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Mat 24:43 But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch

the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his

house to be broken up. (LK 12:39 says, "broken through.")

 

In the light of the above scripture, just how far should the goodman of the house

be willing to go to keep his house from being "broken up" or "broken through" or what

we might say, broken into? 

 

Is concealed carry an option for Christians?

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I think we would all agree that in any situation we should use the minimum amount of force necessary to stop a would-be attacker (e.g. hide instead of shoot; shoot the knee instead of the heart). But I agree that to stand idly by while people are being injured or murdered by viscious hands is not the Spirit of God. That's how the Nazis managed to murder 12 million people. Exodus 22:2-3 says, "If the thief is found breaking in, and he is struck so that he dies, there shall be no guilt for his bloodshed. 3 If the sun has risen on him, there shall be guilt for his bloodshed." This tells me that if someone comes into my house without permission at night, I can assume he is an immediate danger to me and/or my family and if I should kill him I will bear no guilt. After all, it's not my fault he came into my house at such an inappropraute time. He bears the guilt for his mischief.

As Bro Gillum noted, the objective of using lethal force is not explicitly to kill, but to stop the attack. However, lethal force is force than CAN kill, or perhaps probably will kill. So, with guns, if killing it would be wrong, then definitively don't shoot at it. I have never heard of any firearms training school that teaches to shoot someone in the knee, shoulder, etc -- such would be very dangerous. You always shoot into the center of mass (thoracic cavity, the chest area), and if necessary (i.e., drug crazed attacker doesn't stop after two shots to center of mass) into the cranio-ocular cavity (basically, between the eyes) if you can. If the attacker fell to the floor after being shot in the chest, in most circumstances, it would be very wrong to then go shoot him in the head – this would be executing punishment, not self-defense. It is not within the jurisdiction of the Individual to execute punishment (vengeance). This belongs to the State and to God.
 
I contend that one is justified in using lethal force to defend their life and the lives of others. This is implicitly taught in several places in the scriptures.
 
Deu 19:4-7 KJV And this is the case of the slayer, which shall flee thither, that he may live: Whoso killeth his neighbour ignorantly, whom he hated not in time past; {5} As when a man goeth into the wood with his neighbour to hew wood, and his hand fetcheth a stroke with the axe to cut down the tree, and the head slippeth from the helve, and lighteth upon his neighbour, that he die; he shall flee unto one of those cities, and live: {6} Lest the avenger of the blood pursue the slayer, while his heart is hot, and overtake him, because the way is long, and slay him; whereas he was not worthy of death, inasmuch as he hated him not in time past. {7} Wherefore I command thee, saying, Thou shalt separate three cities for thee.
 
Exo 21:12-13 KJV He that smiteth a man, so that he die, shall be surely put to death. {13} And if a man lie not in wait, but God deliver him into his hand; then I will appoint thee a place whither he shall flee.
 
These verses relate to the cities of refuge. This is where folks who kill someone unintentionally can go to escape the avenger of blood. In Deu 19, the example was a terrible accident that occurred when two men are working together in the woods. In Exo 21, the situation is less clear, but the wording indicates that there was not a premeditated murder. “If a man lie not in wait, but God deliver him into his hand” could definitely apply to the situation when an innocent person is attacked by a malicious would-be (or assumed-to-be) murderer. There appears to be some symmetry here: vs 12 describes the intentions of the attacker, and vs 13 describes the intentions of the victim. Here, the attacker was killed by the victim. The victim did not set out to kill the attacker, but he did end up killing him in self-defense. In such a case, he is not punished and is even given refuge. [Full Disclosure: I could be reading more than is intended into this verse, though, but I don't think so. Arguments made from symmetry (e.g., Bro Frazier's chiasms) are often quite subjective, though.]
 
Gen 9:5-6 KJV And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man's brother will I require the life of man. {6} Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.
 
Exo 22:2-4 KJV If a thief be found breaking up, and be smitten that he die, there shall no blood be shed for him. {3} 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. {4} If the theft be certainly found in his hand alive, whether it be ox, or ass, or sheep; he shall restore double.
 
