Is there any scripture passage that can prove that God allows for us to defend ourselves when we are attacked?

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Josh | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Oct 23 2013 4:16 PM

Distinctions matter...

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Oct 23 2013 4:59 PM

For pro-war/self-defensive views do a search on "just war" on all your Logos resources or on the web.

Biblical References

Old Testament

In early Old Testament times war was often seen as a holy war, a conflict initiated and led by God. Such a war was declared by God, Himself (Exodus 17:16; Numbers 31:1-3, 1 Samuel 15:1-3), and every facet of war had religious significance. Sacrificial rites were performed to ensure God's continued support (1 Samuel 7:8-10; 13:9). The sacred ark of the covenant, symbolizing the presence of God, was often taken into battle (1 Samuel 4:3).

Later in Israel's history, the prophets began to see the terror of war as God's judgment against his people for their sins, and the glory of war faded (Habakkuk 1:5-11, Jeremiah 21:3-7). Israel began to look to the day when the endless cycle of war would be broken:

The law will go out from Zion, the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore. (NIV, Isaiah 2:3-4)

New Testament

In the New Testament, war is universally seen as evil and Jesus emphasized peace instead. He advised us to avoid retaliation and revenge and to extend our love even to our enemies.

"You have heard that it was said, 'Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.' But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you. You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. (NIV, Matthew 5:38-45)

The apostle Paul and other New testament writers echoed Jesus' sentiment and expanded on it.

Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay," says the Lord. "But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals upon his head." Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (NAS, Romans 12:17-21)

Despite the immense evil of war, Jesus said it is inevitable that wars will continue until He returns (Mark 13:7-8), and He did not oppose earthly governments or their right to maintain armies (Matthew 8:5-10). Other New Testament passages accept the necessity of maintaining armies and the worthiness of military occupations (Luke 3:14, Acts 10:1-6)

Just War Theory

Clearly, the Christian ideal is total elimination of war and brotherly love among all people. However, in this imperfect world, war may be forced on those who do not desire it. Christian theologians St. Augustine of Hippo (354 - 430) and St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) are primarily responsible for formulating the theory of the Just War which has remained the majority Christian approach to war to this day. There are many variations on the just war theory, but these are the basics:

  • There must be a just cause for the war.
    • War must be waged only in response to certain, grave and lasting damage inflicted by an aggressor.
    • The motive for war must be advancement of good or avoidance of evil.
    • The ultimate objective of war must be to bring peace.
    • Revenge, revolt, a desire to harm, dominate, or exploit and similar things are not justification for war.
  • Every possible means of peacefully settling the conflict must be exhausted first.
  • There must be serious prospects of success; bloodshed without hope of victory cannot be justified.
  • The war must be declared by a legitimate authority. Private individuals or groups should seek redress of their rights through their governments, not by acts of war.
  • The war must not cause greater evil than the evil to be eliminated.
  • Non-combatants (civilians) must not be intentionally harmed.
  • Prisoners and conquered peoples must be treated justly.

Christian Pacifism

Pacifism, the opposition to all war, is a minority view throughout Christianity, but is the dominant belief in some denominations such as Mennonite and Society of Friends (Quakers). Pacifists take their example from Jesus who never resisted His persecutors. When the mob came to arrest Jesus, one of His followers tried to defend Him with a sword. But Jesus said,

"Put your sword back into its place; for all those who take up the sword shall perish by the sword." (NAS, Matthew 26:52-53)

Many of Jesus' apostles and other followers were also martyred for their faith, but never used violence to resist their fate.

Another justification for pacifism is the belief that the kingdom of God is set apart from the world (Matthew 5:20, 7:13-14, John 18:36). The world will continue in sin of all kinds, including war (Matthew 24:6-7, Mark 13:7-8), but those who truly belong to the kingdom of God are called to put their total trust in God (Matthew 10:28, John 14:1) and to obey all of Jesus' teachings (Matthew 7:21, 28:18-20, Luke 6:46, John 14:15, 15:10), including His teachings against violence.

A number of other Bible passages are cited in favor of the pacifist position, including Matthew 5:9, Romans 12:18-19, 2 Corinthians 10:3-4, 1 Peter 2:21-23, 3:8-11, 13-17, and Hebrews 10:32-34.

