Piper's Guns and Martyrdom

Discussion in 'The Pilgrims Progress' started by martyrologist, Jul 7, 2008.

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  1. TheocraticMonarchist

    TheocraticMonarchist Puritan Board Junior

    Dear MasterChief(s),

    My Opinion (not that I know anything about guns):

    A 9mm is easier and safer to operate at 2:37am in the moring. It is especialy helpful to have two guns of the same calaber when dual wielding... if you ever were to find that necessary...


    (note: I thought it necessary to add this in... it's not safe to dual wield fire arms)
  2. CDM

    CDM Puritan Board Junior


    A point of clarification: Masterchief would not use a pea shooter like a 9mm...;)
  3. Semper Fidelis

    Semper Fidelis 2 Timothy 2:24-25 Staff Member


    As someone who knows more than a little bit about marksmanship, there is never a time where dual wielding of pistols would be necessary unless you're playing a part in a movie. If you want to hit your target then use one weapon.
  4. CDM

    CDM Puritan Board Junior

    He was making a joke about a video game [are you happy now? you've made me expose my previous life as a gaming-geek]. ;)
  5. Semper Fidelis

    Semper Fidelis 2 Timothy 2:24-25 Staff Member

    I need to create a PuritanBoard infraction for "loss of man points."
  6. Hippo

    Hippo Puritan Board Junior


    I will try and be constructive in my response as I believe that it is better to be constructive rather than to respond without real interaction. I am not an anabaptist firstly for the obvious reason that I am a paedobaptist however more pertinently I have a high view of the physical Church and do not advoacate seperatism. I am aware that certain elements of the anabaptsist movement advocated pacifism amoung a whole host of other beliefs but any commanality between myself and them on this point is incidental.

    I am not the one apparantly claiming that Jesus did not really mean what he said when he taught his people to turn the other cheek. This appears to be a clear direct instruction. Reconciling statements that on first sight could be seen to be contradictory is necessary, as you have said, theology has to "cohere from all directions". I have explained why my interpretation coheres, you can disagree with me but you have given no grounds why your position coheres. You have taken a logical position that proposition A (shooting intruders is OK) is correct therefore proposition B (we should not shoot intruders) is incorrect yet you are accusing me of taking precisley the opposite position (B is correct therefore A is incorrect) and accusing me of being hetrodox for that very reason. Mote and beam please, you have also misrepresented my position in the first place, this is not my logic or approach.

    I will reiterate why there is no contradiction in my position as of course there cannot be a contradiction if a theological position is to be correct, this is true of both the pacifist position and the shooting intruders position, please apply this standard to both positions.

    In the OT we have commands that show that self defence is approved of under the law, just as there are commands that it is just to apply an "eye for an eye" when seeking restitution and that those guilty of adultry should be stoned to death. These standards reveal the law of God and were and are just. Jesus showed that in many situations we should not enforce our legal rights to the letter of the law, we should forgive those who wrong us and turn the other cheek rather than seeking the maximum redress available to us. Jesus gave a clear and direct instruction to turn the other cheek, of course he was not saying that the law was wrong or was repealed but he was saying that as Christians we should forgive rather than enforce our rights. This is very similiar to Our Lord letting the women found in adultry go free despite the just verdict of the law that she be stoned. Of course in this instance Jesus was not abrogating the Law, why are you suggesting that a command to turn the other cheek would require an abrogation?

    This is just not true, you have created a straw man argument from your own mind here.

    God asks us to do many things which in our sin seem impossible to live up to, you are confusing moral principles with exhortations to suffer because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, so that we might follow in his steps.

    I am no teacher and have never claimed to be so, I do not think that venturing and defending an opinion (while also being open to correction) on a bulletin board is innapropriate.

    I do not argue with this point, it is usefully made.

    Again you are imputing an argument that moral principles had changed to me, something that I have never argued and is not implicit in my position.

    My response was loose where I said" I will read up more on this, but when he says "this does not repeal the law of self-preservation" it still begs the question of why?", my point was that when two positions are enumerated (self defence and turn the other cheek) why does self defence automaticaly trump pacifism? As has been argued it is necessary to reconcile these two positions rather than choose one, a task that I have attempted to undertake.
  7. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    Do we have the right to give up our right to self defense ever?

    Or is giving up this right sin?

