The Apostle Peter and Open Carry

I mentioned earlier that I needed to respond more fully to Preston Sprinkle’s comment at Q Denver that the commentaries were “against me” in my understanding of Luke 22:35-38. After he made that comment, the commentaries I looked at were all over the road, but my part of the road was certainly included. Allow me to explain why I think my part of the road is the correct lane, heading in the right direction.

Preston was kind enough to continue our conservation here, and I would like to respond in kind.Swords

First, what are we to say about the second portion of the passage from Exodus, the part that I did not cite? If a thief breaks in during the night and is killed, the homeowner is not to be charged, but if it happens during the day, the situation is different (Ex. 22:2-3). Surely the solution is obvious? Those who defend gun ownership are not trying to maximize the opportunities for lethal violence. During the day a property owner has opportunities for restraining the thief short of using lethal violence, and whenever that is possible, that is what should be done. He can see what is going on, and how much of a threat the thief actually presents. But in the middle of the night, everything is much more uncertain. (Night time is dark.) This is comparable to the law that distinguished between a rape in the country, where the victim could not cry out for help, and a rape in the city, where she presumably could. If she could call for help, she was responsible to do so. If a property owner could stop a thief without violence, he is responsible to do so. So Preston and I agree partially here — “Intentional killing, yes even of a thief, is a sin.” But killing a thief under other circumstances, when your own life or the lives of your family is endangered, is not a sin. And if that is the case, then Preston’s advocacy of a pure non-violence approach necessarily fails.

But the other half of Preston’s handling of the text is far more problematic. He points out that this section of Exodus contains the death penalty for sorcery, for Sabbath breaking, and contains instructions on slave management. I would ask a question here of Preston, and then go on to answer his question of me. Here is my question. Were these laws, in their place and in their time, inspired commandments from God, and were they holy, righteous, and good?

Now to answer his question to me.

“The continuity of Exodus 22:2 (and 22:3!) must be argued for, not assumed. If argued for, then I need to know: if I catch a thief, do I still sell him into slavery as Exod 22:3b commands me to?

The answer is yes, of course. What do you think prison is? Now I would also want to go on to argue that the Mosaic form of slavery for theft was far more humane than what we do, because an Israelite enslaved for a property crime could work his way to freedom. We the enlightened, looking down our noses at the Mosaic code, currently keep over 2 million people locked up in glorified dog kennels. What would happen to that population if we treated property crimes as crimes against the victim (instead of against the state), and allowed such crimes to be satisfied by restitution, paid directly or by means of enforced labor? When the restitution is paid, the criminal walks.

Second, I want to make some comments on the text of Luke, and then after that include a few citations from commentaries that hold that the swords in question were actual swords, and that Jesus said to buy that kind of actual sword.

The context of this passage is the Last Supper. Just before this, Christ had instituted the Supper (Luke 22:19-20), predicted His own betrayal (Luke 22:21-23), settled a quarrel among the disciples about who was the greatest (Luke 22:24-30). Then He predicts Peter’s collapse (Luke 22:31-34). Then comes our text:

“And he said to them, “When I sent you out with no moneybag or knapsack or sandals, did you lack anything?” They said, “Nothing.” He said to them, “But now let the one who has a moneybag take it, and likewise a knapsack. And let the one who has no sword sell his cloak and buy one. For I tell you that this Scripture must be fulfilled in me: ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors.’ For what is written about me has its fulfillment.” And they said, “Look, Lord, here are two swords.” And he said to them, “It is enough.”” (Luke 22:35–38, ESV).

I believe that what Jesus is doing here is transparently clear, and it is equally clear that the disciples mistook His point entirely, and He has to tell them to drop it.

Jesus reminds them of the previous times they had been sent out on preaching missions, and how He had sent them out without any reserves, without any ordinary supplies. An example of Him doing this is found in Luke 9:1-6. Jesus is here reversing that pattern, teaching His disciples that this was a temporary measure while He was with them, and that now they must not forget to take their basic supplies. He mentions purse, knapsack, sandals, and swords. He says that the sword is important enough that they should sell their cloak if they need to. Better chilly than dead. This part of it is about their missions in the future (He is not talking about taking wallets, packs, sandals, etc. when they leave in a few minutes for Gethsemane). He is instructing them that they must learn to provide for themselves, unlike what He had told them to do on earlier missions. Things were different now. Among those ordinary provisions were swords for self-defense.

The reference to Is 53:12 is admittedly cryptic, but Mark 15:28 applies it to the fact that Jesus was crucified between two thieves, two brigands — two men of the kind that traveling missionaries would have to deal with. Preston’s view, that they needed a couple of swords in their midst to make it plausible to the Romans that they were dealing with revolutionaries seems to me to miss entirely — no reference to the swords or to Peter’s assault on Malchus was made during any of the trials Christ went through.

Christ was speaking about being prepared for that bad stretch of road north of Antioch, but the disciples interpreted Him as giving an immediate call to arms, a call to arm themselves against the powers coming against them that very night. This was not what He was talking about at all. Remember that they are going from this room, where they had produced the two swords, straight to the Garden of Gethsemane, where Peter was to use one of those two swords to chop off the ear of Malchus (John 18:10). Jesus, just a matter of hours after this, put the ear back on, and He did not say “Peter, non-violence is the way.” He rebuked Peter for yet again being the Satan that was trying to keep Him from finishing His appointed mission. That is what He says is the basis of the rebuke.

“Then Simon Peter having a sword drew it, and smote the high priest’s servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant’s name was Malchus. Then said Jesus unto Peter, Put up thy sword into the sheath: the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?” (John 18:10–11).

Notice that Peter is one of the two men carrying — and notice also that he is not armed with a small pig sticker. Jesus tells him to put his sword back in the sheath — not to throw the scabbard and sword away. Not only was Peter carrying, it was apparently open carry. Peter’s problem was not that he had a sword. The problem was that he did not understand the mission of Christ, meaning that he had no way of understanding when violence in self-defense was appropriate, and when it was entirely inappropriate. To urge that use of a gun is lawful in principle is not to argue that it is lawful anywhere, anytime, for any reason.

This conversation may continue, as I hope it does, but for the time being, I have included below some citations from commentaries in my Logos Bible software. These turned up in just a few minutes of searching.

“They will need even protection and at times so badly that a sword will be worth more to them than their outer robe, the latter being a great necessity, especially as a covering at night when they were camping cut in the open. So Jesus tells the apostles to buy a Roman short sword, if necessary, even at the price of their outer robe. It is better to freeze at night than to be killed. After “he not having” we supply μάχαιραν as the object; not, as some do, “purse and wallet” from the preceding sentence. The latter would lead to the idea that the apostles were to demand food and lodging at the point of the sword when it was otherwise not forthcoming.

This matter of having a sword even at the price of a cloak becomes plain when we look at the map and at 2 Cor. 11:26, 27. Paul, for instance, travelled extensively, the other apostles did likewise. We find Peter in Rome, and tradition reports to what far countries some of the others went. On foot, over mountain roads and passes, through uninhabited, desert regions their way would take them. Paul experienced hunger, thirst, fasting, nakedness (not enough cover), freezing. And worse than this: robbers, brigands, some of his own countrymen (Jews), some heathen. Yes, a sword would be needed for protection.

