What does the Bible say about self-defense?
Answer to the question When it comes to self-defense, the Bible does not provide an exhaustive list of rules.Some scriptures, including as Proverbs 25:21–22, Matthew 5:39, and Romans 12:17, appear to speak of God’s people as being pacifistic.However, there are other passages in the Bible that support the right to self-defense.
What are the conditions under which personal self-defense is appropriate?The appropriate use of self-defense necessitates the use of intelligence, insight, and subtlety.The Bible says in Luke 22:36 that Jesus instructs His surviving followers, ″If you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak to go and get one.″ Jesus saw that the moment had come for His people to be threatened, and He backed their right to defend themselves.The next day, Jesus is taken into custody; shortly after, Peter draws a sword and slices off the ear of someone.In verses 49–51, Jesus rebukes Peter for his actions (verses 49–51).Why?
- Peter, in his desire to protect the Lord, placed himself in the path of God’s will and purpose.
- Jesus had already stated to His followers on several occasions that He would be arrested, tried, and executed (e.g., Matthew 17:22–23).
- To put it another way, Peter made a poor decision in that scenario.
- We must have discernment in deciding when to fight and when not to fight.
- According to Exodus 22, ″If a thief is found breaking into a house at night and is hit with a death blow, the defender is not guilty of bloodshed; but if it occurs after the sun has come up, the defender is guilty of bloodshed.″ The right to hold private property and the right to protect one’s property are two fundamental ideas presented in this work, and they are both discussed in detail.
- The full exercise of one’s right to self-defense, on the other hand, was contingent on the circumstances.
- It is important to remember that no one should be too ready to employ lethal force against another, even if that person intends to harm him.
- A homeowner who was attacked by a would-be thief in the middle of the night and murdered him in the turmoil of the moment was not charged with murder under the law.
- Unless, of course, the thief was discovered in the house during the day, when the homeowner was unlikely to be roused from his or her slumber, the death of the thief was prohibited by law.
- To put it another way, the Law said that homeowners should not be hasty in killing or attacking burglars in their homes.
The use of deadly force was supposed to be a last choice, and to be employed only in the case of a terrified ″surprise assault,″ in which the householder is likely to be bewildered and disoriented, rather than in any of the other instances.Because of the darkness and chaos that accompanied the attack, the homeowner was given the benefit of the doubt that he would not purposefully use fatal force against a thief if the incident occurred at night.However, even in cases of self-defense against thieves, a godly person should attempt to restrain the adversary rather than instantly resorting to killing him.Paul used non-violent self-defense on a few occasions, although he was not always successful.In Jerusalem, as he was about to be flogged by the Romans, Paul gently reminded the centurion wielding the scourge that he, Paul, was in fact a citizen of the Roman Empire.
The authorities were instantly worried and began to treat Paul differently, well aware that they had broken Roman law by even placing him in chains in the first place.Previously, at Philippi, after having been publicly humiliated, Paul used a similar defense in order to obtain an official apology from those who had violated his rights (Acts 16:37–39).According to Jesus’ parable, the persistent widow kept hammering on the judge’s door, pleading with him to ″grant me justice against my opponent″ (Luke 18:3).This widow was not willing to give up and allow her adversary to take advantage of her; instead, she pursued self-defense via the correct legal channels.
- The exhortation to ″turn the other cheek″ (Matthew 5:39) has everything to do with how we respond to personal slights and injustices in our lives.
- Some situations may necessitate self-defense rather than retaliatory action of any type.
- The teaching of Jesus against the concept of ″eye for eye, and tooth for tooth″ is the context in which this edict is given (verse 38).
Our self-defense does not constitute a vindictive response to an assault of any kind.A great deal of wrongdoing may actually be forgiven and forgotten if we are patient and kind.According to the Bible, self-defense is never prohibited, and Christians are free to defend themselves and their family.
However, the fact that we have the right to protect ourselves does not imply that we must do so in every circumstance.By studying God’s Word and relying on ″the wisdom that comes from above″ (James 3:17), we may determine how to appropriately respond in situations that may need the use of force against another person.Return to: Bible Study Questions on a Specific Topic When it comes to self-defense, what does the Bible have to say?
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Jesus, Guns, and Self-Defense: What Does the Bible Say? – The American Vision
The following article was originally published in 2016.The argument over how institutions of worship should defend themselves continues to go on.Is there any aid to be found in the Bible?
Are you a good Christian?Are you a bad Christian?It all relies on who is conducting the assessing in the first place.The response of Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr.’s statements advising students to be armed in the event of an ISIS assault has sparked a great deal of theological and political debate.Falwell Jr.’s words were met with widespread condemnation.McLaren, who is characterized as ″one of the most powerful Christian leaders in America″ and ″selected by Time Magazine as one of the 25 Most Influential Evangelicals in America in 2005,″ has penned a lengthy response to Falwell’s remarks.
- There have been a few more as well.
- According to the Boston Globe, Peter Enns has authored a confusing piece.
- I’m not clear if Enns is endorsing or denouncing the Bible in this statement.
- Jonathan Merritt, writing for The Atlantic, has also expressed his displeasure with Falwell’s remarks.
- At the very least, he makes some use of the Bible in an attempt to convey his point, although in a selective manner.
- ″For us, authentic Christianity is the loving, peaceful, just, and generous way of life embodied in Jesus,″ writes McLaren in his lengthy article on Falwell’s gun-arming message.
- ″For us, authentic Christianity is the loving, peaceful, just, and generous way of life embodied in Jesus,″ writes McLaren in his lengthy article on Falwell.
- This type of warfare is defined by self-giving rather than self-defense, by pre-emptive peacemaking rather than pre-emptive aggression.″ ″Authentic Christianity″ encompasses the entirety of the Bible.
- Our responsibility to be prepared in the event of a San Bernardino-type situation does not diminish our ability to be loving, peaceful, just, and generous, or to give of ourselves.
- Being armed and willing to defend ourselves, our family, and our neighbors does not imply that we are being unspiritual or unchristian in any way.