    And if so, then we are REQUIRED to always fight back if threatened.

    And if required, and we are all Christians who witness, we must also defend ourselves in potential martyr situations.

    To die passively in the Colosseum then was sin for the early Christians. Whole families were often killed.

    In the days of persecution by Rome, should the Chritians have risen up and forcibly protected themselves, perhaps by an attempted strike at the gov't itself since Christians were being exterminated?

    Could and should someone have tried to assassinate the Ceasar?

    Or, if taken before the Colosseum crowds, why did they not try to kill their captors and escape? Weren't they required to try to protect their families with all means necessary? Even if the odds are against you, and you can take out several guards, wouldn't you be obligated to at least try instead of being herded before the lions. And once before the lions, wouldn't you be obligated to attack those lions and try to kill them?

    Other thoughts:

    Also guns are to kill. But under modification they can shoot rubber bullets. Or birdshot which is less lethal. We are NOT looking for lethality, but knock down power to immobilize. Therefore, it could be argued, that for intruders, one should choose something that will maim but not kill.

    Finally, if Paul Hill [see above] sinned, WHY? What is the difference between vigilanteeism and murder? If the civil state won't defend the helpless, why can't we?
  8. CDM

    CDM Puritan Board Junior


    I truly commend you for your patience you have exhibited throughout this thread especially in the face of antagonism. It’s not easy being in the minority. :handshake:

    Back to the thread.

    In the story of the Good Samaritan, he was beaten and left for dead. If you or I were on the scene when the thieves / murderers were beating him to death, are you saying Christ would have us stand by and watch according to the Sermon on the Mount? If yes, would this not be a violation of one of the "greatest of the commandments" - loving thy neighbor as thyself? Does God approve of a man who stands by and permits violence and wickedness to our neighbor? How would this man not be an accomplice to the crime(s) in the eyes of man or God’s law?

    Also, how do you view Christ beating the merchandisers out of the temple?

    I’m trying to get an idea how you view violence in general.

  9. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    Was Stephen the martyr sinning by not fighting back?
  10. Hippo

    Hippo Puritan Board Junior

    If I would not fight back if attacked then in not violently opposing those who are attacking others (I am not saying you should not get involved) you are treating your neighbor as you would treat yourself. I am not for one moment advocating standing back and doing nothing.

    As for Christ in the temple I have heard sermons (Peter Masters) that see this event as a miracle as he did not (according to the preacher) use violence. I do not subscribe to this view but God is the Judge, he can do what he wants as whatever he does will neceesarily be holy and right as that is his nature. God can judge our hearts, man cannot. We do not follow the actions of Jesus in all respects.

    I can see situations in my life where I cannot imagine not using violence. I have a wife and a step daughter, it is easy to create scenarios where I do not think that I could resist acting violently. That however does not mean that I think that I would be right to do so.

    I really do agree with the piece written by Piper as I believe that this is the calling of the Christian. In particular acting violently "in case" is not I feel remotely defensible.

    This is a difficult area with many hard questions but perhaps doing what is natural is not the right thing to do. I am not particularly evangelical on this point, it is a personal one, but when the subject is being directly discussed it seems to be a sensible time to express my view of the revelation we have received on the subject.
  11. Covenant Joel

    Covenant Joel Puritan Board Sophomore

    Rich and others well-read on the just-war/self defense view, could you perhaps provide some good book recommendations for that? I'd like a good book that gives a basic defense of the position and a refutation of the major pacificist arguments. I've read some on the pacificism side, but don't know which books to go for on the just war/self defense side. Thanks in advance.
  12. Answerman

    Answerman Puritan Board Sophomore

    Would if a gang of thugs were breaking into your house and you had two of these:

    Twin G18s 9mm Auto Glock*Video

    And if you’re strong enough you could use these drum magazines for each one:

    Glock with a drum mag video

    Could this be a senario for dual wielding?
  13. Christusregnat

    Christusregnat Puritan Board Professor

    My friend, Charl van Wyk wrote a book called "shooting back":

    Shop.WND.com - A WorldNetDaily Exclusive!



  14. Answerman

    Answerman Puritan Board Sophomore

    Of course, you might have some trouble explaining to the police why you had guns that violated their unconstitutional laws.
  15. Semper Fidelis

    Semper Fidelis 2 Timothy 2:24-25 Staff Member

    Let me be explicit then about what constitutes that which is constructive:

    [bible]Proverbs 12:1[/bible]

    Wrong Sir.

