Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Luke 11:21 - Theologically sound RKBA justification?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by campergeek, Jul 28, 2005.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. campergeek

    campergeek Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2003
    Messages:
    224
    Location:
    Eastern Missouri
    Like some others here, I particularly like Luke 11:21, on its face, as scriptural justification for arming oneself for defense. After all, it's hard to argue when Jesus says:

    "When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are safe." (NIV)

    However, in context, this passage is part of Jesus' response when challenged about under what authority he casts out demons. The parable of which this is part compares Satan (the "strong man" in this verse) to Christ "someone stronger" in the next: "But when someone stronger attacks and overpowers him, he takes away the armor in which the man trusted and divides up the spoils."

    So my questions is to the Biblical scholars in the group: Is the usage of this verse applied to our cause weakened by the fact that the "strong man, fully armed" with whom we relate in an RKBA sense is a reference to the devil when taken in context? That is to say - if this verse were to be used in a discussion with other Christians, could they come back to say that obviously Christ isn't arguing for the adversary, but rather against the "strong man" as being overtaken by someone stronger - in this case, Christ.

    Or, do you stand on the position that, regardless of the target of the "strong man" in this case, the factual manner in which Jesus makes the statement establishes it as a truth which could be equally applicable to any good or evil "strong man"?

    Just curious of some other thoughts & interpretations.
     
  2. Uncle Alvah

    Uncle Alvah Member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2004
    Messages:
    307
    Location:
    Duncan, NC
    I'll try this one out.
    To me, the Bible is a living, dynamic, enduring document, able to transcend both space and time. It will last for all time. It is not a Rubicks cube, something to be "figured out" or "solved". The verse you quote, placed in a deep historical perspective, can well be interperted as you say. However, because of the ageless truths put forth in the Bible, a modern interpertation is viable as well. The messages and directives of the Bible, are not frozen in time.
    Much the same as the interpetation of "If a man has no sword...." can have a different, yet still accurate interpetation of the verse, when juxtaposed against the background of the times we live in, as opposed to the "way things were then".
    Any of that make sense to anyone?
     
  3. Lone_Gunman

    Lone_Gunman Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    8,056
    Location:
    United Socialist States of Obama
    Modern "interpretations" of the Bible are like modern interpretations of the Constitution...

    The interpretter twists the words around to justify whatever point he is trying to make.

    Many people have tried to re-invent the Bible to justify whatever current social behaviour they wish to engage in.
     
  4. S_O_Laban

    S_O_Laban Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2003
    Messages:
    858
    Location:
    near Independence MO
    Campergeek: I don't consider myself a biblical scholar, but questions about self defence certainly don't hinge one way or the other over a single passage of scripture.

    I belive the passage stands on it's own, being both common sense and "The truth." The potential reference to the Devil does not IMO weaken the soundness of the statement.

    If you had to pick only one passage to base your argument on... I wouldn't pick this particular one though.... :D
     
  5. Twycross

    Twycross Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2005
    Messages:
    254
    Location:
    FT Bragg, NC
    I do not believe that this passage has much of anything to do with self defence, as 1) SD has absolutely nothing to do with the context surrounding the verse, and 2) even if it did, Jesus does not comment on the morality of being armed. He simply states that the man was armed, to aid the message he was trying to communicate through the parable. In the event that I went to the Bible to argue for SD, it would be from a passage which does have to do with it, probably from the Old Covanent Law (which does grant that right).
     
  6. Coronach

    Coronach Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2002
    Messages:
    11,109
    From the Forum Rules:
    Keep this on the High Road, gentlemen. No, no one has said a single thing that gives me pause thus far, but as the quote says, we've had prior experience with these threads. Discussing the origins of RKBA in judeo-christian theology, A-OK. Turning this into a debate on the merits of a religion or the proper way to interpret religious text will cause us to close it.