Self-defense may go a long way toward protecting the innocent from those who are determined on murdering them for whatever motive they may have.Christians in Paris and San Bernardino should have been as ″self-giving″ as possible when confronted with the greatest type of human depravity, but they were not.Would it have been more ″self-giving″ to die at the hands of murderers, or would it have been more loving to intervene and prevent those who were pumping bullets into victims from continuing their spree of violence?McLaren’s piece is completely devoid of any substantive biblical argumentation.We are told by Jesus in Matthew 5:9 that ″Blessed are the peacemakers,″ but He doesn’t tell us what to do when someone, despite our best efforts to be peaceful, still wants to steal, rape, or murder us.
We must go to other sections of the Bible for guidance, because God’s message is found throughout the entire Bible, not only the verses in red.Comments made by John Piper against Falwell found their way all the way into the editorial pages of the Washington Post.Robert Schenck, an evangelical pastor, is no exception to this rule.When evangelicals come out against arming for self-defense, the Washington Post suddenly becomes interested in what the Bible says, despite the fact that evangelicals have no use for the Bible on the subjects of abortion and same-sex sexuality.
- For example, there is Jesus’ commandment to ″turn the other cheek″ (Matt.
- Jesus does not instruct us to continue to turn the other cheek.
His message is about not escalating the situation.There’s quite a difference between slapping someone across the face and someone wanting to take a baseball bat to your head or the head of your wife and/or children.Self-defense is a biblical option in such cases.
Consider this passage from biblical case law:“If the thief is caught while breaking in and is struck so that he dies, there will be no bloodguiltiness on his account.But if the sun has risen on him, there will be bloodguiltiness on his account.He shall surely make restitution; if he owns nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft” (Ex.22:2-3).(Ex.22:2-3).
- The homeowner can assume that someone breaking into his house at night has nothing but bad intentions.
- He may be armed or not.
- The homeowner does not have to ask any questions to find out.
- The homeowner can respond by striking the intruder “so that he dies.” If this happens, even if the attempt was only theft (unknown to the homeowner), the homeowner is cleared of all guilt in the thief’s death.
- Daytime is a different story because the victim can make a better assessment of intent.
- If two people enter a building with AR15s and other weapons, killing these people before they kill you and others is the right thing to do.
Being loving, peaceful, just and generous, and self-giving do not apply.To put it simply, there’s no time.James B.
Jordan has some helpful comments on the issue of self-defense: “Under pagan influence, Western civilization has sometimes adopted a notion of ‘fair fighting.’ There is no such thing as a fair fight.The notion of a fair fight is Satanic and barbarous.If a child or a man finds himself in a situation where an appeal to arbitration is not possible, he should fight with all he has.If the neighborhood bully catches your child on the way home from school, and your child cannot escape by fleeing, your child should poke a hole in him with a sharp pencil, or kick him in the groin.
If the bully’s parents will not restrain him, call the police.“If you or your child has been trained in self-defense, of course, you may be able to dispatch your assailant with a minimum of force.Always realize, though, that the man who attacks you, or your wife, has forfeited all his rights to ‘fair’ treatment.Women should be prepared to gouge out the eyes of any man who attacks them.” (James B.Jordan, The Law and the Covenant: An Exposition of Exodus 21-23 (Tyler, Texas: Institute for Christian Economics, 1984), 111-112.)) In the 1959 film Ben Hur, there is a discussion between Balthasar and Judah Ben Hur about seeking revenge, which is another subject altogether and not a self-defense issue (Rom.12:18-21): Judah: I must deal with Messala in my own way.
Balthasar: And your way is to kill him.I see this terrible thing in your eyes, Judah Ben-Hur.But no matter what this man has done to you, you have no right to take his life.He will be punished inevitably.Overhearing their conversation, Sheik Ilderim says, “Balthasar is a good man.
But until all men are like him, we must keep our swords bright!” If all those in the world had the heart of Balthasar, then there would be no need to discuss what the right response is regarding self-defense.That’s why Paul writes, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone” (Rom.12:18) (Rom.12:18) The story of David and Goliath is helpful since “five smooth stones” and a “sling” are the closest equivalent to a handgun we can find in the Bible.David seems to have been armed with his sling at all times.There was no way he could run home to get his sling when a lion or a bear was about to attack his flock (1 Sam.
- 17:31-37, 41-54).
- (1 Sam.
- 17:31-37, 41-54).
- It’s possible that Jesus had the Old Testament case law in mind when offered this injunction to His disciples:“But be sure of this, if the head of the house had known at what time of the night the thief was coming, he would have been on the alert and would not have allowed his house to be broken into” (Matt 24:43).
(Matt 24:43).But of course you rarely know when someone is going to break into your house, therefore, you must be on guard all the time.The same is true in situations like Paris and San Bernardino.But being on guard are not enough if you are unarmed and have to face an armed intruder.
In another passage, Jesus is teaching by analogy:“When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own homestead, his possessions are undisturbed.But when someone stronger than he attacks him and overpowers him, he takes away from him all his armor on which he had relied and distributes his plunder” (Luke 11:21).(Luke 11:21).A fully armed strong man is a deterrent to a thief.It’s the fact that the strong man is armed that protects the potential thief from being harmed.
Another strong man will think twice about ever trying to rob or harm someone who is armed.The two San Bernardino Muslims who murdered 14 and injured 17 never would have gone to the community center if they had known the people had followed something like what Jerry Falwell Jr.was calling on the student body at Liberty University to do.Here’s what Falwell’s critics miss: Armed people save lives by making evil people think twice about attacking a person or place where there might be some armed push back.One could say that it’s loving to be armed since it might stop someone who has evil intent from not following through with an evil act.
The most famous New Testament passage is a command of Jesus for His disciples to sell their garments and buy a sword (Luke 22:36-38).(Luke 22:36-38).Personally, I do not believe this is a good proof text for being armed, but it does show that being armed was a norm for that time, and Jesus does not object.
