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[NOTE: I have been in touch with Paul Hill, who is on death row in Florida. It appears to me that his case is solid and that he should never have been convicted. As I understand the matter, Hill was not permitted to have the attorneys of his choice, and the judge in his trial ruled that Hill could not say in court that he killed the abortionist to save a life. That is a tragic and criminal derailment of due process. The defendant in any honest trial must be allowed to present his defense as he sees it, not as the prosecutor or judge or jury see it. See my paper supporting Hill and my support of "clemency" for him -- or rather for America under the judgement of God. See also Prisoners of Christ on others who have done as Hill did. E. Fox.]
A. Two Essential Directions
B. Don't Forget the Babies
C. The Biblical Basis for Defensive Action
D. The Ethical Basis for Defensive Action
E. The Theological Basis for Defensive Action
F. Supporting Authors
G. Who Was the Real Aggressor?
H. Ten Objections Resolved
I. The Duty of Defensive War
J. The Necessity of Proclamation
K. The Defensive Use of Arms
L. A Call to Specific Action
M. Prospects of Ultimate Success
On March 10th, 1993, Dr. David Gunn was shot and killed as he was about to enter an abortion clinic in Pensacola, Florida. Five days after Dr. Gunn's death, Mr. Paul Hill appeared on the Phil Donahue show to defend the use of force to protect innocent life. This paper explains and develops this position.
Two distinctions must be made in order to rightly understand the issues surrounding the death of Dr. Gunn.
1) Distinguish between the wisdom of using force to defend the unborn and the justice of so defending the unborn. The wisdom of using force to defend the unborn has been debated by many. Some say it harms the pro-life cause. It is best to suspend judgment on any given forceful act to defend life until all the facts are in.
The wisdom of using force to protect life would depend on many variable factors. Certainly not any or every violent act intended to protect life would be wise. It must not be forgotten that we not only have a responsibility to protect the unborn, but we also must protect ourselves and provide for those dependent upon us. Our current government threatens you with imprisonment or death if you protect your unborn family members or your unborn neighbors with force. Individual discretion is, therefore, required to determine when any given defensive act would be wise.
The justice of using force to defend the unborn is apparent if we don't forget that the object is to defend unborn babies from violent death. The justice of using force to protect unborn children from deadly force would be easy for you to affirm if your life had been spared by the use of defensive force.
2) The second distinction to be made is between what is just and what is legal. It is self-evident that a government may declare an act legal that is actually unjust according to God's law. A slave owner prior to the Civil War may have abused his slave in a way that was legal, but ultimately unjust. The present abortion laws legalize the killing of unborn children, but they are unjust in God's eyes. Yet this legalized killing was just about to be carried out when David Gunn's life was taken.
B. DON'T FORGET THE BABIES
Your conclusions on this matter will be largely determined by where your true sympathies lie, with the doctor or with the preborn children.
If next to Dr. Gunn's dead body were to be spread the gruesome remains of the thousands he killed, the mere space needed would be staggering.
Most equations that condemn using force to defend our children do not duly consider the children in question. Many distort the true situation by focusing on the force used to stop a "legal act." In reality, it is just to protect the innocent from a bloody death at the hands of a paid killer.
Anyone who denies that the preborn are human beings would have no basis upon which to defend them with force. If the preborn are in fact human we owe them the same protection we would render any other defenseless human. If we believe the preborn are living human beings, how can we justify defending them with force only after they are born?
In order to determine if we may use force to protect the unborn we must ask and resolve two questions. The first question is, "What responsibility does the individual have toward his neighbor if his neighbor's life is about to be taken by force?" The answer to the question is, "You must take all action necessary to protect innocent life."
The Bible clearly teaches that we may protect our own lives from unjust harm with deadly force if necessary, "If the thief is caught while breaking in, and is struck so that he dies, there will be no blood guiltiness on his account," Exodus 22:2.
The Scriptures also clearly teach that as we should defend our own lives with force, we should also do so for our neighbor. The second great commandment is to love "your neighbor as yourself," Luke 10:27.
