Moral Clarity On Biblical, Constitutional Self-Defense – On Foundations Of Freedom: If rioters are beating your car and threatening you, what can be done? What is the Biblical perspective on self-defense? Is God okay with you protecting yourself and your family? Tune in to hear why it is important we have moral clarity on these issues, especially in this day of rioters with assault weapons.
Air Date: 06/25/2020
On-air Personalities: David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton
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President Thomas Jefferson said, “I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society, but the people themselves. And if we think they’re not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power.”
Faith and the Culture
Welcome to the intersection of faith and the culture. It’s WallBuilders Live and we’re talking about today’s hottest topics on policy, faith and the culture, always from a biblical, historical and constitutional perspective. And today, man, we are really hitting the hot topics of the day. Right now, on the streets in America, we’re going to address this from a biblical, historical and constitutional perspective.
This is what we call Foundations of Freedom Thursday, so it’s a chance for you to send in your questions. You can send them to email@example.com, that’s firstname.lastname@example.org. They’re going to be answered today by David Barton. He’s America’s premier historian and our founder at WallBuilders, by Tim Barton, national speaker and pastor and president of WallBuilders and by myself, I’m Rick Green, I’m a former Texas legislator and America’s Constitution coach.
Alright, David, Tim, let’s dive into those questions. First one is going to come from Carrie. And the question is this. “Please help clear up the fog of this heavy looming possibility of finding oneself in a position of having to defend or give your life? As things get more increasingly violent, even towards an innocent person such as being in your car and coming upon a road full of “peaceful protesters”, I would hope that my reaction is in the following order. One. In the heat of a split second, pray to my father.
Two. Flee the situation as this Texas girl drives a four-wheel drive truck.” Meaning she can leave that road maybe, she doesn’t have to find a way through the road or around the road or get to the other. She could go off roading.
Yeah, that’s great.
She said, this is what I would hope this would end and I would hightail it to the house. And she said that’s a Texas term, hightail it. Okay. So, then she said three, “If not possible to flee, I slowly move forward, which means taking the chance to be overtaken and dragged out of my truck, proclaiming Christ as my Savior.
If Attacked by “Peaceful Protestors”…
God is my father. Number four. Show my gun, also taking the chance of being shot by a “peaceful protester”. And five. The worst possible outcome is, I use my gun or I run over someone and take their life. The heavy possible reality is that I could take someone’s life. As a Christian American, I don’t want to do that.
These are troubling times and this is purely hypothetical, but very hard to believe it is possible. I work for a law enforcement division for the State of Texas and I wear a badge logo on my left chest, becoming a quick target. There are many other hypothetical things that could happen, but I want to hear your biblical and constitutional thoughts and some wisdom on these things. I hope I asked this clearly enough. Thank you all for what you do.”
Carrie, you did, you ask it very clearly and we really appreciate you sending in the question. It is not hypothetical. We all watch the videos that the last few days and weeks where that very thing has happened. Even a semi-truck was stopped by protesters and the guy was taken out and beaten. I’ve seen, they go, dually trucks, pulling horses that actually got through, but man, it was a touch and go situation.
And then we saw just a few days ago, one of many examples, but the car that they pointed a gun at her and tried to pull her out of the car and she finally just took off. And she did, she hit one of the protesters and the headlines were, that she was after the protesters. I can’t remember exactly how they said it, but they basically made it look like it was her fault and that she tried to take out peaceful protesters. So, you’re not wrong Carrie and asking this question.
So, guys, I think a lot of our listeners are thinking about this, thinking about what happens if I get caught in one of these situations, how do I respond, what’s the biblical and constitutional response to such a thing? So, we need to talk Second Amendment, you know, self-defense, biblical right of self-defense and you know, American constitutional right of self-defense and what it’s based on.
