| Praise God and pass the ammo?|
I saw that on the web somewhere and it has been running through my head ever since.
What is a Christian's response to self-defense? How do you reconcile killing someone with Christ's commands to love our enemies?
I know that if someone is attacking my sister or mother that I'd try to stop them, but what about killing to protect another person?
Thanks and God bless, Jordan
| 2007/1/24 9:48||Profile|
| Re: Praise God and pass the ammo?|
CS Lewis wrote about this directly in the book 'Mere Christianity.'
The question really comes down to duty. You have a duty to your family, to your country and to yourself to defend yourself. When the soldiers asked John the Baptist what they must do he didn't say anything about pacificism. His answer was entirely in regard to duty.
Now we must be loving in serving our duty, we must be loving for our family and nation... but not above people.
We cannot take pleasure in the act of violence, we must tread very carefully. When the peace accord is signed we must be willing to hold out our hands as ambassadors of Jesus and invite them into the Kingdom.
If you can't desire for someone to meet Jesus after they've spent years killing your brothers then you shouldn't fight. Solomon wrote that there was a time to kill -to a Christian this time is very limited, if only less than 10% of how we should act.
Please seek wisdom in this. I feel that Christians shouldn't own guns, but that's my own feelings. I was raised under three generations of military service. I quipped once that I was the first man in my family to goto Asia without a gun in his hands -but I realized I went with something much greater than a gun, I went with the word of God!
Do I encourage Christians to join the army? If you lack discipline, if you desire to serve your country, than by all means! Military service has been a blessing for many Christian men. But if you want to be a soldier with a more powerful calling, I would encourage you to go into missions -at least then when someone you come in contact dies, there's a good chance they're going to heaven!
| 2007/1/24 11:17||Profile|
| Re: Praise God and pass the ammo?|
This is a great question. In seeking God's answer, I have always come down to two things, and I have not been able to shake them out together yet.
One, John the Baptist, Jesus, and Peter all encountered military men and we do not have a record that they explicitly instructed them to leave the military. Of course, there are many encounters in the Bible where we do not have every word that was spoken. But, Jesus did tell the adulterous woman to "go and sin no more" and there are plenty of other examples, like the rich young ruler. So, why does Scripture not give us an example of someone being told to leave the military? I guess I conclude a bit of something from that.
Point number two is a question. Can a Christian intentionally take the life of another person and still be a Christian? Killing with foreknowledge or planning is murder. Therefore, war must be murder, because you are planning to make others die. The whole point is not to share the gospel with someone, not to fight as part of the Lord's army, but to defend your own life, your own country, your own family, your own safety, your own peace, your own possessions, you must kill others. It seems to me that all of this "your own" is pointing to self. Why did Jesus not follow the instructions of the Law and join the Israeli army and go fight the Romans and liberate the country? It would have been very legitimate, since God instructed that in the Law of Moses for all the Israelites. But even though Jesus had a hundred opportunities to use force for his own agenda, his own kingdom, he never did. So, is it ever right to kill, to murder? Jesus asked [paraphrase], "Is it better to harm or to heal, to kill or to give life?" It seems to me the gospel way would never come close to machine-gunning down a fellow human, for we are all neighbors our Lord said.
| 2007/1/27 10:21||Profile|
In the OT God had His people go to war against other nations that were very wicked, so Israel could take possession of the land.
King David killed many people, but still he was a man after God's heart. So, I think that there's a difference between just plain murdering somebody and killing in war.
A friend and I were talking about this and he said he thought there was a verse in the OT that said something like if a thief brakes into your house and you strike him and he dies than don't worry about it.
Another thing about war though, is the question about killing someone like a muslim knowing he's going to hell if you do. How could a Christian do that?
The Lord will reveal His truth if we seek Him.
| 2007/1/27 11:17||Profile|
When the soldiers asked John the Baptist what they must do he didn't say anything about pacifism. His answer was entirely in regard to duty.
Well, actually if you read in the KJV you'll find that he says to them, "And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said unto them, Do violence to no man..." Lu 3:14
i just thought i'd share that.
btw, the KJV thing was just a joke! :lol:
| 2007/1/27 14:29||Profile|
Here are also some good scriptures to think about in regard to this matter that i have found to be helpful.
John 18:36 Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.
2Co 5:20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christs stead, be ye reconciled to God.
2Tim 2:3,4 Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.
I think that these verses clearly show that --even as Jesus said-- we are not of this world, but are living for a world that is to come.
as ambassadors and soldiers of Jesus Christ, how can we entangle ourselves in the things of this world???
Kent Hovind preached a sermon called "Where's the Bride?" He took the story of Abraham's servant sent out to find a wife for His son, and changed the ending of the story with the servant coming back empty handed but with many stories to tell of things they had done while in Mesopotamia. Abraham
is saddened by this report and says "you know, thats great and all, but thats not why you were there, thats not what i sent you for, i sent you to get a bride for my son."
God has also chosen us out of the world, we are now "strangers and pilgrims on the earth", "our conversation is in heaven." How can we entangle ourselves in the things of this life?
We have been sent on a mission, and this mission conflicts with the agenda of this world.
Sure God commanded the Israelites to fight and war. oh, that reminds me of something...
A group of us were coming back from ministering at a homeless shelter in downtown Chicago, we stopped at a hamburger shop for a snack, and as we began eating the girl sitting next to me asked me this question: "What do you think of women in the military?" "well," i said "before i can answer that question, i think you should first ask me what i think about the military, period." at that a shocked expression came over her face and she exclaimed, "what? are you a Mennonite or something? how can you not agree with joining the military? don't you know that God commanded Moses and Joshua to destroy the nations that inhabited the promised land?" and so i countered her question with another question "and why do you think that God wanted them to do that?" she replied "well because they were wicked nations that needed to be destroyed and God used the israelites as His instruments to punish these wicked nations."
"so God wanted the israelites to war because these nations were wicked and needed to be destroyed?"
"and is Iraq a wicked nation?"
"yes, and thats why our troops are there, i think that God is using the US as His judgment on them."
"But don't you think that the US is also a wicked nation?"
"well... yes. but..."
"well don't you think wicked nations ought to be destroyed?"
she didn't have much to say after that. (btw, asking questions without actually making any concrete statements is a good way to bring people to their own conclusions... or force them to your own ;-) )
all that to say that there is not much argument for Christians fighting in the military.
remember, we are not of this world, and the world does not comprehend our thinking, they don't know us because they didn't know Him.
Blessings to all.
| 2007/1/27 15:03||Profile|
| Re: War, etc.|
Thanks for the response. Yes, I have considered the OT situation in reference to war and have only been able to conclude one thing. The OT Scriptures are the Word of God, no doubt. However, there seems to be a fairly sharp contrast between some aspects of the Old and New Covenants.
Jesus affirmed the Law of Moses explicitly, however to the Pharisees who cited the Law of Moses, Jesus often spoke of something that surpassed the Old Covenant. "It has not been so from the beginning." Or, in other words, "something greater than Moses is here."
Look up that verse on the thief breaking in and you'll find there are two cases dealt with there, both are simple yet enlightening.
| 2007/1/27 15:39||Profile|