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Introduction

One of the subjects that is frequently discussed among believers is the topic of self defense. The basic question that arises about that subject is as follows:

Is there any type of situation, in which it is permitted for a believer to use physical force, in order to defend himself (or others) from a violent assault?

Of course, as the apostle Paul tells us, Scripture contains all of the information that we need, in order for us to be “trained in righteousness”:

2 Timothy 3:16-17 (ESV):

16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

So, let’s investigate Scripture, to determine what it has to say about the subject of self defense.

 

Explicit Passages about Self Defense

Whenever Scripture is being consulted, about any given issue, it is always best to look for explicit statements in Scripture, about the issue in question. That is, we should always look for passages in Scripture which directly address the issue – rather than trying to make inferences about the issue, from passages that do not directly address the issue.

The reason for this, of course, is because explicit statements are “incontrovertible” – that is, they are not “open to interpretation”. On the other hand, inferences can be interpreted, in any way that a person sees fit – so that people can justify almost any doctrine by using their own, personal inferences. (Note that the entire doctrine of the Trinity is based upon inferences…)

It turns out that there are some passages in Scripture, which explicitly address the issue of self defense. Two of those passages are described in the next two sections, below.

 

Explicit Passage #1

First, take a look at the following passage, which directly deals with the subject of self defense:

Exodus 22:2-3 (ESV):

If a thief is found breaking in and is struck so that he dies, there shall be no bloodguilt for him, but if the sun has risen on him, there shall be bloodguilt for him.

As shown, that passage describes a situation in which a thief breaks in to a house; and then the householder catches the thief in the act, and struggles with him. The passage explicitly states that if the thief ends up getting killed in that struggle, then the householder is NOT guilty of murder.

Of course, that passage does not state that killing the thief is the “ideal” outcome; but it does state that a householder bears no guilt, if the thief dies while struggling with the householder. As a result, that passage clearly indicates that a householder is permitted to defend his home, from intruders who break in to it.

The main “confusion” about the above passage regards the “second half” of it. That passage concludes with: “if the sun has risen on him [the thief], then there shall be bloodguilt for him”. Many people believe that this means the following: If the householder catches the thief breaking in during the nighttime hours, then the householder is not guilty if the thief dies – but if the thief is caught during the daytime hours, then the householder is guilty if the thief dies. That explanation does not make much sense, though, for many reasons. Most obviously, if that is what the passage meant, then it should have started out by saying: “If a thief is found breaking in during the night”. However, the passage does not say that – it just says “breaking in” – with no specification about when the thief is breaking in.

It turns out that the phrase “sun has risen” is a Hebraic idiom for the passage of time. In many cases, when a Hebraic passage refers to the sun rising or setting, it is referring to time passing by. So, in this case, the phrase “if the sun has risen on him” apparently refers to time passing, after the thief has broken in to the home. That is, it refers to a point in time after the break-in has occurred.

As a result, it appears to me that that passage states the following (in paraphrase):

“If a householder kills a thief, while the thief is in the act of breaking in to the householder’s home, then the householder will not be guilty of murder. However, if the householder kills the thief, after the thief has left the home, then the householder will be guilty of murder.”

So, from what I can see, that passage states the following: A householder is permitted to defend his home from an intruder, while a break in is occurring – and if the intruder end up dying in the struggle, then the household is not guilty of murder. However, a householder is not permitted to “hunt down” and kill an intruder, after a break in has occurred. That is, the householder is not permitted to conduct “vigilante” style justice.

In any case, that passage definitely states that we are permitted to use force for self defense (and for the defense of our households). So, that passage explicitly allows for the use of force in self defense.

 

Explicit Passage #2

Now, consider this passage, which also has a direct bearing on the subject of defending ourselves and others:

Deuteronomy 22:23-27 (ESV):

23 “If there is a betrothed virgin, and a man meets her in the city and lies with her, 24 then you shall bring them both out to the gate of that city, and you shall stone them to death with stones, the young woman because she did not cry for help though she was in the city, and the man because he violated his neighbor’s wife. So you shall purge the evil from your midst.