A frequent criticism of pacifism is that it amounts to surrender to aggression, and the evil which results could be much worse than the evil of a war. Another criticism is that pacifism is utopian, and pacifists unfairly reap the benefits of freedom earned by those willing to sacrifice their lives in war. However, pacifists reply that pacifism does not mean being passive; it is active peacemaking through nonviolent means. They point to the success of nonviolent resistance movements such as the Swedish and Danish resistance to Nazism in World War II, Gandhi's independence movement in India, the civil rights movement of Martin Luther King in the United States, and the Solidarity labor movement in Poland. Many Christian pacifists see nonviolence as the only way to alleviate the vicious cycles of oppression, hatred, war and revenge that have dominated human history.

Church Positions on War

Here are the official positions on war of the three largest Christian denominations in the United States:

Roman Catholic

2307. The fifth commandment forbids the intentional destruction of human life. Because of the evils and injustices that accompany all war, the Church insistently urges everyone to prayer and to action so that the divine Goodness may free us from the ancient bondage of war.

2308. All citizens and all governments are obliged to work for the avoidance of war. However, "as long as the danger of war persists and there is no international authority with the necessary competence and power, governments cannot be denied the right of lawful self-defense, once all peace efforts have failed.

2309. The strict conditions for legitimate defense by military force require rigorous consideration. The gravity of such a decision makes it subject to rigorous conditions of moral legitimacy. At one and the same time:

the damage inflicted by the aggressor on the nation or community of nations must be lasting, grave, and certain;

all other means of putting an end to it must have been shown to be impractical or ineffective;

there must be serious prospects of success;

the use of arms must not produce evils and disorders graver than the evil to be eliminated. The power of modern means of destruction weighs very heavily in evaluating this condition.

These are the traditional elements enumerated in what is called the "just war" doctrine.

The evaluation of these conditions for moral legitimacy belongs to the prudential judgment of those who have responsibility for the common good.

2310. Public authorities, in this case, have the right and duty to impose on citizens the obligations necessary for national defense. Those who are sworn to serve their country in the armed forces are servants of the security and freedom of nations. If they carry out their duty honorably, they truly contribute to the common good of the nation and the maintenance of peace.

2311. Public authorities should make equitable provision for those who for reasons of conscience refuse to bear arms; these are nonetheless obliged to serve the human community in some other way.

2312. The Church and human reason both assert the permanent validity of the moral law during armed conflict. "The mere fact that war has regrettably broken out does not mean that everything becomes licit between the warring parties."

2313. Non-combatants, wounded soldiers, and prisoners must be respected and treated humanely. Actions deliberately contrary to the law of nations and to its universal principles are crimes, as are the orders that command such actions. Blind obedience does not suffice to excuse those who carry them out. Thus the extermination of a people, nation, or ethnic minority must be condemned as a mortal sin. One is morally bound to resist orders that command genocide.

2314. "Every act of war directed to the indiscriminate destruction of whole cities or vast areas with their inhabitants is a crime against God and man, which merits firm and unequivocal condemnation." A danger of modern warfare is that it provides the opportunity to those who possess modern scientific weapons - especially atomic, biological, or chemical weapons - to commit such crimes.

2315. The accumulation of arms strikes many as a paradoxically suitable way of deterring potential adversaries from war. They see it as the most effective means of ensuring peace among nations. This method of deterrence gives rise to strong moral reservations. The arms race does not ensure peace. Far from eliminating the causes of war, it risks aggravating them. Spending enormous sums to produce ever new types of weapons impedes efforts to aid needy populations; it thwarts the development of peoples. Over-armament multiplies reasons for conflict and increases the danger of escalation.

2316. The production and the sale of arms affect the common good of nations and of the international community. Hence public authorities have the right and duty to regulate them. The short-term pursuit of private or collective interests cannot legitimate undertakings that promote violence and conflict among nations and compromise the international juridical order.