Surely Rahab protected the innocent lives of her neighbors when she hid the Israelite spies, Joshua 2:1-24. The Hebrew midwives also defended the lives of the Jewish boys, Exodus 1:15-22. The disciples protected the innocent life of Paul from imminent death in Acts 9:23-25. They helped him escape Damascus by lowering him in a basket through an opening in the wall. In each of the situations referred to above, whatever action was necessary to protect life was taken. In Exodus 22:2 deadly force is justified when used in defense of the innocent. In the case of the midwives, deadly force was not necessary. Therefore, the Scriptures clearly teach that we should take whatever action is necessary to protect innocent life.
The second question that must be asked is, "May we use force to protect unborn children from imminent death even if the government forbids us to do so?" The answer to this question is found in Acts 5:29b. When the State or any other authority requires one to do what is contrary to God's law, the child of God "must obey God rather than men." This was clearly the opinion and practice of Peter and the Apostles.
The Hebrew midwives were greatly blessed by God for defending innocent life though the civil authorities forbade them to do so. Moses also illegally used deadly force to defend the innocent, "and when he saw one of them being treated unjustly, he defended him and took vengeance for the oppressed by striking down the Egyptian," Acts 7:24. He did so even though no one had appointed him a ruler or judge, Acts 7:27. In this context Stephen clearly extols Moses for delivering the oppressed Hebrew from the Egyptian. His point is to condemn the Jews for rejecting the deliverance of Moses and Christ. Hebrews 11:25-26 clearly refers to the act of Moses as an act of self-denial.
Acts 9:23-25 and II Cor. 11:32-33 tell us the Jews joined with local civil authorities in seeking the death of Paul in Damascus. The disciples certainly broke common local laws forbidding individuals to breach the walls of a city when they let Paul down in a basket. Clearly such laws forbidding the breach of the walls were designed to prevent robbery and murder. In breaking these laws Paul and his disciples were actually protecting innocent life from imminent death. Thus, laws designed to protect life may be violated if the violation does in fact protect innocent life. Individuals may, therefore, use force to deter a mass murderer who wantonly begins to kill innocent school children. Using the same logic, we may also use force against mass murderers who wantonly killpreschool and preborn children. We should do so even if some horribly unjust law presumes to declare it to be wrong to do so.
If we should defend born children, we should also defend unborn children. If we should defend born and unborn children from harm, we should also do so if our government forbids us to do so. As Rahab, Moses, the Hebrew midwives and Paul all broke the law to do whatever was necessary to protect innocent life, so may we.
There is no question that deadly force should be used to protect innocent life. The question is, whose life is innocent - those who kill our children or the children who are being killed? The government believes those who kill our children should be protected. We believe the unborn should be protected. The question then for us is, should we protect innocent life from harm if the government forbids us to do so?
The Golden Rule clearly and irrefutably answers the question in this way; "Therefore whatever you want others to do for you, do so for them; for this is the Law and the Prophets," Matthew 7:12. If someone was about to tear your limbs from your body, what would you do? If you could defend yourself with force, would you? If you couldn't defend yourself with effective force, would you want someone else to? If so, Christ teaches that you should treat others similarly.
If you dispute this clear teaching of the Bible you will have assumed the unbearable burden of having to prove the justice of using force to protect the born, but not the unborn. You can no more deny your responsibility to defend the unborn with force than you can deny the good Samaritan's responsibility to aid the wounded and dying traveler. The priest and the Levite must have tried to justify their neglect of the dying traveler. Has human nature changed so drastically that we are no longer in danger of justifying our neglect of our neighbors?
In addition to defending the innocent from a brutal death there are other reasons for using force in the abortion controversy. One of these reasons is found in Numbers 35:33, "So you shall not pollute the land in which you are; for blood pollutes the land and no expiation can be made for the land for the blood that is shed on it, except by the blood of him who shed it." Numbers 25 makes a similar point through the example of Phinehas.
