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Christian Defense

Dr. dbDr. db Senior MemberPosts: 1,541 Senior Member
I wrote this a while ago but I began to think about it given the theater shooting across town.

Defense
How can a Christian recommend school staff be armed and therefore ready to use force, even deadly force, to defend themselves and their students? Doesn't Mathew 26:52 enjoin us to pacifism as part of the new covenant? When Jesus stops Peter’s attack and says, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword,” isn’t he saying, “Dude what are you doing? We’re pacifists.” Actually Jesus didn’t tell Peter to throw away his sword. He said, “Put your sword back in its place.” In addition Jesus said he could summon more than 72,000 immortal beings to fight for him if he wanted. I haven’t ever seen one but I would suspect that angels are pretty good guys to have on your side in a fight. Phrases like, “inhumanly quick”, “phenomenally strong”, and “fantastically disciplined” come to mind. In my opinion, Jesus was saying, “Pete! This ain’t the time. First, it is my father’s will that I go with them. If I wanted to fight I could and I could do it far better than you. Second, you are just going to get yourself killed to no purpose.” In other words, live now and fight another day.
In addition as Christians we are at all costs to avoid shedding innocent blood either by commission or omission.
"He who has the ability to act on an injustice, but who stands idly by, is just as guilty as he who holds the knife." ~~Dracano Sapien
Peter cut the ear off of an innocent servant, not a soldier. Jesus paid the blood price by healing the servant. We can, actually we have an obligation to, defend our lives and the lives of the innocents in our charge not from insult, we are to turn the other cheek in this case, but from death. We stop. We defend. We do not revenge. The shedding of blood is a daunting responsibility and God will examine the act closely to see if the perpetrator is justified. Did you shed blood wantonly like a brawler? Were you defending or revenging?

Replies

  • LMLarsenLMLarsen Senior Member Posts: 8,337 Senior Member
    He also told His Apostles that if they didn't have a sword, sell their cloak and buy one. And a couple of angels kicked serious Sodomite butt when they rescued Lot and his family!
    “A gun is a tool, no better or no worse than any other tool: an axe, a shovel or anything. A gun is as good or as bad as the man using it. Remember that.”

    NRA Endowment Member
  • SirGeorgeKillianSirGeorgeKillian Senior Member Posts: 5,463 Senior Member
    I understand that the book of Revelation is talking about the end times, and that is obviously different than present times, but there is enough sword play in that book to know that there are times where being a Christian isn't all about sitting around a camp fire singing koombaya ether.


    Al has a good theory on self defense with his own religion that I couldn't agree with more. His view is how good of a (insert your religion here) can you be if you are dead?

    The Bible teaches against suicide, but also teaches against murder. What is worse, killing a man that will otherwise kill you (and possibly countless others) or sit idle knowing that it will be the end of you. Isn't that in a very real sense, no different than suicide? Sure it isn't you killing yourself, but knowing the outcome will surely lead to your own death, doing nothing is very similar....

    There are so many different angles and arguments that you could take from this. Right, wrong, or in different, I know in the end, my plan is for me and my family to make it home safe. I can't make any guarantees for anyone who wishes to do the above mentioned party harm.
    Unless life also hands you water and sugar, your lemonade is gonna suck!
    Wambli Ska wrote: »
    I'm in love with a Glock
  • bullsi1911bullsi1911 Moderator Posts: 12,039 Senior Member
    If you refuse to fight for your life or the incredible blessings that God has bestowed upon you, then you will need to stand before judgement and tell God why you thought these ultimate gifts were not worth fighting for.

