We continue to pick apart Dr. John Piper’s Anabaptist theology.
Next, Dr. Piper appeals to Romans 12:17-19
17 Recompense to no man evil for evil: procure things honest in the sight of all men. 18 If it be possible, as much as in you is, have peace with all men. 19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine: I will repay, saith the Lord.
The reader will have to look at Piper’s link under his #1 in order to the reason why I am responding the way I am.
1.) Self defense or the defense of others is not a matter of avenging ourselves. Self defense is self defense.
2.) Dr. Piper insists that when we enter into defense of others and / or ourselves that we instantly are guilty of not returning good for evil. But, if, as we saw in the previous post, our other and self defense is consistent with the sixth commandment then the firing of our weapons most certainly is an example of returning good for evil. Further, not to enter into self or other defense by firing a weapon would be a matter of returning evil for evil. Any exaltation, or Christianization, of pacifism that silences the sixth commandment has lost its way.
3.) It is true, as Dr. Piper notes, that the Magistrates wields the sword but the Scripture likewise teaches that self defense is allowed,
Exodus 22:2 If –a thief is found breaking in and is struck so that he dies, there shall be no bloodguilt for him…
In Proverbs 25:26, God tells us: “A righteous man falling down before the wicked is as a troubled fountain, and a corrupt spring.”
And Yet, Dr. Piper, in contradiction to God’s Word, would have the righteous falling down before the wicked be considered a matter of righteousness.
3.) Any claim that a private citizen doesn’t have the God given obligation to defend themselves or others from aggressive attack as coming from the unjust psychopath and / or the maniacal religious nutcase is elevating a misplaced Anabaptist pietism that belittles the gift of life that God has given us over biblical revelation.