25 “But if in the open country a man meets a young woman who is betrothed, and the man seizes her and lies with her, then only the man who lay with her shall die. 26 But you shall do nothing to the young woman; she has committed no offense punishable by death. For this case is like that of a man attacking and murdering his neighbor, 27 because he met her in the open country, and though the betrothed young woman cried for help there was no one to rescue her.

The above passage discusses what the punishment will be, if a man has sex with a “betrothed” woman – i.e., a woman who is engaged to be married to someone else. Of course, that sex is considered adultery. The passage makes an enormous distinction about the punishment for that sin, based upon where the sin occurred. If it occurred in the countryside (i.e., a rural area), then only the man will be executed; but if it occurred in a city, then both the man and the woman will be executed.

The reason for this is that if the sex occurred in a city area, then the woman could have yelled for help, if she had not wanted to have sex – and if she had yelled for help, then she would have been rescued by other people in the city. So, if the sex occurred in a city area, then that implies that the sex was consensual – and therefore, the woman is held accountable for it. If it occurred in a rural area, though, then the woman had no possibility of being rescued – so in that case it is assumed that the sex was not consensual (i.e., that it was rape).

There is a very important “ramification” of the above passage – one that many people miss. As noted above, if a woman is being raped in an urban area, then she has the ability to yell for help – so that she can be rescued from that crime. That, in turn, indicates that if people hear a woman yelling for help, because she is being raped, then they are obligated to use force to rescue her. In other words, the above passage tells us that people are required to use force, in order to rescue a woman from rape!

Of course, that means that it is definitely permitted to use force, in order to defend other people. In fact, in this case Scripture tells us that it is actually mandatory to use force, to defend a woman from rape.

 

Common Objections

As noted above, Exodus 22:2-3 and Deuteronomy 22:23-27 directly address the issues of self defense and the defense of others. Those passages explicitly state the following:

A householder is not guilty of murder, if he kills a thief who is in the act of intruding in his home.

People are required to use force, to rescue a woman who is being raped.

Those statements are very clear and explicit – i.e., they are not “open to interpretation”. Also, there are no explicit statements in Scripture to the contrary – for example, there are no passages which state that a householder is guilty of murder if he kills an intruder. So, given that fact, there should not be any “controversy” about the above two statements – because 2 Timothy 3:16-17 tells us that all Scripture is inspired by God, and is useful for training in righteousness.

Nevertheless, some groups try to make inferences, based upon other passages, to claim that it is never permissible for believers to use any type of force in self defense – despite the explicit statements listed above. It turns out that the passages which are quoted for those inferences do not actually address the issue of self defense at all. In other words, those passages are completely “irrelevant” to the topic of self defense. The sections below describe some of those passages; along with demonstrating that those passages do not address the subject of self defense.

 

Turn the other cheek

One of the most frequently-quoted passages, when discussing the issue of self defense, is the famous “turn the other cheek” passage, in Matthew 5:39:

Matthew 5:39 (ESV):

39 But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.

Some people interpret the above passage to mean that followers of Jesus must never use physical force to defend themselves – even if someone is trying to physically harm them.

However, in the ancient Jewish culture, a slap was intended as an insult – i.e., it was not intended to physically harm anyone. So, when Jesus tells us to turn the other cheek after a slap, he is evidently telling us to forgive people when they insult us – rather than to “insult the person back”. In other words, that passage does not have anything to do with self defense – i.e., it does not deal with a situation in which a person is trying to harm or kill us.

 

Love your neighbor as yourself

Another very frequently quoted passage on this subject is the “love your neighbor as yourself” commandment, in Matthew 22:39 and Mark 12:31. Many people believe that that passage completely prohibits all use of physical force by Christians – even in self-defense. The basic belief that some people have about that passage can be summed up as follows: “If you love your neighbor, then you will never use any physical force against him – even if he is trying to murder you”.