    Concerning our "Yes" to a thing:

    [bible]Matthew 5:37[/bible]

    Now, I ask you, as you claim to be a Presbyterian and you also clicked "I have read the Forum rules and agree to them" when you signed up for this board, are you now telling me that you lied when you clicked to agree to those Forum Rules? Or were you careless.

    You see, I'm really not interested in your opinions when you are propagating a doctrine that is in clear violation of our Confessional standards on the 6th Commandment.

    We're not talking about a mere slap on the cheek and withstanding the reproach of a neighbor. Christ did not say: "If your neighbor is trying to rape your daughter then trust in God and it will all work out." That is your twisted interpretation to turn a point about not seeking self-vindication to actually openly repudiate the teaching of Christ on the 6th Commandment Who, Himself, is the Lawgiver.

    God does not merely permit the defense of the weak if we're just weak kneed and don't have faith. That interpretation is frankly laughable. The 6th Commandment demands the protection of the weak.

    I find your understand abhorrent because you add false piety to what is essentially a wicked notion and then claim that Christ is calling us to a completely different ethic than our forebears. Our forebears were not in some sort of fleshly disposition that gave them a pass to self-defense. Why wouldn't God simply command them to "trust" whenever crime would be committed? If the ethic is appropriate for us, it is appropriate for them.

    Why did Paul refuse to be scourged by the Roman commander in Jerusalem? Why did he refuse to be beaten by magistrates in other districts? Why did He not "trust in God" and allow himself to be turned over to the Jews who were intent on assassinating him?

    This false piety of the pacifist about what God demands in this new ethic insults men of faith in the Scriptures who understood that wickedness exists and that we don't stand idly by to allow the weak to be plundered, raped, or murdered and, with a pious look, tell them that we're strong enough to help but they just need to have faith. Abraham didn't need to go rescue Lot, he should have just trusted God. David didn't need to rescue the women, children, and livestock plundered by a marauding band, he just needed to trust in God. Men of Israel never needed to gird up their loins for battle. They just needed to trust in God.

    You are in the minority here for a reason: you are outside the bounds of the Confession and the Scriptures on this matter. I'm not at all interested in hearing your distortions of the Scriptures further on this matter. I provide a venue for Reformed discussion because I know that the immature read this board for information and I will not permit what is an impious view of the 6th Commandment to be propagated and promoted.

    Fundamentally, the pacifist tears down the very institutions of protection that God has given to bless man and calls them inherently wicked or fleshly. In doing so, he raises his hand against almighty God and tells Him that he's more holy than the means that God has provided to guard against the destructive influence in this world.

    Your view is foolish and will not be tolerated here further.
  16. InevitablyReformed

    InevitablyReformed Puritan Board Freshman

    Why don't you sailors let the men (Marines) handle the big weapons?:lol:;)
  17. timmopussycat

    timmopussycat Puritan Board Junior

    First I was not grouping you with the Judaizers: I began my post with "If". Not even the most robust Christian Reconstructionist believes that the entire Mosaic Law is enlarged and applied to the new covenant era. Bahnsen pointed out that some of its stipulations are currently "out of gear". Second Calvin does not see Christ enlarging and applying the entire Mosaic law to the new covenant in Matt 5:17-19. His comments on v 19 "Whoever then shall break Christ here speaks expressly of the commandments of life, or the ten words, which all the children of God ought to take as the rule of their life" make it utterly explicit that he believes that Christ is here referring to the moral law only not the entire law.

    If one tries to make Matt 5:17-19 a prooftext for applying all the law to the New Covenant one cannot get away from v.18's prohibition of any changes to the law "until everything is accomplished." Since Christ does not qualify his prohibition and since the NT clearly announces changes to the Law, "everything is accomplished" must have taken place before Heb. 7:12 was written.
  18. kvanlaan

    kvanlaan Puritan Board Doctor

    OK, I've managed to make it through all the posts now (1/2 an hour on) and have this question:

    For those who would fight back (and I count myself among you): Is it the motivation/position of the attacker that dictates your ability to fight back? That is, is the fact that a nutcase on crystal meth is attacking your family the reason you would defend them? What if it was in fact an officer of the law, a "magistrate", who had come to bring your wife and daughter in for "questioning" (though you know that would include physical/sexual abuse) under the law of the land? At what point do we become lambs unto the slaughter and count it all joy to be persecuted for Christ? I realise that the two are very different scenarios in fact, but perhaps not so differnt in principle, and I am curious as to the thinking behind your answers.

