Self Defense & the Christian


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AKPastor
November 19, 2010, 04:44 PM
While at a favorite sporting goods store, I was perusing the gun counter. I overheard a patron voicing a personal dilemma. He had been debating the morality of self defense with his son - specifically if conservative Christian morality allowed for SD. He did not use the phrase "conservative Christian", but after listening to him, he was espousing the view that the Bible was the final arbiter of morality as far as he was concerned.

The employee listening to him did not know what to say. I decided to chime in as a conservation Christian pastor who also daily carries for SD.

Before elaborating on our conversation, I was wondering how others of similar faith might talk with this man.

For some interesting reading, I also suggest
http://www.aplacefortruth.org/Jesus.sword.hammond

From that web page, I like the following quotes:

“I am to love my neighbor as myself, in the manner needed, in the midst of the fallen world, at my particular point in history. This is why I am not a pacifist. Pacifism in this poor world in which we live – this lost world – means that we desert the people who need our greatest help . . . I come upon a big burly man beating a tiny tot to death . . . I plead with him to stop. Suppose he refuses? What does love mean now? Love means that I stop him in any way that I can, including hitting him. To me, this is not only necessary for humanitarian reasons; it is loyalty to Christ’s commands concerning Christian love in a fallen world. What about the little girl? If I desert her to the bully, I have deserted the true meaning of Christian love – responsibility to my neighbor.
- Francis Schaeffer

Any man who refuses to protect his wife and children against a violent intruder fails them morally.”
-attributed to Norman Geisler

As a pastor who is an ardent supporter of 2A and of SD - I am interested in how others express the morality of self defense - because I am confident that defense of self and of others is in fact moral.

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merlinfire
November 19, 2010, 05:08 PM
Its one of those hard decisions I think all Christians must face.

The struggle, as I see it is this.

1. Jesus's teachings are quite obviously non-violent, even to the point of self-sacrifice.

2. The natural reaction to danger is to defend one's self.


I'm not gonna judge anyone as its not my place, and this is something I struggle to decide myself.

cbrgator
November 19, 2010, 05:22 PM
While I think you pose a very valid and interesting question, I fear that such an inquiry will lead inevitably to a religious debate.

merlinfire
November 19, 2010, 05:25 PM
While I think you pose a very valid and interesting question, I fear that such an inquiry will lead inevitably to a religious debate.

Yes. Some people use religion to change their lives, others use it to justify their lives. And both sides will no doubt argue.

This question is very nearly a personal one, for each of us.

jon86
November 19, 2010, 05:34 PM
And let the one who has no sword sell his cloak and buy one. Luke 22:36

There is a time and a place for everything.

Water-Man
November 19, 2010, 05:37 PM
"Let your conscience be your guide".

merlinfire
November 19, 2010, 05:39 PM
"Let your conscience be your guide".

A little Jimminy Cricket wisdom, eh? I like it.

CoRoMo
November 19, 2010, 05:40 PM
I don't see this as a hard decision in any way, shape, or form.

Do not stand idly by when your neighbor's blood is shed. Leviticus 19:16

We are commanded to defend innocence, period. Although I agree that Jesus lived a non-violent life, I don't believe his message was one of pacifism. When Peter used a weapon against the Roman, in Matthew 26, Jesus didn't admonish him for assaulting the soldier. He criticized him for attempting to thwart Christ's destiny at The Cross. Also, Jesus commands his followers to be armed with a deadly weapon as they walk the path of discipleship. He could have said, sell your clothes and buy a shield, some plate armor, etc. but no, he said buy a sword; a weapon that can be used both defensively and offensively. That meant more than what some want to admit. It also doesn't quite mean what others want it to either.

LtShortcut
November 19, 2010, 05:41 PM
1. Jesus's teachings are quite obviously non-violent, even to the point of self-sacrifice.

I can imagine you're getting this from the whole "turn the other cheek" line. That has nothing to do with someone physically attacking you, it has to do with people insulting you. Read the entire chapter and find a few studies on it.

The only other place I can think you came up with that is the "thou shalt not kill". A better translation (and many bibles have it translated properly) is: You will not commit an unlawful killing (murder).

I don't see the conflict in a Christian carrying a weapon for self defense.

Somebody (Peter?) definately had a sword the night Jesus was arrested. I don't think he had it hidden the entire time he knew Jesus.

CoRoMo
November 19, 2010, 05:53 PM
The Bible might have more God-sanctioned killing than any other 'holy text'. I don't know. I haven't studied the Koran or anything else, but the God of the Bible ordered the killing of many, many of his children.

The Lord is a man of war... Exodus 15:3
...there is a time to kill, a time to heal... Ecclesiastes 3:3

Not to mention direct commands to execute certain criminals. There is obviously a dichotomy regarding the modern-day-use of the old law vs. the gospel message. I have a hard time finding any sort of pacifism in the Holy Bible, but I'm no theologian.

This topic has been covered a few times here, and it's one that I'm always attentive to because I'm a devoted Christian and RKBA advocate.

Freedom_fighter_in_IL
November 19, 2010, 06:03 PM
Being as I am in no way a believer in a deity, I find this question quite simple. I have studied many religions for an educational point of view and find them all to be in complete support of self defense and defense of the weak and impoverished. Many have similar quotes to the ones from Luke and Leviticus. If memory serves me correctly, I can't quote it but I think I can paraphrase it well enough to get across, "Love thine own body and treat it as a temple of your Lord and Saviour" Now, to me, that simply would translate as don't do stuff that will harm you and I would pretty much bet that would also entail self defense to keep someone else from hurting you.

merlinfire
November 19, 2010, 06:05 PM
I don't expect many people to take the non-violent stance on this board, by virtue of what this board is about. Not that I have any problem with that, I'm a gun nut too.

However, I challenge you to give me one example of the new testament portraying self defense in a positive light. Now, see if you can find instances of instances of martyrs, and of conflict avoidance.

To me, the conflict is less about what the bible actually says. It's about whether or not I am willing to accept it.

Naturally, many of you will disagree. As I said, there are two different ways of approaching religion.

merlinfire
November 19, 2010, 06:06 PM
The Lord is a man of war... Exodus 15:3
...there is a time to kill, a time to heal... Ecclesiastes 3:3

I don't want to turn this into a theological debate, but please be aware that this is Old Testament, which is no longer valid under the Christian dispensation.

IlikeSA
November 19, 2010, 06:08 PM
I am a Christian and I see no conflict between self-defense and the Bible. Some of the above posters have quoted verses, and I agree with them. Part of Adam's original sin was standing idly by "listening" to his wife and then eating the fruit. Have you heard the quote: "Evil prevails when good men do nothing?" We are called to be proactive in this world and to help others in need, as well as take care of our families. A firearm is simply another tool that allows me to take care of my family, whether it is feed them, protect them, or allow me to feed them longer by keeping me alive (in a SD situation).

Doug S
November 19, 2010, 06:12 PM
I'm a Bible believing Christian. I read my Bible daily. That said, I'm by no means a scholar on the subject, but I see no conflict between what the Bible teaches and self-defense.

CoRoMo
November 19, 2010, 06:13 PM
...no longer valid...
That IS a theological debate. I know exactly where those verses come from. We really shouldn't go there; it will only get this thread locked. Many believe that God's word is eternal (eternally valid) and unchanging. Those on both sides of that debate should agree to disagree.

Old krow
November 19, 2010, 06:15 PM
CoRoMo has pretty much said it about as well as it could be said in post #8.

Morality and self defense;

Is the morality of taking a human life different when defending your family and defending your country?

Is the morality of defending a community (police) in anyway different from defending your family?

If the answer of any one of those is yes then they answer to all should be yes.

It's not really my place to judge either way. If someone holds that belief, they're allowed to, the "thought police" haven't gained enough power yet to take that away, but I do not hold that belief.

There are a number of scriptures in the Bible that support defending your country, your neighbor, and yourself. I do not see a conflict at all.

