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Discussion Starter #21
JOSEPH STORY

"The militia is the natural defense of a free country against sudden foreign invasions, domestic insurrections, and domestic usurpation of power by rulers. The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered, as the palladium of the liberties of a republic; since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers; and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them. And yet, though this truth would seem so clear, and the importance of a well regulated militia would seem so undeniable, it cannot be disguised, that among the American people there is a growing indifference to any system of militia discipline, and a strong disposition, from a sense of its burdens, to be rid of all regulations. How it is practicable to keep the people duly armed without some organization, it is difficult to see. There is certainly no small danger, that indifference may lead to disgust, and disgust to contempt; and thus gradually undermine all the protection intended by this clause of our national bill of rights."
- Joseph Story, Supreme Court Justice, Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States, p. 3:746-7, 1833
 

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Discussion Starter #22
JAMES BURGH

" ... most attractive to Americans, the possession of arms is the distinction between a freeman and a slave, it being the ultimate means by which freedom was to be preserved."
- James Burgh, 18th century English Libertarian writer, Shalhope, The Ideological Origins of the Second Amendment, p.604
 

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Discussion Starter #23
HUBERT H. HUMPHREY (not a framer, but an authority none the less)

"Certainly one of the chief guarantees of freedom under any government, no matter how popular and respected, is the right of citizens to keep and bear arms ... The right of citizens to bear arms is just one guarantee against arbitrary government, one more safeguard, against the tyranny which now appears remote in America but which historically has proven to be always possible."
- Hubert H. Humphrey, Senator, Vice President, 22 October 1959
 

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Discussion Starter #24
THOMAS M. COOLEY

"The right [to bear arms] is general. It may be supposed from the phraseology of this provision that the right to keep and bear arms was only guaranteed to the militia; but this would be an interpretation not warranted by the intent. The militia, as has been explained elsewhere, consists of those persons who, under the laws, are liable to the performance of military duty, and are officered and enrolled for service when called upon.... f the right were limited to those enrolled, the purpose of the guarantee might be defeated altogether by the action or the neglect to act of the government it was meant to hold in check. The meaning of the provision undoubtedly is, that the people, from whom the militia must be taken, shall have the right to keep and bear arms, and they need no permission or regulation of law for the purpose. But this enables the government to have a well regulated militia; for to bear arms implies something more than mere keeping; it implies the learning to handle and use them in a way that makes those who keep them ready for their efficient use; in other words, it implies the right to meet for voluntary discipline in arms, observing in so doing the laws of public order."
- Thomas M. Cooley, General Principles of Constitutional Law, Third Edition [1898]
 

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Discussion Starter #25
ARKANSAS SUPREME COURT

"But to prohibit the citizen from wearing or carrying a war arm, except upon his own premises or when on a journey traveling through the country with baggage, or when acting as or in aid of an officer, is an unwarranted restriction upon his constitutional right to keep and bear arms. If cowardly and dishonorable men sometimes shoot unarmed men with army pistols or guns, the evil must be prevented by the penitentiary and gallows, and not by a general deprivation of a constitutional privilege."
- Wilson v. State, 33 Ark. 557, 34 Am. Rep. 52 (1878)
 

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Discussion Starter #26
Note that the last few are obviously not the framers views, but examples of proper interpretation of those views based on their various letters, congressional hearings and news paper columns.
 

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Discussion Starter #27 (Edited)
As a Christian (yah, I'm a follower of Jesus and he is King!), I recognize that the right to defend one's self, family and neighbors is a right given to us from our creator (God the Father) and that no person has any valid reason to harm us (pending we have not done so to them). It does not matter how much you disagree with my beliefs or views, what I say, stand for, what I do or do not own or do with my own money, property etc., that is my freedom as well as yours to do likewise as you see fit with your own.

Given that approximately 75% to 80% of the original makeup of America was of some Christian denomination (Religion in Eighteenth-Century America - Religion and the Founding of the American Republic | Exhibitions (Library of Congress)), so this view was predominately from a scriptural standpoint and I make NO apologies about that.

For the record, I respect other's views (atheist, agnostic, ancient astronaut theorists etc.) regardless of weather I disagree with them and they with me. I think if we can get past areas we disagree and simply agree to disagree (or discuss them elsewhere), there is often some common ground in the recognition that the concept of the second amendment as implemented is good and desirable for America people as a whole.

It gives boldness to stand up for your beliefs, to stand your ground against attacks and threats from thugs or tyrants of any type. It provides you with a means to protect your family, yourself and even your neighbors if necessary and when appropriate. And it builds respect for the power of the sword which we may all wield, the ultimate authority to stand firm in one's own beliefs.

When bullets start flying and some one ends up the victor and the another the looser, that is the ultimate settlement of any dispute, but the consequences are permanent and eternal, they cannot be walked away from or taken back and I do not take them litely like so many who use rhetoric do.

