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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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Thanks Bro.

Brethren, I have enjoyed the interaction and appreciate the Brotherly respect shown.  Many “side issues” and “good points” have been interjected, some of which I think would be worthy of further discussion. 

Maybe I should apologize for posting such a topic that is really contextually off Jesus’ main point in His lesson.  But, a long time ago, someone put the question to me: What would you do if someone were breaking into your house?  What came to mind (and was my answer) is this very scripture in Matt 24. Like Bro. Dave has stated, I have never really been able to resolve this for myself, thus the reason for posting.

I must confess that I really don’t know what I’d do in such a situation.  For those of whom the question is “settled”, maybe they are blessed.  But for me, I’m still in a dilemma of indecision and caught “betwixt two”.  On the one hand, I feel a compulsion to protect my family.  I Tim. 5:8 states that if any provide not especially for his own, he is worse than an infidel.  Is protection included in that?  If so, how much?  On the other hand, Bro. Brandon’s position bears much weight with me.  To me, it seems the NT Covenant demands a “higher level” of trust in God than the OT did (this may be debatable, and I may be entirely wrong).  On top of that, there is something within me that is very reserved about confronting with lethal force.  O wretched man that I am!  LOL!

I am inclined to believe, and for the present take the most comfort in, that one is going to have to cross those bridges when, and if, they get to them … and trust God that his actions will be guided by Him and are in accord with His Will ... and then - let God sort is all out – whatever that may be.

To further demonstrate what I mean, I told one (true) story of a Brother rebuking an offender in Jesus’ Name.  Here is a different reaction, and also true story.  A local pastor (that I know very well) got a call one night.  A backslidden brother was on drugs and beating a relative (If I remember correctly).  They couldn’t get the drug-induced man to stop.  The family called him to come to help.  This man also out-weighed the pastor and was a good solid, strong young man.  The pastor jumped on his back and wrapped his arms around him and kept yelling his name and telling him to stop.  Fortunately, in this case, the offender was kept from possibly killing someone. 

Quite some time later, this backslidden brother came to church one night, and for the life of me, I cannot recall in all my years such a thorough case of repentance.  (I am still much emotionally moved as I bring this all back to memory.)  This man must have spent a half-hour (at least) or more pouring his heart out with many tears, wiping nasal mucus (otherwise known as snot) with a complete loss of pride.  I (and others) spent much time praying with him and talking with him while kneeling there at the altar.

His time on drugs had cost him much weight loss and loss of his teeth.  That night, he was instantly delivered from heroin and has walked humbly before the Lord (as far as I know) ever since, which (I’m guessing) is two years or more now.  To God be the glory!

I believe our salvation is founded on the grace of God and we do not need to obsess over whether or not we have dotted every "I" and crossed every "T". But that's not what we have been discussing on this forum. The fact is, we live in a very dangerous world. If Jesus does not want us to defend ourselves or anyone else from a potentially deadly attack, then I would like to know that. Such a response would certainly be in keeping with His example. On the other hand, if He makes a distinction between a purely criminal attack and suffering for righteousness sake, and that in the first instance He has no problem with us defending ourselves and others, even if the only way to prevent death is by inflicting death, then I would like to know that. To me, this is the very heart of the matter when it comes to concealed carry. Frankly, the way this question is resolved will determine for me whether or not I will even own a gun for protection. 

Well stated, Bro. Dave!

Brethren, I just got this.  We are living in perilous times indeed.

Attachments:

Thank you for your synopsis, bro Mike, very good. 

You have stated an if/then scenario and asked a question. I’ll answer it by saying we should be about the business of defending the unborn against abortion providers, but we should not use lethal force. Judicious use of deadly force for self-defense and protesting abortion are not the same. As a Christian, if I found myself in a room with an abortionist about to murder a preborn child, I would do everything I could to stop him short of committing murder myself. This begs the question of how in the world I could be in that position, and the answer is one could not be in that position (be in that room) without having previously broken any number of laws such as getting (protesting) too close to an abortion clinic, trespassing, and who knows what else. In that room, both the woman and the abortionist have agreed to ignore conscience and commit mutual sin. In the case of judicious use of deadly force for self-defense or defense of innocents under your direct protection, there is an evil aggressor and an unwilling participant. That is the difference. Now, one might argue that the preborn child is an unwilling participant, and that is true, but it is not your child.  “Am I not my brother’s keeper?” you may ask. Yes, but let us not stretch the analogy too far. Even the good Samaritan paid the innkeeper to care for the wounded man, he did not put his life on hold and was not his nurse till he healed up.  : )



Mike R. Prevost said:

