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Can violence be justified?

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A simple, yet extremely important question. Can violence, in any form, be justified from a biblical perspective?

 

As of now, I am leaning toward no, in reference to Jesus' direct words to peter. "Put away your sword," Jesus told him. "Those who use the sword will die by the sword." (Matthew 26:52 New Living Translation (NLT)).

 

Please consider this question from all angles, from a potential 1 on 1 fight with a bully to a world war.

 

Happy chatter!

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Violence is defined as physical force.We need to recognize the difference between holy judgment on sin and our own personal venettas against those that we do not like.

There is violence in wars and God has allowed that.The Bible says that violence in the mind is just as hurtful as violence by the hands

Leviticus 19:17.

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yet, this is the same Jesus who threw the money collectors out of the temple with a whip (John 2:15) and the same Jesus who told his disciples to sell their cloaks and purchase as word (Luke 22:36) Also notice, in the same verse matthew 26:52. Jesus did not rebuke Peter for having the sword, nor did Jesus tell Peter to get rid of it-He just told Peter that this was not the time and place for it, and that you should not live by it. There is a difference between using violence, and being a violent person. There is a difference between shooting a man who broke into your home at night and threatens to kill your family-and breaking into someone elses home and shooting them.

 

Also keep in mind, the God of the old testament is the same God of the New Testament-and God never changes. If God were to change, he would not be God, its simple as that. The only thing that changed, is how we come to God-sacrificial animals verses grace. And the God of the Old Testament often advocated-even commanded, Violence. Look at King David-he was a very violent man, but was described as a "man after Gods own heart" (acts 13:22) 

 

A christian should not seek out violence, but we live in a violent world-violence will often come to our doorstep, whether we want it to or not. A christian should not seek it out-but should be willing to deal with it when it happens, and wise enough to handle it appropriately. Punching a guy in the face at the bar just because he said you were a church going hypocrit and pushed you around? probbaly not the best use. Protecting your child against a would be kidnapper? yes, I would say thats appropriate-especially from a man, as man was commanded by God to protect his family-that is his role.

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sell their cloaks and purchase a SWORD... you had a typo there, patriot. all your examples are good ones. i'd like to add to them.

 

the bible also authorizes government to use the sword... this may mean war, it may mean the death penalty. either way, many people consider those to be acts of violence. and yep, war is definitely violent. but who are we to question what God has authorized?

 

in the old testament, there were cities of refuge. if you accidentally killed someone, you could flee to that city of refuge and be safe from any family member of the dead guy coming after you. but if you stepped foot out of that city, then the family was free to kill you for having killed their loved one. wouldn't that be considered violence? 

 

there are some people here on these forums that stand by their conviction that if someone were to break into the home of a christian with the intent to harm, rape, kill, etc, that the christian has the biblical responsibility to turn the other cheek. that's horse hockey. God expects us to defend the innocent, the defenseless, and i'd hate to be the one standing before Him on judgement day when God says "why didn't you protect your family?"

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Unfortunately there are many who believe violence can be justified. I think they stretch the scriptures.

I feel some americans put the US constitution above the bible on this issue.

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Yes, you can defend yourself, always. Otherwise, why didn't Jesus let Himself be murdered countless times when they sought His life? Why didn't the disciples, either the 70 or the 12? Why didn't Paul?

The phrase turn the other cheek also refers to accepting insults, and it only applies when you are preaching. See Ecclesiastes 3 also. The Devil would like it if you sat there and let yourself get beaten or killed, that's what he gets up for in the morning.

As Patriot pointed out to, if you are in the marriage covenant, then you are under direct obligation to God to physically protect your wife to any cost (including the life of any fool trying to attack her), and conversely, you must destroy anyone trying to attack you, for otherwise you again violate your marriage covenant, for then you rob your wife of you. Same with your children.

As always, plead the blood of Jesus, and trust in and declare God's promises of protection in Psalm 91, 103, 23 etc.