This injunction means that the apostles are to use ordinary prudence in their labors. The language is not figurative. Purse, wallet, sword are not to be allegorized into something spiritual as the ancient fathers thought they must be. The injunctions are concrete and simply use specific examples to indicate a complete course of conduct. Jesus will, indeed, be with his apostles, but he will be with them amid many hardships and dangers, amid the care and the prudence which he himself bids them exercise.” [R. C. H. Lenski, The Interpretation of St. Luke’s Gospel (Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg Publishing House, 1961), 1068–1069.]

“22:36. The present situation was quite different. Take whatever supplies and resources you have, Jesus told them. You will especially need a weapon for self-defense. Go sell whatever is necessary to get one. Satan had come after Jesus and his followers in full force. The persecution and arrests were about to begin. They must be ready to protect themselves.” [Trent C. Butler, Luke, vol. 3, Holman New Testament Commentary (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2000), 371.]

“36. He that hath no sword, etc. But sword is not governed by hath. It is too far off in the sentence. The meaning is, he that hath not a purse or scrip (and is therefore penniless), let him sell his garment and buy a sword.” [Marvin Richardson Vincent, Word Studies in the New Testament, vol. 1 (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1887), 424.]

“Jesus pointed out to His disciples that they had never lacked anything while they were with Him and were sent out to minister for Him (cf. 9:3). However, now that He was to be taken away from them, they would have to make preparations for their ministries including a purse … a bag, and … a sword for personal protection.” [John A. Martin, “Luke,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck, vol. 2 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 260.]

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timbushong
Member

“What do you think prison is?”

Amen–exactly right. Great response (the entirety of the post), Doug.

Greg
Guest
Greg

I think Christians who conceal carry should also be trained and provisioned, say with an Israeli battlefield dressing, so they can save anyone who is gunshot. Are we not told to love our enemies? If we are more intent on being able to put a nice grouping in them than following our protective act with a life saving act then are we truly pro-life? Are we listening to the whole counsel of Jesus?

jsm
Guest
jsm

I keep a trauma bag in my vehicle but I am a trained emt. If you are forced to use your concealed carry and are accurate the bandage will not be of much use.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Considering the general accuracy reported in the use of firearms by trained police officers (who are run through training and scenarios and simulations that very few private citizens get the chance to mimic at that level, not to mention the advantage of uniforms), I find it very unlikely that the majority of personal defenders will be incredibly accurate in what would be such an unprecedented situation for them, even if they’ve “thought through it” a lot.

John
Member

You don’t understand home defense. Police will typically draw their service revolver first. Many, but not all, home defenders prefer a shotgun. Less chance of missing.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

You’re trying to change the subject in order to insult me. My response was to someone who said, “I keep a trauma bag in my vehicle” and directly to their statement, “If you are forced to use your concealed carry”. We’re not talking about home defense. Unless you carry your shotgun as your preferred concealed carry weapon, and you think most people in this conversation are driving around with shotguns in their cars at all times for self-defense….then your comment is off-base. And if you see where I put my history in another comment, you’d see that I’m more than… Read more »

jsm
Guest
jsm

To answer whether we are prolife because we are more concerned with nice grouping than giving life saving treatment to criminals, yes. Being concerned with nice grouping can be a life saving act. It makes it less likely innocent bystanders will be killed. We are prolife because we stand up for innocent people by trying to protect their lives. There is nothing inconsistent in protecting the lives of the innocent while taking the lives of the wicked. It’s called justice.

Greg
Guest
Greg

So you are content to let someone bleed out when you could have been a responsible Christian with the ability to save a life and not just end one? What if it were your spouse who was bleeding out because you thought it was more macho to just ‘take out the trash’ and you weren’t prepared? – Just saw your earlier post that you’re an EMT, sorry, it doesn’t apply to you. There are other options than lethal force in most situations especially if the other person isn’t carrying a gun.

Jane
Member

You cannot save anyone who is gunshot if you succeed in dealing with the situation in the way called for, assuming the situation actually calls for that. If you don’t need lethal force to deal with a situation, don’t shoot. If you do, you need to be accurate.

I suppose it might be reasonable to advocate medical training in case you miss. But that would be a failure to carry out the life-saving action of lethality that you were attempting to carry out, with hopefully a providential outcome of disabling the threat anyway.

Greg
Guest
Greg

How do you know? You aren’t sufficiently thinking through all the possibilities and you thus are unprepared to do the right think if you don’t use your head and get prepared. Police shoot dozens of rounds sometimes and the person is still only wounded sometimes. Were you just planning on finishing them off or could you ‘man up’ and save someone from bleeding out?

Jane
Member

I’m incapable of manning up in any circumstance, FWIW. But if you are committing yourself to using lethal force, you should be attempting a head shot. Death in that case does not come from bleeding out, or anything else that medical attention could help. If you are not attempting to cleanly kill the person, you should not be doing something that might or might not kill someone. The risk of trying to almost-kill someone is the risk of letting them continue to harm others, and the only reason you should even consider shooting someone is to prevent that. If you… Read more »

B. Josiah Alldredge
Guest
B. Josiah Alldredge

As an ex cop, pretty much the standard of firearms training for police officers and every self defense gun training I’ve ever heard of is you shoot for center of mass, and you shoot to stop. Head shots are pretty tricky, with a much higher probability of missing. The goal of the shooting is to stop a threat, not necessarily kill it. In fact, if you go on making sure of the fellow after the threat has been stopped, you will probably be charged. Shoot for the chest, and shoot to stop a threat.

Jane
Member

Thanks for that, I appreciate being better informed. To be clear, even in my previously somewhat misinformed comments, I did not mean to suggest you keep shooting. I only meant that your intent is to be effective, and that to intend to be less effective so you can save the person later is a terrible idea for all concerned.

Bike bubba
Guest

Yes, but center of mass is the heart and lungs, so in practice–and with the expanding bullets rightly favored by the police–shoot to stop is generally shoot to kill.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

No, you should NOT be attempting a head shot under almost any circumstances, and your advice as to such betrays that you have no idea what you’re talking about. No trained person would ever give such self-defense advice. And the police don’t miss just “sometimes”. Look at the statistics for number of shots fired vs. number of hits, and for killed suspects vs. engagements where shots are fired. The vast majority of shots fired by police do not kill. This is another reason why these conversations frighten me. Not only do they delve completely out of the range of the… Read more »

Jane
Member

Well, if it makes you feel better,

1) when Josiah corrected me yesterday, I admitted my error. See above/below depending on how your comments display.

2) I am completely unprepared and untrained to use lethal force, and also have no means to do so. I firmly advocate anyone who does, being prepared and trained. So my ignorance is absolutely not a fair place to generalize from, about people who actually might be equipped to save multiple lives by using force as required.

Jerrod Arnold
Guest
Jerrod Arnold

“No trained person would ever give such self-defense advice.”

