Updated: Jul 25
The subject surrounding forceful self-defence with its legal and ethical principles, is not a new one, having been vocalized and studied at length over many centuries. But the ultimate source of authority, the Word of God, God's Holy Bible, with its authoritative and obligatory expressions of Judeo-Christian behaviour and morality, speaks to the subject from the antiquity of the sun.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in his unconstitutional banning of hand guns in the summer of 2022, stated that guns are not for self-defence. Is that true to God’s Word, which is mankind's only source for absolute truth? If its not, we have a Biblical mandate to disobey the words of this evil, totalitarian tyrant (which he is for many, many more reasons than just his infatuation of disarming the Canadian people).
A man in Milton, ON did this very thing just this year (Feb 2023). He shot and killed a thief (among six thieves) breaking into his home in the night, but only one who had attacked the man's mother, and now he is booked for 1st degree murder! (source). A nation that penalizes someone for defending his own life or someone else's from a violent criminal, is a wicked nation, ripe for Gods judgment of eternal hell (Ps 9:17). But thankfully not all of Canada is like left, liberal, communist, cesspool Ontario, among other provinces. Alberta is a bastion of freedom in comparison. In Aug 2021, a Red Deer, AB man was not charged after he shot and killed an intruder in his home, after he had been beaten with a baseball bat. In another case going back to 2018, a man from Okotoks, AB shot a home invader in the arm on his southern Alberta property. The man was charged with aggravated assault and weapons offences before charges were stayed by the Crown prosecutor, citing a low likelihood of conviction. Every man under God has the right to not be a victim.
The conversation with gun control maniacs typically goes something like this:
Gun Grabber: “Guns kill people! We need more gun control laws!”
Gun Owner: “People kill people. Guns don't kill anyone. Gun control laws do nothing to stop criminals from committing crimes and just make it harder for law abiding citizens to protect themselves. Saying we need more gun control laws to keep people from being murdered is like saying we need to ban knives so people won’t get murdered with those.”
Gun Grabber (knowing he has no logical argument): “You hypocrite. You’re a Christian, and the Bible says vengeance belongs to God, so what right do you have to own a gun?”
Gun Owner: “Okaley Dokley. Let’s see what the Word of God has to say about this.”
Everybody already knows that gun laws don’t prevent gun crime, without ever having to examine statistical facts. Majority of gun-related crimes are committed with illegal, unregistered, black-market weaponry. It was illegal for a student to carry a weapon on the Virginia Tech campus, and so the only student with a gun was the one shooting everyone in sight. Short of snapping magical fingers and disappearing all firearms, no law imaginable can prevent guns from being used by criminals. But we knew all this already, and it’s all been completely documented. The real and intended purpose for disallowing firearms is not for safety reasons, a blatant lie, but for control. A lower or middle class people armed to the teeth is a great risk to any wannabe totalitarian communist dictator.
The same wicked and anti-God mad people that oppose the Jewish nation of Israel defending itself against Allah-inspired devils, especially the evil and diabolical Islamic republic of Iran (source), also likewise oppose the self-defence of individuals. These are evil pawns and children of Satan (Jn 8:44) that want to control and wreck havoc upon the people, while the people have no means of self-defence. The totalitarian dictators are evil, evil and more evil, and there is about 300 of them in a secret, elite group that are completely sold to Satan's cause to bring upon the worse kind of evil known to man, and obliterate the world population to less than half, part of their New World Order plan. Arms in the hands of the citizens prevents or hinders their disposition.
An element of the American Revolutionary War was British gun control, which you can read about here: The American Revolution Against British Gun Control. Imagine how the fight for American freedom would have gone had the British succeeded.
But the fifth President of the United States, James Monroe, a wise man amongst many wise men, had it right,
“The right to self-defence never ceases. It is among the most sacred, and alike necessary to nations and to individuals.”
That is absolutely right!
He was simply reiterating what the United States Constitution has penned in ink and blood, a document that should rightfully exist in every western freedom-loving nation.
“A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”
Some try to argue that militia means government military, but it doesn’t, and the very wording of the amendment places the right of arms ownership with the people and not the state.
