The Biblical Examiner
An Examination of Biblical Precepts Involved in Issues at Hand

August 1995



1) A Right to Stand & Fight
Resist not Evil
Cause and Effect


A Right to Stand & Fight

     Es 8:3-14

     Preserving our lives and lands

     Introductory note: I believe the Lord left answers to some questions ambiguous for a reason, viz. He must deal with each person as an individual, in different ways, when the time comes, in manners pleasing to Himself, and in ways befitting the times. God raises up men, including pagans, with different lights for specific periods in history, to do specific jobs. This pastor is the first to admit that he does not have the answers, nor will he until he sees the Lord Jesus and be able to ask Him concerning these many confusing matters. As we consider a few things from God's Word, we will probably encounter more questions than answers.


     When it comes to any kind of violent confrontations, even in self-defence, it is a question that each person must answer for his or her own self. Each servant will answer to his own master; the answer to the Master will be in the light of His Word, and each person must find what his Master's Word says for himself.

     An opening admission, however, is that there is an unBiblical, totally antichristian spirit of militancy abroad in the land today. Far too often, that spirit is operating under the guise of Christian self-defense. The Word of God warns of men who will be exalted by the world in the name of Christianity who will stand very shamefully before the Lord and answer for using the wrong kind of sword. Our goal is not to make decisions for anyone, but we do intend to raise questions, offer answers by pointing out some Scriptures, and motivate the reader to search out the truth for him and/or her self.


     We must realize that not every one will reach the same conclusions from the same passages. God uses individuals; God raises up different individuals for different purposes at different times; the Lord also exalts specific pagans for specific periods in history, e.g.,

Rev. 17:17, For God hath put in their hearts ot fulfil his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God should be fulfilled.

     Consequently, the Lord could very well call some of His people to give up their lives in defense of their property. On the other hand, He could just as well call on others to give up their property to the oppressors, for each person must answer to his own Master. Though speaking of eating meat offered to pagan gods, the application is quite appropriate:

Ro 14:4 Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.

     Furthermore, we are clearly prohibited from comparing ourselves among ourselves; we are forbidden by God from comparing our actions and reactions with the actions and reactions of others, or comparing their's to our's. We sin when we attempt to force others into our mold, and most Christians live in sin:

2 Co 10:12 For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.

     One may be committed enough under the Lord's leading to shed his blood to defend a physical piece of property, and we should support his commitment to his property. But the "committed" must not condemn another who might not be so committed.

  •      In opening our examination of our Biblical right to stand, let us mention a few points from 2 Cor 10:1-7. V. 1,

         Now I Paul myself beseech you by the meekness and {a} gentleness of Christ, who in presence [am] base among you, but being absent am bold toward you:

    (a) That nature which is inclined to mercy, rather than to rigor of justice. (Geneva)

         In other words, as Christians, our nature is to be inclined to mercy more than it is inclined to rigorous justice. There is something lacking in the Christianity of those who would rather see heads roll than they would mercy given.

    V. 5, imaginations, or "reasonings." The carnal mind, the fallen mind of man, comes up with many reasons contrary to the mind of God. Accordingly, the more confused times become in which we live, the more important it is that we walk close to the Lord in His Word and in prayer. Other people cannot make our decisions for us, but, obviously, we need the advise of others, Pro 11:14, 15:22.

         Folks advocate the use of carnal weapons when the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds. Because carnal weapons are being used in a vain attempt to pull down the enemy's strongholds, those strongholds are being left standing. Not only are they being left standing, but the Lord Himself is strengthening them in judgement against those who turn from Him by using carnal means when they should be using the sword of the Spirit.

         We in no way promote passivity, but we should be very much against the modern militant spirit that seems to be looking for an excuse to take up carnal weapons and kill people. That spirit seems to be praying for an oppressor to shoot at it so it can shoot back.

         Rom 13:4 clearly tells us that violent action on the part of the state "war" is justified to defend the innocent. I am afraid, however, that what is considered warfare today is nothing more than warfare against God, advancing an ungodly social order.