Peter impetuously uses his sword against a servant of the high priest (John 18:10; Matt.26:51; Luke 22:50) who had come out with a crowd armed with clubs and swords (Luke 22:52).(Luke 22:52).In biblical terms, his actions were impermissible and under biblical law would have required some form of restitution of which Jesus immediately made (Ex.21:22-25).(Ex.
21:22-25).Under normal circumstances, swords were permissible for self-defense, otherwise, why did the “chief priests and officers of the temple and elders” have them?There is, however, something else going on here of biblical theological importance that has little to do with self-defense.However the sword passage is interpreted, at no time did Jesus condemn anyone for having a sword.The disciples lived in dangerous times (Luke 10:29-37).(Luke 10:29-37).
Furthermore, the Romans didn’t seem to have a problem with their subjects (the Jews) owning swords.
A Nuanced Difference
Christians, I believe, are frequently perplexed as to what it means to turn the other cheek.Matthew 5: ″You have heard that it has been stated, ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth,’ but I say to you, ″Do not oppose the one who is evil,″ and ″If anybody slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other as well.″ According to the phrasing of the scripture, the lesson that Jesus is teaching about turning the other cheek has a special significance.For example, if I’m facing someone and I slap that person on the right cheek, it would be necessary for me to slap the person with the back of my hand in order to make contact with the person’s right cheek on the first attempt.
As a result, I believe what Jesus is saying is that we should not respond violently when someone offends us with an insult.The passage does not appear to be about escape or defending ourselves against a violent attack that might cause us serious damage or even death.Christians should not respond when they are persecuted explicitly for their Christian religion, but should instead accept that this is part of what God has called them to do, which is to suffer for the sake of the gospel message.
The Bible has several more verses that urge us to flee from danger or even use force in self-defense, if necessary, as well as to defend other people who are being attacked in an unjust manner.Although they had traveled with Jesus for three years, Jesus’ followers continued to carry swords.They were armed with swords in the Garden of Gethsemane.
Self-defense was the primary reason for the employment of swords in the first century.As a result, I believe that there are instances in which self-defense is appropriate in order to prevent us from incurring substantial bodily injury.However, I must emphasize that Christians should not react when they are persecuted explicitly for their Christian beliefs, but should instead accept that this is part of what God has called them to do in order to suffer for the sake of the gospel message.
In this highly practical, biblically based volume on Christian ethics, best-selling author Wayne Grudem explains in 42 detailed chapters what the Bible teaches about ethical dilemmas affecting marriage, government, abortion, and dozens of other subjects.
The Playground Dilemma
Another dilemma that arises in the context of self-defense is what should be done by children when they are attacked by a bully on a playground.Although children should be taught to be peacemakers (see Matthew 5:9), if a bully continues to escalate his or her attacks and no one intervenes (which, unfortunately, is often the case), I believe children should be taught to fight back and defend themselves with courage and determination, as well as to pray for and forgive those who have attacked them.Otherwise, adolescents may continue to endure bodily pain while internalizing a strong feeling of unfairness and perplexity as to why no parent, teacher, or other authority is intervening to save their lives.
That, I believe, can be really destructive.A Distinguished Research Professor of Theology and Biblical Studies at Phoenix Seminary, Wayne Grudem holds a doctorate from the University of Cambridge in theology.He is a member of the English Standard Version of the Bible’s Translation Oversight Committee, the general editor of the ESV Study Bible, and the author of more than twenty-five works, including the ESV Study Bible.
Crossway is a Christian ministry that exists solely for the purpose of proclaiming the gospel through the publication of gospel-centered and Bible-centered content. Crossway is a non-profit Christian ministry that exists solely for the purpose of publishing gospel-centered and Bible-centered content. Visit crossway.org/about to learn more or to make a donation right away.
Is it a sin to defend yourself?
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What does it say in the Bible about self defense?
According to Scripture, we have the ability to protect others and that we should be prepared to defend ourselves and others in a group situation (either individually or collectively) (Nehemiah 4:11-15, Ecclesiastes 4:9, 12). When we read Deuteronomy 22:23-27, we may deduce that we should come to the rescue of someone who is calling out for help while being subjected to a violent attack.
Does the Bible justify self Defence?
According to Scripture, we are capable of defending others and we should be prepared to protect ourselves and others in a group situation (Nehemiah 4:11-15, Ecclesiastes 4:9, 12). When we read Deuteronomy 22:23-27, we may deduce that we should come to the rescue of someone who is cries out for help while being attacked violently.
What does Jesus say is most important?
After seeing them argue with one another, one of the scribes approached him and asked, ″Which commandment is the most essential of all?″ After seeing that he answered them properly, he was given the answer: ″The greatest commandment.″ ″The most essential is ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one,’″ Jesus said.″The Lord our God, the Lord is one.″ ″There is no higher commandment than these,″ says the Lord.
What did Jesus say about weapons?
They demonstrate that, when the passage is read in context (Luke 22:36-38), Jesus is also conscious of the fulfillment of prophesy and makes the startling assertion that two swords are ″enough.″ ″But now, if you have a pocketbook, take it, as well as a bag; and if you don’t have a weapon, sell your cloak and get one,″ he instructed them.
What does the Bible say about tattoos?
Specifically, Leviticus 19:28 states, ″You shall not create any cuts in your body for the deceased, nor tattoo any markings on yourself: I am the Lord.″ So, what is the significance of this verse in the Bible?
Where in the Bible does it say turn the other cheek?
In the fifth chapter of the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus offers the following alternative to the principle of ″an eye for an eye″: ″An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth,″ as the saying goes, is something you’ve probably heard before.39But I say to you, do not stand up to the one who is doing you harm.However, if someone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to face him on the opposite cheek as well.
What does the Bible say about eye for an eye?
However, in the New Testament book of Matthew (5:38-42), Jesus explicitly rejects even that premise. I have heard it said, ‘An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, avoid evil at all costs: but if anybody strikes thee on the right cheek, turn to him the other as well.
