This past Friday I participated in a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington D.C. with Star Parker of Urban C.U.R.E.. The topic of the press conference was the gun control and the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America. The group of distinguished speakers were very impassioned with regards to protecting a citizens rights to bear arms.
As a Pastor I decided to do some research of my own to see what the Bible says about weapons and self defense. I as are most people are well aware the the phrase ” vengeance is mine saith the Lord”. Upon further research the Bible clearly differentiates between vengeance and self defense. According to Wikipedia, Vengeance (concept) or revenge,is a harmful action against a person or group in response to a grievance. According to Merriam-Webster it means punishment inflicted in retaliation for an injury or offense :retribution. The definition of self defense according to dictionary.com is a claim or plea that the use of force or injuring or killing another was necessary in defending one’sown person from physical attack: He shot the man who was trying to stab him and pleaded self-defense at the murder trial.
The legal definition of self-defense n., the use of reasonable force to protect oneself or members of the family from bodily harm from the attack of an aggressor, if the defender has reason to believe he/she/they is/are in danger. Self-defense is a common defense by a person accused of assault, battery, or homicide. The force used in self-defense may be sufficient for protection from apparent harm (not just an empty verbal threat) or to halt any danger from attack, but cannot be an excuse to continue the attack or use excessive force. Basically, appropriate self-defense is judged on all the circumstances. Reasonable force can also be used to protect property from theft or destruction. Self-defense cannot include killing or great bodily harm to defend property, unless personal danger is also involved, as is the case in most burglaries, muggings or vandalism.
Now, here is the part I need you all to pay attention to. The Bible says you are entitled to defend yourself.
Luke 22:35-38 we read, “And He said to them, “When I sent you out without purse and bag and sandals, you did not lack anything, did you?” And they said, “No, nothing.” And He said to them, “But now, let him who has a purse take it along, likewise also a bag, and let him who has no sword sell his robe and buy one.
Luke 11:21 When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace:
Exodus 22:2-3 tells us: “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.”
Let me very clear. The Constitution says we have the right to bear arms. The Bible says we have the right to defend ourselves. The problems come in when the laws our current lawmakers look to establish impinge on our Biblical and constitutional rights to defend ourselves. The laws many are looking to pass at both the State and Federal levels do not touch the core of the problem. It is not the law abiding citizens that are committing the crimes in the streets and in our schools and in our communities. It is the criminally minded that are perpetrating these heinous acts we see and read about. The last time I checked the criminals could care less what laws you pass. They are not buying guns legally anyway. They are not using them for self defense. They are using them to perpetrate crimes. They are the reason God included provisions for self defense in the Bible.