For those of you who love Jesus and serve our Father in Heaven, I leave to you the Scriptural origins with contemplation's of generations past (along with some of my own comments).

And for those of you who do not acknowledge the same God that I do, you would simply skip down to any discussion below my posts on the Christian roots of it or discontinue reading the thread altogether, having at the very least gained the knowledge of the correct interpretation of the second amendment without any question as to weather you really do have a right to bear arms of the military type.
 

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Discussion Starter #28
  • Natural Law
Proverbs 21:2 2 Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, But the Lord weighs the hearts. Interpretation and Notes: this is a statement of absolute right and wrong, being defined by the master of All things, God the Father. It is also a statement which illustrates for us that many do what they think is right in their own eyes, but not necessarily in the eyes of the Father. We would do well to know HIS ways.

Romans 2:14-16
14 for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, 15 who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them) 16 in the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel. Interpretation and Notes: in verse 14 the Apostle Paul clearly states that the Gentiles who did not have the written law do the things in the law by nature; hence there exists a scriptural reference to natural law which is clearly stated above. In verse 15 Paul states that natural law was written into their hearts, knowing what is right and wrong, just and unjust (conscience). The Ten Commandments are the revealed and written form of God’s natural law, applicable not just to the Israelites, but to all of humanity, starting with the first man and woman.
Sir William Blackstone’s Commentaries on the Laws of England shed further light on this topic: “Man, considered as a creature, must necessarily be subject to the laws of his creator, for he is entirely a dependent being. A being, independent of any other, has no rule to pursue, but such as he prescribes to himself; but a state of dependence will inevitably oblige the inferior to take the will of him, on whom he depends, as the rule of his conduct: not indeed in every particular, but in all those points wherein his dependence consists. This principle therefore has more or less extent and effect, in proportion as the superiority of the one and the dependence of the other is greater or less, absolute or limited. And consequently, as man depends absolutely upon his maker for everything, it is necessary that he should in all points conform to his maker's will.
“This will of his maker is called the law of nature. For as God, when he created matter, and endued it with a principle of mobility, established certain rules for the perpetual direction of that motion; so, when he created man, and endued him with freewill to conduct himself in all parts of life, he laid down certain immutable laws of human nature, whereby that freewill is in some degree regulated and restrained, and gave him also the faculty of reason to discover the purport of those laws.”
“This law of nature, being coeval with mankind and dictated by God himself, is of course superior in obligation to any other--It is binding over all the globe in all countries, and at all times; no human laws are of any validity, if contrary to this: and such of them as are valid derive all their force, and all their authority, mediately or immediately, from this original.”
Natural Law, by its very definition, demands procreation, protection, provision, and prohibition. From the very act of creation, Adam and Eve were given in their hearts (by God) the desire to procreate. Does anyone deny that those who produce children have a right and duty to protect and provide for their children? Does not all of nature have an innate desire to produce young then protect and provide for the young that they produced? Any reasonable parent would protect their child from stepping out into a busy street, how then is any source of harm any less valid to merit protection from?
There is only one Sovereign: the Creator-God. All human authority, be it vocational, familial, ecclesiastical, or political, is limited and jurisdictional. Anytime human authority oversteps its jurisdictional borders, Natural Law (God’s Law “written in our hearts”) demands resistance. And the amount and type of resistance is commensurate to the amount and type of usurpation.
When the “kings of the nations” seized property not belonging to them and kidnapped members of Abram’s family, he did not quote Romans 13 and sit complacent. He gathered his armed servants (who were already trained in the art of war) and pursued the oppressors. He put together a military strategy and attacked the predators and destroyed them. Not only that, when he returned, he was blessed by Melchizedek, who was “the priest of the most high God.” (Genesis 14)
Hebrews 7 says Melchizedek was a type of Jesus Christ. Many Bible scholars believe that Melchizedek was actually a Christophany, meaning a pre-Bethlehem appearance of Christ. Think of it: Christ Himself (or a priest who is clearly a type of Christ) blessed Abram after he attacked and destroyed the usurpers who had transgressed their jurisdictional authority. And exactly where was it written that Abram should do this thing? It was written in his heart. Again, the resistance was commensurate to the transgression.
Those who say that violent resistance to tyrannical government is unbiblical and sinful should tear the entire Book of Judges out of their Bibles. Where in the Mosaic Law were the laws of insurrection recorded? They weren’t. Yet, for a period of over 300 years, champion after champion felt the call of God in his heart to resist with violence the murderous tyrants who were subjugating his country. Furthermore, Hebrews 11 places men such as Gideon, Barak, Samson, and Jephthah in the great “Hall of Faith.” Yet even further, Romans 15:4 says that the Old Testament was written “for our learning.”, from the annals of history by which these occurrences are recorded for our learning.
Examining the subject even more deeply, Jesus did not come to remove the law (Ten Commandments / Natural Law), he came to fulfill it perfectly so that we might have everlasting life. If we have the heart of Christ within us, then we ought to obey the laws of our God and those laws require us to resist evil with the appropriate and equal measure commensurate to the evil.