  •      Now, to the subject at hand.

         The following are general points presented for the reader's consideration. From what little history this pastor knows, there have been Godly men in the past whom God has raised up to be exceptions to the following.

         1) Suffering for the gospel's sake is one thing - self-defence is another. The disciples never defended the gospel with any kind of violent action: Christ told Peter to put up the sword.

         The law, on the other hand, permitted violent action in self defence. Let us consider the law that permitted killing in self–defence. I believe you will find that this is the only time an individual is permitted to kill another individual, the BLOOD AVENGER excepted. The Lord regards life very highly; it is fallen man that has little or no regard for life. Exo 22:1-4.

         First, the thief had to be breaking into the house at night for him to be justifiably killed. It is, therefore, assumed that the one protecting the house was unable to make out if the thief was armed and had evil, murderous intentions against the occupants, or if he was simply breaking in to steal personal property. If the protector killed the intruder during the day, the protector was prosecuted: he was held responsible for the man's blood.

         Obviously, it is established by this law that deadly force can be used only when the one using it faces death himself if he does not use deadly force. Deadly force can only be used to protect life, and that would include the life of other innocent people. (We have dealt with killing abortionists in the past.) Note this law specifically refers to a thief who is intent on stealing; it is not, accordingly, referring to the murderer with the intentions of killing another.

         The Commandment says, Thou shalt not kill. Therefore, the Commandment says, Thou shalt work to preserve and protect life. The law thus assumes that violence against one's personal life can be met with violence in protecting life.

  •      But how about the thief of real property?

         There are four passages that deal directly with theft of real property. The basic law is given in Deut 19:14 & 27:17. In neither case is the individual property owner permitted to kill the one who is stealing the property by moving the landmark. The next two references are found in Proverbs: 22:28 & 23:10. The first simply restates the command not to steal the land, and the second tells what will happen to those who steal the land: The Lord avenges the theft. Hosea 5:10 confirms God's wrath against those who steal land, with specific reference to using both the political and religious order to steal the property.

         This first point we are developing under is, Suffering for the gospel's sake is one thing - self-defence is another. We have covered self-defence: we are permitted to meet violence with violence in self- defense. But what if the violence is against one for his faith in Christ?

         The Old Testament law is not as specific in this area as it was in Exo 22. The Lord does, however, reveal His thoughts in this area through the lives of His prophets. We will only consider one instance to establish His thought on the matter, then we will go to the New Testament: It is quite clear in the matter.

         Elijah is the one that first comes to mind, 1 Kgs chs 17-20. Elijah made no effort of self-defence as the wicked queen sought to kill him for his faith. Rather, he fled and the Lord God protected him. Of course, we have David fleeing from Saul. We might also remember who avenged the thieft of Naboth's property, 1 Kings 21.

         The New Testament is much more specific about the matter: A key passage is 1 Pet 2:19-25: Christ is our example of suffering for the gospel's sake, but He, of course, had no personal propterty to defend. Read about the early church martyrs and how they suffered for the gospel. The Word of God shows that one should suffer death rather than compromise the faith of Jesus Christ, and rather than fight back in defense.


         We must, accordingly, determine why the wicked are moving against us: If it is simply to take our lives, then violence can be met with violence; if it is to persecute us because of our faith, Christ is our example.



         We get a hint of the early Christian attitude concerning the loss of material possessions in Heb 10:30-37:

         First, vengeance against the lawless belongs to God. God uses civil government &/or divine providence to extract His vengeance against evil. God established civil authority to execute His vengeance against the lawless, but if it will not execute proper vengeance, it is up to the Lord to do it. Sad to say, the civil authority that is to execute vengeance against the lawless is many times the lawless against whom vengeance needs to be executed. But the Lord makes no exceptions nor mistakes: He does not tell us that we as individuals can move violently against evil civil authorities in the name of God's vengeance.