Robert
November 19, 2010, 06:20 PM
which is no longer valid under the Christian dispensation.
Not correct.
There are a number of scriptures in the Bible that support defending your country, your neighbor, and yourself. I do not see a conflict at all.
Correct

1911Tuner
November 19, 2010, 06:24 PM
There was a story about a Quaker who went to investigate unusual noises in the small general store that he operated adjacent to his home. As part of his response, he carried a double shotgun...12 gauge, of course. The stranger...so preoccupied with his search to find the cash stash that he didn't notice the peaceful gent standing behind him with the shotgun. When he finally became aware of the old Quaker, he nervously reminded him that he was a pacifist.

The Quaker smiled and said:

"Friend...not for all the world would I harm a hair on thy head...but thou art standing where I intend to shoot."

Freedom_fighter_in_IL
November 19, 2010, 06:28 PM
"Friend...not for all the world would I harm a hair on thy head...but thou art standing where I intend to shoot."

CLASSIC!!!!! I have GOT to remember that one!

CoRoMo
November 19, 2010, 06:33 PM
...give me one example of the new testament portraying self defense in a positive light.
Like I said, I'm no expert. What I DO find is New Testament praise for Old Testament war victories. That means something.

We're talking about self DEFENSE here, but as far as OFFENSE goes, the warriors of the Old Testament were never rebuked in the New Testament. That illustrates something.

Also, every example of Jesus and/or his disciples ministering to soldiers, you won't find them advising the soldier to find another career choice. That says something.

kingpin008
November 19, 2010, 06:50 PM
I don't have religion, but I am spiritual in some respects. I'm not the best at explaining my...views, but here goes.

In my view, my life is sacred, because I do my best to be a good person, and not screw with anyone who isn't screwing with me. Give respect and get respect, you know? In short, I may not be a saint but my life has value and meaning because I try to be good. Otherwise, what's the point of life?

If someone is trying to harm or kill me, then in my mind they're showing me the ultimate lack of respect/care - they are attempting to deprive me of the ability to continue experiencing life. As such, I owe them nothing and will do my damndest to preserve my life.

CoRoMo
November 19, 2010, 06:52 PM
I love this topic and these threads. I don't like seeing them deteriorate into an argument over theologies or translations. I really only have one more thing to add to this thread.
...give me one example of the new testament portraying self defense in a positive light.
Okay, I admit, that challenge sent me searching.
I Timothy 5:8
The Scripture says that if a man will not provide (or care for, or protect) his family, he is worse than an infidel.

Romans 13:4
For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to [execute] wrath upon him that doeth evil.
Sounds a lot like self defense of some sort. Whether this is 'portrayed in a positive light', is an 'eye of the beholder' type of thing. I certainly believe that obedience to God's Word is a positive thing. Doing as He instructs, according to/within His law, isn't a negative thing. The debates usually revolve around differing translations of the Word. For example: the parenthetical bit in the I Timothy 5:8 verse will either be accepted or rejected as an appropriate translation.

EddieNFL
November 19, 2010, 07:32 PM
That IS a theological debate. I know exactly where those verses come from. We really shouldn't go there; it will only get this thread locked. Many believe that God's word is eternal (eternally valid) and unchanging. Those on both sides of that debate should agree to disagree.
"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever" (Hebrews 13:8).

"For I am the Lord, I do not change" (Malachi 3:6).

"In the beginning was the Word (Jesus Christ), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (John 1:1)

DasFriek
November 19, 2010, 07:38 PM
Jesus has a good way of dealing with wicked people, He sets them on fire and sends them to hell. Id say shooting someone in SD is alot less harsh as to what Jesus would do to them.

Thats why i never wore a "WWJD" bracelet, Man would i get in trouble alot wearing that thing!




"edit" I gave this some thought and even tho my post was half truth and half humor if i offend someone ill remove my remarks.
Its not worth upsetting someone just for humor's sake. Send a PM and ill do so.

Ohio Gun Guy
November 19, 2010, 08:18 PM
Praise the Lord & pass the ammunition!

From http://www.openbible.info/topics/self_defense They have dozens of verses....this is the one I was looking for. Keep in mind context is often missed when reading individual verses but this one works for me.

Luke 22:36
He said to them, “But now let the one who has a moneybag take it, and likewise a knapsack. And let the one who has no sword sell his cloak and buy one.

And a bonus:

Exodus 22:2-3
If a thief is found breaking in and is struck so that he dies, there shall be no bloodguilt for him, but if the sun has risen on him, there shall be bloodguilt for him. He shall surely pay. If he has nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft.

TheWorstKind
November 19, 2010, 08:47 PM
Folks, I do have to commend the posters on this thread; it is nice to see respectful, courteous discourse on this subject.

I am a Christian, and I carry for protection. I have no conflict in regards to self-defense.

oldbanjo
November 19, 2010, 08:52 PM
During the Crusades Christians killed anyone that wasn't a Christian. I think SD is a better reason.

Fat Boy
November 19, 2010, 08:53 PM
I too am a Christian- I believe it is my responsibility to protect the lives of my family and my own life. I see no conflict between this approach and Scripture

DeepSouth
November 19, 2010, 08:56 PM
See Sig

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mgkdrgn
November 19, 2010, 09:03 PM
1) You can prove -anything- by pointing to and "interpreting" some selective phrase from the bible.

2) Allowing yourself, a family member, or (in some cases) an innocent to be harmed, when you have the power to prevent that harm ... is just plain stupid.

3) If God meant for his highest creation to be stupid, he's would have quit when he got to the cockroach.

Manco
November 19, 2010, 09:09 PM
I don't expect many people to take the non-violent stance on this board, by virtue of what this board is about. Not that I have any problem with that, I'm a gun nut too.

I'm sure you meant "non-violent" as the complete avoidance of violence no matter what, in which case I would agree. I'm just clarifying lest we unintentionally create a link between being a gun nut and necessarily having violent tendencies (or liking violence). I'd shoot a bad guy in self-defense if I had to, but I for one hope that I won't ever have to!

However, I challenge you to give me one example of the new testament portraying self defense in a positive light. Now, see if you can find instances of instances of martyrs,

Well, the New Testament is primarily about one particular martyr who was born for that very purpose, so naturally there is not going to be much focus on self-defense techniques and strategies. ;) Even so, there have been examples given in this thread, including the part where Jesus' disciples were expected to have to fend for themselves--with swords if necessary--once Jesus had sacrificed himself.

and of conflict avoidance.

This would be wise whether you're a gun nut or not.

To me, the conflict is less about what the bible actually says. It's about whether or not I am willing to accept it.

There are plenty of examples of justified violence in the Bible, most of it going well beyond mere self-defense, too. What you say is as true of it as it is of the Second Amendment, as well as life itself, for that matter (and those who don't accept or admit the realities of life often come around rather abruptly after they have been victimized).

Naturally, many of you will disagree. As I said, there are two different ways of approaching religion.

If you and I disagree over anything, it's what the Bible (specifically the New Testament) says and does not say about justifiable violence. Self-defense is such a natural right that I view it as implied unless it is specifically and explicitly denounced or forbidden by a religion, philosophy, or moral code. Jesus had his reasons for allowing himself to be martyred, but I don't see where he expected his followers to all do the same (especially if they're just getting robbed or something like that).

M2 Carbine
November 19, 2010, 09:22 PM
Years ago when I was a Policeman, a Catholic Priest heard I was "into guns" and he looked me up to buy a handgun.

I told him I would sell him a gun but with one condition.

I said,
I do not believe all human life is sacred and I have no problem at all in shooting someone that needed shooting. There are people that are so terrible that the only reason they are alive is because it's against the law to kill them.
People like that will kill you in a second, Priest or no Priest.


So the question is,
Do you believe you would shoot, possibly kill a person to stop them from seriously hurting or killing you, or an innocent person?

He said,
Yes. The Lord doesn't mean for us to allow ourselves to be murdered.


I sold him the gun.:)

Doug S
November 19, 2010, 09:27 PM
Might be interesting to note that when Jesus cleared them Temple, he did not behave as a pacifist. He didn't go in and politely ask them to leave, he kicked them out. It wasn't exactly a turn the other cheek moment.

That said, context is everything in one of these discussions, and it's easy for people to make statements that aren't necessarily the whole picture.

Skribs
November 19, 2010, 09:30 PM
There are chaplains in the military, and have been for how long? That said, the Crusades may or may not have been a good example - just because Christians do something, doesn't mean it's something Christians should do. I'm not saying justified war is bad, I'm just saying that I think the New Testament calls for Christians to preach to nonbelievers rather than slay them all.