Romans 13:1-7 Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. 4 For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil. 5 Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience’ sake. 6 For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are God’s ministers attending continually to this very thing. 7 Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor. Interpretation and Notes: these passages are often quoted in ignorance, being interpreted that we obey government or law no matter what the cost and irrespective of the situation. These passages are in regard to a just and upright government that is in accordance with the laws of God, which he institutes to uphold the law which reconciles with natural law, the Ten Commandments and the books of the Old Testament. If the laws of government conflict with the laws of God then we ought to obey God rather than men (Acts 5:29). The government itself is also subject to God’s laws first and then to uphold and obey its own laws for it is not above the law, being subject to God himself. Verse 3 is very clear that a just and upright government will not persecute good works, but those of evil.
On the converse, a wicked ruler is a terror to good works and a supporter of evil ones and is to be opposed accordingly as is given for our learning throughout much of the Old Testament (the entire book of Judges for example). This opposition and disobedience is in line with the law of God, for those in authority are under the law of God as well as their own laws, thus the above also applies to them for they are not above the law. To conclude that we obey evil laws is to elevate government authority to godhood, which is a form of idol worship.
A prime example of disobedience to unjust laws is one of self-defense (Genesis 9:6), being part of natural law, where Jesus instructed the apostles to arm themselves with literal swords before his death despite the fact that it was illegal for non-roman citizens to own weapons which is a clear violation of Roman law (civil disobedience), but part of natural law (all men have a right to life and a right to defend it against those who would take it unjustly), see Luke 22. Hebrews 11:32-34 confirms this.

Furthermore, becoming a martyr isn’t something we are to seek out or ask for, but in some cases it is something we must be prepared for and are called to, because we are not always able to flee or successfully resist violence. It is in this case that our Father has called up our lives as a testimony of faith, loving our lives not unto death. To willingly allow ourselves to be or to seek out destruction by wicked and violent men is contradictory to Proverbs 25:26, Matthew 4:7, Hebrews 11:32-34, 1 Timothy 5:8, Proverbs 27:12, Amos 5:18 and Hebrews 12:1-9. No one asks to be a Martyr, for it is only the Lord whom may call us to that particular end for his purpose and it will be made known to us.


Romans 15:1-6
We then who are strong ought to bear with the scruples of the weak, and not to please ourselves. 2 Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, leading to edification. 3 For even Christ did not please Himself; but as it is written, “The reproaches of those who reproached You fell on Me.” 4 For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope. 5 Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus, 6 that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Interpretation and Notes: in verse 4, Paul clearly states that the Old Testament was written for our benefit, that we might learn from the past, that we might see who God is and his words fulfilled and that we might have deeper understanding. We know Paul is referencing the Old Testament because in verse 3, the quotations are from Psalm 69:9. This validates the natural laws portrayed in the Old Testament and what Paul had said in Romans 2 about the natural law being written on the hearts of every man. On a side note, Hebrews 7 points to Malchizadek as a Christ like figure by referring to him as “king of righteousness” and “king of peace”, see Isaiah 9:6 for another reference to Jesus Christ as “Prince of Peace”, this has great importance as we study the scriptures further.


Psalm 94:19-21 19 In the multitude of my anxieties within me, Your comforts delight my soul. 20 Shall the throne of iniquity, which devises evil by law, Have fellowship with You? 21 They gather together against the life of the righteous, And condemn innocent blood. Interpretation and Notes: it is clear that the Psalmist saw that iniquity was worked through those who make the laws and by the laws of his time. When they (laws) contradict with that which God has established they are null and void, we should pray against and resist such laws and seek to correct them if at all possible to the appropriate degree. We should always seek peaceful solutions (Romans 12:18) whenever possible, but it is abundantly clear that peaceful solutions are not always possible nor are there always peaceful solutions to such problems. Discernment is crucial to determine the appropriate response, both natural intellectual discernment and Holy Spirit guided discernment. For we were not given a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind, let us use it wisely!
 