Untrue.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

This betrays an enormous lack of understanding regarding how such situations actually play out, from the battlefield to law enforcement to personal citizens. The idea that EVERY shooting scenario shall result in death, and that a wounded victim in the aftermath isn’t a possibility that must even be taken into consideration, just flies in the face of reality. And the idea that such a shooter should just “need to be accurate”, as if accuracy in an unprecedented combat situation can just be done, is ridiculous. Extremely highly trained people in situations of defensive violence cannot always be accurate. Even highly… Read more »

Jane
Member

I’ll just say that your second paragraph betrays a failure to understand. Whether that’s my poor communication or your haste in imputing things that are not said, I’ll leave others to judge. As for your final paragraph, I’ll just say that the fact that accuracy is not always achieved does not mean that accuracy should take a back seat to privileging potentially saving the one with murderous intent over doing what is necessarily to save the innocent. If the relatively untrained private citizen is unlikely to be accurate, than he can afford even less than the highly trained person to… Read more »

ashv
Guest
ashv

This is why “anti-choice” is a better position than “pro-life”.

Bike bubba
Guest

I’m all for learning and applying first aid–I head my church’s Sunday Schools after all–for anyone, permit holders included. However, the ugly fact of lawful self-defense (citizen or officer alike) is that one must have imminent fear of death or grievous bodily injury before drawing that gun. So by the time you pull that trigger, you’ve more or less decided that the world as a whole is safer without that person on it.

Pro-life means respect for innocent life, which means we can’t be afraid to end certain heinously guilty lives.

Daithi_Dubh
Guest
Daithi_Dubh

Call it “shooting to kill” or “eliminating the threat”; either way, if God forbid, I ever have to draw my weapon, my sole focus must be on three things, and three things only: 1) target sight picture (center-mass!); 2) breathing; 3) squeezing.

At that point, my enemy has crossed a line whereby considerations of his life and welfare as compared to the innocents he’s threatening canNOT be my focus!

Your suggestion sounds admirable on one level, but, besides being potentially dangerous, I’m not at all interested in being holier than Jesus!

Greg
Guest
Greg

You just show that you don’t understand me. If you are only prepared to do those three steps and none of the steps after that then I’m saying you’re worse than woefully unprepared. It could actually be a grave sin to have no concern for the lives of wounded people, including not loving your wounded enemies, If you want to be a responsible gun owner then REALLY be responsible and be prepared to deal with the aftermath.

John
Member

Perhaps in some situations. But enter my house at night and I will use lethal force. My next reaction will be to attend to my family and their health and safety. Then, and only then, will I concern myself with the intruder. I do think that 1 Timothy 5:8 does come into play here.

adad0
Member

Well, you do have a point, Lynyrd Skynyrd advocated for giving three steps in tense situations! ; – )

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

I think the answers to your statement show how thoroughly following these interpretations drives one away from love of enemies.

jsm
Guest
jsm

I think your comment shows how thoroughly warped and shallow your conception of love is. If you do not love your family enough to fight and lay down your life to protect them from predators you have no business speaking of loving anyone including enemies.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

You assume far too much. I certainly love my family enough to lay down my life, and am absolutely committed to that. But it is not loving anyone to say, “Screw that, I’m going to lay down someone else’s life instead.”

I also love my family enough to know that the eternal consequences of having their spiritual guide show himself to be a man of violence are not what I want to give them for their own eternities.

ashv
Guest
ashv

Sounds like you’re trying to be holier than Jesus.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

That doesn’t make any sense to me at all. Jesus certainly never killed anyone in his human capacity in order to protect anyone else. Did you see my interpretation of the passage that I wrote out in full?

Daithi_Dubh
Guest
Daithi_Dubh

There are lots of things Jesus never did: marry, have children, run for political office, etc. He had a specific mission at that time that precluded those things, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t authorized to take part in them, including the defense of innocents using deadly force!

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Of course, that’s a different topic. But I’ve never heard someone who chooses to marry or have children or run for political office being accused of trying to be “holier than Jesus”, which was the accusation against me when I made that response.

Amazingly, though, someone who chooses to try to save the life of their enemy after they’ve shot them is also accused of being “holier than Jesus” just a couple of comments above this one…which I find sad and ridiculous.

Daithi_Dubh
Guest
Daithi_Dubh

My response to Greg was not one of disapproval regarding saving the aggressor’s life, but one of focus and priority. I know of an Army medic in Iraq, for example, who, after having dispatched an enemy shooter in a firefight, proceeded to perform first aid on him in order to save the man’s life. I salute him for that! But this topic, whatever side you come out on, must be, as I said above, about focus and priority. Greg’s introduction of prioritizing medical help for an aggressor struck me as odd, off kilter. From personal experience, I know that my… Read more »

Greg
Guest
Greg

You misconstrued what I said. Just like that medic, you should be prepared to render aid to the aggressor, or any other victim in a shooting for that matter, if you take Jesus seriously and thus love even your enemies. If you make no preparation to do that, like getting minimal medical training and carrying one of those combat dressing that cost less than your holster then I would say you’re not taking Jesus’ teachings seriously and may be more devoted to the NRA.

Daithi_Dubh
Guest
Daithi_Dubh

Using your reasoning, until I receive medical training of some sort, I have no right to carry a weapon for the defense of my home and family, is that it? Loving one’s enemies is not an absolute that precludes my primary obligations to my loved ones and other innocents.

Yes, get the basic lifesaving training, but don’t make self-defense dependent on it!

Greg
Guest
Greg

False dilemmas don’t make for good reasoning.

Daithi_Dubh
Guest
Daithi_Dubh

What false dilemma? I’m simply using your reasoning as I understand it, taking it to a logical conclusion.

Look, I like your idea of first aid/basic lifesaving training, but you do damage to your point by waaaaay overstating it as some sort of thus-saith-the-Lord imperative.

Greg
Guest
Greg

Really? I mean, really? ““You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” I never said anything about an all or nothing and you presented it as a false dilemma. I propose that you have a moral obligation to do more than just be prepared to kill others. Have some training for non-lethal means of defense as well so you don’t have to resort to only a lethal option. Carry pepper spray as an option at your disposal. Cops do! I’ll… Read more »

Jane
Member

As long as you understand that non-lethal and shooting don’t go together. If in God’s mercy the person who is shot can be treated, of course we should give him aid. It is a crime not to render whatever aid the person is capable of, and the point that if we’re prepared to shoot, we should be prepared to render aid is well taken.

But shooting and hoping to save the person at the same moment simply don’t go together. You should only shoot someone if the person represents a sufficient threat to require lethal force.