Bro Houston emailed me privately because he thought the rhetorical “ARC field trip” scenario in my LAST POST was inappropriate. He wanted that paragraph removed.  I couldn't remove it, but it looks like he has found a way to remove it.  He interpreted it as mean spirited, but I explained that it was a “tongue in cheek” sort of scenario designed to make a point and I want's intending it to be mean, although, after re-reading it, I can understand how it could have been interpreted that way. I should have put a smiley face after it or something. I apologize if anyone interpreted my rhetorical scenario as a mean spirited comment. If anyone else thought it mean spirited OR inappropriate, I would like to know. Please let me know in the forum if possible, but you can email or call me privately about it if you want (mrprevost@prevostfamily.org, 256-701-4664 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            256-701-4664      end_of_the_skype_highlighting).

 

So, I will make my point in a more conventional way.

 

Mike R. Prevost said:

[...]

But we're really close to painting ourselves into a corner and saying that we have a right/responsibility to to use lethal force (if necessary) to defend the unborn against the abortionists.  That severely rubs me the wrong way.  There is some missing principle here.

 

Why don't we right/responsibility to to use lethal force (if necessary) to defend the unborn against the abortionists?

 

Bro Houston told me that he is driving at something in his arguments, but that it doesn't have anything to do with killing anyone.  But, my point is that, in so doing, Bro Houston seems to have laid all the necessary groundwork for someone to feel justified in killing abortion providers, for example.

 

David Huston said:

Clearly the killer of the abortionist would be considered guilty of murder in the eyes of the State, but would He in the eyes of God? It seems to me that it is just as clear that even though the abortionist is not considered guilty of murder in the eyes of the State, he definitely is in the eyes of God. This discussion is not about advocasy; it's about the difference between what God considers a crime and what the State considers a crime. The only reason we are even discussing this is because the laws of the State are in so many ways out of harmony with the laws of God. This does not bode well for our future as a nation.

 

SYNOPSIS:  If you kill an abortion provider, you are guilty of murder in the eyes of the State but perhaps not in the eyes of God.

 

David Huston said:

It is interesting to note that, in general, jurisdictions where the people are heavily armed tend to have lower crime rates. This is obviously because the bad guys are much less likely to break into a house or molest a pedestrian if they think they might get shot. The fact is, the man who shot George Tiller (aka Tiller the killer) has made it much more difficult to get an abortion in Kansas. Mr. Tiller was a particularly evil man. He had performed 100s of so-called late-term abortions (aka infanticide). His clinic was only one of three in the entire nation where such abortions were being done. I once heard him interviewed on the radio and he was arrogant and disgusting when he talked about what he did. He had already been shot in the arms back in the 90s but he continued to do these abortions. But now his slaughter house has closed down and it is much harder for a women to find someone to murder her unborn child. I have to believe that every time an abortionist is shot or attacked, it causes every other abortionist to think long and hard about whether or not he really wants to continue in this field (it's just that the money is sooooooo good!). 

My points is, the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. Today, our world is filled with evil men. They prey on weakness. If they know that no truly devout Christian will use any kind of threatening force to stop them from raping or killing them or their family members or their neighbors, we may as well turn our lives over to the strongest, ugliest, most evil elements of our society. [...]

 

SYNOPSIS: Killing abortion providers is very effective in protecting the lives of unborn babies. And good men should take action against the evils of society, not be passive.

 

David Huston said:

If a women is justified in killing her rapist and is not counted a murderer by God, then any one of us is justified in killing anyone who presents a clear and immediate threat to our lives or the lives of our family members or neighbors. After all, being killed goes beyond being raped. I do not subscribe to the "legal standing" idea. We all have standing when the life of a fellow human being is being unjustly threatened. If all this is true and God does not count as sin (and may even count as righteousness) certain types of killing that may in some circumstances be considered crimes by the State, then shouldn't we stand with Peter, who declared, "Better to obey God than man"? [...]

 

SYNOPSIS: We all have a responsibility to defend our selves, our families and our "fellow human beings" from "clear and immediate threat to our lives". Some types of killing are not seen as sinful by God and may even be seen as good, even if they are considered murder by the State. Since we have a responsibility before God to defend others, and the State counts that as murder, shouldn't we obey God rather than the State?

 

Now, I don't think I have taken any of that out of context or misconstrued the its meaning.

  

So, IF

  • we have a right/responsibility before God to defend ourselves and "our fellow human beings" against murderous attacks using lethal force if necessary, AND
  • God doesn't count this type of killing sinful, AND 
  • we should obey God rather than man even if the State considers this killing to be murder, AND
  • we should be actively involved with fighting against the evils of society, 

THEN why should we not be about the business of defending the unborn against abortion providers, using lethal force if necessary?