Phinehas violently took the life of two immoral persons in order to turn God's wrath away from the people. Numbers 25 tells us that the Israelites were playing the harlot with Moabite women. God's wrath in the form of a plague, therefore, turned against the people. As a result of the sins committed, Moses and the Judges were weeping before the tabernacle. As Moses and the leaders looked on, Zimri, the son of Salu, brazenly brought a Moabite woman named Cozbi by the weeping leaders. He led her past them and into a tent for immoral purposes. When Phinehas realized what was happening he was filled with zealous jealousy. He then followed them to the tent and checked the plague by driving a spear through them both.
The startling truth is that this violent act was not done by a civil leader or after due legal process. Yet, this violently zealous act by an individual "made atonement for the sons of Israel." Though sin had fanned God's righteous anger to a searing blaze, the shedding of guilty blood had cooled the flame and saved the people from destruction.
The commentators essentially agree on the factors necessary in order for zeal such as Phinehas' to be ethically just. Such an act must first arise from a pure motive. It must also be according to the legal standard found in the Bible and summarized in the Ten Commandments. Lastly, all such actions must ultimately seek the glory of God in order to be ethically justifiable. All true defensive action, therefore, must arise from the motive of love for God and our little neighbors. It must also be according to the objective law of God and seek the ultimate glory of God.
The zeal of Phinehas by which he "made atonement" was, after this incident, taken up by the people as a whole, verse 16, "Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 'Be hostile to the Midianites and strike them,' Lest someone object to the individual or corporate vengeance that led to such violence, consider Calvin's comment on this passage:
Inasmuch as God constantly forbids His people to take vengeance, it is surprising that the people of Israel should now be instigated to do so; as if they were not already more than enough disposed to it. We must bear in mind, however, that since God, who is the just avenger of all wickedness, often makes use of men's instrumentality, and constitutes them the lawful ministers for the exercise of His vengeance, it must not be altogether condemned without exception, but only such vengeance as men themselves are impelled to by carnal passions. If any one is injured, straightway he is carried away to the desire of vengeance by the stimulus of his own private injury; and this is manifestly wrong: but if a person is led to inflict punishment by a just and well-regulated zeal toward God, it is not his own cause, but that of God which he undertakes.
The remarkable thing about the violent zeal of Phinehas is that it arguably received as much or more emphatic approval from God than any other act in the Old Testament. God's approval of violent zeal is also seen in the New Testament example of Christ cleansing the temple of moneychangers. In Christ's example the act was not only violent, but also an act of civil disobedience. Who could say whether his cleansing the temple helped stay God's hand of judgment on Jerusalem for a few more years?
Are there any heinous sins being committed today that could again fan the flames of God's righteous anger to the scorching point? Is there any need in today's world for men of the stamp of Phinehas? Could the bold daring of Cozbi and Zimri in parading before Moses as he wept over sin have any modern parallels? The righteous zeal of Phinehas did not permit him to stay his hand long enough to even ask Moses or the church leaders of the wisdom of his action. If any similar zeal be found among us today, occasion to exercise it will not be lacking.
Biblical Christianity affirms both the individuals' and their leaders' responsibility to protect the innocent from unjust harm. The responsibility to protect innocent life is not given directly to government leaders from God. This responsibility is first given to the people who delegate some of this responsibility to their appointed civil servants. If our civil servants neglect their responsibility to protect our children, the responsibility falls even more heavily upon us as individuals to do so.
We would be naive to think that we are the first to deal with issues such as these. Ecclesiastes rightly affirms that "there is nothing new under the sun." Taking defensive action in the face of oppressive civil governments is nothing new. The common sense principles asserted in this pamphlet have been held by untold numbers of Christian theologians. Franklin Sanders also makes this point in an article in the "Herald of the Covenant" dated April 15, 1989:
The real question is, Can any civil government make a law which is... (against the law of God)? As to the Scriptures, there is no question that this is impossible. As to the commentators, Thomas Aquinas, Martin Luther, John Calvin, Ulrich Zwingli, John Knox, George Buchanan, & Samuel Rutherford, to list only a few, all agree with our position: such a law is no law at all. As to the civil law, we have already shown that constitutionally and legally, no such law as "legalized abortion" can be established. Is John Calvin ambiguous against such a presumption when he writes (Comm. Daniel, Lecture XXX, on Dan. 6:22), "For earthly princes lay aside their power when they rise up against God, and are unworthy to be reckoned among the number of mankind. We ought, rather, to spit on their heads than to obey them." Stout talk, even for the mild John Calvin...