Is Exodus in the Old Testament?
It is also the name of a historical event that took place in the 13th century bce when the people of Israel were freed from slavery in Egypt under the leadership of Moses, as well as a book of the Old Testament of the same name.
What are the most important things in Christianity?
Belief in the existence of God the Father, Jesus Christ as God’s Son, and the Holy Spirit. The death of Christ, his journey into hell, his resurrection, and his ascension are all shown. The holiness of the Church and the communion of saints are two important concepts. The second coming of Christ, the Day of Judgment, and the salvation of the faithful are all mentioned in the Bible.
Did Jesus pray the Shema?
It is recorded in the Gospel of Mark 12:29–31 that Jesus of Nazareth considered the opening exhortation of the Shema to be the first of his two greatest commandments, and that this was coupled with a second (based on Leviticus 19:18b): ″I have come to give you my commandment.″ ″The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord; and thou shalt love the Lord thy God.″ ″Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord.″
What is the golden rule from the Bible?
Content. The King James Version of the Bible has the following text: Therefore, all things whatsoever you would that men should do to you, do ye also to them: for this is the law and the prophets.
Self-defense – What does the Bible say?
Many people have a confused view about what the Bible says in regards to self-defense.The law given in Exodus 22:2-3 says that if a man breaks into a home to steal at night, the home-owner has the right to kill him in defense.In daylight, when the home-owner can see that he is there to steal and not to kill, he cannot kill the thief in defense.
In Luke 22:37-39, Jesus explains it is good to be appropriately armed.In Proverbs 25:21-22 and Romans 12:17, Scriptures say to not repay evil with evil, but to bless your enemies.And in Matthew 5:39, Jesus said if someone slaps your right cheek, offer them your left as well.The Bible has very few laws regarding self-defense, but plenty of examples.When Lot and his people were captured, Abram had no problem rescuing him with force (Genesis 14:13-16).(Genesis 14:13-16).
- In Luke 22:36, Jesus advised His disciples to take swords along with their other provisions.
- Then again, David refused to harm Saul, even though Saul was trying to kill him.
- And Jesus scolded Peter for using a sword to fight off the guards that were taking Jesus away (John 18:10-11).
- (John 18:10-11).
- What’s the difference?
- The timing and the situation.
- In a situation with an unknown aggressor with unknown intent, as in Exodus 22:2, it is okay to use self-defense.
- If the offense has already occurred, as in Proverbs 25 and Romans 12, we should not take the law into our own hands, but seek justice through the authorities.
- David refused to kill Saul because Saul was God’s anointed king and authority.
- Jesus condemned Peter’s action not because of his intent to defend Christ, but because Peter was getting in the way of God’s plan for the guards to take Jesus.
The Matthew 5 passage is stickiest.It appears to say that we are to take whatever abuse comes our way quietly.But a ″slap on the cheek″ didn’t mean physical violence.It refers to an insult against honor.We are not to defend our honor with physical violence, but shrug it off.
Another situation that occasionally comes up is what if a wife is a trained fighter and the husband is not?Should the husband, as protector, defend his wife?Or should he let his wife be the aggressor?Although the Bible allows that women may be involved in battle, the Bible doesn’t speak of this specific scenario.
- It’s best if the husband and wife talk about this beforehand.
- They need to know each other’s strengths and determine how to work together before the threat even arises.
- These are the examples we should follow—to determine the real threat and wisely act accordingly.
It is fine to be armed, but it is better to escape unscathed than to needlessly kill an attacker.Related Truth: Does the Bible say anything about war?How should Christians view hate speech?
What does the Bible say?Is restitution a biblical mandate?Are Christians subject to the laws of the land?Why should we forgive?Return to:Topical Truth
What Does the Bible Say about Self-Defense?
In today’s environment, security is really vital.In today’s world, cybersecurity, advanced technical home safety systems, and understanding of self-defense strategies are all commonplace and widely available.Christians also demand protection in their churches and homes, and some churches even offer self-defense lessons to help them achieve this goal.
In spite of the fact that it is easy to make assumptions about one’s own safety, the main concern for a disciple of Christ should be what the Lord has to say about any topic, including one’s own personal safety and defense.Scripture has several passages that are relevant to self-defense, including explicit pronouncements and instances of loyal followers of God who have engaged in the protection of themselves and others in times of danger.
What Does Turn the Other Cheek Mean?
Another important Bible text that comes up frequently in the issue of self-defense is Matthew 5:39, in which Jesus talks about turning the other cheek.″You have heard that it has been said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth,’″ the Lord continued, referring to the biblical phrase.But I warn you: do not stand up to someone who is bad.
If someone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to face them and slap them on the other cheek″ (Matthew 5:38-39, NIV).This passage has sparked debate among Christians, with some questioning if Jesus is suggesting that people should allow themselves to be injured rather than defending themselves.Taking a closer look at this line, it’s vital to remember that Jesus is making a clear reference to Old Testament chapters that deal with the law of reprisal (Exodus 21:24; Leviticus 24:20).According to these scriptures, God meant for revenge associated with wrongdoing to be kept to a minimum.However, Christ emphasizes the importance of those who are prepared to relinquish their rights and accept slights against themselves.Numerous observers point out that even while a slap on the face might be seen as an insult, it is not considered life-threatening in most situations.
- Instead of retaliating, Christ encourages us to have a selfless attitude by turning the other cheek and going the additional mile for others in need (Matthew 5:39-41).
- It is also evident in the writings of the apostles that this principle of non-retaliation is taught.
- ″Do not repay anybody ill for evil,″ believers are told in Romans 12:17 (New International Version), and ″do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult″ (1 Peter 3:9, NIV).
- These words are not about self-defense, but rather about retribution against those who have hurt you.
- According to Jesus’ teachings, Christians are not to respond in an insulting manner against someone who has offended them.
Scriptural Examples of Self-Defense
The Bible warns against vindictive revenge, yet it does not outlaw self-defense in some circumstances.There are several cases of people who have successfully defended themselves against an attack on their lives.Among other things, Esther asked that the Jews be given the ability to defend themselves against a violent Persian onslaught that had been organized by the villain, Haman (Esther 8:3-6).