Guns don't kill people; people kill people. Guns save lives, like they do many thousands of times in American each year, with upwards to a million lives saved annually because of citizens right to bear arms in public. In a report from 2019, we read true statistics that our deplorable and wicked governments and deliberately lying fake news media hide from the public. Statistics such as guns preventing an estimated 2.5 million crimes a year, or 6,849 every day, where most often, the gun is never fired, and no blood (including the criminal’s) is shed. Statistics such as every year 400,000 life-threatening violent crimes are prevented using firearms. 60% of convicted felons admitted that they avoided committing crimes when they knew the victim was armed. Watch an excellent video on guns and violence, shattering the myths, exposing the lies and revealing the facts: https://www.firearmsandfreedoms.com/trailer/kevin-dixie/?sub4=1bd631c7117a46b9a23ac2184a97ab53&afid=23#
What is hypocrisy, and blatantly so, is to proclaim you can’t be Christian and against gun control; you can’t be pro-life and pro-gun ownership; vengeance is God’s, so you don't need a gun.
Let us examine, in particular, the charge that the Bible doesn't allow for self-defence, and whether it is vengeance.
First of All, Vengeance is Wrong
The Bible is clear:
“Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.” (Rom 12:19).
There can be no doubt that the Bible clearly directs the Christian not to take vengeance into his own hands. Vengeance is to be taken by God Himself, and according to 1 Pet 2:14 and Rom 13, He does this primarily through the institution of government.
The Bible forbids seeking vengeance through violence. The Bible obviously condemns murder, one of the ten commandments (the actual word used in the ten commandments and other places is “ratsach” which should have been translated as “murder,” not “kill” ["nakah"] since there is a difference between murder and killing). Murder, “ratsach,” is the premeditated and unjust assassination by an individual, but not self-defence, nor all killing by whatever entity. God is not guilty of murder but He does kill people, of which we have many examples throughout Scripture, OT and NT. Of course He can do that because He is sovereign over His creation. He is the provider of life, and of death. The Bible condemns violent resistance and rebellion against legitimate government authority. But the Bible does not condemn protection of life. The Bible gives responsibility to the head of the household to provide and protect those under his rule. The means are not described nor proscribed. Nor do they need to be, since Spirit-led application of Scripture provides the wisdom necessary to apply truth. All of the scripture quoted in this report, when taken in their grammatical and contextual place, teach these principles. It is important to “rightly divide the scripture” by applying passages in their proper context, and by differentiating between interactions between an individual and a violent unlawful assailant, and an individual and legitimate authority. The big problem amongst many people that oppose self-defence on allegedly the back of the Bible, is that they do not know what the Bible says about it. Many don't know the Bible at all, their faith clearly counterfeit. Some provide opinion pieces and man-made philosophies and dare not actually look at Scripture, while others corrupt the Scriptures or falsely divide them to prove their position. There position is one of humility they say, while the anti-pacifist is labeled as proud. This is a form of calling good evil and evil good (Is 5:20). Certainty and confidence in the Word of God is opposed. This is bad, but it is called good in a kind of counterfeit fashion. The real humility is replaced by this faux humility, which is actually pride. An evil pride that distorts and manipulates God’s Word and truth into their own corrupted view, so they can hold to their own philosophies which are reported as Bible truth.
So is self-defence vengeance?
Secondly, Self-defence is Not Vengeance — It is Permitted, Even to the Point of Death
For the answer as to whether self-defence is vengeance, we do not go to the gun-grabbing lefty liberal who despises individual liberty and sees personal defence as an affront to the nanny-state. To see if the divine operation of vengeance is equated with self-defence, we need to merely read the Scriptures.
If someone breaks into your home and you kill him while he is committing his crime, is that vengeance? What does Ex 22:2 say?
“If a thief be found breaking up, and be smitten that he die, there shall no blood be shed for him.”
Notice that the reference here is to a "thief," not even someone that necessarily poses a threat to the owner or his families life. Just being a thief is threat enough, since the criminality behind the behaviour can easily lead to further violence. Thieves that break through your home, can be killed and its not wrong. This is not a case where capital punishment, shedding of blood, would come in (Gen 9:6).