John Knox also understood the Scriptures to require individuals to protect innocent life in spite of government opposition. Francis A. Schaeffer's A Christian Manifesto, makes this point on page 97. In referring to John Knox, he says, "He maintained that the common people had the right and duty to disobedience and rebellion if state officials ruled contrary to the Bible. To do otherwise would be rebellion against God." In a meeting John Knox had with Queen Mary, she questioned him about his views which legitimized subjects resisting their princes, "If their princes exceed their bounds, Madam, it is no doubt that they may be resisted even by power," said Knox. When Mary protested that the Apostles had not resisted their persecutors by force, Knox replied that the reason was solely the lack of funds (Roland Bainton, The Reformation of the Sixteenth Century, Beacon Press, 1952, p. 241). Samuel Rutherford also defended the right of the individual citizen to protect innocent life on page 188 of his well-known Lex Rex:
But because I cannot return to all these opinions particularly, I see no reason but the civil law of a kingdom doth oblige any citizen to help an innocent man against a murdering robber, and that he may be judicially accused as a murderer, who faileth in his duty, and that Solon said well...It is a blessed society in which every man is to repute an injury done against a brother, as an injury done against himself. As the Egyptians had a good law, by which he was accused upon his head who helped not one that suffered wrong; and if he was not able to help, he was held to accuse the injurer, if not, his punishment was whips or three days' hunger; it may be upon this ground it was that Moses slew the Egyptian. Ambrose commended him for so doing.
Later on the same page Rutherford adds:
Ambrose (Lib. 1, office. c. 36) citeth this same text, and commendeth Moses who killed the Egyptian in defending a Hebrew man. To deliver is an act of charity, and so to be done, though the judge forbid it, when the innocent is unjustly put to death.
He further proves his point on page 189:
The law of God, commanding that we love our neighbor as ourselves, obligeth us to the same, except we think God can be pleased with lip-love in word only, which the Spirit of God condemdeth (1 John ii. 9,10; iii. 16). And the sum of law and prophets is, that as we would not men should refuse to help us when we are unjustly oppressed, so neither would we so serve our afflicted brethren...
The principles advocated in this pamphlet are, therefore, not only true but commonly accepted truths of the historic Christian church.
Before considering common objections to this historic position let us pause to consider a helpful distinction made by Barry Sindlinger in his paper "Is It Just...?" The distinction is made by identifying the aggressor and the defender in this case. Rather than accepting the common portrayal of a gentle hardworking doctor being chased down and shot in the back by a murderous lunatic, consider the facts. A brutal paid killer of hundreds upon hundreds of innocent unborn children was deterred by a deadly force as he approached his latest victims. The man who killed Dr. Gunn took the defensive posture and with apparent self-sacrifice killed the guilty to defend the innocent from a horrid death. The fact that the government describes what Dr. Gunn was about to do as abortion does not change the fact that it was the bloody slaughter of people made in God's image. The fact that Dr. Gunn killed the innocent in the white garb of the doctor with government approval does not justify his killing. His killing was no more justified than a man entering a school and personally killing school age children. Dr. Gunn was the violent aggressor. The man who killed him was defending your neighbor's children at great personal cost.
Having given many clear and certain proofs of the truth that
we may take all action necessary to protect innocent life, let
us proceed to consider ten common objections to this biblical
Objection 1: Isn't A Government Leader Required For Forceful Civil Disobedience?
