what does the bible say self defense

What Does the Bible Say About Self-Defense? A Guide for Christians

As a youth pastor who loves his community, you may have wondered what the Bible says about self-defense. It`s a question that has been debated for centuries, but understanding the concept of self-defense in the Bible is essential to develop a balanced perspective on the topic.

what does the bible say self defense

In this article, we`ll explore biblical examples of self-defense, the teachings of Jesus on self-defense, balancing self-defense with Christian principles, and applying biblical self-defense teachings in modern times.

Whether you`re a devoted Christian or simply curious about what the Bible says regarding self-defense, keep reading to learn more and gain a deeper understanding.

Understanding the concept of self-defense in the Bible

As a youth pastor, you may be wondering what the Bible says about self-defense. It’s an important topic to discuss, especially in today’s world where violence is unfortunately all too common.

First and foremost, it’s important to understand that the Bible does not condone violence or aggression. In fact, Jesus himself said in Matthew 5:39 “But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.”

However, this does not mean that Christians cannot defend themselves or others from harm. In Luke 22:36-38 Jesus tells his disciples to sell their cloaks and buy swords for protection during their travels.

Self-defense falls under a concept called “just war theory” which states that force can only be used as a last resort in defense of oneself or others who are being threatened with unjust aggression.

It’s important for Christians to remember that while defending oneself is allowed according to biblical teaching; it should never be done out of anger or malice towards another person. Instead self-defense should always come from a place of love and respect for human life.

In conclusion understanding what scripture says about self defense can lead believers into making informed decisions when faced with situations where they need protection without compromising biblical values like compassion and non-violence .

Biblical examples of self-defense.

As a youth pastor who cares deeply about my community, I understand the importance of addressing tough questions about Christianity. One such question is whether the Bible condones self-defense.

Many people believe that turning the other cheek and not retaliating is a core Christian principle. While this may be true in some situations, there are also examples in the Bible where self-defense was necessary.

In Exodus 22:2-3, it says “If a thief is caught breaking in at night and is struck a fatal blow, the defender is not guilty of bloodshed.” This passage suggests that defending oneself against an intruder or attacker can be justified.

Additionally, Jesus himself tells his disciples to take up swords for protection before his arrest (Luke 22:36-38). While he later rebukes Peter for using his sword to cut off an ear during Jesus’ arrest (Matthew 26:52), this doesn’t necessarily mean that self-defense itself was condemned.

It’s important to note that while these passages provide biblical precedent for self-defense in certain circumstances, Christians should still prioritize love and forgiveness whenever possible. Self-defense should never be used as an excuse for violence or aggression towards others.

Ultimately, each situation must be evaluated on its own merits and with guidance from God’s word. As Christians navigate complex ethical questions like these related to personal safety and defense tactics they must always look first through lens of Christ-like love towards our neighbors even if it means acting out courageously at times when we feel threatened by danger or harm.”

The teachings of Jesus on self-defense.

As a youth pastor who loves his community, it is important for me to share the teachings of Jesus on self-defense with you. While there are differing opinions on this topic within Christianity, it is essential to understand what the Bible says about protecting oneself and others.

Jesus taught us to love our enemies and turn the other cheek when struck (Matthew 5:39). This does not mean that we should be passive in situations where harm may come to ourselves or those we care for. In fact, Jesus instructed his disciples to carry swords as a means of protection (Luke 22:36-38).

However, it is crucial that we approach self-defense with a mindset of using force only as necessary and with restraint. The use of deadly force should always be avoided if possible and only used as an absolute last resort.

Furthermore, Jesus also teaches us not to seek vengeance but rather forgive those who have wronged us (Matthew 5:44). This can be challenging in situations where harm has been inflicted upon us or our loved ones. But by following Christ’s example of forgiveness and mercy towards even those who crucified him, we can break the cycle of violence that plagues our world.


In summary, while there are different interpretations within Christianity regarding self-defense, it is important for individuals to prayerfully consider their actions in any situation involving potential harm. By following Christ’s teachings on love and forgiveness while also taking measures necessary for protection when needed, we can strive towards peace both internally within ourselves as well as externally in our communities.

Balancing self-defense with Christian principles.

As a youth pastor, you want to make sure that your community is safe and protected. However, as a Christian, you also strive to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ and the Bible. So how do you balance self-defense with Christian principles?

The Bible does not directly address self-defense in specific terms, but it does provide guidance on protecting oneself and others. In Proverbs 25:26 it says “Like a muddied spring or a polluted well are the righteous who give way to the wicked.” This suggests that Christians should resist evil when they see it.

One principle that can be applied is found in Luke 22:36 where Jesus tells his disciples to sell their cloaks and buy swords for protection during dangerous times. While this may seem like an endorsement of violence by Jesus himself, some scholars argue that this passage simply highlights preparation for difficult situations rather than encouraging violent behavior.

Another principle can be found in Matthew 5:39 where Jesus says “But I tell you not to resist an evil person. If someone slaps you on your right cheek turn him over so he can slap your other cheek too.” This verse has been interpreted by some as teaching non-violence even in self-defense situations.

So how do we balance these two principles? As Christians we must remember our ultimate goal which is showing love towards others even those who harm us (Matthew 5:44). We must also recognize our responsibility towards ourselves and loved ones (1 Timothy 5:8) while avoiding unnecessary aggression or violence.

In conclusion, balancing self-defense with Christian principles requires careful consideration of Biblical teachings along with common sense measures for personal safety without resorting needlessly aggressive behavior or retaliation toward perpetrators . As believers we are called upon both protect ourselves from danger while still representing Christ’s message of love & peace throughout all circumstances encountered daily life here on earth together!

Applying biblical self-defense teachings in modern times.

As a youth pastor who cares deeply about my community, I have often been asked about the Bible’s stance on self-defense. Many Christians struggle with this issue, wondering if it is right to protect oneself and loved ones when faced with danger.

The answer lies in understanding the true meaning of self-defense according to biblical teachings. Self-preservation is not only acceptable but also necessary for survival. In fact, Jesus himself instructed his disciples to carry swords for protection (Luke 22:36-38).

However, it’s essential to remember that self-defense should never be used as an excuse for violence or aggression towards others. As Christians, we are called upon to love our neighbors and enemies alike (Matthew 5:44). Therefore, any act of violence must always be a last resort after all other options have been exhausted.

One way modern-day believers can apply biblical principles in their approach towards self-defense is by taking up martial arts classes that focus on non-violent conflict resolution techniques such as de-escalation tactics and verbal communication skills.

In conclusion, while the Bible does permit individuals to defend themselves against harm or attacks from others; it also teaches us humility and compassion towards fellow human beings regardless of their actions against us personally. By applying these teachings both inside and outside of the church walls will help spread more light into dark situations while keeping oneself safe from harm’s way at all times – even if it may seem contradictory at first glance!


As we’ve discussed, the Bible has valuable insight into the concept of self-defense. It’s important to find a balance between protecting ourselves and our loved ones while following Christian principles. If you’re looking for more information on this subject, be sure to reach out and ask your youth pastor; he loves his community and wants everyone in it to stay safe!