Yeah, there’s so many thoughts that go into this and very, very well asked and phrase question. You know, one of the things, if there’s going to be a protest almost ironically, protesters if they’re going to be going up and down the street, they have to put in for a permit. And so, they’re going to have a permit, if they’re going to protest, generally, there are supposed to be barricades up to keep you from being able to drive into a protest. So, right, in theory, you’re not going to be in this situation. Now, if there’s a failure to put barricades or, you know, if this is “spontaneous”
Pallets of Bricks
Now, if you don’t know about the permits and if you don’t have time to check, just watch for pallets of bricks, if you see pallets of bricks show up…
Then get out of it. Bad things are coming your direction, right?
And that’s referencing in places and then in couple of big cities, there were moments when pallets of bricks were being dropped off. And these “peaceful protesters” were using these pallets of bricks to destroy businesses and windows and cars and cars. etc, which makes you think it wasn’t really a peaceful protest.
And that’s something I would even point out from the question. It was phrased as if I pull up and there’s peaceful protesters. Well, for the peaceful protest, then they’re not going to target you, your vehicle, your life, you will not be endangered.
But now, we’re not really talking about a peaceful protester or a group of peaceful protesters, we’re talking about people that are going to threaten and endanger your life. And at this point, certainly, I mean, very first thing you do in these situations, we learned growing up. I mean, my mom to this day, sometimes it’s a little silly, the level of how she uses this, but her first words are always Jesus help.
And sometimes we’re like, mom, we’re 100 yards from the car in front of us, right, we’re not even, like there’s no wreck about to happen. We’re totally fine. But that’s just her gut response is Jesus help. It’s always a good thought that prayer that God’s name be on the tip of our tongue when something is coming up, because we definitely want His help in that situation.
With all of that being said, there is a lot that plays into to how the situation itself works, to the perception that you have, to what is going on. Because different situations would dictate different responses, but we can cover some more of that after the break.
Yeah, let’s take a quick break, a lot to unpack on this one. So, we’ll talk more about this question when we come back. Stay with us, you’re listening to WallBuilders Live, it’s Foundations of Freedom Thursday.
The Rightful Masters
Abraham Lincoln said. “We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts; not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution.”
Constitutional Defense of your Family and Freedom
Hey friends, Rick Green here, I know there’s a lot of crazy stuff going on in America right now, chaos in the streets. But we know God is sovereign and we know that He’s in charge. We also know that duty is ours, results are God’s. And that means we do our duty and part of that duty is being prepared to protect our families. You know, Proverbs 22:3 says a prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions, the simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences.
Friends, if you are not prepared to defend your family, can I just challenge you to come spend a few days with us for a training we call ‘Constitutional Defense of your Family and Freedom’. During the day on the range, you’re going to get the best handgun defense training in the world. And in the evening, I’m going to teach you on the Constitution.
So, you’re going to get intellectual training as well as physical training on how to defend your family. It’s a great time of fellowship. We have a wonderful time every time we do one of these trainings. We have taken several thousand people through this constitutional defense training, handgun defense by day, constitutional knowledge by night. Sign up today at rickgreen.com.
We’re going to take you out there for 1/10th, that’s only 10% of the normal price of going out to these very good trainings and no more important time than to do it right now. Rickgreen.com, sign up today doesn’t matter if you’ve had a lifetime of gun experience or you’ve never touched a gun ever in your life.
We’ve had all types with us. Every single one of them are so glad that they went and you need to be with us on the next trip. Check it out at rickgreen.com, we’ve got multiple dates coming up and we want you to be with us for constitutional defense.
Moment From American History
This is Tim Barton from WallBuilders with another moment from American history. In 1963, the United States Supreme Court decided that voluntary Bible reading could no longer be part of the school day. Founding Father Benjamin Rush, known as the ‘father of public schools’ under the Constitution, pointedly warned that the Bible should be read in schools in preference to all other books. He specifically warned that if America ever cease promoting biblical principles and schools, then we would waste so much time and money in punishing crimes and take so little pains to prevent them. He was right.
