Is It God’s Will That We Protect Ourselves?  The Biblical View Of Self-Defense With Guest Rodney Howard-Browne:  Learn more about Prudence, Preparedness, and Jesus’ View of Guns.  The Wall Builders team interviews Dr. Rodney Howard-Browne regarding his outspoken support of guns in his congregation and the response he has received.  In addition, the Wall Builders team talks about Jesus’ view of self-defense and the importance of being prepared. They also discuss some of the arguments that are put forth against self-defense as Christians such as turning the other cheek.

Air Date: 11/28/2017


Guests: Rodney Howard-Browne, David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton


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Transcription note:  As a courtesy for our listeners’ enjoyment, we are providing a transcription of this podcast.  However, as this is transcribed from a live talk show, words and sentence structure were not altered to fit grammatical, written norms in order to preserve the integrity of the actual dialogue between the speakers. Additionally, names may be misspelled or we might use an asterisk to indicate a missing word because of the difficulty in understanding the speaker at times. We apologize in advance.

 

Faith And The Culture

Rick:

Welcome to the intersection of faith and the culture, this is WallBuilders Live! Where we’re talking about today’s hottest topics on policy, faith, and the culture, all of it from a Biblical, historical, and constitutional perspective.

We’re here with David Barton, America’s premier historian and the founder of WallBuilders.  Also, Tim Barton, national speaker, pastor, and president of WallBuilders. And my name is Rick Green. I’m a former Texas state legislator, national speaker, and author.

You can find out more about us and the program at our two websites. WallBuildersLive.com is our radio site and WallBuilders.com is our main website.

Today guys, we need actually all three.  We need Biblical, historical, and constitutional perspective on this issue of self-defense.

Self-Defense

Tim:

Well, guys, certainly after the shooting that we saw down in south Texas and really, I mean, we can back up to the Vegas shooting.  We’ve had several of these mass murder incidents that happened. And so people are trying to figure out the correct response.

Texas and Vegas Shootings

David:

But different from that. This is really the church shooting and church people responding differently than national people respond to the Vegas shooting.

Tim:

Well, but church people, I mean, some church people feel the same way about it all.

David:

I agree.  I agree.

Tim:

Because some church people aren’t going, “Hey, we need to protect the church.” They’re looking at this as a big picture problem in America. And here’s where I’m going is if it’s the big picture problem the question always is, how do you solve these problems? And obviously everybody comes to conclusion we don’t want this to ever happen again. It’s just we differ of how we make this happen.

David:

Yeah.

Stop A Bad Guy With A Gun With A Good Guy With A Gun

Tim:

And we would argue, well, the best way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.  Which is what you saw in this Texas incident. Now, if you look at Las Vegas, had there been some armed people close by that shooter could have been stopped much —

Now, obviously, I understand what people are going to say.  Well, it was big, and it was crowded.  He’s in this place, and he’s barricaded.  

I get it, I get it. But the best way to stop a bad guy with a gun is still a good guy with a gun.  This is where as people want to debate these different ideas.  The solution should not be that confusing.  Because if somebody has a gun and is killing people, the best thing to do is not in that moment to just pray and say, “God, please help me.”   Although I certainly would be praying and asking God to help in that moment.

If it’s one of us three, we’re going to draw our concealed weapon and we’re going to engage the shooter because we understand one of things that Proverbs tells us is “A prudent person foresees danger and takes precaution.” We’ve taken the precaution to say, “You know what, we’re going to be armed.  We’re going to be a prudent person.  And we don’t want us or our families to be a victim of one of these things if we can stop it.”

Rick:

That’s right.

David:

But in some ways, I think there’s a distinction that we make with the Christian community and let me throw it out in this way.  We’ve had in the last 10 or so years 14 different church shootings that have involved deaths at churches like this. And when this one happened to Sutherland Springs, Tim, I turned to you on the spot and said, “This doesn’t make any sense.”

