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What does the Bible say about physical self-defense & defending ot
Posted 14 February 2009 - 07:25 AM
Posted 14 February 2009 - 08:05 AM
...The general principle which he laid down was, that we are not to resist evil; that is, as it is in the Greek, nor to set ourselves against an evil person who is injuring us. But even this general direction is not to be pressed too strictly. Christ did not intend to teach that we are to see our families murdered, or be murdered ourselves; rather than to make resistance. The law of nature, and all laws, human and divine, justify self-defense when life is in danger. It cannot surely be the intention to teach that a father should sit by coolly and see his family butchered by savages, and not be allowed to defend them. Neither natural nor revealed religion ever did, or ever can, inculcate this doctrine. Our Saviour immediately explains what he means by it. Had he intended to refer it to a case where life is in danger, he would most surely have mentioned it. Such a case was far more worthy of statement than those which he did mention...
The first case is where we are smitten on the cheek. Rather than contend and fight, we should take it patiently, and turn the other cheek...
The second evil mentioned is where a man is litigious and determined to take all the advantage the law can give him, following us with vexatious and expensive lawsuits. Our Saviour directs us, rather than to imitate him rather than to contend with a revengeful spirit in courts of justice to take a trifling injury, and yield to him. This is merely a question about property, and not about conscience and life.
Posted 14 February 2009 - 05:03 PM
If they actually are causing harm, however, you have a right to defend yourself. Why else would there be Christians in the military?
Posted 14 February 2009 - 07:19 PM
The "turn the other cheek" metaphor is more toward if you're being made fun of or just bullied a little. As long as it's not something that would really hurt you, then you should turn he other cheek.
If they actually are causing harm, however, you have a right to defend yourself. Why else would there be Christians in the military?[/b]
I just love the scriptural references in your post.
Posted 17 February 2009 - 03:26 PM
I was having a conversation with someone earlier about this, and I thought I would bring it here to get some more perspectives on it. Basically, he posed the question, do you think God approves of self defense? He cited a passage in the Bible where Jesus tells his disciples not to defend him. But, for example, if someone were to break into your home with the purpose of harming you & your family, is it justified to defend yourself? I understand the whole 'turn the other cheek' concept, but at what point does one stop ignoring and start defending? Where is the line, what to you believe is okay, and do you know of any passages in the Bible that might clarify?[/b]
When Jesus is sending His disciples out--in Luke 22--He tells them to sell their cloaks and buy swords if they do not have any. When Jesus sent them out the first time, He told them to not take anything--but He was still on earth. When He sends them in Luke 22, this time, He won't be physically there protecting them--therefore He admonishes adequate self-defense.
The Bible not only advocates self-defense, but also National defense when being attacked.
Jesus' admonition to "turn the other cheek" was a reference to a personal insult--not physical danger. In the ancient world, the ultimate insult was to slap someone open-handed with the right-hand, then back-hand them across the other cheek with the same hand. Jesus says to not retaliate in kind.
Also, when He said "Those who live by the sword shall die by the sword" He did not mean citizens ho merely wish to protect their own. That refers to people who deliberately cause death and destruction--they will die violently (this can be seen in the War in Iraq--the terrorists are those who live by the sword, the U.S. military are those that cause the terrorists to die by the sword--in the National defense of the USA.
Private citizens neither attack people, nor are they charged with legally upholding the law, like a police officer--the above reference to "those who live by the sword" is thus obviated.
"The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried." ~ G.K. Chesterton
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