We now have 7 million Americans in prison, on probation or on parole and the United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world. Sadly, this was unnecessary, but is the result of no longer teaching the morals of the Bible in schools. For more information about the Founding Fathers views on the positive impact of the Bible in schools, go to wallbuilders.com.
Thomas Jefferson said, “The Constitution of most of our States and of the United States assert that all power is inherent in the people that they may exercise it by themselves. That is their right and duty to be at all times armed, that they are entitled to freedom of person; freedom of religion; freedom of property and freedom of press.”
Welcome back to WallBuilders Live, Foundations of Freedom Thursday, we’re actually picking up on a question we had in the last segment. And we may just carry this one through the whole program. It’s so good and there’s a lot to unpack here. David, Tim, I guess, you know, Tim, you alluded to this in the last segment.
And that is if you pull up into a situation where they’re stopping your car, beating on your car, they’re in the middle of a highway, like not a permit situation where they had the roads blocked off, it’s probably not peaceful protesters and we’ve seen some of these folks literally pull guns out and point them at drivers. And I mean, so we’re talking about a defense of your life situation here.
Yeah, and this is something too, that certainly, is hard for some people to reconcile. Because nobody, at least, no reasonable person wants to imagine taking someone else’s life. I mean, guys, we do a lot of gun training. In fact, Rick, this fall, you’re going to be back out in Front Sight and there’s a whole lot of people going to be in Front Sight with you.
Able to Protect Your Family
I think, I’m coming. We’re bringing some friends. We’re going to do more defensive handgun training, because it’s more of a real world scenario we live in. But we’re not training because we ever want to inflict violence on anybody. We’re training so that if violence ever comes and someone is trying to inflict violence on us, we will be able to protect ourselves and our family.
And this is something recognizing from a biblical perspective that evil does exist, evil does operate at times in the world, it does manifest itself in people. And even though we don’t wrestle against flesh and blood, as Paul wrote in Ephesians 6, there still is manifestations of evil in flesh and blood.
And so, I recognize that it’s something more than just person we’re battling against, but that this person is coming to do me, my wife, our daughter, right, to bring death and destruction to us. Well, I feel like one of my primary roles and functions as the husband, as the father is to protect my wife and kids. And part of that also means, if I’m by myself, I want to be able to get back to my wife and my kid.
And so, this is where, I think there ought to be some levels of moral clarity and even the laws in Texas and this is the way it is in many states and what the Second Amendment really was about, was being able to defend yourself. And in Texas, if you are fearful for your life, if your life is being threatened, then you are allowed to use the force necessary to defend your life, which in this case, it could be a firearm.
If people come up and they have crowbars and they have bats and they have weapons to assault you, right, if there’s a woman in the car and it’s several men that come up, she’s not going to be able to defend herself against several men and this is not a sexist position, right? You could be a female UFC fighter, I’m just telling you. If enough men come up, that would overwhelm anybody, including all the male UFC fighters. And this is where there shouldn’t be levels of moral clarity that, you’re not attempting to inflict harm or damage on anybody.
And so, even from a biblical perspective, right, the Bible gives room for self-defense. The Bible doesn’t require you to defend your own life. That’s not a requirement in the Bible. But there are plenty of verses that give us the moral clarity from the Bible, indication from the Bible, that self-defense is a biblically sustainable and defendable position, even though you’re not required to do it.
Show the Bad Guys a Gun
So, in this situation, certainly, I would pray, I would ask for the Holy Spirit to help me, for God to strengthen me, give me moral clarity, God helped me know what to do, let me see the way out of this. But if there’s no way out of it, apart from me having to draw a gun, I have no problem showing bad guys a gun, if it means I don’t have to shoot somebody and I can get out of there.
Now, if I show a gun and they’re still coming at me and they’re taking a crowbar through the window, well, my body is going to be the next thing that crowbar hits. So, at this point, I don’t have a problem discharging that weapon, trying to stop the threat against me, my wife or my daughter. So, I do think there should be levels of moral clarity here.