         Second, the early Christians to whom Paul wrote were suffering great affliction, v. 32. Their afflictions consisted of being made a public spectacle, gazing stock: They were reproached for their faith as Christ was reproached, oppressed, mocked and ridiculed, and they were commanded to respond as Christ responded. V. 34, their physical property, possessions, wealth, was plundered, or stolen from them.

         John Gill's [1696-1771] comments on this verse are excellent:

         and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods; the furniture of their houses, their worldly substance, of which they were stripped by their persecutors; and this they took quietly and patiently, yea, joyfully; rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer the confiscation of their goods for the sake of Christ: the reason of which joy was,

         knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance: that which is laid up for the saints in heaven is "substance"; it is signified by an house, a city, a kingdom; and so it is rendered here in the Ethiopic version; and by riches, true, glorious, and durable; and by a treasure and an inheritance: and this is "better" than any thing in this world; as to the quality of it, it being celestial; and as to the quantity of it, it being all things; and as to the place where it is, "in heaven"; though this clause is left out in the Alexandrian copy, and in the Vulgate Latin and Ethiopic versions; and as to the company with whom it is enjoyed, saints in light; yea, God himself is the portion of his people: and this is an "enduring" substance; it cannot be wasted by the saints themselves; nor taken away from them by others; nor can it decay in its own nature; and the saints will always endure to enjoy it: and this they may be said to "have": it is promised to them, and prepared for them; they have a right unto it, and the earnest of it; and they have it already in Christ, their head and representative; so that it is, upon all accounts, sure unto them: and this they know in themselves; from what they find and feel in their own hearts; from the sealing testimony and earnest of the Spirit, and from the promise of Christ, Mt 5:10.

         Third, v. 35, they were exhorted not to lose their faith because their faith would be greatly rewarded: As their physical goods were removed from them for their faith, they would be tempted to set their affections upon those goods.

         Mt 5:11 Blessed are ye, when [men] shall revile you, and persecute [you], and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Mt 5:12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great [is] your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you. (Thus we are told what happened to the OT prophets and how they responded.) Mat 6: 19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: 21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. 22 The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. 23 But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great [is] that darkness! 24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. Col 3:2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.

         Consider this qestion: "Why do people become more concerned over physical property than they do over the gospel? Why do they become more concerned over the destruction of personal rights than they do over the destruction of the Word of God?"

         There is now the problem with pasts war between pagans and God's people, e.g. Turks and Christians. And we offer no answers, for we were not there, nor can we answer for God as to what took place. As mentioned previously: God deals with people as individuals: God raises up specific individuals for specific purposes, even pagans; God gives specific light to specific individuals for specific times, and past situations must be viewed in the light given by God for those times.

         2) a second point to consider: we must also ask this question, where is the line drawn at robbery? Where or when does violent defence of property begin? Is theft of property when someone takes our wallet? Is theft when someone moves against our property with armed might to take it? Is theft when thieves move us out of our homes and move in, or through carnal force, does with our properties what pleases them? What about property taxes? What about corrupt laws designed to steal property, "legel plunder"? If we are permitted to use violence to prevent thieves from moving into our house and onto our lands, is violence also permitted to be used against the state that uses a totally antichrist tax system to confiscates properties?

         If we are consistant in our stand, and if we have the Biblical right to use violence against someone who might be taking our properties by force of arms, do we not, therefore, have the Biblical right to take violent actions against an antichrist tax system, even a school board, that steals properties through fiat laws? Both systems, physical movement against the property and "legal" moves against the property, are determined to steal the property.

         3) a third point to consider: I cannot speak for other nations, never having lived under their systems of governments, but I have lived under the American system of government for some years now. I have found and am finding that America is under confiscatory tax laws that take property because good people will NOT DO what is permitted for them to do within the "system." The oppressive mess is here clearly because people simply refuse to do what is permitted for them to do under the law.

         We hear, "Well, we have two United States, and voting makes me a member of the Corporate State, not the Constitutional State." The answer I would offer for such an argument is, "Get involved, and do away with the Corporate State; the means is still there to do it." In fact, in America the power is given to the people: The local county commissioners and sheriffs have the authority to tell the FEDS to get out of their counties and stay out. In my opinion, the "Corporate State" argument is many times little more than an excuse for the laziness that refuses to get involved. In addition, people want short- cuts.


