Christian Self Defense

Below are excerpts from an article by Paul Coughlin, a contributing author at Crosswalk.com. I haven’t read anything else by him but he has some interesting titles attached to his books like “No More Jellyfish, Chickens, or Wimps”.             

“…both the Old and New Testaments are replete with conflict, often accompanied with God’s approval and favor. However, Paul’s admonishment “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone” (Romans 12:18) has been taken to mean that we should never “disturb the peace.” Here’s something we need to know: this is absolutely true, when it applies to actual peace. Where there is real peace, we are to keep peace. But where there is not peace, we are to make peace, and that can require conflict. Peace is not merely the absence of tumult; peace means that things have been made right, and where they have not been made right, it is wrong to pretend perpetually that there is peace, justice, respect, and goodwill (see, for example, Jeremiah 6:14).”

““Turning the other cheek” does not mean we aren’t allowed to defend ourselves. It means, for example, that we are not to return an insult with an insult—it means we aren’t to respond to evil with evil.”

“When people follow Christ, they become neither pacifists nor Jihadists. We become truth bearers, redemption seekers—bearers of light in a world at war with the Real. We are called to exert our will, in line with God’s, to carry out His purpose on earth. Sometimes this includes conflict. Our participation in God’s redemptive work requires the tougher virtues, such as discipline, perseverance, and fortitude. We are required to use force justly, wisely, and in the service of love, which isn’t always comfortable, pleasant, or nice.”

Discuss……….

8 responses to “Christian Self Defense

  1. Right, Jason, both temporally and spiritually, and I assert from Jude quite the opposite specifically concerning our faith:

    Jud 1:3 My dear friends, I really wanted to write you about God’s saving power at work in our lives. But instead, I must write and ask you to defend the faith that God has once for all given to his people.

    Jud 1:4 Some godless people have sneaked in among us and are saying, “God treats us much better than we deserve, and so it is all right to be immoral.” They even deny that we must obey Jesus Christ as our only Master and Lord. But long ago the Scriptures warned that these godless people were doomed.

    Jud 1:12 These people are filthy minded, and by their shameful and selfish actions they spoil the meals you eat together. They are like clouds blown along by the wind, but never bringing any rain. They are like leafless trees, uprooted and dead, and unable to produce fruit.

    Jud 1:13 Their shameful deeds show up like foam on wild ocean waves. They are like wandering stars forever doomed to the darkest pits of hell.

    Jude felt it necessary to specifically ask believers “to defend the faith that God has once for all given to his people.”

    Young’s Literal Translation uses the terms “agonize for the faith once delivered to the saints”

    I think this is a far cry from ‘ooh-aahing’ all the spiritual junk food that has crept into the church. We are to defend the “faith once deliverd”, the truth of inspired scripture, against all of the lies that have crept in under our noses. It wouldn’t be necessary if, like someone dumping the smelly kitchen garbage on the living room carpet, the false teachers/opinionators (is that a word?)just announed “Hey folks, bringin’ in a bucket of lies here!”, but such is not now, nor has it ever been the case.

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  2. I think people who cause such strife withing the body don’t understand the love of Christ. I think people who always have to make the same point, over and over, and not listen to everyone else is just closed minded, prideful and egotistical….

    We are suppose to love everyone and accept them where they are and strive only for peace…and if we come across a conflict, we need to resolve it as quickly as possible so noone will get hurt…love, love, love…that’s the God we serve, everything else is fleshy…

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  3. (oops, forgot this part)

    Juuuuuust kidding….. 😉

    I know this has been brought up somewhere, but…

    Matthew 10:34-39 –“Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law man’s enemies will be the members of his own household. Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”

    These aren’t words from a religious nut. With there being so many preachers talking a helpful Jesus whose only goal is to help you be all you can be.. (sorry, Mike on the brain) why would anyone want to crucify Him? Mark 3:21 gives the picture of his family trying to stop him from teaching and trying to take him home because they thought he was out of his mind. Possible possession? Mark 3:22. He’s the kind of “divider” I choose to follow. He doesn’t cause division for the sake of division. He comes to reclaim the world that has turned against God, and that means a fight. When a ruler begins to reclaim territories and people who have turned against him, it causes a bit of strife.

    Our loyalty to Him is bound to create problems with people around us…He calls us to absolute, undivided loyalty. Not just follow thinking He’s gonna make life easier…we have to be willing to alienate ourselves to follow Him. If we love people more than Jesus, we are not any longer in a place to help them.

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  4. “When people follow Christ, they become neither pacifists nor Jihadists. We become truth bearers, redemption seekers—bearers of light in a world at war with the Real.”

    Thanks, Dan.

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