You know this might make more sense if it had been a United Methodist Church church.  But this was a Baptist church in Texas, in central Texas, in hill country, where that everybody’s got a gun.  And for this guy to have walked into a church setting and left 15 mags on the ground out of an AR15 indicating somewhere between 300 and 450 shots, I haven’t heard an exact number.

Tim:

Whatever it was because I think when the report came out somebody said there were 15 mags picked up.

David:

Yeah.

Tim:

So I don’t know. I mean, we don’t know if that’s really accurate.

David:

We don’t know that.  We haven’t seen the details.

Tim:

We haven’t seen the FBI report.  There was a reporter that said that, so who knows if that’s accurate – nonetheless.

David:

But we do know he was in there for several minutes.

Tim:

That’s correct.

David:

And our comment was that’s unbelievable that at this particular place, in this part of Texas, at that particular denomination, that nobody engaged on the inside.

Rick:

Yeah.

David:

And then we later heard.  And you know, who knows if this is accurate or not, but we later heard that the reason was that church leadership had asked the church members not to bring concealed carries into the church.  So Christians in that Christian setting are much more likely than let’s say Christians out of a Christian setting to be willing to carry.

And they said, “No, that’s not appropriate at church.  You don’t bring it in church.” And yet look at the deaths that resulted the number.  Several hundred shots apparently fired. I remember the church secretary saying on interview the church is destroyed beyond repair.

Tim:

Yeah.

The Church Was Destroyed Beyond Repair

David:

I don’t know how many hundreds of shots you have to shoot for a church to be destroyed beyond repair.

Rick:

And the few survivors talked about how he just literally took his time going row, by row, by row.

Tim:

Yeah.

David:

Yeah.

Rick:

I mean just think about that – not engaged at all so he could take his time and was literally going person, by person, by person.

David:

And see, that’s why it was an outside shooter that engaged it as he was coming out of the church. You know, I don’t know that he prevented any deaths necessarily because the guy had already emptied his rifle.  He dropped it inside the church.  Apparently, he’s outside with a pistol and that’s where he gets engaged. He should have been engaged in that first magazine.  Somewhere in that first magazine he should have been engaged.

Rick:

Yeah.

Tim:

That’s one of things that we reference is that generally at our churches, and in many churches of even people listening, is one of the biggest threats will not be from the active shooter.  It will be from the cross fire of the congregants as they all draw their guns.

David:

That’s right.

Rick:

Right.

Tim:

I mean, there’s a level of truth, sincerity, and reality in that.  It’s true.

Rick:

Yeah.

Tim:

You know, where, I mean, there’s people like us that they have their concealed carry.  They carry responsibly.  They’re not going to be foolish.  But they’re not going to let some bad guy come in.

Rick:

Right.

Tim:

And just unload on people and so that.

Rick:

Which is also why we’re big advocates of getting really good training. I mean, you guys have been trained by some of the best of the best.  We have as well. I mean, get good training.  Don’t just get the license.  But make sure you have training so that when you are in that situation you’ve been trained.

Tim:

That’s right.

Rick:

To be able to step up.  But do it wisely and not just be firing away.

David:

Well, on the day that that shooting happened, Tim and I got on the phone and started calling all the pastors we knew that were around us and said, “Guys, you got to get several people in your church.”   Because at one time it was thought that maybe the two greeters outside the church were the armed ones.  But those are the first ones he took out.  We don’t even know if they were armed.  But if they were, this is why you’ve got to have a whole bunch in there with targets so that you need more than one.

Tim:

So you know we weren’t trying to give them their plan, tactical plan for their church.

David:

No, That’s right.  That’s right.

Tim:

Every church is different.  But we said, “Hey, you know you’re our friends.  We love you.  We just want to make sure.”  And you know, we started every conversation by, “You’re probably already thinking about this, but we don’t know.”

And at that time there weren’t details surrounding it to really know why he was motivated.  What was going on.  And so the thought was,  “Hey, let’s just make sure that we’re protecting.”

A Shepherd Protects His Flock

And really this is a Biblical thought on a lot of levels.  Because Jesus says that the shepherd protects his sheep. The pastor is supposed to be the shepherd over the flock.  If you’re going to be the shepherd protecting the sheep, you want to make sure the sheep are protected from the wolves that are coming to kill, to destroy, to do them harm.