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Thanks for this
 

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Discussion Starter #30
  • Self Defense, the Sword, War and the Sanctity of Life
John 8:57-59 57 Then the Jews said to Him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?” 58 Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.” 59 Then they took up stones to throw at Him; but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple, going[a] through the midst of them, and so passed by. Interpretation and Notes: Jesus knew that it was not yet his time, instead of allowing the Jews to stone him to death, he wisely fled. Jesus, the Son of God, whom could have called legions of angels, chose to flee danger instead, as a human man would when faced with danger from wicked and violent men. These passages provide for us a reinforcement of the principles of God’s natural law.
1 Samuel 7:2-13
2 So it was that the ark remained in Kirjath Jearim a long time; it was there twenty years. And all the house of Israel lamented after the Lord.
3 Then Samuel spoke to all the house of Israel, saying, “If you return to the Lord with all your hearts, then put away the foreign gods and the Ashtoreths from among you, and prepare your hearts for the Lord, and serve Him only; and He will deliver you from the hand of the Philistines.” 4 So the children of Israel put away the Baals and the Ashtoreths, and served the Lord only.
5 And Samuel said, “Gather all Israel to Mizpah, and I will pray to the Lord for you.” 6 So they gathered together at Mizpah, drew water, and poured it out before the Lord. And they fasted that day, and said there, “We have sinned against the Lord.” And Samuel judged the children of Israel at Mizpah.
7 Now when the Philistines heard that the children of Israel had gathered together at Mizpah, the lords of the Philistines went up against Israel. And when the children of Israel heard of it, they were afraid of the Philistines. 8 So the children of Israel said to Samuel, “Do not cease to cry out to the Lord our God for us, that He may save us from the hand of the Philistines.”
9 And Samuel took a suckling lamb and offered it as a whole burnt offering to the Lord. Then Samuel cried out to the Lord for Israel, and the Lord answered him. 10 Now as Samuel was offering up the burnt offering, the Philistines drew near to battle against Israel. But the Lord thundered with a loud thunder upon the Philistines that day, and so confused them that they were overcome before Israel. 11 And the men of Israel went out of Mizpah and pursued the Philistines, and drove them back as far as below Beth Car. 12 Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen, and called its name Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far the Lord has helped us.”
13 So the Philistines were subdued, and they did not come anymore into the territory of Israel. And the hand of the Lord was against the Philistines all the days of Samuel. Interpretation and Notes: the key to their victory was their repentance, it was not their strength nor their might, not even courage for they had none, but it was their broken hearts crying out before God. However, they did not subdue the philistines by sitting idly by (spiritual escapism), but rather cried out to the lord, performed burnt offerings and then went to battle after the Lord discomfited their enemy (by doing so, the Lord gave them the advantage that lead to victory).
1 Samuel 2:10
10 The adversaries of the Lord shall be broken in pieces; From heaven He will thunder against them. The Lord will judge the ends of the earth. “He will give strength to His king, And exalt the horn of His anointed.”
Interpretation and Notes: this is the power of the living God who is our King! Our God does NOT change, he is the same God now as he was then and the prayers of the saints are a model for us in how we should deal with such troubles. The “horn of His anointed” denotes strength.

Leviticus 19:16
16 You shall not go about as a talebearer among your people; nor shall you take a stand against the life of your neighbor: I am the Lord. Interpretation and Notes: verse 16 states that we must not stand by idly while the life of our neighbor is at stake (“stand”, a passive word, “against” which implies opposition, to stand against means to allow harm to by inaction). This is a command to the Israelites to defend their neighbor against harm, weather that is physical, spiritual or any other.

To permit violence against an innocent person is to favor wickedness over righteousness. It is a perversion of right and wrong, to call evil good (by refusing to resist) and good evil (by allowing innocent life to be harmed). The Devil has used this tool for thousands of years to the ruination of many men.

Deuteronomy 22:27
27 For he found her in the countryside, and the betrothed young woman cried out, but there was no one to save her. Interpretation and Notes: this is another Old Testament context for defense of the innocent; in this case, defense of a woman or lack thereof and the ensuing consequences. Life is lost because there was no righteous man to lift her up.
 

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Discussion Starter #31
Hebrews 12:1-9 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
3 For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. 4 You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin. 5 And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons:
“My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord,
Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him;
6 For whom the Lord loves He chastens,
And scourges every son whom He receives.”
7 If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? 8 But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. 9 Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? Interpretation and Notes: in these passages we see the author of Hebrews state that those whom the Father loves, he chastises. His audience had not yet seen great trials and this fact was something that was being made aware to them. In verse 4, he then states that they had “not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin”. This an illustration of persecution.
Violence and murder is absolutely sin to one of the worst degrees and we are clearly told to strive against sin even unto the shedding of blood, dying unto ourselves. We can reconcile the truth of this by the natural law written in our hearts, the models given for us in the Old Testament and by the very nature of Jesus, who is the LION AND the LAMB, the Lion being the protector of the Lamb.