I have always called Gen 9:6 “The founding of the human government”. That is, man is given responsibility to police himself (the group polices the Individual). In other passages (e.g. Rom 13), the State is given the power of the sword (capital punishment). Neither the Individual, the Family, nor the Church has any right to exercise capital punishment (aka “vengeance”) – only the State and God. Gen 9:6 speaks of capital punishment for the crime of murder (the intentional shedding of innocent blood). The underlying reason this crime is punishable by death is stated in the verse: “for in the image of God made he man”. So the image of God must be protected. Capital punishment is punishment for a crime that has already been committed. But to kill in self-defense is not executing punishment. It is trying to protect the image of God before the crime is committed. It is defending the image of God, be it yourself, or others.

 

In Exo 22, as Bro Houston pointed out, there is no punishment levied on the man who kills the thief at night. However, if he kills the thief in the day, the home owner will be subject to capital punishment. It's hard to discern the moral difference between killing the thief in the night or day, but most assume that if it occurs in the day, that it would be easier to call others to help stop him, or something along those lines, but if it happened at night, then the homeowner is right in assuming that the thief is out to kill him. So we can learn that it is OK to use lethal force to defend ourselves and our families – this is neither murder nor a form of capital punishment.

 

Also, if we combine the Exo 22 passage with the Deu 19:4-7 and Exo 21:12-13 passages above, then even if the homeowner fought the thief in the daytime (either to capture him or to expel him from his house) but actually ended up accidentally killing him, this would not be counted as murder. He could go to a city of refuge if he thought he needed to.
 
Neh 4:11-14 KJV And our adversaries said, They shall not know, neither see, till we come in the midst among them, and slay them, and cause the work to cease. [...] {13} Therefore set I in the lower places behind the wall, and on the higher places, I even set the people after their families with their swords, their spears, and their bows. {14} And I looked, and rose up, and said unto the nobles, and to the rulers, and to the rest of the people, Be not ye afraid of them: remember the Lord, which is great and terrible, and fight for your brethren, your sons, and your daughters, your wives, and your houses.
 
Here, Nehemiah actually tells the God's people to use lethal force (spears, swords, bows) to defend against those who were trying to kill them. He said “fight for your brethren, your sons, and your daughters, your wives, and your houses”. Not only your immediate family, but your brethren also.
 
I also like to point out something about the parable of the Good Samaritan. Let's pretend that the story was a little different. What if the Good Samaritan came upon the poor Jew AS HE WAS BEING ATTACKED instead of after the fact. What should he have done? Should he have waited for the thieves to beat him up and leave him for dead? I tend to think that the Good Samaritan should have fought the thieves on behalf of the poor Jew. He should have defended the image of God. If he killed a robber or two in the process, then this would not have been murder, as the above passages bear out.

 

The Individual is entitle to use lethal force to defend himself from physical attacks. And, only the State can execute capital punishment after the fact.

 

So people who carry weapons for self-defense and the defense of others should be honored, not looked upon as weirdo psychotic people who are just itchin' to kill someone. They are protecting the image of God.

 

“When seconds count, the police are only minutes away.”

 

"Arguments made from symmetry (e.g., Bro Frazier's chiasms) are often quite subjective, though." 

I must admit that this brought a smile to my face.  I wouldn't have dreamed that discussions of chiasms from so long ago would still be remembered.  I feel honored ... I think.  LOL.

"Exo 22:2-4 KJV If a thief be found breaking up, and be smitten that he die, there shall no blood be shed for him. {3} 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. {4} If the theft be certainly found in his hand alive, whether it be ox, or !@#$%^&*, or sheep; he shall restore double."

This appears to have been taken from the Blue Letter Bible website.  Why did they replace the textual word with !@#$%^&* when the original word is perfectly acceptable when used in proper context?  Reverse political correctness?

When I read that passage, it seems to me that the reference regarding the risen sun is to time having passed.  In other words, if a thief breaks into someone's home while it is night and he is killed, then there will be no accountability on the part of the killer (presumably the homeowner).  If, however, the homeowner waits until daylight and then seeks to kill the thief, then he would be accountable for the thief's death.  The difference being that while at night the homeowner is protecting his home, but if he waits until time has passed, he is just seeking unrighteous vengeance.

Now, of course, I could be wrong, but some other translations also seem to bear this same idea in mind.  This also appears to be a better way to interpret the passage based on moral acceptability.  Bro. Prevost has already pointed out the moral difficulty in day vs. night as seen the alternate interpretation: "It's hard to discern the moral difference between killing the thief in the night or day. . . ."


Just food for thought...  Blessings!