The Jews were given the opportunity to fight back against their oppressors and successfully defended themselves against the planned extermination, demonstrating God’s hand at work in the events to protect and preserve His chosen nation (Esther 8:11; 9:1-2).Purim, a Jewish festival commemorating the events detailed in the Book of Esther, is still celebrated today by the Jewish community (Esther 9:18-32).When the Israelites, under the leadership of Nehemiah, erected the wall around Jerusalem, they armed themselves for defense in a similar manner (Nehemiah 4:11-18).It is really recorded in the Bible that the Israelites ″worked with one hand while holding a weapon with the other″ (Nehemiah 4:17, NIV).Even while working on the wall, the construction workers donned their swords (Nehemiah 4:18).When their opponents attempted to attack them to prevent them from rebuilding the wall, the Israelites prepared to defend themselves; but, they did not engage in open warfare against their adversaries.
- As a result, the Bible contains examples of people who have acted in self-defense.
- Believers now have the ability and responsibility to endeavor to safeguard themselves and others from danger.
- It even has an example of someone who protects himself and his family from an intruder during the night in the Bible…
- (Exodus 22:2-3).
- When one defends one’s self or others, they are protecting themselves against physical, mental, spiritual, and sexual damage as well as defending themselves against those who are defending themselves.
- Consider the following scenario: A male or female victim of physical or sexual abuse should attempt to retaliate against their assailant(s).
- They are not guilty of sin since they are attempting to protect themselves.
- Christians are not expected to allow themselves to be treated as ″doormats,″ allowing anybody to come and go as they want with their lives and property.
- As an alternative, they can protect themselves and work for the well-being of the weak and powerless (Psalm 82:3).
- The spiritual sphere, which is treated extensively in God’s Word, is another area in which Christians are enjoined to defend themselves ″again against the rulers and authorities, against the powers of this dark world, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the higher regions″ (Ephesians 6:12, NIV).
Satan is depicted as a roaring lion intent on devouring believers (1 Peter 5:8), which is why Christians should be on the lookout for the devil’s schemes and tactics (2 Corinthians 2:11).For example, in his letter to the Ephesians, Paul draws imagery from Roman soldiers’ armor and weaponry in order to depict the many components of a Christian’s armor that they should wear in order to protect themselves from Satan’s attacks (Ephesians 6:10-20).As a result, safeguarding oneself and others does not have to be restricted to the physical sphere, but may also extend to the spiritual realm.
Persecution and Self-Defense
In many situations, self-defense is necessary; yet, persecution for the sake of Christ is dealt with in a different way in the Bible.Through most of the New Testament, persecution for one’s faith in Jesus is viewed as a privilege that Christians are privileged to experience.″Blessed are those who are persecuted for doing what is right, because theirs is the kingdom of heaven,″ Jesus declared.
When people criticize you, persecute you, and falsely accuse you of all kinds of wickedness because of me, you should consider yourselves blessed.″Rejoice and be joyful, because great is your reward in heaven, for they persecuted the prophets who came before you in the same way they torment you″ (Matthew 5:10-12, NIV).Suffering as a result of one’s trust in Jesus will result in heavenly benefits for those who do so.After being flogged for preaching in the name of Jesus, the disciples realized the truth of this statement (Acts 5:40-41).In general, most of the followers of Christ portrayed in the Bible were willing to bear hardship because they placed their faith in Jesus.There have been instances when people have escaped persecution, yet God has used even this to further the spread of the gospel (Acts 8:1, 4).
- Persecution was avoided at previous times because it was considered an impediment to the spread of the gospel of Jesus’ death and resurrection.
- Consider the fact that Paul purposefully defended himself from being beaten by asserting his citizenship rights as a Roman citizen in order to prevent an unnecessary delay (Acts 22:24-25).
- As a result, requesting protection from persecution is both recommended and necessary at some times.
- The majority of incidents of persecution, on the other hand, are the result of a conscious decision to truly follow Christ and relinquish personal rights.
- Love for Jesus and a burning desire to disseminate His message across the globe are so crucial that His followers should be prepared to lay down their lives in order to accomplish this goal (John 15:13; 1 John 3:16).
- Suffering persecution for the cause of Christ is a privilege, since Jesus suffered and gave His life in order to release the world from the bonds of sin and death (John 15:12).
- (John 10:18; Romans 8:2).
Protecting Oneself and Others
Self-defense is sanctioned by the Scriptures.Many examples of believers of God striving to safeguard themselves and others from danger may be found in the Bible.While Christ condemns retribution and revenge, He does not forbid people from acting in self-defense when they are in danger.
In order to avoid injury and suffering, Christians do not commit sin when they defend themselves or others from harm and suffering.Further reading may be found at: What Does the Phrase ″An Eye for an Eye″ Imply?Why is it only the Lord who can exact vengeance?When It Comes to Revenge, What Does the Bible Say?Photograph courtesy of iStock/Getty Images Plus/rez-art Sophia Bricker is a freelance writer who specializes in biblical and theological matters.She likes studying and producing essays on these subjects.
- She has also written for Unlocked devotional, in addition to writing essays regarding biblical topics as a freelance writer.
- The Bible and her faith in Jesus are two of her greatest passions, and she is presently pursuing a Master of Arts in Ministry while also completing a Bachelor of Arts in Ministry.
- When she is not studying or writing, Sophia likes spending time with her family, reading, painting, and gardening in her spare time.
Bible verses about self defense
Guns are the most common self-defense weapon that can be found in most houses nowadays.When it comes to handgun ownership, we must exercise caution.There are many dumb, trigger-happy folks who carry weapons these days, and they should not even be allowed to own a knife since they are so careless with their firearms.
