Injustices like Gang Bullying, Authoritarian Force injustices (like Police Abusing their power , political parties using Force against innocent people and getting away with it ) are common , Can We as Christians who are seeing and understanding these kind of injustices carried out day by day. React to this by force as King David and Many kings of Israel did Or do nothing as told do in the new testament.
Chan, why " physical force"? I believe that we should pray and speak out as the prophets of old did.
I do get that billbrander that we should pray above all else , however at the end of a prayer is always a physical action orchastrated by God. Also in 1 Samuel 23 verse 3 god specifically orders David to attack physically the attackers.
All humans, who are made in God’s image, have an inbuilt sense of and need for justice to prevail. We all cry out against injustice in the world, and there is so much of it. Yes we need to do something about it, but the question is what is the right way. This might be a helpful starting point (https://thebibleproject.com/explore/justice/. )
In your examples, I would think about them separately.
I think this would fall under criminal law, and one could report any breach of the law to the appropriate authorities, and use the legal system that is in place.
Paul wrote in 1 Timothy 2:1–4, “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people—for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.”
God told the Israelites in exile to pray for Babylon: “Seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper” (Jeremiah 29:7). Romans 13:1 says, “Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.” Paul requested prayer “for all the Lord’s people” and for himself that he would speak the gospel boldly (Ephesians 2:18–20).
That is not to say we do nothing about injustice, but it is certain that we do not participate in any sort of vigilante action outside of the law.
As theBibleProject asks:
One of the most difficult issues facing Christians of any culture or time is how to support, resist, or participate in the governing power structures of their day. Should followers of Jesus endorse any political movement that is or isn’t religious? What are the dangers of joining our allegiance to Jesus with loyalty to any nation or government?
The problem with using force is that you are just adding to and continuing the cycle of force. There must be a better way. Jesus’ way is so radical it really makes us stop and go Whaaaat! How can I possibly do that?
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’
44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,
45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
46 For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?
47 And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so?
48 Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.
Imagine a living in a world like that, where this kind of powerful Love were to propagate and start to take over! That is the vision of Jesus’ kingdom.
Does this mean that a Christian cannot be in the police, army or other government ordained structure to keep the peace? No, I don’t think so because, these structures are in place by God to keep order.
In your example of King David mentioned in 2 Samuel, this was God confirming to David that they should go and defend his fellow country men against the attacking Philistines within the framework of normal national defense.
In fact to use your example of David, when David was younger, David refused to go and kill King Saul when he had the chance. Even thought King Saul was corrupt and on his way down and was trying to kill him, and David had already been anointed King, David refused to take matters into his own hands and he let God take care of the circumstances.
“As surely as the Lord lives . . . the Lord himself will strike him, or his time will come and he will die, or he will go into battle and perish. But the Lord forbid that I should lay a hand on the Lord’s anointed” 1 Samuel 26:10–11
Hope that’s a little helpful?
To some degree @matthew.western
Here God does put a physically driven defence right? So he expects us to help ourselves and also help others if we can through force. Throughout the course of history we see force applied with the grace and wisdom of God is one of the most righteous and hope giving instances ever. [Making of ancient Israel , Modern Israel and it’s defence , Founding of USA] . My belief of prayer is that when we pray God orchastrates a some series of events according to his will. Events that may include Us to involve in the incident physically.
All the institutions that You say Mathew are put up in place not by meager accidents but by men and woman who believed in fighting to their death for a bigger cause that ultimately benefits the people right ?
And then in your quote
God does specifically confirmed or orders to attack the Philistines right ? So Physical strength that God has given Us is to be put in use under his guidance.
Am I correct in this?
A nation has a defense force, and a police system. We are subject to the authorities that are existing, and can work within these existing structures…
Not as a vigilante, as I have stated clearly.
I think we need to be clear. Israel is not the church. There are no ‘Philistines’ to the church today that require physical attacking.
I’m reminded of John Lennox in a debate with Hitchens, who said that anybody who takes up arms to further Jesus’ kingdom by violence is actually disobeying Jesus. You cannot propagate truth by force.
As a Christian, perhaps there are times when you could consider force as being legitimate. Should I use self-defense against a home invader who is threatening my family inside my own house? I would probably, but within the boundaries of the law (of Australia where I live). During a home invasion, I would not have time to sit down and form a conviction by which I live based on what Jesus taught. I have to do this first, and then my life needs to follow these convictions.
Another question to consider: As a Christian, can I serve in the army?
Also, I would be careful not start with a thought ‘I want to achieve x’, or ‘I think position y’, and then go and find a single verse to support it. That’s proof texting, and not a Biblical practice. We need to come to the Bible and allow it to shape us towards what Christ wants us to be: a new creation.
Hope that helps… .
Yes your answers are great @matthew.western but I would like a clarification if you don’t mind
What if there are people who are attacking the church.[implicitly or explicitly] ?
Yes we shouldn’t propgate his kingdom through force.But what about when we have enough the resources God gave us and someone or some group of people are experiencing horrible conditions which we could prevent ?
Yes but how to know that time [I know the lord will provide but many times it’s not that clear ]
But what if the Law is actually opposite to God’s justice as in some countries ?
