Christianity and Self Defense

This is a discussion on Christianity and Self Defense within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Originally Posted by jumpwing And meditation during martial arts training is a great time for quiet prayer. I don't disagree on some levels. We have ...

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Thread: Christianity and Self Defense

  1. #16
    Distinguished Member Array MinistrMalic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jumpwing View Post
    And meditation during martial arts training is a great time for quiet prayer.
    I don't disagree on some levels. We have times of preparation that I find useful for prayer. In some arts, though, that time is specifically set aside for channeling chi or other ideas that are against a biblical worldview.

    That was the point of the posts: chew the meat and spit the bones in martial arts styles. Some are great, some are okay with a few caveats, and some are best avoided by Christians.

    Thanks for all the interaction! I appreciate it a lot.
    "...whoever has no sword is to sell his coat and buy one." (Luke 22:36)
    Christianity and Self Defense from a Biblical Perspective

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  3. #17
    Senior Member Array InspectorGadget's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by retsupt99 View Post
    I thought the passage in Luke was "Sell your cloak and buy a Glock!"

    Thanks for the blog...
    Sorry RETSUPT I was dealing with the hurricane that wasn't when I responded last night, I missed the Glock :) I am still trying to figure where this massive hurricane the news channels were showing on TV was, I guess I am on the wrong beach at the border between Florida and Alabama? All I saw was a rainstorm.
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  4. #18
    Member Array bomber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beans View Post
    << Luke 22:36 >>


    Why buy a sword except for self defense?
    to fulfil prophecy

    Isaiah 53:12

    It could be argued that Christ was pointing out that the prophecy in Isaiah was fulfilled by the weapons being present. He doesn't tell the disciples to use the swords for anything, just that they should have them. he explicitly states the prophecy, and then checks with the disciples to see if they have the weapons mentioned in the prophecy.

    The only time Christ mentions anything about self defense, it is in favor of pacifism. He commands peter to put away his sword when peter attempts to defend christ. christ commands his followers to turn the other cheek.

    christ does tear up the temple, but the scripture does not mention whether or not christ actually assaulted anyone. just that he turned over tables and drove the money-changers out of the temple.

    the example that the disciples set for the early church, aside from Peter's one act of violence which was rebuked by christ, is singularly pacifist. Only John died a natural death. The rest were executed and all were led to their deaths without a fight. sometimes they fled, but they never resisted. and there are no biblically recorded instances of early church christians using violence to defend themselves.


    is it wrong for christians to defend themselves? personally i don't care what people decide. everyone needs to make that decision for themselves. but the example of christ is one of pacifism. the bible (new testament which is the new covenant that christians are to abide by) does not support a position of using self defense.

  5. #19
    Distinguished Member Array BigStick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bomber View Post
    christ commands his followers to turn the other cheek...

    ... the bible (new testament which is the new covenant that christians are to abide by) does not support a position of using self defense.
    The thing about turning the other cheek is that in jewish culture, that was not a way of saying "go ahead and do what you want, I'm just going to sit here and let you" It was the equivelant of nonviolent protest, standing up for yourself. It was more defiant than submissive. More along the lines of saying "you can hit me on this side too, and I still won't be afraid of you." So don't mistake that as telling you not to defend yourself.

    And while the New testament doesn't explicitly give directions to defend yourself, it does not prohibit it either.
    Walk softly ...

  6. #20
    Member Array ZeBool's Avatar
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    While obviously in favor of defending myself, the quote about "selling your cloak to buy a sword" really gets me. It seems to be the most popular religious quote regarding weapons among people on firearms boards. However, if im not mistaken, the completion of that quote (which nobody ever seems to want to sig) is "he who lives by the sword shall die by it."

  7. #21
    Member Array jimbofox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MinistrMalic View Post
    Well to me it's actually a double question. From a theological perspective I personally have no problem with Krav. It is a brutal art but has no idolatry within it that I can see. However, for the record I don't have a lot of experience with it and so my perspective is limited. YMMV.

    My challenge with Krav (hmmm...better get some cover for getting flamed by Krav practitioners!) is it's execution. It is built and designed for the Israeli military. So that means young men. Strong young men. Sure others can use it, but I am concerned that as a 75-year-old it will not be helpful. I want an art that I can use throughout life.

    Many arts are okay. I personally study American Kenpo. Find an instructor that isn't into the meditation and stuff, and whose philosophy is not that it takes years of study to gain proficiency with unarmed combat. At our school we believe that you gain from your very first class and can defend yourself in many situations right from the get go. Kenpo just makes you better at a skill you already possess.

    That being said, there are no shortcuts to self defense. If you want to be proficient, a few months of training in anything will not cut it whatever anyone says. It'll make you better but not as much as you want. So find something you take joy in and stick with it. I have been studying Kenpo for about 3 1/2 years and enjoy it thoroughly. For me it is an extension of my armed combat skills!
    While I think that religion and self defense have absolutely no common ground nor do they belong in the same sentence, +1 on American Kenpo. Its practical application of scientific principles and logical/intelligent movements make it simply one of the most effective SD systems ever invented by man. That and the fact that Ed Parker (the system's creator) wanted it to improve and evolve with the ever-changing world guarantees its longevity in usefulness. It wasn't invented 1000 years ago like Wushu or other Asian styles. It was invented in the 20th century and designed to deal with the 20th century world.

