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Pacifist Arguments (Part 2 of Self-Defense Lesson)
by: Dalton Gilreath

I.              We are fighting a spiritual war not a physical one (Eph 6:12-17)

A.   This argument assumes soldiers killing the wicked cannot also fight a spiritual battle

                                          i.    Does physical war negate spiritual war? No

                                        ii.    What violates this passage is fighting a physical battle to promote Christianity or the kingdom

B.   These are two separate kingdoms

                                          i.    Does a policeman or soldier sin in doing his job? (Rom 13:1-4)

                                        ii.    Those working for the nation are God’s “ministers” for good

1.    They are authorized by God

2.    Their use of the sword is not in vain

II.            Love your enemies (Matt 5:44)

A.   This argument assumes taking life automatically contradicts love

                                          i.    First of all, does my love for my enemies supersede my love for my neighbor? (Matt 22:39)

1.    I would be violating my love for my neighbor if I did not protect them from an attacker

2.    Why would I choose the side of evil and not helping good?

                                        ii.    Secondly, I am violating the golden rule (Matt 7:12)

1.    I want someone to protect me if I am attacked

2.    I do not want someone to just stay and watch

B.   This argument stems from a misunderstanding of love

                                          i.    Love does not negate punishment

1.    Did God not love Ananias and Sapphira when He killed them?

2.    Love does not mean we must ignore evil

                                        ii.    God told the people of Israel to love others (Lev 19:17-18)

1.    A few moments later He told them to stone people to death (20:2)

2.    Did God contradict Himself? Of course not

III.           Christians are not to retaliate (Romans 12:17-19)

A.   Furthermore, we are to live peaceably with all men when possibly

                                          i.    This argument misunderstands the passages reference to personal vengeance

                                        ii.    When someone attacks our car we don’t chase them down and execute vengeance

1.    There is a governmental system for this case

2.    We must call the police not take the law into our own hands (Rom 13:4)

B.   Turn the other cheek (Matt 5:39)

                                          i.    When we read verse 38 we once again see this is about personal vengeance

                                        ii.    Jesus did not literally want us to offer the attacker another shot at us

IV.          It ends someone’s chances of being saved (1 Tim 2:4)

A.   If the attacker is killed it isn’t the defenders fault they lost their chance at salvation

                                          i.    The attacker is at fault for taking that risk

                                        ii.    We don’t allow our spouse to die because they are a Christian and the attacker isn’t

B.   Some say they can talk the attacker down (Prov 15:1)

                                          i.    But remember some are past humanity and a conscience

                                        ii.    They are like “brute beasts” and cannot be tamed (2 Peter 2:12)

V.           Implications of pacifism

A.   If you use lethal force to defend yourself then you are no better than the murderer or rapist

B.   If police sin then we sin when we call them to do their job

C.   A non-Christian policeman could kill someone to protect innocent life but a Christian one could not

D.   Criminals should hope for a mass conversion

E.   If you are being assaulted the last person you want by your side is a Christian

                                          i.    These are the necessary implications of the pacifist view

                                        ii.    Is this really what the Bible teaches? Absolutely not!