4. Jesus set the stage for a life of sojourning in this world where we bear witness that this world is not our home, and not our kingdom, by renouncing the establishment or the advancement of our Christian cause with the sword.
a.) Jesus also came to die for the sins of His people. Does that mean that we likewise are called to die for the sins of people? Jesus also went about doing miracles. Does that mean that we likewise are called to go about doing miracles?
Of course the point here is that we are not called to do everything that Jesus was called to do. We are not called to born of a Virgin. We are not called to resurrect on the third day.
b.) Dr. Piper fails to explain how self-defense of the lives of the judicially innocent from the threat of the wicked is an example of trying to “establish or advance our Christian cause with the sword.” Dr. Piper fails to demonstrate that those who follow the 6th commandment in self defense means that we are trying to communicate that this world is our Christian home and is our Christian Kingdom.
c.) We could just as easily argue, in contradiction to Dr. Piper, that as Jesus came to establish His Kingdom in and over this world we should likewise seek to establish the Kingdom of God in and over this world.
d.) Dr. Piper then offers Scripture, completely taken out of context and misinterpreted.
For Dr. Piper’s mishandling of John 18:36 see,
The Matthew 26 passage has a very established context. The most we can prove from it is that we should not use self defense to protect people who are on their way to the Cross to die for the sins of the world. This is especially so, where elsewhere in the Synoptic Gospels (Luke 22:36f) the Lord Christ expressly instruct His disciples to carry a sword.
Dr. Piper offers,
b.) The fact that Christians will suffer — and should do so patiently and joyfully — is not itself proof against the fact that Christians are commanded to defend themselves when able. The way Piper is reasoning here, one would think that Christians should be required to seek to put themselves under suffering. Peter’s book is speaking in the context of when suffering comes upon us. Peter is not teaching that all Christians must themselves seek out situations where they can suffer.
c.) Dr. Piper again makes the mistake of supposing that all because someone takes the 6th commandment seriously therefore that means that they are identifying with the tools used to esteem the 6th commandment.
d.) Given Dr. Piper’s reasoning one could as easily say, “I think I can say with complete confidence that the identification of Christian security with wearing safety belts will cause no one to ask a reason for the hope that is in us. They will know perfectly well where our hope is. It’s across our chest while driving.”
Does Dr. Piper wear a seat belt while driving? Well, clearly no one will now ask him for the reason of the hope that is within him.
Dr. Piper presses on,
a.) Why would Dr. Piper suppose that self defense means that those defending themselves no longer have as their supreme value our treasure in heaven? All because we take the 6th commandment seriously it means that we are not freed from the love of this world?
b.) Why would Dr. Piper think, that firing a weapon in defense of the judicially innocent against the wicked, who would unjustly and without biblical warrant take the life of children and women, be an example of returning evil for evil?
c.) Why would Dr. Piper think that because we expect to be wronged in this world therefore we should do everything we can to facilitate being wronged in this world? When Dr. Piper is wrongly accused of some heinous crime he committed while doing counseling does he not defend himself against such accusations because he expects to be wronged in this world?
d.) I would insist, in keeping with the 6th commandment, that when we return fire upon evil men seeking to take the lives of the judicially innocent we are at that point most certainly not returning evil for evil but are returning good for evil.
Dr. Piper offers,
a.) The “turn the other cheek” passage (Matthew 5:38-42), often cited to support an extreme pacifism, clearly addresses our reaction to personal insults and inconveniences, and not serious threats to one’s life, family, livelihood, or home.b.) When justice, in the context of self defense, is visited upon the wicked who are seeking to harm the judicially innocent, we are loving our enemies. c.) Matthew 5:11-12 has nothing to do with this conversation. We can still defend ourselves and remember that we are blessed with others revile us and persecute us and utter all kinds of evil against us falsely on the account of Christ. Dr. Piper offers,
a.) Matthew 5:11-12 says nothing about the abjuring of self defense. This is complete eisegesis on the part of Dr. Piper. I can be free to rejoice in persecution and reload at the same time.
b.) The steadfast love of the Lord lies upon those who esteem the 6th commandment.
c.) All because I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord doesn’t mean I stand by and allow women to be raped, children to be killed, and the judicially innocent to be attacked because I’ve concluded, by way of the grossest eisegesis, that the Scriptures teach Anabaptist pacifism.
Dr. Piper continues,
Dr. Piper offers,
This is called arguing from silence and is universally recognized as weak argumentation.