Religious beliefs and self defense?

This is a discussion on Religious beliefs and self defense? within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; This is a topic I've always wondered about and thought very deeply about,ever since I first purchased a firearm with the idea of possibly needing ...

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Thread: Religious beliefs and self defense?

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    Senior Member Array 1911luver's Avatar
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    Religious beliefs and self defense?

    This is a topic I've always wondered about and thought very deeply about,ever since I first purchased a firearm with the idea of possibly needing it one day for personal defense. I'm catholic and have always wondered of the commandment "thou shall not kill" and its meaning as pertains to defense of one's own life or that of another. I've also wondering of the eternal repercussions as far as taking a life and eternal damnation.

    I've always believed that "thou shall not kill" pertained to one doing evil with malice in their heart towards another,i.e. to kill someone in cold blood versus in defense of one's own life or the life of another innocent. So what I'm trying to say here is that,is it believed that someone kills another human being in self defense is it viewed as a mortal sin? I've always been a pretty religious person and believe in my faith and in god,but I every now and then wonder how I'll be regarded in the next life if forced to do the unthinkable in this one.

    I hope to god I'm never forced to use my gun to kill another human being,even in defense of my life or a loved ones. However if one is forced to do so does this mean they will be commended to hell,for the act of murder?
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    If you are the head of the house hold then you should be the "Steward Servant" of the household and make all the tough decisions, including self defense. You sacrifice your comfort, desires or wants for the good of the family, including risking "eternal damnation", in defense of your family. There is not always a black and white out come for your actions in this world or the next. Protect your family and yourself. Trust in the Lord that you will use the wisdom and skills that you have acquired as the Steward Servant of your family.

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    As far as Catholicism goes... Killing in battle as part of your duty and also in self defense is sanctioned by the church. Hundreds of years ago, the Pope himself fought in combat to protect the church.

    If you have any doubts. Please speak to your priest. He can give you guidance on the issue.
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    Member Array CJ810's Avatar
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    The general consensus I've heard is that the verb translated as "Kill" in the ten commandments (Exodus 20:13) means "to murder". I looked on the website Online Bible Study Tools - Search Gateway to Resources and looked up that passage in the King James Version with Strongs Numbers which allows you to look at the original language word and primary translations for it. I'm copying it in here.

    Exodus 20 - The KJV Strong's Version - STR - Study Bible Online

    Ratsach TWOT (Theological Word Book of the Old testament)- 2208
    Phonetic Spelling Parts of Speech
    raw-tsakh' Verb

    Definition
    to murder, slay, kill
    (Qal) to murder, slay
    premeditated
    accidental
    as avenger
    slayer (intentional) (participle)
    (Niphal) to be slain
    (Piel)
    to murder, assassinate
    murderer, assassin (participle)(subst)
    (Pual) to be killed

    It's almost entirely malicious.

    This debate doesn't just apply to self defense, it is also common for people who serve in the armed forces. Bear in mind that there is quite a lot of killing in the Old testament performed by the Israelites on the orders of God, not long after he gave them these commandments. Based on that I agree with those who say "thou shalt not kill" doesn't apply to self defense, service in the armed forces, or capital punishment.

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    Luke 22:36
    He said to them, "But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one."

    I don't think he was referring to expanding a sword collection...
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    VIP Member Array rottkeeper's Avatar
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    It is something I have thought about numerous times. I think it is something that shows you have a good moral compass to be concerned with this topic to begin with.

    Anyone who can use deadly or potentially deadly force without worry of the ramifications needs to step back and think, ''Am I ready to carry''.
    To me the ultimate concern would be the topic you have chosen.

    Although as QKShooter has said there is an old thread on this subject I hope they will let this one stay open for discussion.
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    Senior Member Array jca1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1911luver View Post
    This is a topic I've always wondered about and thought very deeply about,ever since I first purchased a firearm with the idea of possibly needing it one day for personal defense. I'm catholic and have always wondered of the commandment "thou shall not kill" and its meaning as pertains to defense of one's own life or that of another. I've also wondering of the eternal repercussions as far as taking a life and eternal damnation.

    I've always believed that "thou shall not kill" pertained to one doing evil with malice in their heart towards another,i.e. to kill someone in cold blood versus in defense of one's own life or the life of another innocent. So what I'm trying to say here is that,is it believed that someone kills another human being in self defense is it viewed as a mortal sin? I've always been a pretty religious person and believe in my faith and in god,but I every now and then wonder how I'll be regarded in the next life if forced to do the unthinkable in this one.

