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 What are the Biblical views on providing family protection against evil people?

I try to always remember in my prayers to humbly ask for God's protection for my loved ones and others in obviousness of much evil in the world today.

I have never yet had to face a great deal of situations in civilian live in defence of anyone. THANK YOU LORD and pray I never will be face that situation, such as with a home break-in by a burgular or some nut or demon posessed guy threatening bodily harm to one of my family members.

I have a daughter 33 years who is a police officer. That is all she has ever been since college. She barely stands 5 foot and 125 lbs and I pray for her often. If this situation were to occur, I would certainly would want to be present to help and would not hesitate to use any measure to make an effort to protect them, if it meant bodily harm or death to the offender. Of course apart from a weapon I would be almost useless in weakness due to my health. I might have one weak swing and then it would be over for me.

We know that families the majority of the time are separated each other in their jobs and tasks and travel. Really we should realize actually they are God's hands all the time, whether we be present are not. In my prayers, I always ask for HIS hand of protection over them whether it be a trip to the grocery store or a flight to another country.

Having said that: to get to the question and point. I must confess this, although I don't carry a weapon most of the time, I don't believe in anyway I could restrain myself, if I were positive someone was threatening a family member's life and safety or for that matter even a stranger's life. How many think this is a weakness in a christian to have this mindset? I have read some post that seem to indicate we as christians should not defend or harm anyone in any situation when they are a danger to others. Comments Please!!!!

[i][b][color=CC0000]EDIT:Thanks for all comments. A followup question to the thread please. To those who would choose to stand by and only pray and not defend your family. Would you or would you not call the police department in defence of your family in a life threatening situation to them?[/color][/b][/i]

 2007/8/21 1:14

Joined: 2006/7/28
Posts: 144
Ann Arbor, MI

 Re: What are the Biblical views on providing family protection against evil people?

If this situation were to occur, I would certainly would want to be present to help and would not hesitate to use any measure to make an effort to protect them, if it meant bodily harm or death to the offender.

I personally have trouble with this. For one, I don't see any indication of Jesus or the disciples setting a precedent of defending themselves in practice or in speech, especially at the expense of others.

The decision to take another's life, no matter what the reason, means that at that very moment you are forever ending their chance to enter into a relationship with God. From then on, their eternity is sealed, and there is no hope reserved for them. I for one would rather trust God to be my protection than choose to use my hand to start someone's miserable eternity.

And imagine that testimony! "You can kill me if you would like, but I will not strike my hand against you because you still need the chance to embrace Christ as your savior, and that is the only hope you or any of us have from perishing forever!"

 2007/8/21 1:46Profile

Joined: 2006/7/28
Posts: 144
Ann Arbor, MI


How do these scriptures relate to this discussion?:

"But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also." -Matthew 5:39

But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. -Matthew 5:44-45

 2007/8/21 1:55Profile


OK... well... here we go. :-)

I am a certified firearms instructor, I was in the Marine Corps for 2 hitches, and I am a gun owner. I've had extensive training in firearms. I am an avid hunter as well.

While I will agree with scripture that has been quoted, lets understand why that scripture says what it says. The underlying crux of those scriptures is so that we may represent God to that person who is doing evil to us. Showing mercy. Our house was broken into once when we were living in TN, and we knew within 12 hours who it was... and I did not retaliate. I forgave him. He had outstanding warrents, so he went to jail anyway when the cops picked him up, but we didnt press charges on this particular crime.

However, having said that... there is nothing in scripture that tells us that we should not protect our families. Any man or woman who refuses to protect their children from an evil person should have their children taken away from them. You wouldnt leave your child closed up in a car when it's 95 degrees outside, would you? Then why would you stand by and let a child rapist rape your child?

How would my wife ever be able to trust me if I did nothing while someone did evil to her?

It was understood all thru the OT law that self defense was completely acceptable. If you killed a man who was threatening your family, the OT Law did not hold you responsible for that death.

