Skip to comments.Jesus says pack heat: Joseph Farah on what Bible instructs about self-defense
Posted on 11/26/2001 2:45:28 AM PST by JohnHuang2
After my plea to Americans last week to buy firearms as a first step to fighting terrorism, a number of Christians wrote challenging my prescription as unbiblical, unscriptural and ungodly.
The Bible couldn't be clearer on the right even the duty we have as believers to self-defense.
Let's start in the Old Testament.
"If a thief be found breaking up, and be smitten that he die, there shall no blood be shed for him," we are told in Exodus 22:2. The next verse says, "If the sun be risen upon him, there shall be blood shed for him; for he should make full restitution; if he have nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft."
In other words, it was perfectly OK to kill a thief breaking into your house. That's the ultimate expression of self-defense. It doesn't matter whether the thief is threatening your life or not. You have the right to protect your home, your family and your property, the Bible says.
The Israelites were expected to have their own personal weapons. Every man would be summoned to arms when the nation confronted an enemy. They didn't send in the Marines. The people defended themselves.
In 1 Samuel 25:13, we read: "And David said unto his men, Gird ye on every man his sword. And they girded on every man his sword; and David also girded on his sword: and there went up after David about four hundred men; and two hundred abode by the stuff."
Every man had a sword and every man picked it up when it was required.
Judges 5:8 reminds us of what happens to a foolish nation that chooses to disarm: "They chose new gods; then was war in the gates: was there a shield or spear seen among forty thousand in Israel?"
The answer to the rhetorical question is clear: No. The people had rebelled against God and put away their weapons of self-defense.
"Blessed be the LORD my strength which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight," David writes in Psalms 144:1.
Clearly, this is not a pacifist God we serve. It's God who teaches our hands to war and our fingers to fight. Over and over again throughout the Old Testament, His people are commanded to fight with the best weapons available to them at that time.
And what were those weapons? Swords.
They didn't have firearms, but they had sidearms. In fact, in the New Testament, Jesus commanded His disciples to buy them and strap them on. Don't believe me? Check it out.
Luke 22:36: "Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one."
I know. I know. You biblically literate skeptics are going to cite Matthew 26:52-54 how Jesus responded when Peter used his sword to cut off the ear of a Roman guard: "Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword. Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?"
Read those verses in context and they support my position. Jesus told Peter he would be committing suicide to choose a fight in this situation as well as undermining God's plan to allow Jesus' death on the cross and resurrection.
Jesus told Peter to put his sword in its place at his side. He didn't say throw it away. After all, He had just ordered the disciples to arm themselves. The reason for the arms was obviously to protect the lives of the disciples, not the life of the Son of God. What Jesus was saying was: "Peter, this is not the right time for a fight."
In the context of America's current battle as we make plans to rebuild after the devastation of Sept. 11 and defend ourselves at the same time we should recall Nehemiah, who rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem.
"They which builded on the wall, and they that bare burdens, with those that laded, every one with one of his hands wrought in the work, and with the other hand held a weapon," we're told in Nehemiah 4:17-18. "For the builders, every one had his sword girded by his side, and so builded."
Any more questions, skeptics?
Recently I taught the section of the Catechism of the Catholic Church dealing with the Fifth Commandment to my high school CCD class. After reading the sections highlighted below, I felt I had a moral obligation to exercise my Second Amendment rights and arm myself:
ARTICLE 5 - THE FIFTH COMMANDMENT
2258 "Human life is sacred because from its beginning it involves the creative action of God and it remains for ever in a special relationship with the Creator, who is its sole end. God alone is the Lord of life from its beginning until its end: no one can under any circumstance claim for himself the right directly to destroy an innocent human being."
2261 Scripture specifies the prohibition contained in the fifth commandment: "Do not slay the innocent and the righteous." The deliberate murder of an innocent person is gravely contrary to the dignity of the human being, to the golden rule, and to the holiness of the Creator. The law forbidding it is universally valid: it obliges each and everyone, always and everywhere.
2262 In the Sermon on the Mount, the Lord recalls the commandment, "You shall not kill," and adds to it the proscription of anger, hatred, and vengeance. Going further, Christ asks his disciples to turn the other cheek, to love their enemies. He did not defend himself and told Peter to leave his sword in its sheath.
2263 The legitimate defense of persons and societies is not an exception to the prohibition against the murder of the innocent that constitutes intentional killing. "The act of self-defense can have a double effect: the preservation of one's own life; and the killing of the aggressor.... The one is intended, the other is not."
2264 Love toward oneself remains a fundamental principle of morality. Therefore it is legitimate to insist on respect for one's own right to life. Someone who defends his life is not guilty of murder even if he is forced to deal his aggressor a lethal blow:
If a man in self-defense uses more than necessary violence, it will be unlawful: whereas if he repels force with moderation, his defense will be lawful.... Nor is it necessary for salvation that a man omit the act of moderate self-defense to avoid killing the other man, since one is bound to take more care of one's own life than of another's.
2265 Legitimate defense can be not only a right but a grave duty for someone responsible for another's life. Preserving the common good requires rendering the unjust aggressor unable to inflict harm. To this end, those holding legitimate authority have the right to repel by armed force aggressors against the civil community [the family is the most basic unit of civil community]entrusted to their charge.
My final choice to fulfill my obligations delineated under # 2265 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church and to exercise my Second Amendment rights [duties!]:
Heckler & Kock USP .45 Stainless
Nor is it necessary for salvation that a man omit the act of moderate self-defense to avoid killing the other man, since one is bound to take more care of one's own life than of another's. 2265 Legitimate defense can be not only a right but a grave duty
Anything that drives a liberal nuts only has to be capable of running a short time. I not only dislike liberals, I've lost all respect for them.
When I read something said by the likes of Barbra Streisand, Robert Redford, Patrick Leahy, Joe Biden, Ted "Jabba The Hut" Kennedy, the former First Penis and his dirtbag wife, ad nauseum, I ignore it. Forget gravitas; they have long since used up or overextended whatever credibility they had.
1 Samuel 13:19-22
19: Now there was no smith to be found throughout all the land of Israel; for the Philistines said, "Lest the Hebrews make themselves swords or spears"; 20: but every one of the Israelites went down to the Philistines to sharpen his plowshare, his mattock, his axe, or his sickle; 21: and the charge was a pim for the plowshares and for the mattocks, and a third of a shekel for sharpening the axes and for setting the goads. 22: So on the day of the battle there was neither sword nor spear found in the hand of any of the people with Saul and Jonathan; but Saul and Jonathan his son had them.