This reminds me of when I played FPS games in Christian guilds. People would come in and say "This is an oxymoron, there's no killing in the Bible!" Many facepalms were to be had...

smallbore
November 19, 2010, 09:35 PM
My bible helps defend my faith. My firearm helps defend my life.

Frank Ettin
November 19, 2010, 09:37 PM
In Armed by Gary Kleck and Don Kates (Prometheus Books, 2001), on pages 116 - 121, they report that an article was published by the Board of Church and Society of the United Methodist Church condemning defensive gun ownership. In the article, Rev. Allen Brockway, editor of the board's magazine, advised women that it was their Christian duty to submit to rape rather than do anything that might imperil the attacker's life.

Kleck and Kates also note that the Presbyterian Church (U. S. A.) has taken a strict anti-self defense view. Rev. Kathy Young testified as a representative of that group before a Congressional Panel in 1972 in support of handgun control that the Presbyterian Church (U. S. A.) opposes the killing of anyone, anywhere for any reason (including, in the context of the testimony, self defense)

On the other hand, the Catechism of the Roman Catholic Church supports the use of force, even lethal force, in self defense:

"...2263 The legitimate defense of persons and societies is not an exception to the prohibition against the murder of the innocent that constitutes intentional killing. "The act of self-defense can have a double effect: the preservation of one's own life; and the killing of the aggressor. . . . The one is intended, the other is not."65

2264 Love toward oneself remains a fundamental principle of morality. Therefore it is legitimate to insist on respect for one's own right to life. Someone who defends his life is not guilty of murder even if he is forced to deal his aggressor a lethal blow:

If a man in self-defense uses more than necessary violence, it will be unlawful: whereas if he repels force with moderation, his defense will be lawful. . . . Nor is it necessary for salvation that a man omit the act of moderate self-defense to avoid killing the other man, since one is bound to take more care of one's own life than of another's.66

2265 Legitimate defense can be not only a right but a grave duty for one who is responsible for the lives of others. The defense of the common good requires that an unjust aggressor be rendered unable to cause harm. For this reason, those who legitimately hold authority also have the right to use arms to repel aggressors against the civil community entrusted to their responsibility...."

Doug S
November 19, 2010, 09:40 PM
That said, the Crusades may or may not have been a good example - just because Christians do something, doesn't mean it's something Christians should do.

And just because someone calls themselves a Christian, doesn't mean that they are actings as one, or even that they are one.

The Crusades are no more an example of Biblical Christianity, than molesting children is a function of the Catholic church...or that all Arabs are terrorists, and the list could go on.

In Armed by Gary Kleck and Don Kates (Prometheus Books, 2001), on pages 116 - 121, they report that an article was published by the Board of Church and Society of the United Methodist Church condemning defensive gun ownership. In the article, Rev. Allen Brockway, editor of the board's magazine, advised women that it was their Christian duty to submit to rape rather than do anything that might imperil the attacker's life.

Kleck and Kates also note that the Presbyterian Church (U. S. A.) has taken a strict anti-self defense view. Rev. Kathy Young testified as a representative of that group before a Congressional Panel in 1972 in support of handgun control that the Presbyterian Church (U. S. A.) opposes the killing of anyone, anywhere for any reason (including, in the context of the testimony, self defense)

No surprise here either, much of the mainstream church has become very liberal, and has moved away from literal translation of the Bible...ordaining homosexual pastors is an example. That they would be against self-defense is more a matter of their personal politics than anything they are getting from the Bible...more philosophy than substance.

This is just one of those conversations that goes on an on to no avail, so I think I'm going to step out of it now.

AKPastor
November 19, 2010, 09:52 PM
Thanks for all the replies so far. I look forward to reading even more. I especially am pleased at the respect that has been shown amongst one another across different religions and even no religion.

I have belonged to forums devoted to Christianity that have been far less respectful and could learn a lot from us gun nuts.

I hope the respect continues

Carter
November 19, 2010, 10:19 PM
Christians have defended themselves, fought wars, and many other acts over the centuries that would not be in line with the "non-violent" point of view.

I think the a lot of the thoughts of christians shouldn't take another life is a recent movement. People aren't subjected to life and death situations like in the past.

I'm a Christian and I carry every day. I believe in self-defense. My mom is also a christian and can't justify taking another life. IMO its a personal choice, not something that is dictated my the faith.

Prion
November 19, 2010, 10:43 PM
I would rather face God having taken a man's life in defense of my family than to face God after letting my family be the victims of said man.

LibShooter
November 19, 2010, 10:45 PM
Jesus says in Mark, "Love thy neighbor as thyself..." It seemes to me if you need to practice active self defense against someone, he's not acting very neighborly and has placed himself outside the protection of that particular commandment.

The Bible endorses all sorts of violence against those who aren't your neighbors.

AKElroy
November 19, 2010, 10:53 PM
We pray for safety of our loved ones. Who's to say that prayer is not potentially providentially answered with a well employed CCH?

therewolf
November 19, 2010, 10:56 PM
I agree with Ohio Gun Guy:

Praise the Lord, and pass the ammunition!

Therefore shall we be the quick, and not the dead...

Arkansas Paul
November 19, 2010, 11:07 PM
I'm with Prion. I'd rather explain to God why I shot someone than explain why I allowed my family to be harmed by doing nothing.
I grew up in a very conservative Christian household, my dad being a minister in fact. He never had any second thoughts about self defense. He didn't view it as a right. He viewed it as a responsibility.

kayak-man
November 19, 2010, 11:31 PM
I am a Christian, but since I don't want this to turn into a religous debate or be focused just on the religous, I'll try to leave scripture out of my answer (For you guys that used scripture, thanks, I was unaware of a few of those verses!)

I think that most people can agree that killing another person as part of a crime (ie, murder) is wrong. Since preventing someone from doing something "wrong" is generally considered the right thing to do, then wouldn't preventing someone from "being evil" by murdering you be the right thing to do?

Cooper said "an unarmed man can only flee from evil, and evil cannot be overcome by fleeing."

One of the best ways I can think of to describe it is doing the wrong thing (killing) but for the right reasons. Its all about the context, so in the big picture you're moraly OK, but you still are going to have to deal with all the emotional burdens that come with it (I have no basis for comparison or any credibility on that matter, but IMO, www.nononsenseselfdefense.com is a good source of info.)

I may be wrong, but I thought that I read somewhere that in the 1800's it was a not too uncommon practice for the Preacher to give a newly married man a bible and a bowie knife, for thier spiritual and physical defense.

gunnutery
November 19, 2010, 11:35 PM
Great post AKpastor. I've been thinking of this topic for a little while now and outside of ecclesiasties, I hadn't dug into the study of this yet in the Bible. Not that I've been second guessing SD, just curious about all the references that apply. Everyone has given great respectful feedback.

Iam2taz
November 19, 2010, 11:42 PM
I am a Christian and have no problem with SD. The verses mentioned above are some of my favorites. However, my favorite that has often been part of my signature is:

Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed. Rescue the weak and needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked. They know nothing, they understand nothing. They walk about in darkness; all the foundations of the earth are shaken. Psalm 82:3-5

ZigZagZeke
November 19, 2010, 11:49 PM
There was a story about a Quaker who went to investigate unusual noises in the small general store that he operated adjacent to his home. As part of his response, he carried a double shotgun...12 gauge, of course. The stranger...so preoccupied with his search to find the cash stash that he didn't notice the peaceful gent standing behind him with the shotgun. When he finally became aware of the old Quaker, he nervously reminded him that he was a pacifist.

The Quaker smiled and said:

"Friend...not for all the world would I harm a hair on thy head...but thou art standing where I intend to shoot."
As a practicing Quaker I've heard and told this joke many times. It's one of the better jokes about Quakers. As a Quaker with a CHL I had to do a lot of sorting out, thinking, reading, and praying in order to arrive at a position I'm comfortable with.

It comes down to this: I may have such great faith in Christ that I am willing to give up my life if it is His will. That decision not to defend myself is a decision I have to make for myself. But it is not a decision I can make for my neighbor, or even a family member. I can't expect them to give up their lives to prove my faith.

