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Discussion Starter #1
Not to center on any one particular creed or denomination here, but how many of you have had this conversation at a place of worship?

"What would you do if someone <insert horrible thing here>..."

To which you respond:

"I would shoot them. They left me no alternative."

That's it in a nutshell.

And then, and then, you hear this chesnut:

"I don't believe in violence. God will protect me."

It's a sticky wicket isn't it? I honestly believe God does protect me. With all the crazy stuff happening, there's no other explanation for why it doesn't happen to me.

But I'm reminded of the old joke:

A woman living in a three story house with a deep devotion to God found herself in the midst of a great flood. As the rain started, the woman prayed "God please save me from this flood."

It rained all night, and the woman had to move up to the second story.

The next day a man came by in a fishing boat. He saw the woman standing at her window and called out:

"Lady you have to come with me! Let me save you!"

And she called back:

"I'm not going anywhere. God will save me."

That night the woman prayed "God please save me from this flood." It rained all night, and the woman had to move up to the third story.

The next day a man came by in a huge yacht. He saw the woman standing at her window and called out:

"Lady you have to come with me! I am a medical doctor and I have enough food and supplies to last us for months! Let me save you!"

And she called back:

"I'm not going anywhere. God will save me."

That night the woman prayed "God please save me from this flood." It rained all night, and the woman had to move all the way up to the roof.

The next day an Apache helicopter flew over and stopped to hover. A squadron of soldiers deployed and stood on the roof with her.

"Lady you have to come with us! We'll take you to a five star hotel in another state where you can wait this out until the flood is over! Let us save you!"

And she called back:

"I'm not going anywhere. God will save me."

That night, the water finally rose too high and the woman drowned. Upon drowning she immediately found herself in heaven in the presence of God. The woman said to God:

"God why didn't you save me?"

And God said back:

"You wouldn't let me. I sent you two boats and a helicopter..."
That's kind of how I look at this. I have used this joke, which most people know, to make a point: Don't stand there in front of God and have God say "I sent you two pistols and a shotgun."

The Scripture even says that he who has no sword should sell his garment and buy one. Jesus tells his disciples to arm themselves with swords. It also says do not tempt God.

What was a sword? It was a tool that could be easily carried on one's person that was well designed expressly for fighting other people. It had no other actual use beyond fighting and perhaps some training excercises. Sounds like a handgun to me.

If nothing else, even if you have a different interpretation of the Bible or a different faith altogether, consider how much violence has come the way of people who believe in any kind of theology, especially one that preaches non violence. How many Christians were fed to Lions? How many Jews are slaughtered in the Middle East for their religious beliefs? How long will it be before some nutjob commits a violent hate crime against non radical Muslims?

At this point I usually get an acknowledging nod but just as often a dismissive "You just don't get it."

I guess I don't. I thought God wanted me to die on his time and not someone else's.

Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition.
 

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No specific religion here and I won't get into discussions on all that are out there.

I do tho believe simply - I am my own protector - and of those near and dear. I cannot and should not expect anyone to do what is my own responsibility. Too many folks abrogate responsibility - assuming ''someone else'' will take care of them (be it deity or something else)... or they just put heads in the sand thinking ''it'll never happen to me''.

We have tools, gifts, skills - to which most of us will add training to some degree. That is so we are equipped better to look after our own safety. OUR responsibility - no one elses! (IMO!!)
 

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All i say is i believe Walk softly and carry a really big stick .. and i will state if asked at a picnic or dinner i will use the big stick if need be
 

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The Lord will provide....thats why He sent us John Browning :wink:
 

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my personal experience with the spiritual side of it is a bit different.

see, when i was growing up and was raised with certain values, i firmly believed in non-violent passivity. someone strikes you, you turn the other cheek. dont lift a hand to defend yourself.
now, i would have to say that i never was shown this to be, i dunno, scriptual, just anectdotal. i didnt ever research the concept of selfdefense and pretty much always figured whatever happens to me happens to me. i can't expect god to smite whomever tries to bring me harm, because there is evidence to show that god does not shield all of his followers.

