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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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Brandon, on the one hand you seem to be saying that it's okay for a woman being raped, if she should choose to, to fight back, even to the point of killing her attacker. On the other hand you have questioned whether Jesus would ever endorce the use of violence, even in this scenario. But you seem to be saying that in the end we really don't need to worry too much about it because we can always be forgiven. Well, I'm sorry, but that is classic situational ethics, and it just doesn't set right with me. Let me be clear that I am NOT promoting any particular view here, and I'm not suggesting that we should all be armed to the hilt so we can shoot anyone who comes in our house with evil intent (neither am I saying we shouldn't).

Perhaps I can altar the scenario since the rape case is being viewed as "extreme." What if someone is threatening you and your family members at gun point and you manage to call the police. Suppose the police arrive, size up the situation, and take the bad guy out with a bullet in the temple. Now we have already established that God has invested in the State the authority to wield the sword, and now a representative of the State has done just that. My question is, how would God view what this policeman has done? Assuming that shooting the guy was to only reasonable way of preventing him from taking the life of others, would this policeman be counted as having acted on solid moral grounds?

 

David Huston said: 

 Well, I'm sorry, but that is classic situational ethics...

Situational ethics? No, I don't believe I implied that. Situational reactions? Yes. I think I made it clear that someone has every right to fight back if they are being attacked. What I implied is that just because they have that right, doesn't necessitate that it is the right thing to do in any given situation. And that is where this implication of 'situational ethics' arises. I don't see how we, as mere men, can make a conclusive right or wrong statement when dealing with such hypothetical situations. Only God in His infinite wisdom can judge each and every detail of each and every situation through all of it's various aspects and angles. So to man it may appear to be 'situational ethics', but what I would really deem it as is 'man's ethical judiciary limitations'. Man must answer to God and only God can ultimately judge.

 ...you seem to be saying that in the end we really don't need to worry too much about it...

'Not need to worry about this'? No, we absolutely need to worry about this and each work out our individual salvation with fear and trembling. We must do what we believe is right based upon the principles put forth in His Word and when we fail, whether by intention or ignorance, we fall upon the grace for which He so mercilessly purchased us. Pushing beyond this begins delving into trying to be 'like Him'. This is dangerous ground.

In regards to the Police officer, that again is something that he needs to work out. Obviously he shouldn't be a police officer if he isn't prepared to answer that question. But for me, or us, to stand here and try to make a blanket statement brings us right back the problem of hypothetical situations as I just explained above. When you describe that he 'sized up the situation' that means that he made a 'situational decision' or 'situational reaction'. How can we judge him in this, and is it our place, without pouring over every detail of the situation? Of course this is what lawyers and judges do according to man's laws, but are we equipped or qualified, or do we have the authority to do this according to God's laws? Even if we go back to the law, in the situation where a woman accuses a man of raping her in a field where no one could hear, how do we know, or how would they know that the woman was telling the truth? Couldn't the woman have consensual sex and then turn around and accuse the man falsely and if there were no witnesses, who could say differently? But the Law says that the man should be slain. Now in this situation, if the man was truly innocent, who ultimately judges? And with that I establish weakness of this debate. God ultimately judges. We are expected to obey God's laws first and man's laws second, but regardless of the myriad interpretations of either, God will judge last.

Why is this important? Because scripturally there are situational ethics! 1 Corinthians 8:7-12 reads:


7 Howbeit there is not in every man that knowledge: for some with
conscience of the idol unto this hour eat it as a thing offered unto
an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled. 8 But meat
commendeth us not to God: for neither, if we eat, are we the better;
neither, if we eat not, are we the worse.
9 But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a
stumblingblock to them that are weak. 10 For if any man see thee which
hast knowledge sit at meat in the idol's temple, shall not the
conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things
which are offered to idols; 11 And through thy knowledge shall the
weak brother perish, for whom Christ died? 12 But when ye sin so
against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against
Christ.

And James 4:17 adds:

17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.

This sounds pretty 'situational' to me. For one man something may be sin because according to his conscience he believes it wrong, yet to another man he is 'neither better, nor worse' for his conscience was clean. Thank God for GRACE! And wouldn't this apply to any of the hypothetical situations we've described? And isn't this enough to put it to rest?  

Now, with all due respect, I continue to answer your 'apples', when are you going to answer my 'oranges'? Go through my last post, if you would, and answer each of the challenges.