2317. Injustice, excessive economic or social inequalities, envy, distrust, and pride raging among men and nations constantly threaten peace and cause wars. Everything done to overcome these disorders contributes to building up peace and avoiding war:
From Catechism of the Catholic Church, second edition, copyright © 1997, United States Catholic Conference, Inc., http://www.usccb.org/catechism/text/pt3sect2chpt2art5.htm

Southern Baptist

XVI. Peace and War. It is the duty of Christians to seek peace with all men on principles of righteousness. In accordance with the spirit and teachings of Christ they should do all in their power to put an end to war.

The true remedy for the war spirit is the gospel of our Lord. The supreme need of the world is the acceptance of His teachings in all the affairs of men and nations, and the practical application of His law of love. Christian people throughout the world should pray for the reign of the Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 2:4; Matthew 5:9,38-48; 6:33; 26:52; Luke 22:36,38; Romans 12:18-19; 13:1-7; 14:19; Hebrews 12:14; James 4:1-2. Adopted by the Southern Baptist Convention June 14, 2000. From http://www.sbc.net/2000_comparative_report.html

United Methodist

War and Peace

We believe war is incompatible with the teachings and example of Christ. We therefore reject war as a usual instrument of national foreign policy and insist that the first moral duty of all nations is to resolve by peaceful means every dispute that arises between or among them; that human values must outweigh military claims as governments determine their priorities; that the militarization of society must be challenged and stopped; that the manufacture, sale, and deployment of armaments must be reduced and controlled; and that the production, possession, or use of nuclear weapons be condemned. Consequently, we endorse general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control.
From The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church--2000, ¶165C. Copyright 2000 by The United Methodist Publishing House, http://www.umc.org/abouttheumc/policy/world/c-warpeace.htm

Military Service

We deplore war and urge the peaceful settlement of all disputes among nations. From the beginning, the Christian conscience has struggled with the harsh realities of violence and war, for these evils clearly frustrate God's loving purposes for humankind. We yearn for the day when there will be no more war and people will live together in peace and justice. Some of us believe that war, and other acts of violence, are never acceptable to Christians. We also acknowledge that most Christians regretfully realize that, when peaceful alternatives have failed, the force of arms may be preferable to unchecked aggression, tyranny and genocide. We honor the witness of pacifists who will not allow us to become complacent about war and violence. We also respect those who support the use of force, but only in extreme situations and only when the need is clear beyond reasonable doubt, and through appropriate international organizations. We urge the establishment of the rule of law in international affairs as a means of elimination of war, violence, and coercion in these affairs.

We reject national policies of enforced military service as incompatible with the gospel. We acknowledge the agonizing tension created by the demand for military service by national governments. We urge all young adults to seek the counsel of the Church as they reach a conscientious decision concerning the nature of their responsibility as citizens. Pastors are called upon to be available for counseling with all young adults who face conscription, including those who conscientiously refuse to cooperate with a system of conscription.

We support and extend the ministry of the Church to those persons who conscientiously oppose all war, or any particular war, and who therefore refuse to serve in the armed forces or to cooperate with systems of military conscription. We also support and extend the Church's ministry to those persons who conscientiously choose to serve in the armed forces or to accept alternative service.
From The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church--2000, ¶164G. Copyright 2000 by The United Methodist Publishing House, http://www.umc.org/abouttheumc/policy/political/g-military.htm

 

Logos4catholics Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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Pinoy Preacher | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Oct 23 2013 5:23 PM

@all - Thanks for all the responses... Each one is a gem in helping me to reach on a personal conclusive position as to the Christian Pacifism / Just War issue which is currently a hot topic for debate in our denomination. We are on the brink of accepting or rejecting a resolution that is asking for a change on our denomination's official position as to the Christian Pacifism vs. Just War issue.

Thanks again and blessings to all. Yes

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Liam | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Oct 23 2013 6:04 PM

There's a passage in Luke where Jesus commands his disciples to bring swords (the logic is that there is no reason Jesus would want his disciples to have a sword if they were not ok to defend themselves with it - why else would they have it?) i forget what the verse is. There's also an instance in John (I think) where soldiers come and ask John the Baptist how to be saved, and he says nothing of their violent occupation of soldiering.