    I hope to god I'm never forced to use my gun to kill another human being,even in defense of my life or a loved ones. However if one is forced to do so does this mean they will be commended to hell,for the act of murder?
    This is such a great question. The simple answer is: no it is not wrong to defend yourself even if it means to take a life.

    The ten commandments "the law" were the foundation laid before the coming of Christ. Written to show the sins of humankind, proof of our need for God if you will. In the old days (B.C.) the law was believed as written, but Christ explained the law further, that the law itself did not condemn but the sin of man did, nor was it ever intended to condemn but only to show the condemnation that was born into man through sin period. Jesus said: (paraphrasing) You have heard it written that man shall not commit adultery, but I say unto you that if you look at a woman with lust in your heart you have committed adultery. Meaning ,the act of adultery alone does not condemn, it is also the fact that the desire to commit adultery lives within us that condemns. Or that, as some believed then, if we never actually performed the act all is well, is not true. Or if we stood before God and said we never committed adultery, He would say, I beg your pardon. What about the 4 million women you dreamed about committing adultery with? Jesus also said that if we have hate in our hearts for a brother, then we have committed murder( again paraphrasing)....meaning that it is the ability to hate one another(which is the root cause of murder..lack of love for one another) that condemns long before if ever we actually committed murder.. All of which is meant to be proof to us that we need God, not the law which was written only to prove our sin, which Jesus said is the very desire for, not the act only. The law cannot justify, because it cannot be followed.

    "Thou shalt not Kill" is completely separate from God's idea of how to deal with "criminals" which was and is forever(God doesn't change)
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    Quote Originally Posted by retsupt99 View Post
    Luke 22:36
    He said to them, "But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one."

    I don't think he was referring to expanding a sword collection...
    I'll read that again, but I thought it said "buy many". He was clearly referin' to the 1911 handgun!
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    Distinguished Member Array Paymeister's Avatar
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    Historical/linguistic/logical answer:
    And striking an intruder so that he dies is OK in the OT law if it's done at night (=family defense is OK: you can't tell at night that he was just after whatever they used for TVs in ancient Israel - Ex 22:2).

    Too, had the translation of "do not kill" been accurate, it doesn't fit with God's clear and specific commandments to take certain people out, either in specific instruction regarding going to war or in the Law as a judicial process. It's the hate/murder/do it on your own authority stuff that's prohibited.

    On the theological side:
    You've been given the responsibility by God to protect your family. Do what you need to do. Don't take on the role of judge, jury, and executioner, but do what you are supposed to do as His representative. Example: you pray that God would keep your family fed. Yet you go to work. Why? Because it is reasonable to assume that He will meet your needs through an earned paycheck rather than materializing some gold for you - that's the normal way He does things. Here, you pray that He would keep your family safe... and you lock the doors and carry a weapon, figuring He might want to use you in the process. Nothing arrogant about it: you're just being a good servant, ready to jump in if He indicates you should.

    Really pushing the religion limits here, but the question warrants it:
    Don't sweat the "how I'll be viewed in the next life" question: if you try to stand on your own track record you're toast LONG before this issue comes up since if you're guilty of ONE part of the law you're guilty of it all (James 2:10, Eph 2:8-9, and just about anywhere else in the Epistles). But if you're depending on Christ for your salvation, you'll appear before God as though it were Christ Himself standing there - His credentials, not yours. This frees you now to "Do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God" (Micah 6:8).

    Trying-to-gain the-moderators good-favor-again section:
    A lesser known reading of the Micah 6:8 passage suggests that the "walk humbly" section also includes range time (and I think that the "with your God" part suggests a 1911, showing agreement between OT and NT, eh, retsup?).
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    Thumbs up

    "Although as QKShooter has said there is an old thread on this subject I hope they will let this one stay open for discussion."

    Just try really hard to keep the scriptural/Bible quotes and your "civil discourse" replies directly related to the original forum topic questions which would be...the necessary use of deadly force as it relates to family, home, self-defense and member religious beliefs as directly related to the OP.

    And no straying off topic to abortion debates/discussions as per the forum rules.

    Hopefully members will keep in mind that we are a forum with a primary focus on the sharing of knowledge centered around concealed carry - open carry - firearms - holsters - edged weapons - tactical equipment - training - law enforcement & military as per the banner at the top of every forum page and not a general religious discussion board.

