Christopher, excellent post! Blessed me to bits bro. This is exactly right. "...bottomless pit of junk." A lot of work, in other words, as we go from serving the flesh to walking in the Spirit. And the work will always be hampered by what is called in the trade "baggage". Them that would walk into a mall and start shooting are usually those who have the most "baggage", and need the most help. Those brought up under the nurture and admonition of the Lord are the most privileged.
"I consider trying to emulate Him, a joyful task, as opposed to an unwelcome chore." Amen and Amen!
Mike NY, thanks for your commentary. I am pondering.
Bro US, your "proof text":-
Galatians 6:9-10 KJV (9)¬† And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. (10)¬† As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.
No, really brother, it is a clutching at straws.
You see, scripture records for us the difficulties, trials, beatings, stonings, beheadings and so on, of the saints in the NT, but not one mention, in any of those accounts, of Christians deploying weapons to save their skin. Not one. And what's more, you know that right well.
Christopher000 wrote: Preservation of human life, is tantamount to being faithless, and trying to thwart God's will? I've never heard such utter nonsense.
Again, I'm not sure who you are referring to, Christopher, but here is my answer anyway.
Acts 18:9-10 KJV (9)¬† Then spake the Lord to Paul in the night by a vision, Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace: (10)¬† For I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee: for I have much people in this city.
Now Christopher, think about this for a while, all afternoon if need be.
Here is the living Lord Jesus Christ speaking to Paul in Corinth. He told him not to be afraid, but to speak, no holding back.
This is the John 2:5 principle I mentioned.
Jesus tells him, "I am with you, and no-one will be allowed to set on you and hurt you." Sure, he can carry his dirk (Luke 22:36-38, not a sword but a dirk), but he'll never need to use it, because of the total sovereignty of God over all men.
What did the Lord say in the Great Commission? And which hardly a soul believes today?
Matthew 28:20 KJV (20)¬† Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am WITH YOU alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
Christopher000 wrote: John, the post wasn't directly to you, and was in response to a post shortly before. Don't worry, I'll be sure to address you by name when I have a statement or question for you. I'll be sure of it, because I know how important that is to you.
Ah, okay then, I thought it was that answer to my question that you promised to give me some days ago.
There has been much time passed, and still no-one seems to be able to find a biblical account of Christians defending themselves with weaponry when faced with great trials. I am still searching the New Testament myself, because if there is biblical warrant I will submit to the truth of God's word.
But the main problem goes far deeper than this little one. It goes back to the roots of Christianity.
Our brother Adriel often remarks about liberals within christendom, and for decades and longer, evangelicals have classified them as denying the faith. But what do we see today, among those same evangelicals? The same sort of sentiments coming from their lips. Everything must be natural. Expressions such as "Jesus lives in me" no longer refer to the Person, but to his ethics, his teachings. Jesus is relegated to a museum, no longer relevant.
Matthew 10:34-39 KJV (34)¬† Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. (35)¬† For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. (36)¬† And a man's foes shall be they of his own household. (37)¬† He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. (38)¬† And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. (39)¬† He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.
One of the costs of following Christ is antagonism between family members. Jesus is not referring to a literal sword, but a rift, a separation. When it comes to peace, he teaches:
Matthew 5:9 KJV (9)¬† Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
Christopher000 wrote: 1. Talk about grasping at straws to try and prove a point that's nothing but opinion, at best.
2. A madman revs his car up, the tires smoke, and he's making a bee-line to murder himself a Christian. The Christian steps out of the way to save his life, instead of dropping to his knees in prayer, and the Christian is in sin for being faithless?
3. A Christian is street preaching when a madman says, "I'm gonna kill me a Christian", and begins stabbing the preacher. The preacher trys to run, but the madman is much faster. The preacher strikes the madman with a pipe he sees laying nearby to stop from being murdered. The preacher was a faithless chump who sinned by defending himself?
Christopher, thank you for your post.
1. You are in danger of joining with those who do not believe in objective truth. Read an article on "relative truth" and it may save you from a cul-de-sac. It is also true that the God who "so loved the world" does not have different truth for different countries.
2. Who is it you are trying to convince? Me? Then say me, instead of flapping about beating the air.
3. They have to run it past GOD first. I am speaking by experience. Are you?
Usually, context irons out misconceptions regarding scripture. But separating one verse is most dangerous, and is where heretics get their heresies from. Note,
Luke 22:35-38 KJV (35)¬† And he said unto them, When I sent you without purse, and scrip, and shoes, lacked ye any thing? And they said, Nothing. (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. (37)¬† For I say unto you, that this that is written must yet be accomplished in me, And he was reckoned among the transgressors: for the things concerning me have an end. (38)¬† And they said, Lord, behold, here are two swords. And he said unto them, It is enough.
Here is a clue for you all from v37 "And he was reckoned among the transgressors".
The questions you have to ask yourself are, "Who are these transgressors?" And, "What were the two swords actually for?"
I have to turn in, so I wish you all a good night, and do not forget that if you are a child of God you have been allocated at least one guardian angel.
