Every year, "end times" and apocalyptic films, books, and articles are produced in both the wider popular culture, and in religious contexts. In almost every post-disaster scenario as typically portrayed in media productions, riots, mobs, and an every-man-for-himself setting is typically envisaged.

As Christians, we know God will take care of us and that whatever happens is for His glory.

For those of us who are married or have children, we have been entrusted, as husbands, to care for our wives, and, as parents, to guard, train, and raise our children in a God-honoring way.

From another question, I believe it has been established that a Christian is free to serve in the military to the limit of their conscience (ie, the Bible neither proscribes, nor prescribes the activity).

Just before He was betrayed, Jesus told his disciples to make sure they had swords to bring with them (they had two).

In the broader context of scripture, what should make up a Christian response to self-defense, and of defending the defenseless?

What passages of the Bible support (or preclude) such action? and to what limit (if any) is that action to not exceed?

  • Why is this relevant "only" to christians?
    – Sven
    Sep 20 '11 at 16:22
  • @Sven - never said it's only relevant to Christians: I'm looking for a Christian/Bible perspective on the prospect
    – warren
    Sep 20 '11 at 16:53
  • I don't understand how disasters really tie in to self-defense. Are you asking how Christians should defend themselves? Or do you mean how should they defend themselves only in times of disaster?
    – Flimzy
    Sep 20 '11 at 18:03
  • @Flimzy - both in the "normal" aspects of life, and in "extreme" situations
    – warren
    Sep 20 '11 at 19:09

Here is an article that goes into this topic far better than I could.

The relevant summary is:

Though we see sanction and even a qualified directive from Christ to possess personal weapons, we must remember three points. First, in the remainder of the New Testament, we have no further examples of believers taking up the sword. Secondly, the emphasis in the remainder of the New Testament is decidedly not geared toward the issues of physical self-defense or righteous use of lethal force. Rather, we see more emphasis on Godly living, suffering affliction and persecution for Christ, and grasping the precious doctrines of Christ and the Gospel. Thirdly, possession of weapons and acquiring the skill to use them in self-defense is permitted but not required by Scripture.

And a few choice quotes (see the article for many more) are:

Psalm 82:4 (ESV)

Rescue the weak and needy; Deliver them out of the hand of the wicked.

Psalm 144:1 (ESV)

Blessed be the LORD my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight:

Proverbs 3:32 (ESV)

Do not envy a man of violence, And do not choose any of his ways.

Luke 6:27-29 (ESV)

27"But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. 29To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either."

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