Now we're under a new covenant, and in part of that Christ taught us to turn the other cheek.

I agree with that! Christ was addressing how I should respond when evil is done unto [b]me[/b]. But too many Christians want to take this and apply it to protecting our loved ones too. Thats not what this scripture is talking about. It is giving me guidance for how [b]I[/b] should respond when [b]I[/b] am threatened or abused.

But in no way did Christ ever indicate that a husband or a father should stand by as evil men commit evil acts upon their families. In fact, I believe it is a godly man who will stand up and protect their familes, and an evil man who will refuse to.

Now, I'm not talking about protecting material things. There is not a material thing in my house that I would kill or die for. I am strictly talking about protecting family from harm or death.

And some Christians want to take this even further and say that all war is evil, and Christians should never serve in the military. I wasnt even close to being a Christian when I was in the Marines, but my response to Christians who think that is... #1 you dont understand scripture, and #2 tell that to the 6 million Jews who were murdered in WWII. Christians are supposed to sit by and let men like Hitler just go on and do whatever they want?

Bad things happen when good men do nothing.

A "Christian" husband and father who will not protect his family is worthy of being neither.

Do y'all realize that in Kennesaw, GA they passed a law that all citizens (who pass background checks) are to own at least one firearm? Do you also realize that Kennesaw, GA is now considered one of the safest places to live in America? It's true.

Like I always say when I'm coaching football: "The best offense is a good defense".

Harsh post, I understand. But this is something I feel very strongly about.

And before someone thinks I'm paranoid or something, I love shooting sports. Thats why we have a lot of guns. Protection is really not high on the list. We love to target shoot, and we love to hunt. We have a youth shooting sports club thru 4-H, etc.


PS: This is kinda ironic... I'm actually in the process of buying my wife a .38 S&W revolver for her birthday. Just dropped the purchase permit application off at the sheriff's dept yesterday.

 2007/8/21 7:45



I am troubled that you would write such a thing and not provide the scripture to support it. I recommend a book titled "The kingdom that turned the world upside down" by David Bercot. (I have one copy I will send for free to anyone who is interested) I used to think along the lines of krispy until I was confronted with clear scriptural evidence in this book of my calling to non resistance in violent situations. The early church fathers also believed in non resistance.

Quote: response to Christians who think that is... #1 you don’t understand scripture, and #2 tell that to the 6 million Jews who were murdered in WWII. Christians are supposed to sit by and let men like Hitler just go on and do whatever they want?

I believe you greatly error brother... first of all what are those scriptures that I don’t understand. Second of all, is God sovereign? Was He sitting in heaven during WWII ringing His hands in a panic over hitlers army. Did He have an emergency meeting to rebuke His son for telling His followers to turn the other cheek and not to resist an evil man? Was there a last minute attempt in heaven to change His eternal word to allow for this unforeseen event so that all of the good Christians could stand up and resolve the situation by murdering other human beings in direct contradiction to the words of the master?

I am not being sarcastic for the sake of being sarcastic.... please ponder these thoughts.

In Christ - Jim

 2007/8/21 8:50


Jim, I dont know you, so allow me a presumption here... but it's easy for someone to say they would sit back and allow someone to commit dispicable evil acts upon their family when they have never been in that situation.

"If a thief be found breaking up, and be smitten that he die, there shall no blood be shed for him," we are told in Exodus 22:2. The next verse says, "If the sun be risen upon him, there shall be blood shed for him; for he should make full restitution; if he have nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft."

In other words, it was perfectly OK to kill a thief breaking into your house. That's the ultimate expression of self-defense. It doesn't matter whether the thief is threatening your life or not. You have the right to protect your home, your family and your property, [b]so says the Bible.[/b]

The Israelites were expected to have their own personal weapons. Every man would be summoned to arms when the nation confronted an enemy. They didn't send in the Marines. The people defended themselves.

