Self Defense in the Bible
What does the Bible say about self defense?
Luke 11:21, “When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace.”
Psalm 82: 3, “Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy.”
Many people try to use Matthew 5:44 to state that self defense is wrong, no matter the circumstances.
Matt 5:44 “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.”
Some people might try to say that if someone breaks into your home and tries to harm you or your family, you mustn’t use force to ward him off, and if necessary, take his life, therefore, protecting your family. For, they claim, killing them, even in self defense, would not be obeying the Lord Jesus’ commandment in Matt. 5:44.
But, if you look at it differently, not defending your family would certainly not be showing love to them. If you must take the life of an attacker, that would be loving your family.
Exodus 22:2 says, “If a thief be found breaking up, and be smitten that he die, there shall no blood be shed for him.”
In fact, the Lord Jesus himself told the disciples to bring a sword with them in Luke 22:36.
“Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.”
The Lord Jesus would not have told the disciples to bring a sword (a lethal weapon) if he didn’t think they might have needed to use it on their journey.
When Jesus told Peter to “put up again thy sword” in Matthew 26, he did not tell him to get rid of it. He simply told him to put it back.
Nowhere in the Bible does God rebuke self defense or defense of family. There is a big difference between murder and defending yourself or your family. Therefore, instead of God frowning down upon us when we do so, I believe that God approves when we save our loved one’s lives, even if we have to use force.
I believe that we as Christians should never initiate aggression toward anyone no matter the situation.