Is it acceptable own a gun/carry a gun and use it to defend ourselves? Or are we to let people filled with hate hurt or kill us? In the sermon on the mount, Jesus said “whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also“ and “Do not resist the one who is evil.“, does He mean we can’t defend ourselves?
I’ve heard it preached all to many times that we should not arm ourselves using those verses as proof and sometimes adding the commandment “do not kill”. When Jesus said turn the other cheek, he was referring to the saying “eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth”, he was talking about revenge and jealousy, not defense against someone trying to hurt or kill you.
Matthew 5:38-39 You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.
I took this from another article; ““Turning the other cheek”, “doing unto others”, and “loving your enemies” represented general principles for personal relationships. This is even more evident in that he uses the term “slap” “but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also“. If we were supposed to just allow allow ourselves to be attacked, even killed without defending our self, Jesus would not have used the word slap, he would rephrased the whole saying to be worded more like “if someone attacks you, let them”.
If Jesus were against people defending themselves, then why were his disciples armed? Why did Jesus instruct his disciples to have a sword? He went as far as to tell them if they didn’t have a sword, get one, if they had no money for one, they should sell their clothes to buy one. Luke 22:36 And He said to them, “But now, whoever has a money belt is to take it along, likewise also a bag, and whoever has no sword is to sell his coat and buy one.
The incident in the Garden shed’s even more light.
John 18:10 Simon Peter then, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s slave, and cut off his right ear; and the slave’s name was Malchus.
If we are not to defend ourselves, then why were the disciples armed? They were waking with Jesus. Jesus knew they carried swords, surely he would have said something if he didn’t want them to have weapons to protect themselves.
Here is another view of John 18:10. Before the sword was drawn, Jesus was asked if they should defend themselves…
Luke 22:49 When those who were around Him saw what was going to happen, they said, “Lord, shall we strike with the sword?
Jesus did not answer “No!”; he did not stop what was about to happen. He allowed what came next;
Luke 22:50 And one of them struck the slave of the high priest and cut off his right ear.
It was after this incident, according to John, that Jesus stopped the violence, not by condemning it, but just by stating that what was done was enough.
Luke 22:51 But Jesus answered and said, “Stop! No more of this.” And He touched his ear and healed him.
Jesus could have said “no” before any of this happened. I believe this is significant, showing that defense is allowed. Even after the ear was cut off, he said “no more of this”, he could have said “none of this”. He could have condemned it after it happened. This shows that Jesus is in agreement with what had happened. The reason the self defense had to stop in this circumstance is because Jesus had to be taken away in order to accomplish what he came here for. But before he was taken away, he wanted everyone to see, that they had the right, the means and ability to defend themselves, yet he chose to go peacefully.
John 18:11 (KJV) So Jesus said to Peter, “Put the sword into the sheath; the cup which the Father has given Me, shall I not drink it?
This verse reinforces what I just said, the reason to put the sword away was not because it’s wrong, it was because Jesus had to be taken in order drink the cup his Father has given. If we should not have a weapon, if we are not to use weapons to defend ourselves, Jesus would have told his disciple to get rid of the sword, but he told him to keep it, just put it away for now.