I wanted a friendly discussion of a topic (that could not possibly get political) that we don’t really discuss–at least, not in the right way.
Do Christians, under the New Testament covenant, have the right to defend themselves? And I’m talking physically, violently, even. As in, if someone breaks into your house with a gun, do you have the right to shoot them, or even attack them? If someone tries to mug you in a dark alley, can you fight back? What does a Christian do in wartime?
This thought came from Sacred Struggler, who talked about the hypocrisy of being Pro-Life, but also being pro-violence. We value life in the womb, but do we value life outside of it?
First, I’ll give my thoughts, then I’ll open the floor to you guys. These aren’t necessarily Biblical, just what goes through my head.
My initial reaction is “yes, we do,” but I can’t quote a scripture to prove it. As a man and husband, I believe it’s a duty of the husband to defend his family, to prioritize their lives over the lives of other people. I believe that is a Biblical view of the husband–protector of his castle.
There’s a slight hypocrisy in taking life to save it, but then again, if one person will take lives and another person will not, do you do the ugly duty or not? This is where “Pro-Life” gets a new meaning. If the baby is going to kill the mother, then refusing abortion will actually kill two people, not save any life at all. And in the case of mom-or-baby decisions, well…that’s a choice I wouldn’t wish on my enemies.
The Bible says, “Whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.” (Luke 9:24). But if a thug shoots you in the alley, is that losing your life for Jesus? Or is that someone else TAKING your life for their own purposes? I think that verse talks about sacrifice, not death in general.
In that vein, I don’t think someone is going to Hell just because they don’t want to die. To compromise values for the sake of life is one thing, but do enjoy life is not a sin. I can see an argument that it is not fully mature, but not sin. Paul said, “to live is Christ, to die is gain.” (Philippians 1:21), so that means both life and death are good.
I don’t think war is a good thing to pursue, but I do believe it is inevitable. We live in a broken world and war will happen. Do we sit back and take it? Let some foreign power (or God forbid civil) take over without resistance? And when our friends are in danger, do we raise our hands and say, “Can’t help you; I’m a pacifist!” I think war changes things.
“Thou shalt not murder” is not the same as “thou shalt not kill.” Murder is an act of hatred, and hatred is the real sin (as Jesus illustrates in Matthew 5:21-22). To kill, however, is simply to take life. Is it possible to take a life without hate for that person? I believe so.
NOW FOR YOUR THOUGHTS–But a couple of ground rules!
- I’m looking for Biblical arguments; this is a Christian question–try to back your arguments up with Bible, not just opinions.
- However, if you have just a thought or a question rather than an argument, I welcome those, too.
- I don’t care what the Constitution says. This isn’t about American rights; this is about Christian responsibility, which takes precedence over politics.
- Play nice. Someone who disagrees with you is not necessarily your enemy. Remember: I moderate all comments. Those that exhibit hatred will not be permitted.
Ready? Set? GO!