However, when Jesus gave us that commandment, he was directly quoting the Old Testament – to be specific, he was quoting Leviticus 19:18. So, it is very instructive to read through the context of that commandment. Here is that passage:

Leviticus 19:17-18 (ESV):

17 “You shall not hate your brother in your heart, but you shall reason frankly with your neighbor, lest you incur sin because of him. 18 You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.

As shown, that passage is referring to “harboring hatred” towards other people. Basically, that passage tells us that we must not “bear a grudge” against other people – instead, we must forgive them for the wrongs that they do to us.

As a result, the “love your neighbor as yourself” command from Jesus does not have anything to do with self defense – instead, it has to do with forgiving people who sin against us.

 

Blessed are the meek

A third passage that is used to try to make inferences about self defense is the “blessed are the meek” passage, in Matthew 5:5. In our current culture, the term “meek” has come to mean someone who is irrationally submissive – for example, someone who would allow his daughter to be assaulted right in front of him. So, with that definition of “meek”, some groups claim that all believers must always allow themselves (and their families) to be injured and killed by others.

In the Bible, however, a “meek” person is someone who is humble – i.e., a person who has a very modest idea about his own importance. That is, in the Bible, a meek person is someone who is not prideful – as opposed to someone who is irrationally submissive. So, the “blessed are the meek” passage does not refer to self defense at all – instead, it tells us that we should not be prideful.

As a result, the “blessed are the meek” passage also does not have anything to do with defending ourselves from a violent attack.

 

Blessed are the peacemakers

Yet another passage that is quoted on the self defense topic is the “blessed are the peacemakers” passage, from Matthew 5:9. Certainly, it is imperative for believers to make every effort to live at peace with everyone else. Unfortunately, in some cases other people refuse to be at peace with us. For example, in some cases a person will initiate violence against a believer – despite the believer’s best efforts to live peacefully with everyone. As it turns out, the apostle Paul alluded to that very fact:

Romans 12:18 (ESV):

18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.

That verse acknowledges the fact that in some cases, peace does not depend on us – because other people force violence upon us, despite our best efforts.

So, the “blessed are the peacemakers” passage tells us that people who make every effort for peace are certainly blessed – but it does not state anything about cases in which other people force violence on us. As a result, that passage does not address self defense at all.

 

Do not repay evil for evil

Finally, Romans 12:14 and 17 are sometimes referenced when discussing the self defense topic. Those verses state the following:

Romans 12:14,17 (ESV):

14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.

17 Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all.

Those verses specify two basic commands: First, that that we must do good to those who hate us; and second, that we must not take “revenge” against someone who has sinned against us (whether the sin involved violence or not). There are several items to note about those verses. First, many people are unaware that both of the above commandments were first mentioned in the Old Testament. Here are two examples of such OT passages:

Exodus 23:5 (NIV):

If you see the donkey of someone who hates you fallen down under its load, do not leave it there; be sure you help them with it.

Leviticus 19:18 (NIV):

18 “‘Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.

So, Paul was not giving us any “new” information in Romans 12:14 and 17 – instead, he was reiterating commandments that had already been stated in the Old Testament.

The other item to note is that by definition, taking “revenge” means inflicting harm, in retaliation for a previous incident. An example of this is as follows: First, one person harms a second person; and then – at some later point in time – the second person harms the first person, as “revenge” for the initial harm.

The reason why this is important is because the “second half” of Exodus 22:2-3 directly addresses the issue of revenge. As shown above, the first part of that passage states that a householder is not guilty of murder, if he kills a thief while the thief is in the act of breaking in to the householder’s home. However, the second part of that passage states that the householder is guilty of murder, if he “hunts down” and kills the thief, after the break-in is over.

As a result, Exodus 22:2-3 agrees that “revenge” is not permissible. However, that passage also states that a householder is permitted to defend his home – with physical force – while a break-in is occurring.

Overall, the “do not repay evil for evil” passage prohibits us from taking revenge for an injury, after the fact – but it does not prohibit us from defending ourselves, from an attack that is currently occurring. In other words, that passage does not have anything to do with self defense.

