Yesterday I received a letter from a gentleman who had read my Words for the Day about attending a concealed weapons class in order to gain a permit to carry a concealed weapon. This gentleman has a permit and ended up actually shooting someone that he caught ransacking his automobile. When he confronted the thug he advised him that he was armed, but instead of surrendering he attacked him.
He shot him in the stomach.
He went on to tell me that the perpetrator lived, but he had to deal with the emotion of having shot him and so forth. He cautioned me to not to take the responsibility of carrying a concealed weapon lightly. In part he wrote:
“…until you are there in that situation my counsel is for you to choose your words wisely. For no matter what, once you point a loaded weapon at someone you have made a life or death decision. You are committing to take the life of another person if need be, and that decision has both real-life and emotional consequences that I find hard to put into words. But I can tell you that they are real. I can only imagine what our law enforcement officers and soldiers deal with daily. Post-Traumatic Stress does exist and I reflect on that night very often… I do not agonize over it but just try to keep it in focus as a personal learning experience in my life. A situation like the one I was in will pull at the fibers of your soul. I can never repay the support I received from my family, my friends and my community.”
Hmmm…I wrote him back and the following is an excerpt of some of what I said:
“You really need to read my book. I carried a .45 auto and then a .357 during my dark years for many years and committed crimes with it that are too numerous to recount.
I’ve seen and done it all.
We all are different in our walk with the Lord. As for me, I would not hesitate to shoot and kill someone who was threatening me or my family and I do not have the same feeling of compassion as you seem to have for the thugs. Then again I used to be a thug and in fact was a diagnosed sociopath and declared to be incapable of love and devoid of a conscience, well on my way to becoming a serial killer and I know how they think. That young man that you shot would have likely killed you had you not shot him and you did the right thing. He would probably tell you that too…
God gave us a brain and we should use it. The Bible is very clear that we are to defend our households. You did just that. Personally I wouldn’t waste five minutes worrying about it.”
There are many verses that establish the need for self-defence, particularly for your household. In Proverbs 25:26 we read that “A righteous man who falters before the wicked is like a murky spring and a polluted well.” Certainly, we would be faltering before the wicked if we chose to be unarmed and unable to resist an assailant who might be threatening our life. Too it is my belief that we have no right to hand over our life which is a gift from God to the unrighteous. It is a serious mistake to equate a civilized society with one in which the decent people are doormats for the evil to trample on.
David shed blood and was denied the right to build the temple, (something he dearly wanted to do). Did he sin in defending himself and his people? No, but I think that set of verses indicates how seriously God views life. We should never take it lightly; God doesn’t, nor should we!
Matthew Henry writes about killing a thief: “…if it was in the day-time that the thief was killed, he that killed him must be accountable for it, unless it was in the necessary defense of his own life. …
The Bible does not condone being angry at someone and harming them; it does not condone vengeance; it does allow for defending your life and the lives of others. While it is not something that should be admired or enjoyed; it is a necessary evil that must be afforded in this dark world in which we find ourselves…As for my household, I will defend it.
Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.