Christians and the appropriate use of force in response to violence
Yes, our fight is spiritual.
But, does this preclude a physical fight?
Think very carefully before answering the following queries and comments...
Christian Nurse and response to violence
1. As a psychiatric nurse I was faced with daily violence on what was called 'the violent ward', whose inmates were all murderers. One day I was pinned to the floor and the much bigger patient was strangling me. As I was about to pass out (die) a colleague entered and dragged him off me. At other times I had knives thrown at me, or was threatened with objects, etc. There was also the time I went to collect a patient, who promptly pulled out a 12 inch carving knife to kill me.
Query: What should my approach have been to this daily violence?
(My actual approach was to change my previous 'Christian' stance of non-violence. My church elders did not offer any real counsel, so I was left alone. I decided that no crazy man would take my life, leaving my wife and sons without a husband and father. And, if any of them escaped the hospital, they were likely to kill one or more of the general public. I fought back, every day after that... I saw no Christian virtue in giving in to evil men).
Christian Police and reponse to violence
2. A Christian police officer catches violent criminals. They turn on him and start to punch, kick and wave knives around. They intend to kill him if he insists on upholding the law.
Query: Should he just stand there and get killed? Or, should he fight them, no matter what in juries accrued to himself or the criminals?
Christian Soldier and response to violence
3. A Christian soldier enters a war zone (it doesn't matter who the enemy is). He has been taught in the ways of unarmed combat as well as use of weapons.
Query: Should he try his best not to kill an enemy, even though the same enemy has already shot and killed many of his fellow soldiers? What if the same enemy suddenly appears before him and is about to shoot him with a machine gun?
Christian Man and response to robbery, rape and violence
4. A man is walking down a country road with his wife and daughter. Suddenly, a group of men surrounds them demanding money. He hands over whatever he has. But, then the men sneer and say they are about to rape the women.
Query: What should the man do? Should he just stay quiet and let them do what they said they'd do? Or, should he ferociously try to protect them, no matter what happened to himself?
Christian Man and response to Islamist violence
5. Christians in a town hear that Islamists are literally claiming certain areas for Allah. They say they will kill anyone who does not 'respect' their wishes. But, a number of Christians live in one of the claimed areas. The Islamists will kill or maim anyone who disobeys, and will rape any non-Muslim woman, and cut off their heads.
Query: Here is an everyday problem for Christians in the Middle East, but as the news prove, it is also now found in the USA and the UK. What should Christians in such a frontal threat do? Should they 'just pray'? Should they ALSO make sure they are capable of fighting back?
I think readers can see where I am going with these queries.
We KNOW we are fighting an extremely serious battle spiritually.
BUT – are there going to be times when Christians will have to fight physically, even if not provoked personally?
It is a matter of time before vigilantes will gather together and 'do something about it'... but what of Christians? Is there some kind of secret code that prevents them from defending themselves physically?
Think hard about it.
As a nurse I had to physically fight murderers every day. I was attacked, injured and then almost killed. So, I know what it is like.
I know soldiers and I know police officers. They MUST be physical with attackers.
But, what of ordinary Christians who are faced with blatant and present violence... what if Islamists crashed into their church with guns and demanded congregants to convert instantly or die? What if they broke into their homes and threatened their wives and daughters with rape and death? What if they wanted to slice the young children in half with swords?
These are vital queries. How do you answer... in all honesty (for it may be required of you in the near future). The answer is NOT to hide, or to keep quiet whilst others are harmed.
I have asked genuine questions, because others have asked me what they should do. What are your REAL answers in the face of a very real threat?
This article is set out as a moot point, to encourage thinking about the unthinkable. It does not contain my final or ultimate views.
I see no virtue in allowing someone to kill you when you can escape it by any means. I speak as one who has personally faced frequent extreme violence... so think carefully if you have
never experienced it.