 

Conclusion

The overall issue of self defense is rather “theoretical” to believers who live in Western countries – because the vast majority of believers in Western nations will never face a violent assault, during their entire lives. Sadly, however, believers in other countries face violent assaults on a regular basis. For example, there have been many, many documented cases of intruders breaking in to believers’ homes, and raping the women who live in the homes, in many countries around the world.

Given that fact, here is a very poignant question: If an intruder breaks into a believer’s home, and then attacks the believer’s wife to rape her, is the believer permitted to use physical force to defend his wife?

According to Scripture, the answer to that question is yes – the believer is definitely permitted to use physical force. In fact, in this particular case, Scripture states that it is not just permitted, but actually mandatory for the believer to use force against the intruder – because Deuteronomy 22:23-27 tells us that people are required to use force to rescue women who are being raped.

Even in the above, extreme situation, I would say that it is still incumbent on the believer to use as little force as necessary, against the intruder. For example, the believer should try to use non-violent force first – to try to restrain the intruder, or to drive him away. If that is not possible, then he should try to just injure the intruder, to incapacitate him. Lethal force should always be the absolute last resort – even in extreme cases like this one.

It is important to note, however, that whenever a physical struggle between people takes place, the possibility always exists that a person will end up dying in the struggle – even if the death was not intentional. For example, if a believer is struggling with an intruder to try to restrain him, then the intruder might end up slamming his head against the corner of a table, or slicing his neck on broken glass – and end up dying. In such a case, Exodus 22:2-3 explicitly states that the believer is not guilty of murder for killing the intruder.

 

As mentioned above, the “love your neighbor as yourself” command from Jesus is actually from the Old Testament – that is, Jesus directly quoted the Old Testament when he gave us that instruction.

It turns out that there are many other well-known statements in the New Testament – from both Jesus and the apostles – that are also taken from the Old Testament. The following post contains some of the more “famous” passages in the New Testament, which are directly based on information from the Old Testament:

Eight “Links” Between the Old and New Testaments

 

19 Responses to “What does Scripture say about Self Defense?”

  1. on 16 Aug 2015 at 12:56 amTimoteo

    Brian,

    I have always been interested with this subject and you have written a great paper about it.

    To start, take a look at this link:

    http://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/revelation/revelation-19/revelation-19-14.html

    Timoteo

  2. on 17 Aug 2015 at 10:39 amJas

    Timothy
    I think Brian is spot on. There should be no enjoyment or ego if one truly loves humanity .

  3. on 17 Aug 2015 at 9:03 pmBJ

    Can we use Exodus 2:2-3 if we don’t intend to use verse 18?

  4. on 17 Aug 2015 at 10:04 pmBJ

    And the passage from Deuteronomy?? If we use that, does that mean that we can no longer plow with a donkey and ox together? What am I missing?

  5. on 18 Aug 2015 at 9:48 amJas

    BJ
    Have you ever tried to plow with a donkey and ox together? See how that goes for you,the donkey and the ox then ask.
    To be relevant to this post the question should be, Would it be ok to plow with a donkey without an ox ?
    I would say if you wanted to be included into the promises God made to Israel then you should consider how any of these apply to you. If you are fine with the promise God made to the gentiles then do as your conscience leads you but you might find plowing with a donkey and an ox might not be advisable

  6. on 18 Aug 2015 at 10:20 amTimoteo

    Jas,

    I prefer plowing with an airconditioned John Deer tractor!

  7. on 18 Aug 2015 at 1:20 pmBJ

    So, are you guys okay with applying some of the teachings from Exodus and Deuteronomy to explain how we should live today while kind of ignoring the ones that seem less convenient? We can kill an intruder because of verses quoted above in Brian’s post, so can’t we also say that it is okay to kill a witch?