Again, is one of the reasons that we are huge advocates of doing firearm training, because you want to be able to have confidence to draw your gun, to have in the midst of a crazy situation, high adrenaline, to have kind of the mental capacity to know exactly what you need to do with this firearm, to defend yourself in this situation. And you only get to that place by training and the repetition of the training. So, you’ve got to train and train and train and train.
But with that being said, I think sometimes, we are more confused on these issues than maybe we should be. I think there should be more moral clarity, sometimes and there is and maybe there’s not as much more clarity because we don’t talk about it enough. But if someone is coming to end you or your family, this should not be a moral grievance for you to say I am going to protect my life or my family’s life, not for my peaceful protester, but from a violent person who is coming to do me harm. We should not have a problem having moral clarity in that issue.
And part of this too, is literally how you perceive it. If you perceive that your life is in danger, then you’re justified legally in using deadly force. Whether they be coming at you with a club or crowbar anything else, if you can demonstrate that you had a genuine, legitimately based reason for your fear, not that you’re just fearful in general, but there were something about to happen to you that threatened your life, at that point, you’re justified to use in self- defense.
Now, if someone’s coming at you with a toothpick and you up and shoot them, because you thought they might poke your eye out, you’re in trouble. That’s not going to work. But if you have a reasonable justification that you genuinely felt threatened and there was substantial evidence that you were being threatened, then you need to understand there’s more clarity to be able to respond at that point in time.
And this is moral clarity from a legal standpoint, but also, I would even argue from a biblical standpoint. If your life is being threatened and it’s not being threatened for the gospel, right, it’s not like you’re a missionary in some third world country sharing the gospel and people say because you believe in Jesus, we’re going to kill you, this is not you being a martyr for the gospel, this is evil trying to take you out.
There is a complete biblical position that you can defend morally, biblically, even in this case, legally. That if someone is trying to cause you bodily harm, you can use the force necessary to stop that person from causing you bodily harm. And this is where perception does come in.
Now, that someone, right, the person asking this question was a member of law enforcement to some degree in capacity, I’m sure she’s had some of that clarification, some of that training, she understands it. But from a constitutional, even a biblical standpoint, certainly, this is what the Second Amendment was largely about: about people being able to defend their towns, their families, their homes, you can go to the Founding Fathers writings.
We even have a book here WallBuilders dealing with a Second Amendment that you can read a lot of the statements from the Founding Fathers, you can read the early laws, which gives some clarity to the thought behind the Second Amendment. And then from a biblical perspective, there’s a lot of really good articles about the biblical position of self-defense and why as Christians, we can have confidence in that position.
And self-defense, it’s kind of the difference between an offensive war and a defensive war. That if you’re going out looking for trouble, looking for people to fight, that’s not a biblical sustainable position. That’s not a godly behavior to be enacting.
But if you are in a position where you were not going, looking for trouble, to inflict harm or injury on anybody and it was brought to you then you do have the biblical right of self-defense to preserve your life or your family’s life, etc, etc. And Rick, I know you guys deal a lot with this too. Even when you do stuff at Front Sight training, the evenings, you do constitution classes, you talk about the Second Amendment. So, I know you cover this a lot too with some of what you guys do.
Well, in fact, one of the things that we teach and David, you wrote about this in a law review article several years ago, just few years ago and you covered this biblical right of self-defense. To the things that really, I always remember from that as you point out Exodus 22:2, you know, if a thief is found breaking in, you strike him and he dies, there’s no guilt for his bloodshed, because you were literally protecting your home and the people in your home.
And then our founders, like James Wilson, who sign both of, you know, Constitution and Declaration, I mean, he talked about homicide is required when it’s necessary for the defense of your person or your house. So, you don’t have to actually be in your house for that Castle Doctrine as we often call it, to be legit and to be biblical for you to defend.