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Not just that, but we would still be a British colony if the Founding Fathers did not correctly teach that the only war that God blesses is one where you are attacked first. That's why we did nothing against the British as far as shooting them until the Shot Heard 'Round the World on April 19th, 1775 in Lexington; now known as Patriots' Day.

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Jesus never told Peter to get rid of the sword. He just told him to put it away. Those who live by the sword are those who use violence to solve all their problems.When Peter struck off the soldier's ear, he was not doing it to protect Jesus from being captured. Jesus had already been arrested. Peter struck out of anger. Jesus knew that he was angry because of his love for Jesus, but he was telling Peter that was not the answer.

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Love always protects.... I enjoy peace and tranquility. I do not like violence... I don't even like punishing my loved ones. But as a Child of God...there is a rage....that comes to the front if there is a threat to my loved ones. I will do what I have to do to protect my loved ones and my peace and tranquility. The difference between a child of satan and a Child of God, we don't take pleasure in violence and doing violence to the innocent. But we're not afraid to use violence on the guilty scum that wish harm on our families.

Matthew 13:49-50 This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous and throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

we can do whatever violent acts we want to the wicked and the guilty. Throwing them into a burning furnace is an option.

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Love always protects.... I enjoy peace and tranquility. I do not like violence... I don't even like punishing my loved ones. But as a Child of God...there is a rage....that comes to the front if there is a threat to my loved ones. I will do what I have to do to protect my loved ones and my peace and tranquility. The difference between a child of satan and a Child of God, we don't take pleasure in violence and doing violence to the innocent. But we're not afraid to use violence on the guilty scum that wish harm on our families.

Matthew 13:49-50 This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous and throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

we can do whatever violent acts we want to the wicked and the guilty. Throwing them into a burning furnace is an option.

 

I disagree. I think that's going a bit too far. How do you know that they are wicked and guilty for starters?

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If you only look at one verse on any subject, you will not get an appreciative understanding.  

 

A simple, yet extremely important question. Can violence, in any form, be justified from a biblical perspective?

 

As of now, I am leaning toward no, in reference to Jesus' direct words to peter. "Put away your sword," Jesus told him. "Those who use the sword will die by the sword." (Matthew 26:52 New Living Translation (NLT)).

 

Please consider this question from all angles, from a potential 1 on 1 fight with a bully to a world war.

 

Happy chatter!

 

 

That one verse you quote does not actually consider your question from all angles.  Lady C in post 4 goes into that in some detail so I won't

 

I am not a violent person at all, but if someone were to try and harm a child or even an animal in front of me, they would have to deal with me first.

 

Really.

 

IMO, those who state we should do nothing at all times would be the first to demand someone do something should they be present at the scene of true violence such as

the killing of school children by one psychopath with a gun.

 

Really?  We all just stand by and watch while the murdering goes on?

 

Have people who propose do nothing stood by and done nothing because if that is so, then I question your morals.  Really

 

There is a time to turn the other cheek but isn't there also a time to do something if you can?

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Unfortunately there are many who believe violence can be justified. I think they stretch the scriptures.

I feel some americans put the US constitution above the bible on this issue.

How so? I just listed scripturally appropriate examples? How am I stretching it?

@ Lady yes I made a typo I type faster then I think sometimes thankyoy lol.

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Love always protects.... I enjoy peace and tranquility. I do not like violence... I don't even like punishing my loved ones. But as a Child of God...there is a rage....that comes to the front if there is a threat to my loved ones. I will do what I have to do to protect my loved ones and my peace and tranquility. The difference between a child of satan and a Child of God, we don't take pleasure in violence and doing violence to the innocent. But we're not afraid to use violence on the guilty scum that wish harm on our families.

 

 

i think that's about the best response i've seen. you're absolutely correct. christians do not take pleasure in violence. it doesn't mean that God expects us to be pacifists at all costs. in fact, that would be contrary to scripture.

