A Time to Kill : The Myth of Christian Pacifism

Discussion in 'Faith and Religion' started by OldDude49, Jun 19, 2017.

  1. OldDude49

    OldDude49 Just n old guy

    Someone finally took the time to explain this...

    Read more: A Time to Kill : The Myth of Christian Pacifism ~ Book Review
    Under Creative Commons License: Attribution
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    Buckeye, AZ –-(Ammoland.com)- Regardless of your faith, or lack thereof, Biblical teachings frequently play into discussions about self-defense and disarmament, and this book provides strong arguments for pushing back against the widespread notion that Jesus would expect his followers to passively accept evil acts.

    Although Jesus has often been portrayed as a pacifist who would allow bad things to happen – such as His crucifixion – that image is a misunderstanding of Jesus and of His mission. Much of the Biblical doctrine of force comes directly from the Old Testament – the Jewish Tanakh – which is the foundation of our Judeo-Christian system of laws.

    When and whether a Christian might use deadly force is a debate that goes back to the earliest days of Christianity. Can a Christian use deadly force in a way that does not violate the tenets of his faith? When? Under what circumstance? The default position for many gun owners in the conservative evangelical tradition has been to hope that Jesus would not condemn defending ourselves and our family, based on Luke 22:36 (“and he who has no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one”). And then we hope for the best, because we aren’t going to stand aside and let our families or our homes be violated by criminals. If that be sin, make the most of it, and let grace abound.

    A Time to Kill: The Myth of Christian Pacifism
    In A Time To Kill Greg Hopkins brings biblical backup to that visceral instinct to defend. That instinct, according to Hopkins, is the biblical position. One verse that seems to drive Hopkins’ entire narrative is Leviticus 19:16b “You must not stand idly by when your neighbor's life is at stake.” (New English Translation).

    The author is well-equipped to serve as a guide to the spiritual aspects of applying deadly force. A lawyer by training, Hopkins has served as a reserve police officer, a prosecutor, and has trained police officers in legal aspects of the use of force. He has received firearms training from the FBI Academy and Massad Ayoob.

    Add to the legal and firearms knowledge a deep knowledge of scripture which Hopkins displays throughout the book, and it becomes clear that A Time To Kill is an important defense of being an armed Christian.

    Hopkins takes the reader on a tour of examples of force being used in the Bible, from Abram in Genesis gathering a posse to rescue his kinsman Lot, to a brief image of Jesus at the head of an Army of God at Armageddon. He thoroughly explores the idea of Jesus as a pacifist, and shows the problems with that idea.

    A Time To Kill is clearly organized with a solid structure. The first section is devoted to self-defense and begins to establish the idea that self-defense is not only good, but that Christians may be shirking a duty if they passively give in to evil. He talks about the difference between righteous self-defense, and vengeance. He also explores alternative self-defense methods, notably pepper spray, a tool for which he holds instructor credentials.

    The second major section deals with Christians being in the military and police. They are the arms of government which is, according to the Bible, ordained by God. Military and law officers need to discharge their duties in the light of biblical principles. Hopkins explores the differences between their roles, but also the similarities, and devotes considerable space to recovery from a traumatic experience.

    After an intermission consisting of a fictionalized account of Abram preparing to rescue his kinsman Lot, Hopkins next gets into the law – not biblical law, but secular – with particular focus on those who break it – criminals. In this section Mr. Hopkins draws heavily on Proverbs with its many references to the “fool” and the “rebellious man.” He hammers the point that a criminal intent on a criminal act is unlikely to be swayed by passive, pacifist non-resistance.

    The next section is the meat of the book. Titled “Jesus, Self Defense, and Pacifism.” In this section he lays out the case that Jesus was not a pacifist and that he would not expect pacifism from his followers. Reading this section, it becomes clear that the chapters leading up to this one were building a solid foundation for this very important structure.

    Finally, the book digs into the death penalty, making a solid case for the ultimate punishment the state can inflict A Christian facing jury duty in a capital case would be well advised to refer to this section.

    Self-defense and deadly force can be a thorny issue, particularly with the waters muddied as they are today by popular notions of what it means to turn the other cheek. An important part of any defensive firearms training is a focus on mindset – being prepared both mentally and spiritually to do the right thing at the right time and to have confidence in one’s actions. Armed with knowledge from A Time To Kill, an armed Christian will be better prepared for the very real battle between Good and Evil that is armed self-defense.

    Every armed believer needs to learn what Mr. Hopkins has to teach.

    About Jeff Knox:

    Jeff Knox is a second-generation political activist and director of The Firearms Coalition. His father Neal Knox led many of the early gun rights battles for your right to keep and bear arms. Read Neal Knox – The Gun Rights War.