  8. on 18 Aug 2015 at 1:42 pmJas

    BJ
    Without the priesthood or Holy Spirit then we should tread carefully. The Priesthood and the High priest were to teach these things and the Holy Spirit was to be poured out on them to teach them . But what was moral according to God will always be moral.
    Every death by defense will be judged by God.
    Like I said these Commandments are only binding on someone who has entered the promises to Israel from God which in NT times they were to have the Holy Spirit teach them all things according to the Law.
    You would know if they were binding on you, you alone

  9. on 20 Aug 2015 at 9:56 amSean

    Brian,

    Thank you for your article on an important subject. I find myself unconvinced in believing it is ok to kill people even if they are attacking me. Beyond the scriptures you cited, here are some more that constrain my thinking on this:

    Matthew 5.5
    Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

    A meek person, according to Merriam-Webster, is someone who endures injury with patience and without resentment.

    Matthew 5.9
    Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God

    This does not refer to those who use violence in an effort to bring about peace, but those who “do peace” hence the vulgate translation which says “beati pacifici” = “blessed are the pacifists”

    Matthew 5.43-48
    43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

    So far as I understand it, love is acting for someone’s good. I can see using violence for someone’s good if it stops then from committing acts of evil. However, killing someone cuts that person off from ever inheriting kingdom. The Jews lived in an occupied nations dominated by Roman soldiers. If there was ever a just war of rebellion, that would have been it. However, Jesus counsels love rather than armed revolution.

    1 Peter 2.21-24
    21 For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you should follow in his steps. 22 “He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.” 23 When he was abused, he did not return abuse; when he suffered, he did not threaten; but he entrusted himself to the one who judges justly. 24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that, free from sins, we might live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.

    Christ is our example. His death was not only to atone for our sins, but also to provide us an example on how to handle abuse, torture, and even death.

    Romans 12.14, 17-21
    14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them… 17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all. 18 If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave room for the wrath of God; for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” 20 No, “if your enemies are hungry, feed them; if they are thirsty, give them something to drink; for by doing this you will heap burning coals on their heads.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

    1Thes 5.15
    See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone.

    Here, Paul echoes Jesus’ statement of “resist not an evil person” with the phrase “do not repay anyone evil for evil.” Feed the enemy rather than kill him. With no qualifications, the apostle commands “never avenge yourselves” and “always seek to do good to one another and to everyone.”

    1 Peter 3.8-16
    8 Finally, all of you, have unity of spirit, sympathy, love for one another, a tender heart, and a humble mind. 9 Do not repay evil for evil or abuse for abuse; but, on the contrary, repay with a blessing. It is for this that you were called– that you might inherit a blessing. 10 For “Those who desire life and desire to see good days, let them keep their tongues from evil and their lips from speaking deceit; 11 let them turn away from evil and do good; let them seek peace and pursue it. 12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” 13 Now who will harm you if you are eager to do what is good? 14 But even if you do suffer for doing what is right, you are blessed. Do not fear what they fear, and do not be intimidated, 15 but in your hearts sanctify Christ as Lord. Always be ready to make your defense to anyone who demands from you an accounting for the hope that is in you; 16 yet do it with gentleness and reverence…

    Here Peter, likewise echoes Jesus command with the words, “Do not repay evil for evil or abuse for abuse.” Keep in mind that Peter suffered much persecution and eventually died at the hands of madman Nero.

    In addition to the testimony of the New Testament, we also find very strong attestation to this practice among early Christians including Justin Martyr (a.d. 160), Irenaeus (a.d. 180), Tertullian (a.d. 197), and Origen (a.d. 248).

    If you’d like to watch a good debate on this issue, check out this youtube video. Both sides are well represented.

  10. on 20 Aug 2015 at 10:01 pmBJ

    I am also unconvinced that killing is ever the answer for a Christian. Faith and trust in God’s ability to help his people in their time of difficulty seems more to my liking.

  11. on 21 Aug 2015 at 1:35 pmTimoteo

    Sean,

    Please consider this, as a view, to prevent killing/self defence:

    virtural…

    https://www.youtube.com/embed/_T-F_zfoDqI?rel=0

  12. on 23 Aug 2015 at 1:39 amBrian Keating

    Hi Everyone,

    Thanks for all of your comments; it is always beneficial to hear other believers’ views on a given subject – as it helps us all to learn. I have some additional information to provide about this overall post, to try to address the variety of items brought up in all of your comments.
     