My CCW will never be seen unless innocent life is at risk and I am ready to kill an aggressor. Any lesser threat will be dealt with non-violently. I don't believe in war for conquest, but I do believe in police activity which serves and protects innocent lives. I guess my position is that I carry reluctantly, and would use my weapon only as a last resort in a deadly situation.

AKPastor
November 20, 2010, 02:18 AM
It comes down to this: I may have such great faith in Christ that I am willing to give up my life if it is His will. That decision not to defend myself is a decision I have to make for myself. But it is not a decision I can make for my neighbor, or even a family member. I can't expect them to give up their lives to prove my faith.

This really struck a chord with me - I like the way you worded this.

luigi
November 20, 2010, 02:27 AM
However, I challenge you to give me one example of the new testament portraying self defense in a positive light. Now, see if you can find instances of instances of martyrs, and of conflict avoidance.

Peter had a sword in Gesthemene do you think Jesus didn't know it? If self defense wasn't an acceptable concept Jesus would have forbid him to carry the weapon.

Friend...not for all the world would I harm a hair on thy head...but thou art standing where I intend to shoot

Thy , Thee and thou are familiar forms of address to Quakers they would never use them to address a stranger.

Vector
November 20, 2010, 03:42 AM
That IS a theological debate. I know exactly where those verses come from. We really shouldn't go there; it will only get this thread locked. Many believe that God's word is eternal (eternally valid) and unchanging. Those on both sides of that debate should agree to disagree.

The sad thing is way too many threads get locked despite interesting and thought provoking discussions. :(

TexasBill
November 20, 2010, 06:01 AM
I figure God's been around a while so he probably understands.

luigi
November 20, 2010, 06:58 AM
I'm not asking anyone to subscribe to my beliefs

There was a time in my life ,several years ago when I felt that God was asking me to give up my guns, I don’t presume to know why God would ask me to do that but I believe it had to do w/ my placing my dependence on the guns for my safety instead of God. This occurred at a revival meeting about 100 miles from my home and I felt that God was being very specific WRT who got what gun. I had one gun that I hadn’t received any direction regarding and I remember thinking “Since I haven’t been told who to give this gun to I must get to keep it.” At that moment the crowd parted and one of the pastors of my home church stepped out and I felt God say “Give it to him”. Mind you this was in a town 100 miles from home and I had no idea that he would be there. Long story short, I gave away my guns.

For ten years I didn’t own a gun and outside of military qualifications I didn’t fire a gun. But a few years back I felt that I had a release from God to begin to own guns again. I believe that God wants me to carry a gun partially because I am much more circumspect and willing to back down when I’m armed.

In a case where the Bible doesn’t give a clear guideline I believe it is a matter for the believer and God to work out. My hope isn’t in my guns if God told me to put them down tomorrow I would w/ out hesitation.

One of my heroes of the faith is Corrie Ten Boom and I remember praying one day “God I want faith like hers” and as clear as a bell I heard God reply “Do you want to go through what she went through to get it?”

Whether or not I have guns is very minor in the overall scheme of things

I said all that and realized I never actually gave an opinion. Basically God is my protector and if He told me not to defend my self in a given situation He would work it out for the best and if God's best includes my death or the death of my family I'm willing to accept that.

He is no fool who gives up what he can not keep to gain what he can not loose
Nate Saint Missionary to South America Martyred by the Auca Indians

M1key
November 20, 2010, 12:30 PM
QUOTE: "It comes down to this: I may have such great faith in Christ that I am willing to give up my life if it is His will. That decision not to defend myself is a decision I have to make for myself. But it is not a decision I can make for my neighbor, or even a family member. I can't expect them to give up their lives to prove my faith."



Amen....excellent point.

M

cambeul41
November 20, 2010, 12:33 PM
http://www.mouseguns.com/cba.htm

shockwave
November 20, 2010, 01:02 PM
I don't know anything about Christianity, at least, not from a believer's perspective, but I'd think that if god wanted you to be the almighty hand of smiting justice, he'd find a way to let you know.

In my case, it's more like a Shaolin thing. You develop your skills as best you can to prepare for any situation in which you may be called upon to defend the innocent against injustice. (And yes, that could be you, yourself.)

themachine
November 20, 2010, 01:19 PM
Psalm 144:1
"Praise be to the LORD my Rock,
who trains my hands for war,
my fingers for battle." (NIV)

Exodus 20:13
"You shall not murder." (NIV)

Some versions say you shall not kill but in the orginal hebrew it's defined murder. There is a vast difference between the two.

dadof6
November 20, 2010, 01:31 PM
In my research, one illustration of the principle of self defense, and the defense of others, in particular family, is found in the OT. Abraham's nephew, Lot, was taken captive along with members of his family. Not withstanding the lack of a police force, FBI or NCIS :), Abraham formed an 'army' of his family and servants. Armed with clubs, swords and who knows what, they went after the perps and got his family back.

With regard to whether or not the OT is still valid for NT Christians, that is definitely a debate! However, I would say that the entire Bible is an integrated unit, and Christ clearly embraced the OT - he said not one jot or title (little hash marks in the hebrew alphabet) would pass away. In other words he did not come to abolish the OT, (law included) he came to fulfill it.

so my conclusion was that we are obligated to protect others, and possibly ourselves too. There has been way too much 'sentimentalism' that has crept in to christianity. People are responsible for their actions. And if they make a choice to try to harm me or my family, they will reap what they sow.

One important caveat though: I take no pleasure in the thought of possibly ending someone's life before he or she has had a chance to find peace with God. But i believe he is sovereign in the affairs of men, including the lives of those who oppose him.

Excellent thread, and many great responses from all sides of the fence.

mack
November 20, 2010, 09:26 PM
If I claim to be a Christian - then to my understanding that means that I have died to self - I have given my life to Christ - and accepted him personally as my lord and savior. In effect my life by my choice is no longer mine to do my will - but to seek out God and to do his will. His will is that we love him and one another as he has loved us - see 1st Corinthians thirteen for a definition of love. This is a difficult path - as by default every morning one wakes up self-centered and self focused - it takes conscious effort and action to get out of that self-centered mindset and to get God/Christ centered. God’s promise as I understand it is that if we trust fully in him that he will do for us what we cannot do for ourselves - relieve us of sin/pain and give us pure and perfect love and eternal life through him and in him. I also understand that what God has promised cannot be altered or taken away. Hence the phrase - the victory is already won - nothing in this world or beyond it can change that fact. Thus, once one gives ones life to Christ, nothing can prevent God from fulfilling his promise.

If one should truly believe in that - then the trials and tribulations of this world are without terror and harm - for all wounds physical and emotional shall be healed and all transgressions forgiven and we shall know perfect love. Though as human beings we all fall short - God forgives if we truly repent and if we desire to do his will as best we can.


The best description I have heard of the New Testament - is that it is a love letter from God - one in which he tells us that he loves us more than anything and that he wants us to know him as he knows us and to love and be loved as he loves us.

It is my understanding that God’s law or biblical law was made to serve man and that man was not made to serve the law. Under the law our sin would separate us from God and condemn us to death - but because of God’s love for us and Christ’s sacrifice for us - we are not condemned under the law but forgiven. Thus 1st Timothy says that the law was not made for a righteous man - or in other words a righteous man has no need of the law as a guide for he will do what is right and loving and God’s will. Thus the phrase from the Bob Dylan song - to live outside the law you must be honest. The law is still valid and a guide to do what is right, but if one focuses on law to the point of venerating it then one is misguided. The law alone still leads to death as Christ is and was the only truly righteous man - thus Paul’s statement that the law is death - but that it is only through Christ that we are saved. Hence the laws of the Old Testament are still valid in their context as applicable - but one should be careful in one’s understanding or often misunderstanding of them - and should focus on fulfilling God’s will through developing a personal relationship with him through reading his word, through fellowship, and most importantly through heartfelt prayer.

Thus the issue of self-defense. I do not think there is much in the bible, especially the New Testament about it, since it is really a minor issue - compared to the most important question which is are we accepting of God’s love and sacrifice for us. Because if we are accepting then the victory is already won - we are assured of life and love and the trials and tribulation of this world are as nothing or to be counted as gain as they may draw us closer to God.