Nehemiah 4:14
14 And I looked, and arose and said to the nobles, to the leaders, and to the rest of the people, “Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, great and awesome, and fight for your brethren, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your houses.” Interpretation and Notes: do we not remember how Jesus defined “brethren” and “neighbors”? Nehemiah set an example for us in how we should deal with the ones whose hearts love violence (Psalm 11:5). There are those whom the Lord has hardened his heart against because of their wickedness, even unto their own destruction (John 12:40) through his wrath. We ought to resist their violent actions against others and against ourselves and fulfill the highest of the laws (1st and 2nd commandments). We demonstrate love by putting aside our own ideologies and convictions for the well-being of another (being neighborly), be it fleeing, fighting, peacemaking, healing, giving or any other act of love.
 

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Discussion Starter #32
Matthew 4:7 7 Jesus said to him, “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’ ”
Interpretation and Notes: It may seem pious to say that one is trusting in God for protection, and we all must, but is it not testing (tempt) God if we do not take the measures that He has laid out for us in the scriptures and if we do not prepare and work toward that end as best we are able? Did he not give us a mind to think and hands to work? Did he not write the law into our hearts that we should hate evil works and strive to do good? What good will come out of allowing violence against the innocent? How can allowing violence unfettered be reconciled with defending the poor and the widow, uplifting the downtrodden, providing for one’s own family?
We do the possible, we trust Him for the impossible and ultimately the outcome. The Father walks alongside his children. If you are hungry, do you not work for and prepare something to eat? If you are sick, do you not seek a doctor? Yet Jesus tells us to not worry about what we shall eat or wear. It should be obvious that the Father will do for us that which we cannot do for ourselves and we should not be wholly consumed with seeking after natural concerns, but he will not do for us that which we are able to on our own nor will he prosper work we have not done! If no action is taken against a threat, then you will suffer the consequences just as you would if you had failed to perform any other action of natural necessity, no glory will be given unto you for permitting wickedness and violence, but rather sorrow and shame and likely even your own destruction. Remember the Heroes of old and learn from their example.

Psalm 144:1-2
Blessed be the Lord my Rock, Who trains my hands for war, And my fingers for battle— 2 My lovingkindness and my fortress, My high tower and my deliverer, My shield and the One in whom I take refuge, Who subdues my people under me. Interpretation and Notes: Like a child learning to walk, we must make the effort with the guidance and security of our Father. Standing against the violent and wicked is no different.

Proverbs 25:26
26 A righteous man who falters before the wicked Is like a murky spring and a polluted well. Interpretation and Notes: certainly we would be faltering before the wicked if we choose not to resist the wicked and violent who threaten our life or that of another, no matter who they are or where they come from or what their reason is, the Lord hates violence and wickedness with a fervency greater than the fires of the lake that forever burns.

Jesus prayed to the Father in the garden that if there was any other way, then let it be so, but there was not. Jesus had to shed his blood for our sake, suffer on that cross and die. What greater love can a man have than he lay down his life for his friend (John 15:13)? No greater love could Jesus have given us than his life, likewise, no greater love can you give for your family and brethren than to lay down your life defending them, to give what is most precious to you for the sake of another! We who are called to war are asked to give the greatest sacrifice just as Jesus did for mankind, the greatest expression of love.


Exodus 22:2-3
2 If the thief is found breaking in, and he is struck so that he dies, there shall be no guilt for his bloodshed. 3 If the sun has risen on him, there shall be guilt for his bloodshed. He should make full restitution; if he has nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft.
Interpretation and Notes: it is quite clear in verse 2 that if even a thief enters the home in darkness and his life is taken by the victim in defense of himself / his family, then the victim was not guilty of any wrong doing in this context.
However it is also made clear that if the situation is non-life threatening, illustrated in the context that the thief enter during the day and the victim sheds the blood of the thief then he is guilty of murder. This is an illustration of the biblical principle that if there is a real danger, as illustrated by the thief coming in the dead of night, that the taking of life if necessary for the preservation of life, is justified.
It is also an illustration of when the taking of life isn’t justified, as illustrated by verse 3, is murder. All things have a context, a time and a place. There is a season for each and things out of season often have dire consequences. Note that sold references “sold as a slave” to pay restitution for the wrong.


Psalm 59:1
Deliver me from my enemies, O my God; Defend me from those who rise up against me.

Psalm 82:3 3 Defend the poor and fatherless; Do justice to the afflicted and needy.
 

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Discussion Starter #33
Hebrews 11:32-34 32 And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets: 33 who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Interpretation and Notes: if obedience to tyrants or peace at any cost under any circumstance was the requirement of Roman’s 13 and other scriptures, how then can what is said in Hebrews 11:32-34 be truth? It would be a blatant contradiction and a failure of scripture to reconcile between the books of the Canon. We would have to violate the basic maxims of interpretation. How can we hate evil by submitting to it (submission is to give approval to, regardless of the reason)? To falter before violent men is absolute folly and God will not hold us guiltless, especially when evil destroys those whom he has placed under our care for we do not have the right to make that choice for them, especially for children. This is in line with the entirety of the scriptures.

