What did you learn from last week’s sermon?
Q1: Is self-defense a Biblical concept?
Q2: Must every family have guns to protect themselves?
Q3: Did Jesus believe in self-defense?
Sermon Summary & Answers
Last week we looked through a practical-application-lens seeing how God is the only answer to changing a human’s racist predilections and the best way to pray for an enemy, all within the first six verses of Nehemiah chapter four. Pastor Steve points out that Nehemiah is not just an example for leaders (although it is). It’s informative for all Christians about our lives being in a constant state of opposition with evil forces at work in the world. This affords leaders a lot of opportunities to overcome the opposition.
Nehemiah has to turn to God in prayer once again when the warring factions (Sanballat, Tobiah, etc.) surround them, intent on a fight. So, Nehemiah sets up armed guards to defend the people and tells the people to arm themselves. Protection is a Biblical principle in any form of leadership. Here we see that protecting one’s home and family is as well. Yes, there is a firm foundation for the Biblical principle of self-defense. It is how we steward (care for) the gifts that God gives us in His sovereignty.
“When I [Nehemiah] saw their fear, I rose and spoke to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people: “Do not be afraid of them; remember the Lord who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your houses.”Nehemiah 4:14
Pastor Steve walked us through Exodus and showed us how Israel dealt with different degrees of murder, manslaughter, wanton endangerment, theft, etc. It looks pretty much like how our legal system here in America handles the right of self-defense and the right to protect our property. There is no doubt that Nehemiah wasn’t just saying, “sit tight, God is on your side.” He was also saying, be prepared to fight.
Christians are no longer under Jewish law, but we have the Second Amendment that grants us the right to protect our person, home, family, and the defenseless with guns. There is no Biblical principle for gathering together a militia because we disagree with the governance that God put over us.
What should we do if we lose the right to bear arms and protect what God has given us to steward and defend?
“Well, I think we as Christians can rightfully make an appeal to our God and His moral law – – that law that reveals the order of God’s creation … the Ten Commandments that say – – you cannot take what isn’t yours – – you cannot steal, you cannot take your neighbor’s wife – – you cannot take your neighbors ox … this implies the right of property ownership – – and with it, the right of stewardship over that property … The right of defense of human life, created in the image of God … of defense of property that is granted to us as stewards … we have a stewardship entrusted that includes a right defense.”Pastor Steve Wilson
In other words, if the government is telling you not to do a thing that God is commanding that you do, you have to make a choice. Obey God or obey man. If you choose to follow God over the government, then you need to also accept the consequences.
Perhaps you don’t feel the need to have devices of protection. That’s fine. You have that liberty as a Christian to do that as well. There were times when Jesus sent His disciples out and specifically told them not to carry a sword because He knew they were safe. When tensions grew nearer to His crucifixion, He told them to arm themselves with swords for personal protection, not defend their faith. Jesus was counted among the criminals for doing God’s will. We could potentially face the same.
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