Is Force Ever Acceptable? - Kris Vallotton

October 31, 2015

WARNING!  This is a long and highly controversial post!

Let me begin this dialog by saying that I hate #violence. I think it is an ineffective way to resolve problems. War is terrible – there’s just no two ways about it.

BUT that being said, there seems to be a lot of confusion over whether or not we should protect people by using force (or violence). Oftentimes people quote Jesus’ exhortation “to turn the other cheek,” or “love your enemy” as validation that we should not fight violence with force or that force is never an acceptable way to deal with certain vicious people.

First, let’s remember a few things about Jesus and His Kingdom;

1. #Jesus wasn’t passive; He drove the money changers out of the temple with violence (used a whip).

2. The Kingdom of God isn’t non-violent. Jesus said that His angels would be protecting Him if His Kingdom was of this world. Also, the book of Revelation depicts several scenes of violence in which the angels are involved in some pretty bloody altercations.  

3. Finally, with reference to civil government using force against violent lawbreakers, the Bible says,”If you do what is evil, be afraid; for it (civil leadership) does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil (Romans 13:4).

So God is not a Buddhist, nor is He some docile doormat.

Now, on a more practical side, if someone broke into my house and wanted to rape my wife or kill my children, I certainly wouldn’t read them John 3:16 and hand them a WWJD bracelet!!! Love looks like something, and in this case, the love I have for my family requires me to defend them with my life!

Ten years ago I was in Rwanda Africa. There was a violent genocide that took place there a few years earlier. One million people were slaughtered with machetes – women, babies, children, men – everybody literally hacked to pieces, while the UN peacekeeping troops fled the country!

Senseless? Yes! But I doubt that dropping them food in a humanitarian effort would’ve fixed the problem. Force was needed to finally stop the bloodshed.

Years ago I ran a youth group for juvenile delinquents who were on parole, with the Trinity County probation department. I met with those kids twice a week for five years. The very first night I broke up five fistfights. They refused to respond to a few Bible verses and some flowers. I had to use force to break up the fights; nothing else worked. Talking to them while they were trying to kill each other was meaningless! That scene repeated itself over and over for the first couple of years. As time went on I taught them life skills, like how to resolve conflict peacefully. I don’t remember a single fight the last three years that I was there. They learned that violence wasn’t the answer. But in the meantime, I often tackled them to the floor and held them down until they agreed to leave. Trust me, it wasn’t pretty! In fact it was scary. Oftentimes my “Christian” friends would come down to “help.” But usually after one night of violent encounters, they were done.

I honestly think that many people grow up in a sheltered environment, and therefore they live with rose colored glasses on! They seem to have no idea what the real world is actually like. The closest they’ve ever got to violence is an “R” rated movie. They make ridiculous statements like, “just give the Iraq people that are running for their very lives some food. Don’t use force to protect them, after all, we are Christians and we believe in turning the other cheek.” (That will be their last supper). Certainly we wouldn’t want to hurt those violent Muslins who are killing and raping anyone who disagrees with them. Not to mention the fact that they are crucifying Christians on crosses in the streets and shooting them in mass graves!

Lord, I’m thankful that these passive people were not around when Adolf Hitler was murdering Jews by the millions in gas chambers and torturing them in front of their own families.

“Well, this is none of our business!” they protest.  If  I walked passed a women that I didn’t know who was being raped in a park, I better make it my business. She’s someone’s daughter, someone’s sister, and maybe someone’s mother.

America is blessed! But to whom much is given, much is required.

We can’t protect everybody in the world, but we can save some. And when and where we can, for God’s sake, we had better try.

For those of you “turn the other cheek” people, if you or yours are ever assaulted (God forbid), don’t call the police, they might use force to save you. Put your pastor on speed dial and forget 911!

YIKES man, what are people thinking?

Our battle is not against flesh and blood…unless it is!

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