Rick:

Yeah.

Tim:

And so this is a very Biblical position. We’re not going out to start an army or be aggressive and look for bad.  No.  I mean, honestly, we would love for people that are troubled and hurting to come in and find forgiveness, and salvation, and deliverance, and restoration, and redemption, and all these great theological words. We want to have all of it.  But we also do not want to make our families victims of evil, knowing there is evil in the world, when we have the opportunity to stop evil. And this is where a shepherd should protect their sheep.

David:

A shepherd should protect the sheep.  It’s interesting that an article ran recently really got our attention.  It showed a sign outside of a church, and the sign outside of this church said,  “Hey we carry.”

Essentially, it boiled down to,  “We carry.  If you come here, we carry.  And we will engage you.”

I mean, it’s a very strong evangelical Bible teaching church.  It’s a very clear warning. But as it turns out, this church has had this sign for the last couple of years. I mean, this was not in response to what happened in Sutherland Springs.  This is the position of that church so that any shooter that comes there, they know they’re going to get engaged. So we thought this would be a good pastor to talk to.

Rick:

Dr. Rodney Howard-Browne will be our guest when we return. You’re listening to WallBuilders Live.

American History

This is Tim Barton from WallBuilders with another moment from American history. Many today wrongly claim that our Founding Fathers were largely atheists, agnostics, and deist.

Certainly some Founders were less religious than others, but even they were not irreligious. Consider Benjamin Franklin, definitely one of the least religious among them, yet, when the delegates at the Constitutional Convention hit an impasse in their deliberations it was Franklin who called them to prayer, invoking numerous scriptures to make his point.

As he reminded them, “God governs in the affairs of men. If a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid? We have been assured in the sacred writings that, except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it. I firmly believe this.”

So, even the least religious of America’s Founders urged public prayer in dependence on God. For more information about the faith of the Founding Fathers go to WallBuilders.com.

Rick:

Welcome back.  Thanks for staying with us here on WallBuilders Live. Dr. Rodney Howard-Browne back with us.  Good to have you on sir.  Thanks for your time today.

Dr. Rodney Howard-Browne:

Thank you for having me on.

Guest Dr. Rodney Howard-Browne

Rick:

You guys have a sign at your church that is now getting some attention. You had it there for a year.  But large church, large television ministry.  So you have to take safety as a serious concern.  You’re letting people know with this sign, “Hey, our members of our church are armed and we will respond if someone comes in and tries to take lives.”

What kind of response are you getting from folks now that folks are talking about the sign more?

Dr. Rodney Howard-Browne:

You know, actual fact, the sign has probably been up over, maybe two, longer than two years.

Rick:

No kidding.

Dr. Rodney Howard-Browne:

It was smaller.  Then I blew it up in the last, you know, I told the guys about a month ago to just blow it up and make it larger. But we felt — I think it was when the Paris shooting took place.  You know, obviously, we have 82 acres.  We’ve got private property. So I said put the sign up at the door of the church that says Welcome to the River At Tampa Bay Church.  Right up with mission *, This is private property.  

And then we issued the warning.  Then please know this is not a gun free zone.  We are heavily armed.  Any attempt would be dealt with deadly force.  Yes, we are a church and will protect our people.

And so I just, I posted on Facebook probably 18 months ago.  It had various reactions. And then I posted it on my Instagram probably, man, maybe just over 10 days ago.  Then for whatever reason somebody picked it up and then it just started going crazy.

Rick:

No kidding.

Dr. Rodney Howard-Browne:

I would say from what I’ve seen, 80 percent is positive response.  People just very happy that a church would protect the people. And then you get all the religious people that say, “Don’t we have angels?”

And I say, “Look, yes we have angels.  But a shepherd has to protect the flock.” And look what happened in Texas when that guy just come in there.  They were like fish in a barrel.

Rick:

Yeah.