Matthew 12:11-12
11 Then He said to them, “What man is there among you who has one sheep, and if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will not lay hold of it and lift it out? 12 Of how much more value then is a man than a sheep? Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.” Interpretation and Notes: Jesus clearly states here that the life of a human being is worth considerably more than that of an animal and makes a very clear illustration of the “greater good”, this is an illustration of the failures of moral / spiritual legalism, practiced by the Jewish religious officials of that time and by much of the church today. Passivity at any cost is moral legalism and is in opposition to the very things Jesus warned against!

Proverbs 12:10
10 A righteous man regards the life of his animal, But the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel. Interpretation and Notes: here we see in scripture that the life of an animal is regarded (that is to not unjustly harm) by a righteous man, if the life of a human being is more valuable than that of an animal (Matthew 12:11-12), then human life must be protected (1 Timothy 5:8) to an even higher degree to parallel the greater value of human life.

Matthew 22:36-40
36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” 37 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” Interpretation and Notes: we first note the great commandment, being of highest priority, is to love God with all our heart, soul and mind (thus we submit to him). The second greatest commandment, being love thy neighbor as thyself, illustrates the value of human life and likens it to the first. Now the opposite of love (to care for) is indifference (to not care for). To allow harm to yourself (for your body belongs to God), a family member or your neighbor is to be indifferent / selfish (your personal convictions take precedence over the greatest commandments). It is a violation of both commandments as well as a violation of the nature of God for the nature of God is to protect and to preserve, to give life to, sustain and to love.

The argument that it is unloving to use violence to resist a violent person is irrational contradictory to the nature of love because it contradicts all of the models given to us in the Old Testament, Natural Law and the greatest of the commandments. It also contradicts the intent of the instructions Jesus gave to his disciples in the New Testament and the unchanging nature of God.

Those who commit violent acts against others have surrendered their natural right to be free from harm by their own free will in using unjustified violence. Rights may be violated or surrendered, but never taken away because they inherently exist by the immutable authority of God the Father. God has given every human being the right to live free from harm by his fellow man regardless of whether or not those rights are honored. Thus any harm that comes to the offender in the process of resisting their grievous actions is a consequence of their choice to do evil, for the wages of sin surely are death…
 

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Discussion Starter #34
Luke 6:6-9 6 Now it happened on another Sabbath, also, that He entered the synagogue and taught. And a man was there whose right hand was withered. 7 So the scribes and Pharisees watched Him closely, whether He would heal on the Sabbath, that they might find an accusation against Him. 8 But He knew their thoughts, and said to the man who had the withered hand, “Arise and stand here.” And he arose and stood. 9 Then Jesus said to them, “I will ask you one thing: Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do evil, to save life or [a]to destroy?” Interpretation and Notes: Jesus establishes here the super priority of doing what is good over blindly following the lesser law and very clearly establishes that saving a life is greater than the law itself which is lesser in value. The Pharisees did not understand the priority of a life over that of the law and how God constructed the law to preserve and protect life, not harm.

They practiced legalism, which is to follow the law and tradition above all else regardless of context or order of value, which is a violation of the nature of the law itself as the purpose of the law is to protect and to preserve! This understanding reconciles with the examples in the Old Testament, one of the first being of King Melchisedec (the King of Peace and King of Righteousness), who was called a priest to God, who gave thanks to God for Abraham’s deliverance from and blessed Abraham for the “slaughtering of kings”. Abraham was justified in his use of violence against those who committed acts of violence against his servants and nephew. Violence was necessary to rescue them from captivity.

We see this very concept practiced frequently in modern society, first responders violate traffic laws during an emergency in order to arrive as quickly as possible to those in need. Good citizens and neighbors may break into a home without permission to save their neighbor from a house fire or defend them during an attack. Yet the letter of the law does not always make provisions for those situations, but rather it is understood by conscience what the greater good is. Passivism at any cost is a form of legalism and is in direct contradiction to Natural Law illustrated by the examples set forth by Jesus and enumerated in Natural Law.


Luke 22:36-38
Then He said to them, “But now, he who has a money bag, let him take it, and likewise a knapsack; and he who has no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one. 37 For I say to you that this which is written must still be accomplished in Me: ‘And He was numbered with the transgressors.’ For the things concerning Me have an end.” 38 So they said, “Lord, look, here are two swords. And He said to them, “It is enough.” Interpretation and Notes: clearly Jesus was telling the apostles to arm themselves with literal swords, that if they did not possess one, they should sell their garments and buy one. Of the eleven, at most only two swords were already present that we know of, Peter had one and it is likely Matthew, the publican, had the other. If Jesus did not intend for all or more than two of the disciples to be armed he would not have instructed them to buy them; otherwise, his instruction would have amounted to nothing, having already had two swords, which is irrational and unbefitting of an omnipresent God.

