Either yesterday or Monday I was listening to Glenn Beck on the radio and he had a caller who did something I hate. He made one of those “I blah blah blah, but blah blah.” statements.
Note: I’ll say right now…if you make any argument like that, you don’t really believe either end of the argument. Its just a way to not have to stand for either side of the topic. That goes for you anti-baby murderers who say abortion should be banned BUT not in the cases of rape, incest, or the life of the mother. Either its OK to murder a not yet born human being or its not. If its not OK to kill an unborn baby then its not OK to kill an unborn baby, regardless of ANYTHING. Quit pandering and trying to placate your family, friends, or, if you are running for public office, the voters. Its OK or its not, period. Get over it.
Anyway, the caller to Glenn’s show was talking about the hot topic this week, the standoff between rancher Cliven Bundy and his supporters and a group of thugs employed by the Bureau of Land Management, and Glenn’s response to it. As everybody who isn’t living under a rock knows, the Bureau of Land Management was met by several hundred protesters, some of them armed, when they tried to seize and sell Cliven Bundy’s cattle in Nevada.
Over the course of several days, the situation grew tense, with unconfirmed reports saying that the federal agents had been ordered to shoot anybody that tried to retrieve the stolen cattle, and protesters vowing to return fire and being willing to die to rein in what they saw as an out-of-control federal government.
Now you have to understand that Glenn Beck is a pacifist, who believes that prayer and reliance on the Lord will make things right. I don’t agree with that position (I believe the Lord is all powerful and CAN take care of any problem but I think He expects us to do a little work too), but I respect him for having it and being true to it. The caller said that he, too, was a pacifist, but…
Right there, Beck lost patience with him, told him that he doubted he was really a pacifist, and hung up on him. Kudos to Beck (see statement about the “but” argument, above).
I think the world of Glenn, and I agree violence should not be the first…or second or third…option, but at some point it can become NECESSARY, and there is Biblical support for that position.
Before we get into biblical justification for self-defense, we need also remember that Jesus himself was not above using violence. He did not clear the temple by politely asking the money changers to gather their belongings, and leave.
Now, just how does the Bible look at justifiable violence?
The Bible does not say we have a right to self-defense…it says self-defence…using violence if need be…is a duty:
Exodus 22, 2 and 3: “If a thief be found breaking up, and be smitten that he die, there shall no blood be shed for him. If the sun be risen upon him, there shall be blood shed for him; for he should make full restitution; if he have nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft.”
In other words, if a thief is breaking into your house…not even threatening your life, you can kill him.
The Israelites…and the Bible…believe in self-defense, not waiting on help. In 1 Samuel 25:13 – 15“And David said unto his men, Gird ye on every man his sword. And they girded on every man his sword; and David also girded on his sword: and there went up after David about four hundred men; and two hundred abode by the stuff.”
Psalms 144:1 – “Blessed be the LORD my strength which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight,”
Jesus specifically told his disciples to go and purchase a weapon, even if the had to sell their garments to get the money to do so. Luke 22:36 – “Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.”
Pacifists would say Jesus was non-violent because he admonished Peter when he used his sword to cut off the ear of a servant to the high priest. Look at the context and what Jesus actually said. He stopped Peter because Peter was defending Jesus, and protecting Jesus would stand in the way of God’s prophsey of Jesus’ being crucified. Note what Jesus said: Matthew 26:52-54 – “Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword. Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?” Note…Jesus did not tell Peter to get rid of his sword, he told him to put the sword “in its place”at his side, and to pick his fights better.
When is it time to fighttyranny? I don’t know…but I DO know there IS a time to fight, and that it is moral and Biblically justified.