And that’s what this lady is really asking about. She’s like, if I suddenly find myself being mobbed by the mob and they’re obviously going to harm me. And listen, folks, I mean, you don’t have to spend long on Twitter or Facebook to see the videos of the many, many attacks that are happening right now on the streets all across our country and they’re violent, they’re ugly and it’s awful and it’s indiscriminate, I mean, it’s happening to all kinds of people. You know, that you do have, Carrie, I want to say you’ve got the right to defend yourself.
But one of the things that Tim and I harp on a lot and that we spend a lot of time on it at Front Sight when we train, when we do our constitutional defense class, is you want to do exactly what Tim first said at the beginning of the show. And that is you want to try to avoid it from happening in the first place. You don’t want the gunfight to have to happen. And that’s why Carrie, your instinct is right, to take four-wheel drive off the road and get out of there and not have to engage in that situation.
Prudent People take Precaution
So, Tim, I think what you said is so important for people to realize those of us that are really into training and defening our family, we’re following what Proverbs says about not being a fool that just walks into danger, but actually, being that prudent person that foresees danger and takes precaution. And we’re preparing for that and we hope it never happens. But if it does, we want to be able to defend our family. But we want to always be in what we call condition yellow, always paying attention, always watching and try to avoid the situation.
And so, I think, if people will be on guard right now and just realize this is happening, not just in the inner cities, they’re trying to move this out into the suburbs and into the rural areas and just constantly be watching and if you see that situation brewing, you need to avoid it and get out of there if you can. Now, if you end up in it, like some of these folks, they’re going down a highway, there’s nowhere to go and all of a sudden they end up in that situation, then we do pray that you’ve gotten training, that you have the ability to defend yourself.
And if you’ve been taught correctly, you’ll be able to present that firearm and not have to fire it, because you’ll use the right terms and the forcefulness to get people to back off and back away. But it is absolutely defensible from a biblical perspective, from a constitutional perspective, from a historical perspective.
And frankly, the church needs to wake up to this and stop being, you know, pacifist that think that the Christian perspective is to be stomped on by people and to literally not defend those that you love. That is not biblical. We need to be prepared to defend the people that we love. And so yeah, Tim and I are headed back out there in the fall, we’d love for you to come with us and then you can hit rickgreen.com today if you want to sign up.
We got people calling every day wanting to go, because it’s good constitutional training and handgun defense training and you’ll no longer be nervous about carrying your weapon and worried about what to do. It’ll take all of that away. You will be confident with that weapon.
Sorry guys, we went long in this segment, we’re going to take a quick break. We’ll be right back, probably still cover some of what Carrie is asking. Stay with us. You’re listening to WallBuilders Live, it’s Foundations of Freedom Thursday.
The Greatest Political Privilege
President Calvin Coolidge said, “The more I study the Constitution, the more I realized that no other document devised by the hand of man has brought so much progress and happiness to humanity. To live under the American Constitution is the greatest political privilege that was ever accorded to the human race.”
Hi, friends, this is Tim Barton of WallBuilders. This is a time when most Americans don’t know much about American history or even heroes of the faith. And I know oftentimes we, parents, we’re trying to find good content for our kids to read.
And if you remember back to the Bible, to the book of Hebrews, it has the faith Hall of Fame where they outline the leaders of faith that had gone before them. Well, this is something that as Americans, we really want to go back and outline some of these heroes, not just of American history, but heroes of Christianity in our faith as well.
Heroes of History
I want to let you know about some biographical sketches we have available on our website. One is called The Courageous Leaders collection. And this collection includes people like Abigail Adams, Abraham Lincoln, Francis Scott Key, George Washington Carver, Susanna Wesley, even the Wright brothers. And there’s a second collection called Heroes of History.
In this collection, you’ll read about people like Benjamin Franklin or Christopher Columbus, Daniel Boone, George Washington, Harriet Tubman, friends, the list goes on and on. This is a great collection for your young person to have and read and it’s a providential view of American and Christian history. This is available at www.wallbuilders.com. That’s www.wallbuilders.com.