As Christians, we should never, ever consider killing someone as our first option.Here are a couple such examples.While you are sleeping, you hear the sounds of a burglar.It’s the middle of the night, you’re afraid, so you go for your 357 and shoot and murder that individual.Because it is dark, you cannot tell if the intruder is armed or whether he intends to rob, injure, or murder you.In this circumstance, you are not liable for anything.
- As an example, if you are in the middle of the day and you catch an unarmed intruder who either attempts to flee out the door or falls to the ground and says ″please don’t kill me,″ but you do, in Florida and many other states, that is considered murder or manslaughter, depending on your story and evidence at the scene.
- Many people, motivated by rage, kill intruders and then lie about their actions.
- Many individuals are imprisoned for following and killing intruders who came into their homes.
- Sometimes the best course of action is to get out of the situation and contact 911.
- God commands us not to return evil for evil.
- If, on the other hand, someone is armed or attempts to run at you and assault you, that is a very other issue.
- You have a responsibility to safeguard your family, and you would not be held responsible if something happened.
- You must familiarize yourself with the firearms laws in your state, and you must use caution in all circumstances.
- The only time you should ever resort to lethal force is if your life, the life of your wife, or the life of your kid is under danger.
- The bottom line is to place your whole confidence in God, and if you own a handgun, pray for discernment in all circumstances.
Quote The Second Amendment states that ″arms in the hands of people may be employed at their discretion for the defense of the country, the overthrow of tyranny, or private self-defense.″ John Adams was a founding father of the United States.
- What does the Bible say about this?
- Exodus 22:2-3 is a good place to start.
- When a thief is apprehended while breaking into a house and is struck and murdered in the process, the person who struck and killed the thief is not guilty of murder.
″ ″However, if the thief is slain in broad daylight, the person who killed him is guilty of murder.″ 2: Luke 11:21 ″When a strong man, properly armed, protects his own home, his property is protected.″ 3.Isaiah 49:25 (King James Version) ″Who has the power to pluck the spoils of battle from the grasp of a warrior?″ ″Who has the authority to demand that a dictator release his captives?″ Purchasing firearms or other self-defense weapons is a serious decision.4.Luke 22:35-37 (King James Version) ″Then Jesus inquired of them, ″Did you require anything when I dispatched you to preach the Good News and you did not bring money, a traveler’s bag, or an additional pair of sandals?″ ″No,″ they said in response.
- ″But for the time being,″ he said, ″take your money and a traveler’s bag.″ And if you don’t already have a sword, sell your cloak and invest the money on one!
- As a result, the time has arrived for the fulfillment of the following prophesy concerning me: ‘He was included among the rebels.’ Yes, everything that the prophets have foretold about me will come to pass.″ 5.
- Luke 22:38-39 (NASB) ″Take a look, Lord,″ they said, pointing to two swords in their midst.
- ″I think that’s enough,″ he declared.
- When Jesus had finished speaking, he left the upper apartment and proceeded as usual to the Mount of Olives with his followers.″ There will be no retaliation.
Number six, Matthew 5:38-39 You have heard it stated, ‘An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, fight evil at all costs; and whosoever smiteth thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other as well.’″ 7.The book of Romans 12:17 ″Never return evil for evil to a fellow human being.″ Provide things that are honest in the eyes of everyone.″ 8.1 Peter 3:9 (New International Version) ″Do not retaliate against evil with more evil or insult with more insult.″ Repentance is better than revenge, since you were called to this so that you can be the recipient of blessing.″ 9.Proverbs 24:29 (King James Version) ″Do not say that I will do to him as he has done to me; rather, say that I will pay to the man according to his labor.″ Weapons are being used.
- Psalm 144:1 is the tenth verse.
- ″I give thanks to the Lord, who is my rock.
- He prepares my hands for warfare and instills fighting skills in my fingertips.″ Psalm 18:34 is the eleventh verse.
- ″He prepares my hands for war; he strengthens my arm so that I may draw a bronze bow,″ says the protagonist.
- You’ll need to use your judgment.
Job 34:4 (Job 34:4) The author writes, ″Let us choose what is right for ourselves; let us discover what is good together.″ Psalm 119:125 (13th Psalm) ″I am your servant; please grant me wisdom so that I may understand your commandments,″ says the servant.Psalm 119:66 is the fourteenth verse.″Train my judgment and wisdom to be sound, for I am a believer in your commands.″ Reminder 15.Matthew 12:29 (New International Version) ″As a result, how can one get into a strong man’s house and spoil his things without first tying the strong man’s hands?
And then he will spoil the strong man’s house,″ says the author.You have a responsibility to defend yourself and your family.16: Psalm 82:4 says, ″Rescue the poor and the destitute, and assist them in escaping the tyranny of evil people.″ 17.Proverbs 24:11 says, ″Rescue prisoners who are sentenced to death, and spare those who are stumbling toward their execution.″ 18.1 Timothy 5:8 (New International Version) When someone does not provide for their own, and in particular for those in their own household, he has rejected the religion and is worse than an infidel, according to Islam.Follow the rules of the road.
- Romans 13:1-7 is the text for this week.
- ″Let everyone be subject to the laws and regulations of the state.″ Because there is no authority other than that which God has appointed, and the authorities that do exist have been established by God.
- Consequently, anybody who challenges such authority is challenging God’s ordinance, and those who challenge God shall face judgment (for rulers cause no fear for good conduct but for bad).
- Do you wish to be free of fear of authority?
- Do well and you will earn its approval, for it is God’s servant working for your benefit.
But if you make a mistake, you should be terrified, for it does not wield the sword in vain.In administering punishment to the offender, God’s servant is responsible.In order to avoid the wrath of the authorities but also to protect one’s own conscience, it is vital to remain in subordination to them.As a result, you must also pay taxes, because the authorities are God’s servants who are dedicated to ruling.
- Payment should be made to everyone who is owed something: taxes to those who owe them, revenue to those who owe it, respect to those who deserve it, and honor to those who owe it.″ Example number twenty-one: Nehemiah 4:16-18 The task was divided equally among my men from that day on, with half of them carrying spears, shields, bows, and body armor while the other half stood by and watched.