Goodness!  I can't believe you would say something as vulgar as "!@#$%^&*", especially on this Christian forum!

 

Must have been some sort of Ning filter.  My Bible doesn't have foul words like that.  And I can see the original word, "ass", in my post.  Does anyone else's version of my post contain the "!@#$%^&*" vulgarity in place of "ass"?  Perhaps this is only on Bro Fazier's end -- an Internet filter or something.

 

So, are you saying that the homeowner saw the thief at night and watched him until morning and then killed him?  I see you're point, but still, that's just too weird.

 

;)

Some very good points have been brought to surface here which can help one to feel better about defending, especially family, during a break in. 

In our original scripture (Matt. 24:43), some may argue that this is not about defending life, but that Jesus was simply talking about a “harmless” thief and an ordinary homeowner. This story is about protecting his house and his belongings … and implies that there is absolutely nothing wrong for a man doing so.  If so, one could be tempted to think that all the homeowner was going to do is to jerk the garage door open and yell, “Caughtcha!” … and the surprised and “harmless” thief would turn and run away into the darkness.  No harm done, the burglary prevented - nice ending!

Is that all this verse is about, just protecting earthly possessions? Doesn’t it include something of much more value - the wife and children of the home?  If not, then what real value is in this verse?  It would be much safer to just let the thief take what he wants and allow him leave.  After all, it is a very unpredictable situation confronting even a “harmless” thief. 

What if we were to use Bro. Prevost’s idea of imagining a slightly different version of the scripture?  Let’s suppose that around 1:55 a.m., the goodman of the house got a text, from a very reliable source of course, that an experienced, dangerously armed and murderous thief is planning to strike in the neighborhood between 2:00 – 3:00 a.m. when he suspects everyone will be in a deep, deep sleep. This homeowner has an expecting wife and three other children, in separate bedrooms, fast asleep.  In the original version, Jesus Himself makes us to know that the master of the house is gonna be on the watch for his uninvited guest.  At some point when he got the news, he decided that he is going on the defensive.  He has decided that he is not going to allow his house to be “broken up” or broken through” or, as we would say, broken into.  

It can be very dangerous daring to confront a thief on duty.  If he is a dedicated one, it’s gonna take more than a “Gotcha!” to stop him from carrying off whatever he wants.  Since his presence has been discovered, he must divert his attention to the homeowner.  What is a Christian man to do now? 

Front Site teaches that this is where it is too late for the homeowner to decide how willing he is to defend.  If he has not decided beforehand that he is going to give it all he’s got and whatever it takes, the odds are drastically against him.  He is facing an intruder who is willing to kill.  Unless God were to work a miracle in his behalf, the homeowner is going to have to have the same determination to stop him.  If all he has is a ball bat, he cannot resort to lightly tapping around on the offender.  He is at a greater advantage if he attacks FIRST and with furry!  He must change from the defensive to the offensive and pronto at that!  He must mean to stop his opponent at any cost and make him get out of his house. 

Unfortunately, in the process, some have to be killed to stop them.  Not a nice ending, but one thing I can say with absolute surety: if successful, his expecting wife and three children will give thanks to God for him for the rest of their lives!

 

 

 

 

Slight deviation from the original topic. Bro. Prevost has asserted that only God and the State are authorized (presumably by the Bible) to administer capital punishment. What if, however, the State is willingly turning a blind eye to cold-blooded murder? Is it morally wrong for an individual to execute justice? Is "due process" a biblical mandate and is a person guilty of murder only if he has been convicted by a jury of his peers? Is it possible that executing an untried muderer could be considered illegal by the State yet an act of moral rectitude by God? As an example, I think of a Jew killing one of the Nazi executioners at Auchwitz. Or what about a hundred Jews rising up and killing all the Nazi executioners? Would God see that as morally wrong? Is it murder or is it defense of innocent life?

I think Bro. Provost is correct regarding a filter on my end. Using a different browser did not give the garbage text. I will have to check some settings in that other browser. LOL.

Also, I do agree that it would be very weird indeed for a homeowner to watch/guard the thief until daybreak, but that isn't my thought exactly. :) My idea, rather, is more like the western posse where the homeowner actively proceeds to search for the thief and then kills him.