In 1 Samuel 25:13, we read: "And David said unto his men, Gird ye on every man his sword. And they girded on every man his sword; and David also girded on his sword: and there went up after David about four hundred men; and two hundred abode by the stuff."

Judges 5:8 reminds us of what happens to a foolish nation that chooses to disarm: "They chose new gods; then was war in the gates: was there a shield or spear seen among forty thousand in Israel?"

The answer to the rhetorical question is clear: No. The people had rebelled against God and put away their weapons of self-defense.

"Blessed be the LORD my strength which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight," David writes in Psalms 144:1.

Clearly, this is not a pacifist God we serve. It's God who teaches our hands to war and our fingers to fight. Over and over again throughout the Old Testament, His people are commanded to fight with the best weapons available to them at that time.

They didn't have firearms, but they had sidearms. In fact, in the New Testament, Jesus commanded His disciples to buy them and strap them on.

Luke 22:36: "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."

I know you are going to cite Matthew 26:52-54 – how Jesus responded when Peter used his sword to cut off the ear of a servant of the high priest: "Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword. Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?"

Read those verses in context and they support my position. Jesus told Peter he would be committing suicide to choose a fight in this situation – as well as undermining God's plan to allow Jesus' death on the cross and resurrection.

Jesus told Peter to put his sword in its place – at his side. He didn't say throw it away. After all, He had just ordered the disciples to arm themselves. The reason for the arms was obviously to protect the lives of the disciples, not the life of the Son of God. What Jesus was saying was: "Peter, this is not the right time for a fight."

"They which builded on the wall, and they that bare burdens, with those that laded, every one with one of his hands wrought in the work, and with the other hand held a weapon," we're told in Nehemiah 4:17-18. "For the builders, every one had his sword girded by his side, and so builded."

Is that enough scripture for you? The Bible clearly does not prohibit or condemn self-defense or protecting one's family... in fact, such things are ordained by God, and considered the actions of a godly man.

Paul said to Timothy "But if any provide not for his own, and especially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel." (1 Tim 5:8)

A godly man not only provides food and shelter for his family, but he also provides protection and safety. Period. End of discussion.

I love ya brother, but it matters not to me if you are troubled by my statements. I am partially convinced of a lot of things pertaining to the Christian life, but this is one that I am solidly 100% convinced of... and will not be moved.


 2007/8/21 8:58


here's a partial article by Larry Pratt... very good exposition on self defense and the Bible.

[b]Self Defense in the New Testament[/b]

[i]The Christian pacifist may try to argue that God has changed His mind from the time that He gave Moses the Ten Commandments in Exodus 20 or the provision for justifiably killing a thief in Exodus 22. But the writer of Hebrews makes it clear that this cannot be, because "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever" (Hebrews 13:8). In the Old Testament, the prophet Malachi records God's words this way: "For I am the Lord, I do not change" (Malachi 3:6). Paul was referring to the unchangeability of God's Word when he wrote to Timothy that "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work" (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Clearly, Paul viewed all Scripture, including the Old Testament, as useful for training Christians in every area of life.

We must also consider what Christ told his disciples in his last hours with them: "...But now, he who has a money bag, let him take it, and likewise a sack; and he who has no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one" (Luke 22:36, emphasis added). Keep in mind that the sword was the finest offensive weapon available to and individual soldier - the equivalent then of a military rifle today.

The Christian pacifist will likely object at this point that only a few hours later, Christ rebuked Peter who used a sword to cut off the ear of Malchus, a servant of the high priest in the company of a detachment of troops. Let us read what Christ said to Peter in Matthew 26:52-54: Put your sword in its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword. Or do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He will provide Me with more that twelve legions of angels? How then could the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must happen thus?

It was not the first time that Christ had to explain to the disciples why He had come to earth. To fulfill the Scriptures, the Son of God had to die for the sin of man since man was incapable of paying for his own sin apart from going to hell. Christ could have saved His life, but then believers would have lost their lives forever in hell. These things only became clear to the disciples after Christ had died and been raised from the dead and the Spirit had come into the world at Pentecost (see John 14:26).