  •      ILLUSTRATION - Esther 8:3-14
  •      Esther 3:11-13, Haman hated the Jews, so he influenced King Ahasuerus to pass a law, permitted anyone to kill the Jews and take anything from them he desired; the law could not be changed nor altered. The evil law, though, permitted the killing and spoiling of the Jews to take place on one specific day: It was not in force all the time. Any other time, the killing of a Jew would have been murder and spoiling him would have been theft. I would suggest that King Ahasuerus would be more likely to enforce those laws than America is today.

         Haman knew the problem he had with the law forbidding murder and theft, so he had to get another law passed, enabling him to murder and steal. He had to influence the civil lawmaking body, the king, to make a law permitting him to carry out his wicked desires. Haman lobbied for the law legalizing murder of the innocent and theft of their property, e.g. abortion. Evidently, he planed to a handsome profit from the killings and spoiling of the Jews, or he would not have been able to make such a generous offer to the king. Haman bribed the lawmaking body of his day to obtain an evil, wicked law that meant the death of tens of thousands of innocent people.

         We all know the story of God's providence working to expose Haman for the very wicked man he was. Haman met his just reward, and was hanged. But Haman's demise did not change the law permitting the killing and spoiling of the Jews throughout the land, 8:8. The king, therefore, moved by Divine Providence, left it to Esther and Mordecai to do as they saw fit to equip the Jews to defend their lives and property on the day appointed by Haman for thier destruction. The writing sent by Mordecai, signed and sealed in the king's name, simply permitted the Jews to use any means to defend their lives and properties, including killing their enemies and spoiling their goods.

         We are confronted here with at least two extremely important points:

         First, the Jews could not defend their lives and property against the civil law that had been passed against them for their total destruction without another civil law to do so. The whole Book of Esther emphases the point that without God's divine intervention by His providence to pass another law, His people would have been destroyed from the world of that day. If the new civil law was not required for God's people to stand against the evil laws, then Esther would not have been needed in the position of influence upon the civil authority, 4:14-16.

         Would God have raised Esther up for the time in which she lived and recorded her actions in His Word if His people already had the legal right to violently defend their lives and property? Remember, they were going to be killed specifically because they were God's people, Jews.

         Moreover, what would God have expected of His people if His divine providence had not provided a new civil law permitting them to meet violence with violence?

         Second, v. 12, they could only do the violence on the one day that had been appointed by Haman for their destruction. The law permitting the killing and spoiling of the Jews was not open ended, nor was the law permitting the Jews to avenge themselves against their enemies open ended. Therefore, if the Jews violently avenged themselves against their enemies on other days than the one appointed, what would have happen to them?

         This is the only place in Scripture that I know of permitting violence to meet violence in the protection of one's property. But the violence had to be done within the law: Their defense had to be done on that one particular day or not at all.

         Though not as important, we will mention this point: The Jews only defended their property; they did not go to those who hated them, but the haters had to come to the Jews.

  •      How does this apply today? The question can be best answered by an illustration:

         A friend of mine and I talked with a car dealer in the opposit end of our county. The car dealer said he was going to join a militia because of the wickedness he saw happening in places of authority. I will not condemn the man for desiring to get involved, but look at the problem: The same man could run for public office and be elected by a land slide. Then he could work within the law to defend both his and his neighbour's property.

         There are two means of confiscating property in America: zoning laws and property taxes.

         In the last election, we could not find one good candidate to declare and work hard for a county council seat who could have been the controlling vote against county wide zoning. Yet people seem willing to take a gun to protect their property from the zoning board. The school board is the one who confiscates the property through taxes, but try to get some good people who will control spending to run for those seats.

