Self Defense In Accordance With the Bible

By: Woody Godbey

Several months ago someone asked me what I thought about Christians owning firearms, carrying firearms and then asked if I had ever preached on that subject. I have never preached a full sermon on the right to bear arms but I have mentioned it more than a few time in sermons I have preached. This mini sermon will tell you were I stand on the right to bear arms and what the Bible really say's on the subject.

I'm sure there are some people including some Christians who think I am a little inconsistent on what the Bible teaches when it comes to guns and self-defense. That really doesn't bother me because I know the truth about what the Bible teaches concerning self-defense.

To me the Bible couldn’t be clearer on the right – even the duty – we have as believers to self-defense.

“If the thief is found breaking in, and he is struck so that he dies, there shall be no guilt for his bloodshed.” Exodus 22:2. The next verse says, “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.”

In other words in accordance with the Bible, it was perfectly appropriate to kill a thief breaking into your house. That’s the ultimate expression of self-defense. It doesn’t matter whether the thief is threatening your life or not. You have the right to protect your home, your family and your property and that is according to Gods Word. People who know me, know that shooting someone even in self-defense would be the last resort.

The Israelites were expected to have their own personal weapons. Every man would be summoned to arms when the nation confronted an enemy. They didn’t send in the Marines. The people defended themselves. This was assuredly one of the inspirations for the Founding Fathers in holding the possession of firearms as an unalienable right.

In 1 Samuel 25:13, we read: “Then David said to his men, "Every man gird on his sword." So every man girded on his sword, and David also girded on his sword. And about four hundred men went with David, and two hundred stayed with the supplies.”

Every man had a sword and every man picked it up when it was required.

Judges 5:8 reminds us of what happens to a foolish nation that chooses to disarm: “They chose new gods; then there was war in the gates; not a shield or spear was seen among forty thousand in Israel.”

The answer to the rhetorical question is clear: No. The people had rebelled against God and put away their weapons of self-defense.

“A Psalm of David. Blessed be the Lord my Rock, Who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle--” David writes in Psalm 144:1.

Clearly, this is not a pacifist God we serve. It’s God who teaches our hands to war and our fingers to fight. Over and over again throughout the Old Testament, His people are commanded to fight with the best weapons available to them at that time.

And what were those weapons? Swords.

They didn’t have firearms, but they had side arms. In fact, in the New Testament, Jesus commanded His disciples to buy them and strap them on.

Luke 22:36: “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.”

Someone's going to quote Matthew 26:52-54 - how Jesus responded when Peter used his sword to cut off the ear of a servant of the high priest: “But Jesus said to him, "Put your sword in its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword. Or do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels? How then could the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must happen thus?"

Now, take the time to read those verses in context and they support what I'm saying. Jesus told Peter he would be committing suicide to choose a fight in this situation, as well as undermining God’s plan to allow Jesus’ death on the cross and resurrection.

Jesus told Peter to put his sword in its place, at his side. He didn’t say throw it away. After all, He had just ordered the disciples to arm themselves. The reason for the arms was obviously to protect the lives of the disciples, not the life of the Son of God. What Jesus was saying was: “Peter, this is not the right time for a fight.”

We should recall Nehemiah, who rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem.

“They which build on the wall, and they that bare burdens, with those that laded, everyone with one of his hands wrought in the work, and with the other hand held a weapon,” we’re told in Nehemiah 4:17-18. “Those who built on the wall, and those who carried burdens, loaded themselves so that with one hand they worked at construction, and with the other held a weapon. Every one of the builders had his sword girded at his side as he built. And the one who sounded the trumpet was beside me.”

So what’s inconsistent with me or other Christians teaching the proper use of firearms?

It’s the responsible thing to do. It’s the biblical thing to do. It’s the practical thing to do. And by the way, this has nothing to do with living by faith! Let me tell you what is inconsistent - it's politicians, preachers and liberals telling us to lay down our weapons. I think it's a tragedy when a government denies its citizens to bear arms. It's also a tragedy when churches fail to teach the truth on this subject. It's tragic for the church and for America. God, Guts and Guns! God Bless!!