For the Christian

Where is the balance between trusting in the Lord and understanding HE is the one who empowers us to defend our family? Ongoing discussion between my wife and I…

So many verses could go both ways…

Psalm 44:4-8

New American Standard Bible

4 You are my King, God;
Command victories for Jacob.
5 Through You we will push back our adversaries;
Through Your name we will trample down those who rise up against us.
6 For I will not trust in my bow,
Nor will my sword save me.
7 But You have saved us from our adversaries,
And You have put to shame those who hate us.
8 In God we have boasted all day long,
And we will give thanks to Your name forever. Selah

Psalm 18:30-36

New American Standard Bible

33 He makes my feet like deer’s feet,
And sets me up on my high places.
34 He trains my hands for battle,
So that my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
35 You have also given me the shield of Your salvation,
And Your right hand upholds me;
And Your gentleness makes me great.

14 Likes

8 Likes

Luke 22:36 Jesus instructed his disciples, “If you don’t have a sword sell your cloak and buy one.” Self defense is not denied a Christian. I pray that I will never be forced to kill another human in self defense, but if needed to protect myself and those I love so be it.

17 Likes

You seem to be asking the age-old and theologically deep question of “balanc[ing]” God’s sovereignty with man’s responsibility.

Yes. God is sovereign.

Yes. You have a responsibility to protect your family.

Yes. You better trust God while doing it.

Interesting to me that you went to Psalms (same place I would have gone). Play out the shepherd motif (Psalm 23, David author of many Psalms was a shepherd).

I would suggest that as a husband/father you are a shepherd to your family. You are to lead, feed, and protect your family physically, spiritually, emotionally, financially, etc. (see also 1 Timothy 5:8). David protected his father’s sheep. He didn’t simply trust God to do it. He went out against the bear and the lion and killed them. He killed Goliath, but the Lord delivered Goliath into David’s hand. There is evidence that David was proficient with a sling and stone not unlike a sniper is proficient with his weapon. David was prepared, practiced, and proficient. God is sovereign and protected David (and Israel), but David had to go get those five smooth stones, put them in his sling, hit Goliath, and then cut off his head.

The point is this: Trust in God is active, not passive. I don’t see my purchase of a firearm, training with that firearm, and carrying that firearm as an act of distrust in God and trust in myself. Rather it is an act of active trust. I know that the Lord is my keeper (Psalm 121), but I also know that he uses human means to accomplish his purpose. God will protect my family in accordance with his will. And he may use a 9mm round fired out of a gun I purchased that I have trained with to do it.

May the Lord bless you and keep you. You and your wife are doing a good thing by prayerfully hashing this out. Trust him and he will direct your path.

19 Likes

Sad, but often true.

I hope it’s not true of me.

7 Likes

Terrific post sir. I don’t know if I have ever seen the subject addressed that well. Thank you!

6 Likes

The command: “Thou shall not kill” when properly translated and taken in context of the time is actually “Thou shall not commit homicide”.

There is nothing in the Bible that even suggests that I should willingly surrender my life or the life of any good person to evil. My use of deadly force is just God’s tool to deal with evil.

18 Likes

~Nehemiah 4:14~
"When I saw their fear, I rose and spoke to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people: "Do not be afraid of them; remember the Lord who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives and your houses. "

Remember we live in a fallen world and since we live in a fallen world, there is cause to be vigilant and prepared to defend ourselves against evil men. We Trust in God and His will for our lives (though we may lose them). For the believer, there is no loss of faith in defending ourselves UNLESS you put your faith in your ability to defend yourself or others.

Romans 12:19
"Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY, " says the Lord.”

It’s sinful to revenge against perceived injustice. Let God handle it but be diligent in defense of truth and protecting those who cannot protect themselves.

8 Likes

No matter your faith, this is one of the best explanations of how ‘Christian Nationalism’ is part and parcel of American History (formerly was called ‘Christian Patriotism’) . I suggest this excellent podcast to learn more (super-clear explanation).

2 Likes

And this is a good point. There is a HUGE difference between “self defense” and the “defense of others” which includes war against evil, and “revenge”.

The first is encouraged, the second is not.

6 Likes

Excellent post sir with good logic and thinking behind it. Thanks for posting.

3 Likes

@John1505, I’m tracking the comments, and I listened to the podcast and I hear the application of the Podcast itself… … I’m having trouble linking this podcast to my original question / thought.

Will you help me out?

Thanks!

3 Likes

The label of ‘Christian Nationalism’ is a weapon in itself, being used as a shaming tool against being Christian. Christian persecution is ramping up in a big way around the world (and the media refuses to discuss this). So, my thoughts are about arming ourselves as defenders of Christianity with knowledge. Self-defense, in my mind, means more than guns and bullets. The pen is a powerful weapon, as are a few quotes from some of the most admired folks in American history.

7 Likes

I myself am a Christian and if I had to defend my life and the life of my family I will. The lord also called me to protect my flock/congregation. 20 years of law enforcement prepared me for this calling.

16 Likes

Johnny, you might be interested in Keith Graves excellent channel: Christian Warrior Training. He is a former LEO and served 20 years in SWAT. He passes along his knowledge on how to keep your congregation safe in these troubling times. All training is free.

4 Likes

I do follow Christian Warrior Training on YT (and even have one of his latest videos playing currently), among others, but he is not one on the top of my must see lists… might change…

3 Likes

The USCCA has videos on protecting houses of worship and they are an excellent tool.

6 Likes

That is a pretty narrow reading of that verse. It was not a broad injunction to buy swords, or defend one’s self or others, but to get a sword so that a prophesy would be fulfilled. Jesus seems, as his, call to “give no thought for the morrow” (among a great many other words attributed to him) suggest.

1 Like

I struggled with this verse for years. I’ve often seen it touted as justification for purchasing a firearm and was always skeptical. I still am a bit. However, there are some solid theologians and Bible scholars who use it in the same way @Michael661 does.

It’s been a while since I’ve listened to this, but IIRC, this scholar uses that verse similarly to the above. Actually, this audio file might be relevant to the OP.

Edited to add another source that better demonstrates where i found this and doesn’t embed the audio file into my post:

Our pastor is a 2A supporter. He says if an intruder breaks into my house & sombody has to die, it’s not going to be my family. Also we have a church security team that consists of mostly retired & active LEOs. I volunteered for the team but they didn’t need anyone else. I carry to church just like I would carry in any crowed place with a possible threat for mass shootings. I pray for God to use me in service if others. What thst may be is God’s will, not mine

6 Likes