@ Bro. Prevost: That “digitalized vulgarity” did not come through on my browser, so I would have missed out on the “electronic cussing” had not Bro. Frazier mentioned it. :-)  

@ Bro. Dave Huston’s “Slight deviation”:  I'm thinking there may be some possibility in what you projected … don’t really know. But, to me, if we were still in OT times, Brother, I’d say you’d be right on target.  

Trying to determine the Mind/Will of God in NT times, as we are seeing, is what is so challenging.  This seems more certain especially when considering some of Jesus’ statements in Matt. 5, concerning His “updates” of what was said of them of “them of old time” (thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not commit adultery, thou shalt not forswear thyself), also the “annulling” of an OT allowance of divorce in Matt 19:8. These may not technically apply.  It’s the idea of “what used to be, may not be so anymore” that I think we worry about, i.e. then what about self-defense and protecting those who are about to "fall among thieves".  While it may be a settled matter for some, for many others it is not.

Surely we are not the first and only ones to have to deal with this subject.  Consider these passages:

(Luk 3:14) And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said unto them, Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages.

These soldiers now have our theme to deal with.  How does it apply to them?  Should they refuse to bring under control civil revolt or defend the country from enemy attack?  If not, how much force are they to resort to if necessary?   Of course, some could say, “But that was in the days of John the Baptist … the church had not been established yet.”

To which we might reply, “Okay, then how about this one?”:

(Act 10:1) There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band,  

Here is (shortly afterward) a Holy Ghost-filled, Jesus Name-baptized man who was deeply devout even before Peter was sent to him.   Was he an “armed” man himself, or just in command of those who were armed?  To me, it doesn’t materially matter.  Either way, he was accountable for the actions of 100 soldiers who were armed.  Does he now have our conscientious scruple to contend with?

 

 

Donnie Gillum said:

(Act 10:1) There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band,  

Here is (shortly afterward) a Holy Ghost-filled, Jesus Name-baptized man who was deeply devout even before Peter was sent to him.   Was he an “armed” man himself, or just in command of those who were armed?  To me, it doesn’t materially matter.  Either way, he was accountable for the actions of 100 soldiers who were armed.  Does he now have our conscientious scruple to contend with?

 

Soldiers (and police officers, etc.) are agents of the state.  Rom 13 says that the state can "bear the sword" to "execute wrath".

 

Rom 13:1-7 KJV Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. {2} Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. {3} For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: {4} For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. {5} Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. {6} For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God's ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. {7} Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.

 

Bros,

Sorry I have not been able to respond sooner but I can't keep up with you guys! :)

I have to challenge the use of some of the scriptures that have been put forth. There is often a tendency to pull certain Old Testament scriptures and somehow justify their modern application while ignoring others right around them. For example, much weight in this discussion is being placed upon Exodus 22:2-3 "If a thief be found breaking up, and be smitten that he die, there shall no blood be shed for him. 3 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." But why is liberty being taken for modern application of this excerpt of Old Testament Law. Not too many verses later we read: 

Exodus 22:18-20

18 Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.

19 Whosoever lieth with a beast shall surely be put to death.

20 He that sacrificeth unto any god, save unto the Lord only, he shall

be utterly destroyed.

Do we give these scriptures the same weight for modern application? I would say not, and with that being said, why not, if we are using verses 2 and 3 for a modern justification. Exodus 23:12 says:

12 Six days thou shalt do thy work, and on the seventh day thou shalt

rest: that thine ox and thine ass may rest, and the son of thy

handmaid, and the stranger, may be refreshed.

What about this command? Jesus himself gave justification in defense of his disciples for breaking this command as they walked through the field and picked corn to eat.

Exodus 23:14 reads;

14 Three times thou shalt keep a feast unto me in the year.


Do are we still expected to keep these feasts?

If we go to Deuteronomy we run into similar problems: 

Deuteronomy 13:6-9

6 If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter,
or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as thine own soul,
entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which
thou hast not known, thou, nor thy fathers; 7 Namely, of the gods of
the people which are round about you, nigh unto thee, or far off from
thee, from the one end of the earth even unto the other end of the
earth; 8 Thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto him;
neither shall thine eye pity him, neither shalt thou spare, neither
shalt thou conceal him: 9 But thou shalt surely kill him; thine hand
shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand
of all the people.


So do we find justification here to kill our brother or our son if they become a buddhist or a muslim?