    Thank you,
    Coronach
     
  7. abaddon

    abaddon Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2003
    Messages:
    310
    Location:
    Puyallup, WA (USA)
    I really don't think you can apply this verse to self-defense. My main reason for saying this is that Jesus didn't apply it to self-defense - he applied it to the accusation of him being a demon. All it does is assume that a strong man will try to stop a thief from stealing from him. It doesn't say whether or not the strong man is justified in preventing this.

    You correctly applied the story to the context of the original accusation. By taking this verse out of that context to fit your beliefs I think you are doing the Bible a disservice. Even if your beliefs are right about the validity of self-defense (which I believe they are) you are using the Bible for your own purposes rather than taking the information as it is presented. If Jesus wanted to explain the validity of self-defense he would have used this parable (or another parable) in that context.

    I think that God leaves a lot of these questions open for a reason - he is interested in saving both pacifists and gun-nuts. He is more interested in the inner nature of a man's soul than he is in the inconsequential beliefs that person has. The only truly consequential beliefs are the ones that relate to the inner nature of a man's soul.
     
  8. c_yeager

    c_yeager Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2003
    Messages:
    5,479
    Location:
    Seattle
    I would say the same, only without the "modern" part. ALL interpretations of the bible have a bias, just because it is old doesnt mean it isnt there. However, if one doesnt read Hebrew and Aramaic then they are pretty much resigned to accepting this bias.
     
  9. Taurus 66

    Taurus 66 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2004
    Messages:
    1,485
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    Well did Jesus actually make this statement or did Luke? Was Jesus himself armed? Had Jesus made this statement, would he have "practiced what he preached" and killed an intruder if so be it?
     
  10. bogie

    bogie Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2003
    Messages:
    9,569
    Location:
    St. Louis, in the Don't Show Me state
    Did Jesus or Luke make that statement?

    Sheesh. Some translator, working for some king, whipped that one out.
     
  11. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    9,698
    Location:
    Forestburg, Texas
    Luke 11:21 is not a justification of RKBA. It is just an observation on keeping possessions safe.

    It is about as much justification for RKBA as it is a justification for the use of lethal force in defense of property. Note that the passage refers to possessions and not family or loved ones.
     
  12. TonyB

    TonyB Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    2,153
    Location:
    Schodack NY
    I'm not sure if Jesus himself was armed..but his "boys" were..the the garden Peter cut off that soldier's ear..so he was armed......I believe God gave most of us common sense....that tells me to be armed..... :cool:
     
  13. Hawkmoon

    Hawkmoon Member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2004
    Messages:
    3,454
    Location:
    Terra
    Even though in another passage Jesus advised the twelve to sell their cloaks to buy a sword, I believe he admonished Peter for using his sword against the soldier, so taken in full context this probably isn't a good argument for the RKBA, either.

    This isn't from the Bible. Dunno if you're Roman Catholic (I am not), but the following quote from the recently-departed Pope seems interesting, considering the source:

    "Legitimate defence can be not only a right but a grave duty for someone
    responsible for another's life, the common good of the family or of the
    State"--Pope John Paul II, 1995
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2005
  14. cordex

    cordex Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2002
    Messages:
    2,714
    Location:
    Indiana
    But look at the context of that admonishment.
    (emphasis mine)
    Christ didn't tell Peter to throw the sword away. Nor did he tell him to never use a sword in defense. Rather, he said (paraphrasing) "This is something I must do. Now is not the time to defend me. Now put that sword back on your hip."
     
  15. campergeek

    campergeek Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2003
    Messages:
    224
    Location:
    Eastern Missouri
    Thanks for the replies so far, and thanks for keeping this on the High Road. While I posted in the hopes of hearing some different opinions on the use of this verse, I certainly don't intend to start a war of interpretation.

    To clarify the discussion, like others I don't think this verse is applicable to self defense in all cases. However, if a bible-believer is asked by another believer why they keep or carry guns in their home, then Luke 11:21, on its face, is a pretty clear endorsement. My main concern was whether or not that argument could be shot full of holes when the verse is put into context.

