Everybody in their Right Mind Hates Violence. And Everybody cries out ‘Peace, Peace, Peace,’ Everybody says: “Down with Violence.” Can a Christian Use Violence? Even to me the question sounds peculiar! But it is a query that Many People have! And, I have used the word Christian as I am a Christian Priest, and cannot really answer it for those of Other religions.
Violence is taken as a Dirty word. As far as possible, it Has to be Avoided, of course. And its use in Aggression, Attack or Offence is Never Right.
On the other hand, the use of Force, even Armed Force – which is Nothing else but Violence – is Allowed in Defence. Violence is Not the Issue, but Aggression is. That is the essence of this article.
Defence is something ‘Of the Moment.’ If I am beaten up, I cannot come home, pick up a stick, and go back and beat up my attacker. That is Not Defence, that it Attack. And Violence in this situation would be Wrong. That is what the Lord calls ‘Vengeance’ in the Bible.
At the same time, if the fellow(s) are lying in wait and in ambush, it would not only be Necessary, but Right, to Defend Yourself and Yours. You would have to Encircle them and put them out of commission.
The example that springs to mind for this is that of Red Indian attacks on small settlements. In a situation like that, Proper Defence would have been to Fire the Shots First, if possible. I see No Wisdom in getting Your house set on fire, just because they had not fired the first shot! For background notes on this Please see below.
The Red Indian had been cheated, and No Proper Settlements/Arrangements were made for them. This was Violence against them. And just because certain peoples had advanced with reference to Iron weapons and guns, etc, they had seen fit to Enslave, carry away, and Sell practically whole nations. That Same method of Force and Violence is used in running houses of Prostitution today.
Going back to one more example of Offence (first) as the Best Defence, I would say that the Idea that the Law officer in the Old West was supposed to draw only after the ruffian had done so was Idiotic and Wrong. Whether a man volunteered to be a Law officer or whether he took a salary, How Long did We expect him to keep up the speed of Draw? When he got old, what was he supposed to? Be the Victim of Revenge? We have held the lives of Our Law men cheap. We made them Spectator Sport. It was Criminal on the part of those who drew up such laws.
I am not saying the above with reference to the Ferguson affair. Darren Wilson firing off TWELVE LIVE ROUNDS at unarmed Civilians was Criminal.
In the situation that followed, the mere presence of police force armed with semi-automatic weapons and APC-like vehicles where Unarmed Civilians are gathered is Violence. This is Aggression.
Was just watching the movie, ‘The Next Karate Kid.’ Two things there are Noteworthy. One, that physical instructor says at one point: “If You find somebody throwing a Candy wrapper, make them Eat it,” or words to that effect. I am Not commending or suggesting Violence like this. This is Stupidity. The other is the instance where Julie goes into a store to buy some things, and there are three men there, who set their dog upon her, and later come out and try to Grab her. Here I would I ask YOU a question: “If You were the Girl’s Guardian, What would YOU have done at that point?”
If one could at least Run and Escape, the discussion would be over. But would three men let a Young and Beautiful Girl Escape? The question is Not whether We know how to fight. Rather, it is, Whether We think pulling up a few chairs and starting a Counselling session would work here! Are these Impossible scenarios? Let us Not be Naive.
Came across the travails of one Gopika, who travelled by train and had some Nasty experiences. Upon Great Insistence from her and her companions, police did arrive, but went back after scolding her and her companions! To read her account, please click here.
I have read some Great peace-lovers writing just How they had allowed themselves to be beaten up, and never raised a finger. As I said, Great, Super, Wonderful and Marvellous! But the Question comes when one of Our Family members is Threatened. As Julie was.
Next, with regard to War. Do We Really think hitler would have stopped his mass murder, his ethnic cleansing, with just Germany? Had he not attacked even that giant, russia? If Everybody had gone around waving White flags, do We think he would have desisted? What about saddam hussein bombing the Kurds, People of his Own land? Or when putin is sending tanks into Ukraine, are We to start making passionate speeches in the UN? putin is going to stop by that? 🙂
Or is the ISIS going to lay down its arms if the pope, the dalai lama or the shankaracharya asks them?
I am Not saying that We Stock up on guns. Nor am I saying that You take up arms against Your own government. Interestingly, The BEST way of protesting against one’s own government is through Absolutely Non-Violent and Peaceful means.
Let us now come to The Time when the Hebrews returned to their Homeland. They had dwelt there after the time of Moses, circa 1250 BC, to the Fall of Jerusalem, circa 587 BC. That makes it about 700 years. From about 587 BC to about 445 BC, they had been Slaves By the Rivers of Babylon, first to the Assyrians, then to the Neo-Babylonians, and at the end to the Persians. It was Cyrus of Persia who gave them permission to return. Prior to all this, they had been slaves in Egypt for four hundred odd years. Altogether, they had been Slaves, since the time of Abraham, to the time of Christ, for Centuries. No Wonder they hated the Idea of Slavery, and that they still do! These details are just by way of Background and Interest.
Safety, in those days, meant living within Walls. The crops were raised outside the Walls, and if attacked, they lost, at the most, the Crops. So, upon the return from slavery, building the Walls of Jerusalem was one of their priorities. And Naturally their ‘neighbours’ did not want those walls raised. The Hebrews would build, and their enemies would pull them down. What were they to do? Build or Fight?
What is More Important is What they were Inspired to do. Nehemiah, whom We can call the leader of the Hebrews at that point, writes: “Our enemies thought (of) Killing Us and Putting an End to our Work. …So I armed the People with Swords, Spears and Bows… Even those who carried building materials worked with one hand and kept a Weapon in the other.” (Excerpts from Nehemiah 4:11-17). You know, they were not there at some Fancy Dress Contest. Those Weapons, were to be Used, if Necessary. Image: www.artbible.net
THE ABOVE IS ONE OF THE CLEAREST EXAMPLES THAT EVEN ARMED SELF DEFENCE IS ALLOWED IN THE BIBLE.
It becomes a question of giving the evil minded a little Thrashing, or handing over Your Hard Earned money to ruffians and see Your Family Suffer Want. It could also be a case of Your coming away with a Child in the Womb. If You Fight there, Society would say, “You were Violent.” The church would say, “No Abortion.” And I Agree with it too. So, Let society say what it will. Defend Yourself, with Force, if Necessary.
As Mr. Miyagi had said, “Fight to Win.” If You had to fight, and If You had to be Violent, in Defence, No need to have a party, but have a Good night’s sleep, and Carry on with Your Life!