According to this OT passage, which does not fall under nullified ceremonial law so its applicable, self-defence is not taking vengeance. There is also no NT passage that reverses this truth, which then means it continues to stand. Moreover, there are passages in the NT that dovetail with this truth from Ex 22, such as Lk. 11:21-22, covered further below.
But what does God says if you wait a while, and go after him after you found out what he did? Conveniently for us, the very next verse answers that:
“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.” (Ex 22:3)
These two verses lay out quite clearly the difference between self-defence and vengeance. In the first case, the thief was killed while committing his crime, and there is no fault in the man who killed him. But if he waits until it is over (the sun be risen, maybe the thief escaped but now he knows where the thief resides), it would be vengeance, because at that point the imminency is passed, and there is no immediate threat to life, so the thief must be dealt with under the law. On a side note, this passage clearly teaches that a certain form of slavery is not wrong. If the thief can't make restitution, he himself becomes the restitution. This is Gods Word and law and we as a society be wise to observe it.
So we see quite plainly that acting in self-defence is not taking vengeance.
Another important point to bear in mind is the time of day. The context of the above is night time, as Ex 22:3 makes clear, which is different than a daytime situation. Night time makes people extremely vulnerable, since they are sleeping and at peace, and its dark, so one cannot see necessary if the criminal is handling a weapon or contains a weapon. When some wicked thief decides to assault your peace and sleep and put you in a very precarious position, violent self-defence is mandated. The protection of your life and loved ones overrides (by a long shot), this intruders life. So in Ex 22:2-3 self-defence that occurs in darkness and leads to the death of the intruder is differentiated from a daytime situation where recognition and restraint are possible, and vulnerability is not nearly at the same level. In mentioning such restraint, there is judicious use of force in compliance with the law.
So if a thief comes in the night, and a person kills the thief because he cannot see if the thief is armed and dangerous and so must assume that he is, because very likely he is (logically and statistically), that is considered self-defence. If a thief comes in the daylight, and a person can see that the thief is not armed, then killing the thief is not justified unless the thief attacks you. Aside note, you had better make sure you know who you are shooting if you shoot someone at night; it could be a family member. Not long ago an American father shot and killed his son because he thought he was a burglar. How terribly tragic and sad. Imagine having to live with that. This critically reminds us to not be trigger happy. We must be swift to hear but slow to wrath. Give the criminal the benefit of the doubt, even though he doesn't deserve it, while at the same prepared to protect your loved ones.
"But" —the argument goes— "that was Old Testament law. We are not under the law anymore." This is a fallacious and unscriptural argument. The God that did not rebuke Moses for defending a Hebrew kin by killing an Egyptian (Ac. 7:23-30), yes that very same God who exalted Moses in the NT and in the context of that killing, saying this Moses "Cho[se] rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward" (Heb 11:24-27) — has not changed (Mal 3:6). Though salvation in Christ Jesus frees us from the punishment of the law, He has NOT freed us from obeying it and fulfilling it (Matt. 5:17-19; Rom 3:31). And the truly saved saint and servant of Christ gladly obeys and fulfills the law because of his love for his Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Read here for more about the Born Again Believers Relationship to the Law.
Jesus also said that ALL the law (NOT just some of the law) hang on to loving your neighbour and loving God (Matt 22:37-40). Therefore, Exodus 22 is not an exception and vv. 2-3 does reflect love. If we love our family and neighbour, we would do our best to protect them from being harmed by violent criminals — even if it means killing the criminals in the process. When people get that priority wrong, having a pacifist mentality and rather permit harm to come to one’s family or neighbour so that the life of the criminal can be spared, it reveals something dreadfully wrong in that soul. Pacifism is a deadly cancer that destroys. It destroys society, it destroys Bible Christianity, it allows for and tolerates evil, sin, error and false teachings, all in the name of false grace and false humility. God loves valiant men, clearly noted throughout the Bible, and despises cowards and snowflakes.