         Clearly, Divine Providence has provided lawful means in America to protect one's private property: running for public office and voting. @BT /W = WHAT DO WE THINK GOD WILL DO REGARDING THOSE WHO BY-PASS THE MEANS HE HAS PROVIDED TO PROTECT ONE'S PROPERTY, AND HAVE SUBSTITUTED A WAY MORE PLEASING TO THE CARNAL MIND?

         There seems to be an anxious willingness on the part of some who profess to be God's people to take violent action while they ignore or avoid the means Divine Providence has provided to protect their freedoms and private properties.

         What if the Jews of Esther's day took violent vengeance against their enemies on days other than the ONE APPOINTED by the law?


  • A few concluding points:

    First, looking up defence in the New Testament, one may be surprised to find that the only defence mentioned is defence of the gospel. The conclusion is obvious: Because the gospel has not been defended as required by God, we have lost the personal freedom won by the martyrs. Can we legitimately defend what was lost by compromise without reclaiming what has been compromised, i.e. the total of God's Word?

    Ga 2:11 But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed. Php 1:17 But the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defence of the gospel. Php 1:27 Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel; Tit 1:13 This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith; Jude 1:3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort [you] that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.

  •      Second, the Church has been called to defend the widows and orphans: those who cannot defend themselves. The church is required to defend them in both the religious and civil - political, if you please - arena.

         Job 29:11-17. The man, Job, said:

         When the ear heard me, then it blessed me; and when the eye saw me, it gave witness to me: [why did people bless Job?] 12 Because I [Job] delivered the poor that cried, and the fatherless, and him that had none to help him. 13 The blessing of him that was ready to perish came upon me: and I caused the widow's heart to sing for joy. 15 I was eyes to the blind, and feet was I to the lame. 16 I was a father to the poor: and the cause which I knew not I searched out. 17 And I brake the jaws of the wicked, and plucked the spoil out of his teeth.

  •      The Psalmist said,

         Ps 50:16-22 But unto the wicked God saith, What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, or that thou shouldest take my covenant in thy mouth? 17 Seeing thou hatest instruction, and castest my words behind thee. 18 When thou sawest a thief, then thou consentedst with him, and hast been partaker with adulterers. 19 Thou givest thy mouth to evil, and thy tongue frameth deceit. 20 Thou sittest and speakest against thy brother; thou slanderest thine own mother's son. 21 These things hast thou done, and I kept silence; thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself: but I will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine eyes. 22 Now consider this, ye that forget God, lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver.

  •      Christ charged the religious leaders of His day with devouring widows' houses, Luke 20:47. The wicked of our day are doing the same, but the church says nothing about it.

    James 1:27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, [and] to keep himself unspotted from the world.

         One should pay special attention to James' context, vv. 19., which we generally ignore though it simply restates Exo 22:22. Even more serrious is the fact that Exo 22:22 is followed by Exo 22:23, God's warning against not giving to the helpless what is their due, and then by v. 24, the promise of God's wrath against those who ignore their responsibility toward the helpless. In other words, ignoring James 1:27, inherits Exo 22:24 [And my wrath shall wax hot, and I will kill you with the sword; and your wives shall be widows, and your children fatherless.], for it clearly is part of the context.

         While failing to exercise proper defence in the areas required by God of the defenceless, some are willing to violently defend their properties. Somewhere we have lost our Christianity, and the Lord has put us at the mercy of the ungodly. Rather than return to Biblical Christianity and thus have the Lord's defence, they want to take up arms and defend themselves. One can defend the defenceless if by no other way than by Letters to the Editor. No Child of God has any excuse for not exercise proper defence.

         We cannot count the number of times the Lord promises to defend His faithful people. We have lost what it means to be faithful, and, therefore, have lost the Lord's defence. So instead of seeking ways to return to the Lord and His Word, folks store up carnal weapons. One can arm himself to the hilt, but safety will always be of the Lord, Pro 21:30, 31,

    There is no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against the LORD. The horse is prepared against the day of battle: but safety is of the LORD.

         We must study God's Word for ways in which we are in violation to the His revealed will, and then work to bring those areas under control of the Spirit of God. Until and unless we do that, we have no Biblical right to take any kind of violent action because the enemy is being exalted to cause us to take stock of our walk with God.