- The policemen were now at the rear of the crowds of people from Judah who were re-building the wall.
- Those who were hauling burdens did so by maintaining one hand on the task at hand and the other on the weapon at their disposal.
- Every one of the builders had his or her swords attached to their sides while working on the construction site.
″However, the trumpeter remained at my side.″ Instead of relying on your weapon, put your faith in the Lord.Psalm 44:5-7 is the twenty-first verse.The only way we can drive back our adversaries is by your might; only in your name can we trample our adversaries.
- I have no faith in my bow, and I have no confidence in my sword to help me.
- You are the one who grants us victory over our adversaries; you bring humiliation upon those who are hostile to us.″ 1 Samuel 17:47 (verse 22) In addition, everyone gathered here will understand that the LORD rescues his people, but not with sword and spear.
- You are ours if we win this fight, and the LORD will grant you to us!″
Bible Verses about Self Defense
- 41 Meanwhile, the Philistine, with his shield bearer in front of him, continued to narrow the distance between him and David.
- 42 He looked David in the eyes and realized that he was nothing more than a youngster, radiant with health and attractive, and he detested him for this.
- 43 He asked David, ″Do you think I’m a dog, that you’re coming at me with sticks?″ And David was cursed by the gods of the Philistine.
44 I’ll feed your flesh to the birds and wild animals if you come here,″ he said.45 ″You come against me with sword, spear, and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel’s armies, whom you have defied,″ David answered to the Philistine.46 Today, the LORD will give you into my hands, and I will strike you down and remove your head from your shoulders.I will release the corpses of the Philistine army to the birds and wild animals on this very day, and the entire world will know that there is a God in the land of Israel.
- 47 All those assembled here will understand that the LORD will not save them by sword or spear; for the war is the LORD’s, and he will place all of you in our capable hands.″ David rushed fast toward the battle line as the Philistine drew closer to him in preparation for an attack.
- 49 He hurled a stone at the Philistine’s forehead after reaching into his bag and picking out a stone.
- His forehead was sunk into the stone, and he was thrown to the ground face down.
- David defeated the Philistine with a stone in his hand, rather than with his sword.
- He knocked the Philistine down and killed him without using a weapon in his hand.
51 David rushed up to him and took a position above him.In one motion, he grabbed the sword from its sheath and snatched it from the Philistine’s grasp.He then used the sword to chop off his head after he had slain him.When the Philistines realized that their hero was no longer alive, they turned and fled the scene.
- After a loud cry, the men of Israel and Judah pushed forward and chased the Philistines all the way to the city of Gath and the city of Ekron.
- Their bodies were scattered throughout the Shaaraim highway, which connects Gath and Ekron.
- 53 When the Israelites returned after pursuing after the Philistines, they looted their camp and took whatever they could find.
- 54 David grabbed the Philistine’s head and brought it back to Jerusalem, and he hid the Philistine’s weaponry in his own tent to protect himself from the enemy.
Top 7 Bible Verses About Self Defense
Here are seven scriptures from the Bible that are relevant to self-defense.
Exodus 22:2-3 “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. He shall surely pay. If he has nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft.”
- As this Old Testament rule demonstrates, we have the right to protect ourselves in our own homes, and the use of force in such situations is appropriate and equitable.
- Even if they steal something and have nothing with which to repay the debt, the thief who broke and entered must pay for the crime by being sold for whatever he or she sold, with the understanding that he or she will not be forced to work as a slave indefinitely, but only until the amount stolen has been repaid.
- This is a piece of legislation that pertains to reparation for theft victims.
Romans 13:4 “For he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer.”
- The requirement to obey man’s rules, at least where they do not conflict with the commandments of God, is the focus of Romans chapter 13.
- (Act 5:29).
- Law enforcement officers must defend themselves or face the possibility of being killed.
In other words, those who God sovereignly designates as authorities are those who represent God Himself, for ″anyone opposes the authorities opposes what God has ordained, and those who oppose shall suffer judgment″ (Rom 13:2).
Luke 22:36 “He said to them, “But now let the one who has a moneybag take it, and likewise a knapsack. And let the one who has no sword sell his cloak and buy one.”
What is the significance of Jesus instructing His followers to bring a sword with them? I’m sure you’ve heard the story of the Good Samaritan. This demonstrates that we live in a hazardous environment, and that thieves and robbers were always on the hunt for someone to rob even in the ancient past. It is allowed to protect one’s own interests.
Proverbs 25:26 “Like a muddied spring or a polluted fountain is a righteous man who gives way before the wicked.”
- That individuals who perceive injustice and do nothing about it are being reprimanded is the point of this poem.
- After all, there are all those police reports to fill out, and they could even have to testify in court if they get engaged in the situation.
- Many people are reluctant to become engaged because of these factors, but believers must not give in to the wicked, lest the wicked commit even more heinous crimes against humanity.
A decent man or woman who does nothing to stop the wicked and who submits to their actions and deeds is merely endorsing their evil deeds and actions.
Nehemiah 4:17-18 “Who were building on the wall. Those who carried burdens were loaded in such a way that each labored on the work with one hand and held his weapon with the other. And each of the builders had his sword strapped at his side while he built. The man who sounded the trumpet was beside me.”
- When Nehemiah began rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem, there were threats to the workers’ safety, so Nehemiah made the sensible decision to equip the workers so that they would be able to defend themselves if an attack came unexpectedly.
- The process of rebuilding was being overseen by God, and we may reasonably believe that when Nehemiah instructed them to carry a sword, God was giving them permission not just to protect themselves but also to keep the work continuing no matter who threatened them.
Psalm 82:4 “Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.”
- This is a call to action to rescue the weak who are unable to protect themselves, as well as to aid the needy who are unable to exist without the support of another.
- God commands us to protect the most vulnerable members of society from those who would take advantage of their disadvantaged position.
- Allowing the evil to take advantage of the vulnerable and doing nothing about it is considered a sin in the eyes of the Almighty.