This understanding is further reinforced by the change of Jesus’ conversation from swords in verse 36 to his approaching his end on earth in verse 37. When Jesus began discussing what the Old Testament prophesied concerning his end, his disciples interrupted him and asked again about sword possession. To Jesus, there was no further need to discuss that topic, thus he said in verse 38 “it is enough”, which references the need to end that topic, as it was well enough understood.

The disciples only had to follow his simple instructions: go buy swords if they did not have them. The most logical interpretation of this passage and the only one which reconciles with all other scriptures is that once Jesus instructed his disciples concerning buying swords, there was no other cause for discussing these instructions. He did not nullify the instructions given only seconds prior. All of this reconciles with natural law, written in the hearts of men, for it is natural for a man to desire to protect himself, his family and his friends from both physical and spiritual harm!

It should also be noted that it was illegal for non-Roman citizens to own swords; the only apostle who was a Roman citizen was Paul (Simon Peter). Jesus states the reason for their being armed with swords is that he will not always be with them in verse 37, this is a direct implication that they would no longer be under the supernatural umbrella of protection that covered Jesus until his appointed time which the Father had set.
As in all of human history (Old Testament saints), the apostles would have to at times fight to continue to serve the kingdom of heaven in this fallen world, just as their fore fathers were often required to. Evil will not stop unless it is stopped by an equal or greater force. That force may be and most often is spiritual in nature, for we war not against flesh but powers in high places, but there are times when force is necessary in the physical realm as was often seen in the Old Testament and is a mirror to the war in the unseen realm. This also brings a new and deeper understanding to the nature of the Lion and the Lamb, for the Lamb could not be without the Lion. Our King is the perfect balance of power and wrath, of love and grace. He is all things at all times.
 

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Discussion Starter #35
Matthew 16:22-23 Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. "God forbid it, Lord!" he said. "That must never happen to you!" Jesus turned around and said to Peter, "Get away from me, Satan! You are an obstacle in my way, because these thoughts of yours don't come from God, but from human nature." Interpretation and Notes: Why would Jesus correct His disciples so adamantly in two other instances and not do so when they brought two weapons, two swords to Him? When His men returned with two swords, the Lord did not correct his disciples, when He had corrected them many other times...why not? The obvious...because they were not in error!

John 18:10-11
Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant’s name was Malchus. 11 So Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword into the sheath. Shall I not drink the cup which My Father has given Me?” Interpretation and Notes: Jesus came with great power, but he came with the specific purpose of being sacrificed (the Lamb) to pay for our sins, Peter was not to stop this from happening. Jesus also did not tell him to give up or discard his sword nor surrender it, but rather to put it back in its sheath (hence acknowledging right of possession). He also gave an explanation in verse 11 for Peter’s understanding as to why in this specific instance it was not to be used, as it was justified otherwise. Peter was not to stand in the way of Jesus being arrested for he knew the time had come for him to lay down his life. Peter unknowingly was standing in the way of the path laid out before Jesus by God the Father.
 

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Discussion Starter #36
Luke 22:49-51 When those around Him saw what was going to happen, they said to Him, “Lord, shall we strike with the sword?” 50 And one of them struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his right ear. 51 But Jesus answered and said, “Permit even this.” And He touched his ear and healed him. Interpretation and Notes: when Jesus says “permit even this”, he is referencing his betrayal and arrest. It is quite apparent as to why, he needed to be arrested and crucified to fulfill the prophecy and his purpose, which is to redeem us from sin and death! He was going to lay down his life for humanity, the greatest act of love one being can give to another. Jesus had to intervene because Peter was acting properly in defending Jesus against the unjustified and unlawful, but ultimately necessary arrest. The context is the Son of God, who is a Perfect and Holy God, being deeply loved by his apostles and being falsely arrested; it is only natural that they should want to defend him, for it was written in their hearts to do so, yet the arrest was necessary for Jesus to fulfill his task of saving humanity through his perfect sacrifice, which was something his Disciples had not yet fully grasped, hence their error in this situation.

Proverbs 6:16-19
16 These six things the Lord hates, Yes, seven are an abomination to [a]Him: 17 A[b] proud look, A lying tongue, Hands that shed innocent blood, 18 A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that are swift in running to evil, 19 A false witness who speaks lies, And one who sows discord among brethren. Interpretation and Notes: take careful note of the words used to describe the things which the Lord hates, in particular “Hands that shed innocent blood” and “A Heart that devises wicked plans”. Is that not an indictment of a heart issue and the nature there of? Violence stems from the heart! As with many things, there is a context which we must be beholden to in order to rightly understand the scriptures least one might try to squeeze what meaning they can from the text for whatever purpose they see fit.
 