Situational ethics is when we decide what is right or wrong according to what will bring about the desired result in a particular situation. In Christianity, it consists of the idea that love is the ultimate ethic, and the interets of love can justify setting aside other moral principles. When we take a position that a woman must decide while being raped what would be a morally justifiable response, we have entered the realm of situational ethics. Wouldn't it be far better for a woman to know how God would expect her to respond or what liberty He grants her in responding. My question has nothing to do with what might be the best response in any given rape case. I'm only interested in determining what she has a "right to do" under the principles of divine morality. All this talk about supposedly analogous situations and "what might happen if" are not relevant to this discussion and are only clouding the real issue at hand. If we can't create clear, unambiguous hypotheical situations to use as a framework for discussing moral issues, then how can we discuss them in a meaningful way? It's all theoretical and not of much practical value without examples.

 

 

Bro,

I perceive that perhaps we are each getting caught up in what we don't like about the other guys argument, and are failing to see what each of us is really saying. I will concede this.

But, in response, I have not meant to portend that a woman 'must decide while being raped what would be a morally justifiable response'. What I put forth was that a woman must decide what the best, safest, and wisest decision must be. Morally I put forth that she needn't worry. But physically speaking she can not make any of these decisions ahead of time, because every situation will be different. Does it suck to be put in such a position and have to make a decision with such far-reaching physical ramifications under such pressure and fear, of course, and to say it sucks is even, obviously, an understatement. But, I know that's not your point, and to come back again to the spiritual ramifications, I state that she would have nothing to fear. I've tried to establish this in my previous two posts. When you ask, "Wouldn't it be far better for a woman to know how God would expect her to respond or what liberty He grants her in responding." I would answer, "Why would she have anything to fear from our God?" If she was really, truly a Christian (and I only state it that way to segregate from wishy-washy secular 'christians' who aren't really 'Christian') and if she truly had no part in provoking the attack, then why would she fear? She would know that regardless of the outcome, she did not provoke this, is not responsible for this, and ultimately falls under His grace regardless. I believe a qualified final closing scripture should be, "Perfect love casteth out fear." If we walk in fear of hell-fire for every moral decision that we make, if made to the best of our consciences understanding, then we are not truly under Christ.

And this is why I still say that it is not our place, nor is it necessary to come out and make a decisive statement such as, "It's OK to kill." What it's OK to do is react. And if you had not provoked the situation through any moral failure of your own, then what have we to fear from a loving God who gave His life to save us and loves us more than we love ourselves?

Does this work for you brethren?    

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).

 

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!]

 

Bro. Prevost, As I'm sure you well know, it is difficult at best to portray our true spirit/emotions and intentions in writing, since we can't actually "see" tongue-in-cheek facial gestures on this forum.  I must admit I did wonder about it, but made allowance.  Agreed: A smiley face would have helped (me) though. :-)  Good Health & God Bless! -Donnie

Bro Mike,

Since you've asked, yes, I took your comment pretty hard as basically a slam towards Bro Dave and the conference. What was partly disappointing to me was that I had hoped there would be a possibility that you would consider attending the conference that we might meet and enjoy fellowship as like-minded brethren (yes, I feel we can call ourselves like-minded :) ). We could call it 'close enough' anyways! Please don't be to critical of the conference or the network based upon this present debate or Bro Dave's personal takes. The three of us here in Janesville are working with the three of them in Carlisle in co-hosting the conference this year, which will remain in Gettysburg (let's not even open that can of worms, ha ha) and I can assure you that the six of us, and all other attendees for that matter, while like-minded in faith, come from all different walks, and I am sure you would thoroughly enjoy it. I have no idea what the logistics would look like on your end, but would like to at a minimum extend this personal invitation. I have greatly enjoyed being part of this discussion with you and all that you've brought to the table. 

And for the record, I agree with you: 

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?

 We can't go there and are not to go there. And...

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. 

Did I mention Brandon Steinke's not my real name... kidding. :)

God bless Bro, forgiven and forgotten,

-Brandon



Brandon Steinke said:

Bro Mike,

Since you've asked, yes, I took your comment pretty hard as basically a slam towards Bro Dave and the conference. What was partly disappointing to me was that I had hoped there would be a possibility that you would consider attending the conference that we might meet and enjoy fellowship as like-minded brethren (yes, I feel we can call ourselves like-minded :) ). We could call it 'close enough' anyways! Please don't be to critical of the conference or the network based upon this present debate or Bro Dave's personal takes. The three of us here in Janesville are working with the three of them in Carlisle in co-hosting the conference this year, which will remain in Gettysburg (let's not even open that can of worms, ha ha) and I can assure you that the six of us, and all other attendees for that matter, while like-minded in faith, come from all different walks, and I am sure you would thoroughly enjoy it. I have no idea what the logistics would look like on your end, but would like to at a minimum extend this personal invitation. I have greatly enjoyed being part of this discussion with you and all that you've brought to the table. 

