tobefree

February 7, 2013

JESUS and the 2ND AMENDMENT: “Buy swords” but “Turn the other cheek??” — A slap on the right cheek is a back-handed slap, not a serious threat to life and limb. This says nothing about true self-defense, when one’s life is in danger.

Filed under: 2nd Amendment,Self-Defense • ToBeFree — Jeff Fenske @ 6:06 am

The sword, or guns, are not the weapons of the kingdom of God. But that still doesn’t take away their legitimate use for self-defense, any more than God’s word being the true spiritual food takes away our need for eating regular food daily.

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From: Why Did Jesus Tell His Disciples to Buy Swords? by Ryan Healy

The author states:

Most Christians I have encountered believe strongly that Jesus advocates the use of violence for self-defense. To bolster their position, they often quote Luke 22:36, which says:

And He said to them, “But now, whoever has a money belt is to take it along, likewise also a bag, and whoever has no sword is to sell his coat and buy one.”

At first glance, it may seem as if Jesus was indeed instructing his followers to buy swords for self-defense against the people who were about to arrive at the Garden of Gethsemane.

And some have extrapolated this to mean that Christians are also to have weapons for self-defense (including guns) in order to resist a tyrannical government.

[…]

In Matthew 5:38-44, Jesus instructs his listeners:

You have heard that it was said, “An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.” But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.

If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also. Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two. Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you.

You have heard it said, “You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.” But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.

This clear teaching seems diametrically opposed to the view that Jesus advocates violent self-defense. Because here Jesus says that we should not resist a violent man, and that we ought to “turn the other cheek.”

Riley responds:

Riley January 20, 2013 at 4:01 am

The sword, or guns, are not the weapons of the kingdom of God. But that still doesn’t take away their legitimate use for self-defense, any more than God’s word being the true spiritual food takes away our need for eating regular food daily.

The biblical duty of self-defense is not contradicted by Matthew 5. In that passage, Jesus does not take away legitimate self defense, he counsels against a requiting of insults which produce no serious physical injury. A slap on the right cheek is to be understood as coming from a right-hander. It’s a back-handed slap, not a serious threat to life and limb. In that case a Christian is to “turn the other cheek.” This says nothing about true self-defense, when ones life is in danger.

In the Luke passage, Jesus says “it is enough” because two swords were all that was needed for the moment. But his counsel for each disciple to carry a sword is a more general instruction for the times to come, times of persecution when the disciples will have to think about defending their lives from aggression. In this passage Jesus further legitimizes the self-defense principles found in the Old Testament.

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