Dr. Rodney Howard-Browne:

And if somebody had been in there who knew what they were doing then they guy maybe would have only got to one or two people.  Then it would have been over.

Rick:

No doubt.

Dr. Rodney Howard-Browne:

And plus, I believe it was actually before we even put the sign up, we started gun clubs in churches.  I give away an AR15 on a Sunday morning.  So I’m kind of a radical American.

Rick:

Via South Africa, right?

Dr. Rodney Howard-Browne:

Yeah. Grew up watching John Wayne and Clint Eastwood.  So I think the American people need to realize what the Second Amendment was there for.

Rick:

Yes.

Dr. Rodney Howard-Browne:

Obviously, to protect them from a tyrannical government.  But then also to make sure that you know it protects the First Amendment.  So no one can come in, shut you up, shut your mouth, because they’re going to have to come with some fire power.  Then you’ll meet them with equal resistance. Which, that’s just the way I look at things, you know.

Rick:

Well, and even from a Biblical perspective, the right of self-defense, and to defend your family, and certainly your flock.  I mean, a lot of people today take Scripture out of context and try to say, “No, Christians should not defend themselves.”

But when you look at the Bible as a whole, you get all kinds of incredible stories of protecting those who can’t defend themselves. And so what’s your thought on that just from a Biblical perspective and what you’re encouraging your flock to do is to protect the innocent?

Dr. Rodney Howard-Browne:

Well, two things, people bring up.  Turn the other cheek. And I said, “Look, if somebody hits you, you turn the other cheek.  But we’re going to prevent even the first hit to the first cheek.” You know what I’m saying?

Rick:

Yeah.

Dr. Rodney Howard-Browne:

Because basically you’re able to — people come with, if they come with an intent, we have people trained.  They watch.  We can see people coming with a hidden agenda and we’re going to do whatever it takes to protect the flock so people can come and sit, and listen to the word, participate in a service, without being taken out.

Somebody used the analogy of when Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane and Peter took the sword and cut of the High Priest’s servant, Malcus’s ear.  Jesus said, “Put away the sword. Those that live by the sword will die by the sword.” But what I say to that is the fact that Jesus was going to go to Calvary and He didn’t want Peter interfering in that.

Rick:

That’s right.

Dr. Rodney Howard-Browne:

But Jesus is the one that told the disciples, “If you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one.”

Rick:

That’s right.

Church That Is Armed

Dr. Rodney Howard-Browne:

So it’s imperative and I just feel that people need to stand up, protect the people of God.  So that people are going to worship freely and nobody comes and just does whatever they think that they can do.

Rick:

Yeah, I hope that more churches do that.  It unfortunately, does seem like that’s becoming a target. And you know, just out of curiosity, I mean, I would think your members have been very pleased that you’ve done this and are happy that their church is a safe place?

Dr. Rodney Howard-Browne:

You know, we’ve been going 21 years now this December.  Everybody, they know me, you know.  I do a lot of stuff too, tongue and cheek, or whatever.  But they laugh.  We’ve got 80 old grannies packing 357 mags.  I told the church that, I said, “The biggest thing will be cross fire. If you hear a shot go off, everybody hit the floor and let the people take care of business.” But we don’t foresee a problem.

Rick:

Yeah.

Dr. Rodney Howard-Browne:

And you know, we have buses coming from the inner city.  Like this last Sunday, we had over two and a half thousand people.  We had over 800 at the altar. So we’re reaching a demographic that covers a cross-section of everyone.  People coming in drugged, alcoholics.  

So it’s not like your nice little suburban church where nothing could go wrong. I mean, we have people come that could have a knife on them.  Or you know whatever, people come under the influence of alcohol. But that’s what the church is about – people getting saved, people coming to get set free.  You know so any –we say this isn’t going to happen and probably will, but we need to be on top of it, you know.

Rick:

Amen, amen. The River At Tampa Bay is the name of the church. Folks in Tampa Bay, you want to go to a church where you know you’re going to be protected and nobody is going to be able to come in and shoot fish in a barrel, that’s the place to go.  The River At Tampa Bay.

