Posted by: the warrioress | January 30, 2012

Self-Defense, Pacifism, & the Christian

teddy is sick - Teddy in hospital

I’ve been missing in action the last few days due to being under the weather with a cold. I figured it was time to update my blog and answer a few comments I’ve received thus far, though, so I’m here briefly before I head back to bed for the night.

In doing a lot of reading in the bible on this topic, I’ve explored other blogging sites at length, some forums, and have read so many personal takes on where we should stand as Christians on self-defense. I feel that I have finally arrived at something I can live with; this makes me feel more relaxed and ready about whatever may come my way in the future…

 As long as I know I am in the will of God, I can stand strong no matter what the circumstances are. If I feel that my behavior is pleasing to God, I can rest and be at peace in most moments within my life.

I think that finding out about how we should feel on a variety of issues facing us today is imperative if we want peace of mind as a Christian. Christianity is a part of every aspect of my life.  God’s take on things counts. I want to be in God’s will because I have learned to trust and rely on His will, not my own.

Being passive as a Christian or resorting to necessary self-defense demands that I take the time to properly study and learn what the bible says in the OT and the NT and thus learn what God and Christ want from me in this area.

I hope that some of the sources I’ve gathered below will help you decide what you believe as we go forward and think about how else to prepare ourselves for uncertain American and global situations ahead.  See you as soon as I’m feeling better!

Sick Kid - Illustration of a Sick Girl

“Not only are we to take care of our bodies and the life contained. We have an obligation to preserve the body and life of other people. Psalm 82:4 even cites an obligation to protect those who are in danger.”

Psalm 82:4 Rescue the weak and needy; Deliver them out of the hand of the wicked

English: The young Hebrew David hoists the hea...

David destroys Goliath

“We learn more about God’s view of bloodshed from David. David is a man who loved God and who was loved by God. God raised him up to defend Israel. God sent David to physically fight to defend Israel. When David killed Goliath and Philistines in battles, it was at God’s command. They were righteous killings. Now, with that understanding, let’s look at a few passages.”

1 Chronicles 28:3 “But God said to me, ‘You shall not build a house for My name, because you have been a man of war and have shed blood.

1 Chronicles 22:8 But the word of Jehovah came to me, saying, Thou hast shed blood abundantly, and hast made great wars: thou shalt not build a house unto my name, because thou hast shed much blood upon the earth in my sight.

David Slaying Goliath

Image via Wikipedia

“David wants to build a house for the Lord. This is a good desire. But God says, “David, you are disqualified from doing this.” Why? Not because of the murder of Uriah. Not because of his adultery with Bathsheba. It is because of the wars, and because David had “shed much blood upon the earth in my sight.” David had killed men in the sight of God, and that disqualified him from this spiritual service.  But  wasn’t David obeying God in engaging in these wars? Yes. Did David sin in shedding this blood? No. But shedding blood is so significant to God that David was unfit for certain “ministries.” Killing someone is not a light thing. Our culture casually depicts killing. In television, movies, and video games, killing, whether it is legitimate or illegitimate killing, is portrayed with such a frequency that most people are relatively desensitized to it.

Here is the bottom line: Shedding blood, taking the life of another, is a big deal. Your life is forfeit if you wrongfully take the life of another. Even if you take life in a permitted manner, it is serious enough that it can disqualify you from certain types of spiritual service. Even if you are the “good guy”, you are “marked” in the eyes of God. I didn’t say you are guilty. I am merely showing that God viewed Godly David differently because David had killed men (though righteously).

Bloodshed must have the same significance to us. It is never a light thing, even if you are in the right, even if you do it righteously.”

http://www.biblicalselfdefense.com/

—————-

In the New Testament we have such passages as Luke 22:36, which says: ”  Then said he unto them, 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“.  Our Lord encouraged His disciples to get protection for use in self-defense.  Elsewhere in the NT we have Paul saying that one must take care of his own family (1 Tim. 5:18) and, as I said on the main page, this also implies defending them as well. The New Testament does not contradict the Old Testament instruction on self-defense by saying “turn the other cheek”.

http://www.gac.20m.com/self-def.htm

—————-

Another excellent site to read through several wonderful, imformative articles is corneredcat.com. I’ve linked the reader here to several of the articles cornered cat has written that were helpful to me and I hope will be helpful to you. I find that her views are closest to my own as a practicing Christian. I hope they clarify a lot for you on this complex topic. Cornered Cat describes her perspective of her site below:

“This site is about women and guns, not about cats. But in a way, it’s about the cornered cat in all of us. It’s about the determination to get away from an attacker if you need to. It’s about making the decision to say, “Not me. Not mine. Not today.” And it’s about the tools to make that decision stick.