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Unfortunately there are many who believe violence can be justified. I think they stretch the scriptures.

I feel some americans put the US constitution above the bible on this issue.

 

If you were to walk through the park and saw a couple teenage boys in process of raping a child, would you not do whatever you could to save the child, even if it meant using violence?

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after you answer nebula's question, would you please answer one for me?

 

Unfortunately there are many who believe violence can be justified. I think they stretch the scriptures.

I feel some americans put the US constitution above the bible on this issue.

 

if you arrived at your parents home in time to see someone brutally assaulting your mother, what would you do?

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Wow! You guys have changed my mind about violence whole-heatedly. I've always WANTED to believe that violence could be justified if it was for the purpose of protecting peace. Now I have reasons that can be traced back to scripture.

 

Patriot, thank you for sharing John 2:15. I think it might be my new all time favorite verse.

 

Also, because the lord has blessed me with an interest in weapons, warfare, and history, I now realize that it's okay to enjoy thinking and philosophizing about these things (which I do all the time). Thank you all very much for your insight.

 

To anyone else who isn't convinced that violence can be justified from a biblical perspective, start reading the book of Joshua. I just started reading it and it is quickly becoming one of my favorite books of all time!

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Love always protects.... I enjoy peace and tranquility. I do not like violence... I don't even like punishing my loved ones. But as a Child of God...there is a rage....that comes to the front if there is a threat to my loved ones. I will do what I have to do to protect my loved ones and my peace and tranquility. The difference between a child of satan and a Child of God, we don't take pleasure in violence and doing violence to the innocent. But we're not afraid to use violence on the guilty scum that wish harm on our families.

Matthew 13:49-50 This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous and throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

we can do whatever violent acts we want to the wicked and the guilty. Throwing them into a burning furnace is an option.

 

I'm with you up until your last line.  No, my friend, we CANNOT do whatever violence we want to those we deem wicked and guilty.  That would require us to be perfect and able to judge another's heart.....only ONE can do those things, only ONE sits in judgment of mankind and it isn't you or me. 

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morning is right. We need to love the wicked to bring them to Christ, keep in mind we have all sinned-we were all wicked at one point. Like has been stated violence is not something a Christian should seek out or even want-but there are times when it is appropriate and we should be ready when the time comes and wise enough to discern when its appropriate and when it is not-wisdom is the better part of valor.

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wow, i had totally missed that last line. i was too enamored with the line that christians don't take PLEASURE in violence. i need to go edit out that part in my quote.

 

and Taker, i think you misunderstood something. nobody, even scripture, advocates violence for the sake of protecting "peace". protecting your family, or the innocent, or the defenseless, from senseless harm at the hands of someone who IS taking pleasure in violence is a whole different thing than "peace-keeping", which is something that can be twisted and used to suit anyone's agenda. think holocaust. hitler and company were slaughtering millions of innocent people, an entire race of people, in the name of "peace-keeping", although it was the "peace-keepers" doing all the vioence.

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right lady, a lot has been said in the name of peace. Protecting the innocent yes, peace not necessarily-Hitler wanted to kill the jews, but many protected the jews via various methods including sneaking them out of harms way, and yes, even violence. But a Christian should not seek it out nor take pleasure in it. That is what seperates us from them-violent men take pleasure in violence, and use violence to get what they want-just men, only use violence as a last resort and do not take pleasure in it. There is a huge difference between being willing to use violence when necessary-and wanting to use it.

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wow, i had totally missed that last line. i was too enamored with the line that christians don't take PLEASURE in violence. i need to go edit out that part in my quote.

 

and Taker, i think you misunderstood something. nobody, even scripture, advocates violence for the sake of protecting "peace". protecting your family, or the innocent, or the defenseless, from senseless harm at the hands of someone who IS taking pleasure in violence is a whole different thing than "peace-keeping", which is something that can be twisted and used to suit anyone's agenda. think holocaust. hitler and company were slaughtering millions of innocent people, an entire race of people, in the name of "peace-keeping", although it was the "peace-keepers" doing all the vioence.