  8. #22
    Distinguished Member Array kelcarry's Avatar
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    With all due respect, and I mean that truthfully and fully, this thread and subsequent posts represent, in their entirety, an exercise of thought and mind/moral thinking; they have nothing to do with the real world. Each of us, as G-d's children, have an obligation to protect ourselves, since we are, if you believe in G-d, his creation; to allow ourselves to be violated in any way, including allowing our own death is, in a way, a sin before G-d. A definition of "murder", which is the real hebrew word behind the commandment, infers an immoral act against another---"killing" is not the word in the commandment, for if it was, the commandment, as written, would disallow meat eating as a condoned activity. Bottom line IMO (and again this is all said with all due respect to all previous posters) is that the real world, unfortunately, is not the world of purity and sanctity and responsibility that the commandments are reaching for. We owe it to ourselves, our families, and our fellow citizens to take actions that do not violate G-d's creation (ourselves) when our lives are threatened with death or horrible results.

  9. #23
    Distinguished Member Array Spec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by retsupt99 View Post
    I thought the passage in Luke was "Sell your cloak and buy a Glock!"

    Thanks for the blog...
    ... How about try a Smith
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  10. #24
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    Well, I am not very "religious" but, do feel qualified to offer up a bit of advice.
    If you are religious then you should agree with the fact that the two greatest creations of God would be the universe (in general) and more specifically "Man" to include Woman AKA Human Beings.

    As "Human Beings" we were given a brain and the ability to make conscious choices.

    Some Human Beings have made the conscious decision that it is OK to wantonly maim, injure, torture, & kill other innocent Human Beings.

    Using our Human brain we realize that those sorts of Human Beings are severely flawed. Obviously.

    Now look inside yourself at what we now know for certain that Human Beings were also given...either through Genetics or directly by God. Pick either/or.

    We were born with/"given":

    > An inherent "Will" to survive.
    > A powerful ingrained need to protect our loved ones/young.
    > & A finely honed and proved inherent "Fight or Flight" response.

    We were born with a natural internal "Fight or Flight Response" it is not learned behavior.
    It is "coded in" & it is a part of our genetic make-up and our DNA.
    The "Fight or Flight" which would actually be more correctly termed "Flight or Fight" biologically triggers the Human Being to (ideally) flee and "get away" from danger OR...if that is not possible to fight and eliminate that danger before that perceived deadly threat eliminates us.

    ~ We were not born with an ingrained "Hurt Me! ~ Kill Me! ~ Kill My Children!...I'll Stay Right Here & Not Do Anything At All" Response.

    So...if you truly believe that you are a Creation Of God...then why would you doubt and question what that Lord instilled and infused deep into your mind and body in order to help insure and guarantee your survival and longevity?

    The answer to the question of Defense Of Self & Of Spouse & Of Siblings & Of Loved Ones & Of Clan is right there in the brain that you were given by either God or Evolution...again...pick one...or the other ~ whatever your druthers.

    Just my personal opinion on that.

  11. #25
    Member Array bomber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigStick View Post
    The thing about turning the other cheek is that in jewish culture, that was not a way of saying "go ahead and do what you want, I'm just going to sit here and let you" It was the equivelant of nonviolent protest, standing up for yourself. It was more defiant than submissive. More along the lines of saying "you can hit me on this side too, and I still won't be afraid of you." So don't mistake that as telling you not to defend yourself.
    yeah, that may be true in jewish culture, but you are ignoring the first half of that verse.... "But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also." Matthew 5:39. Also you need to look at the entire context of that verse, which is the Sermon on the Mount. Its all about peace, reconciliation, and love for your enemy.

    again I want to stress that I am not trying to tell people not to defend themselves. All I am saying is that self defense is not something that is supported by Christ's teachings, nor Paul's, nor Peter's.

  12. #26
    Senior Member Array Frogbones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QKShooter View Post
    Well, I am not very "religious" but, do feel qualified to offer up a bit of advice.
    If you are religious then you should agree with the fact that the two greatest creations of God would be the universe (in general) and more specifically "Man" to include Woman AKA Human Beings.

    As "Human Beings" we were given a brain and the ability to make conscious choices.

    Some Human Beings have made the conscious decision that it is OK to wantonly maim, injure, torture, & kill other innocent Human Beings.

    Using our Human brain we realize that those sorts of Human Beings are severely flawed. Obviously.

    Now look inside yourself at what we now know for certain that Human Beings were also given...either through Genetics or directly by God. Pick either/or.

    We were born with/"given":

    > An inherent "Will" to survive.
    > A powerful ingrained need to protect our loved ones/young.
    > & A finely honed and proved inherent "Fight or Flight" response.

