bad guy have to bind the strong man? Obviously, because the strong man would otherwise do all he could to keep the bad guy out! And again, thats just to protect property.
TURN THE OTHER CHEEK ALWAYS? It is true that Jesus said to turn the other cheek in Matthew 5:38-42. However, many scholars do not believe pacifism is the essential point of His teaching in this passage. These scholars do not believe Jesus was teaching to turn the other cheek in virtually all circumstances. Even Christ did not literally turn the other cheek when smitten by a member of the Sanhedrin .
Listen below for more.
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