by Steve Jones

This content is part of a series.

Self Defense (1 of 2)
Series: Stand Your Ground
Steve Jones

INTRODUCTION: A Quaker got exasperated with his cow. The cow swatted him in the face with her tail and he tried to restrain his anger. She kicked over the milk bucket and he tried to hold his temper. And then the cow kicked him in the shins and that was all he could take. Grabbing the cow by the horns he looked her square in the face and said "Thou knowest that I am a Quaker and I am a pacifist and I cannot hurt thee, but what thou doth not know is that tomorrow I'm going to sell thee to a Methodist."

As the little story illustrates, some denominations eschew all violence, even for the purpose of self-defense. Other Church denominations do not. Why the difference? What does the Bible say?

I have never heard a sermon on the subject of self-defense but I believe that the issue is as timely now as it has ever been. As you know, debate regarding the legitimate and illegitimate uses of force, particularly lethal force, has certainly been in the news lately.

When we understand and obey what the Bible teaches on this subject it will do two things for us:
1) We'll be equipped to avoid TONS of grief, drama and potentially violent conflict.
2) It could save your life.

1) Exodus 20:13 "You shall not murder" (NASB). This commandment has been improperly understood ever since the King James Version mistranslation "Thou shalt not kill." The word in question is "ratsach" and is used to prohibit murder, not killing in war or self-defense. Why is murder sin? Because God is the giver of life and the murderer is stealing that person's life. You are permitted to defend the gift of life with which God has entrusted you.
2) Exodus 22:2 "If the thief is caught while breaking in and is struck so that he dies, there will be no bloodguiltiness on his account." This is the foundation of what is known in the West as "The castle-doctrine." A ...

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