While Christ told Peter to "put your sword in its place" He clearly did not say get rid of it forever. That would have contradicted what he told the disciples only hours before. Peter's sword was to protect his own mortal life from danger. His sword was not needed to protect the Creator of the universe and the King of kings.

Years after Pentecost, Paul wrote in a letter to Timothy "But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever" (1 Tim. 5:8). This passage applies to our subject because it would be absurd to buy a house, furnish it with food and facilities for one's family, and then refuse to install locks and provide the means to protect the family and the property. Likewise it would be absurd not to take, if necessary, the life of a night-time thief to protect the members of the family (Exodus 22:2-3).

A related, and even broader concept, is found in the parable of the Good Samaritan. Christ had referred to the Old Testament summary of all the laws of the Bible into two great commandments: "'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,' and your neighbor as yourself'" (Luke 10:27). When asked who was a neighbor, Christ related the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:30-37). It was the Good Samaritan who took care of the mugging victim who was a neighbor to the victim. The others who walked by and ignored the victim's plight were not acting as neighbors to him.

In the light of all we have seen the Scriptures teach to this point, can we argue that if we were able to save another's life from an attacker by shooting the attacker with our gun that we should "turn the other cheek instead?" The Bible speaks of no such right. It only speaks of our responsibilities in the face of an attack-as individual creatures made by God, as householders or as neighbors.[/i]


[i]The wisdom of the framers of the Constitution is consistent with the lessons of the Bible. Instruments of defense should be dispersed throughout the nation, not concentrated in the hands of the central government. In a Godly country, righteousness governs each man through the Holy Spirit working within. The government has no cause to want a monopoly of force; the government that desires such a monopoly is a threat to the lives, liberty and property of its citizens. The assumption that only danger can result from people carrying guns is used to justify government monopoly of force. The notion that the people cannot be trusted to keep and bear their own arms informs us that ours, like the time of Solomon, may be one of great riches but is also a time of peril for free people. If Christ is not our King, we shall have a dictator to rule over us, just as Samuel warned.

For those who think that God treated Israel differently from the way He will treat us today, please consider what God told the prophet Malachi: "For I am the Lord, I do not change..." (Malachi 3:6).

[a]"When our forefathers wrote the constitution of the United States, consciously or unconsciously they followed the Israel system of the right of every man to keep and bear arms. [The Second Amendment] was patterned after the Israel method: when every able bodied man capable of bearing arms and who might be called upon by the nation for military duties to defend his country, his life, liberty and freedom was thus able and prepared to take his place in the ranks of the army.

"Tyranny, as a rule, arises from within a nation when the government has been captured by men who would use their acquired power to oppress the people. These facts were known to the framers of the constitution, hence they recognized the need and right of citizens to keep and bear arms in order to insure real liberty. God in His wisdom...made it a fundamental law in the land that every man should be a part of the military forces of the nation-keeping his arms and equipment in his own possession.

"Now the right of citizens to keep and bear arms is fundamental in preserving true freedom, so much so that subversive forces in sundry and subtle ways first move to disarm the citizens of a nation which they later plan to dominated. We have witnessed such move in the past while states which have already passed laws violating Article II of our constitution did so under the pretext of disarming the criminal. The states which have violated this fundamental principle of the protection of its citizens against armed violence have not only failed to reduce crime but have contributed to the increase in violence and crime. The criminal, who never disarms, knows he is dealing with law-abiding unarmed citizens. Honest men and leaders never fear an armed, law-abiding civilian population."
Howard B. Rand, LL.B., Digest of the Divine Law, (Destiny Publishers, Merrimac, MA, 1943) PP. 163-164.[/i]

 2007/8/21 9:34

Joined: 2006/5/30
Posts: 94
Edmonton, AB, Canada


You know, I just get the oddest feeling whenever I hear of things like this. As far as I know Jesus, I cannot understand how any person could see Christ taking up a sword (or gun) and killing someone.