anyways, point i'm trying to make with that is simply that until i was about 25 or so, i never really thought that self defense was an avenue i could take if i wanted gods blessing. then i bought a gun just for giggles. and another. and another. and another. then i got interested in a CHL.
my next step was to do indepth research in the publications produced by the church i was raised in. i discovered that what i was led to believe was not based in scripture, but rather bias from a few individuals, who took the liberty of painting 'self defense' with a broad stroke making it synonymous with 'murder'. i discovered that the advice put on paper with scriptual basis really mirrored that what self defense instructors preach: Escape if possible, De-escalate the situation if possible, If all else fails, do what you must to survive.

the purpose of those who preached their own interpretations when i was young, i believe it was more with the goal of Martyr in mind. i think theres a difference though, when one is attacked physically because of their faith. in my opinion, (and i apply this only to myself and no one else) i think that being a martyr for what i believe in is acceptable. however, being a martyr so johnnycrackhead can get his next fix, really isnt part of my overall 'spiritual plan', if there ever was one that is.

but to this day i encounter people from the church i was raised in that still equate simple self defense with murder. but since that is how they have interpreted things for themselves, their own conscience has accepted that line of thought, therefore, i won't try to change their minds.

we all will face the clearing at the end of the path.
 

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Hmm, interesting question. I'm in the minority here, I'm sure. People of my faith actually practiced human sacrifice until about 900 years ago. Mostly criminals. We're a little more politically correct now.
However, it's definitely not a "turn the other cheek" type of faith. As far as carrying a weapon and using one in self-defense, here's a verse from the Havamal (sort of a "holy book" for us, believed to be the literal words of the Allfather):

Let a man never stir on his road a step
without his weapons of war;
for unsure is the knowing when need shall arise
of a spear on the way without.
Havamal 38

As far as believing that "god" will protect me, the usual course of things is that my gods expect me to do for myself. After I have exhausted the options, then they may be persuaded to lend a hand. Great believers in self-reliance, my ancestors.
 

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The Scripture even says that he who has no sword should sell his garment and buy one. Jesus tells his disciples to arm themselves with swords. It also says do not tempt God.
This is probably one of the most misquoted lines of the Bible. It is used to justify aggression. It actually means the opposite.

The 'true word' in the Bible is known as 'the sword of the Lord.' Another passage says that God's tongue is like a double edged sword.

The word of God is looked upon as such an important aspect of life that it supercedes all other needs. That is, if you do not know the word of God, it is better to sell off survival needs (i.e., warm clothes) and use that money to buy a copy of the scriptures.

You could translate this, in our time, that anyone who misunderstands this passage does not know God. It would be better for this man to sell off his guns and use the money to buy a Bible.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Not to get too off track

I dunno Tourist.

Here's several versions of Luke 22:36

http://bible.cc/luke/22-36.htm

Here's several versions of Luke 22:38

http://bible.cc/luke/22-38.htm

They sound like they're talking about literal swords to me. If you read the chapter before and after it makes more sense to me they'd be talking about literal swords, especially considering what happens to the high priest's servant's ear. Every one I know who's been to seminary who's ever commented on these verses interprets them as referring to literal swords, and those people study the Scripture like I study math.

Christ also said to put one's sword "in its place". I don't want to bore the forum with quotes, but in the context of that situation I believe that was a literal sword too.

Notice he didn't say "Get rid of your sword" or "You shouldn't have a sword".

But this I suppose is the same basic idea. Putting the sword in its place has the same basic intention behind it.
 

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Euclidean said:
I don't want to bore the forum with quotes, but in the context of that situation I believe that was a literal sword too.
Hey, don't stop now, I finally found something I can agree with you about, I think it is literal as well. Wait, I think I agreed with you once before on a Springfield 1911.... :biggrin:
 

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Okay, fair enough. You say the 'sword' they were talking about was a metal object, I opine that it is the true word of God.

Get your Bible out and now post all of the verses Jesus teaches about knife fighting, trapping, thrusting, sharpening and advice on the best Roman gladius to buy for a fair price.

I do remember this 'other cheek' business. Strange advice to give to a beloved brother he just told to arm himself.

Or, you could find a good Daniel/Revelation seminar in your area and find out for yourself.

Do you think Christ was a clip-point man, or more of a drop-point-hunter kind of a guy?

edit: Mt 26:52 - Then Jesus told him, "Put your sword back in place because all who take up a sword will perish by a sword."

Euc--He said 'perish.' "Hey, Eugene, sell off the new Gucci coat of yours and go buy a new SIG P-229. It's a great gun, everyone who buys one gets killed."
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Tell you what Tourist.