    We were born with a natural internal "Fight or Flight Response" it is not learned behavior.
    It is "coded in" & it is a part of our genetic make-up and our DNA.
    The "Fight or Flight" which would actually be more correctly termed "Flight or Fight" biologically triggers the Human Being to (ideally) flee and "get away" from danger OR...if that is not possible to fight and eliminate that danger before that perceived deadly threat eliminates us.

    ~ We were not born with an ingrained "Hurt Me! ~ Kill Me! ~ Kill My Children!...I'll Stay Right Here & Not Do Anything At All" Response.

    So...if you truly believe that you are a Creation Of God...then why would you doubt and question what that Lord instilled and infused deep into your mind and body in order to help insure and guarantee your survival and longevity?

    The answer to the question of Defense Of Self & Of Spouse & Of Siblings & Of Loved Ones & Of Clan is right there in the brain that you were given by either God or Evolution...again...pick one...or the other ~ whatever your druthers.

    Just my personal opinion on that.

    Nice.

    While I'm not very religious, (as I don't hold much stock in religion) I do believe my faith (and all it encompasses) gives me the responsibility to insure and guarantee me and my loved ones, survival and longevity. So that we may continue living for God as we choose, and practice the teachings (as we interpret) to the best of our abilities, and possibly spreading the teachings either through word or action.


    It's all about choices, respect, and interpretations.

    Good reads OP, I enjoyed.

  13. #27
    VIP Member Array bsnow's Avatar
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    Excellent job! I will pass this along, and thanks so much for sharing.

  14. #28
    Distinguished Member Array BigStick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bomber View Post
    ...but you are ignoring the first half of that verse....

    ...All I am saying is that self defense is not something that is supported by Christ's teachings, nor Paul's, nor Peter's.
    I was not ignoring the first half of the verse, I was actually looking at the whole passage in the broader sense of the message that Christ was trying to impart. That discussion was NOT about self defense. It was an object lesson about how to deal with those who mistreat you. Not those who would attack or kill you, but cause offense and insult. The reference was to a backhanded slap on the face, which has very specific meaning in the culture. Also, it did not say if someone robs you and steals your shirt, it says if someone sues you to get your shirt, give them your coat, and if they force you (legally as permitted by law, not at knife point) to go one mile, go ten (which would be a violation of the same law to make you go >1 mile).

    The passage starts "You have heard it said..." or "It has been said...", "...But I say to you... " Christ was giving object lessons about how the pharasees had twisted the Law from being administration of justice by the proper channels into a revenge factor (eye for an eye) by individuals who had been wronged. Giving us advice on how we should treat our brothers and not seek revenge. The message of the whole passage was to give advice on how we should live as Christians, not prohibiting certain acts.

    You say that Self defense is not supported by Christs teachings, while Jesus never specifically says "it is ok to kill someone if they are attacking you" I will say again, he does not forbid it either. That is not what this passage says.
    Walk softly ...

  15. #29
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    Mistook meaning

    Quote Originally Posted by bomber View Post

    The only time Christ mentions anything about self defense, it is in favor of pacifism. He commands peter to put away his sword when peter attempts to defend christ. christ commands his followers to turn the other cheek.
    I think you mistake Christ's meaning with respect to Peter in the garden. Christ did not rebuke Peter because he struck the Roman with the sword. Christ's meaning was not one of pacifism. Christ rebuked Peter because Christ's purpose was to be captured, tried, and crusified. It had nothing to do with pacifism, but everything to do with the purchase of our sins. Peter's actions were at odds with Christ's purpose.

    When Christ commands his followers to turn the other cheek, he is speaking of insults, affronts, and in some cases assault. But I do not believe he meant we should lay down and die at the hands of anothers evil deed. Sell your cloak to buy a sword.

  16. #30
    Member Array bomber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ctr View Post
    I think you mistake Christ's meaning with respect to Peter in the garden. Christ did not rebuke Peter because he struck the Roman with the sword. Christ's meaning was not one of pacifism. Christ rebuked Peter because Christ's purpose was to be captured, tried, and crusified. It had nothing to do with pacifism, but everything to do with the purchase of our sins. Peter's actions were at odds with Christ's purpose.

    When Christ commands his followers to turn the other cheek, he is speaking of insults, affronts, and in some cases assault. But I do not believe he meant we should lay down and die at the hands of anothers evil deed. Sell your cloak to buy a sword.
    you could fill a book (and many people have) with the things that are not covered in the bible. You're right, it is not prohibited. According to Paul, all things are permissible, but not all things are helpful. All I am saying is that self defense is not supported by Christ. And self defense is not explicity supported by any new testament author. The example of the authors and the disciples is one of pacifism.

    and again, the "sell your cloak to buy a sword" verse is constantly misquoted and twisted out of context. I have heard it every time this subject brought up, but never in context with the related scripture from Isaiah and the fulfilment of prophecy. again, christs mention of them was explicitly related to prophecy. he doesnt say anything about actually using the sword.

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