Brother Gregory Williams: Do Christians Have a Right to Self Defense, Part 1

From: News with Views

Does a modern Christian have a right to self defense? With every right there is a correlative responsibility. The ancient right to bear arms has been described in antiquity as the obligation to bear arms in defense of your community. In those ancient times if you would not arm yourself to defend your community you were often shunned if not run out of town all together.

Chuck Baldwin in and article published by NewsWithViews.com quoted the statistic that “as of 2004, 50% of the adults in the United States own one or more firearms.” My first reaction was, why so few? As someone who once wore a badge and a gun to protect the property and lives of citizens I can testify that my biggest disappointment was the apathy and even cowardice of the people I was often expected to protect.

To refuse to come to the aid of others has been considered a crime and good Samaritan laws have prosecuted citizens who failed to assist and aid people in need of assistance or protection.

Yet, I have heard many people say they would not own a gun or they did not believe in guns. On further inquiry everyone of these purveyors of pseudo-pacifism confirmed that if someone was breaking into their house they would call the police, who will come with guns. The truth is they do believe in guns, but they are either to lazy, to cheap, to cowardly, or just to irresponsible to own one.

One of the last things Christ said to His apostles before His crucifixion was to go and buy a sword, even if they had to sell their garment to do so.[1] When armed men came “with swords and staves for to take” Jesus, one of His disciples, realizing what was coming, asked if they should “smite [them] with the sword.”[2]

Jesus chose not to fight that day. He told Peter to “put up thy sword into the sheath”.[3] Jesus did not tell Peter to throw his sword away. He simply had a better strategy to free the people from the exercising authority of the corrupt government set up by the people who were “making the word of God to none effect.”

The apostles were armed men, but they were also men of peace. They were “gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.”[4] They supported the weak, patient toward all men,[5] with “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, [of] faith,”[6] but they were armed.

Jesus never came to disarm or weaken the people. That would only tempt brutes of the “world”. Had Peter, the apostles and their thousands of supporters began armed conflict to establish their liberty under God there would have been disastrous and fruitless bloodshed. The people needed to learn first hand the courage and sacrifice needed to sustain a truly free society.

There has been a lot of talk about government usurpation, declarations of independence, sovereign states, rights of citizens, and even references to revolution and armed rebellion in America, but such talk is not only foolish, but unwarranted. You have the government you deserve.

The diminishing rights of people are the direct result of personal neglect, abdication or the waiving of rights in exchange for peace, security, and bountiful benefits. The decline of liberty is always due the failure to retain rights. The failure to retain rights is always linked to the failure to put your hand to the responsibilities of the individual to society. The secrets of a free society belong to the diligent, humble, and wise.

There were no greater revolutionists than John the Baptist, Christ, and His apostles. Their call to repentance, was a call for change. The way of John and Jesus was also truly one of hope. It changed the course of history by changing the ways of the people. If the people were to be ruled by God they had to pursue the righteousness of God.

With this renewed spirit of liberty early Christians tended to what Jesus called the “weightier matters of law, justice, mercy and faith” by loving one another in a international network of faith, hope, and charity under the perfect law of liberty. They did not create a socialist state which exercised authority one over the other. That was forbidden by Christ and Moses before Him.

Entire Article Here
Related:
As a teacher of nonviolence, Gandhi advocated the right to bear arms; use of ‘violence’ to defend innocents against bullying, oppression

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