J. G. Vos on self-defence and loving your neighbour

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Reformed Covenanter

Cancelled Commissioner
Why is it right to defend ourselves against unlawful violence?

Self-defence against unlawful violence is always legitimate. It is more than legitimate: it is a moral obligation. Our life is not our own; it belongs to God, and therefore as stewards of God’s possessions we are under obligation to preserve our own life, and the lives of others, from destruction by criminal violence. The principle that necessary self-defence is legitimate is generally upheld by the civil laws of nations.

To claim that the “Golden Rule,” or the obligation to love our neighbour, means that it is wrong to kill in an effort at self-defence is to push loving our neighbour to an absurd and fanatical extreme. The Scripture commands a person to love his neighbour as himself: that is, love for one’s neighbour is to be kept in balance with a proper love for oneself. The person who will let himself be murdered by a criminal, without attempting self-defence, loves his neighbour too much, and does not love himself enough.

For the reference, see J. G. Vos on self-defence and loving your neighbour.
 
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