Daithi_Dubh
Guest
Daithi_Dubh

I have likewise written and said things that appeared all-or-nothing when I intended nothing of the sort, but that’s how this statement of yours did indeed appear. Like you, I think, I loathe being misunderstood. Such are the limitations of this medium, being unable to discern body language, tone, inflection, etc. Oh well. Jesus’ command to love my neighbor and my enemies does not preclude my potentially having to take my enemy’s life if and when he chooses to endanger innocents, as you seem to agree with, at least in theory. If you’re taking this idea to an absurd extreme… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Yes, I’m sure Jesus’s words about loving one’s enemies, especially the Samaritan example, struck his listeners as odd, off-kilter as well. I think that if you knew what I did for a living and where I did it, then my words word suddenly strike you as far less abstract and theoretical and far less divorced from “life-as-it-is” than the words of those who are excitedly talking about shooting the violent perp threatening their families when, in reality, this violent perp who could only be dislodged by death and nothing else has never, ever appeared in a single one of their… Read more »

Daithi_Dubh
Guest
Daithi_Dubh

The Samaritan wasn’t threatening innocent life, sir, as I’m sure you well know. I’m unfamiliar with Trocme, and I don’t give unreserved approval to MLK. You and I are safely ensconced behind our respective keyboards, so we can spar about these issues with no one getting hurt; indeed, there’s GREAT value in thinking about these issues, however theoretically, so that perhaps – PERHAPS – we will be better prepared if – again, God forbid – the real thing actually occurs and react in keeping with our principles and training. That’s what discussion and training are about, getting your mind and… Read more »

jsm
Guest
jsm

It is loving those you are responsible for to say I will fight to the point of taking this predators life or laying down my own to ensure they are safe.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

If that was the most effective way to deal with the predator AND the most loving gift to give your loved ones for their eternity, then I would agree with you. I’m quite convinced that you’re wrong on both counts. You work from the assumption that killing someone is the best way to protect someone, which I think is quite false. When you drop killing out of the equation, stop thinking about self-preservation and other-killing and begin thinking about true trust in what God can give through your own faith and willingness to sacrifice, you find far more effective ways… Read more »

Greg
Guest
Greg

So learning to shoot is the only way you think you protect them? How about learning to use a battle dressing and carrying one in case they need one? Maybe you’ll need it yourself and then you could live long enough to protect them later. Better yet, carry some non-lethal means to address some violent situations and they might not have to come visit you in prison. Have you thought of that?

Arwenb
Guest
Arwenb

When someone is threatening the life and limb of those under your protection, he is the one who has determined that someone must die that day.

The only thing that an armed defender does is make sure that the threatener is the only person who experiences the full consequence of his decision.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Again, you preemptively assume that killing someone is the best solution, and then you start talking about ways to justify it. You haven’t shown, Scripturally or practically, why killing someone is the ideal solution to the problem that arises.

Arwenb
Guest
Arwenb

Teach me, then. The situation I specified – someone is threatening the life and limb of those under your protection. I will further stipulate that this is ” threatening” in the specific legal, laws-defining-self-defense way, (NOT in the bravado and bluster “you disrespected me , and I’m going to get my posse and kill you and everyone who looks like you” way) which means that you or someone nearby is in immediate danger of death or grievous bodily harm at the hands of a third party. What is the right course of action to take in order to fulfill your… Read more »

Christopher
Member
Christopher

“I also love my family enough to know that the eternal consequences of having their spiritual guide show himself to be a man of violence are not what I want to give them for their own eternities.”

A judicious use of violence does not mark one as man of violence.

Greg
Guest
Greg

Amen. They act like I’m offering just an option between Gandhi and Rambo.

duellsquimby
Member

Its not that I don’t love my enemies. Just that I love my family more. Much, much more. And in a situation like this, you’re not starting things, you’re ending them.

Greg
Guest
Greg

I was texting and couldn’t add much more. I would add that a Christian should also carry a non-lethal alternative as well. Do you want to really have no other option than shooting someone who may be just a drunk that wants a fight, or do you want to only have the option of shooting a dog coming at you when some pepper spray would be a far better option? Not every threat is a lethal threat so I would say you have a responsibility to also carry non-lethal options.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

And there are a LOT of non-lethal options that are not even violent, for that matter.

Arwenb
Guest
Arwenb

A dog that attacks humans unprovoked should be put down.

No ifs, ands, or buts.

duellsquimby
Member

This is a brilliant example of ‘fencing’. Would you also carry hopsitalization for the perpetrator, and cover the life flight/ambulence and ICU bill??

duellsquimby
Member

I’m trying to figure out which side of the argument you’re on ?

Rob Steele
Guest
Rob Steele

Peter going up against that mob was like David facing Goliath but with less skill. Peter probably never trained with the sword where David out tending sheep had all day to practice his marksmanship, sometimes on live targets. Peter seems heroic by comparison, or stupid.

RFB
Guest
RFB

I would tend towards the heroic, if even for just how tired I get from hearing (not from you) about the failings of the apostles, as if we would have done better.

These, save one, were good men.

adad0
Member

R’, glad you are back! a thought or two on heroes.
They are better known after the fact. Being one tends to be over rated. Peter was less of a hero with the sword, and more of a Hero when he drank the same “cup” as his Lord.
Doing heroic things is good.
Individuals taking up their cross daily might often be heroic, but God is the only One who really knows. Being faithful in the small things, determines how one will do, if a big thing come up .
People, be “heroes” in the small things !????

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

I appreciate that reminder. There are days I would find it easier to run into a burning building than to carry the particular burden I have been given.

adad0
Member

That lady who gave her two mites was pretty dang heroic!????????

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Yet also sadly abused by the Jewish elders.

adad0
Member

Abused? I thought she was just un-noticed. Even if no one else was looking after her, God was.????????

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

That’s the idea we get because of a poor chapter break in 20/21. But if we read the natural flow from Luke 20:45-21:33, the story takes on an entirely different tone.

It was a sermon someone sent me from John MacArthur that first pointed me in this direction.

http://www.gty.org/resources/sermons/42-251/abusing-the-poor

adad0
Member

The link was interesting. I’ll look to The Word next!

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

I think that even though it was wrong-headed and showed a lack of full understanding of the Gospel to that point, it still could be considered heroic for the very reason you mentioned. Either he was extremely ready to die for His Lord, or he was very, very convinced that God was about to work miraculously.

Eli Brayley
Guest
Eli Brayley

Great post, Doug!

Luke Pride
Guest

I know less about the law than I do about sea cucumbers, so I need to ask. Are our laws really so centered on the state that crimes are seen as against it and not the offended party? And that even carries over into the state being the one owed when property is lost?

Adam Sanders
Guest

In our criminal law, there is the notion that “the people” – the body politic, i.e. the State – has been harmed, and is the one with the proper authority to impose criminal sanction. This is why criminal cases are styled, e.g., “State of Tennessee v. Jones,” not “[robbery victim] v. Jones” In truth, it’s a bit more nuanced, since criminal courts do often recognize the “real” victim, and order some kind of financial restitution IN ADDITION TO the criminal sanction being imposed by the State. But the restitution and the criminal penalty are distinguishable, and paying full restitution doesn’t… Read more »

RFB
Guest
RFB

In addition to Mr. Sanders below, research “victim rights”. Several states have constitutional protections (that are sometimes overlooked by lazy prosecutors) for citizen victims.

Seth B.
Guest
Seth B.

This isn’t unlike the Bible talking about the land being defiled when someone is murdered or commits some other crime. The victim themselves is not the only who against whom the crime is perpetrated.

