Pure evil was on display when Devin Kelley entered into a Church service in progress in Sutherland Texas murdering 26 and wounding 20 others. Our prayers go out to every victims family, the wounded, the Church family, and the community.
The evil and perilous times of the Last Days makes protection necessary in all natural and spiritual forms. Our God values human life and approves of protecting it in three authorized layers of protection:
- SPIRITUAL FORCES (Angels; Faith in Promises from God’s Word; Spiritual armor and weapons …).
- SANCTIONED AUTHORITIES (Government; Law Enforcement; Military; Civil laws)
- SELF DEFENSE
Evil exists, in its origin, from a fallen being called satan who is loose in the Earth (Revelation 12:9, 12; Ezekiel 28:14-17; 1 Peter 5:9). This evil entered man’s nature through sin (Romans 5:12) and now exists in a world God made good. Evil in man’s nature, the world, and satan makes protection from evil necessary. Fallen men are not “basically good” unless they receive the Risen Savior. All of this evil will be judged by God but it will exist for a time and we MUST adjust to this reality. As Christians we are not to wage physical war or use violence to advance the Kingdom of God but wage spiritual warfare. We must have a Biblical view toward the proper response toward evil and the protection God authorizes.
This reality of evil necessitated God posting an armed guard even in the Garden of Eden Genesis 3:24. Evil unchallenged working in man, the world, and satan would destroy the world if left to itself (Genesis 6:5, 11, 13). After the judgment of the Flood, it caused God to ordain capital punishment (Genesis 9:6) & in the New Testament give government this authority of the sword (Romans 13:1-7) to protect that doesn’t apply to individuals. This does not exclude our right to self defense to resist evil. This evil, at times, must be resisted with force or greater evil will result. There is a time for self defense when there is no workable solution (hide; run; call law enforcement…) when one’s life is threatened. Every state has its own laws governing the use of force and it would be wise to know them before deciding to use force. Every responsible law abiding person should think through these things before finding themselves in a life threatening situation.
Here are some thoughts from law and security experts to consider:
Never commit grave physical harm except to prevent grave physical harm to an innocent (Thou shalt not murder Exodus 20:13). Exercising deadly force in self defense is not done as an escalation of force but as a means of redirecting the consequences of an existing threat. The criteria for use of deadly force:
- ABILITY– An attacker must have the ability to cause death or grave bodily harm to an innocent.
- OPPORTUNITY – An attacker must have the opportunity to cause death or grave bodily harm to an innocent.
- JEOPARDY – An attacker must be behaving in a way that places an innocent in jeopardy (liable of loss, injury, or peril) of death or grave bodily harm.
- PRECLUSION – This is the idea that whatever the situation, you are expected to use force ONLY AS A LAST RESORT, that is, only when the circumstances preclude all other options. If you can run away, retreat, or use another option you should but you are not required to choose an action that endangers you. On the other hand you should have a right to destroy that which threatens you with destruction. Preserving life as much as possible but when all cannot be preserved, the safety of the innocent is to be preferred.