Deuteronomy 21:18-21
18 If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey
the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when
they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them: 19 Then shall his
father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the
elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place; 20 And they shall
say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and
rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a
drunkard. 21 And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones,
that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all
Israel shall hear, and fear.


Do we slay all of the sons that have gone off to college and rebelled against their parents upbringing and gone on to the ways of the world? How many preachers kids have we seen go this route? Do they have justification to slay them?

James 2:10 says, "Whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all." So if we want to live by the Old Testament Law then we need to be able to keep the law perfectly, otherwise we have removed ourselves from the dispensation of grace and will be condemned.

Of course their is also what we might call the 'old standby':


Deuteronomy 22:22

22 If a man be found lying with a woman married to an husband, then

they shall both of them die, both the man that lay with the woman, and

the woman: so shalt thou put away evil from Israel.


How do we rectify this one against Jesus' challenge that 'he who is without sin should cast the first stone.' And even though He, himself, was the only one their who held the right to cast the first stone, he says rather, "I do not condemn you. Go and sin no more."

Now, I am not trying to use these scriptures to make any statement for or against the right to shoot in self defense, I am simply challenging the selective use of Old Testament Law for modern justification. 

Don't get me wrong, I think this is a great discussion and am enjoying reading and partaking, but still believe we are trying to find scriptures that say what we want to hear. Even the opening scripture set forth by Brother Donnie, nothing wrong with setting it forth for discussion, but... are we properly applying the context of that scripture? Jesus was in the midst of answering the disciples question regarding the last days and lets start at verse 36:

Matthew 24

36 But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of

heaven, but my Father only. 37 But as the days of Noe were, so shall

also the coming of the Son of man be. 38 For as in the days that were

before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in

marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, 39 And knew not

until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming

of the Son of man be. 40 Then shall two be in the field; the one shall

be taken, and the other left. 41 Two women shall be grinding at the

mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.

42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. 43

But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what

watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have

suffered his house to be broken up.44 Therefore be ye also ready: for 

in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.


The context and intention of this portion of scripture have nothing to do with physical self-defense or defense of property, it was an admonition to 'watch' and 'be ready'.  He is simply saying 'be ready', for if you knew when that day would come, you would be sure to be ready, but since you do not know the day nor the hour, just 'BE READY'!!!

If we insist on taking it in a further and more literal context, then what do you do with the next seven verses: 

45 Who then is faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his

household, to give them meat in due season? 46 Blessed is that

servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. 47 Verily I

say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods. 48 But

and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his

coming; 49 And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and

drink with the drunken; 50 The lord of that servant shall come in a

day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware

of, 51 And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the

hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.



So, if, we take the context of verse 43 to apply to the justification of the defense of our homes, then we must take verse 51as justification to 'cut asunder' (or scourge) our employees when they do not care for that which we've entrusted to them! We can't pick and choose!

I am still not trying make any final statements for or against the right to shoot in self-defense, but am still just challenging our thinking and use of scripture.

If we go back one more time to Exodus, where we formerly looked at 22:2 for justification for killing a thief, we find in chapter 21 verses 24 and 25:

24 Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, 25
Burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.

But Jesus addressed these verses specifically, making it very clear to us that the time of literal application of Old Testament Law is passed, when he said:

Matthew 5:38-39
38 Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a
tooth for a tooth: 39 But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but
whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other
also.

Jesus clearly states here that if any one comes against you to do evil and harm you, that you are not to resist, but to rather accept passively. I don't see how you could interpret this any other way. As He did time and time again, He was giving a 'new commandment'. Why? Because He was ushering in a new dispensation. And in keeping with this thinking, correct me if I'm wrong, but I can not think of one time in the New Testament when we witness the exercising of force or read of the advocation for the exercising of force. 

If in contemplating a situation such as we have, we feel stirred to defense by force, I challenge: are we stirred in the Spirit or are we stirred in our flesh. 

I would repeat what I had said earlier, that I believe what we are really looking for is spiritual approval for a carnal solution. I challenge that we already have a preconceived concept in our minds of what we want and now we are looking for scripture to support what we want it to say, because our flesh has great difficulty accepting anything less.

