When not to defend one's life

Discussion in 'The Law of God' started by Confessor, Sep 25, 2009.

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  1. Curt

    Curt Puritan Board Graduate

    Can law enforcement get there faster in daylight?
  2. Confessor

    Confessor Puritan Board Senior

    I might be wrong, but I believe the daylight is supposed to let you know that the person in your house is merely a thief and not someone intending to physically harm, in which case the head of the household would be inflicting unreasonable harm.
  3. Brian Withnell

    Brian Withnell Puritan Board Junior

    I probably didn't catch it. Sorry about that. I'll reread it. But I also will see if it seems that we are to be sheep lead to the slaughter. While it may be that those that were totally overpowered did not fight a futile fight, I think of Paul's defense "If I have committed a crime worthy of death, I do not refuse to die ..." He appealed to law to defend his life, and did not willingly go to death. The early church had to differentiate between true martyrs and those that sought death. A martyr from my standpoint is one that has done everything they can to survive, but is steadfast in faith, and refuses to curse those that kill him. I would not necessarily call someone that could defend themselves or their family with legal means (without denying the faith) and yet does face death a martyr.

    We are called to take up our cross, and follow Christ, but I do not believe that means we should ever submit to illegal threat to life without resisting. The ten commandments are binding for all time, and that includes the protection of innocent life commanded in the sixth includes defending our life when possible without denying faith. And while I see it possible for me to give up my own life, I would think it heinous to not defend my family to the same extent. Might there be a time where I realize there are no options? Where nothing I have the power to do will make a difference? Yes. But if I can save an innocent life without denying faith, then I should do so.

    Elijah when confronted with 51 armed men, called down fire from heaven to consume them. He only went with the captain of the third group (after destroying the first 102 men that came to him) when the man pleaded for his life and begged mercy. We might not be able to call fire down from heaven as Elijah, but we should be no less concerned to protect ourselves when innocent than Elijah, and no less ready to face death if we have done something worthy of death than Paul.

    -----Added 9/27/2009 at 11:17:19 EST-----

    While the person teaching me this could have been wrong, what I heard was that if someone breaks in at night, and you kill them while they are there in the act then you are not guilty. If you wait until the next day (or even discover the theft the next day) and then go hunt the man down, then you are guilty. Most thefts did not occur during "broad daylight" (the idea of it is that someone committing crimes in broad daylight is even worse than the man that sneaks in and steals) and so the night/day is not when the theft is occurring, but when the killing occurred with the theft presumed to be done at night.
  4. Montanablue

    Montanablue Puritan Board Doctor

    This is also the interpretation I have heard. It seems to make sense.
  5. Confessor

    Confessor Puritan Board Senior

    Aye, I think that makes more sense.
  6. Wanderer

    Wanderer Puritan Board Freshman

    Actually it definitely was Christ defense.

    John 15 9-17 As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. This is my command: Love each other.

    It was needful for Christ to die so that we might have life. Steven was captured because he loved his neighbor so much that he couldn't stop talking about Christ so that they too might live. Neither Christ nor Steven was suicidal, for they did not die at their own hands. They died so that we would have life. They truly loved.
  7. kalawine

    kalawine Puritan Board Junior

    I think you're right Ben. I didn't mean that you should depend on law enforcement if the guy is a murderer and you have to take care of it yourself. I couldn't kill someone for taking something from me. But if I thought I or my family was in danger I'd think nothing of killing a murderer.

    I think you hit the nail on the head with your interpretation.
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