There you have it!

As a Christian you should not be thinking about the justification of violence for one simple reason. Love. Jesus teaches us to love first. Do we have that right yet? Can we talk about justifying violence when we don't know or understand how to love as Jesus would have us do?

And one more thing. Self preservation is an overriding force. There is no time to justify self protection when you are faced with an immediate situation.

Can violence be justified? No, never, because violence suggests premeditation and an overwhelming of self with rage. Self preservation and protecting others are not rooted in violence, they are founded on survival, duty and Love. There lies the difference between sufficient force to achieve a justified end, and violence.

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wow, i had totally missed that last line. i was too enamored with the line that christians don't take PLEASURE in violence. i need to go edit out that part in my quote.

 

and Taker, i think you misunderstood something. nobody, even scripture, advocates violence for the sake of protecting "peace". protecting your family, or the innocent, or the defenseless, from senseless harm at the hands of someone who IS taking pleasure in violence is a whole different thing than "peace-keeping", which is something that can be twisted and used to suit anyone's agenda. think holocaust. hitler and company were slaughtering millions of innocent people, an entire race of people, in the name of "peace-keeping", although it was the "peace-keepers" doing all the vioence.

There you have it!

As a Christian you should not be thinking about the justification of violence for one simple reason. Love. Jesus teaches us to love first. Do we have that right yet? Can we talk about justifying violence when we don't know or understand how to love as Jesus would have us do?

And one more thing. Self preservation is an overriding force. There is no time to justify self protection when you are faced with an immediate situation.

Can violence be justified? No, never, because violence suggests premeditation and an overwhelming of self with rage. Self preservation and protecting others are not rooted in violence, they are founded on survival, duty and Love. There lies the difference between sufficient force to achieve a justified end, and violence.

 

 

I agree with you, but it's just semantics. When I first started reading this thread I was defining violence (as I believe the OP did) to mean physical force of any kind which may result in people getting hurt. You're defining violence as unnecessary force, and your definition is more accurate. I do believe that the OP was actually meaning to ask, are Christians allowed to fight (physically)?

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right lady, a lot has been said in the name of peace. Protecting the innocent yes, peace not necessarily-Hitler wanted to kill the jews, but many protected the jews via various methods including sneaking them out of harms way, and yes, even violence. But a Christian should not seek it out nor take pleasure in it. That is what seperates us from them-violent men take pleasure in violence, and use violence to get what they want-just men, only use violence as a last resort and do not take pleasure in it. There is a huge difference between being willing to use violence when necessary-and wanting to use it.

 

Patriot.....  I agree with all that you have said in here.  Even with your agreeing with the other posts.  I learn a lot in here. 

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Luke 22 "35   And He said to them, When I sent you forth without purse and wallet and shoes, did you lack anything? And they said, Nothing. 36 And he said to them, But now, he who has a purse, let him take it, and likewise a wallet; and he who has none; let him sell his cloak, and buy a sword." ----------- Proverbs 25:26; "As a troubled fountain and a corrupted spring, so is a righteous man who gives way before the wicked.

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Blessings Everyone...

      I totally agree with Fez & he said it perfectly!Violence can never be justified because as Fez stated it suggests a premeditation & an overwhelming of self with rage.......a righteous wrath & the immediate response to protect another person from harm is so much different than violence.Violence,anger,rage are not fruits of the Spirit but love is & to put your own life on the line to protect another is an act of love,it is selfless.......and of course self preservation also,is not an act of violence but a justifiable action one would be forced to take as our lives are a precious gift from God.

      As far as war is concerned,I don't even know how to answer that,I do believe we have to protect our country but it just saddens me when so many lives are lost..................wars & battles are violent & nothing can really justify whoever starts it,I suppose.......(again,protect,preserve,forced)

                                                                                                                                                      With love in Christ,Kwik

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