Ken Wieske
Guest
Ken Wieske

Not sure if this is a typo, or if you are playing with language as usual :), but did you really mean to write “conservation”? “Preston was kind enough to continue our conservation here, and I would like to respond in kind.”

insanitybytes22
Member

Love that cartoon. I can be a bit like Peter, always prepared to lop off someone ear, never missing the target entirely, but sometimes missing the whole point. In a somewhat feminine way, of course. :)

adad0
Member

Well, at least you are not missing the point in a masculine way! ; – )

Nathanael King
Member

Great response. Thought you might be interested that John Nolland in the Word Biblical Commentary, and E. Ellis, also agree with your view of Luke 22:36. :)

Jonah Langenderfer
Guest
Jonah Langenderfer

Question in response to this: “Jesus, just a matter of hours after this, put the ear back on, and He did not say ‘Peter, non-violence is the way.’ He rebuked Peter for yet again being the Satan that was trying to keep Him from finishing His appointed mission. That is what He says is the basis of the rebuke. “Then Simon Peter having a sword drew it, and smote the high priest’s servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant’s name was Malchus. Then said Jesus unto Peter, Put up thy sword into the sheath: the cup which my… Read more »

Arwenb
Guest
Arwenb

You don’t think it’s a simple statement of fact that those who make their living violently (which may still be lawful, depending on the nature and target of the violence) are likely to come to violent ends?

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Yes, it is indeed that too, but it is given as the REASON for Peter to not use his sword in self-defense or in defense of his traveling companion. And it appears to be a universal statement, not one that would in any way apply to only that particular act of defense.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Yes, the 2nd-century church fathers (and I sprinkled a couple 3rd-century ones in too) quite clearly stated that Jesus was disarming the disciples. Which not only shows that they interpreted the passage that way, but which would show that they were completely unaware of a public practice which Pastor Wilson appears to claim that the apostles and their disciples would have been practicing on a large scale. “We have exchanged our swords for plowshares, our spears for farm tools….” – Justin Martyr “Christians, instead of arming themselves with swords, extend their hands in prayer.” – Athanasius “Only without the sword… Read more »

adad0
Member

Having a sword, and even using a sword, is not the same thing as living by the sword. NASB Then Jesus *said to him, “Put your sword back into its place; for all those who take up the sword shall perish by the sword. We are supposed to “take up” the cross as opposed to “take up” the sword. I drive a car, but I don’t live by one. If I did, I’d be a cab driver! I can use a car, or a “sword”, with out “living” by either. Our family has a sword, “Cake Slayer” I call it!… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Honestly, that interpretation of the passage flies in the face of reason. You should know much better than this Pastor Wilson, and I don’t know if you’re missing it because you honestly don’t see it or because you are purposely ignoring the weak points. Luke 22:35-38 is clearly referring to the events of THAT NIGHT. Jesus is going to be numbered among the transgressors on THAT NIGHT. The Isaiah passage he refers to is the Suffering Servant passage, which will be fulfilled on THAT NIGHT. And the command he gives has a NOW in it, and specifically contrasts what they… Read more »

Katecho
Member

Jonathan wants to ridicule Wilson and say that his views are “ridiculous” and fly in “the face of reason”. Jonathan repeatedly insists that the passage “is clearly referring to the events of THAT NIGHT”. Yet Wilson’s position is in very good company. Here is a sample of commentators which argue for a future application of Christ’s instruction about carrying a sword. From Albert Barnes’ Notes on the Whole Bible: It is enough – It is difficult to understand this. Some suppose that it is spoken “ironically;” as if he had said, “You are bravely armed indeed, with two swords among… Read more »

Katecho
Member

In response to Jonathan’s carefully selected quotations of early Christian pacifism (which disregard the reality of Christian soldiers serving in the same era), I wanted to highlight the fact that Paul repeatedly uses the metaphor of the miles Christianus (soldier of Christ) in a positive light: Who at any time serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat the fruit of it? Or who tends a flock and does not use the milk of the flock? — 1Corinthians 9:7 But I thought it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother and… Read more »

insanitybytes22
Member

“Intentional killing, yes even of a thief, is a sin.” But killing a thief under other circumstances, when your own life or the lives of your family is endangered, is not a sin.” Not to complicate things or confuse the issue, but this can get very complex when it comes to morality. Intentional killing, such as in war for example? Still a sin? The thing is, our spirits never lie, so people can be burdened by the guilt of sin that is not even really “our sin,” but rather the sin of circumstances, the sins of others. So we try… Read more »

Jane
Member

But by this clearly Wilson means “you are not committing a sin in killing a person” in those circumstances, not “sin is nowhere involved when someone is killed.”

If a man has not broken God’s law in a particular action, he has not sinned in that action. Period. However, it is true that a man would not find himself in the position of doing many things that are lawful, were it not for sin in himself and others.

insanitybytes22
Member

“But by this clearly Wilson means “you are not committing a sin in killing a person” in those circumstances” Well, I remain unconvinced. It is not unlike stealing a loaf of bread when your children are starving. Thou shall not steal, but there are times when people are driven to sin just the same. That is why we need grace, we are never going to be able to live in a broken world, sin free, in full compliance with God’s law at all times. If such a thing were even possible, we wouldn’t have needed a Savior. So I could… Read more »

wtrsims
Member

ME, I get what you’re saying, but the problem is you’re proposing and advocating complete confusion and anarchy. The Scriptures–and consequently, the LORD via the same Spirit He has given His People–has given us a written record of what is and is not sin. You’re telling us that though the LORD has spoken, He doesn’t mean what He has said and He’s going to pull the rug out from under those who believe His Scriptures as-written. I get that there can be differing interpretations, but that’s not what I’m talking about. You tell us that someone can be morally justified… Read more »

insanitybytes22
Member

“You’re telling us that though the LORD has spoken, He doesn’t mean what He has said” Kind of ironic, what I’m saying is that He does mean what He has said. So, “thou shall not kill.” It is us trying to spin the exceptions, to rewrite the law and call some versions of killing “not sin.” It does sound like insanity, but consider that “there are none righteous, not one.” What always concerns me about these discussions is that we act as if there are some righteous, some sin less than other sins, until in the end, even killing is… Read more »

Jane
Member

Not really. The commandment was “thou shall not murder.” All killing is nowhere described as sin.

Your rendering means that an act done in obedience to God, the omission of which would be disobedience (e.g., the execution of a duly convicted murderer) would be a sin. This is simply not possible. Obeying a direct command of God cannot possibly be a sin, though of course the man who is otherwise sinful as he does it.

insanitybytes22
Member

“All killing is nowhere described as sin.”

Except for the fact that the moment sin entered the garden, God had to kill a couple of animals. Cain murders. Blood sacrifices are necessary for precisely that reason, because of our sin. Christ is murdered because of our sin. Sin=death. The wages of sin are death. Death is sin. So taking a life becomes sin, too. We are sending someone to their death. There may be a lot of reasons why might, but we cannot claim it is a good thing, a sin free thing.

Jane
Member

All killing is nowhere described as sin. Nothing you referenced refutes my point, you simply made the point, on which we agree, that death and killing are the result of sinfulness. Also, we would agree that killing is usually sinful. But that is not the same as saying that it is always sinful.

But that doesn’t make a given act of killing sinful. It simply cannot be a sinful act in itself to do something God specifically has commanded, and God has commanded killing in some circumstances.

Besides, God kills.

insanitybytes22
Member

“Besides, God kills.”

We are not God!