  •      Let me reiterate the opening statement:

         The Lord deals with each person as an individual, in different ways, when the time comes, in a manner pleasing to Himself, and in a way befitting the time. God raises up men, including pagans, with different light for specific times in history, to do specific jobs. No doubt, some people will be called upon by the Lord to violently defend their lives and property, and others will be called by the same Lord to yield their lives and property to the ungodly. And we are straightly forbidden from judging one another's actions.

         When it comes to violent confrontations of any kind, even in self—defence, it is a question that each person must answer for his or her own self. Each servant will answer to his own master, and that answer to the Master will be in the light of His Word. Each person must find for himself what that Word requires of him.

         But we cannot avoid the fact that fallen man is looking for easy answers to his surrounding ills: he seeks any answer but the one requiring repentance, conversion and return to the Word of the Lord.

    1 Samuel Chapter 8 is not ambiguous as it clearly defines the problem and the answer.


    Resist Not Evil

    Mat 5:39-42, the Lord gives three illustrations of how one must respond to evil men.

         V. 39, the first response to evil: resist not evil... Note the evil being referred to. It is no more than a slap in the face. In other words, this evil is on a minor, personal level. Christ is not dealing with self protection, restitution, nor someone gouging out an eye or cutting off a limb. He is simply dealing with a slap or strong words. It is basically someone trying to stir up a personal fight with us. From the three illustrations used here by our Lord (cheek, coat and compelling), we see this passage is dealing with wounded pride rather than serious injury to person or property. The situation being dealt with by the Lord can be best described by Pr 15:1 A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. When we retaliate with grievous words, more strife develops.

         Resist not evil... The Lord is not forbidding lawful defence against evil, but He is forbidding private retaliation and striking back. One of the duties of the magistrate is to see that the evil person makes just restitution for his evil deed, so the Lord is not at all calling His people to ignore or overlook wickedness. We are responsible under the Lord to call the evil person into account for his evil actions. (Cf. Rom 12:17. & Pro 25:21-22.)

         Resist not evil... But we live in an evil world and can fully expect the evil person to move against the godly. So how are we to respond? We must respond against evil in a godly manner: We are never allowed to respond to evil in a fit of anger or vergence. Cf. Deuteronomy 32:35; Psa 27:14; 37:34; Pro 20:22; 17:13; 24:29; Isa 40:31; Lam 3:25, 26; 1 Thes 5:15; 1 Pet 2:23; 3:9; 4:19.

         We must not so much as even inwardly hope for an opportunity to get even. A Christian must not enter into any activity which he cannot legitimately ask the Lord to help him in. We must suffer the injury and refer our cause to the Righteous Judge of all the earth. We are warned that if we do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will the Father forgive ours, Mat 6:15.

         Resist not evil... But evil cannot be ignored. Lu 22:36, the Lord required His disciples to buy a sword. The Lord requires self- defence, Ex 22:2. Note: 1) the Lord clearly told us to confront the evil doer with his evil deed, Mat 18:15-17. If he will not hear, then church discipline is to be taken against him; 2) Christ Himself resisted evil by attacking the evil doer: He scattered the moneychangers who were desecrating the temple and overthrew their tables, John 2:13-17. Furthermore, Christ refused to let any man carry a vessel through the temple, Mk 11:15-17. In fact, when Christ was smitten on the cheek, rather than turning the other cheek, Christ soundly challenged and rebuked the evil doer, Jn 18:22, 23. Christ did not respond to force with force, but He did expose and rebuke wrong.

         God ordained the civil magistrate to punish evil. If a well-ordered church requires me to take an evil Christian brother before the Church, then obviously a well-ordered society requires me to take an evil doer before the civil magistrate.

         Though the Scripture requires that we defend what is ours, defence cannot be vengeful. When the injury is personal and private, it is the Christian's duty to bear it in the spirit of meekness so long as doing so does not encourage the evil doer. Remember that Abraham, the friend of God, armed his servants, and perused those who took his nephew prisoner.