Now all human beings fall short - we all worry about things that we needn’t worry about - even if we truly are Christian. We too often forget that the victory is already won and that God will judge this world and mete out justice and mercy for everything and everyone.

Therefore, I believe that self-defense is a personal decision - if one is a Christian then it is a decision that should be guided by one’s faith and by the direction of God’s leading as understood though our personal relationship with him. I can fully understand and accept someone deciding that it was not God’s will that they should act to defend their life, just as I could understand and accept someone who understood that it was God’s will for them to defend their life and the lives of their loved ones. Both views in my opinion could be valid and true to God’s will.

The best example that I have heard that explained this to me was a discussion about sin in a group of Christians. One man in the group said that he had sinned by eating a Twinkie that day. Another man said well I had a Twinkie and I like Twinkies and eating Twinkies is not a sin to me. The other man said that yes, eating a Twinkie might not be a sin for others, but that he was overweight and that God had placed it in his heart that he should lose weight and start taking better physical care of himself so that he could provide for his family and be a better and healthier father and husband. The same with self-defense or use of lethal force to defend oneself or others - whether one should do so or not do so depends on what God has placed in your heart - not on some hard fast one size fits all law. God might call one to sacrifice ones life or he might call one to defend ones life.


Edit to add: of course this is just my poor understanding of it - other Christians may disagree - and certainly whether one is or isn't a Christian is also ones personal decision.

mack
November 20, 2010, 10:09 PM
Okay, just finnished posting to this thread and I've killed twice and now trying to kill again. Didn't do so in self-defense - did so out of annoyance and frustration.

Killed two house flies and looking to kill a third that have been annoying the crap out of me.

And then I thought about this thread and wondered - what does God want me to do - and I almost swear I can hear him laughing. :)

armoredman
November 20, 2010, 10:36 PM
I think the Good Lord has a very active sense of humor - ever seen a duck billed platypus?
I am a Christian with a personal belief I won't go into, but I firmly believe that I have the right to defend self and family under God's law. I hope I never have to.

JohnnyOrygun
November 20, 2010, 11:25 PM
I am a Christian, a conservative Christian at that and here are my .02, I will defend my family or loved ones against a random act, I do believe that as Christians there may come a time where we will be attacked for our faith, under those circumstances I am less sure. Some random druggie looking to steal to fund his next fix, then I will defend.

As I said, just my .02 and I don't expect others to agree with me, but that is my take on what Jesus and The Bible indicates.

FROGO207
November 20, 2010, 11:38 PM
If one is a Christian and does not protect them-self and others that are in their charge then in short order they all will become extinct. I am Christian and not yet extinct. Killing someone or something that attempts to kill me or my charges will help me keep the Christian faith alive. So far this has worked out remarkably well as history has recorded.

I am not perfect in any way but am striving to be a better Christian every day that I remain on this earth. I also still target practice cause you never know.....

Sunray
November 21, 2010, 12:36 AM
Never heard the trench prayer? Praise the lord and pass the ammunition.

slabuda
November 21, 2010, 01:35 AM
Who needs "saving" more than someone trying to take your own life, and who better to "save" them than Christ himself?

Ill gladly do my Christian and help them be "saved"....

therewolf
November 21, 2010, 02:16 AM
I know some Mennonites in the Pennsylvania farmlands. Salt of the earth.
Absolutely the finest people on the planet, IMO.

However, pacifist dogma notwithstanding, my impression of them,(right or wrong as it may be) is if you attempt to either harm their family, or interfere with their cash crop, they won't hesitate to immediately send you to the Lord for sorting...

.. and these are some of the most peaceful, spiritual, hard working people you are likely to ever meet.

MTMilitiaman
November 21, 2010, 02:40 AM
I'm not a Christian, but I was raised in a pretty strict small rural town Christian home, and I have retained The Golden Rule as my prevailing view towards life and the world around me. I wrote a poem back when I was in college:

http://i99.photobucket.com/albums/l308/MTMilitiaman/Misc%20pics/AKviolence.jpg

Skribs
November 21, 2010, 03:55 AM
Keep in mind that guns can be used for evangelism. "There are no atheists in foxholes," well, you might convert that mugger or home invader into a prayer-toting believer after you point your .73 caliber long gun at him.

The Lone Haranguer
November 21, 2010, 08:05 AM
http://corneredcat.com/TOC.aspx#Ethics

Manco
November 21, 2010, 08:42 AM
Since preventing someone from doing something "wrong" is generally considered the right thing to do, then wouldn't preventing someone from "being evil" by murdering you be the right thing to do?

Of course it would be right. If God made us in His own image, then I have my own will (to survive, for one thing!) and responsibility to take care of myself and others. God also made the scumbag who decided with his will to kill me for no good reason, and the Golden Rule says that he's going to get exactly what he deserves at the business end of a muzzle. Whether he lives or dies afterward is then God's will.

One of the best ways I can think of to describe it is doing the wrong thing (killing) but for the right reasons.

It's not wrong to preserve the life that God gave each of us, although obviously it should be noted that lethal force against another is a last resort. There must be a reason that we're alive, and in my case I don't think it's to die at the hands of a robber or psychopath. If God wanted that then He would have made me a pacifist, but He gave me a trigger finger and the will to use it when necessary.

Its all about the context, so in the big picture you're moraly OK, but you still are going to have to deal with all the emotional burdens that come with it

To put it bluntly, not everybody gets all torn up about dead murderers. I understand how traumatizing it can be for most to have to kill another person, but think about what that person would have done to you. He didn't exactly "live and let live" so he asked for it--the path he chose was death, and I'd be pretty pissed that he forced me to kill somebody (namely him), but I wouldn't feel bad that he had to die.

Lest I come across as cold, "live and let live" is a philosophy that I hold very dear--life is precious, even when it's a burden, and I wish that nobody had to die ever. That's why I hate it so when people won't leave others in peace, or even worse try to end their lives for some petty reason or none at all. :fire: In my view, those who would kill wrongly are rightly killed in self-defense, period. That's the exception I make to life being precious--the lives of those who would wrongly kill are worthless.

philpost
November 21, 2010, 08:49 AM
Nehemiah 4:14 concerning the rebuilding of Jerusalem: “Don’t be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your families, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes.”

Same, 4:17/18: Those who carried materials did their work with one hand and held a weapon in the other, and each of the builders wore his sword at his side as he worked.

Jonah71
November 21, 2010, 09:53 AM
As a Baptist minister I believe it is my responsibility to have the means and ability to protect family and friends from harm. This includes the congregation of our church. I do carry concealed in church. The Senior Pastor and staff have no problem with that. I have my .38 snubbie IWB now. I see no biblical conflict. But it's a personal choice and I would never pressure another Christian or Pastor to carry. I also pray every morning as I'm getting ready to leave the house that I have absolutely no use for a firearm. Except of course for my trips (lately 4-5 times a week) to the range.

JoelSteinbach
November 21, 2010, 12:28 PM
All thru the First 5 books of the Bible we read that it is our obligation to defend our selves, our neighbors, and our family, These are the the laws that our lord Yashuah followed. And by not doing so we are breaking G-ds law.

bigalexe
November 21, 2010, 02:43 PM
This is about religion and not guns, why is this on THR?

shiftyer1
November 21, 2010, 02:51 PM
Actually it's about religious believes concerning the use of GUNS for self defense. Personally i'm enjoying this thread even though i'm not religious in the least.

Frank Ettin
November 21, 2010, 03:06 PM
And I think a lot of the information on this thread can be helpful in dealing with many common anit-gun and anti-self defense arguments.

esquare
November 21, 2010, 03:58 PM
The Torah is very clear - it is our responsibility to protect ourselves. This isn't a choice as some people think - this is the law. In the new testament, we are told that our bodies are God's temple. We had the responsibility to protect it just as the Jewish nation had the responsibility to protect the temple.

I don't see where the conflict is, but I assume that a lot of this is about not trusting in God to be your provider and defender. I've heard it many times said that carrying a gun is not trusting in God for your protection. I've also heard it preached that we should not save for our future and live for today (give everything to the poor) as savings is not relying on God. (The whole building bigger store houses).