Romans 12:19 “Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”
- Sometimes we are unable to protect ourselves, and we must rely on law enforcement to take care of things for us.
- We are terrible vigilantes, and it is preferable to put our faith in God in this situation rather than attempting to exact retribution on our own.
- It is taught in the Bible that every person, including those who have died, ″shall give an account of himself to God″ (Rom 14:12), since ″the Son of Man is coming with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will reward each individual according to what he has done″ (Matt 16:27).
- The debate over gun legislation today is either on the extreme right or on the extreme left, but we know that the law gives us the right to protect ourselves, especially if our lives or the lives of our loved ones are in danger.
- There are steps we may take to avoid being put in a situation where we have to defend ourselves if we are attacked.
- We may take steps to ensure that our entrances are well-lit, that our doors and windows are securely locked, and that we phone 911 if we feel threatened by an intruder are all options.
In order to protect us, God has put people in positions of power, and we would be better off alerting them rather than attempting to take the law into our own hands, although we can absolutely defend ourselves and our family and friends if our lives are in danger.
Article by Jack Wellman
- Jack Wellman is the pastor of the Mulvane Brethren Church in Mulvane, Kansas.
- He has been in the ministry for over 30 years.
- What Christians Want To Know is a Christian website whose mission is to equip, encourage, and energize Christians while also answering questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible.
Jack is also the Senior Writer at What Christians Want To Know.You can follow Jack on Google Plus, and you can also read his book Teaching Children the Gospel, which is available on Amazon.
What does the Bible say about killing in self-defense?
- The Bible does permit the use of lethal force in self-defense.
- In a sense, there are several distinct types of self-defense techniques.
- In addition to personal self-defense, there is also collective self-defense (sometimes known as ″social self-defense″) and national self-defense, which we refer to as ″war.″ In all of these instances, God has granted permission for the taking of another human life.
It is the purpose of this pamphlet to advocate for ″social self-defense,″ which includes the killing of criminals who pose a threat to society.Armed conflict occurs when individuals are called upon to defend their country against external attack, and any student of the Bible will witness to the enormous number of conflicts that are recounted therein.Of course, there are unjust wars of aggression for the sake of property, riches, or slaves, and the rulers of state who initiate such wars will be held accountable by God at the Day of Judgment, as will the people who support them.Furthermore, not every killing in a conflict is justifiable, and practically every battle involves incidents of what are now known as ″war crimes,″ which are crimes against humanity.
- As is the case with war and the death of criminals, personal self-defense is likewise permitted under the law of God.
- According to Exodus 22:2, ″If a thief is found breaking in and is hit to the point of death, the defender is not guilty of bloodshed.″ This passage should be the rule of law in our country today, but regrettably, that is not the case in many places.
- In many cities, a homeowner is not permitted to have a readily available means of defending oneself against an intruder breaking in.
- There are certain jurisdictions that do not allow homes to have loaded weapons on hand, while in others, the homeowner must first ″be certain″ that the intruder possesses a weapon or is capable of causing bodily harm before keeping a loaded pistol on hand.
- If someone is breaking into your home, Biblical Law states that he does so at the risk of his life, and the homeowner will never be labeled a criminal because he defends himself.
Consider the fact that Christ declared to his followers on the same day of his arrest, ″If you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and purchase one″ (Luke 22:36).After his death, Christ predicted that things would become extremely dangerous for his disciples, and he instructed them to prepare to protect themselves against unjust violence.In order to better understand killing, it may be helpful to conceive of it as ″fair or unjust,″ as well as ″accidental or on purpose.″ Murder is both unfair and premeditated.Manslaughter is an unfair, but unavoidable, act.
- Intentional and legitimate execution of criminals (in the sake of social self-defense).
- Killing in war (national self-defense) is both justified and deliberate.
- Killing in the name of personal self-defense is both legal and intentional.
- Accidental death as a result of self-defense: justified, but unavoidably tragic.
- As we can see from the list above, murder and manslaughter are unfair causes of death for those involved.
When it comes to personal self-defense, the execution of criminals, and war, the cause of death is just regardless of whether the individual had the intention to murder them in the first place.We may correctly deduce from Scripture that personal self-defense is something that God approves of, even if it results in the death of an unjust attacker in the process.When the Founding Fathers of the United States declared that God had given everyone the right to ″life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,″ they were absolutely accurate.An aggressor who attempts to take away the rights of others forfeits those rights, and it should be the rule of the state that each and every individual has the right to protect himself against unlawful aggression of any kind whatsoever.
Even a cursory examination of God’s creation demonstrates that self-defense plays a significant part in the self-preservation of practically all forms of life, regardless of their species.Human civilization, it’s possible, may be usefully compared to a biological entity, with each individual cell having its own means of fending off both internal and external adversaries.White blood cells are released by the more complex animal bodies in order to combat pathogens and other hazardous invaders.These white blood cells are relatively primitive forms of life, yet they are ″smart″ enough to act as though the completeness and health of the body are at issue, and they kill the intruder without regard for emotion or ceremonial observance of any kind.These adversaries of the body are not maintained alive and are not kept in isolation in jails in order to be protected.They have been annihilated and will no longer pose a threat in the future.
- In a similar vein, bad people are intruders into the ″body″ of good human society, and that society has the right to guard and defend itself against such incursion.
- A body without an immune system is unable to protect itself and will eventually perish.
- It is inevitable that every good civilization that does not create and execute God’s rules would ″die,″ that is, be overwhelmed by wickedness at some point in the future.
- People in the medical industry labor extremely hard to keep ″evil″ under control in the body so that a person does not die from sickness, and it is widely accepted that dangerous germs must be eliminated in order for the body to be healthy.
- Likewise, if we are to have a healthy society, it is necessary to put wicked and dangerous people to death.
This obviously demonstrates the importance of life, since it demonstrates that the only thing that is as precious as a life is another life.It’s no surprise that God ordered, ″Life for life,″ in the Bible, and even reiterated the word twice (Ex.21:23; Deut.19:21).