The Quiet Christian wrote: While certainly true, John, and commendable to put first things first, we may well be having this conversation because non-believers died for a principle of freedom that enables us to discuss and debate with relative ease matter of first importance -- saving faith and repentence unto life -- as well as many less important matters. Did it matter? The sacrifice of a life with other lives was used by the Lord to grant us this gift -- Freedom. Again, I'm approaching this from an American mindset. Some of my forebears fought for freedom here. Our culture celebrates that kind of individualism. I'm no expert on UK culture but I'm hazarding a guess that you may not see things the same way because of the cultural influence, however subtle, that push you to be loyal to the crown.
Culture and tradition QC, as they are usually opposed to the Jesus culture, ought be fought against and rejected, which thing I am currently engaged in on a daily basis, getting to the bottom of it spiritually. The problem is that 99% of christendom is firmly attached to their culture and favourite traditions, and will not give them up for Jesus, which is why they make a Jesus who is not the Jesus of the Bible.
James Thomas wrote: I think many examples have been provided in this thread by others to show that using necessary means for protection are acceptable in the eyes of God.
Ah James, when you say, "I think....." you are expressing uncertainty. And when I say, "No examples have yet been given from the new testament to show that when faced with death or imprisonment or beatings, Christian men and women defended themselves with weapons, even to the degree of killing their attackers, I am expressing certainty.
Unprofitable Servant wrote: Brother John, we will give you your thinking on Paul. Not clutching at straws, don't care what other preachers think, basing my thinking on Biblical principles of my God given responsibilities from the verses cited in my last post. If you don't see that it is not my problem. God bless.
Okay brother, I'll retract that which I said.
But what I'm after is not so difficult, is it? My simple little question could easily be answered if there was was such a text to furnish it. With all the persecution and killings and imprisonments and beheadings and beatings and robberies and stoning to death in the new covenant church, I'm after one reference where a Christian fought back with weapons, even with his fists, and killed, or hurt in any way, or disabled another person. Surely if that was a common practice, there must be lots of references.
Unprofitable Servant wrote: Had a reply written and decided it was too snarky. Here's the bottom line. The Scripture says I am to provide for my own and I believe that includes their safety and protection. The Scripture says I am to do good to all men but especially those of the household of faith and that includes stopping them from receiving bodily harm when it is within my power to do so.
Ahem, a couple of things here bro.
1. It was "the authorities" who protected Paul. He was in their custody. It was NOT Paul defending himself, nor did he ask his Christian friends to defend him. I can hardly believe you are using this text as a proof text. Yet you are angry with me, who has a just argument, and why is that? You will have to work that through with the Lord Jesus.
2. You are jumping, jumping, away from your proof text, knowing it to be no proof text (the tongue-in-cheek technique) and now are jumping into another argument, hoping that it might fare better (clutching at straws technique).
Brother, I am convinced you are fully aware of the futility of your argument, but you fear the Yee Ha preachers and other members who will laugh at you, and force you to leave their circle.
Unprofitable Servant wrote: Read Acts 23:16-35 John, anyone attempting to attack this church member/leader would have been put to death and the protection given was strictly self-defense purposes. And yes he was being tried for his faith.
Bro US, this is what I referred to earlier as the "clutching-at-straws" and "tongue-in-cheek" technique for a "proof text".
Mike wrote: Appreciate the Gill quote, esp since I am not one of his biggest fans.
The only intruders I have encountered are squirrels, but they were armed with black walnuts. I suppose being black walnuts, they might have been more dangerous than English walnuts, also grown in this area, but squirrels run when they hear a loud noise anyway.
Question for you, John. What is the difference between preventing an intruder from doing harm in your house, and preventing one from doing harm at a gathering of the church?
me neither, to be honest, Mike. But you know my spiritual father was born in Mississippi, and he is not available free with e-sword. Not that his theology is all that hot, mind.
So it is all hypothetical stuff, eh? Balance of power thing.
I witnessed with mine own eyes, in a community house church in England, where a strong, young lad lived and worked, who took exception to having his radio confiscated (which is against house church rules to have one) and he attacked an elder of the church just prior to the commencement of the evening meeting. The elder, being rather small and weak would have taken quite a beating, had it not been for several of "the brothers" who brought him under control.
Christopher000 wrote: Ok John, I'll think on it for a few. I didn't include any scriptures, for the sole reason that I feel they've all been exhausted, from both sides, and there was nothing new that I could think of to add to all that have already been posted up. My approach was to keep them all in mind, and give my take on things from a common sense, biblical perspective, as I see things, anyway, keeping the whole of scripture in mind. Scripture doesn't necessarily condone or forbid in a way where we can post up a clear, all-encompassing verse or passage, that lays out the answer clearly enough to put the topic to bed, so I went at it at a different angle.
Well Christopher, I can post up for your perusal plenty of NT examples of blood spilt or at the very least the churches attacked, members beaten, falsely charged and imprisoned, beheadings, stoning to death, and all the rest of it. And not one peep of any church member fighting for their survival with any weapon. Are you thinking that these battles were just not recorded in scripture? Or would you agree with me that there were no such battles?
