The Highway
Posted By: The Monergist Is Self-Defense Christian ?? - Mon Jul 21, 2008 8:02 PM
The question came over a quote by Martin Luther. I have heard it two different ways one is

"Not only do I have a right to defend myself, I also have a duty to protect others"

the other is

"I don't know if I have the right to defend myself but I do know I have a duty to protect others"

I do not know if Luther ever made either comment and if he did I doubt if he was referring to physical self defense. But it does raise the question as to weather self defense is moral, right, Christian behavior or not. I have tried to do a light study of the matter and just come short of finding a clear answer. There is plenty to conceder surly Jesus knew Peter carried a sword that he drew in John 18:10 and he also rebuked him for using it.

Did Israel have an army for no reason, how many times did God say something to effect of "I will defend"

I have also thought as Reformed people how much differently would we see this question as your average Arminian. We would belive that an attacker is there by "divine appointment" and not by chance. That is why I came here for input.

I honestly belive I find answer in Matt 5:39 ...whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.

But my fallen head keeps saying "what if it is a life or death situation?" then I remember 1 Peter 2:23 "when He was reviled, reviled not again; when He suffered, He threatened not" That was a life or death situation.

I will also add when I go to reasoning with my fallen and contaminated mind I don't usualy think of myself, if someone wants to attack me that is fine I am looking forward to being with the Lord. But I can't tell my wife the same thing. Would you honestly tell your wife if someone is tring to rape you don't practice self defence. This is where my strugle comes from, If it is wrong for me then it is wrong for her, right?

With all that said I would appreciate any advice or references. If a passage is coming to mind let me know I probably overlooked several. (I did look at more than the few I referenced) If anyone knows which (if either) of Luthers quotes is correct I would like to know just for curiousity sake.

The Monergist
Posted By: Pilgrim Re: Is Self-Defense Christian ?? - Tue Jul 22, 2008 4:10 AM
Let me simply say up front that I cannot find "pacifism" taught in Scripture. We are taught that brawling and any such thing is to be repented of and avoided. The texts you mentioned, e.g., where Peter cut off the ear of the soldier and was told to put the sword away (Jh 18:10, 11). Yet one must be very careful to not disregard the CONTEXT of both the text and/or the time in which it was written. Force was not to be used to prevent Christ from His appointed sacrifice on the cross. Thereafter, however, it was to be a different matter, e.g.,

Luke 22:36 (ASV) "And he said unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise a wallet; and he that hath none, <span style="background-color:yellow">let him sell his cloak, and buy a sword</span>.

Then, there is this old thread from 2003 Pacifism.

Again, I personally cannot find Pacifism taught in Scripture. Rather, I do find a prohibition against revenge, hatred, vengeance, wrongly anger, murder and such sinful behavior. We are to be good stewards of our bodies and not abuse them, which also surely includes not allowing others to abuse it either. I find it incredulous that anyone (not that you have personally) would suggest that it would be godly, righteous behavior to allow a pervert to molest one of your children or to rape your daughter or wife rather than taking physical action against him. rolleyes2

In His grace,
Posted By: The Monergist Re: Is Self-Defense Christian ?? - Tue Jul 22, 2008 3:11 PM
First of all,Thank You for your input. Some of the point's you brought up had never entered my mind there has been an amount of clarity brought to me.

There are times when I belive my past unregenerate life has so corrupted my thinking that I cannot tell if I am trying to "reason away" something or if I am correct in my interpretation.

Thanks Again
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