 

If I were an FBI agent reading this site, I might just pull out my copy of the Patriot Act and tap Bro Houston's phone lines.  If I were a CNN reporter, I would have some serious evidence against this extremist terrorist group that calls themselves the Glorious Church Network.  [<--- NOTE: I'm not trying to be mean, this is just what the liberal media might say!]

 

My answer is yes. A few others in this discussion have laid out some clear Biblical answers as to why. The point is that God has given us the liberty to choose and a Christian may exersize the right or not in good conscience, as he or she chooses. Although the Messiah's appearing may have changed the Ceremonial Law of the O.T., it has not rescinded the Moral Law. We indeed bear a moral responsibility to protect ourselves and our families from physical harm just as much as spiritual harm.

 
Nigel Brown said:

Thank you for your synopsis, bro Mike, very good. 

You have stated an if/then scenario and asked a question. I’ll answer it by saying we shouldbe about the business of defending the unborn against abortion providers, but we should not use lethal force. Judicious use of deadly force for self-defense and protesting abortion are not the same. As a Christian, if I found myself in a room with an abortionist about to murder a preborn child, I would do everything I could to stop him short of committing murder myself. This begs the question of how in the world I could be in that position, and the answer is one could not be in that position (be in that room) without having previously broken any number of laws such as getting (protesting) too close to an abortion clinic, trespassing, and who knows what else. In that room, both the woman and the abortionist have agreed to ignore conscience and commit mutual sin. In the case of judicious use of deadly force for self-defense or defense of innocents under your direct protection, there is an evil aggressor and an unwilling participant. That is the difference. Now, one might argue that the preborn child is an unwilling participant, and that is true, but it is not your child.  “Am I not my brother’s keeper?” you may ask. Yes, but let us not stretch the analogy too far. Even the good Samaritan paid the innkeeper to care for the wounded man, he did not put his life on hold and was not his nurse till he healed up.  : )

 

Yes.  Your post makes a lot of sense.  It's something that's I've been thinking about also.  In self-defense or the defense of others, you are not the initiator of the violence.  Rather, you are fighting the initiator of the violence.   I think this can be seen in Exo 21:12-13:

 

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.

 

It seems that vs 12 is about the attacker, and vs 13 is about the victim.

 

But, if you are the initiator of the violence, then you have a problem.

 

Now, in the example of the Louisiana Slave or the Auchwitz Jew, they and their kind were next in line to be murdered.  Here I don't think it out of bounds for them to stop the killing, even if they "lie in wait" for their enemies.  In this case, they are not trying to execute capital punishment, they are trying to stop the ongoing murders -- much like in war, which we really haven't discussed.

 

If someone was rounding up Christian kids in camps and murdering them, I think a father would be justified in killing everyone there to get his kids out.  Probably his neighbors kids too.

 

I'm torn in regard to the "legal standing" argument -- your "not your child" argument.  If a thief attacked my neighbor's wife, should I refrain from coming to her aid because she's not my wife?  No, I think I should help her if I know she's in trouble.  In fact, I may get in serious trouble with the State if I knew she was in trouble and did nothing (but I'm not totally sure about that).

 

A note to all participants. When you post a reply, instead of hitting the "reply" button at the end of a post, go to the box that says "reply to discussion." When you do it this way, you won't be copying the entire post you are responding to into your response. This will conserve space on the forum. Thanks.

No, I am not saying you should refrain from protecting your neighbor's wife (you should help her), I am only pointing out the difference between a willing participant in sin and an unwilling innocent. I tend to agree with Bro Dave on the "legal standing" argument, we should obey God rather than men. Thank you for your timely tip, bro Dave.
Mike R. Prevost said:

 
Nigel Brown said:

Thank you for your synopsis, bro Mike, very good. 

You have stated an if/then scenario and asked a question. I’ll answer it by saying we shouldbe about the business of defending the unborn against abortion providers, but we should not use lethal force. Judicious use of deadly force for self-defense and protesting abortion are not the same. As a Christian, if I found myself in a room with an abortionist about to murder a preborn child, I would do everything I could to stop him short of committing murder myself. This begs the question of how in the world I could be in that position, and the answer is one could not be in that position (be in that room) without having previously broken any number of laws such as getting (protesting) too close to an abortion clinic, trespassing, and who knows what else. In that room, both the woman and the abortionist have agreed to ignore conscience and commit mutual sin. In the case of judicious use of deadly force for self-defense or defense of innocents under your direct protection, there is an evil aggressor and an unwilling participant. That is the difference. Now, one might argue that the preborn child is an unwilling participant, and that is true, but it is not your child.  “Am I not my brother’s keeper?” you may ask. Yes, but let us not stretch the analogy too far. Even the good Samaritan paid the innkeeper to care for the wounded man, he did not put his life on hold and was not his nurse till he healed up.  : )

 

Yes.  Your post makes a lot of sense.  It's something that's I've been thinking about also.  In self-defense or the defense of others, you are not the initiator of the violence.  Rather, you are fighting the initiator of the violence.   I think this can be seen in Exo 21:12-13:

 

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.