I encourage everyone to read what you've pulled from the Scripture, and what I've pulled here from the Scripture. Now don't just read these verses in isolation, read the chapter before and after to see it in context. That step is important because it's dangerous to pick up little bits out of context.

I see what you're saying Tourist. It's not like we are disagreeing. It's just I don't see how you're pulling that meaning out of the passages you are referencing.

Exodus 22:2-3

If the thief is found breaking in, and he is struck so that he dies, there shall be no guilt for his bloodshed. If the sun has risen on him, there shall be guilt for his bloodshed. He should make full restitution; if he has nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft.
Now if you read Matthew 5 in context, you can make the conclusion that vengeance for a transgression is the duty of a government. Thus, you "turn the other cheek" and let the authorities deal out the proper punishment. The Sermon on the Mount qualifies the famous "eye for an eye" statement. I chose that verse from Exodus because it's the perfect example. If someone breaks into your house in the middle of the night and you put him down in defense if your household, you haven't done anything wrong. However, if circumstances allow you to escape and you seek retribution for the crime instead of escaping, you've done something wrong.

Thus self defense is supported but vengeance and personal retribution are not. And we can clearly see from the ministry of Christ that aggression is used sometimes. Christ himself stormed the temple and turned over the moneychanger's tables. Christ asserts himself when Satan tries to tempt him. Christ himself cast the demons out and sent Legion into the pigs, which in turned drowned themselves. For goodness sake the second coming of Christ certainly sounds violent. However, this is aggression used to uphold the will of God and not for some kind of personal revenge.

This idea that defense is okay but vengeance is not is a cohesive theme throught the Scriptures:

Proverbs 25:26

A righteous man who falters before the wicked is like a murky spring and a polluted well.
1st Timothy 5:8

But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
Psalm 144:1

Blessed be the LORD my strength which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight.
Matthew 4:7

Jesus answered him, "It is also written: 'Do not put the Lord your God to the test."
Tourist it's not that I disagree with you. I agree with the point having knowledge of the Scripture is so basic it precedes material needs. I agree that the Bible teaches non aggression.

However it does not teach pacifism. It says not to take personal revenge for a transgression, and to take practical and prudent measures to provide for one's self and one's family.

Of course Christ doesn't harp on for hours and hours on the subject of self defense. He doesn't harp on how to properly drive a stick shift or use a microwave oven either.

At any rate I submit the Scripture clearly says personal defense is okay while personal vengeance is wrong. I don't want to debate this for 10 pages as nothing I say on an internet is going to convince anyone to change their spiritual beliefs. I therefore appeal to anyone who disagrees with me to consider the very real possibility of being targetted for violence by extremists due to their spiritual beliefs even if you don't agree with this interpretation.
 

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There was a great debate, as well, when Christ walked the earth. The Jewish community at that time believed a 'messiah' would come, and by force of arms free them from Roman rule.

Even the Apostles misunderstood the true purpose of His teaching and the role He was to play, despite the scriptures and the stated purpose. Silent, like a lamb to the slaughter.

Every time a sword is mentioned it refers to how the word of God transends the human experience. I come as a sword. Precisely. In following Christ you will be 'cut off' from your previous sinful life. Even if that places you at odds to your family.

He even states that His coming places Fathers against sons.

If this 'metal sword' thing was his true meaning and purpose, why didn't He own one Himself? We have Bible testimony that the only thing Christ ever owned was a garment woven as 'one piece.' The soldiers at the Crucifixion cast lots (throw dice) to divide the spoils, and then decide that there is no way to divide a one piece garment. They will have to cut it.

If Christ had something as snazzy as 'The Sword of the Lord,' trust me, the soldiers would have been casting lots for that and not some shirt. It is Christ's follower that pulls a sword upon His arrest, He has none himself.

In fact, had Christ ever owned even a kitchen knife I opine that The Crusades would have been fought to recover His shiv, not some garden variety cup.

More to the point, I don't remember reading that Christ even borrowed a knife to cut anything. After all, he 'broke' the bread, he did not slice it.
 

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Ecclesiastes 3, verse 3:

A time to KILL, and a time to HEAL; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
(by the way, I loathe to quote verse without the entire passage, but for the sake of space....)