    Personally, I don't think there is any one, or any collection of verses on which to base an argument. Like others whom have posted, I don't think we can (well, we can, but not appropriately) use the Bible to prove our own points. Rather, we should mold our perspectives to fall in line with the Bible. By researching scripture we can find whether our stance is in agreement with, or contrary to Biblical teaching. That's kind of why I started this thread.

    S O Laban, along these lines you said:

    Perhaps you would add something like:

    "Behold, the Lord slayeth the wicked to bring forth his righteous purposes"? ;)
     
  16. Dave R

    Dave R Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Messages:
    3,628
    Location:
    Idaho
    That's as good a quote as I have heard on that subject. Thanks for sharing that, Hawkmoon.
     
  17. Lennyjoe

    Lennyjoe Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    6,069
    Location:
    Southwestern Ohio
    I'm assuming since I have that quote below that I must answer the question at hand.

    I have a right to protect my family, my home and my possessions. The bible verse, though not specifically related to the 2nd Amendment, pretty much sums up what I believe is true. If you, a father, remains strong in your house and have the means to protect it (arms) then your family and posessions will be safe. If you become weak then your family will be vulnerable to today's influences and you can loose your family and that which you posess.

    Material posessions mean little to me, but family is above everything else. So maybe the word posessions is not the appropriate word and family should be but our Lord didn't say it that way.

    On that note, lets move on and get back to what really matters. Our rights that we are loosing everyday and how to stop the madness.
     
  18. alpineman

    alpineman Member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2005
    Messages:
    49
    Location:
    South Central KY
    On another discussion board, I use Luke 22:36 as my signature line: "But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip, and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one."

    An RKBA argument if I've ever heard one. In Luke, that's just before Jesus is arrested. To me, that says (very loosely translated), "I'm about to be outta here, and things are about to get ugly. Arm and take care of yourselves." Now, I'm NOT a Bible scholar, but ever since I've been a gun owner, I've kept that one in mind. (Not to push my beliefs on THR ... I'd hate to be the jerk who got the thread shut down...)
     
  19. halvey

    halvey Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2004
    Messages:
    1,914
    I disagree.

    Translate: To render in another language.
    interpret: To explain the meaning of.

    See this has been the problem for centuries. A simple translation is no different than translating a letter from German to Spanish. In the english language, different words can mean multiple things. Like some could take the word "translate" to also mean something similiar to interpret. The problem isn't the original languages or what the "meaning" of the bible is. The problem is the english language keeps changing. Check out the 1611 translation of the bible with the "thee's" and
    "thou's". It is harder to make sense of.
     
  20. CZ 75 BD

    CZ 75 BD Member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2003
    Messages:
    755
    Location:
    The Heart of Dixie
    Weellll.....

    Let's continue reading through verse 22 "But when someone stronger attacks and overpowers him, he takes away the armor in which the man trusted and divides up the spoils."
     
  21. carebear

    carebear Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2004
    Messages:
    4,373
    Location:
    Anchorage, AK
    As my pastoral team is fond of saying, "Any text, out of context, is pretext."

    We'd all have a lot fewer "religious" arguments if people didn't take their preconceived ideas and go fishing for justification in Scripture. There's enough there that, if you wanted to, you could pull out individual verses to justify most anything.

    The key to Scripture is to read for overall consistency and context, both of the direct subject but also the socio-political situation surrounding.

    I shy away from "pulling out" individual verses to prove my personal opinions. I'd rather look to the totality.

    One well put together argument I like (that does include that verse in its totality) is at http://home.sprynet.com/~frfrog/religion.htm . Even so, he is still going into Scripture for justification, on a matter which, like so many others, really should rest on one's personal relationship with G-d alone.
     