    First, the overall question raised in the post is as follows: Is the use of any type of force ever permitted, to defend ourselves or others against an attack? There are three basic “types” of physical force, as follows:

    Non-violent force – i.e., restraining an attacker, or driving him away;

    Violent force – i.e., injuring an attacker;

    Lethal force – killing an attacker.

    So, this post is not only about the use of lethal force– it is about the use of any type of force in self defense.
     

    The next item to note is that whenever Scripture is being consulted about a particular issue, it is always best to look for explicit statements in Scripture, about the issue in question. That is, we should always look for passages in Scripture which directly address the issue – rather than trying to make inferences about the issue, from passages that do not directly address the issue.

    The reason for this, of course, is because explicit statements are “incontrovertible” – that is, they are not “open to interpretation”. On the other hand, inferences can be interpreted, in any way that a person sees fit – so that people can justify almost any doctrine by using their own, personal inferences. (Note that the entire doctrine of the Trinity is based upon inferences…)

    As noted in the post, there are some passages in Scripture which explicitly address the use of force, in self defense or the defense of others. Two such passages are Exodus 22:2-3 and Deuteronomy 22:23-27. Those passages state the following:

    A householder is not guilty of murder, if he kills a thief who is in the act of intruding in his home.

    People are required to use force, to rescue a woman who is being raped.

    Those statements are very clear and explicit – they are not open to interpretation. Also, there are no explicit statements in Scripture to the contrary – for example, there are no passages which state that a householder is guilty of murder if he kills an intruder. So, given that fact, there should not be any “controversy” about the above two statements – because we know that all Scripture is inspired by God, and is useful for training in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
     

    Nevertheless, some groups try to make inferences, based upon other passages, to claim that it is never permissible for believers to use any type of force in self defense – despite the explicit statements listed above. As mentioned, two of the most common passages that are used for such inferences are the “turn the other cheek” and the “love your neighbor as yourself” passages. However, as shown, those passages do not actually have anything to do with self defense – i.e., they do not apply to the issue at all.

    There are some other passages that are also sometimes used, to claim that believers can never use any force in self defense. One of them is the “blessed are the meek” passage, in Matthew 5:5. In our current culture, the term “meek” has come to mean someone who is irrationally submissive – for example, someone who would allow his daughter to be assaulted right in front of him. In the Bible, however, a meek person is someone who is humble – i.e., a person who has a very modest idea about his own importance. That is, in the Bible, a meek person is someone who is not prideful – as opposed to someone who is irrationally submissive. So, the “blessed are the meek” passage does not have anything to do with defending ourselves from a violent attack.
     

    Another passage that is sometimes used is the “blessed are the peacemakers” passage, from Matthew 5:9. Certainly, it is imperative for believers to make every effort to live at peace with everyone else. Unfortunately, in some cases other people refuse to be at peace with us. For example, in some cases a person will initiate violence against a believer – despite the believer’s best efforts to live peacefully with everyone. As it turns out, the apostle Paul alluded to that very fact:

    Romans 12:18:

    18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.

    That verse acknowledges the fact that in some cases, peace does not depend on us – because other people force violence upon us, despite our best efforts.

    So, the “blessed are the peacemakers” passage tells us that people who make every effort for peace are certainly blessed – but it does not state anything about cases in which other people force violence on us. As a result, that passage does not address self defense at all, either.
     

    Finally, Romans 12:14 and 17 are sometimes referenced when discussing the self defense topic. Those passages state the following:

    Romans 12:14,17:

    14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.

    17 Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all.

    Those verses specify two basic commands: First, that we must not take revenge against someone who has sinned against us (whether the sin was violence or not); and second, that that we must do good to those who hate us. There are several items to note about those verses. First, many people are unaware that both of the above commandments were first mentioned in the Old Testament. For example:

    Leviticus 19:17:

    18 “‘Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD.

