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 Should Persecuted Christians Defend Themselves? By Michael Brown

Laying out both sides of the issue:

http://mobile.wnd.com/2014/08/should-persecuted-christians-defend-themselves/


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Todd

 2014/8/14 14:14Profile
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 Re: Should Persecuted Christians Defend Themselves? By Michael Brown

Yet there are strong arguments that have been raised for Christians taking up the sword to defend themselves.

1) Simple humanitarian sense calls for it. If you were the father of three young daughters and Muslim terrorists demanded that you give them up to be raped, tortured and sold into sex slavery, how could you not fight for their lives if you had the power to do so?

2) There are times when we can’t flee. It is true that Jesus gave us instructions to flee from persecution, but sometimes that is not an option. What do we do then?

3) In the New Testament, this was a purely spiritual issue, whereas today, this is also a geo-political issue. This means that today we’re not just talking about individuals Christians being targeted for persecution and martyrdom. We’re talking about an invading Islamic army taking over another country, with Christians caught in the middle. Christians should take up arms to defend themselves just as anyone else in their shoes would fight against an invading army.

4) It is the proper role of government to use the sword to fight against evil and uphold good (see Romans 13:1-4). Some terrorist groups, like Boko Haram, are in complete violation of their country’s laws, so for Christians to fight against them is no different than a Christian homeowner using physical force to stop a dangerous intruder.

5) The Scriptures call us to rescue those who are perishing (Proverbs 24:11-12). We remain deeply appreciative of the sacrifices made by American soldiers and their allies in their battle against the Nazis, and without those efforts, many more innocent lives would have been taken. And today, who among us doesn’t want to see murderous groups like the Islamic State bombed and stopped in their tracks as they behead Christian children and slaughter others in the most gruesome ways? If it’s OK for a distant country like America to bomb them, so why isn’t it OK for local Christians to fight them?

6) Immediately before His betrayal, Jesus told His disciples that in the days to come, they would need swords for self-defense because of the dangers they would face. This is how many interpreters understand His words in Luke 22:35-38, and if it applied to the disciples then, all the more does it apply to persecuted Christians today.

So, what is your take on this? Is it ever right for persecuted Christians to take up the sword in self-defense? Please weigh in the comment section here.


Read more at http://mobile.wnd.com/2014/08/should-persecuted-christians-defend-themselves/#xA2gsH90OIKs3gQ6.99

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The 2 scriptures he gives in promoting the idea of defending themselves, one in Romans has nothing to do with the actual believer but governments role to defend the helpless and good.

In luke the greek for "sword" is a small knife used to cut animals for meat. Definitely not a sword to help defeat an human enemy.

The scripture Proverbs 24:11-12 I believe has nothing to do with self-defense against an enemy from a christians perspective.


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SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2014/8/14 14:21Profile
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 Re:

Quote:
In luke the greek for "sword" is a small knife used to cut animals for meat. Definitely not a sword to help defeat an human enemy.



If this definition is correct, wouldn't we have to translate the other 18 uses of this term in the New Testament as a small butcher knife as well? This is only on of several literal definitions of the term sword, the others being non-literal representative of wars and of armed violence in general.

I think this is one place where believers must be convinced in their spirit what they will do. I think at its core this debate is the same as the debate over military service with the exception that we are now speaking specifically of defending ourselves against religions persecution. I know of many churches where there are men with concealed carry permits who are prepared to protect the members of their congregations against violence. I don't disagree with this. If someone were to enter my home and attack my family, I would do all I could to defend them. If America was attacked by Muslims who were conducting what they deem to be a holy war, I would fight back. Yet, if someone approached me on the street and struck me specifically because I was a believer, I would not strike back. It may sound inconsistent, but it is the conclusion I have come to personally.


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 2014/8/14 15:47Profile
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 Re:

Quote:
If this definition is correct, wouldn't we have to translate the other 18 uses of this term in the New Testament as a small butcher knife as well?



Most greek words can be used for multiple things. It is either a short straight knife for stabbing or a curved knife for cutting animals.


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 2014/8/14 16:13Profile
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 Re:

Quote:
Yet, if someone approached me on the street and struck me specifically because I was a believer, I would not strike back. It may sound inconsistent, but it is the conclusion I have come to personally.



This is exactly how I think about this issue, Travis.

 2014/8/14 16:20Profile
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 Re:

Quote:
If it’s OK for a distant country like America to bomb them, so why isn’t it OK for local Christians to fight them?



This is a thought provoking question, found in the link. I see a couple of ways to respond:

1) We ask: What makes it okay for any nation to bomb?

2) Of course it's wrong for "local Christians" to fight the enemy! It's stupid: You're going to lose! Persecuted people do not have power advantages: That's why they get persecuted. They are easy targets/scapegoats. (apart from the God-factor)

The moral of the story is this: Fight only if you're bigger than your enemy, or you imagine yourself to be! It's an issue of power!

I'd like to see a nation fight the enemy with Gideon's army of 300, or Jehosephat's singing army.

Describe the weapons these people deployed?

Diane


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Diane

 2014/8/14 17:00Profile
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 Re:

travis wrote:

"If America was attacked by Muslims who were conducting what they deem to be a holy war, I would fight back. Yet, if someone approached me on the street and struck me specifically because I was a believer, I would not strike back. It may sound inconsistent, but it is the conclusion I have come to personally."

I agree 100%. There is no inconsistency, at least not IMO.


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Todd

 2014/8/14 17:28Profile
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 Re:

quote: "I'd like to see a nation fight the enemy with Gideon's army of 300, or Jehosephat's singing army."

That would indeed be awesome- but in both those cases God told Jehoshaphat and Gideon exactly what to do and promised them victory.

For some reason I don't think God will tell Obama exactly what to do.

Will He tell us as individual believers exactly what to do? He might, and He might not. So we are left with what our best understanding of scripture is in these matters, and the leading of the HS.

"When you have a right-standing relationship with God, you have a life of freedom, liberty, and delight; you are God’s will. And all of your commonsense decisions are actually His will for you, unless you sense a feeling of restraint brought on by a check in your spirit. You are free to make decisions in the light of a perfect and delightful friendship with God, knowing that if your decisions are wrong He will lovingly produce that sense of restraint. Once he does, you must stop immediately." ~Oswald Chambers


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Todd

 2014/8/14 17:45Profile









 Re:

I think I hear let's lock and load for Jesus. Any of you who are willing to take up a weapon and take a life are you prepared to live with consequences of that.

I have shared how a military chaplain counseled those who have taken lives in the course of war. He said those who have taken lives have felt they list something in their souls.

Also Jesus said that those who take up the sword will perish by the sword.

My thoughts.

Blaine

 2014/8/14 19:08









 Re:

But the question in the OP is should persecuted Christians defend themselves? Take it back to the first persecuted Christian, Jesus Himself. Did He defend Himself? What about the first martyr Stephen? Did He defend himself? What about the church in Acts? Did she defend herself? What about the persecuted church down through the ages? Did age defend herself? What about the persecuted church today? Is she defending herself?

The answer to the above questions is a resounding NO. Historicalky persecuted Christians have always entrusted themselves to God for His protection. Not the carnal weapons of man.

In Rev.12:11 we read the saints overcome Satan by the blood of the Lamb, the word of their testimony, and they do not love their lives even faced with death. They do not use guns to defeat a spiritual enemy. As hard as it us to believe a call to martyrdom actually will bring the devil defeat.

Blaine


 2014/8/14 19:21





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