    God blessed me with this life. He blessed me with this family. If you do not fight for them and let anyone take them from you, then you are telling God that those gifts were worth nothing to you.
    To make something simple is a thousand times more difficult than to make something complex.
    -Mikhail Kalashnikov
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 27,457 Senior Member
    This link may help answer the question. I know it is Jewish law, but it does answer the question you pose, I think.

    http://www.gunownersalliance.com/Rabbi_0112.htm
      I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don't know the answer”
    ― Douglas Adams
  • airheadairhead Member Posts: 424 Member
    Exodus 22:2-3
    (AMP)

    2 If a thief is found breaking in and is struck so that he dies, there shall be no blood shed for him.

    3 But if the sun has risen [so he can be seen], blood must be shed for slaying him. The thief [if he lives] must make full restitution; if he has nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft.
    This post has been made with 100% recycled electrons.

    ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,447 Senior Member
    Psalm 18

    34 He teacheth my hands to war, so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms.
    35 Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy right hand hath holden me up, and thy gentleness hath made me great.
    36 Thou hast enlarged my steps under me, that my feet did not slip.
    37 I have pursued mine enemies, and overtaken them: neither did I turn again till they were consumed.
    38 I have wounded them that they were not able to rise: they are fallen under my feet.
    39 For thou hast girded me with strength unto the battle: thou hast subdued under me those that rose up against me.
    40 Thou hast also given me the necks of mine enemies; that I might destroy them that hate me.
    41 They cried, but there was none to save them: even unto the LORD, but he answered them not.
    42 Then did I beat them small as the dust before the wind: I did cast them out as the dirt in the streets.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • cappy54cappy54 Member Posts: 269 Member
    I kill them all
  • saxdsaxd Member Posts: 40 Member
    Dr. db wrote: »
    When Jesus stops Peter’s attack and says, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword,” isn’t he saying, “Dude what are you doing? We’re pacifists.
    Did he say "for all who draw the sword in defense die by the sword"
    No he didn't.
    The theater shooter drew the proverbial sword and it is too bad there wasn't a patron carrying that night so the scum could die by the proverbial sword.
    And that was taken WAY WAY WAY OUT OF CONTEXT... PETER DREW FIRST.. IT WAS NOT IN SELF DEFENSE.
  • Dr. dbDr. db Senior Member Posts: 1,541 Senior Member
    Good point about the "in defense" but prior to that the "large crowd" armed with swords and clubs had laid hands on Jesus to arrest him. Therefore when Peter drew his sword wasn't he defending from a mob? I think my context stands. I only used this passage because most of the old testament stuff is discounted and this new testament passage is used to justify pacifism. Personally, I'm with Robert Heinlein (paraphrase) when he wrote a pacifist is getting a free ride (bought by those who shed blood for his freedom) and claiming a halo for doing nothing.
  • FixationFixation New Member Posts: 13 New Member
    Yes, the crowd was armed, however they were not actually attacking. They were there and armed for the sole purpose of ensuring that Jesus came without a fight. Peter's act was not one of self-defense because (other than the obvious coming to arrest Jesus) there was no hostile intent from the crowd. The Bible is not calling for believers to pacifism, that is absurd. Taking a man's life in defense of your country, home, or self are perfectly acceptable as far as the Bible goes.
  • ApexxApexx Member Posts: 111 Member
    As per God's word I am the head of my house. I will be held accountable to that which befalls my family under my watch. That is my God given responsibity. I would prefer to answer to the almighty on why I did what I had to to protect that which he entrusted me than to answer for why I stood by and let something happen to them.

    Look at God's design in nature. What would happen if you attempted to harm the young of just about any animal? Bear, Moose, Elephant, Mocking Bird, on and on...Tell me it is not in God's design for his creation to protect their young.
  • Dr. dbDr. db Senior Member Posts: 1,541 Senior Member
    I merely stated that some, not me, believe this passage is a justification for pacifism. The crowd was armed with swords and clubs.
  • TugarTugar Senior Member Posts: 2,423 Senior Member
    At the last supper, Jesus was talking to the disciples (Luke 22) 35 And He said to them, “ When I sent you out without money belt and bag and sandals, you did not lack anything, did you?” They said, “No, nothing.” 36 And He said to them, “But now, whoever has a money belt is to take it along, likewise also a bag, and whoever has no sword is to sell his coat and buy one

    Later in the garden, when Christ told Peter to "put your sword in its place", he clearly did not say get rid of it forever. That would have contradicted what he told the disciples only hours before. Peter's sword was to protect his own mortal life from danger. His sword was not needed to protect the Creator of the universe and the King of kings.