Dr. Rodney Howard-Browne, God bless you, brother.  Appreciate you coming on again. Thanks for your time today.

Dr. Rodney Howard-Browne:

Thank you so much and God bless.  Keep up the good work.

Rick:

Stay with us, folks.  We’ll be right back with David and Tim Barton.

Constitution Alive

Have you ever wanted to learn more about the United States Constitution but just felt like, man, the classes are boring or it’s just that old language from 200 years ago or I don’t know where to start? People want to know. But it gets frustrating because you don’t know where to look for truth about the Constitution either.

Well, we’ve got a special program for you available now called Constitution Alive with David Barton and Rick Green. It’s actually a teaching done on the Constitution at Independence Hall in the very room where the Constitution was framed. We take you both to Philadelphia, the Cradle of Liberty and Independence Hall and to the WallBuilders’ library where David Barton brings the history to life to teach the original intent of our Founding Fathers.

We call it the QuickStart guide to the Constitution because in just a few hours through these videos you will learn the Citizen’s Guide to America’s Constitution.  You’ll learn what you need to do to help save our Constitutional Republic. It’s fun! It’s entertaining! And it’s going to inspire you to do your part to preserve freedom for future generations. It’s called Constitution Alive with David Barton and Rick Green. You can find out more information on our website now at WallBuilders.com.

Rick:

Welcome back.  Thanks for staying with us on WallBuilders Live. Thanks to Pastor Rodney Howard-Browne for being with us today as well.

Back with David and Tim.  Guys, he was saying, I mean, exactly what you guys had said. Obviously, you could tell from his voice, taking it very serious.  He’s not going to put his flock in a dangerous situation, especially with an open ministry like they have reaching out everywhere that they are bringing people in that they don’t know. I think there’s a lot of wisdom in what he’s saying. I hope a lot of pastors are at least open to considering that.

Tim:

Well, you know, Rick, it’s interesting as we’re saying that pastors we hope they’re open to considering that. There’s a lot of pastors that aren’t. And in fact, when this article first came up just a few days ago, there were pastors writing responses against this.  In fact, pastors of major denominations and major movements and theological– I mean, considered pillars in Christianity in some modern Christianity perspective.

And there was a pastor who said, “Look, you should never have a gun to take somebody’s life.  You should never use a gun in self-defense.  You should never use a gun in protecting your family.” In fact, he said “If my wife was being raped by a bad guy, I would simply go call the cops.  I would have the cops handle the situation.”

Which I’m thinking–

Rick:

Unbelievable.

Tim:

There are certain levels of stupidity.  I can’t even imagine–

David:

I wonder if his wife read that article.

Tim:

Well–

Rick:

No kidding.

Tim:

You know, even imagining that would be true because you are pretending like that you do not have any kind of instinctual things that God put in you to be the protector of your home.  Right?  That’s like saying if you were watching a bully beat up your kid you wouldn’t stop the bully because well you know what, I’m just going to pray.  I’ll call the cops.  I don’t want to get involved.

Levels Of Stupidity

I mean, there’s levels of stupidity to say, “No no, no, if you are a parent, if you are a husband, you are going to do something.” But the fact he didn’t even say, “I would try to stop the bad guys.”   He said, “I would call the cops and get the cops out here.  But I wouldn’t have a gun.  I wouldn’t shoot this guy.”

Rick:

How much of this?  Because that’s not uncommon that/   I mean, I see it on Facebook, and blogs, and different things where Christians comment and say, “Well, Jesus will take care of it.  Angels will take care of it.”

I mean, how much of that’s just bad theology ignored?  That’s that view of the Bible that is the Bible’s nothing more than Jesus petting lambs. That is not the whole Bible. And you talk about protecting your home.  Jesus went into His home, His father’s home, and turned over tables and fashioned a whip.

David:

Well, there’s an answer to that.  But even before we get there, in this article that brought Rodney Howard-Browne, his church, to national attention.  Even in that the editor – and this is a very conservative news source, very it’s — a national conservative group came out and threw out two Bible verses and it was basically.