At the same time, however, if we do love the criminal, and we will if we're truly born again, we would not stalk them down and take our vengeance AFTER what they have done. IF we fail to stop the attack and we truly love God with all our hearts, mind, soul and strength, we would make room for His wrath and allow Him to avenge us (Rom 12:19-21).
Consider further principles and commands in the NT on self-defence.
Lk. 11:21-22 teaches pre-emptive defence, and alludes to the fact that a man will protect his property and belongings, with resistance if need be, but his ultimate trust shouldn't be in his armour:
“When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace: But when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he taketh from him all his armour wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils.”
Similarly, in Luke and Matthew, Jesus taught:
"And this know, that if the goodman of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through." (Lk. 12:36).
“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.” (Matt. 24:43).
This truth parallels what Job said in Job 24:14, and the earlier proposition that a thief has the propensity to be a murderer:
"The murderer rising with the light killeth the poor and needy, and in the night is as a thief."
In Lk 22:36 Jesus declared,
“Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one. . . . And they said, Lord, behold, here are two swords. And he said unto them, It is enough.” (Lk 22:36-38)
In their journey to the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus, God the Son, recommended the apostles take two swords. When Peter used one to resist the authorities and protect Jesus (Lk. 22:35-38, 49-51), Jesus never condemned his behaviour. When the question had been asked, “Lord, shall we smite with the sword?” (v. 49) Jesus never responded in the negative or even responded at all. Obviously He permitted it, since silence essentially always means approval (cf. Lev 5:1). In the parallel account of Jn. 18:10-11, where further exposition is given, Jesus did not reprove Peter for the act of attempting to kill one of the men, but specifically for defending Him. The book of John explains it:
“Then Simon Peter having a sword drew it, and smote the high priest's servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant's name was Malchus. Then said Jesus unto Peter, Put up thy sword into the sheath: the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?” (Jn. 18:10-11)
The gospel of Matthew provides further detail,
"Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be? (Matt. 26:53-54).
Jesus was not against Peter defending an innocent person, since there was a purpose in taking up the weapons; He simply did not want to be defended for He had God’s will to fulfil.
There is also Biblical legitimacy to third-party protection.
“Deliver the poor and needy: rid them out of the hand of the wicked.”
Pr 24:11 (which applies both physically and spiritually),
“If thou forbear to deliver them that are drawn unto death, and those that are ready to be slain;”
Thus we see in both the OT and NT there are a number of texts that give general as well as specific commands and principles concerning this matter. These all contradict the casual and somewhat popular idea that individuals should turn the other cheek and accept whatever violence comes their way. That does have its place but its not when a violent criminal is attacking you, your home, your family, or your neighbour, for reasons outside of persecution because of your faith.
Furthermore, its very common amongst these same people of erroneous mentality to think that the offensive and defensive warfare in the OT is barbaric and not an expression of God’s will. This egregious and blasphemous view of Israel’s history is supposedly buttressed by the teaching of Jesus that is viewed as raising humanity to a higher plane of behaviour, where it is an individual’s duty before God to absorb injury (physical or otherwise) and “turn the other cheek.” FYI, the truth of loving our enemies exists just as clearly in the OT as the New. E.g. in Proverbs: "If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink: For thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head, and the LORD shall reward thee." (25:21-22). God's character, doctrines, commands are all pejoratively brought into question when scripture is perverted.
It is significant, however, that both Testaments contain a variety of injunctions and canons that cover many contemporary situations in determining our strategies and preparations against violence. These texts share a common, basic idea that some people do evil things to others, and innocent parties have a right and duty to stop them, even to the point of taking life.
Thus, the Bible simply does not forbid Christians to defend their lives, loved ones, neighbours, the weak, and even our property (Ex. 22:2-3; Job 29:12-17; Lk. 12:36; 22:36).
Anyone that is truthful and faithful to the Holy Scriptures, has no choice but to admit that self-defence is 100% biblical.