To me, I trust God to take care of me, but I have to do my part as well, and that's the eternal balance of living the Christian life, because the Christian life is not so much about our actions as it is our intentions.

esquare
November 21, 2010, 04:03 PM
This is about religion and not guns, why is this on THR?

I hate to say it but guns and religion do mix (or at least they have been mixed, for better or worse). A lot of the anti-gun mentality of the 20th century has been concocted because of incorrect theological understanding of the Jewish and Christian scriptures, even as we have seen quoted in this thread. Getting religious people to understand that guns aren't against their religion is very much a pro-RKBA activity and something we should all be focused on.

76shuvlinoff
November 21, 2010, 04:25 PM
Actually it's about religious believes concerning the use of GUNS for self defense. Personally i'm enjoying this thread even though i'm not religious in the least.

Same here. Just because I am not a religious person does not mean I would want to be ignorant about a given religious stance on a topic that deeply interests me.

FourteenMiles
November 21, 2010, 04:31 PM
...I forget the movie, and I forget the joke, but the punchline was "I'm a priest, not a saint."

Seems somewhat relevant.

Old krow
November 21, 2010, 04:33 PM
I hate to say it but guns and religion do mix (or at least they have been mixed, for better or worse).

I agree! In fact, I agree so strongly that I think that they should both be in the BoR. Even better, side by side, make them first and second just to show how important they are! ;)

It's an interesting thread to say the least with a lot of good points. It really hasn't gone sideways either.

TheProf
November 21, 2010, 05:03 PM
Christians have the DUTY to protect their family. They are commanded to help the helpless (that certainly applies to protecting children). Christians have the duty NOT to encourage evil from spreading by doing nothing. We are to stop evil. And evil is not stopped by running away.

The 2nd Amendment is a reflection of Christian values. Every adult Christian of sound mind and body ought to get training and arm themselves legally. When law abiding citizens arm themselves, criminal behavior is deterred.

Christianity and Guns are friends. They are NOT enemies.

Old krow
November 21, 2010, 05:38 PM
"I'm a priest, not a saint."

The Count of Monte Cristo - Abbe Faria

cbrgator
November 21, 2010, 06:27 PM
Are there actually religions that disallow self defense? I see no morality or righteousness in a religion that requires a person to allow a criminal to take their life and bans self defense.

I understand historically there have been martyrs who have allowed themselves to be killed. Martyrs, by definition, die for a cause. What cause is advanced by letting someone break into your house and kill you and your family?

Religions do tend to preach non-violence as a rule, but I would think that there is always an exception for legitimate self defense.

EddieNFL
November 21, 2010, 06:36 PM
Personally i'm enjoying this thread even though i'm not religious in the least.

Don't confuse religion with God. They can be mutually exclusive. IMO, everyone is religious in some aspect (for example, I consider atheism a religion).

I agree with the Professor; we have a duty to protect our families and the helpless...Christian or not.

jeepguy
November 21, 2010, 06:48 PM
i am a christian and i have carry license, i have no problem defending innocent life. i know good amount of christians and have only met one who thought you couldn't defend your family with force if need be. he and i had a very long debate over this issue, and sad to say we know longer on talking terms. if we would run into each other we would be civil and polite but would not engage in conversation past greetings. i have served my country and although at the time i was not a christian, if i were it would have been fine. their are and have been some great soldiers who have served both our great country, and their Lord admirable. their have been presidents who were christans and had to send their country into harms way to defend this nation. this line of thought would also mean a christian could never be able to serve as a policeman or some other type of leo profession.

mcmurry
November 21, 2010, 06:57 PM
Let me start by saying, I'm a Southern Baptist conservative and someone who has had a family member(sister) killed by someone I knew for possibly 10 years before he got involved in drugs. Yes, some people are to be martyrs for their beliefs. Yes sometimes the Bible can be misinterpreted for someones personal beliefs. Sometimes, self defense means you don't have to kill the other person. Some times you do. A lot of Christians are against the death penalty because as long as the criminal is alive, God can work in their life to convict them of their sin and convert them. I believe the Bible states that after death, nobody in hell can get into heaven.
Some years back, another forum called "All About Guns" had a posting about sheepdogs, and how soldiers and LEOs and anyone who cared about and protected their loved ones were sheepdogs, protecting their flock. I know approximately where the man who killed my sister lives, but he served his time and as long as he doesn't mess with me or mine anymore, he lives. I believe there's a saying that goes, "Trust in God, but tie up your horse." There's also one that say's don't tempt anyone to sin. If knowing that I'm ready to protect mine keeps someone from sinning by trying to breakin or harm someone in my care, then maybe we both win.

gidaeon
November 21, 2010, 07:19 PM
After seminary, and while pastoring a church for a few years in rural Iowa I frequently carried in the pulpit. I learned a lot about people, including the uglier realities.

My great uncle was a good preacher, he was shot to death in a church parking lot in the '80s.. ironically he was somewhat a pacificist. He did not resist the thug wanting drug money, but it still went bad although those around him survived. This has influenced me.

esquare
November 21, 2010, 07:28 PM
I love the part of the movie The Patriot where Mel Gibson is forming the militia and recruits a bunch of people on a Sunday morning. As they prepare to leave, the pastor (a small, thin, sort of frail guys) put on his hat and joins them. One of those who is staying behind says something like 'you too, pastor?' and his response is 'I have to take care of my flock.'

That guy may have been the gutsiest guy in the whole movie.

Old krow
November 21, 2010, 07:50 PM
As a Baptist minister I believe it is my responsibility to have the means and ability to protect family and friends from harm. This includes the congregation of our church.

My mom's pastor CCWs and if I'm not mistaken, several of the Senior Staff do. For all I know they all CCW there, but I don't think she has a problem with it at all.

cottswald
November 21, 2010, 08:22 PM
While at a favorite sporting goods store, I was perusing the gun counter. I overheard a patron voicing a personal dilemma. He had been debating the morality of self defense with his son - specifically if conservative Christian morality allowed for SD. He did not use the phrase "conservative Christian", but after listening to him, he was espousing the view that the Bible was the final arbiter of morality as far as he was concerned.

The employee listening to him did not know what to say. I decided to chime in as a conservation Christian pastor who also daily carries for SD.

I would not have "chimed in" unless asked to, no matter how well "qualified" I may think I am. People are much more open to suggestion when they ask for it, as opposed to someone offering it on their own.

TheWorstKind
November 21, 2010, 09:42 PM
I would not have minded for a pastor to chime in, had I been the customer.

cbrgator
November 21, 2010, 10:26 PM
I love the part of the movie The Patriot where Mel Gibson is forming the militia and recruits a bunch of people on a Sunday morning. As they prepare to leave, the pastor (a small, thin, sort of frail guys) put on his hat and joins them. One of those who is staying behind says something like 'you too, pastor?' and his response is 'I have to take care of my flock.'

That guy may have been the gutsiest guy in the whole movie.

Here is the actual quote...

A shepherd must tend his flock. And at times... fight off the wolves.

Paul7
November 22, 2010, 01:08 AM
Jesus never condemned anyone for being in the military.

To quote the late Col. Jeff Cooper, an unarmed man can only flee from evil, and evil is not stopped by fleeing.

therewolf
November 22, 2010, 01:21 AM
Hey Guys,

We're Americans! Don't you know God is ALWAYS on OUR side?

Whether we're here defending our homes and family, or in the Middle East pissing away our ENTIRE NATIONAL BUDGET FOR THE NEXT 75 YEARS.

We are always, assuredly, in the spiritual and moral right of things.

AKPastor
November 22, 2010, 02:32 AM
I would not have "chimed in" unless asked to, no matter how well "qualified" I may think I am. People are much more open to suggestion when they ask for it, as opposed to someone offering it on their own.
I didn't jump right in...

The man was asking serious questions and looking for answers and the person behind the counter didn't know how to answer him. He was very pleased that I was willing to talk with him. Also, several other folks ended up joining in - with much the same effect as I have seen here. Several viewpoints and faith backgrounds actually discussing something together.

I think one can usually tell from observing another person and how they are speaking whether they are open to an outside opinion.

I am enjoying everyone's involvement in the thread. Several responses have made me think - especially the reminder that some folks see certain faiths as against self defense when in fact that is not the case. I think I will be better prepared to help educate folks why I believe and live as I do.