  22. Hawkmoon

    Hawkmoon Member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2004
    Messages:
    3,454
    Location:
    Terra
    So, shall we regard this as a Biblical way of advising us to always have enough gun? :neener:
     
  23. richyoung

    richyoung Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2004
    Messages:
    495
    Location:
    lawton, Oklahoma
    In a larger sense, you can't make a distinction between a PERSON and their POSSESSIONS. Some "partialists", (to coin a word) will admonish you that , "Well, you can use deadly force to protect your life, but don't you DARE use it, or even threaten to use it to protect yor property - it's illegal, (as it is in some circumstances, but I advise you not to steal car rims or rustle livestock or farm equipment at night in Texas...), and immoral, (patently false....). THINK about it - why does the bank have a guy in uniform with a .357 Magnum on his hip? It ISN"T to save the lives of the employees and patrons, but rather to DETER possible THEFT OF PROPERTY with the (implied) threat of deadly force. Same for armored cars - if it is IMMORAL to use deadly force to protect property, why are armored cars carrying armed security, rather than simply "giving the robber what he wants", as the poor simple citizens are advised to do? Why does the armed forces have armed guards? Why do we HAVE armed forces? Isn't resisiting an invasion "using deadly force to protect property"? If someone is taking or destroying your property, you have a right and a duty in almost all jurisdictions in the United States, to hold that person for authorities - in effect, to make a citizen's arrest. This is the same authority by which a policeman outside of his jurisdiction arrests someone. In almost all jurisdictions, the law recognizes that just yelling, "Stop, theif" is probably not going to work, and allows the use of reasonable force, up to and including deadly force, to effect such an arrest - understandably, some felons attempt to attack their detainer and continue their crime spree. These laws were added BECAUSE people USED to just shoot or lynch such criminals on the spot - juries of the day, (much like the OJ and MJ trials, but for different reasons...) simply refused to convict people in such circumstances. Your stuff is YOUR stuff - it took you part of your life to make it or earn the money to buy it. From the Dred Scott decision: "Thus the rights of property are united with the rights of person and placed on the same ground by the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution, which provides that no person shall be deprived of life, liberty, and property without due process of law. " The verse quoted simply recognized, for use in a parable, the (then-universally) understood principle that theft was to be resisted, even with deadly force. Interestingly, this same principle is the justification for defending your wife (wives, at the time..), and children - they weren't considered "people" as such, but, along with slaves, livestock, indentured servents, handmaidens, and concubines, were a particular class of property known as "chattels" - as such the "master" (owner) had more restrictions on their treatment and disposal, and more obligations to them, (like protecting them) - but they were still property. Thats why you had to pay a dowry to get married - either with a period of servitude, or gold or livestock - ("How many goats for the pretty one? That's too much - how much for her older sister with the crossed eyes?")
     
  24. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2003
    Messages:
    48,744
    Location:
    0 hrs east of TN
    I'm not sure I'd use this out of context with a knowledgable Christian who is a student of the bible.

    The verse is related to Jesus's response to the naysaying of the crowd after he's driven out a demon. It illustrates that evil may be strong, "strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are safe", but that through the greater raw power of god, "But when someone stronger attacks and overpowers him, he takes away the armor in which the man trusted and divides up the spoils.", it can be defeated.

    As such I don't think I'd want to have a Christian RKBA-fencesitter associate me with the demon cast out.
     
  25. tuna

    tuna member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2004
    Messages:
    349
    Location:
    Western MA
    By quoting random verses from the Bible (or any book for that matter) you can say anything to support any argument. After all, Satan himself was able to quote the scriptures pretty well to Jesus when he was tempting Him in the desert. For this reason, you have to look at the whole picture.
    While many quote the Gospel of Luke for the seemingly pro-gun (pro sword?) stance, all the Gospels agree that when Jesus was arrested, Peter had a sword and cut off the ear of a soldier (or struck him, in any case, the sword was there). Had the New Testament been meant to give credence to being disarmed, Peter would not have had the sword, since I'm pretty sure Jesus would have told him he doesn't need it at some point.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page