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  • Protecting one's life?

    A friend recently asked me about this argument she has and I'm not quite so sure about what the bible says. please help out.

    What does the Bible say about protecting ones own life? Aren't we supposed to cherish the life that the Lord gave us and that's why it's a sin to commit suicide? So, what if someone's trying to kill me and the only options were kill or be killed? What's the right thing to do? Kill the person to save your life or let the person kill you? We are all equal right, so taking someone else's life is as bad as taking our own... But if you know someone's going to kill you and you let it happen, isn't that the same as suicide?



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  • #2
    Hi Jaaniya!

    This passage from Luke comes to mind:

    22:35And He said to them, "When I sent you out without money belt and bag and sandals, you did not lack anything, did you?" They said, "No, nothing."

    36And He said to them, "But now, whoever has a money belt is to take it along, likewise also a bag, and whoever has no sword is to sell his coat and buy one.
    37"For I tell you that this which is written must be fulfilled in Me, 'AND HE WAS NUMBERED WITH TRANSGRESSORS'; for that which refers to Me has its fulfillment." 38They said, "Lord, look, here are two swords." And He said to them, "It is enough."

    We're to turn the other cheek when insulted or slapped. That's as far as Christ went in that vein.

    The world is hostile and violent, we're to be practical and prepared.
    Heb 10:31 It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

    It is a wonderful thing to be predestined, elected and to believe by faith by virture of His irresitible grace and His limited atonement. Calvie, premill, dispie and full of cats. I love you too!

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Jaaniya View Post
      A friend recently asked me about this argument she has and I'm not quite so sure about what the bible says. please help out.

      What does the Bible say about protecting ones own life? Aren't we supposed to cherish the life that the Lord gave us and that's why it's a sin to commit suicide? So, what if someone's trying to kill me and the only options were kill or be killed? What's the right thing to do? Kill the person to save your life or let the person kill you? We are all equal right, so taking someone else's life is as bad as taking our own... But if you know someone's going to kill you and you let it happen, isn't that the same as suicide?
      Christ said not to return evil for evil. The early church taught that when faced with this situation one was to lay down their life. They would rather have given their own life in the hope that the other might at some later point be saved.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Butch5 View Post
        Christ said not to return evil for evil. The early church taught that when faced with this situation one was to lay down their life. They would rather have given their own life in the hope that the other might at some later point be saved.
        That isn't really addressing the OP's question is it?

        There is no greater love than to lay down your life for your brother.

        Is that referring to some some random person carjacking you at gun point? Tomorrow? Holding your little kid at knife point after breaking into your house?

        Why did Christ tell His apostles to buy a sword? You're referring to wide spread, violent persecution, the OP is speaking of random violence.
        Heb 10:31 It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

        It is a wonderful thing to be predestined, elected and to believe by faith by virture of His irresitible grace and His limited atonement. Calvie, premill, dispie and full of cats. I love you too!

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by SeattleSun View Post
          That isn't really addressing the OP's question is it?

          There is no greater love than to lay down your life for your brother.

          Is that referring to some some random person carjacking you at gun point? Tomorrow? Holding your little kid at knife point after breaking into your house?

          Why did Christ tell His apostles to buy a sword? You're referring to wide spread, violent persecution, the OP is speaking of random violence.
          The sermon on the mount is speaking of widespread persecution???


          Matthew 5:38-44 ( KJV ) 38Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: 39But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also. 41And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. 42Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.

          43Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. 44But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
          Please explain to me, how a person is loving their enemy, when they kill them.

          Comment


          • #6
            Matthew 5:38-44 ( KJV ) 38Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: 39But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also. 41And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. 42Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.
            none of the above deals with responding to unlawful criminal attack.

            Striking someone in the cheek was one of the highest forms of personal insult. it was not a criminal attack. Someone suing you is doing so thru the legal system also not a criminal attack. Being compelled to carry a burden was also part of the roman legal system, a roman soldier could compel you to carry something for him for an allotted distance.

            Jesus did not tell the ones he sent out to get a sword if they did not have one because they would need them to cut their sandwiches. There is nothing in scripture that tells us to submit to unlawful assaults.

            Comment


            • #7
              For those weaker in faith, 'fleeing' is not a sin.