For the record, I also carry concealed at church. Several other men do as well. In Alaska we have no need for a concealed carry permit, but several of us are going to take a class together for the additional training we can receive.

Again thanks to everyone and I hope the conversation continues.

tasco 74
November 22, 2010, 03:23 AM
yea tho i walk though the valley of the shadow of death i fear no evil for thou art with me, thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.......................

luigi
November 22, 2010, 10:24 AM
Originally posted by AKPastor The man was asking serious questions and looking for answers and the person behind the counter didn't know how to answer him. He was very pleased that I was willing to talk with him. Also, several other folks ended up joining in - with much the same effect as I have seen here. Several viewpoints and faith backgrounds actually discussing something together.

I would say that as a pastor it would be part of your job description to chime in on that one

mcdonl
November 22, 2010, 10:53 AM
I am a slow learner. After 12 years of private, Catholic school and nine years as an alter boy I took away one thing. Do unto others as you would like them to do to you.

In the case of self defense, I would expect my brother to use whatever force needed to protect himself from me.

Simplified
November 22, 2010, 11:30 AM
Violence is a wrongful action initiated against an innocent party.

Force is an action to stop the improper use of power against an innocent party.

No Christian can or would initiate an act of violence.

Any decent Christian would use any force necessary -- including lethal force -- to stop an act of violence.

Arkansas Paul
November 22, 2010, 11:32 AM
Nice 1st post Sinplified. Welcome aboard!!

AKPastor
November 22, 2010, 12:26 PM
You live up to your username "Simplified"

That is perhaps the best short and specific response to the entire concept.

SuperNaut
November 22, 2010, 12:43 PM
I was raised very conservative LDS I have a lot of stuff I could write, but as is my style I will boil it down:

The odds that you will have to defend yourself against an attacker and having that defense result in death are so slim; that I would view carrying/training to be a martial art that is often practiced but never applied.

RimfireChris
November 22, 2010, 12:58 PM
It involved a lot of thinking but for me it boiled down to this, if God loves us as much as the Bible professes I don't think he would expect any of his children to go down like a lamb before slaughter if it were in our power to avoid it.

Dnaltrop
November 22, 2010, 01:15 PM
(pointing at his signature)

Machiavelli was not very nice, but true nonetheless.

gbw
November 22, 2010, 02:52 PM
Any decent Christian would use any force necessary -- including lethal force -- to stop an act of violence.

Jesus was a dcent Christian. He never did.

Anyway, a great thread. Like most I’m very unwilling to pass judgment on this.

Never the less, and only to sitr the pot, it’s amazing. Over 100 posts – Nearly every one an excuse to justify killing by Christians.

Some posts are short and concise, some even a shade sheepish. Others are a long, tortured dissertation on what God really meant to say (I’m thinking God knows how to say what He means), and some even on what the definition of ‘is’ is. Mostly they read pretty weak, and almost without exception work overtime to skirt the real issue.

One surprise to me, all this smoke from a group who, at the first hint of discussion around the 2nd Amendment, jump on the high moral ground to demand “which part of ‘…shall not be infringed’ don’t you understand?”.

So, the 800 lb. gorilla. In the language of the 2A purists: which part of ‘thou shalt not…’ don’t you understand?

I do admit this thread is the first time I’ve ever seen it as ‘thou shalt not murder’, and I’ve seen a few bibles. I'm surely no Biblical scholar.

Anyhow. The commandment God gave is clear, simple, and precise. It admits no dissembling, no lawyering, no views, no takes, no second guesses. It’s a commandment.

If you manage to read it as ‘…murder’, there is no problem.

If you read it as ‘…kill’, there is no defense.

I don't know the answer, and I sure don't want to be wrong.

esquare
November 22, 2010, 03:11 PM
Here are all the English translations I found:

NIV: You shall not murder.
NASB: You shall not murder.
The Message (paraphrase): No murder.
Amplified Bible: You shall not commit murder.
New Living Translation: You must not murder.
King James Version: Thou shalt not kill.
New King James Version: You shall not murder.
English Standard Version: You shall not murder.
Contemperary English Version: Do not murder.
New Century Version: You must not murder anyone.
God's Word Translation: Never murder.
21st Century King James Version: Thou shalt not kill.
American Standard Version: Thou shalt not kill.
Young's Literal Translation: Thou dost not murder.
Darby Translation: Thou shalt not kill.
Holman Christian Standard: Do not murder.
New International Reader's Version: Do not commit murder.
Today's New International Version: You shall not murder.

The King James Version definitely goofed on this one. :-) There are more than numerous resources on the web that google will find you to explain the original meaning in the Hebrew - both Jewish and Christian perspectives.

Westminster
November 22, 2010, 03:26 PM
There's an extensive treatment of the subject here: http://www.biblicalselfdefense.com/. It covers relevant Old Testament and New Testament passages.

Caleb4387
November 22, 2010, 03:49 PM
David was led by God to kill Goliath. why? becasue he was evil and would have undoubtedly killed many more innocent people.

Same reason we are overseas fighting terrorists in order to prevent another 9/11.

I do believe in being as loving as possible and not doing anything that would escalate a potentially violent encounter and whenever possible I would remove myself from a hinky situation, however, as the old saying goes, violence is not always the answer but when it is it is the ONLY answer.

Col. Plink
November 22, 2010, 03:56 PM
self-defense is expected of christians, as id the defense of others (I'm a black belt and a christian)

LibShooter
November 22, 2010, 03:56 PM
In the language of the 2A purists: which part of ‘thou shalt not…’ don’t you understand?

The difference is with the Second Amendment we can go back to the original source and see it.

The Book of Exodus we read today has been passed down, translated, retranslated to and from at least three languages and massaged for political effect.

Arkansas Paul
November 22, 2010, 04:05 PM
I don't know the answer, and I sure don't want to be wrong.


I don't want to be wrong either, but it's a chance I'm willing to take.

gbw
November 22, 2010, 04:14 PM
The difference is with the Second Amendment we can go back to the original source and see it.

A nice point. We can see the source text, yes. But in both cases not intent, which seems the crux of the argument (and in the 2a case was decreed our way by luck and the thinnest possible margin).

esquare
November 22, 2010, 04:22 PM
A nice point. We can see the source text, yes. But in both cases not intent, which seems the crux of the argument (and in the 2a case was decreed our way by luck and the thinnest possible margin).

It wasn't by luck and Gura did a very good job of (in Heller) presenting the original meaning and intent of the founders from materials we've always had. Those on the bench who didn't agree are of the mindset that original intent is not important. But that's a topic not for this thread.

The meaning of the sixth commandment is pretty clearly understood in Jewish circles - it's origin is known and we can go back directly to the Hebrew to find it's meaning. If anything, it's much more clear cut than the meaning of the 2A (which is pretty clear cut when we look at historical documents of the era).

Naybor
November 22, 2010, 05:45 PM
Jesus said, "I am not come to replace the law (Old Testament), but to fulfill it.

This is Old Testament:

Exodus 22:2

New International Version (©1984)
"If a thief is caught breaking in and is struck so that he dies, the defender is not guilty of bloodshed;

New Living Translation (©2007)
"If a thief is caught in the act of breaking into a house and is struck and killed in the process, the person who killed the thief is not guilty of murder.

English Standard Version (©2001)
If a thief is found breaking in and is struck so that he dies, there shall be no bloodguilt for him,

New American Standard Bible (©1995)
"If the thief is caught while breaking in and is struck so that he dies, there will be no bloodguiltiness on his account.

GOD'S WORD® Translation (©1995)
"If anyone catches a thief breaking in and hits him so that he dies, he is not guilty of murder.

King James Bible
If a thief be found breaking up, and be smitten that he die, [there shall] no blood [be shed] for him.

American King James Version
If a thief be found breaking up, and be smitten that he die, there shall no blood be shed for him.

American Standard Version
If the thief be found breaking in, and be smitten so that he dieth, there shall be no bloodguiltiness for him.

Bible in Basic English
If a thief is taken in the act of forcing his way into a house, and his death is caused by a blow, the owner of the house is not responsible for his blood.

Douay-Rheims Bible
If a thief be found breaking open a house or undermining it, and be wounded so as to die: he that slew him shall not be guilty of blood.