To respond to this objection, one must consider an important distinction. The distinction is between a private citizen defending his neighbors from another private citizen who is seeking to kill them, and a group of men taking up arms against the established government. In the first instance, a magistrate would not be required; in the second instance, a magistrate ordinarily would be. Biblical proof has already been presented to substantiate the validity of a private citizen taking all just action necessary to protect innocent life. Dr. Gunn's death was the result of one individual trying to stop another individual from taking innocent life. This action does not require the authority of a civil leader.
Many who affirm that a government official is necessary for
forceful civil disobedience also assert that a government
official is not necessary for nonviolent civil disobedience.
There is no biblical evidence for this distinction. It should
not be considered valid until proven. The biblical evidence
used to support nonviolent civil disobedience also logically
supports violent civil disobedience. If we say that one may
justly trespass upon clinic property, upon what consistent
biblical principle may we say that destroying clinic property
requires a civil official?
Objection 2: Only Peaceful Civil Disobedience Is Justified
Someone might object to the use of force to protect life and point to the "peaceful" civil disobedience of Martin Luther King, Jr. or Gandhi. Limiting civil disobedience to pacifism does not reflect consistent Christianity. Pure pacifism more closely reflects the teachings of the Hindu religion than those of Christianity.
The Bible does not endorse militarism in which deadly force is used regardless of whether a cause is just or not. Nor does the Bible advocate pacifism in which all violence (even in a just cause) is considered to be wrong. The Bible does teach, however, that just force may be used to protect innocent life. Our undying gratitude is due to all who have and continue to use peaceful civil disobedience. Such persons should also consider the justice of taking all action necessary to protect innocent life.
If we consistently neglect the truth, the soldiers of an oppressive government could come into every home in its domain to rape, kill and steal. They could do this without fear of anyone using deadly force to protect innocent life as long as no lower opposing civil ruler were properly constituted.
If you do not believe it to be our responsibility to take
all just actions necessary (including deadly force) to protect
the lives of the unborn, please ask yourself a question. At
what point do you think it would be just to use force to
protect innocent life? How old does a helpless child have to
be before we defend him with force?
Objection 3: Use of Deadly Force
Some might question the use of deadly force in protecting innocent life by suggesting that merely wounding the oppressor would be just, but killing him would not. In some circumstances this is true, but not in this one. The principles considered earlier in this paper under "Ethical Basis For Defensive Action" clearly speak to this question.
In addition to these principles, experts in self-defense hold that in life and death situations you often need to seek to use deadly force in defending yourself or another. If you seek to simply wound the one seeking to harm the innocent you may not harm him at all. Even if you do wound him, he may still succeed in killing his victim or you, the one protecting his intended victim. In conditions where the government is just, merely wounding an unjust aggressor might be sufficient as he would be arrested and prevented from doing further harm. It might not be wise to merely wound an unjust aggressor if you had reason to believe that he would return to kill the ones you were protecting. Mistaken sympathy for an aggressive killer could result in the death of the ones who should have our ultimate sympathy.
Objection 4: The Example of Christ and Christian Piety
Someone may object and say, "Christ is to be our example and He did not resist the government that put him to death." Christ had a direct command from God that he should offer His life as an atoning sacrifice. His case was unique. We have no such command. We have the God-given responsibility to take defensive action to protect life.
Many people will say, "Rather than taking such decisive and possibly violent action, should we not prefer the more "spiritual" approach of prayer and fasting?" Any thinking Christian will soon see the biblical inconsistency of this objection. True faith shows itself by good works. Common sense clearly condemns the "piety" that would respond to the mugging of a helpless victim with prayer without taking defensive action.
Objection 5: Defensive Action Is Not Loving
Some might object that the action suggested in this paper isn't loving. The truth is that if we love Him we will keep His commands to defend innocent life.
Another might say this isn't in the Christian spirit of meekness and gentleness. In order for an action to be right, it must proceed from the right motive and the just biblical standard. These objections focus on the motive of the one taking an action. It is true that all action to protect life must be from a humble heart of self-denial and zealous love for our neighbors. Yet from this motive we must act by God's objective standard to protect life as summarized in the Sixth Commandment. Biblical Christianity has always held in highest esteem the true Christian soldier. The Christian soldier (while preferring the joys of domestic tranquillity) is willing to temporarily lay them aside to self-sacrificially respond to the call of duty to protect life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The Christian soldier may, therefore, with love and humility, take guilty life to defend innocent life from unjust harm.
