Tag Archives: What does the Bible say about war?

Is Self-Defense Biblical?

Are Christians biblically justified to use force for self-defense?  Depending on the situation, the answer is sometimes yes, and sometimes no.  Killing a thief is both justified and unjustified, depending on the situation (Ex. 22:2-3).  In Scripture there are examples of believers who at one time defended themselves or others, but then at other times fled and/or suffered for their faith.  David, who killed Goliath (1 Sam. 17:48-51), twice fled when Saul tried to kill him with a spear (1 Sam. 18:11; 19:10), and refused to retaliate, even when he had opportunity (1 Sam. 24:4-6).  Paul, who at one time took a beating with rods (Acts 16:22-23), later used legal force against his attackers by exercising his rights as Roman citizen to protect himself from a flogging that might have killed him (Acts 22:25-29), and eventually appealed to Caesar, hoping to gain a just trial (Acts 25:7-12).  Christians can certainly use the legal system as a means of protection.  My understanding is that there is a time to fight, and a time not to fight, “a time to kill and a time to heal” (Eccl. 3:3), “a time for war and a time for peace” (Eccl. 3:8).  Continue reading

Posted in Hot Topics | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments