As some of you may have taken a look at my other thread, I've been pondering the issue of self-defense. I'd like to think I'm a peace-loving guy, but I don't think I can be a complete pacifist. This issue didn't seem murky when I wasn't a believer. I always thought using force in self-defense, if that was the only way to prevent an aggressor from physically harming me, is perfectly morally justified. However ... I had a talk about it with a new friend of mine, a devout Christian and a skilled hunter. To my surprise, he said he would not shoot even a deranged man who barged into his house and started shooting at his family. - Wow, right? His rationale is that he believes all of his family will go to heaven if they die, so nothing to worry about there. If he kills anyone even in self-defense, he stains his hands with blood which violates the teaching of the love of Christ; "turn the other cheek", "love your enemies" ... Initially, I actually thought he had a good point, because when I think about "What would Jesus do?", I can't picture him picking up a deadly weapon against anyone. But I know I'd do anything to stop an aggressor including shooting him even tho that may possibly kill him. BigJoe posted something recently that I agree 100%. What is the Christian perspective on the issue? I realize the Amish are against any use of violence even in self-defense (Well I know they're a minority). And this question popped up in my head. "Does Allah condemn the Amish for being themselves killed or letting others be killed if they didn't fight?" ... I can't imagine Jesus condemning them tho. Also, another question popped up. Would the Amish call the police? I believe they're allowed to use telephones in an emergency situation. I asked my pacifist Christian friend (but not Amish) and he said 'course he'd call 911 if he can get to a phone. OK ... then even tho you don't use deadly force yourself, you'd request someone to come who does use deadly force, right? Even 'you' may not kill the guy yourself, 'your action' of calling the police could quite possibly cause the guy to be killed. So it's not so much about being compassionate to the guy, is it? Also what I realized was that you actually are putting police officers unnecessarily in harm's way (although that's the job they've chosen) when you could've stopped the guy yourself. So, is renouncing a use of force in any situation really a morally good thing? I think the below verse is thought to be where Jesus taught the renunciation of a use of force even in self-defense (Correct me if I'm wrong) ... For all who take the sword will perish by the sword.(Mt. 26:52) But it doesn't say if you perish by the sword, you won't receive God's grace, or is that what Jesus meant? One Christian friend of mine says the reason Jesus reprimanded Peter was because he was interfering with God's plan. Jesus was going to be arrested and sacrificed, that was the plan. Peter shouldn't have tried to interfere with the process. That's why Jesus reproved Peter, not because he resorted to violence in self-defense. Another Christian friend of mine says it was because Peter overreacted. They weren't trying to kill Jesus at Gethsemane, but to arrest him in order to try him (tho the disciples knew that his death may follow after the trial). Since they weren't yet attacking Jesus with a sword, it was excessive force on Peter's part and Jesus was concerned about the impulsive nature of Peter. Both Christian friends cite this verse as Jesus allowing a use of force. Prior to heading to the Mount of Olives, Jesus said: And let the one who has no sword sell his cloak and buy one.(Lk. 22:36) He urged his disciples to get a weapon. One would wonder ... did he mean it only as a deterrent, so bandits will stay away while they're traveling, but did not mean the sword be actually used? ===== I understand a use of force in self-defense is justified from the secular perspective, so what I'm asking here is a religious point of view. I'm also interested in the perspective from Buddhism, Hinduism or any other religions. (I got the Islamic perspective, thanks Joe.) If any religion pledges 'no force' even in self-defense, those believers of the religion also have to object to having a military, and a police force, don't they? "I won't use force because of my religious belief, but if someone does that to protect me and my family, I welcome it." ... This really doesn't make much sense to me. I hope I'm not painting myself, with this thread and the other one, as an easily excitable Rambo wannabe. I have a few police officers in my family and one of my nephews is thinking of joining the military. So we talk about this nature of things often. I sincerely want to know about the morality in a use of force and how God would see it, now that I became a believer.