I know I am using your time here sir , but your help would be valuable
No problem glad to help as much as I can. Check out the link above (regarding when to obey God rather than men).
I’d like to leave this question unanswered to give room for further discussion by others.
It’s important to have a variety of perspectives as we seek wisdom as it says in Proverbs (https://www.gotquestions.org/multitude-of-counselors.html)…
Hi @ChanJ, if you are referring to Hong Kong lifestyle where the Triads flourishes and the Police abuses their power while the rich and political gets away with almost anything then in such environment “Force” is even least recommended.
If you are comparing such situation to the Isrealites during their “stay” in Egypt, they encountered almost the same numerous factors. Moses uses “Force” and the result he had to flee. And when God send Moses back it wasn’t to lead them into rebellion instead was saving them out of the environment. So they continue on to Promised Land where “Force” is used to attack the people there. And when God does use “Force” it is always against the most wicked and evil that sometimes were summarized in a simple word “evil” in the bible. If you really want to know why those evil people deserve it you need to go through some of the ancient culture of God worshiping through human sacrifice (infants too).
With that said, Hong Kong has not reach the level of Sodom and Gomorrah where Abraham could not even find 10 righteous person in a city. There is still power in Prayers and prayers create miracles. Do use Prayers as the weapon of “Force” against the spiritual realm and your election rights as the “Force” to make changes.
1 am been praying for Hong Kong. There is indeed spiritual battles going on in the heaven lies and the Liar is working extremely hard to blind the eyes of unwary people of this SAR. I totally agree: HK is not Sodom and Gomorrah. Nor is it such an evil and wicked Godless people like those initially occupying the Promised Land (before Joshua led his invasions into it). What we need to arm ourselves with in HK is the spiritual armor of Christ n not to use violence, destruction and physical force to achieve whatever agenda they might think is perfect for the region. I appreciate if my statements would be substantiated from our beloved Bible. May peace loving people rise up in unceasing prayer and supplication unto our Almighty God and use this “force” to bring about peace, and justice back into our land.
And, yes, I believe also, vigilante force n violence are not in accordance with Jesus desire for Hong Kong.
Chan, there is some valuable thought provoking material already appended to this discussion and I cannot add to that.
But driving to work today I was thinking, (listening to an RZIM podcast) ‘Why is Chan asking this question? Why is it important to him? What is behind the question?’
And, ‘I wonder what is Chan’s context? Where is he situated?’
So can you please paint a picture for us?
Yeah thanks Bill for giving it a thought Sir . I am asking this question because this is a crucial question for all of Us that still remains ignorant or Atmost Vague. I believe the Bible has answered or answers many questions about life. This question remains crucial because what we see around us and man has ever seen around us including biblical times is men are subjected to force.
That may be bad in ways but very crucially the ways Christianity entered Europe and America was there where kings or rulers who believed in the lord’s word [ be it Constantine, Charlemagne, The American conquest] now I do not agree to using Force to accept the gospel in any way. I do see a force for good principle which I think God has given us which many people are not using due to the vagueness surrounding the topic. The Military , Police, the security gaurds are all force mechanisms which are there so that order is maintained now they will not ask moral questions like " is this mutually
Morally right what I am doing" because this was always right since the beginning of time since God made governments .
Thanks to all who have the example of Hong Kong . It give a good insight on the topic
Am a bit confused on the topic and I believe every one should ask this question and get a coherent and consistent answer , which seems hard to get ?
This quote will provide a good insight to whoever is trying to come to with an answer
The use of force along with the guidance of God I believe will change the world drastically from individual level to whole countries . I think ? Am I wrong please feel free to correct me.
Your question is a legitimate one and well worth thinking about.
Can I recommend a good book to read? John Lennox is one of my favorite authors. The book is ‘Against the Flow: Wisdom from Daniel in an age of relativism’
As is prophesied in Isaiah 53, Jesus is the Prince of Peace. The Messianic promises about Jesus coming through the line of King David were in jeopardy.
An excerpt of the book at https://www.rzim.org/read/just-thinking-magazine/against-the-flow
The big question for someone with Daniel’s background was: why had God allowed such a thing to happen? After all, was not his nation a special nation? Was it not the nation of Moses, who had been given the law directly by God? Was it not the nation that that same Moses had led out of the slave labour camps of Egypt and brought to the land that God had promised them as an inheritance? Was it not also the nation of David, the great consolidating king, who had made Jerusalem his capital, and whose son Solomon had built a unique temple to the living God? Had not God spoken to the patriarchs, priests, prophets, and kings of that nation, with ever increasing clarity, of a coming King, the Messiah (Anointed One), who would be a descendant of King David and preside in the future over an unparalleled period of peace and prosperity on earth? Indeed, this messianic vision finds an echo in the hearts of human beings from every culture, and it has captured the minds of contemporary nations to such an extent that it is recorded on the wall of the United Nations building in New York for the whole world to read:
… and they shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. (Isaiah 2:4)
Thanks @matthew.western and all others it really was helpful. I Think I found a resource that is the best answer to the question
This person is ex military and studied this topic a lot .
thanks for sharing, yes I had a listen to this and he does a good job of separating current cultural issues with what the Bible says. He does discuss some good points about whether a Christian can be in a government position such as the police or army.
Thankyou for sharing.