And now I shall withdraw from this conversation because it just horrifies me when Christians don’t understand the importance of valuing life, not because of some stupid man made rules, but because we are to honor the fact that people have been made in His image.

Taking a human life is a sin. Those who believe their hands shall remain clean while they kill are flat out wrong.

Farinata degli Uberti
Guest
Farinata degli Uberti

You tacitly admit you have no Biblical support. If anything is horrifying, it’s the wild presumption you display by calling evil the very commands of God. Doesn’t that bother you a little bit?

insanitybytes22
Member

“You tacitly admit you have no Biblical support.”

I tacitly admit no such thing.

Farinata degli Uberti
Guest
Farinata degli Uberti

You presented a view as if it were based on Scripture (“Thou shalt not kill”). Your evidence was challenged. Rather than defend it, you repeated your original view, more stridently, and left off mentioning the Biblical support. That’s a tacit concession.

If you still think your evidence holds, answer the challenge.

insanitybytes22
Member

“If you still think your evidence holds, answer the challenge.”

You haven’t challenged the evidence. My view is based on scripture. Thou shall not kill and we are created in His image. I make no tacit concessions.

And the evidence is not “mine,” it is actually His.

wtrsims
Member

ME, you’ve already been corrected about the command being to not “murder,” NOT to not “kill.”

Aside from that, regarding your point about being created in His image, in God’s covenant to Noah He told Noah this:

4 But you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood.
5 And for your lifeblood I will require a reckoning: from every beast I will require it and from man. From his fellow man I will require a reckoning for the life of man. – Genesis 9:4-5

You’ve got no defense per His evidence.

insanitybytes22
Member

“You’ve got no defense per His evidence.”

I have the entire New Testament.

wtrsims
Member

Sure, if you’re a Marcionite.

insanitybytes22
Member

I’d rather be a Marcionite than a Christian trying to claim that killing is moral, sin free, and advocated by God.

wtrsims
Member

And you’ve been given ample Scripture showing where God did advocate killing, and even more, held guilty those who failed to obey His commands to kill.

It’s not that you’d rather be Marcionite–it’s that you have no other choice BUT to be Marcionite in order to hold your position counter to the Scriptures presented you in argument.

I’d rather be a Christian by the standard given in Scripture than a Christian by the standard of whatever ideas I can cook up in my head to make myself look super spiritual.

insanitybytes22
Member

Killing is always morally wrong. It’s a necessary evil in a broken world, but it is not a commandment from God.

If that makes me sound super spiritual, so be it. I call it common sense and God is certainly the Lord of all common sense.

wtrsims
Member

Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death. Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow. In the exercise… Read more »

Farinata degli Uberti
Guest
Farinata degli Uberti

cf. Dunsworth’s point, above. The Mosaic code does not prohibit all killing, it enjoins it in a number of cases. And I think you know that, don’t you? “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live” (Ex. 22), to cite one example of a thousand. Hence, your claim that God forbids killing, as opposed to the crime of murder, is false.

insanitybytes22
Member

“Because of your hardness of heart Moses permitted you to divorce your wives; but from the beginning it has not been this way”

I follow Jesus Christ, not Moses. There are many laws that were given because of people’s hardness of heart, because of their circumstances.

By your reasoning you are now free to burn witches, but even worse, you will attempt to claim that God commands it. This is why all killing is a sin, because people are too bloody stupid to even interpret scripture properly.

Farinata degli Uberti
Guest
Farinata degli Uberti

You’re not as slippery as you think you are. You began by citing Moses: “Kind of ironic, what I’m saying is that He does mean what He has said. So, “thou shall not kill.” It is us trying to spin the exceptions, to rewrite the law and call some versions of killing “not sin.”” – you, earlier. Now, when it’s obvious that Moses doesn’t agree with you, you get all sanctimonious and declare “I follow Jesus Christ, not Moses.” The honest thing to do would be to admit that while your initial claim about the law was false, you want… Read more »

insanitybytes22
Member

I am neither slippery, sanctimonious, nor dishonest.

Killing is a sin, it is morally wrong. The fact that it is sometimes the only option available does not suddenly make it a good thing. That is Hollywood speaking, not God and not the bible.

Farinata degli Uberti
Guest
Farinata degli Uberti

Argument by assertion, even by strenuous assertion, is not especially compelling. Nor does it do much to dispel the impression that your engagement here is less than straightforward.

insanitybytes22
Member

My engagement is quite straightforward. You are the one arguing “suffer not a witch to live” and advocating for some kind of sin free killing exemption granted by God.

If thousands of innocent people being murdered under your so called interpretation of scripture isn’t enough to convince you there’s a problem with your line of reasoning, than there is not much I can do.

Farinata degli Uberti
Guest
Farinata degli Uberti

At least I’m arguing. You’re the one who responds to arguments by simply doubling down on your assertions. If you want to be taken for a serious interlocutor, you should answer the arguments addressed to you.

insanitybytes22
Member

That is all you are doing, arguing. Arguing for people’s right to kill others in some kind of sin free zone with God’s approval. And advocating that we go back to burning witches at the stake.

I am a serious interlocutor, as in I support the right to open carry just in case anyone shows up declaring their understanding of scripture gives them the right to kill me. At that point I’ll be happy to answer any arguments being made.

Farinata degli Uberti
Guest
Farinata degli Uberti

Well, if you aren’t willing to make arguments in defense of your view, the only reason you can give is “Because I feel like it”. Which… okay. But anyone can play that game – I feel that being irrational in comment threads is TOTALLY BOGUS and a EVIL THING under the SUN!!1!!! What makes your private feelings about the world so special?

insanitybytes22
Member

“What makes your private feelings about the world so special?”

Because they aren’t based on my feelings about the world. I accept that we are created in His image and that killing is a sin, based on what God has said. It is you who are looking for a loophole, a sin free killing zone that is more appealing to your feelings.

Farinata degli Uberti
Guest
Farinata degli Uberti

This is where arguments come in. You have some random feelings about the world, to the effect of “killing is like totes wrong, dude!” The rest of us are, ya know, citing actual Bible verses and proposing exegetical interpretations, which an honest interlocutor could then discuss. I’ll give you one more chance at this. You just made 2 claims: that we’re created in God’s image – which no-one here disputes – and that “killing is a sin”, which basically everyone else, *including God*, as several Scriptural loci have demonstrated, thinks is nonsense. If you don’t agree, then make a bloody… Read more »

wtrsims
Member

“innocent”? I thought you said that no one is innocent? “No. It means our hearts cannot ever be pure. ‘The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?’” That doesn’t make sense, unless words like “innocent” and “sinful” and “pure” actually do have meaning, contrary to your conflation and obfuscation. And what does “If thousands of innocent people being murdered under your so called interpretation of scripture isn’t enough to convince you there’s a problem with your line of reasoning, than there is not much I can do,” have to do with anything in this… Read more »

insanitybytes22
Member

“thousands of innocent people being murdered” is a response to “suffer not a witch to live,” an argument Farinata used to suggest that God condones killing.

You may have missed that part of history, but a whole lot of innocent people have been slaughtered by those who believe God instructed them to kill people.