  19. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)


    Yes, many martyr's went to their deaths with their whole families.

    Again I quote [ABOVE] my own words about the Christians in the Roman Arena.

    If we are to fight back, why were they so passive? Because of innumerable odds? Were they quitters who just gave up? Were they negligent in not even trying to protect their families and why didn't more of them rush the lions or the roman soldiers and try to take as many out as possible before being killed? They just prayed and sung hymns...

    What are the principles that tell us when we should go to our deaths like sheep? Bad odds? State persecution?

    Also, all this talk about pistols: Are we obligated or NOT obligated to focus on lethality and stopping power or maybe instead on non-lethality and maiming power? After all a maimed theif is usually just as "stopped" as a dead thief and for personal protection it is ideal to not kill if one need not kill. Birdshot thus would be better than a 9 ml..rubber bullets even better.
  20. CDM

    CDM Puritan Board Junior

    Any man, be it a drug attic, elderly neighbor, police / government agent / officer, judge, pastor, woman, one who comes in the name of the Lord, or whatever else you can think of comes in my house as an aggressor / thief / murderer (i.e., sneaking in at night, breaking in a window, not identifying / announcing oneself, etc.) uninvited and /or illegally will receive a deliberate and spirited, savage defense from me and mine.

    It is not my responsibility to consider (as if you had time) what the intentions are of the aggressor. The fact that he is assaulting your home is expressing his intentions - it is a violent act of war.

    There are many scenarios that my response here has not covered of course. That’s why these questions cannot be answered easily (on line).


    Me giving testimony of Christ's righteousness on the street and people spitting on me or slapping / shoving me would be "suffering for Christ's sake" and you would see me "turn the other check".

    If we are being mistreated because of Christ we will gladly suffer for him. If I am sentenced to death because of my testimony of Christ, by God's grace, you will see me being led like a lamb to the slaughter.

    The Christians were sentenced to death FOR BEING CHRISTIANS (there were real laws about this). A completely separate matter than someone breaking into one’s house to do evil. If my family and I were sentenced to death by the State for being Christians we would die as martyrs. Also, note the State executing Christians is different than criminals breaking in and assaulting you and yours. Does everyone see this distinction or am I out to lunch?
  21. kvanlaan

    kvanlaan Puritan Board Doctor

    No, I see the distinction, but what of the corrupt law enforcer who comes into the home, identifies himself, and again, takes your wife in "for questioning" due to her activities in evangelizing members of the community. There are plenty of places around here where the officials cover up all manner of crime but can lean on federal law to make it on the 'up and up'. The law says arrest them, it does not say rape them, but we acquiesce to the arrest as per Romans 13, and are unable to defend (though we know it will happen) the subsequent actions perpetrated upon them.

    Where's the line?
  22. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    Or when can a husband decide when it is appropriate for his wife and family also to die as martyr's? Sometimes whole families are killed at once and the man has to decide whether to suffer for Christ or protect family.
  23. CDM

    CDM Puritan Board Junior

    Good question.

    My family belongs to Christ we will also die with him.

    I do not readily see when the husband / father has a [godly] chocie to decide to die as a martyr or protect his family. Do you mean if he were to sin and renounce Christ to save his own?
  24. CDM

    CDM Puritan Board Junior

    Yeah, these are the stickiest of scenarios. The circumstances do greatly change the appropriate response.

    Even still, in this country, are citizens required to submit to an unlawful order?

    The legal and moral answer is "no."

    However, in a conversation with a 35+ year SWAT team commander told me recently:

    I do not know about you gents but upon hearing this I was moved in my patriotic heart, fell to my knees, genuflected to Old Glory and immediately burst out into song :sing: ...and I'm proud to be an American where at least I know I'm free...!"

    [wipes eye]

  25. Reformed Baptist

    Reformed Baptist Puritan Board Sophomore

    Hey PB peoples,

    Haven't posted in a long, long time. There is no way I could read this whole thread. But, my comment..