-Brandon

David Huston said:

Slight deviation from the original topic. Bro. Prevost has asserted that only God and the State are authorized (presumably by the Bible) to administer capital punishment. What if, however, the State is willingly turning a blind eye to cold-blooded murder? Is it morally wrong for an individual to execute justice? Is "due process" a biblical mandate and is a person guilty of murder only if he has been convicted by a jury of his peers? Is it possible that executing an untried muderer could be considered illegal by the State yet an act of moral rectitude by God? As an example, I think of a Jew killing one of the Nazi executioners at Auchwitz. Or what about a hundred Jews rising up and killing all the Nazi executioners? Would God see that as morally wrong? Is it murder or is it defense of innocent life?

 

So, I suppose the question is, Is it ever OK to rebel against the State (as in disobedience, or even revolt/revolution)?  The "escape hatch" from the the authority structure seems to be when they command you to sin or disobey God.  Then, since all authority is delegated by God, you must obey God and disobey the authority.

 

But, there may be other rationale's for revolution.  It is my belief that God has set various institutions in life with specific authority, responsibility and limitations.  Sometimes these are call "jurisdictions".  These include God's universal jurisdiction and others such as the Individual, the Family, the State, and the Church.  When the proper operation of these systems is GROSSLY violated, we need to set things straight.

 

Thomas Jefferson said:

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

 
I know this quote is not from the Scriptures, but this idea of the proper interaction between the State,the Individual, the Church, and the Family was very much in the minds of the Founders.  The Colonies basically said "this ain't workin' the way God intended, so we need to set things straight."  I'm thankful they did, and I think they did a very good job.

 

Brandon Steinke said:

Bros,

Sorry I have not been able to respond sooner but I can't keep up with you guys! :)

I have to challenge the use of some of the scriptures that have been put forth. There is often a tendency to pull certain Old Testament scriptures and somehow justify their modern application while ignoring others right around them. For example, much weight in this discussion is being placed upon Exodus 22:2-3 "If a thief be found breaking up, and be smitten that he die, there shall no blood be shed for him. 3 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." But why is liberty being taken for modern application of this excerpt of Old Testament Law. Not too many verses later we read: [...]

 

Very good post Bro Brandon.  I agree with much in it.  

 

However, we are not trying to keep the Law or any such thing.  There is no rule-book, like the Law, in the NT Church.  We can, however, try to extrapolate from the Law what God thinks about a certain issue. 

 

For example (here's another Can O' Worms!):

 

Deu 22:4-11 KJV Thou shalt not see thy brother's ass or his ox fall down by the way, and hide thyself from them: thou shalt surely help him to lift them up again. {5} The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God. {6} If a bird's nest chance to be before thee in the way in any tree, or on the ground, whether they be young ones, or eggs, and the dam sitting upon the young, or upon the eggs, thou shalt not take the dam with the young: {7} But thou shalt in any wise let the dam go, and take the young to thee; that it may be well with thee, and that thou mayest prolong thy days. {8} When thou buildest a new house, then thou shalt make a battlement for thy roof, that thou bring not blood upon thine house, if any man fall from thence. {9} Thou shalt not sow thy vineyard with divers seeds: lest the fruit of thy seed which thou hast sown, and the fruit of thy vineyard, be defiled. {10} Thou shalt not plow with an ox and an ass together. {11} Thou shalt not wear a garment of divers sorts, as of woollen and linen together.

 

BUT... BUT...  You can't pick and choose!

 

One thing to remember is that something isn't a sin because the Bible says so.  The Bible says so, because it's a sin.  This is a fine, but very important distinction.  Sin is something that is against the nature or intentions of God.  We should not try to live our lives in compliance with the Bible.  We study the Bible to know God better so that we can live a life pleasing to Him.  

 

I don't think that the NT writings were meant to stand alone.  They are like Part 2 of God's Book.  The OT gives us much more source material with which to try to extract God's principles for life.  Since God changes not, there is a lot to learn from the OT and the Law.

 

I have not used Bro Gillums original scripture, because I feel much the same way you do about it, with the exception that although the primary context is not that of self-defense, the essential illustration IS.  Jesus was making a point about the end times (or whatever) using an illustration that everyone could relate to.  In doing so, he lent credence to the scenario.  (And, yes, scourging servants was permissible.)

 

Regarding turning the other cheek, the scenario was regarding an insult or a disgrace, not someone trying to kill you.  He also said "If thine eye offend you pluck it out".  This, of course, is literary exaggeration used to give emphasis to a principle.  [BTW, my wife took this scripture very literally when our stove stopped working. ;)]  

 

Gotta go!

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