What God’s Word Says About Use Of Force
Let’s look at what God’s Word has to say about the use of force.
There are many views concerning what the Bible says about the use of force including several objections. Although the Bible states we as Christians are to live peaceably with all men (Rom 12:18), random acts of violence are becoming more frequent and no location is exempt. There are many forces driving people to commit this violence the greatest of which is Satan himself. This past year of uncertainty and isolation for people has resulted in much confusion and anxiety. Our Houses of Worship have become a frequent target of violence.
Scripture tells us “The Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.” Yes, we should pray for protection and safety but God also expects us to “be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.” (Matt. 10:16) When those wishing to do evil show up, they are not interested in negotiating. Depending on the level of threat, they must be stopped sometimes with deadly force.
While the Bible speaks against “killing” it is referring to “murder”. The difference is the same as when one uses a knife. The surgeon uses a knife to cut out the bad and save a life while the murderer uses a knife to injure or murder. The difference is the condition and intent of the heart. Our heart should be aligned with the Heart of Jesus. We are instructed that whatever action we take, it should be in line with Scripture. (Col 3:17) tells us that “whatever we do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus…”
As we learn from His instruction, Jesus said to His disciples, “he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one.” ( Luke 22:36) Nehemiah had to defend the rebuilding of the wall of Jerusalem as they were working. Half of the workers were building while half were standing guard. All were working with one hand and holding a weapon in the other. (Neh. 4:16-17) Psalm 144:1 says, “Blessed be the Lord my strength which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight.” God is not opposed to violence as long as the heart and intent is right.
Doing our due diligence, we must be familiar with the laws in our area pertaining to the use of deadly force. This should be our last resort unless it is our only response to the threatened force.
As Christians, our trust should be in the Lord Jesus. Our hearts should always be aligned with His. In Matt. 10:16 Jesus states,” Behold I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.