If you have to fight, fight like a cornered cat…”

http://corneredcat.com/Christianity_and_Pacifism/

http://corneredcat.com/Does_an_Attacker_Deserve_to_Die/

http://corneredcat.com/Trusting_God_and_SelfDefense/

There are some other links that I found to be informative and helpful that discussed scripture relative to this issue of preparing the Christian to use a firearm for self defense. The biblical take on it is presented.

http://www.gac.20m.com/self-def.htm

http://www.gac.20m.com/cgsa.html

http://www.gac.20m.com/pratt_Bible_guncontrol.htm

Here is one more reference that I found enlightening and helpful that also discuss self defense as it relates to the bible. This one is really well done:

http://www.biblicalselfdefense.com/

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Responses

  1. “Then said he unto them, 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”

    Just curious – how do we know this passage is about self-defense? There is no indication about what the swords are to be used for.

  2. Cornered cat makes rather a curious suggestion: she claims that actively protecting herself is not at odds with letting God protect her. I’m afraid I don’t understand this. Since your views are similar to hers, I was wondering if you could explain this? (She does not appear to have a forum for commenters on her site.)

    Specifically, I’d like to know how you can even tell if God is protecting you or not, if you are doing all the work yourself? Put differently, if an atheist protects herself by, say, carrying a gun and doing karate, how would this look any different from a Christian protecting herself by carrying a gun and doing karate?

  3. There are various interpretations on this passage and lots of debate regarding whether or not Jesus was a pacifist, teaching pacifism, or encouraging and supportive of the right to arms.

    When one looks at the complete picture biblically, it’s clear that neither God nor Jesus Christ are against self defense, but the warning by Jesus is also clear that one who uses the sword may indeed die by the sword.

    Based upon the many thoughts out here on these passages, I concur with this school of thought, Keith:

    http://www.gotquestions.org/self-defense.html

  4. I was in a precarious situation once at a much younger age. I was doing something I wasn’t supposed to be doing and it was dangerous. It is possible I had put myself into a situation where harm was likely; in fact, based upon what began to occur, harm was certain. I sensed my error but it was too late to alter the situation on my own, at that point. I cringed and bowed my head, definitely cornered, extremely young,& having no choice but to reach out to God Himself for protection through prayer — I called out to Him directly in a shaking, soft, terrified voice. The situation I was in was physically precarious and I was about to be seriously attacked and harmed.

    Amazingly, the situation instantly changed and became something where I was protected and removed completely from the dangerous situation. As soon as my prayers were uttered, the situation changed before my very eyes. It was indeed miraculous. I’ve been protected similarly probably more times than I’m aware, but this particular time was without question, God stepping in and doing the protecting.

    When I protect *myself,* I internally go on instinct, but hopefully with God’s backing. As Christians, we must trust that we have the mind of God enough to make wise, godly decisions as needed in all areas. God can step in or not, but I personally believe He probably does not unless His will for our lives and our purpose through Him has been put into jeapordy by our own missteps. I believe God will correct these missteps, if He must.

  5. I so agree with you! Plus I think people should become aware that we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against wicked rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places Ephesians 6:12, and also the scripture in 2 Corinthians 3:4 For though we walk(live) in the flesh, we are not carrying on our warfare according to the flesh and using mere human weapons. for the weapons of our warfare are not physical(weapons of flesh and blood), but they are mighty before God for the overthrow and destruction of strongholds.

    I strongly believe God through the Holy Spirit gives us Wisdom and Discernment to be able to handle any situations, even those we have willing placed ourselves in. Why somethings happen anyway, THAT I have no answer too, but my faith is strong enough to know that God is still in control. I pray that God will remove the blinders from our eyes to recognize that He has given us power to overcome any circumstance and even though we may walk through difficulties that ALL things work to the good to them who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose.

    You just answered the question about where my place is in the Kingdom of God…through circumstances that I ignorantly participated in there will be somethings I’m just not qualified for…plain and simple. I rest in You Lord and will be content where I am at….for I know that only You can move me towards my path.
    Blessings and Agape Love,
    Debbie


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