    If someone breaks into my house, and the Lord in His mercy gives me the time and ability to retrieve either my wife's .22 pistol with the hollow points and laser site, or my .357 Magnum, and I have time to point it at the intruder, then I believe I would conclude that the Lord has delivered the man into my hands and I will shoot him.

    I would wrestle later with the theological or moral ramifications over a cup of Starbucks with my wife. :lol:
  26. Jerusalem Blade

    Jerusalem Blade Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    First of all, that automatic pistol we keep seeing the photo of sure looks like a .45 automatic and not a 9 mm (is the caliber not engraved on the slide?)

    We keep seeing in the news (and on threads here) articles on the mounting homosexual agendas. If we do see the day when the social order -- and the laws of the land -- deteriorate to the point when Christians are considered fair game for persecution -- outlaws and enemies of the New Order of Humanity -- and one is attacked by homosexuals (as happened around the house of Lot in ancient Sodom), I doubt we will see many pacifists then. There is a limit.

    When I see the remarks of the pacifist brother who said that he could envision scenarios of his becoming violent if wife and step-daughter were attacked, but that he would still consider it sinful -- there is a disconnect with reality there, in my view. This needs to be thought out and resolved before any such events may occur.

    A good resource for consideration would be Rich's post #55 WLC on the sixth commandment

    I think the Westminster Larger Catechism's statements on this are profound. They speak both to the issues of justice and mercy.

    The succinctness of the Shorter Catechism speaks well also:

    WSC #68 - What is required in the sixth commandment?

    A: The sixth commandment requireth all lawful endeavours to preserve our own life, and the life of others.

    WSC #69 - What is forbidden in the sixth commandment?

    A: The sixth commandment forbiddeth the taking away of our own life, or the life of our neighbour unjustly, or whatsoever tendeth thereunto.​

    You will note, it talks of lawful endeavors to preserve life -- ours and others. And forbidding the unjust taking away of life.

    In my post #120, the incident described there, had I not threatened (and been prepared to exert) extreme violence in that situation, would not the possible resulting violence and trauma to all concerned have been staggering, and what is more, allowed to happen because of my wicked refusal to protect both myself and my children?

    The questions and answers of the catechisms are godly, reflect Biblical teaching, and are worthy of being taken to heart and lived out. We do not resort to violence because we hate life, but because we love it, and honor the God who gave it to us, and His instructions concerning it.
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2008
  27. sastark

    sastark Puritan Board Graduate

    I thought this was germane to this thread:

  28. rmdmphilosopher

    rmdmphilosopher Puritan Board Freshman

    Hmm... After reading Piper's post and then White's, the reaction almost seems an over-reaction. Piper's post actually never describes the specific course of action he would take were his family threatened in his own home--it merely describes his resistance to preparations that would ensure a violent reaction to that threat. The entire tone of the article seems musing and, shall we say, allusive, to me... It was almost painful to read White taking that and reading explicit views about self-defence from it. I think it was more of a though-provoker than a manifesto on Piper's part.

    But anyway, on the larger subject of Pacifism in general... I was writing an essay about the death penalty earlier in the year for a class at college, and I came across a comment somewhere (don't quite remember where anymore--but I think possibly from C.S. Lewis) that when governments--or individuals for that matter--cease to uphold the temporal rule of justice, and treat criminals in the modern 'humanitarian' vein, they actually treat them as less than human by acting as if they were animals to be merely trained out of their bad habits rather than humans with moral natures. This doesn't preclude mercy, it seems to me--but the source of this comment went on to point out that God's mercy in Christ was only justice displaced or redirected, not justice dispensed with. The substitutionary atonement of Christ and pacifism are two very different categories of sacrifice I think--one has an effect, the other is essentially pointless.

    Just a thought.
  29. Sonoftheday

    Sonoftheday Puritan Board Sophomore

    Someone breaks into my house while my family is sleeping and there dead. It seems like owning a gun ensures that they have a less painful death than if I must resort to a more primitive weapon. SO from the humanitarian viewpoint Ill own a gun.
  30. timmopussycat

    timmopussycat Puritan Board Junior

    Two Lewis essays in which you might have found this thought are The Humanitarian Theory of Punishment or Delinquents in the Snow both found in God in the dock ed. Walter Hooper.
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