What Does The Bible Say About Self Defense?

Name: Dave
Question: Good Morning,

I am trying to better understand Matthew 5:38-39. I instinctively have a hard time believing that Christ wants us to not defend ourselves against physical and verbal assaults. How would the heathens ever respect us Christians if we were viewed as nothing more than pacifist punching bags. As a victim of bullying in grade school (in a private Christian school no less), I found my only recourse was to stand up for myself, not just ‘turn the other cheek.’ Am I wrong in my belief?

Answer: Good morning Dave, and thank you for the question.

I am sure you learned a lot from those days in grade school and your only recourse was the right thing to do.

You are absolutely correct, Christians are not a bunch of sissies! God cannot use a sissy.

God needs men and woman who will stand up for Him and themselves.

Further, we know our Father’s Letter does not contradict itself. If we look back through Scripture we note all of the wars the Lord had Israel fight.

At times, they lost sight of the fact that God was there and they played the coward and it never got them anywhere until they listened to our Father and marched forward.

Please turn your Bible with me to,

Psalm 144:1
1 “A Psalm of David. Blessed be the LORD my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight:”

LORD in all uppercase, that is Jehovah our Father in Heaven who does what?

Teaches our hands to war, to fight against those who would come against us. God wants warriors spiritually and or otherwise to make that stand for Him.

I can hear the horror of some tender hearted Christians right now,

"But my Jesus would never harm a soul!"

Then you must have forgotten what Jesus did to the money changers in the temple, (John 2:13-16)...

You must have forgotten what Christ is Returning to do...

Jesus is Returning to set things right! Christ is coming with a Two-Edged Sword and a Rod of Iron to rule the nations. Do not forget about the 150 pound hailstones that will rain down from Heaven on the enemy, (Revelation 19:15).

What exactly do you think that is going to do to their flesh body?

But let us stay focused here...

The verses you quoted have certainly caused a lot of confusion and I feel the subject resides in verses 11 where Christ said, "for my sake". With that thought in mind, let us turn to the book of Luke where this should bring it home for us.

Luke 6:22
22Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake.”

Blessed are you when what?

When men hate you and separate themselves from you for the Son of man’s sake, for the sake of Jesus Christ.

Meaning, when you make a stand for Christ, and when He is that reason for strife. That is the subject and the condition that carries through from here on out.

Let us continue.

Luke 6:28-29
28 “Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.”

29 “And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloak forbid not to take thy coat also.”

When Christ is the reason for the offense then you are blessed and that is also when you should turn the other cheek. A lot of Christians have a tough time keeping their lips closed and over share the Word of God.

Sharing is a wonderful thing, but if you overload someone else who is on another level than you are, then there becomes a great chance for tensions to rise.

I am sure everyone knows what I am talking about here.

Share, but know at what level and to what degree. Never ever unload all of our knowledge or the knowledge we think we have on someone else at once.

Instead, fish like Christ taught us.

Give a little here and let them take the spiritual bait. If they are hungry for truth, they will tug on that line and then you can begin to reel them into Christ's Ship.

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