 

It seems that vs 12 is about the attacker, and vs 13 is about the victim.

 

But, if you are the initiator of the violence, then you have a problem.

 

Now, in the example of the Louisiana Slave or the Auchwitz Jew, they and their kind were next in line to be murdered.  Here I don't think it out of bounds for them to stop the killing, even if they "lie in wait" for their enemies.  In this case, they are not trying to execute capital punishment, they are trying to stop the ongoing murders -- much like in war, which we really haven't discussed.

 

If someone was rounding up Christian kids in camps and murdering them, I think a father would be justified in killing everyone there to get his kids out.  Probably his neighbors kids too.

 

I'm torn in regard to the "legal standing" argument -- your "not your child" argument.  If a thief attacked my neighbor's wife, should I refrain from coming to her aid because she's not my wife?  No, I think I should help her if I know she's in trouble.  In fact, I may get in serious trouble with the State if I knew she was in trouble and did nothing (but I'm not totally sure about that).

 

OK, we seem to be developing a consensus (at least among some) that killing a human being when it is the only way to stop impending lethal violence against oneself or another is sanctioned by the Scriptures. Just to set this conclusion clearly before our audience, would either Mike or Nigel be willing to post the scriptural basis for this conviction? I will then offer a couple of follow-up questions. 



David Huston said:

Just to set this conclusion clearly before our audience, would either Mike or Nigel be willing to post the scriptural basis for this conviction? 

 

I think we've posted this before, but here's an amalgamation from previous posts.

 

Remember Gen 9:6: 

 
Gen 9:6  Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.

 
This commandment actually marks the beginning of human government and herein we find the underlying purpose of the State.  But, that's a big rabbit trail.  There IS a principle that can be gleaned: the image of God is to be defended -- we cannot suffer it to be trounced and desecrated.  And it is given to humanity, as a group, to defend it.  
 
Although "the power of the sword" is formally given to the State in both the OT and the NT, I don't think that it is beyond the intentions of the Lord for an individual to defend the image of God in an emergency situation when agents of the State are not immediately available.  
 
Exo 22:2-4  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.
 
But in the case of the thief of Exo 22:2-3, the individual was only justified in killing the thief at night.  If the thief came during the day, you could not kill him (if you did, YOU would be put to death).  The commentarians are of the opinion that a night thief's intentions are more questionable -- the thief may be out to KILL you, not just steal your property (this happened to my neighbor one night last year).  But, if the thief comes in the day, he is readily identified and may be restrained and properly punished.  So say the commentarians.  I would consider a stranger in my house out to do me bodily harm whether day or night.  I think the idea is that since the punishment for theft was not death, that, if possible, you should allow the State to punish him in accordance with the law.  However, if your life is in danger, you CAN use lethal force to protect yourself.   So, here, there is an implication that it is not permitted to use lethal force to defend property -- only life and limb.  [Perhaps property if that property was necessary for the life of you or your family, e.g., insulin or an oxygen bottle without which you would die, etc.]
 
So, the appropriate use of lethal force is understood in the context of jurisdiction.  The State may bear the sword in punishment.  The Individual is not permitted to use lethal force to execute wrath, but he may use lethal force to defend life and limb if truly necessary.  The underlying rationale is that the individual also is created in the image of God, which must be defended.

 

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.

 

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. [Note: this may be considered war, which may be a different concept than self-defense.]
 
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 entitled 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.

 

Note that I have not directly said (or at least, I didn't intend to) that the individual is justified in killing attacker(s) when protecting themselves, or others.  I have said that the Individual is justified in using lethal force, which can possibly (or even probably) kill the attacker(s).  The direct objective of constructive violence is to stop the attacker, not necessarily to kill him.  Whether the attacker actually dies or not is immaterial -- the lethal force was justified.  

 

And I still don't think it's right for the Individual to execute capital punishment.  Exactly where the line is drawn between self-defense and capital punishment I'm not exactly sure.  Perhaps only in the motives of the Individual.

 

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