Objection 6: What If Church Leaders Oppose Defensive Action?
Another likely objection is, "My church leaders oppose taking all just action necessary to protect innocent life." When lawfully constituted authority in family, church or state opposes an individual, that individual must weigh the issues involved seriously and humbly. The Bible summarizes its teachings on an individual's responsibility to authority in the Fifth Commandment. The Westminster Shorter Catechism tells us what duties are required in the Fifth Commandment: "The Fifth Commandment requireth the preserving the honor, and performing the duties, belonging to everyone in their several places and relations, as superiors, inferiors, or equals." Therefore, it is the individual's responsibility to both preserve the honor of his superiors and to perform the various duties he owes to them. If he finds it his duty to oppose those in authority over him, he must do so in a way that preserves the honor of the one in authority. That an individual should, under some circumstances, disobey authority has been previously proven from Acts 5:29.
The biblical position is that we are never permitted to sin even though someone in authority over us requires us to. If an individual's authority is merely in error but not forcing that person to sin, he may use constitutional means to seek to rectify the error. If an individual's authority requires him to sin, he must resist it utterly and at once. Apart from these principles, those in authority could rule wickedly with little or no fear of contradiction.
Church leaders must, however, do much more than merely allow their members to defend the unborn. They must do what leaders are supposed to do and lead the people. They must do so even if they lose some followers. This calls for men who love the truth and are willing to swim against the tide. Jesus affirmed this in Matthew 10:38, "And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who has found his life shall lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake shall find it."
We should not be surprised to encounter opposition to these truths from the church. Before World War II the church in Germany also shrank from resisting the evils of an unjust, oppressive government.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer is an example of a church leader who, as an individual, sought to protect innocent life by plotting the death of Hitler. He is now considered a hero and his Ethics is used as a college text. A holocaust was going on and no civil leaders arose (they are hard to find under totalitarian rule). Few people today, looking back, would say that the active civil disobedience of that time should have been restrained. We can be certain that the counsel of restraint today will be regretted by those who look back on it in the future.
Objection 7: Everyone Can't Take Defensive Action
Some well-intentioned person may ask, "Should everyone take the most drastic defensive action? The answer is "No." One of the rules for the right understanding of the Ten Commandments in the Westminster Larger Catechism is as follows, "That what God forbids, is at no time to be done; what he commands, is always our duty; and yet every particular duty is not to be done at all times." Although we have the duty to protect innocent life, there are many valid ways we may do so. We also have other important duties summarized in the Ten Commandments. We must use wisdom to know which duty is to be done at what time and in what way.
One of the major functions of wisdom is to direct us as to when and how we are to carry out our various duties. Consider this maxim of wisdom, "One may at times postpone a good deed to pursue a better one." We may deduce from this maxim that there are many duties we may justly postpone in order to come to the aid of our innocent children who are daily being killed in staggering numbers. For lesser duties than stopping abortion men have left their families and occupations to fight and die in World War II and the Civil War.
Objection 8: Judge and Jury Are Necessary For Defensive Action
Some may object and assert that a judge and jury are necessary before someone may be killed justly. Others object that the killing of Dr. Gunn was premeditated and not spontaneous self-defense. These and similar objections have excellent answers if one compares the killing of Dr. Gunn to the theoretical killing of the notorious Dr. Mengele who practiced at Auschwitz. We are told that Dr. Gunn was a hardworking man who traveled widely so as to kill as many of the unborn in a given week as could be reasonably expected. Who knows how many of the 30 million unborn killed in America were literally torn limb from limb at his hands? Dr. Mengele is considered to have been responsible for the death of 400,000 Jews. He conducted every type of inhuman torturous "experiment" to determine how long people could survive under various torturous conditions, mutilations and injections of chemical substances. The flick of his finger indicated to guards which newcomer to Auschwitz would be gassed and which would be spared for such ghastly experimentation. The reader can resolve the objections raised above and many others through the use of this and similar analogies.