 

Oh no!  Another misinterpretation!  No slams against Bro Houston intended.  And no slams against the conference intended.  With the "field trip" scenario, I was trying to point out what seems to be the logical conclusion of Bro Houston's line of argument.  When I said "I won't be going along" I meant I won't be going along on the hypothetical field trip -- did not mean that I would not attend the conference.  I would love to attend the conference and see all you fine folks again -- I do live in North Alabama, though.  Will try to be less "poetic" in the future.

 

Thanks to you and Bro Gillum for expressing your thoughts and to Bro Gillum for giving me the benefit of the doubt.

And with this brothers, after having made my previous post...

And this is why I still say that it is not our place, nor is it necessary to come out and make a decisive statement such as, "It's OK to kill." What it's OK to do is react. And if you had not provoked the situation through any moral failure of your own, then what have we to fear from a loving God who gave His life to save us and loves us more than we love ourselves?

Does this work for you brethren?   


...I feel closure. I have deep and sincere appreciation for each of you brethren that have partaken in this discussion. It has pushed me and challenged me to dig deeper and I feel much the better for it (in the spiritual anyways, for physically it's been rather taxing). And I feel like it has helped me get to the bottom of some long-standing indecisiveness and unsurety. But I must bow out for now, I can't keep this pace. And my wife needs me back. :) (She's been following by the way, or maybe it would be 'lurking' as Bro Jim called it :) )

Feel free to continue, I would love to read any further comments or responses, but feel like I've run my course. At least for my own benefit I would like to know what any of you have thought of my recent posts and conclusions.

A GREAT BIG THANKS guys,

-Bro Brandon 

Just to make sure the record is accurate, I never said that Bro. Mike's comment was mean-spirited. I only said that I considered it inappropriate for this website and asked that he remove it. I also did not say my arguments  didn't have anything to do with killing someone. I only said that I'm not really addressing the issue of abortion. In fact this whole discussion from the beginning has been about killing someone and whether or not it can ever be justified. That's at least part of what the concealed carry discussion is all about.

I really think that my comments have been grossly misinterpreted by some. This is not an emotional issue with me and I am not advocating for any particular position. That truth is, I have still not reconciled all this in my own mind. I have wondered, would I really shoot someone who broke into my house? At this point I'm still not certain that I can say what God would expect of me. What I can say is that many good-willed Spirit-filled people believe it would be perfectly all right while others believe it would be completely out of character for a believer and would be morally wrong. The purpose of my questions and comments has been to provoke thought on this issue so that I can resolve it for myself. I am extremely sorry that some have concluded that I may be trying to set up the Glorious Church Militia (ok lol).

What I'm looking for here is a dispassionate analysis of some extremely difficult and complex moral issues. Even the discussion on this forum has shown how much "like-minded" men can see things differently.

 

Thanks for this explanation and transparency Bro, it helps.

David Huston said:

Just to make sure the record is accurate, I never said that Bro. Mike's comment was mean-spirited. I only said that I considered it inappropriate for this website and asked that he remove it. I also did not say my arguments  didn't have anything to do with killing someone. I only said that I'm not really addressing the issue of abortion. In fact this whole discussion from the beginning has been about killing someone and whether or not it can ever be justified. That's at least part of what the concealed carry discussion is all about.

I really think that my comments have been grossly misinterpreted by some. This is not an emotional issue with me and I am not advocating for any particular position. That truth is, I have still not reconciled all this in my own mind. I have wondered, would I really shoot someone who broke into my house? At this point I'm still not certain that I can say what God would expect of me. What I can say is that many good-willed Spirit-filled people believe it would be perfectly all right while others believe it would be completely out of character for a believer and would be morally wrong. The purpose of my questions and comments has been to provoke thought on this issue so that I can resolve it for myself. I am extremely sorry that some have concluded that I may be trying to set up the Glorious Church Militia (ok lol).

What I'm looking for here is a dispassionate analysis of some extremely difficult and complex moral issues. Even the discussion on this forum has shown how much "like-minded" men can see things differently.

 



Brandon Steinke said:

I believe a qualified final closing scripture should be, "Perfect love casteth out fear." If we walk in fear of hell-fire for every moral decision that we make, if made to the best of our consciences understanding, then we are not truly under Christ.

 

AMEN!  This is very good.

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