    The Firearms Coalition is a loose-knit coalition of individual Second Amendment activists, clubs and civil rights organizations. Founded by Neal Knox in 1984, the organization provides support to grassroots activists in the form of education, analysis of current issues, and with a historical perspective of the gun rights movement. The Firearms Coalition has offices in Buckeye, Arizona and Manassas, VA. Visit: www.FirearmsCoalition.org.

    A Time to Kill : The Myth of Christian Pacifism ~ Book Review
    DuxDawg, Ura-Ki and Yard Dart like this.
  2. Legion489

    Legion489 Rev. 2:19 Banned

    All you need t do is look at Luke: "If you do not have a sword, sell your cloak and buy a sword." How about Revelation (NOT Revelations) "Let the slows be beaten into swords and the pruning hooks into spears. Let the weak say I am strong."
  3. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    There are many christianities....some are pacific and some are combative....justifying either position by reference to 'sacred scriptures' is a very self serving exercise in self justification. Think of scriptural 'proof quotes' as a bowl of M&Ms...to just pluck the ones to suit one's preferences..and ignore the ones that one dislikes.

    Muscular Christians will find proof texts to justify their (often enough predatory) claws and fangs....and more pacific Christians will find proof texts to justify their self sacrificial pacifism. The Christian Bible contains many contradictory texts...it's the salad bar of proof texts to suit nearly every Christian's tastes, purposes and preferences....very much like the Quran, which has also borrowed heavily from the Tanakh.
    Ura-Ki likes this.
  4. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki Grudge Monkey

    This is a very complex situation, one I have learned the simplest of answers to, and that I live my life by! I have been given the gift of life, and that that gift is not to be squandered or wasted with out purpose, or easily tossed away. I live and let live, but cross my threshold and you will know pain, threaten me, and you will know fear, endanger my life, and I will kill! ALL Christians should have learned this simple truth, We were all given the greatest gift, the gift of life, and we are to hold onto it with every ounce of strength we have inside us!!!
    DuxDawg, Yard Dart, Legion489 and 2 others like this.
  5. arleigh

    arleigh Goophy monkey

    Jesus provided something the rebellious reject ,the promise of the Holy Spirit.
    True born again believers have the capacity to receive the Holy Spirit , and it more than just words .
    This capacity has a responsibility to obey God seeking His instruction, where in Jesus Lordship is demonstrated ,Matthew 7;21,22,23, " Not every one that says to me Lord Lord shall enter the kingdom of heaven but he that does the will of the Father" ,"real time" with out which, there is no relationship.
    The Holy Spirit can lead one in , through, and around danger , and also face the harshest of life threatening events death is involved. not a fearful event at all, clothed in this relationship.
    Satan attempted to use scriptures to distract Jesus, but Jesus did not fall for it. Matthew 4;
    His example of obedience and love for the Father prohibited him from compromising ,to show believers what love for God was.

    Rebellion looks for blame and excuses in scriptures and any other resource than God for instruction.
    Repentance is the exact opposite.
    to say this ,
    If and when the time comes that a threat comes, God usually has given me instruction for that event in the midst of that event .
    if I fail to ask or listen I know to default to letting things unfold as they will ,and God sees to the need in His time.

    God has spoken to me to slow down, and in my anxiety to get from point A to point B I ignored the warning and pushed on.
    Then I get a flat tire ,and fix that, and rush on . further down the road a car is in the path i cannot pass and finally headed to the warning, and later i see that had I pushed my way more , I would have met with a disaster other people had gotten caught up in, I could have never seen 40 mile away.

    The list is endless where God has guided me around obstacles and trouble , and brought me to success and blessing through out my life .
    Yes I have rough times ,here and there but God still sees me through .
    I love Him and He loves me.
    I want to know His will , His will is always to my advantage always somewhere down the line .

    But the man that hopes to selfishly manipulate God, is in for serious disappointment.
    Attempting to use scriptures like an incantation is manipulation.
    When Jesus taught men to pray ,Who's will comes first?
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2017
    3M-TA3, DuxDawg, Ura-Ki and 1 other person like this.
  6. OldDude49

    OldDude49 Just n old guy

    This article was posted simply to point out that the label Christian does NOT go hand in hand with pacifism...

    yes there are one verse charlies that try to claim things and just use on verse...

    ya got to look at the overall picture...

    what is said in the verses before and after can reverse what the one verse charlies are claiming...

    point being you are told in several location within the book to stand and if need be fight... unto the blood if necessary...

    HOWEVER you are NOT to seek revenge... I see repeatedly references of being under attack... and responding accordingly...

    of course I acknowledge what is above is my opinion but I am not alone in my belief...
    RJB likes this.
  7. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    I think the history of Christianity is replete with many examples where those who were labelled 'Christian' were very belligerent...particularly with heretics, homosexuals, 'witches', Jews, infidels, and members of competing Christian sects.

