by Greg Hopkins
Clash Daily Contributor
Life, death, and protecting the innocent. Who or what is more important than your kids? Self-defense includes you and those for whom you’re responsible. Without the right to life, there is no family, community, culture or state. Survival means passing down your ideas, values, genes and religious beliefs. Religious beliefs affect survival. I wrote my book, A Time to Kill: The Myth of Christian Pacifism, because the false and ungodly idea of pacifism has hindered the survival of many Jews and Christians over two millennia. It’s time for Jews and Christians to understand the Bible teaches the significance of theirs and their children’s lives, and that God commands that we protect them. “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for calamity, to give you a future and a hope.” Jer. 29:11.
Exodus 22:3 says that a burglar breaking in at night can be justifiably killed by the homeowner. (I discuss the modern practical application and the context of this verse in my book, ATTK.) It expresses the common sense of self-defense. Jesus treats it as such when he discusses His analogy of binding Satan. Building on Ex. 22:1-3, Jesus treats armed home defense as a given. He assumes that any rational man will defend his home vigorously. Matt. 12:29. In Luke 11:21-22, Jesus describes the strong man as armed and armored, and normal. That translates today to having a gun and a bullet-proof vest for home defense. After all, if you anticipate having to shoot a bad guy, it’s logical to assume bullets coming the other way, too. Jesus not only assumes a man of common sense will resist, but that anticipating such resistance deters burglars. He even extends His analogy of physical defense to the parable of the vineyard. Mark 12:1.
Were Jesus truly a pacifist, he would have repudiated Ex. 22:3 by forbidding physical defense of self or property outright. Yet Jesus recognizes that bad people in a fallen world wish us harm and don’t respect the life or property of others. (And I don’t just mean politicians!) Why do we never see a sign on a house that says: “Christians here: No guns, locks, dogs, or alarms. Come on in and take and do what you want!” we don’t because both common sense and Scripture tells us that such a sign violates the command not to tempt God. Deut. 6:16; Matt. 4:7.
In Gethsemane, Jesus asked the posse why they came after him with swords and clubs, as they would to arrest a robber. Matt. 26:55. Jesus states that police should carry deadly and non-deadly weapons for use against criminals. If so, then He also approves of civilians being able to carry the most effective means to stop home invaders who have numbers and/or weapons on their side. Cops are almost never at the scene when violent crime occurs. So the victim is the most effective person on the scene to stop the criminal. You see, self-defense is the difference between you getting to tell the cops what happened and them drawing a chalk line around your body while they try to guess what happened!
So what about our precious kids? God put Adam in the Garden with orders to protect it. Gen. 2:15. In Hebrew “keep” means “defend”. Failing his duty to keep Satan out, Adam let Eve wander off to be tricked alone, and look at the mess he left us! Abraham rescued his nephew Lot from the foreign army that kidnapped him, and slaughtered the kidnappers. Yet, he was blessed by God for it! Gen.14:19-20. Jacobs defended and preserved the territory God promised for his sons. Gen. 48:22. Those who harm children are cursed by God. Matt.18:6. Therefore, those who defend them will be blessed by God. “Deliver those who are being taken away to death, and those who are staggering to slaughter. O, hold them back! If you say, ‘See we did not see this’, does He not consider it who weighs the hearts? And does He not know it who keeps your soul? And will He not reward a man according to his work? Prov. 24:11-12.
If you’re serious about protecting your family, get educated with the fine books I’ve recommended in this column. If you have ethical qualms about using force, read my book, ATTK. Get armed and get training, because a gun solves very few self-defense situations. Take martial arts if you’re fit enough. If you’re old or infirm, pepper spray is a good, cheap, multi-shot, stand-off weapon that works on people and dogs 98% of the time. If you get a gun, get competent training in safety and shooting, then get good training in using and carrying it legally-then CARRY! I’m an advocate of Home Carry: then the gun is always on my body and out of unauthorized hands. It’s where I need it if I’m attacked in my yard by a rabid woodchuck. Nor do I have to panic and wonder where it is if three burglars are kicking down my door. But above all, you should get legally trained in how much force is proper in a given situation and when force is appropriate.
Since you teach your kids how to cross the street and swim, why not teach them first aid and how to use fire extinguishers? Have these and first aid kits in your house, and make sure the kids know where they are. A house catches fire once every minute in the USA. All kids should have a flashlight with at least 100 lumens brightness. Flash it in an attacker’s face at night will blind them long enough for your kid to escape. Teach them how to escape, evade, and fight back if a mass killer shows up at school. Have them teach their friends to hurl 5-pound textbooks at the killer, immediately followed by all the boys dogpiling, disarming, and disabling the attacker. Equip their cars with bear spray in case of riots. The info is out there. I recommended many books that can start your education. Read them! Take them to heart!
Above all, teach your kids to be aware of whom and what is around them at all times. Don’t go to stupid places, with stupid people, doing stupid things. Teach them to read verbal and non-verbal cues of aggression. Teach them that they are unique; precious to you and God, and have a special purpose and future in life. A life worth protecting! John 10:10.
Greg Hopkins is a recovering lawyer, city prosecutor, police Use-of-Force law instructor, former city judge in two towns and criminal defense lawyer. He’s been teaching the Bible to teens and adults for 40 years. He now trains CCP holders and armed church security teams in self defense law. He also does expert witnessing in firearms and self defense cases. His book is A Time To Kill: The Myth of Christian Pacifism, on the Bible and self defense.