Tim:

Of why he was wrong.  Why Rodney was wrong.

David:

Yeah, why he was wrong. And what were they, Tim? It was–

Tim:

It was the sermon on the Mount tells us that we’re supposed to–

David:

Turn the other cheek.

Tim:

Turn the other cheek.  We’re supposed to love and the second one Jesus said, told Peter to, “Put down your sword.  If you live by the sword, you die by the sword.” Therefore, you shouldn’t arm yourselves.  And you shouldn’t tell your people to arm.   You shouldn’t defend your church.

And that was a position that this presumably Christian editor was taking saying that,
“Well, yeah, guns are not the answer.  They’re not the solution to help protect churches.  You shouldn’t arm yourselves.  That’s not what Jesus would want you to do.”

David:

I think that’s a complete New Testament answer to this. Some people object to the fact that “Oh, you Christians go in the Old Testament.  We’re in the New Covenant.” Okay, let’s stand in the New Covenant for a bit.  And I think under the New Covenant there’s a complete answer to this.

Rick:

Well, we’ll get that answer when we come back.  So stay with us folks. You’re listening to WallBuilders Live.

Biographical Sketches

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. I know, oftentimes as parents, we’re trying to find good content for our kids to read.

If you remember back in the Bible, the Book of Hebrews it has the Faith Hall of Fame, where they outlined 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 and our faith as well.

I wanted 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.

There’s a second collection called, “Heroes of History” in this collection you read about people like Benjamin Franklin, Christopher Columbus, Daniel Boone, George Washington, Harriet Tubman, 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 WallBuilders.com.

 

Rick:

We’re back on WallBuilders Live.  Thanks for staying with us. Back with David and Tim again. And David, you had a New Testament answer to this issue of self-defense.

New Covenant Answer To Self-Defense

David:

Yeah.  When the bad guy’s coming at you, Jesus said in John 10:10, “The thief comes to steal, and to kill, and destroy.” And so He told us what the purpose of the thief is and that is destruction, annihilation, damage, whatever it is.  Then He, referring to the thief over in Matthew and also in Luke 12, He says, “If the good man had known when the thief was coming, he would have been armed and met him.”

And so Jesus said, “If you know the thief is coming, you’re going to be armed.  And you’re going to go out and meet him. Now that’s a Jesus response to this.  That when you know the bad guys coming, you arm yourself.  You go take care of it.  So that’s one Jesus response.

Then I go to 1 Corinthians 4 where it talks about that if you’re going to be a steward, you’ve got to be found faithful. And a steward, once God gives you something, to give it back to Him in better condition than you found it.

And so if the steward has given you something, are you going to allow someone to come in and kill it when you could have prevented that?   You could have preserved that, and given it back to the master in good shape. You say, “You know, if my wife is getting raped I’m going to let that happen.” No – you’ve got to preserve the stewardship that God has given you.

Steward What God Has Given You

And the final one that goes with that is when Jesus is talking about the pastor being the shepherd of the flock.   He says, the difference between a shepherd and a hireling is that a shepherd would throw himself between danger and the congregation. If a wolf, or a bear, or a lion, is coming after the flock, the true shepherd goes out and meets him and will take him on just like David did. But he said the hireling turns and runs and will not face and confront the danger. And so Jesus says there, laid out, that if the danger is coming at the flock you the pastor should be the first one out there to face the danger and face it down.  Not call the cops, you go do yourself. Those are all Jesus verses.

And that’s pretty clear stuff that you’re not to be passive in this kind of stuff.  There is a place for turning the cheek when it comes to individual injury. But when you have to protect the stewardship God’s given to you, which means your flock, and your family, and your wife, and your kids, no, no, no, that’s.  What you’re doing is turning their cheek rather than turning your cheek.  That’s not what you can do. That’s not Jesus stuff.

Tim:

Well, guys, I’ll also point out the Bible is pretty clear on the obligation we have to preserve life. R ight? You can read Psalms.  You can read Proverbs, that if you see someone being led to the slaughter, if you see something.  But we’ve been given a very clear obligation throughout the Bible.  We’re to preserve life.