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George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Oct 23 2013 6:19 PM
Liam Walsh:

There's a passage in Luke where Jesus commands his disciples to bring swords (the logic is that there is no reason Jesus would want his disciples to have a sword if they were not ok to defend themselves with it - why else would they have it?) i forget what the verse is. There's also an instance in John (I think) where soldiers come and ask John the Baptist how to be saved, and he says nothing of their violent occupation of soldiering.

“He said to them, “But now, the one who has a purse must take it, and likewise a bag. And the one who has no sword must sell his cloak and buy one.” (Luke 22:36, NRSV)

Of course, although a cigar is sometimes only a cigar, a sword is not always a sword.

“Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” (Ephesians 6:17, NRSV)

george
gfsomsel

יְמֵי־שְׁנוֹתֵינוּ בָהֶם שִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה וְאִם בִּגְבוּרֹת שְׁמוֹנִים שָׁנָה וְרָהְבָּם עָמָל וָאָוֶן

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David Paul | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Oct 23 2013 7:11 PM

This is a big, difficult subject. YHWH commanded war in many places...yet when David numbered Israel (a precursor to war), YHWH disapproved so strongly He wiped out 70,000 Israelites. If you think the command to hate your enemies (who should be none other than YHWH's enemies) is done away in favor of "love your enemies", your err. Both are expected. The first act of those who are changed at the twinkling of an eye will be to join Yeishuu`a in the wholesale massacre of His enemies, a la Exo. 32:27, 28. While vengeance is YHWH's, He has commanded that the "avenger of blood" render the recompense of His justice. The problem with the pat answers of "just war" or "Christian pacifism" is that they often misapply the Scriptures they call upon, an extremely common failing. One of the big problems is assuming a verse means the same thing to YHWH that it means to the one rendering an interpretation to fit an agenda. Most often, it does not.

And don't forget... Exo. 15:3.

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Oct 23 2013 7:56 PM

David Paul:
The problem with the pat answers of "just war" or "Christian pacifism"

Luckily what I have read of both options mentioned has rarely been pat. There are, of course, additional options ....

Logos4catholics Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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Tes | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Oct 23 2013 8:40 PM

I believe Christians should not defend themselves. They have to leave it for God, the only way they should defend themselves according to my understanding is in the language of "1 Corinthians 9" the purpose of defending themselves should be for the sake of the Truth of God not to be an object of offense by those who deliberately want to misuse and discredit the ministry which God entrusts to his servants.

Blessings in Christ.

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George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Oct 23 2013 8:57 PM
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george
gfsomsel

יְמֵי־שְׁנוֹתֵינוּ בָהֶם שִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה וְאִם בִּגְבוּרֹת שְׁמוֹנִים שָׁנָה וְרָהְבָּם עָמָל וָאָוֶן

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Pinoy Preacher | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Oct 23 2013 11:04 PM

George Somsel:
Liam Walsh:

There's a passage in Luke where Jesus commands his disciples to bring swords (the logic is that there is no reason Jesus would want his disciples to have a sword if they were not ok to defend themselves with it - why else would they have it?) i forget what the verse is. There's also an instance in John (I think) where soldiers come and ask John the Baptist how to be saved, and he says nothing of their violent occupation of soldiering.

“He said to them, “But now, the one who has a purse must take it, and likewise a bag. And the one who has no sword must sell his cloak and buy one.” (Luke 22:36, NRSV)



I am assuming that the context of these verses is that while Jesus was ready to die as part of God's grand plan of Salvation, he also deemed it necessary for his  disciples to defend themselves as their time has not yet come?

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Michael Childs | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Oct 24 2013 7:50 AM

I can see both sides of this issue of pacifism. Certainly Jesus' Sermon on the Mount and many other Scriptures call us to nonviolence whenever possible in our personal interaction with others. We are to return good for evil.

However, I remember a conversation that I had with the great Quaker theologian, Elton Trueblood several decades ago. It was at the height of the nuclear disarmament movement, and the bishops of my own church called for the United States to unilaterally disarm. I thought that was foolish, and asked Dr. Trueblood what he thought about it. I assumed that as a Quaker, he would be in favor of pacifism and disarmament.

Dr. Trueblood replied that in the face of an enemy that is "determined to conquer you, to disarm would not be peacemaking. It would be war making. It would not prevent violence, but promote it. And Jesus called us to be peacemakers." To my surprise, Dr. Trueblood opposed unilateral disarmament.