It’s important to remember that self-defence is protection of oneself or others from death or great bodily harm, not killing someone because they are stealing your possessions. Yes we should and we can protect our possessions but not at the cost of someones life. No life has a lesser value than vain possessions. There is no comparison in fact between the soul of a person and material. The law has always placed the value of life, even the life of a criminal, over the value of property. We hold the same standard with our law enforcement personnel, a standard of self defence before they are justified in using deadly force, so why should there be a lesser standard for private citizens? What would we think if the police took a “shoot first, and ask questions later” approach?
Finally, though we are permitted to use deadly force in self defence, we are not required to do so. If we can detain someone until the police can take the person into custody, we should do so. I am in no way saying that we shouldn’t defend ourselves or others, but the tone that I get from a lot of things I read is that all criminals are vermin that should be exterminated on sight like cockroaches. In the eyes of God, we are all sinners and wicked before we are supernaturally born again through the precious gospel and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, which was shed for ALL men (1 Jn 2:2), so the soul of even a criminal has priceless value. Think Paul the Apostle, once known as Saul of Tarsus.
Thirdly, God of the Bible is Not a Pacifist; He is a God of War and Enabler of Self-Defence
In the Evangelical Mennonite Conference’ (EMC) Statement of Faith Article 9: The Life of Peace by Glen Koop, we read of this compromised and unscriptural pacifist position:
“As nonresistant Christians, we cannot support war, whether as officers, soldiers, combatants or noncombatants, or direct financial contributors.”
This is pacifism and a fairly common stance amongst many Mennonites and other Christian groups. They reject the notion of war and fighting for ones country. Though pacifism covers a spectrum of views, a typical definition would be, "Opposition to all military ideals, preparedness, war, and so on” (Handbook). Or: "Opposition to war or violence as a means of resolving disputes." An absolute pacifist is generally described as one who believes that human life is so valuable, that a human should never be killed and war should never be conducted, even in self-defense. The principle is described as difficult to abide by consistently, due to violence not being available as a tool to aid a person who is being harmed or killed. It is further claimed that such a pacifist could logically argue that violence leads to more undesirable results than non-violence.(Source). Christian pacifists vary in the application of the principle, but in general they believe Christ’s teaching, such as that in Matt 5:38-48, forbids believers from becoming involved in any form of violence or warfare, even for the protection of one’s property and country. This is a serious misunderstanding of the Bible’s teaching and goes against God's character and love for such characteristics as boldness, courage and valiancy. Pacifism and non-resistance is simply not of God. That is proven repeatedly in the Bible. I'm not saying we shouldn't be meek and humble and even turn the other cheek; I'm saying that God's nature isn't pacifism and nor should the born again believers be. Don't confuse pacifism with patience. God is patient but He is not a pacifist. He is a just God that exalts justice and judgement above sacrifice (Pr 21:3). Pacifism is also not humility, though its portrayed as a form of humility. It’s more in line with cowardice, compromise and very often the characteristic of a compromised charlatan, as alluded to in passages such as Pr 25:26,
"A righteous man falling down before the wicked is as a troubled fountain, and a corrupt spring."
What should be the non-pacifist response to the wicked by the righteous? Proverbs 24 tells us,
"These things also belong to the wise. It is not good to have respect of persons in judgment. He that saith unto the wicked, Thou art righteous; him shall the people curse, nations shall abhor him: But to them that rebuke him shall be delight, and a good blessing shall come upon them." (vv. 23-25)
Pacifism is a perversion of humility. A common idea today—it isn't true—about humility is that it’s some degree of doubt, uncertainty, capitulation, or tolerance. This has become the new humility among many, though pacifist groups like the Mennonites have been practicing this false form of humility for many decades. What is ironic about the perversion of humility is how certain the new humble are that you are proud if you have not their new kind of humble but rather a non-resistance or fighting/contending attitude. They were never more sure that you are proud. Why? Because you are so certain that something or someone is wrong, is erroneous, is unbiblical.
What about Scripture that talks about loving our enemies, or believers being harmless as doves and sheep? We don’t deny those, obviously. We are to love our enemies and be harmless. However that all changes in the face of someone attempting harm to us or our families. Even sheep will defend their loved ones from the wolf, as best they can.