    Exodus 23:5:

    5 If you see the donkey of someone who hates you fallen down under its load, do not leave it there; be sure you help them with it.

    So, Paul was not giving us any “new” information – instead, he was reiterating commandments that had already been stated in the Old Testament.

    The other item to note is that by definition, taking “revenge” means inflicting harm, in retaliation for a previous incident. An example of this is as follows: First, one person harms a second person; and then – at some later point in time – the second person harms the first person, as “revenge” for the initial harm.

    The reason why this is important is because the “second half” of Exodus 22:2-3 directly addresses the issue of revenge. As shown in the post, the first part of that passage states that a householder is not guilty of murder, if he kills a thief while the thief is in the act of breaking in to the householder’s home. However, the second part of that passage states that the householder is guilty of murder, if he “hunts down” and kills the thief, after the break-in is over.

    As a result, Exodus 22:2-3 agrees that “revenge” is not permissible. However, that passage also states that a householder is permitted to defend his home – with physical force – while a break-in is occurring.
     

    The overall issue of self defense is rather “theoretical” to believers who live in Western countries – because the vast majority of believers in Western nations will never face a violent assault, during their entire lives. Sadly, however, believers in other countries face violent assaults on a regular basis. For example, there have been many, many documented cases of intruders breaking in to believers’ homes, and raping the women who live in the homes, in many countries around the world.

    Given that fact, here is a very poignant question: If an intruder breaks into a believer’s home, and then attacks the believer’s wife to rape her, is the believer permitted to use physical force to defend his wife?

    According to Scripture, the answer to that question is yes – the believer is definitely permitted to use physical force. In fact, in this particular case, Scripture states that it is not just permitted, but actually mandatory for the believer to use force against the intruder – because Deuteronomy 22:23-27 tells us that people are required to use force to rescue women who are being raped.

    Even in the above, extreme situation, I would say that it is still incumbent on the believer to use as little force as possible. In other words, the believer should try to use non-violent force first – to try to restrain the intruder. If that is not possible, then he should try to just injure the intruder, to incapacitate him. Lethal force should always be the absolute last resort – even in extreme cases like this one.

    It is important to note, however, that whenever a physical struggle between people is taking place, the possibility always exists that a person will end up dying in the struggle – even if the death was not intentional. For example, if a believer is struggling with an intruder to try to restrain him, then the intruder might end up smashing his head against the corner of a table, or slicing his neck on broken glass – and end up dying. In such a case, Exodus 22:2-3 explicitly states that the believer is not guilty of murder for killing the intruder.

    I hope this information will be helpful to all of you.

    Brian

  13. on 23 Aug 2015 at 5:51 amTimoteo

    Brian,

    Yes, and thank you, your information contributes to a better understanding on how to deal with the current violence here at home and abroad now with ISIS on the march.

    You may have gone to a college where the chief professor is a documented devout pacifist. So, metaphorically your thinking may be jaded to be also a pacifist.

    On the other hand, our military are trained to be warriors using extreme force to destroy the enemy.

    Our Christian brethren and distant cousins the Yazidi are being crucified, beheaded and murdered by the ISIS mob.

    Yazidi are the, monotheistic, Zoroaster descendants of Daniel’s Magi.

    Kurdish Peshmerga are currently training these helpless people with Kalashnikov, Milan rockets and other heavy weapons. For them, it is beyond the simple self defense you are writing about.

    And the Kurds are using deadly force to rescue the Christians and Yazidi.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CJS65CWQfSQ

    There are rumors that these same ISIS beast are working to bring the same terror to our homeland. So “who are you gonna call, Ghost Busters?”.

    Ephesians 6: (KJV)
    12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

    13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

    There are free teaching available with our host ministry. These teaching may lead one into being baptized as evidenced at Pentecost.

    Manifesting and operating holy spirit, is the whole armor of GOD.

    Looking to the Law for a solution is correct, but only a partial solution.

