In my opinion, Joe Stack was a “man of violence.”  I don’t think it’s wise to admire a “man of violence”.  In my view, his response to the governments alleged abuse (in this case he alleges theft of property) was not in keeping with the action.  I will support my view from the only law I view as righteous, the Word of God.

Proverbs 3:31-32 Do not envy a man of violence, And do not choose any of his ways. 32 For the crooked man is an abomination to the LORD; But He is intimate with the upright.

It is fruitful to compare the many similarities between David and Joab.  Each man was skilled at killing men, and both had killed many men.  Were they “men of violence?”  David, first and foremost, sought the Lord, trusted the Lord, and loved the Lord.  Why didn’t he kill Saul?  Saul had wronged him many times.  It wasn’t because Saul was his father-in-law.  Rather, it was because Saul was the Lord’s anointed.  It was because of David’s regard for the Lord that he did not resort to violence.

On the other hand, Joab, time after time, resorted to the sword to deal with problems.  Joab was a man of violence.

Proverbs 1:16 For their feet run to evil, And they make haste to shed blood.

Romans 3:15 Their feet are swift to shed blood;

The earth was destroyed in the day of Noah because “the earth was filled with violence” (Gen 6:11ff). God hates violence.  There is a narrow scope in which it is applied righteously, but it is only because of sin that such skill is necessary.  Beware of spirits which would encourage admiration of a ‘man of violence.’

Matthew 5:38-40You have heard that it was said, an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.  But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.  If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also.

The words of a true radical!  When faced with non-life threatening physical force, do not reply in kind.  When threatened with a petty lawsuit, offer more than simple restitution.

Matthew 5:43-48You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

As Christians, we have a higher calling.  A calling to perfection.  But when can and should one think to use deadly force?

Exodus 22:2-3If the thief is found breaking in, and he is struck so that he dies, there shall be no guilt for his bloodshed. If the sun has risen on him, there shall be guilt for his bloodshed.

In defending yourself and your family in your home.  Note the underlined part, you can’t go and kill the burglar at a later date!  That’s considered murder.

Nehemiah 4:8-23 describes how the Israelites were rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem.  Carpenters and bricklayers were working and carrying their arms for self-defense.  Read it and then think about it.  The city’s defense, the wall, was in disrepair and made the people subject to possible attack.  The workers worked in an unsafe environment.  It seems reasonable that people have a right to self-defense and to the defense of the others when the situation warrants it.

I have seen a growing militarization of our police force in this country.  I am disturbed by what I witnessed in Waco on television and what I have read occurred at Ruby Ridge to the Weavers.  Many consider those incidents modern-day ‘Boston Massacres.’  There is an emerging, menacing force growing in the hands of government today.  No question.  What should be the just response?  I wish I had the answer.  I feel like I’m living under occupation, like the jews in Germany under Hitler.  Does abiding under the threat of violence from government warrant carrying for the defense of self and others?  I do.

Advertisements