Farinata degli Uberti
Guest
Farinata degli Uberti

“…an argument Farinata used to suggest…”

False. That’s God talking, not me. Take it up with Exodus.

wtrsims
Member

So tell me, do you think that the 1 Samuel 15 account is a lie?

Jane
Member

ME, the fact that some number of people were unjustly executed for witchcraft does not alter the fact that God *commanded* duly convicted witches to be executed. What it means is that we *often* sin in attempting to carry out God’s commands, or we sin by *abusing* God’s commands. It does not mean that actually carrying out God’s commands can be a sin. Leaving aside witches, there are other times and places in which God commanded killing. Not all of those situations properly apply to us, but some do, and they certainly *did* apply to the people to whom they… Read more »

Katecho
Member

ME wrote:

Killing is a sin, it is morally wrong. The fact that it is sometimes the
only option available does not suddenly make it a good thing. That is
Hollywood speaking, not God and not the bible.

God killed directly, on many occasions. I don’t see how ME can simplistically assert that killing is always a sin, and is always morally wrong when God kills, and when He also commanded killing in specific cases, in the name of justice. ME is walking very close to blasphemy against God to imply that He is sinning when He judges someone unto death.

Jane
Member

If taking a human life is always sin, it is sin no matter who does it. Being God when you do it, does not make an act not sinful, if it is inherently sinful.

Being God means you have the lawful authority to do things man cannot do, but God has also clearly given the lawful authority to take human life in some circumstances. Therefore, when done under lawful authority, killing is not sin, regardless of who does it.

insanitybytes22
Member

“If taking a human life is sin, it is sin no matter who does it. Being God when you do it, does not make an act not sinful.”

No it isn’t. God is holy, we are not. Therefore, God cannot sin.

Jane
Member

Right. Therefore, anything He does, is not inherently a sin, or He would never, ever do it, God cannot sin, therefore the things He does cannot be called sins. It is not true that God does things that are actually sins, but the fact that He’s God magically makes them not sins. The thing that God cannot do is kill unlawfully, because He has ultimate lawful authority over all things. But He can kill, therefore killing cannot be called a sin as such. And He has explicitly given men lawful authority for some killing, therefore those particular killings are not… Read more »

wtrsims
Member

Then the word of the Lord came to Samuel, saying, “I regret that I have made Saul king, for he has turned back from [f]following Me and has not carried out My commands.” And Samuel was distressed and cried out to the Lord all night. Samuel rose early in the morning to meet Saul; and it was told Samuel, saying, “Saul came to Carmel, and behold, he set up a monument for himself, then turned and proceeded on [g]down to Gilgal.” Samuel came to Saul, and Saul said to him, “Blessed are you of the Lord! I have carried out… Read more »

Lance Roberts
Guest

No, now you’re inventing a new theology. There are quite clearly circumstances when God told us to kill, such as capital punishment. You would be saying that God commanded us to sin.

insanitybytes22
Member

We brought sin into the world, not God. The problem is now you’re talking about “moral killing,” as if we can somehow take another life and simply feel good about it. I don’t think it works that way, I think killing is always wrong, a consequence of sin perhaps, but God didn’t invent killing, He didn’t design us to live in the world this way. We did that. So when we act as if killing can ever be labeled moral and sin free, I think we wade into treacherous waters.

Lance Roberts
Guest

No, God created all things including death. I think the treacherous waters are to say that what God has commanded us to do is a sin. The sin is not doing what he commanded. Please note, it’s not about feeling good, it’s about not being guilty.

insanitybytes22
Member

“Please note, it’s not about feeling good, it’s about not being guilty.”

Uh, I’m suggesting that one should never feel good about killing! I’m the one saying killing is always a sin. You are the one suggesting there is some kind of feel good, guilt free, killing zone.

And no, God did not “create death.” Death entered the world because of sin. Death was not part of God’s plan for us at all.

Farinata degli Uberti
Guest
Farinata degli Uberti

Unless you suppose the temptation and the fall were the result of divine incompetence, death was clearly part of God’s plan in that it happened. He threatened Adam and Eve with it before they fell, indicating that the concept existed – because he invented it – before they sinned.

Axiom: Following God’s command with a pure heart can never be sinful. Agree or disagree?

Second axiom: Justice is a positive good. Agreed?

insanitybytes22
Member

“Following God’s command with a pure heart can never be sinful. Agree or disagree?”

Disagree.

“Justice is a positive good. Agreed?”

Depends. “for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.”

“Justice” can be perverted and abused. Jesus Christ died on the cross because of people’s ideas of justice. Unmerited favor, grace given to us, grace that trumps “justice.” Given that sacrifice what Christian in their right mind would worship at the alter of justice? Justice for thee but not for me?

Farinata degli Uberti
Guest
Farinata degli Uberti

If following God’s commands with a pure heart can be sinful, then it seems to follow that God commands sin. Is that what you mean? I am checking because that sounds insane.

Do you think that affirming something to be good is the same as worshiping it? In any case your view of Christ’s death is incomplete: Jesus died precisely to fulfill God’s justice: he died because justice demands that sin be punished, and he was identified with our sin. So bringing Jesus’ death into this supports my view, not yours.

insanitybytes22
Member

“If following God’s commands with a pure heart can be sinful, then it seems to follow that God commands sin.”

No. It means our hearts cannot ever be pure. “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”

Farinata degli Uberti
Guest
Farinata degli Uberti

So in your view is “sinfully” a useful adverb, or is it basically superfluous? It would seem like, on your logic, everything we do, from committing arson to eating pie with a thankful heart to reading Bible stories to the children is sinful. Yet one of those activities is clearly worse than the others. So is there another word you would use to distinguish between them, or do you find them morally equivalent?

insanitybytes22
Member

“It would seem like, on your logic, everything we do, from committing arson to eating pie with a thankful heart to reading Bible stories to the children is sinful.” Yes, it can be. One can commit arson in self defense or one can eat stolen pie with much gluttony or one can even read bible stories to children for the explicit purpose of grooming them into sexual abuse. You declare that one of these activities is “clearly worse than the others,” but I have just demonstrated that you lack the eyes to see what truly lurks within the heart of… Read more »

Farinata degli Uberti
Guest
Farinata degli Uberti

Why don’t you stop equivocating and answer the question? I didn’t say “can be”, I said “is”. Well? Are all human actions necessarily sinful in the same way, or not?

Lance Roberts
Guest

Sorry ME everything was part of God’s plan. He created all of reality. And no, you are the one who mentioned “feelings”, my equation is only about what God defines sin to be and his character.

timothy
Guest
timothy

I find your argument your argument compelling, Mr. Preston’s tenuous.

And the popular Reformed commentator, William Hendrickson, puts it bluntly: “The term sword must be interpreted figuratively.”

St Peter chopped off a figurative ear and Christ told him to put away a figurative sword and then Christ healed (figuratively) a figurative ear. Oh! What depths !