Christopher000 wrote: Hey John, I didn't forget about you yesterday, and poked away at my answer throughout the day. Well, I think most here already know I have some issues, and the response ended up being 5-pages long. I hadn't planned on that, but I really can't shorten it, either, and still have it all make sense. So, the question is, do I post it anyway? I don't want to upset anyone, because I know my long rants can get tiring and old.
Christopher, my stock answer is John 2:5.
But don't forget that we would all love to have 3,000 characters or more to properly explain our comments.
Tell you what, why not post up your first scripture with explanation and then we can discuss it. _______________
BTW Mike, the quote from Gill was in response to your post. I think it should meet with approval.
Thanks for the explanation about your 1-shot. It concerns me that if you miss, the intruder may use the time you take to reload to do you a mischief.
The Quiet Christian wrote: John UK asks "Was it really worth it?" I say it is. There are ideas worth fighting and dying for.
QC, think about this a little more carefully. If a man is going to live and die for a particular cause, it is commendable, but not if he hasn't sorted out what ought to be the first priority in his God-given life, namely, to get right with his Creator and begin to live for him: to do justly, to love mercy, and walk humbly with his God.
If a non-Christian protestor dies in the course of his protesting, what can we say to him in hell but, "Was it really worth it?"
Mark 8:36 KJV (36) For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?
I've no doubt that China is angry with Christians in Hong Kong because of the "Gift Bag" evangelism going on there, where Chinese visitors are given a jamboree bag in which are many items including gospel tracts. Now that is a cause worth living and dying for, the gospel of Jesus Christ.
"Whosoever therefore resisteth the power",..The office of magistracy, and such as are lawfully placed in it, and rightly exercise it; who denies that there is, or ought to be any such order among men, despises it, and opposes it, and withdraws himself from it, and will not be subject to it in any form: "resisteth the ordinance of God", the will and appointment of God, whose pleasure it is that there should be such an office, and that men should be subject to it. This is not to be understood, as if magistrates were above the laws, and had a lawless power to do as they will without opposition; for they are under the law, and liable to the penalty of it, in case of disobedience, as others; and when they make their own will a law, or exercise a lawless tyrannical power, in defiance of the laws of God, and of the land, to the endangering of the lives, liberties, and properties of subjects, they may be resisted, as Saul was by the people of Israel, when he would have took away the life of Jonathan for the breach of an arbitrary law of his own, and that too without the knowledge of it, 1 Sam 14:45; but the apostle is speaking of resisting magistrates in the right discharge of their office, and in the exercise of legal power and authority. [Gill]
Dr. Tim wrote: Where I work, there are rattlesnakes and other pit vipers, coyotes, bears, bobcats and even the occasional cougar, and in the places where I do business there are sometimes armed robbers. I‚Äôm going out right now to find me a club. Or should I just wag my finger and say, ‚ÄúNow y‚Äôall be good‚ÄĚ?
Doc, there have been professing Christians throughout history who have literally just trusted in God only, especially those such as Madame Guyon of France, who believed that all events in their life were as a direct result of the will of God. She was able to do something that is extremely rare within christendom, and for which there is a biblical exhortation, namely, to give thanks in all circumstances. Your comment reminded me of the passage in her autobiography where she found herself in a dangerous situation between places and was confronted by highwaymen, who were all set to do her mischief. She didn't wag her finger or say anything to them, but she merely inclined her head towards them. They turned their horses and departed, leaving her in peace, which peace she had in abundance, because she accepted all things as coming from the hand of the great God. I only read it because....
I'll just add a quick snippet to my comment lest, well, you know what I mean.
Imagine a day when wolves roamed wild, and the Lord would have you travel from south to north, preaching the gospel as you went, camping under the stars at night. With no defense against a wolf but your bare fists, you would soon be overcome. And because wolves go around in packs, even a small group of evangelists would soon be overcome. So they would carry weapons of some sort or another.
This was quite normal for travelers. If you were a traveling salesman, going from county to county with a backpack of geegaws or kitchen implements for sale, you would never set off without a club, which you also used as a form of walking stick. If wayside bandits attacked you, at least you could defend yourself against them, and maybe put them off. An unarmed man was defenceless and easily robbed.
This is how it was in the UK going back in time a few centuries.
Bro US, thank you for taking the time to share with me the simple fact that you justify the actions found in the article from Nehemiah 4. This is very helpful info and I will bear it in mind.
Regarding Luke 22:36-38, when you read it in context, you will discover that the scripture reveals only two swords were required for the purpose. And the purpose was? Self-defense? As in, future self-defense for the apostles and disciples as they went on their missionary journeys?
Brother, read the passage prayerfully, and you will come to a better way of understanding it. Ask the Lord Jesus to help you, and he will indeed.
I don't need to say anything except to point you to Jesus himself, and get you to ask of him. They are HIS words, and HE knows what he meant by them. So read the words in context, and then ask him what he meant.