    Years after Pentecost, Paul wrote in a letter to Timothy "But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever" (1 Tim. 5:8). This passage applies to our subject because it would be absurd to buy a house, furnish it with food and facilities for one's family, and then refuse to install locks and provide the means to protect the family and the property. Likewise it would be absurd not to take, if necessary, the life of a night-time thief to protect the members of the family (Exodus 22:2-3).

    Can we argue that if we were able to save life by shooting the attacker with our gun that we should "turn the other cheek instead?" The Bible speaks of no such right. It only speaks of our responsibilities in the face of an attack-as individual creatures made by God, as householders or as neighbors. "Love thy neighbor as you would yourself." You protect your family, you should protect your neighbors if you can.
    Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.
    Winston Churchill
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,871 Senior Member
    Just a little point: when Jesus talked of "turning the other cheek" the original Greek for being struck with the hand referred to being struck with the back of an open hand. An insult. Not of being hit with a fist.
    I'm just here for snark.
  • DanChamberlainDanChamberlain Senior Member Posts: 3,395 Senior Member
    It was the plan that Jesus would die for our sins. He was passive not because it was natural, but because his course had already been preordained. Warfare has already been justified in the bible. Warfare can involve armies or one and the enemy is the enemy of man. This would pretty much mean any miscreant who takes it upon himself to steal or oppress.

    Dan
    It's a source of great pride for me, that when my name is googled, one finds book titles and not mug shots. Daniel C. Chamberlain
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,871 Senior Member
    Dan,
    While it was the plan to die, it was also the plan that it would happen at the appointed time, in the way it was supposed to. There are other instances in the Gospels where people tried to kill Jesus, or plotted to, and failed because it wasn't the time.
    I'm just here for snark.
  • CHIRO1989CHIRO1989 Senior Member Posts: 14,183 Senior Member
    The Devils job is to steal, kill, and destroy. If he is at your front door trying to kick it in, you need to understand that he is already defeated, you just need to remind him, and then reload.
    I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn away from their ways and live. Eze 33:11
  • CaptainAhabCaptainAhab Member Posts: 93 Member
    I taught bible class for many years, but have not been in a church for a good many more. It would be very uncomfortable to stand before your creator for failing to defend the defenseless around you. And I believe that includes defending yourself so that you may continue defending your dependants and others.
    There is no comparison to the phrase "living by the sword" and using lethal force in defense. That is not "living" by the sword.

    edit-
    and I extend that to defending our freedoms so that millions of others can live and enjoy life; as our founding Americans did.
    In reply to Xerxes' demand to lay down his weapons, Leonidas replied;
    "Molon Labe"..... "Come and take them!"
  • mythaeusmythaeus Senior Member Posts: 831 Senior Member
    I'm not a fan of selectively quoting a few phrases from any teachings, especially those intend on teaching morality, to justify an action. Single passages can be contradicted by others and the argument never ends. Moral tenets are combinations of a much larger collective learning in totality, experience, and environment, particularly the immediate society.

    When causing death is the result, the moral intent matters greatly. On the moral ground, was the true intent to kill/murder or was it to stop the threat? I'm a Buddhist and have done my best to not kill, even bugs in my house. My wife, a Catholic, is the same way after she met me. We both carry for self-defense and in all our conscience made up our minds that we will shoot to stop the threat, no more, no less. Whether or not death to the assailant is resulted, we will have a clear conscience in the "Thou shall not kill" spirit in the teaching of both of our religions. If the intent was to kill/murder, then you will have to answer to your "higher being" morally...and most likely to the legal authority in the mean time.