Darby Bible Translation
If the thief be encountered breaking in, and be smitten so that he die, there shall be no blood-guiltiness for him.

English Revised Version
If the thief be found breaking in, and be smitten that he die, there shall be no bloodguiltiness for him.

Webster's Bible Translation
If a thief shall be found breaking through, and be smitten that he die, there shall no blood be shed for him.

World English Bible
If the thief is found breaking in, and is struck so that he dies, there shall be no guilt of bloodshed for him.

Young's Literal Translation
'If in the breaking through, the thief is found, and he hath been smitten, and hath died, there is no blood for him;

earplug
November 22, 2010, 05:50 PM
Ask any Mom. Regardless of religion.

lions
November 22, 2010, 05:56 PM
Anyhow. The commandment God gave is clear, simple, and precise. It admits no dissembling, no lawyering, no views, no takes, no second guesses. It’s a commandment.

If you manage to read it as ‘…murder’, there is no problem.

If you read it as ‘…kill’, there is no defense.
Yes, but is that one word accurately translated through all the years and languages?

God himself killed countless people (flooding the earth, red sea, etc.) so unless you think God a murderer you must believe that He only kills when justified. Therefore it must be read you shall not murder, instead of, you shall not kill. Otherwise God has broken his own commandment.

Hud
November 22, 2010, 06:33 PM
but is that one word accurately translated through all the years and languages?

No, and therein lies the confusion.
In both the Hebrew text of the Old Testament and the Greek text of the New Testament, the word "kill" in the Commandment is "murder".

Exod 20:13 Thou shalt not kill.
(KJV)
7523 ratsach (raw-tsakh');
a primitive root; properly, to dash in pieces, i.e. kill (a human being), especially to murder:
KJV-- put to death, kill, (man-) slay (-er), murder (-er).

Matt 5:21 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment:
(KJV)
5407 phoneuo (fon-yoo'-o);
from 5406; to be a murderer (of):
KJV-- kill, do murder, slay.

keith44spl
November 22, 2010, 07:05 PM
Being an just an ol' Christian lay person...

I pray, O Lord, forgive me for those I have killed in fear and anger.

And others, if it were to fall to me the duty of defense of the innocent, or for the sake of God and Country.


Forgiven,


Dave

EddieNFL
November 22, 2010, 07:09 PM
Jesus was a dcent Christian. He never did.

Firstly, Jesus wasn't a Christian, but is the basis of Christianity (semantics, I know).

Secondly, if you believe in the Trinity Jesus has killed...he just didn't do so while walking the earth as a man.

daorhgih
November 22, 2010, 07:14 PM
... against the money-changers in His Temple, using a cat-o-nine-tails. I bet it hurt. I bet He was mad. And He was well acquainted with swords, telling His disciples that it was O.K. to keep and bear one, or more. A sword has a legitimate place in a civil society. As for how He died, we are not to emulate that, 'though some try. I think that a short sword would equate to a concealable pistol nowadays.

Hud
November 22, 2010, 07:23 PM
Jesus wasn't a Christian, but is the basis of Christianity (semantics, I know).
I was waiting for someone to point that out, Eddie.
I don't think gbw is anti-semantic tho:rolleyes:.

if you believe in the Trinity Jesus has killed...he just didn't do so while walking the earth as a man.
Excelent point.

Ashcons
November 22, 2010, 10:50 PM
I know some naysayer will say there's too much confirmation bias in this post, but that's exactly what was requested, so :neener:.

Nehemiah 4:14 (NIV) After I looked things over, I stood up and said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, "Don't be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes."

If you do not know what sort of man Nehemiah was, you should go read the book (I am learning a lot about prayer from it).

Simplified
November 22, 2010, 10:51 PM
I said:

"Any decent Christian would use any force necessary -- including lethal force -- to stop an act of violence."

Someone else said:

"Jesus was a dcent Christian. He never did."

Sure He did. He slaughtered entire tribes in the blink of an eye, without blinking -- in groups, and often quite painfully -- long before the virgin Mary was ever conceived. Without apology or even much explanation.

He made quick mincemeat of all kinds of scumbags.

Reference: "Before Abraham was, I AM."

cottswald
November 22, 2010, 11:22 PM
Oh the madness!

hso
November 23, 2010, 12:28 AM
And with that last predictable rant after 5 pages (that's about as far as civility stretches around here) this one's served it's purpose.

CoRoMo
November 23, 2010, 10:50 AM
Amen and God Bless.

youngda9
November 23, 2010, 11:10 AM
IBTL.

Some interesting reads here, and points of view I must say.

Neverwinter
November 23, 2010, 01:03 PM
What is the point of the thread? Is it a thread where professed Christians can post about how their adherence to a specific translation of a text is reconcilable with gun related self-defense?

I can see parallels between this and the arguments about which people are really pro-2A.

AKPastor
November 23, 2010, 02:51 PM
I had hoped I had been clear about the point in the opening post. I would say the bold text in the quote is perhaps the direction I was intending.

While at a favorite sporting goods store, I was perusing the gun counter. I overheard a patron voicing a personal dilemma. He had been debating the morality of self defense with his son - specifically if conservative Christian morality allowed for SD. He did not use the phrase "conservative Christian", but after listening to him, he was espousing the view that the Bible was the final arbiter of morality as far as he was concerned.

The employee listening to him did not know what to say. I decided to chime in as a conservation Christian pastor who also daily carries for SD.

Before elaborating on our conversation, I was wondering how others of similar faith might talk with this man.

For some interesting reading, I also suggest
http://www.aplacefortruth.org/Jesus.sword.hammond

From that web page, I like the following quotes:

“I am to love my neighbor as myself, in the manner needed, in the midst of the fallen world, at my particular point in history. This is why I am not a pacifist. Pacifism in this poor world in which we live – this lost world – means that we desert the people who need our greatest help . . . I come upon a big burly man beating a tiny tot to death . . . I plead with him to stop. Suppose he refuses? What does love mean now? Love means that I stop him in any way that I can, including hitting him. To me, this is not only necessary for humanitarian reasons; it is loyalty to Christ’s commands concerning Christian love in a fallen world. What about the little girl? If I desert her to the bully, I have deserted the true meaning of Christian love – responsibility to my neighbor.
- Francis Schaeffer

Any man who refuses to protect his wife and children against a violent intruder fails them morally.”
-attributed to Norman Geisler

As a pastor who is an ardent supporter of 2A and of SD - I am interested in how others express the morality of self defense - because I am confident that defense of self and of others is in fact moral.
bold emphasis not in the original

WardenWolf
November 23, 2010, 04:09 PM
At one point, Jesus tells his apostles to sell their cloaks to buy swords, as they lived in dangerous times. This was shortly before he was taken in the Garden of Gethsemane. The purpose is clearly defense. He does not expect us to make ourselves victim to wanton violence. There is a difference between persecution for being a Christian and just suffering random violence. One of the ways we show our faith is through serving and protecting others, and we cannot do that if we don't protect ourselves.

Freedom_fighter_in_IL
November 23, 2010, 04:27 PM
To any that may have been offended by my last post that HSO decided to delete. Please pardon me for having a mind of my own and not believing in fiction based stories from a book written by men. I was under the impression that the OP was welcoming posts from both believers AND non believers. I guess some moderators tend to think that if someones post does not conform to their way of thinking then it is a rant.

cottswald
November 23, 2010, 05:35 PM
And with that last predictable rant after 5 pages (that's about as far as civility stretches around here) this one's served it's purpose.
And yet the beat goes on!

wrs840
November 23, 2010, 07:07 PM
That CrossBreed SuperTucks come with a Celtic/Christian High-Cross stamped into the leather is proof that God loves us and wants us to carry-concealed in a good-quality IWB. :D

Les

Shimitup
November 23, 2010, 08:53 PM
For the unbelievers that post, be assured that you have the prayers myself and the other believers that the Holy Spirit moves your heart. If for no other reason that this discussion can continue for all eternity! :D

Neverwinter
November 23, 2010, 09:40 PM
For non-Jaina that would take the life of another, I hope that you come to a deeper understanding of ahimsa. Otherwise you could be in for a very long samsara.

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