As to the 'turn the other cheek'. Turning the other cheek to a mild attack or a verbal attack is different than someone attempting to thrust a rapier through your sternum. Turning the other cheek implies to me an attack that can be walked away from. Jesus also told us that he could have called down a legion of angels to stop His crucifixion HAD HE WANTED TO. Dying for the 'greater good' was His choice. We must also make that choice individually. Is it greater to die by the hands of a thug and to leave a family, or is it the greater good to preserve your family and your life at the cost of the attacker's?

Dan
 

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A time to KILL, and a time to HEAL
People were being tortured and killed in Judea for many decades before, during and after Christ walked the earth. By your argument, He needed no more authority to take up arms than that.

As for the 'legion of angels,' Christ was responding to a question. To goad Him, the governor asked about his followers. Christ responded that if this (the earth) was His Kingdom, there would be a legion of angels. Satan is considered the head of state on earth.

Again, where's the metal sword, where's a Biblical reference to Christ owning or using a sword or organizing the faithful to rise up?

And BTW, there are many parables about being watchful, i.e., regarding the second coming. People refer to the guard on duty but seem to neglect the ten brides. Both are the same story. If you are prudent, you stand watch (for the return.) If you neglect your studies (trim your wick), then the bridegroom comes and goes.

There is a simpler way to depict this. The Ten Commandments order, "Thou Shall Not Murder."

In the OT, God tells Moses, "I am I and I change not."

God is against murder, and He has not changed his mind. Christ comes to carry out the wishes of The Father, not sharpen the swords of the faithful. In fact, He asks you to do more.

By Roman law, a soldier could ask a civilian to carry a bundle for one mile marker. Christ said that, "If a Man asks you to walk a mile, go with him twain." In other words, give your enemies even more. If Christ was into knives, and the death of an intruder by a guard was the true nature of the parable, then why didn't Christ ask the faithful to gig the Roman twain on the Apian way?

After all, the faithful guy had just sold his only coat to buy a gladius. It seems logical that if Christ wants a guy armed to fight a just cause, then sticking a shiv to a Roman would be fulfilling Christ's true advice.
 

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Euc,

The Commandment is translated as 'not to murder.'

The problem is that Christ considered 'hate' to be as severe as murder. Actually, the case is that 'he who breaks one, breaks them all.'

Self defense does not appear to be against Biblical teaching. Once again, it is the 'word of God' is to be viewed as important.

For example, when Moses was alive, God showed him an area that was to be cleansed of Phillistines so tha God's people could settle on that land. They were also admonished not to breed with the local women as it would water down their teaching.

After the death of Moses, Joshua led the tribe, and they failed to meet God's timetable for cleansing the land. And they were mingling with the women.

In a strange act, God rebuked Joshua for not killing fast enough.

This was Joshua's message from God, just as death for sin was onto Christ. In fact, Christ asks God three times to take the job away.

To my way of thinking, it is clear that there is a metal sword in the hand of Joshua, but a purpose for Christ, and clearly not as a rabble rouser.
 

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One of my "HOLY MEN" once said ----"praise the lord and pass the ammunition"------People that refuse to protect themselves FOR WHATEVER REASON had better not be waitin' for me to protect you----it aint gonna happen !! My God don't want me to protect you !!
 

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joel 3:9,10

proclaim ye this amoung the gentiles; prepare war wake up the mighty men, let all the men of war draw near; let them come up:Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruning hooks into spears; let the weak say, I am strong I thought I would throw these verses in. I know on the "united nations" building they have the verse in the bible saying "beat your swords into plowshares and your spears into pruning hooks" It is meant to be how it will be when Christ returnes to this world at the end of the "end times" and he truly brings peace; but, the "united nations" wants to build a worldly empire without GOD any how ................... beat my plowshare into an ak-47 & my pruning hooks into a custom harley davidson!!!!
 

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beat my plowshare into an ak-47 & my pruning hooks into a custom harley davidson!!!!
I was going to ask for a Valmet, the thinking man's assault rifle. My bike is sort of custom, the bulk of the money is in the engine.

In the after life, I'm going to ask for a little out of the way planet with beautiful scenery and brand new seamless six lane highways that go everywhere. I intend to take my little Bichon, Sasha, who at this end of times can talk.

My bike won't be as flashy as some Seraphs might have, again the grace is in the engine.

But if you put a 127-inch S&S EFI engine into a Dyna made completely of titanium and scandium, the beast ought to really scoot!

Oh, and I'll be slimmer there, so there's a few more pounds.
 
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