    You may have seen the Dalai Lama's quote floating around the web that says "If someone has a gun and is trying to kill you, it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun." The "quote" is actually incomplete. It's actually not a direct quote either, but out of an article (http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=20010515&slug=dalai15m0). The full article quote: "But if someone has a gun and is trying to kill you, he said, it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun. Not at the head, where a fatal wound might result. But at some other body part, such as a leg." Of course, anyone knows self-defense shooting knows that it's nearly impossible and is extremely dangerous to "shoot the leg". Still, what he really tried to convey was that the intent should never be to kill. My philosophy, aligned completely with his, is that you shoot to stop the threat, death is only a side effect. :)

    Al
    "In a controversy, the instant we feel anger we have already ceased striving for the truth and have begun striving for ourselves." - Siddhartha Gautama
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,428 Senior Member
    Al, you just fell into your own semantics trap there. If I remember my Hebrew studies correctly from 40+ years ago when I spent a fair amount of time stydying for the ministry, the word used in the Ten Commandments should have been translated "Thou shall not MURDER". Like English and most other languages, several Hebrew words can have similar meanings with different degrees of shading. That one's one of the most-frequently misapplied Bible verses!
    Jerry
  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 25,123 Senior Member
    This is a touchy subject, we have a guest Chaplain going to give
    a series of sermons on this subject; probably as related to military war time duty.

    I hope I can come away with something to post here on it.

    One has to be careful of what they post in a thread like this so as to not be
    labeled a mall ninja so I'll just say my past does not trouble me at night and as a
    practicing Christian I do not believe it should. Nor do I believe to-days warriors be they
    military or LEO of whatever type or a family head should be troubled with doing their duty and how it
    meshes with any religious beliefs they may have.
  • mythaeusmythaeus Senior Member Posts: 831 Senior Member
    Teach wrote: »
    Al, you just fell into your own semantics trap there. If I remember my Hebrew studies correctly from 40+ years ago when I spent a fair amount of time stydying for the ministry, the word used in the Ten Commandments should have been translated "Thou shall not MURDER". Like English and most other languages, several Hebrew words can have similar meanings with different degrees of shading. That one's one of the most-frequently misapplied Bible verses!
    Jerry

    Not really, Jerry. I said "Thou shall not kill" spirit, which for all intents and purposes, including my further take regarding intent to murder/kill, is roughly equivalent to "thou shall not murder".

    Al
    "In a controversy, the instant we feel anger we have already ceased striving for the truth and have begun striving for ourselves." - Siddhartha Gautama
  • TugarTugar Senior Member Posts: 2,423 Senior Member
    NN wrote: »
    This is a touchy subject, we have a guest Chaplain going to give
    a series of sermons on this subject; probably as related to military war time duty.

    I hope I can come away with something to post here on it.

    Romans 13
    Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.
    Winston Churchill
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 9,320 Senior Member
    Dr. db wrote: »
    How can a Christian recommend school staff be armed and therefore ready to use force, even deadly force, to defend themselves and their students?

    Genesis tells us that God made the universe and needed a rest, confirming that the deity is not completely tireless. Browning clocks in to cover God's inevitable coffee breaks.
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • JasonMPDJasonMPD Senior Member Posts: 6,577 Senior Member
    Historically, Christians killed for whatever they wanted, including the oppressive condescension of their religion on non-believers. So, defend your life. You're covered.
    “There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.” – Will Rogers
  • blkbird305blkbird305 Member Posts: 220 Member
    Bigslug wrote: »
    Genesis tells us that God made the universe and needed a rest, confirming that the deity is not completely tireless. Browning clocks in to cover God's inevitable coffee breaks.

    It does not say needed rest but it says "And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made." (Genesis 2:3) As hard as it is for me to wrap my head around it, God does not tire.

    As a science major, the more and more I see of nature and how it works, the stronger my belief becomes in my Creator. Things work out too perfect for it all to be an accident. Along those lines, I feel that Browning's designs have to be God given because they are just stinkin brilliant.
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