              "But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation has come near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, and let those who are inside the city depart, and let not those who are out in the country enter it,
              (Luk 21:20-21)

              Brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death, and you will be hated by all for my name's sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next, for truly, I say to you, you will not have gone through all the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.
              (Mat 10:21-23)
              ♪ Each day may Christ become clearer, His Cross dearer, Our Hope nearer. ♫

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Benaiah View Post
                none of the above deals with responding to unlawful criminal attack.

                Striking someone in the cheek was one of the highest forms of personal insult. it was not a criminal attack. Someone suing you is doing so thru the legal system also not a criminal attack. Being compelled to carry a burden was also part of the roman legal system, a roman soldier could compel you to carry something for him for an allotted distance.

                Jesus did not tell the ones he sent out to get a sword if they did not have one because they would need them to cut their sandwiches. There is nothing in scripture that tells us to submit to unlawful assaults.
                You might want to look at that in context. Was an eye for an eye only referring to insults? That is the context in which Jesus said do not return evil for evil. Under the old covenant, the punishment was even up. Jesus said you have heard, then He said, "But I say unto you" He changed the old law, and He said, do not return evil for evil. If someone attacks you and you retaliate, what is that?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by crossnote View Post
                  For those weaker in faith, 'fleeing' is not a sin.

                  "But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation has come near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, and let those who are inside the city depart, and let not those who are out in the country enter it,
                  (Luk 21:20-21)

                  Brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death, and you will be hated by all for my name's sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next, for truly, I say to you, you will not have gone through all the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.
                  (Mat 10:21-23)
                  Well said, fleeing is the best way.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Butch5 View Post
                    You might want to look at that in context. Was an eye for an eye only referring to insults? That is the context in which Jesus said do not return evil for evil. Under the old covenant, the punishment was even up. Jesus said you have heard, then He said, "But I say unto you" He changed the old law, and He said, do not return evil for evil. If someone attacks you and you retaliate, what is that?
                    Actually I am taking the context into consideration, all of it.

                    First let us examine what Jesus said, notice He does not say "It is written". He says, "You have heard it said". clearly Jesus is pointing not to the meaning of the written law, but rather some teaching promoted under the concept of "Eye for an eye. one that did not adhere to the intent of that law, (A limitation to not take ore than an eye for an eye) but one that rather said it was ok to retaliate against anyone that does wrong to you. That This is clearly the case is established by Verse 43,

                    "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.'
                    There is no command in the OT to "Hate your enemy".

                    Nothing in the passage relates to responding to a threat to your life. And nowhere in scripture is self defense regarded as evil.

                    Under your interpretation here no Christian community could have a criminal justice system, Murder, rape, robbery, etc would all go unpunished. Do you really think this was Christ's intent?

                    How then do you understand Romans 13?

                    Rom 13:1 Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.
                    Rom 13:2 Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves.
                    Rom 13:3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same.
                    Rom 13:4 For he is God's minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God's minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Benaiah View Post
                      Actually I am taking the context into consideration, all of it.

                      First let us examine what Jesus said, notice He does not say "It is written". He says, "You have heard it said". clearly Jesus is pointing not to the meaning of the written law, but rather some teaching promoted under the concept of "Eye for an eye. one that did not adhere to the intent of that law, (A limitation to not take ore than an eye for an eye) but one that rather said it was ok to retaliate against anyone that does wrong to you. That This is clearly the case is established by Verse 43,



                      There is no command in the OT to "Hate your enemy".

                      Nothing in the passage relates to responding to a threat to your life. And nowhere in scripture is self defense regarded as evil.

                      Under your interpretation here no Christian community could have a criminal justice system, Murder, rape, robbery, etc would all go unpunished. Do you really think this was Christ's intent?

                      How then do you understand Romans 13?
                      Can you give some evidence of this teaching?

                      As I stated in my original post, the early church followed this teaching, do you suppose that all of the men appointed by the apostles misunderstood what the apostles taught them?

                      John the baptist, when questioned by the soldiers as to what to do, told them to harm no man. Why do you suppose John would say that to a soldier, if it was OK to defend yourself?