The pacifist position is a mentality of cowardice, spinelessness and it’s one of the reasons why there is so much error and false teachings and apostasy today in Christiandom. This same unscriptural attitude is a large reason for all the false teachings and apostasy in these last days, with the pacifist, cowardice attitude of refusing to fight extends to refusing to contend for the faith, fight for the faith, reprove and rebuke, debate, expose and deal with sin, worldliness and error, which has flooded the churches and allowed the creeping vines of apostasy to overtake and leaven the whole lump — has also consequently taken over the land in sacrilegious matters and governing. Where are all the children of the brave men that fought for our freedoms? The wellbeing and temperature of a nation is directly impacted by the status and temperature of the churches. The end result of pacifism in Christianity, that of tolerating error, evil and sin, is socialism (a mere baby stepping stone to Communism), the byproduct of this sort of false Christianity. And Canada, like America and all other western nations, is a real life-size experiment in demonstration of what I write. There is a process of how these things occur. Pacifism, which has overtaken evangelicalism and much of fundamentalism first tolerates error, then accommodates error, then cooperates with error, followed by being contaminated by error, which ultimately leads to full capitulation to error.
"A little leaven, leaventh the whole lump." (1 Cor 5:6; Gal 5:9).
Mark my words. Mocking or ignoring them will not make the problem go away. What I write is exactly what occurs and continues to occur and will lead to the demise of what remains of true churches and consequently all of our freedoms in this land. The erosion is happening at breakneck speed.
“The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is his name” (Ex. 15:3).
His wars against the wicked are recorded throughout the Scriptures. There is even a “book of the wars of the LORD” (Num. 21:12). Throughout the OT are recorded wars after wars, many instigated by the LORD. God does not change (Mal 3:6). Of course God would like there be no war at all, but in the world of sinners, that will not be possible until the Millennia Kingdom when Christ brings the world under His direct rule.
Consider the following description of the Lord Jesus Christ:
"And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war." (Rev. 19:11).
How does He "judge and make war"?
The Lord Jesus Christ not only endorses war, He also makes war.
"And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war." (Rev. 19:11).
"And the armies which are in heaven follow[ed] him" (Rev. 19:14a).
With the "sharp sword . . . out of his mouth" He will "smite the nations" (Rev. 19:15).
This is in fulfilment to Joel 3:9 where in the last days God will call the nations to come to war against His Son, the outcome of which we see in Rev 14:18-20. The Lord Jesus Christ is returning soon on a white horse with the sharp sword of His mouth, to judge and make war in righteousness, according to Rev. 19:11-21. He will kill and slaughter many people, with the "sharp sword, that" proceedeth "out of his mouth", by which "he should smite the nations." (Rev. 19:15). Indeed, this is the very Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ, "the Word of God" (Rev. 19:13) the One "called Faithful and True," (Rev. 19:11), the Holy One of Israel that "treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God." (Rev. 19:15). Guess who is riding with Him? "the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean" (Rev. 19:14) which are His saints, the children of God, born again believers.
The frequent analogies used in Scripture concerning military lingual and soldiers, makes it clear that God is not a pacifist, since He would certainly not be using such examples as analogy if that was the case. For example, we are challenged to think like a soldier, commanded to endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ, to put on the whole armour of God, the war outfit of the warrior, whose Captain is Jesus Christ the Lord. Therefore, it is certainly fitting that the Scriptures are full of these portraits of protection and deliverance. Beloved King David, a man after God's own heart, was a warrior. The OT is full of military campaigns. The descriptions of God’s dwelling place are often given in military terms,
"One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life. . . . For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me: he shall set me up upon a rock.” (Ps 27:4-5)
The Bible does not forbid Christians to participate in police and military service. God has ordained civil government and has ordained the government to “bear the sword” (Rom. 13:3-4; 1 Pet. 2:14). This certainly involves violence, and the Christian law enforcement officer or Christian soldier is not necessarily disobeying the Scripture when he has to be involved in violence in connection with his official duties. John the Baptist’s warning to the repentant soldiers that were professing faith, to “do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely” (Lk. 3:14) forbade violence initiated from personal animosity and cruelty, but forbade not their actual vocation, that of a soldier which always comes with plausible violence. That is an obvious implication of the passage. For a soldier or law enforcement officer to hurt or kill a man in the line of duty is sometimes required and is not forbidden by Scripture. Rom 13 speaks to that, and nowhere is there any command or even principle instructing believers to abstain from military or police service. For that same soldier or officer to perpetrate cruelty for meanness’ or selfishness’ or personal vendetta sake, this is what is condemned by Scripture. This is what John the Baptist taught,
"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." (Lk 3:14).