Thomas Jefferson said, “In questions of power, then let no more be heard of confidence in man that bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.”
Welcome back to WallBuilders Live. Thanks for staying with us on this Foundations of Freedom Thursday and this may, well, I guess once in a while we’ve had one question carry the whole program, but it’s been a while. This was a great question by Carrie. Carrie, I hope we’ve covered a lot of what you had asked? We really want to challenge people to understand there’s a biblical defense on this, there’s a constitutional defense, to being able to defend your family.
And guys, course, you’ve got the largest private collection of Founding Fathers’ documents. Unbelievable number of writings in there. And you have writings of the Founding Fathers having this exact same discussion we’re having right now.
Yeah, John Jay, interestingly, back in his day and John Jay is a great Bible scholar. I mean, not only was he the Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court, not only was he the governor of New York, not only was he a distinguished attorney, but he’s also a very strong Christian. And so, he is an original founder of the American Bible Society, he became president of the American Bible Society. And there were a number of Christians in his day that thought any kind of violence by a Christian is always wrong.
Quakers, particularly are of that mindset. They thought that war was wrong, that you never respond in self-defense. It’s better for you to be harmed than to harm someone else in self- defense. And so, John Jay really gets in a lengthy discussion with Quaker John Murray over that position and John Jay goes through a number of Bible verses.
And when John Murray raises Bible verses that say you should not respond in any kind of harm to another human being, John Jay says, yeah, you did quote that Bible verse, but look at all these other Bible verses you didn’t quote. And so, he really does not only give an excellent biblical overview of war in the Bible and whether God is for or against war and whether it can be justified or unjustified, but the same was self-defense and the same with the use of individual force.
Why is it that Jesus with the disciples said, get a sword? And the disciples that we got two and He said, that’s enough and then when Peter used it, Jesus rebuked him. So, what is the deal with get a sword, but don’t use it? And John Jay goes through and explains that in a remarkably clear manner, using numerous other Bible verses.
So, anyone that’s confused about whether Christians have a right to self-defense, including if necessary, the taking of a life in a justified means, in self-defense means, the Bible is very clear and a lot of teachings here and you can get at wallbuilders.com. If you look for the article called John Jay Biblical View of War, it has all these Bible verses and these letters and went back and forth between Quaker John Murray and John Jay, the Chief Justice and founder of the American Bible Society.
And then tonight I mean tons of quotes from the Founders, from Judges, I mean, judicial opinions, constitutional background, a ton of information. In that book Tim mentioned earlier, the Second Amendment, it’s a quick read. I mean, it’s like what, 100 pages or something, it only cost a few dollars on the WallBuilders website.
Moral Clarity On Biblical, Constitutional Self-Defense – On Foundations Of Freedom
Really recommend that to folks, if you want to get a quick understanding of the biblical concept of self-defense and how that works in American history and how it still works today, be sure to pick up that book at wallbuilders.com today. We’ll have links to all this at the website, you can read the article from John Jay. You can also go to Rickgreen.com and sign up to go with us in the fall for our training, it’s filling up fast. So, make sure you get in there as quick as you can.
And then perhaps most importantly, keep listening to WallBuilders Live so that every day of the week, we can hit these hot topics that are happening right now on our streets, right now in our country and give that biblical, historical and constitutional perspective. Truth is so needed in the culture right now. So, please be a part of spreading that truth. Share our programs on social media.
Go to wallbuilderslive.com today, make a contribution, that’s a way of helping this truth get out there and more people be trained, more pastors get trained, more legislators, more young leaders, you become a part of this team and you’re helping to save our constitutional republic every time you make a donation right there at wallbuilderslive.com. Hope, you enjoyed our Foundation of Freedom Thursday today. You’ve been listening to WallBuilders Live.
Samuel Adams said, “The liberties of our country and the freedom of our civil constitution are worth defending against all hazards and it is our duty to defend them against all attacks.”