         Every truth of God's word is a balanced truth, and none will stand alone. False teachers teach one doctrine at the expense of another, and turn the other cheek is one such doctrine. Notice Romans 5:21, grace does not reign apart from or in place of the righteousness of the law (eye for eye in this case), but through righteousness. Grace is the wisdom and power to live a righteous life according to the law. It is not the power to roll over and play dead before the wicked's abuse of power.

         Yes, Paul did complain to the Corinthians because they were taking what should have been church matters to the civil courts, but Paul did not abrogate the duty of the Christian to society in general.

         If a drunk runs me down, it is my duty to take his license plate number and turn him in. If I catch a thief stealing, do I not have a responsibility to my neighbour to turn him in rather than turn the other cheek and release him? But I cannot go to the civil authorities with a spirit of vengeance, or I will be numbered among the evil doers.

         Resist not evil calls the followers of Christ to a life of meekness, peace, compassion and endurance of wrong. Following Christ forbids seeking personal vengeance, but it does not leave the child of God helpless before an evil world. Our responsibility is not to see that the sinner gets what is coming to him; our responsibility is to see that the sinner gets the gospel of peace. There are only two classes of people in this world, the doer of evil and the doer of good. Vengeance and malice places one in the class of the doer of evil, Eph 4:31; Mat 5:44.

         V. 39, whosoever shall smite thee... is one of the more misused passage. Is Christ speaking of literally turning the other cheek? We must keep in mind the context of the verse. If we turn the other cheek, would we invite the smiter to do more wrong? What did Christ do? Did He turn the other cheek? No! This passage is clearly speaking of an evil person provoking us to retaliate against him, Romans 12:19. Christ speaks against fighting and quarreling. No matter how sorely provoked by another we might become, we must not fight back. The situation between children or between husbands and wives is a good example of what our Lord is speaking against: It is better to allow our pride to be injured than to allow our pride to control us and get us in trouble with the Lord.

         Yet there are times when it is our duty to call for help from the civil authority; there are times to defend rather than be robbed or killed.

         V. 40, the second response to evil: slapping our cheek has to do with our person; coat has to do with our possessions. Not only is anger, argument and physical violence a mark of evil persons, so also is theft. But again look at what the evil person is trying to use the courts to steal, our coat. This would speak of something trifling. The evil person is not trying to seize our house nor property, but he is trying to take something that doesn't amount to much at all, a garment.

         The Lord says here that it is better to suffer the lose of our coat than to go to court over it. It would probably cost more in court fees than the coat is worth. In other words, when people go to court over such trifling matters as a coat, they are probably going because they are mad, their pride has been injured, or because they want to get even. They are not looking for justice (eye for an eye), but they are looking for revenge.

         The Lord says here that the command of one's spirit is far more important than the clothes he wares. The Lord bars His children from using the courts for private vengeance; He is not condemning using the courts for the protection called for under the law, eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.

         V. 41, the third response to evil is another command which must be understood in the context of the time. The nation of Israel was captive to Rome, and Roman troops had power to require able-bodied men to act as porters or guides for a mile at a time. Certainly, this service would not be popular, and would be entered into with great reluctance and complaint. The result would be a bitter spirit which would only go the mile, and no more. The context is primarily concerning forced service to the state, but includes any unwelcome task. If it is something that is our responsibility, we are to do it without murmuring and complaining in our spirit. In fact, we are to go beyond our responsibility with cheerful spirits.

         Our Lord warns against serving under abusive, oppressive authority with an angry, bitter spirit against that authority; He warns against seeking personal vengeance against that authority. Peter gives the same warning: In due time, the Judge of the universe will do right and hold the evil men accountable, so we must leave vengeance in His hands. The Spirit of Christ does not demand that our every personal right be honored and our pride protected.