As to your question about a Scripture passage, I think the fact that Jesus told his disciples to arm themselves on the night he was betrayed might imply the right to self-defense. "Prove" would be too strong a word.. (Luke 22:36-38) I think Jesus was concerned about the Disciples' safety on that dangerous night, and he wanted them to be able to protect themselves. But he said two swords were enough. In other words, don't overdo it. He wanted them just to be able to defend themselves. At least that is how I understand it.

God sometimes leads us to do things that conflict with common sense, but that is the exception rather than the rule. In an issue like this, I would just use common sense. I would also respect those who disagree with me.

Obviously, several others thought of the same passage.

"In all cases, the Church is to be judged by the Scripture, not the Scripture by the Church," John Wesley

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Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Oct 24 2013 7:53 AM

I think the whole discussion presumes a well-oiled 'state' that can enforce 'law'. So 'the developed world' today. $$ matters.

 But traipse on down to Jericho as a woman in the 1st century. Who's kidding who? You really think the apostles traveling with their wives, traveled unarmed? And how was the Ephesus Christian husband supposed to defend his wife with his life? Maybe like on Monty Pithon?

We always travel armed. 


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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Oct 24 2013 8:46 AM

Denise:
We always travel armed. 

I always travel armed (2 arms in fact) but never with weapons. I've not seen something that implied weapons were commonplace among the commonfolk. Any sources?

Logos4catholics Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Oct 24 2013 8:58 AM
Denise:

I think the whole discussion presumes a well-oiled 'state' that can enforce 'law'. So 'the developed world' today. $$ matters.

 But traipse on down to Jericho as a woman in the 1st century. Who's kidding who? You really think the apostles traveling with their wives, traveled unarmed? And how was the Ephesus Christian husband supposed to defend his wife with his life? Maybe like on Monty Pithon?

We always travel armed. 

More guns, less crime.

george
gfsomsel

יְמֵי־שְׁנוֹתֵינוּ בָהֶם שִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה וְאִם בִּגְבוּרֹת שְׁמוֹנִים שָׁנָה וְרָהְבָּם עָמָל וָאָוֶן

Posts 794
Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Oct 24 2013 9:11 AM
Ethics for a Brave New World has a good chapter on the topic called "The Christian and War: Christian Faith in a Nuclear Age". It discusses various passages and applications. There are other helpful resources as well. I served in an Anabaptist denomination and wrestled with this question. Basically it comes down to a few (but not minor) questions scripturally: 1) What is the scope of application of passages such as turning the other cheek? Is it absolute? Is it qualified by other passages? This kind of question should not start with a position in the debate but with trying to understand the passages within their own context in order to determine first of all what was the intended original application (this too can be debatable). Then we see how we can extrapolate it to current issues. 2) How do we relate the overwhelming trajectory of passages such as the ones MJ listed in her first post with examples of self-defense in the Scriptures and (for Anabaptists) usage of force by God Himself? I have found in the NT multiple instances of verbal and attitude of self-defense but none of physical self-defense (there is a possible allusion in the exhortation of the Lord to the disciples to take swords with them depending on how it is understood). 3) How we understand the giving of the sword to authorities by God in Romans 13 in relation to Christians. Can Christians be authorities too? At the end of the day, practical and specific answers are needed to questions such as 1) Should Christians serve in forces such as the police or the army? 2) If we say it is wrong, should we call upon them when we are in need? Should we call the police when the neighbor's wife is being assaulted or just try to argue with the assaulter that it is wrong and there is a better way? 3) How should our kids respond to physical bullying in school and the neighborhood? 4) What about the rod of discipline spoken of in the Scriptures: is the use of "force" allowable in parental discipline? The convictions we reach must make sense of the overall Scriptural picture AND be consistent. Pretty much everybody agree that violence is anti-Christian. The real question is whether there is a difference between violence and the usage of force and whether the latter is also in view in the passages that teach us to be peacemakers.
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David Paul | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Oct 24 2013 9:28 AM

Pinoy Preacher:

George Somsel:
Liam Walsh:

There's a passage in Luke where Jesus commands his disciples to bring swords (the logic is that there is no reason Jesus would want his disciples to have a sword if they were not ok to defend themselves with it - why else would they have it?) i forget what the verse is. There's also an instance in John (I think) where soldiers come and ask John the Baptist how to be saved, and he says nothing of their violent occupation of soldiering.