    Christianity and violence - Wikipedia

    Yes, indeedy...."one verse charlies..or charlenes" do try justifying their position, by using proof texts supporting their position, and ignoring those inconvenient proof texts undermining it. What is so surprising about that...or even unique to the Christian faith?

    Yes, indeedy...but try reconciling proof texts that advocate one position, with proof texts that advocate a contradictory position...The Bible seems a little like the I Ching...one can interpret scriptural texts to justify just about anything one has done, is doing, or wishes to do. 'Conservative' Christian, theological fundamentalists, and 'liberal' Christian theological modernists can both quote mine the same Biblical verses and come up with quite different conclusions...never minding that both contemporary Christian factions are applying their theology to an almost completely different cultural context, from when the scriptural snippets where first written, edited, and were eventually compiled into what has become various versions of "The Bible".

    That is quite so...it rarely seems to stop some 'conservative' and 'liberal Christian quote miners from concealing that fact in their rhetoric by selectively excluding contradicting passages from the theological point that they are trying to make. This practice isn't exclusive to Christians of course...even non believers are tempted to do much the same. It's almost an irresistible temptation for believer and non believer alike.

    This is particularly so, when 'god' commands it...to do otherwise is to disobey god and suffer god's wrath for failing to slaughter those who are commanded by 'god' to do so...whether those to be slaughtered are non combatant women(who are not virgins), men, children, infants, the elderly, or the infirm (and even domestic animals).

    Again....god reserves to himself the vengeful slaying of others (which he has said to have done on many occasions in the 'Bible')...but sometimes he is prepared to sub contract it out to his favoured Israelites. Amalekites - RationalWiki

    Undoubtedly your opinions are probably shared by some, if not many, but whether or not the band wagon share the same opinions as yours, says nothing about the validity or the factual truth of the opinion. Logical Fallacies» Appeal to Popularity

    Last edited: Jun 23, 2017
  8. DuxDawg

    DuxDawg Monkey+

    One cannot be both a Christian and a pacifist. They are mutually exclusive.

    99% of those who claim to be Christians... are not.
  9. M118LR

    M118LR Caution: Does not play well with others.

    The worst atrocities of man to mankind have all been based upon religious zealousness.
    In the beginning Christians were the crucified, it wasn't until they had extracted a seven-fold toll upon the seventh son that they attempted to become civilized. Then came the fracturing! Ever heard the term THE CHURCH?
  10. arleigh

    arleigh Goophy monkey

    If you've only heard of some one, and have only the suppositions of others, all this second hand information/speculation is not equivalent to a relationship.
    This the contrast between Jesus and all other ideas concerning God.
    Knowing all the other religions of earth's history might be a big ego boost but it does not equate to a relationship of obedience and alignment with God, Jesus alone came to provide.
    Men choose to organize "The Church" so they could control the faith, RATHER THAN TRUSTING THE HOLY SPIRIT TO DO HIS JOB . ( much like when the Jews entering the promised land, demanded a king)
    When God does not act in the way men believe He should, then men take and fit things to their own agenda .
    This us the beginning of the organized church . Not what God had in mind. ( Jesus did not direct this) Not that He didn't know what man would do ,the message still gets out in those that honestly seek "His" fellowship.
    But manipulators will receive their own judgment, having acted out side Gods instruction . Matthew 7;21,22,23,
    God warned the prophets of the old testament NOT to modify His message in any way, with severe repercussions .
    I take this seriously.
    DuxDawg likes this.
  11. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    Then for goodness sake, they shouldn't include themselves in censuses as 'Christians'....it unjustifiably gives more weight to Christian claims that Christians comprise a majority demographic in the USA and Australia. If they are not a Real Christian they should identify themselves as 'unaffiliated'.

    I do take your point though....many Jews, Christians and Muslims are not actually faithful Jews, Christians and Muslims....but are just 'cultural' Jews, Christians and Muslims. That is to say they don't believe the supernatural / doctrinal elements of their respective religions, but just observe the traditional holidays and seasonal festive occasions. For all intents and purposes, they may just as well be crypto atheists / apostates....count 'em on censuses and polls as the atheists and apostates that they actually are.[reddevil]
  12. Tempstar

    Tempstar Old and crochety Site Supporter+

    "You have not experienced Shakespeare until you have read him in the original Klingon"
    Chancellor Gorkon
  13. DuxDawg

    DuxDawg Monkey+

    Yup. For the example, know many, many "Catholics" who only attend church for Christmas, Easter and weddings. Have never owned, much less cracked open a Bible. Yet cheerfully exclaim that they are "Christians". Somehow I thought one had to actually spend some time understanding and following and... *sigh*. Silly me! lol

    As to your idea, Mr Chelloveck sir, that the Bible is a grab bag... well, to the uninformed it certainly can seem so. I have found that diligent study does tend to remove such suppositions. There is great nuance to be had!

    Cheers y'all!
    BTPost likes this.
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