                      Romans 13 speaks of God setting up authority. They are appointed by God. Which Christians have been authorized by God to distribute Justice? Jesus said my kingdom is not of this world, if it were my servants would fight. If Christ would not let His servants fight to protect His life, who's life is more valuable? It was for this reason that the early Christians would not serve in any type of office. I can give you many quotes from the early church. All they did was follow Jesus example.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        EXODUS 22:2 - If a thief is caught breaking in and is struck so that he dies, the defender is not guilty of bloodshed.

                        That's some exceptionally clear teaching about the sanctity of one's home. But here's another interesting one....

                        Deuteronomy 22:25-27 for the man found the girl out in the country, and though the betrothed girl screamed, there was no one to rescue her.

                        Anyone want to wager a guess as to what would happen to the attacker should one be there to rescue the screaming girl?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by HisLeast View Post
                          EXODUS 22:2 - If a thief is caught breaking in and is struck so that he dies, the defender is not guilty of bloodshed.

                          That's some exceptionally clear teaching about the sanctity of one's home. But here's another interesting one....

                          Deuteronomy 22:25-27 for the man found the girl out in the country, and though the betrothed girl screamed, there was no one to rescue her.

                          Anyone want to wager a guess as to what would happen to the attacker should one be there to rescue the screaming girl?
                          Here's some interesting Scripture also,

                          Matthew 5:21 ( KJV ) 21Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time,

                          22But I say unto you,


                          Matthew 5:27 ( KJV ) 27Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time,

                          28But I say unto you,

                          Matthew 5:33 ( KJV ) 33Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time,


                          34But I say unto you


                          38Ye have heard that it hath been said,


                          39But I say unto you,



                          Matthew 5:43 ( KJV ) 43Ye have heard that it hath been said,


                          44But I say unto you,

                          Jesus is the new lawgiver.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Can you give some evidence of this teaching?
                            Which teaching? the one I mentioned that Jesus was responding to? if so the evidence is in his words, either Jesus was misquoting scripture, ( since there is no scriptural command to hate your enemies) or Jesus was speaking of a popular common teaching on the subject. I for one do not believe that Jesus misquoted Scripture.

                            As I stated in my original post, the early church followed this teaching, do you suppose that all of the men appointed by the apostles misunderstood what the apostles taught them?
                            The "Early" Church is not always right, where it differs from the Apostles I will stick with the Apostles. You are barking up the wrong tree if your making an appeal to "tradition".

                            Ad on the subject of the early Church fathers they wrote a lot about war, and about whether not Christians could hold positions of authority or serve in the army. Neither of which deals with the issue of self defense.

                            John the baptist, when questioned by the soldiers as to what to do, told them to harm no man. Why do you suppose John would say that to a soldier, if it was OK to defend yourself?
                            What he actually said was,

                            Luk 3:14 Likewise the soldiers asked him, saying, "And what shall we do?" So he said to them, "Do not intimidate anyone or accuse falsely, and be content with your wages."

                            And the three things he mentioned are all connected, so his advice was not to intimidate thru violence, or threats of violence,( because the word there means to "shake throughly", "to make to tremble, or "To terrify") in order to extort money or property from people.

                            Romans 13 speaks of God setting up authority. They are appointed by God. Which Christians have been authorized by God to distribute Justice? Jesus said my kingdom is not of this world, if it were my servants would fight. If Christ would not let His servants fight to protect His life, who's life is more valuable? It was for this reason that the early Christians would not serve in any type of office. I can give you many quotes from the early church. All they did was follow Jesus example.
                            Jesus was not facing criminals he was being tried by the ruling authority, again this has nothing to do with self defense aqainst criminal agression by those acting OUTSIDE of the law.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by crossnote View Post
                              For those weaker in faith, 'fleeing' is not a sin.

                              "But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation has come near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, and let those who are inside the city depart, and let not those who are out in the country enter it,
                              (Luk 21:20-21)

                              Brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death, and you will be hated by all for my name's sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next, for truly, I say to you, you will not have gone through all the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.
                              (Mat 10:21-23)
                              How does fleeing mean weak faith?
                              Seek ye FIRST the kingdom.
                              Not second or third, but first.
                              Only when all else pales to God, when He receives all glory,
                              when He is the source of all hope,
                              when His love is received and freely given,
                              holding not to the world but to the promise to come,
                              will all other things be added unto to you.

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