And we even could look at an old Testament verses.  But it’s clear that God wants to preserve life.  In fact, we can go even further that God hates bloodshed on a relative level. But in the sense that —

David:

Especially innocent bloodshed.

Tim:

Well, specifically, right.  So bloodshed doesn’t lead to holiness in some regards. But if you think about– like King David’s going to build the temple and God tells David, “Hey, you have too much bloodshed you can’t build a temple.” Now, I mean, David had been following God, serving God, but God was not a fan of bloodshed.  Yet, part of the blood that God did not want shed was that innocent blood.

David:

That’s right.

Tim:

God was not anti any blood being shed on some regards because the first command He ever gave to man was if man sheds blood by man, his blood will be shed. So if you have someone who murders somebody, you need to put the murderer to death because I want to preserve innocent life.

I want to make sure we preserve the dignity of life and self-defense. But if you start looking through the Bible, we could mention many Old Testament verses that deal with self-defense.  

But there is even New Testament verses we can point to where going to the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus wanted to make sure that the disciples had swords.  It wasn’t so they could commit war.  It was so that, ultimately, they would be able to defend themselves if they needed to preserve and get away etc. And guys I mean, there’s really–

David:

By the way, I’ll point out that Chief Justice John Jay, one of the founders the American Bible society, has one of the greatest pieces on Jesus telling Peter why do you get a sword and why that is not an act of war. And, I mean, it’s in the Founders Bible.  Really good stuff on that particular verse. Tim, go ahead.

Tim:

Well, and so certainly that we don’t want to trust in the sword.  Jesus says you don’t rely on the sword.  The sword will not deliver you.

And in some of these instances that if you live by the sword, you die by the sword.  That’s not the condition we want to be in. But Jesus never — people pretend like that Jesus was anti-sword.  Well, Jesus is the one that told them to have a sword, number one.  And it’s not like Jesus didn’t know He had a sword. Peter didn’t pull it and Jesus went, “Oh, my goodness what is that and where did you get it?” No – Peter gets in trouble because he used it incorrectly and inappropriately.

Rick:

Right.

Tim:

Right. Where Jesus,  “No, no, no, I’ve come for this purpose.  The reason I am here is to lay down My life.”

Peter didn’t understand that.  It was a misuse of the sword.  It was an improper use of the sword that got him in trouble. But it was not the idea that he had a sword and he wasn’t supposed to have a sword.

And this is something, guys, even historically in America, right? We have a book on the Second Amendment where we just compiled early laws from the early colonies, the early states, where–

Rick:

And quotes from the Founders about why we had the Second Amendment.

It Used To Be Illegal To Go To Church Without Your Gun

Tim:

That’s exactly right.  Where it used to be illegal for you to go to church without bringing your gun because they said you never know when you might be attacked.  You always need to be able to defend yourself, to defend your family, your town, your community, your property.  So you could not go anywhere without a gun or you would get fined.

In those situations, they recognized there could be danger and go back to the verse in Proverbs that a prudent person foresees evil, foresees danger, and takes precautions.

And now we’re saying,  “Wait a second, we don’t want churches to be prudent people.  We don’t want them to foresee evil and take precautions.  We want them to remain vulnerable.”

And this is foolish on a lot of levels because even though we do trust in God, we still lock our doors at night. Right?

Rick:

That’s right. And we complain, often I do at least and I know you guys do as well, when government disarms us and doesn’t allow us to protect our families in certain places or a college girl gets raped because her gun’s in the truck because you couldn’t take it on campus and those kind of things.

Pastors, Encourage Self-Defense

In the same way we should say,  “Please pastors, do not put your congregation in that situation.  Do not disarm them and prevent them from being able to defend their family.  Encourage them to do their job in defending their family and be prepared.  Be that prudent man that Tim’s talking about.”

Out of time today. Got to, man, we could– we’ve got to cover this topic again. Thanks for listening today folks. You’ve been listening to WallBuilders Live.