Objection 9: Many People Oppose Defensive Action
The beliefs and duties outlined in this pamphlet are so entirely contrary to popular opinion and practice that opposition is to be expected. Many who will eventually take defensive action may be slow to adopt the concept at first. Our reaction to opposition must be one of understanding and patience. We must respond to severe criticism and searching questions with solid answers and winning persuasion. As people grasp at any straw of an objection to deny these truths we must recognize what they are doing and be patient.
Objection 10: This is Religious Fanaticism
Many will scoff at the principles asserted here as "religious fanaticism." It is true that all men are religious and have accepted by faith either the validity or invalidity of the Word of God. By faith, Christians accept God's Word to be true and may deduce from His Word the principles in this paper. People who assert their faith that God's Word isn't true no longer have an objective standard from God by which to determine what is ultimately right or wrong. When those who reject the truth of the Scriptures mock those who accept them, we may ask, " By what absolute moral standard do you ridicule the truths of God's Word?" They have none. For those who reject God's Word, there is no consistent higher ethic from which they can conclude that the killing of Dr. Gunn was unjust. Their mockings are ultimately directed at God. Their hatred of their Creator reaches its most blasphemous height when they kill the unborn made in His image and vilify us for protecting them.
The next question to be raised and answered is "What relationship does the previously proven duty of the individual have to the duty of government leaders to wage war upon just occasions?" The answer to this question is clear. Both the individuals and the civil leaders that represent those individuals have a God-given responsibility to take all just action necessary to protect innocent life.
We have established the fact that individuals should protect innocent life according to their stations in life as citizens. It is a natural extension of this truth to assert that men who have been given the responsibility of acting as civil magistrates should protect innocent life as civil magistrates. All the evidence previously produced to show the individual's responsibility to protect life also applies to civil leaders with equal or greater force. The case of Phinehas in Numbers 25 clearly demonstrates that just individual action often immediately precedes a just war.
The current civil government will not admit that the Bible and the American constitution are entirely and fundamentally opposed to the murder of unborn children. Our government defends with the sword the killing of approximately 4,100 innocent people every day. Yet, the most fundamental responsibility of the civil government is to protect innocent life from harm. Government leaders, therefore, have the God- given responsibility to resist our civil government that we may escape the wrath of God due to our country.
The question, therefore, naturally arises as to what individuals and leaders should do in the present circumstances. The classic treatment of just war principles is found in Samuel Rutherford's Lex Rex. He outlines several options given to those required to protect innocent life from unjust harm. The first option is to protest. This option has most certainly been put to use in the years since abortion was legalized. Nor may we justly be content to wait for four years and six million human souls to pass before we try the poll box option of protest again. If any other viable options exist, we have a responsibility to pursue them. The second option is to flee. If citizens were to flee from their present circumstances it would be from the responsibility to protect those in the womb who cannot flee. The third option is to take up arms in a defensive war under a lower magistrate. Considering the pressing urgency of our cause and the lack of any other justifiable course of action our duty is to pursue a defensive war if possible.
Defensive wars have been waged even when there was no apparent hope for victory. Such wars have shown the righteous indignation of those oppressed. Just wars are, however, usually considered unwise until there are enough men and resources available to offer a reasonable hope that the effort to overthrow the existing government will be successful. In order to obtain such resources people must be won to the cause.
To this end the full and free proclamation of the justice and necessity of the cause is essential. One of the most fundamental responsibilities each of us has is not only to believe the truth, but to pour our energies and resources into propagating the truth.
The first amendment to the constitution was drafted to protect and promote the responsibility of heralding just such a cause. If we may not speak of protecting the unborn, neither should we be able to speak of protecting any other group of humans who are being violently put to death.