Thank you for this.

mikebull1
Member

Obi Wan carried a sabre as a protector of the realm. And he knew when to lay it down in martyrdom.

timothy
Guest
timothy

15And making a whip of cords, he drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and oxen. And he poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables. 16And he told those who sold the pigeons, “Take these things away; do not make my Father’s house a house of trade.” 17His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house will consume me.” What deep, metaphorical message is there in ‘a whip of cords’! A metaphorical whip with a metaphorical message left metaphorical welts! Clearly it means never, never, never initiate violence! Or, here we… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

You appear to me to be going in direct contrast to bethyada, who stated explicitly that the sword cannot be used as a tool to grow the Kingdom. What relevance do you believe that this passage has to self-defense? It seems to be a quite separate issue. But anyway, there is abundant textual and contextual evidence that the accurate interpretation is in fact: “Making a whip of cords, he drove all of them out of the temple, both the sheep and the cattle.” The whip was used on the animals, not on man. Using a whip on man isn’t mentioned… Read more »

timothy
Guest
timothy

What relevance do you believe that this passage has to self-defense?

It has to do with the open carry of a weapon. Since Jesus wielded the whip, what unarmed dove seller would dare to stop Him?

We also know that the three gospels differ in emphasis; I reject the hermeneutic that says “oh! that doesn’t count because it stands alone”

As for ‘self defense’ I do differ with bethyada. Phineas and Jesus where both acting in defense of His order. Both cases are defense of the faith, with a weapon.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

But the argument is NOT that the verse doesn’t count because it stands alone. There is a controversy about the translation of the passage. A large number of the most highly-respected translations show that he did NOT whip people, but the whip was used solely to drive out the livestock. When there is a controversy about the translation of an important point in one gospel, you look to the other gospels to see how it is rendered there. And while all four gospels do include the incident in great detail, all three of the others do not include him whipping… Read more »

Katecho
Member

Jonathan wrote: As far as the applicability to “self-defense”, this whole conversation is about LETHAL self-defense. No one in the conversation, including myself, has argued that you can’t defend yourself or others in any manner, but that you must continue loving your enemies and certainly not take their lives in the process of doing so. So Jonathan is not opposed to the use of firearms for non-lethal self-defense? A sword is allowed for self-defense, so long as it is only used to inflict non-lethal injury? Jonathan seems to be breaking with the sentiment of the early Christians that he was… Read more »

Katecho
Member

Jonathan wrote: The whip was used on the animals, not on man. Using a whip on man isn’t mentioned once when describing the incident in Matthew, or in Mark, or in Luke, and isn’t mentioned in John either with that interpretation of the phrase. That’s why he simply asked the dove-sellers to leave – everyone else had to leave when their animals were driven out, but the dovesellers had to be asked. If he was really whipping sheep-sellers and cattle-sellers, as your mistranslated verse implies, then why not dove-sellers? In a previous post, I already addressed Jonathan’s strained notion that… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

No, Katecho, the interpretation doesn’t work as you say it. If it did and you applied your principle consistently, it would create an internal contradiction in John. Your assertion is that “he drove out ALL who were buying and selling in the temple” must mean that he used the whip on that “all”, because the sentence in John mentions that he had a whip when he was driving them out. But look at John itself: “14 In the temple he found people selling cattle, sheep, and doves, and the money changers seated at their tables. 15 Making a whip of… Read more »

Katecho
Member

Jonathan started out here, as he did before, suggesting that Jesus “asked” the dovesellers to leave, when He clearly commanded them to leave. Jonathan seems to be finally moving away from that position now. Jonathan also suggests that the people left incidentally, and merely in order to follow their livestock (which would incorrectly make the livestock the object of Jesus’s “driving out”, rather than people). Taking the other three gospel accounts on their own, and completely ignoring any mention of the whip in John’s account, the object of the driving out verb is sellers, not livestock. Matthew, Mark and Luke… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Whether you used the verb asked/told/commanded was completely irrelevant to anyone’s argument. I’m not “finally moving away” from that position, I said that “commanded” was a fine description from the very first time you “corrected” me. It’s a complete red herring that has nothing to do with either of our positions except for your constant drive to try to win imaginary “argument points”. I never said people left “incidentally”. Jesus made sure that the people HAD to leave. The livestock-sellers had to leave because Jesus drove their cattle out, the dove-sellers had to leave because Jesus told them to. Again,… Read more »

bethyada
Member

I don’t think that the sword is allowed to directly be used to grow the kingdom. However I do not think that Jesus was growing the kingdom here, I think he was defending his father and in a sense judging them for defiling the temple.

I (currently) have no opinion on whom or what the whip was used.

bethyada
Member

Concerning shooting a thief at night. Doug is right in comparing it to the rape in the field. What is extremely important to note here is that there is a presumption of innocence here. The law is saying in both cases that the testimony provided by the parties in these situations is not to be treated as equal by the judges. If a man takes a woman in the country and no one is around you are to believe her. You should presume she is innocent. There are no witnesses, assume she is virtuous in the matter. If a man… Read more »

bethyada
Member

This is quite an interesting take Doug, though I will need to re-read the NT passages in context.

What I think is extremely relevant, but not mentioned so far is that the sword is a tool of judgment. So whatever the truth is about the sword in self-defense or by the state, the sword (punishment) is not a tool of the church for growing the kingdom. Peter was wrong because he was using a sword to grow the church and this is forbidden. The church is to only grow by the work of the Spirit: conversion through persuasion and love.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Jesus was using the sword to try to protect Jesus, who was about to be dragged off to death.

And Jesus’s response to him was that “All who live by the sword shall die by the sword.”

First off, “the church” didn’t even exist at that moment. Second of all, there’s no evidence that Peter was trying to “grow the church” when he defended Jesus. And third, Jesus’s response to Peter does not breathe a word of “do not try to grow the church with the sword” or anything remotely like that.

bethyada
Member

Peter was not trying to grow the church consciously. But the principle is already there. David as a man of blood is not to build the temple. The sword is already known as tool of judgment. The church does not grow by coercion, nor does God intend for it to. Israel was not to grow as God’s people by means of the military. Jesus does not let Peter use the sword because what Jesus is doing is saving man. To use the sword would go against how God grows his kingdom. Jesus actions are consistent with the fact that God… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

To get from where you are going right now, to Pastor Wilson’s assertion that Jesus used his last precious moments before his capture to quote the Suffering Servant passage in order to instruct the disciples to carry swords above all else in their missionary journeys to grow God’s Kingdom….that feels like a logical circle that couldn’t possibly end well.

Katecho
Member

Jonathan wrote: To get from where you are going right now, to Pastor Wilson’s assertion that Jesus used his last precious moments before his capture to quote the Suffering Servant passage in order to instruct the disciples to carry swords above all else in their missionary journeys to grow God’s Kingdom….that feels like a logical circle that couldn’t possibly end well. Jonathan sees a hopeless case because he neglects to make necessary distinctions. I agree with bethyada that the Kingdom is not advanced by external manipulations and mere power wielding. The Kingdom is advanced by true repentance, and by genuine… Read more »

melody
Member
melody

When my family goes camping in the wild we always have a gun. There are bears up in these mountains.

David Eanes
Guest
David Eanes

Pastor Doug, did the Apostle Peter open carry in church? Or did he throw a cloak over his sword to avoid making a ‘liturgical statement’? :) Just razzing a little bit

Billtownphysics
Guest
Billtownphysics

The day I realized that prison was essentially government slavery, was the day a thousand light bulbs went off in my head. We need a real biblical theonomic cultural awakening.