    I think those are very fair requests that put the ball in the thread participants hands as to if the thread suffers any deletions, edits, or ultimate closure.

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    VIP Member Array rottkeeper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QKShooter View Post
    "Although as QKShooter has said there is an old thread on this subject I hope they will let this one stay open for discussion."

    Just try really hard to keep the scriptural/Bible quotes and your "civil discourse" replies directly related to the original forum topic questions which would be...the necessary use of deadly force as it relates to family, home, self-defense and member religious beliefs as directly related to the OP.

    And no straying off topic to abortion debates/discussions as per the forum rules.

    Hopefully members will keep in mind that we are a forum with a primary focus on the sharing of knowledge centered around concealed carry - open carry - firearms - holsters - edged weapons - tactical equipment - training - law enforcement & military as per the banner at the top of every forum page and not a general religious discussion board.

    I think those are very fair requests that put the ball in the thread participants hands as to if the thread suffers any deletions, edits, or ultimate closure.
    Thanks QKShooter.
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    Quote Originally Posted by retsupt99 View Post
    Luke 22:36
    He said to them, "But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one."

    I don't think he was referring to expanding a sword collection...
    Exactly.

    Christ commanded his disciples to be armed... and it wasn't just so they could compare swords at the next barbecue or fish fry.

    If anyone tries to tell you Christ didn't mean what he said, I recommend you look it up and read Christ's words for yourself. They are quite clear, even given the translation to English.

    Of further note is the timing of Christ's command: not long before he would be leaving. If you were leaving your family, and you knew you only had a short time left to speak with them in person, wouldn't you tell them things you REALLY wanted them to know?

    Furthermore, another verse says "if a man won't provide for his own family, he is worse than an infidel." In the context, it may have meant providing material provision, but I believe the principal can also be applied to providing security. However, in speaking to providing for one's family in general, it's much easier to provide for them if you're living (other than life insurance, but I mean in other areas as well) rather than if you're dead.

    It's my God-given job to take care of my family. Christ commanded his disciples to be armed. If I end up using some arms to protect my family, and some intruder doesn't live through the encounter, I see no conflict whatsoever with my faith. Absolutely none.

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    Deuteronomy 19

    1 When the LORD your God has destroyed the nations whose land he is giving you, and when you have driven them out and settled in their towns and houses, 2 then set aside for yourselves three cities centrally located in the land the LORD your God is giving you to possess. 3 Build roads to them and divide into three parts the land the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance, so that anyone who kills a man may flee there.

    4 This is the rule concerning the man who kills another and flees there to save his lifeóone who kills his neighbor unintentionally, without malice aforethought. 5 For instance, a man may go into the forest with his neighbor to cut wood, and as he swings his ax to fell a tree, the head may fly off and hit his neighbor and kill him. That man may flee to one of these cities and save his life. 6 Otherwise, the avenger of blood might pursue him in a rage, overtake him if the distance is too great, and kill him even though he is not deserving of death, since he did it to his neighbor without malice aforethought. 7 This is why I command you to set aside for yourselves three cities.

    ...11 But if a man hates his neighbor and lies in wait for him, assaults and kills him, and then flees to one of these cities, 12 the elders of his town shall send for him, bring him back from the city, and hand him over to the avenger of blood to die. 13 Show him no pity. You must purge from Israel the guilt of shedding innocent blood, so that it may go well with you.

    ...21 Show no pity: life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.
    There are, of course, as many answers as there are people. An old Jewish maxim says, "Wherever there are two Jews, there are three opinions." The same is true of Catholics, Methodists, Presbyterians...well, you get the point.

    However, to answer your question, the Commandment forbidding killing is about murder, not self-defense.

    The biblical injunction about an eye for an eye was to limit retribution style killings (think Hatfield and McCoy killing one, then the other clan getting revenge by killing two, and continuing to escalate the vengeance).

    I am a pastor. There are a lot of pastors on this board. I can't imagine a single one of them who believes that one does not have the right to self-defense. IMO, Jesus gave up his life so we don't have to. If someone wants to kill me for my belief, then I would likely submit. If some crackhead wants to take my life or my family's, I am protecting myself.

    Finally, IIRC, it was Thomas Aquinas who first authored the theory of "just war." It defined when a Christian could go to war in a moral way. If there can be just wars, there can be just defense, even of oneself.
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    This is one you have to resolve for yourself. I don't think Jesus asked us to play dead when it came to evil, but to fight it.

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