Does Refusing to Defend Oneself = Murder

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AlexanderHenderson1647

Puritan Board Freshman
At this time I was pastoring a church. I also sought the Lord about my preparing a defensive response. My thought was to hit him hard enough to knock him out and make him think twice about his coming after me again. I also thought that I could possibly kill him, or at the least hospitalize him – and this would surely make the local papers, and in a small country as I was in, the news would go country-wide: "Evangelical pastor hospitalizes (or kills) Greek citizen visiting the island (of Cyprus)."
Thanks for this example. But this story may not address the original post, since the post was about having one's life threatened. It sounds like you decided that your life would not be threatened in such a scenario. It it never would have been appropriate to respond with deadly force if you didn't think your life was at stake.
Thanks for sharing that story of godly courage. It reminds me of John Paton and some of the threats and trials he endured. Thank the Lord that he providentially preserved you from that situation!
 

Tim

Puritan Board Graduate
That would be a whole other matter.
Right, but I do acknowledge your dilemma at the time. I have often thought how people would perceive pastors and missionaries who defend themselves (as if they don't have as much right as anyone!).
 

Alan D. Strange

Puritan Board Senior
I think that Steve notes an important consideration that is additional to all the qualifiers of Christopher in the OP: the question of whether one is acting as a private person (and thus defending loved ones and oneself) or whether one is acting in the office of, say, minister, in which one, as an ambassador of Christ, determines to act in the way that Steve did.

At any rate, we should always seek to de-escalate a situation if possible (we are called to be peacemakers), turning the other cheek and doing the sorts of things commanded in the Sermon on the Mount. In other words, we should never repay evil for evil, returning insult for insult, that devolves to fisticuffs or more serious violence. Yes, we may defend ourselves and there are situations--home invasion, for example--in which we should be as savvy and wise about it as possible. But most of us, in most of our lives, do not encounter lethal force, but more likely encounter the kind of thing that we should not seek to meet in kind but rather dial back--a soft answer turneth away wrath. We have to be careful to not let our mindset of "we can meet lethal force with lethal force" influence our much less deadly encounters and prompt us to seek to "hold our ground" with our friends and colleagues by returning unkindness for unkindness, insult for insult. That is quite contrary to the spirit of the gospel and Steve is to be commended for his Christ-like way of handling a situation that he assessed as a minor kerfuffle and not one involving lethal force.

Peace,
Alan
 

Tim

Puritan Board Graduate
Wise words, Dr. Strange. De-escalation can often be the best way.

We have to be careful to not let our mindset of "we can meet lethal force with lethal force" influence our much less deadly encounters and prompt us to seek to "hold our ground" with our friends and colleagues by returning unkindness for unkindness, insult for insult.
Yes. Deadly encounters are indeed rare and there are many more opportunities to turn the other cheek. Using deadly force is the last resort. And last really does mean last.
 
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