         V. 42, the Lord departs from negative illustrations which uses evil actions to make His point, and now mentions a positive aspect of Christianity: generosity. But the giving required is not indiscriminate charity. The Word of God clearly established the guidelines for giving. We already mentioned that our actions must not encourage the evil man in his ways, so too our giving. Our Christian charity cannot support people in their indolence.

         There are many passages along the line of Christian charity, but we will only mention two:

         Eph 4:28, Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with [his] hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. 2 Thes 3:10 For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.

         We see from this section that Christians can neither defend pride on a personal level, nor defend property and liberty from a vengeful, bitter spirit of anger.

         Edited from AW Pink, Sermon on the Mount, pp 114ff.


    Cause and Effect

         The Word of God says that those who hate God love death, Pro 8:36. The love of death is seen in the abortion and animal rights movements. Hatred toward human life is very evident as is an unnatural love for animals. The ungodly are tossed about like the waves on the ocean. They have no moral foundation from which to make discussions; therefore, their discussions are without any form of consistency and reality.

         The moral direction of our society seems to have lost all sense of reality. One day we read of the hostility of those active in animal rights over the use of animals for research in science and medicine; the next day we read of the importance of using live "human fetal tissue." Even columnist like James Kilpatrick calls abortion the death of a fetus. Does changing of the name from "baby" to "fetus" make its death okay and morally acceptable?

         The striking thing over the whole issue is the implication that these aborted babies are kept alive until the parts of their bodies can be used, such as the organs, brain, blood and skin. The child is medically dead, so there would be no limit to what can be done. The feeling seems to be, "Life should be enriched for the living so abort the fetus to help in this enrichment." But on the hand, we have the animal rights activist; they cry out against the use of live animals for research. Society promotes using live aborted babies for science, yet it will cry out against using live animals for research. How in the world can a society have such perverted ideas of morality? The news media will give as much if not more coverage for the ones concerned about these live animals than it does to those concerned with the live "fetal tissue." What have we come to? Where is America's conscience?

         We are seeing a result of the '73 Roe decision, making the aborted children of that year 21 years old now. Many fast food chain restaurants have sings up, "help wanted." In fact, these signs are being seen in many places where the pay is at the bottom of the scale. What has happened and is happening is these 21 year olds (and less) are not be in the job market. Rather than a "baby boom" generation, we have a shortage of new workers. Not only a shortage of workers, but a shortage of taxpayers, social security payers and of consumers. (Note we are not promoting taxes &/or Social Security. We simply desire to make a point: without God there is no rime nor reason to social actions & discussions.)

         Moreover, there is money in abortions. The doctor who does it will receive upward to $2,500.00 each. The sale of the live fetus will bring in some extra cash to the facility. The use of fetal tissue will advance (set back) science, and the scientist will make his cut. Let us suppose the total intake from harvesting a live baby (fetus) is $10,000. $10,000 does not even began to add up what that child would be worth as an adult from 18 on. In fact, the social security tax alone to support social programs would be far in excess of that $10,000.00. Has America lost all sense of reality? Have we come to the place where we cannot see past the immediate benefits of our deci- sions?

         No doubt, we see the "right now" (Pragmatic) attitude in control,f or we no longer consider the consequences of our actions. Cause and effect have are divorced from life. The tremendous debt load, both public and private, is an excellent example. By separating cause and effect from life, borrowing is entered into with no concern about repayment. What will happen when the borrowing limit is reached, and it takes all of the income just to service the interest?

         All of this is in addition to the fact that the unborn child has been murdered. Of course, abortion has total disregard for the future: abortion kills off the future. Abortion totally ignores cause and effect in respect to human life.

         Some will move heaven and earth to save an "endangered" animal; they will prevent dams from being built, and stop construction of all sorts. In fact, if we would listen to some activist, we would revert to Indian fashion, to preserve the wild life.

         When we teach that man is no more than an animal that can think and reason, then he is reduced to a laboratory animal to be used for any experiments which can be of "benefit."

         What has happened when we are more concerned over the future of animals than we are over the future of people. We have lost all touch with reality when we can no longer see past the immediate effect of our decisions, Gal. 6:7. Pastor Need

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