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Discussion Starter #37 (Edited)
And finally...phew, I know there is a lot to read, but take what you will of it, I have had many discussions with many angles and counter arguments. If I could not stand behind my reasoning on the spot, I would always go back later and contemplate weather my view had merits of if perhaps I was wrong. In this particular case, I have been on the side of truth.

Matthew 26:51-54 And suddenly, one of those who were with Jesus stretched out his hand and drew his sword, struck the servant of the high priest, and cut off his ear. 52 But Jesus said to him, “Put your sword in its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword. 53 Or do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels? 54 How then could the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must happen thus?” Interpretation and Notes: In verse 52, Jesus tells Peter to put away his sword. Given Peter’s attempt to kill them, this was no small thing for Jesus to have told Peter to put away his sword as opposed to surrendering it.

The latter half of verse 52 in which Jesus states “for all who take the sword will perish by the sword” is a direct reference and warning to those who came to arrest him, knowing that their actions are wicked and for a wicked purpose, also being in violation of Jewish law. These armed men were mercenaries, paid for their violence and his warning was befitting to those who shed blood for money.

Jesus knew he was innocent, but he also knew the Father would use the wicked to accomplish his task. The nature of a mercenary is to commit acts of violence for financial gain. Those who kill for money shall die by the very violence they purvey. This understanding of context reconciles with verses 53-54, as well as the numerous examples of such uses in the Old Testament differentiating just and unjust uses of violence.

Furthermore it should be noted that the Roman military from 27BC to 117AD was comprised in large part of paid soldiers, i.e. mercenaries and the above quote from Jesus in verse 52 is further evidence to understanding his overt warning to those who came to arrest him.

The purpose of this is to demonstrate through scripture there are appropriate uses for violence which are in accordance with natural law and the author of natural law, God, but there also uses which are in contradiction to it. Jesus, who is also God, is BOTH the Lion and the Lamb, like the Father. We see the character traits of the Lion in much of the Old Testament, the Temple and again in Revelation. Then we see the Lamb of Jesus throughout the Gospel and much of the New Testament. Humanity needs both, not just one or the other. The Lamb is who saves, forgives, heals and loves, the Lion is who protects, enforces, chastises and gives way to wrath to the wicked. Without absolute power, God would not be as he is, nor would he be God without his boundless love. The Lion protects the Lamb and the Lamb restrains the Lion.

The scriptures do not give an excuse to look for violence or to use it on any occasion, but they do recognize the reality that there are times in which the use of violence is appropriate and necessary. The rebuke is commensurate to the offense. This was well understood by men in the Hall of Faith and by our fore fathers whom God used to found the United States, which is why we have a second amendment written into Bill of Rights, modeled after the scriptures which not all, but certainly many, treasured in their hearts.

Why do we go through all of these troubles to find out the truth? Because that is the nature of Jesus and of the Father, that is what he calls his children to do, to eat the meat of the word. Truth, purity, justice, mercy, grace, love, kindness, wrath, and righteousness are the fruits born of eating the meat of the word.

All men have the heart of the Lion to some degree or another, but some fail to act accordingly in the face of evil. No one loves to see innocent people hurt unless they themselves love violence for the sake of violence (a depraved heart).

It is also clear that our Father calls upon each of us for different purposes in the body of Christ. Some are healers, some are teachers, some are overflowing to give and sustain, yet others are warriors to protect and preserve, called upon to defend the innocent and uplift the downtrodden. These passages provide for us as heirs to the Kingdom a framework that gives context in how we are to deal with acts of violence purveyed upon the saints, the brethren and our neighbors. It provides for us context to what is a righteous and unrighteous use of violence in the eyes of God.


I will yield the remainder of this thread to discussion about either topic. I only share this because I was ridiculed heavily in college fifteen years ago for my views as a Christian and as a supporter of the Second Amendment. Many arguments against my views seemed valid outwardly, but quickly fell apart once I dissected them and looked at opposition views.

I think that many times we are not well prepared to defend our views and it can be frustrating to know you have the moral high ground, or are just plain right, but don't have the information to shut down the counter arguments. Thus it goes on and on and on due to ignorance of truth.

There will always be those unwilling to accept truth no matter what, but I think a sizeable portion of America would change their thinking if presented with what is rather than some twisted and watered down interpretation of what is.

And unfortunately many Christian men are too cowardly or too confused to understand that part of their responsibility (and even some amazing Christian women) to protect their families, brothers and sisters in Christ and even their neighbors when danger arises. Be that saving someone from a burning building or defending something from a violent predator (human or otherwise).

Yet at the same time we act with patience, kindness and love to those around us, even those who publicly or politically are our enemies (doing good things back in response to their public insults, injusticies and persecutions). However if it steps into the realm of physical violance, the gloves come off, play time is over and the threat is to be opposed until they are no longer a threat because they have no right to harm you or anyone else.
 
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