    Romans (KJV)
    3:19 Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.

    6:14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.

    6:15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.

    We have the Law as a schoolmaster. However.

    Galatians 5: (KJV)
    3 For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law.

    James 2: (KJV)
    10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.

    And why did Jesus give these instruction. Or are these verses conveniently considered to be counterfeited by the pacifist.

    Luke 22: (KJV)
    35 And he said unto them, When I sent you without purse, and scrip, and shoes, lacked ye any thing? And they said, Nothing.

    36 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.

    37 For I say unto you, that this that is written must yet be accomplished in me, And he was reckoned among the transgressors: for the things concerning me have an end.

    38 And they said, Lord, behold, here are two swords. And he said unto them, It is enough.

    I am not finished, and will wait to share more of/from my view point later.

  14. on 23 Aug 2015 at 9:47 amRay

    In case I haven’t suggested this before, some might find this piece of film interesting on you tube. “Sheepdog kills two wolves defending sheep” or something like that. I’ve heard some say that Christians shouldn’t be in the military. I believe watching this can change a person’s perspective on that.

  15. on 23 Aug 2015 at 6:54 pmBrian Keating

    Hi Everyone,

    FYI – I have incorporated the information in comment #12 into the original post.

    Brian

  16. on 26 Aug 2015 at 11:52 amTimoteo

    Especially for Pastor Rev Sean,

    Gracie Brazilian Jiu Jitsu advice:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ck7OgPUHmQ

    Anyone may learn BJJ and deal with non lethal
    **SELF DEFENCE**???!!!

  17. on 26 Aug 2015 at 11:53 amTimoteo

    3515 Artesia Boulevard
    Torrance, CA 90504
    Phone: 310-353-4100
    E-mail: info@gracieacademy.com
    URL: http://www.gracieacademy.com
    PDF: Click Here
    Print GC Schedule: August
    Women Empowered Schedule: Click Here

  18. on 07 Sep 2015 at 5:48 amTimoteo

    Today, AT THIS very MOMENT!

    There are some 300,000 refugees fleeing Syria and flooding Germany and Eastern Europe.

    These people are made up of mostly CHRISTIANS and YASIDI Zoroasters (Descendants of Daniels MAGI).

    They are being murdered by the ISIS devils with bullets, rockets and now chemical weapons(mustard gas). What are they to do?

    The Kurds have armed and trained large groups to battle for protection of their familys.

    It is supposed that thousands of these brethren will come to our USA shores mixed with ISIS infiltrators.

    So what are you, Brian and Sean, going to do in preparation for saving you and yours from being crucified, beheaded and/or shot to death?

    Try to watch this, **American hero**, movie staring Gary Cooper:

    **Sgt York**

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W87k64HU9gE&index=2&list=PLF7C4265E3C2EBA3B

  19. on 13 Feb 2016 at 6:19 pmDushyant

    Rich, you’re absolutely right. I read the yatdersey on the Shodan blog post that “it is very easy to blame the attacker when the victim failed to carry out due diligence to protect themselves.”Easy to blame the attacker? It should always be easy to blame the attacker! They are the ones who did it!It appears to me that it’s easier to blame the victim. The admin didn’t do this, the admin didn’t do that, so they were “asking for it.”Using the house analogy, protecting a house is much simpler, right? You only have a few entrances, windows, maybe a garage etc… In an “Enterprise” house, you have a constantly changing structure. New doors are constructed, new windows are added, and all the while there’s an underground railroad running through the basement. The enterprise house is an amoeba, a shape-shifter, constantly changing. And because there is no such thing as 100% security, how can someone be expected to make it so under conditions such as these? Now certainly if there is direct proven negligence, there should be consequences. But security engineering hasn’t reached the maturity of, let’s say civil engineering. In civil engineering, a bridge builder must be licensed and has liability if they build a faulty bridge. A bridge is constantly under attack (from the elements and cars driving across them) and the Earth underneath them is moving as well. However, it doesn’t change shape at the same rate as an enterprise.

  

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