Thursday, January 17, 2013

Resisting Evil in a Violent World

The Bible, in one sense, is the story of the cosmic struggle of good versus evil. It teaches us that evil is real, that it is in the world to stay, and that, as Solzhenitsyn said, “The line between good and evil runs through the middle of the human heart.” The Bible also teaches us that we have a duty to resist evil, first in our own hearts, and then in the world, and to work for the good of others.

Lessons learned over the years from experiencing evil and criminal behavior:
  1. Often, law-enforcement cannot arrive in time to prevent crime or death.
  2. Inadequate weapons will not stop a killer.
  3. Violence can happen anywhere, at any time, usually when you least expect it.
  4. You need to be prepared ahead of time.
  5. Those experiences combined with a Biblical theology of evil reinforced the concepts that evil is random, it must be resisted, and passive defense is insufficient.

This is how quickly an evil persons plan for destruction can be halted in its tracks by an armed citizen. One really big bad man, and one petite young lady - who happens to have the ultimate equalizer.

Somebody Picked the Wrong Girl

Violent evil is real. It will be with us until Christ returns. From our point of view, it is also random. We never know when it is coming our way. Therefore, we must be prepared to meet it. We can prepare by choosing passive defense systems, as some have done or by choosing active defense. But we should not be caught unaware: evil is real, and we can never know when it is coming our way, so we must be prepared.

Evil must be resisted, always spiritually, and sometimes by force.

The role of the state

God has ordained a role for the state to play in the restraint of evil (see Romans 13:1-5). But when the state cannot restrain evil, the responsibility falls on the individual to defend him or herself and other innocents. There is a word for people who put all of their confidence in police protection when it comes to violent crime: 'victim'. That is no slight on our public servants. It is a simple recognition of the facts. They cannot be everywhere at once.

The value of an armed citizenry

Many people in our country believe that the best way to prevent more mass shootings is to disarm the public, to take guns away from all law-abiding citizens. I do not fault them for holding that view. I just believe that it is terribly short-sighted because it embraces passive defense as the only defense. But violent evil is a reality we must live with until Christ returns. We have a responsibility to resist it. From our point of view, it is random. Therefore, we must always be prepared to meet it. Passive defense systems have limited effectiveness. Criminals and the criminally insane will find weapons. The best defense against violent evil is an equally violent offense. Therefore, the best defense against the next mass shooter is a properly trained person equipped with adequate firepower to meet the threat.

Rifleman's Creed - Full Metal Jacket

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