I must confess that in my understanding, God used the Israelites as a tool of judgment for the many nations that went to war with Israel. True??

But now, being in the new covenant, hasn't God set aside a day of judgment? (Mt 11:24, 12:36; Mk 6:11; Rom 2:5; 2Pe 2:9, 3:7; 1Jo 4:17; Jud 1:6)

I think back (I think it was last year) when a gunman came into a church and in Africa?? and killed a number of saints and a number of Christians (especially on WND) were advocating church members to bring guns to church. Very Christ-like, huh? How in the world can we perceive Christ advocating this?!! How about in the last couple of weeks in the states?

It brings brings anxiety to my heart because more and more Christians want to carry a sidearm and become judge, jury, and executioner in our finite knowledge and wisdom. Men are fools and I think that this type of advice will more quickly bring about the Scripture that says that men will kill one another in God's name thinking that they are doing God a favor. (Sorry, I can't find it at the moment)

Now, I trust that anyone who owns a firearm, or holds this militant position, would have the restraint to not act in rage or impulse, but then again, it's better to trust in the Lord than in princes, or horses, or chariots, or muscles, or guns.

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for protecting our families, but I trust that I would never go so far as to kill or maim a man (or woman) in the process. Have we no control or do we get swept away in the midst of emotion?

But I ask in closing: Where is our battle? On the earth or in heavenly places? What are the weapons of [i]our[/i] warfare? Guns??? Violence?? I think the Bible is quite clear on this.


Brad Wright

 2007/8/21 11:24Profile

Joined: 2005/11/17
Posts: 370
Bloomington, IN


I absolutely second Krispy's POV here. "Turn the other cheek" is not an exhortation to be a Neville Chamberlain or to let someone take your or your families' lives. It deals with persecution due to the faith...not a blitz assault or rape or burglary. Now, if someone steals our stuff, let them take it...Jesus did teach that. We are to love God, not stuff. Here is why Jesus' teachings on "turn the other cheek" CAN'T mean family protection.

1. Context doesn't support it--He is discussing persecution. A "strike on the cheek" is an insult that stings a little, not someone trying to take your life or home.

2. New Testament teachings cannot contradict OT. God cannot contradict Himself and Paul says ALL scripture is useful for doctrine. NT teaching does supercede OT, but it is simply a spiritual extension of it. When Jesus and Paul taught doctrine from "the scriptures" where did they get it from? The only scriptures they had were OT. As Krispy has pointed out, self defense and capital punishment were the law in the OT, and that doesn't change. Things like ceremonial laws are no longer practiced b/c the SPIRIT of the law was to point to Christ. Since Christ has been revealed, those laws have been superceded (NOT changed or abolished). Same with tithing, temple worship, etc. We should no longer be practicing those things b/c Christ has been revealed and the law of Christ supercedes (but not abolished). Our body is the temple, and all we have is God's. We are to give everything, not specific tithes to specific places, for they were just a picture of a spiritual truth.

A few more comments: Retaliation is NEVER allowable. Like Krispy's real life example, recompense belongs to the Lord...let the law do its work and we forgive.

Obviously, taking someone's life is always to be avoided if possible. If you can, RUN. Best as I can remember, the OT teaches that a man is not held responsible for killing during self or family defense, but it isn't commanded either. If they are defeated and no longer resisting, it then becomes murder.

Just my understanding and conviction.

Denver McDaniel

 2007/8/21 11:24Profile


krispy and beyedoers...

Perhaps you guys are living in the wrong covenant... either way, I dont want to quarell... but we no longer are members of a physical kingdom, under a physical covenant, with a physical enemy and physical rewards.

2. New Testament teachings cannot contradict OT.

Matthew 19
7"Why then," they asked, "did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?"

8Jesus replied, "Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. 9I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery."

 2007/8/21 11:39

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