God actually expects men to fight for their country, for their freedom. Armed before the Lord to war:
“And Moses said unto the children of Gad and to the children of Reuben, Shall your brethren go to war, and shall ye sit here? . . . And they came near unto him, and said, We will build sheepfolds here for our cattle, and cities for our little ones: But we ourselves will go ready armed before the children of Israel, until we have brought them unto their place: and our little ones shall dwell in the fenced cities because of the inhabitants of the land. We will not return unto our houses, until the children of Israel have inherited every man his inheritance. For we will not inherit with them on yonder side Jordan, or forward; because our inheritance is fallen to us on this side Jordan eastward. And Moses said unto them, If ye will do this thing, if ye will go armed before the LORD to war, And will go all of you armed over Jordan before the LORD, until he hath driven out his enemies from before him, And the land be subdued before the LORD: then afterward ye shall return, and be guiltless before the LORD, and before Israel; and this land shall be your possession before the LORD. But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the LORD: and be sure your sin will find you out. Build you cities for your little ones, and folds for your sheep; and do that which hath proceeded out of your mouth. And the children of Gad and the children of Reuben spake unto Moses, saying, Thy servants will do as my lord commandeth. Our little ones, our wives, our flocks, and all our cattle, shall be there in the cities of Gilead: But thy servants will pass over, every man armed for war, before the LORD to battle, as my lord saith.” (Num. 32:6, 16-27).
Right, Gentile nations or churches are not Israel, yet the principles apply, which have been frequently proven over the course of the millennia. One example comes to mind is that of General Edmund Allenby, the great British general who liberated Jerusalem from the Islamic Ottoman Turks in WWI, applying the same war strategy of Jonathan in the Battle of Michmash when facing the Turks at that same place, Michmash, prior to marching on Jericho. The very same strategy of Jonathan was applied, and worked to precision and the British won a very important battle, preventing countless of casualties, a battle that was largely tilted in favour of the Ottomans (more can be read here). Other examples from the Bible that have been used in warfare including David's battle and killing of Goliath, utilized in the 3rd century as ancient historian Livy records, at the catastrophic Roman defeat against Hannibal at Cannae in 216 BC, the Roman consul Lucius Aemilius Paullus, was severely wounded by one of Hannibal’s slingers from the Balearic Isles, eventually taking him out of combat.
The Bible is clear on this matter. There is no confusion. God does not forbid self-defence. Some times however there is an alternative response, because we love the lost and would rather see them live longer so they can be converted to Christ and avoid an eternity in the fires of hell, but to make the judgment to preserve life, whether your own or someone else, or prevent harm, is certainly not wrong.
Taking away or threatening to take someones freedom away because he defended his own life, or the life of someone else, or his property, is the very definition of an evil, tyrannical government. Everyone should aggressively resist such a government.
There is another defensive and offensive battle and war taking place, one with much greater implications. We who know and are known of Christ (those truly born again) are at war this very moment. Our conflict with the hosts of darkness is never ending; it is the conflict of the ages. We wrestle against principalities and powers as they war against the souls of men. We cast down imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God. We wear King Emmanuel's armour and wield the Spirit's sword in mortal combat with spiritual wickedness in high places.
I pray that the clash of arms falls not silent or the sound of marching feet and heavy artillery. This is the battlefield the saints must be engaged in, clothed with the whole armour of God:
"Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak." (Eph 6:12-20).
Cast off the new style of armour which looks awfully pyjama-ish with spoons in hand instead of swords, and put on the whole armour of God, the true armour of God, which starts with the helmet, which is salvation.