“He said to them, “But now, the one who has a purse must take it, and likewise a bag. And the one who has no sword must sell his cloak and buy one.” (Luke 22:36, NRSV)



I am assuming that the context of these verses is that while Jesus was ready to die as part of God's grand plan of Salvation, he also deemed it necessary for his  disciples to defend themselves as their time has not yet come?

I don't think I would assume that, especially since he rebukes them for using the swords they brought. Again (surprise, surprise), this is an issue of prophecy, not PRACTICAL CHRISTIANITY. Not to be flippant about it, but in a certain sense, very little of the Bible is about practical Christianity. That is slight hyperbole, but it speaks to a concept that needs to be comprehended. Yes, we are supposed to derive behavior instructions from Scripture, but mistakes are made when people overlook and ignore the ever-present prophetic intent that undergirds virtually every verse of Scripture.

Let's review: Yeishuu`a tells them to sell a cloak and buy one. But he doesn't tell them to EACH have a sword--when they say they have two swords already (and He already knew they had two...He's God), He says "It is enough." Two swords is not enough swords to defend over a dozen men. The point wasn't to defend themselves with the swords (see rebuke comment above) but to FULFILL PROPHECY. This really shouldn't surprise anyone...Yeishuu`a says clearly that is why he wants to be sure they have at least two swords (i.e. witnesses) to establish the connection to Isa. 53:12, that He was numbered with transgressors. In other words, possibly just having the swords, and certainly using one as Peter does, is "transgression". In other words, Him insisting that the disciples brings swords along wasn't for protection, it was to label the disciples as transgressors...it was a means of muddying and tarnishing them. In other words, IT WAS PROPHECY.

That said, does this mean that violence is "bad"? That is a slippery question. The answer is both "no" and "yes". Or as any good relativist would say, it depends. I'm running out of time for now, but YHWH can and does use violence whenever it suits His will and purpose, and He is far more effective at it than Genghis Khan, Attila the Hun, Hilter, Pol Pot, or Stalin could ever hope to be. Blood running up to a horse's bridle is not grade school violence. But He does it to serve His purpose. The reason Yeishuu`a told us to turn the other cheek isn't because "violence is evil", as is generally assumed. It is because He came first as the Lamb led to the slaughter. When he comes the second time, it will be as the Lion of Judah, and He will leave carnage everywhere He goes...humans will be rarer than gold.

Point is, you can't just pick up a verse and assume it is a "devotional for daily living"--it almost never is. What it is, rather, is a prophetic principle that requires prophetic understanding to fully comprehend.

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Daniel Yoder | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Oct 24 2013 10:36 AM

For further study on this topic I would recommend the book What Would You Do? by John Howard Yoder.  It is available as part of this collection:

https://www.logos.com/product/23960/john-howard-yoder-collection

And, while you're at it, pre-order https://www.logos.com/product/35481/select-works-of-john-howard-yoder

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Super.Tramp | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Oct 24 2013 11:29 AM

It is all fine and dandy for us to all turn the other cheek. But can we turn someone else's cheek for them? If a police officer (charged by God to enforce the law) decides to allow you to be assaulted in his presence would he be following the will of God? I think not.

So while I may respond peacefully to one who does violence to me, I may have a different response to one who does violence to others.

...

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Wild Eagle | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Oct 24 2013 11:48 AM

Seems like its theological debate now...

"No man is greater than his prayer life. The pastor who is not praying is playing; the people who are not praying are straying." Leonard Ravenhill 

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Super.Tramp | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Oct 24 2013 11:52 AM

Wild Eagle:

Seems like its theological debate now...

Let me ask this question (to the chagrin of George Somsel);

Are there any scriptural references that define what an "unjust war" is? I have not found the term in my Bible.

EDIT: All of the Bible references given are directed to our personal/individual responses to others who harm us. I see a big difference between how a Christian is to respond and how a government is to respond.

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