Some may object that we should not promote these truths, as some pro-abortionists would like for us to do so. Isaiah 1:17 tells us to, "Seek justice, reprove the ruthless." This objection asks us not to do what God has required us to do. We must, however, proclaim the whole counsel of God. We have a special responsibility to proclaim truths that could result in the saving of millions of human lives. As strange as it may seem to us, obeying God is often the wisest thing to do. What is right is also what works best. All citizens, therefore, have the responsibility to hold and freely stand for defending the innocent.
Americans also have the responsibility to defend the defenseless and the American constitution. We should do so with force of arms if given the opportunity. The second amendment to the constitution upholds this right, "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed." One of the reasons we have the responsibility to keep and bear arms is so we may individually and corporately take all just action necessary to protect innocent life.
You may ask, "What special duties do righteous politicians, governors, mayors, police, military men and other civil leaders have in the present circumstances?" Surely civil leaders should feel a special responsibility to protect the unborn. Righteous men, therefore, in positions of civil authority should stand ready to use their authority to cast down those who oppose God's authority. They should be willing to do so if given the opportunity. The wisest course of action is for civil leaders to maintain their positions of authority, if they may in good conscience do so without sinning against God. The specific means and actions people pursue in defensive action must be left up to the individual's skill, cunning and wisdom.
Surely individuals should continue to protest and pursue political remedies. In addition, we may justly use legal and illegal direct action. Picketing, sidewalk counseling and trespassing are all to be used with zeal and vigor. The possible legal and illegal activities that could be considered may be found in numerous books and other sources.
As we put our convictions into concrete actions, the millions who are indifferent to abortion or accepting it as expedient will be forced to reconsider. Our proclamation of the justice and necessity of our cause combined with our consistent action will certainly persuade the vast majority. Some have suggested that during the Civil War, the South lost some of its will to fight due to the realization that some of its slaves were being mistreated. If this is true, how much more will the pro-abortionists lose heart when they see our faces set like flint in defense of the defenseless. When this occurs, the time will have arrived for the lower civil magistrate and those in positions of power to call the multitudes to unified action.
Until that time many men will respond to God's call to give of themselves in direct action. Thousands died in violent action during the Civil War for a lesser cause. Thousands more wasted away in confinement. The odds are slim that many already born will die in our cause. The modern jail system compares favorably with that of the Civil War system. The prospect of suffering for doing right is not easy, but never without parallel reward. Such unjustly imprisoned men would surely give truthful lawyers an opportunity to present the justice of their cause and persuade others of it. Perhaps only a few good men unjustly arrested in protecting innocent life would be required to move the multitudes to see the light of truth. Never before will so few have the opportunity to accomplish so much for so many.
You may ask, "May we dare to hope that our cause will be successful in the end?" The answer is an emphatic "Yes!" There are numerous and compelling reasons for us to have abundant hope that defensive action will bring abortion to an end.
The reason abortion began and has not ended yet is due to our inconsistent thinking and action. If we think and act consistently we will force our opponents and the undecided masses to do the same. Our position requires us to selflessly take all just action to defend our children from mortal injury. Their position requires them to selfishly do all they can to defend the mass destruction of human life. As the logical consequences of these two positions are forced upon the multitudes by our consistent action the majority will choose life. You need not be an enlightened Christian to prefer protecting innocent children to destroying them.
There is an initial shock and horror that comes from considering that the death of Dr. Gunn may have been justified. Once this shock has passed, the truth and duties involved will have an abiding effect. These truths will grip men's minds and not release them from their duties. Men will be forced to admit their horrendous neglect and will respond with zealous repentant hearts.
Our zeal will be from God Himself. He will cause us to "mount up with wings like eagles." He will make us "run and not get tired." By his strength we will "walk and not become weary." He will give us strength and joy in defending the innocent that we have never dreamed of before. The joy of laying down our lives and possessions in such a cause will overwhelm thousands. We will, therefore, rise above those who have nothing but fear, selfishness and inconsistency to motivate them.
God has given you the energy and resources you now have for His service. Now is the time to use them in defense of the defenseless. Many battles in the Old Testament were fought and won when God's people rose in a just cause. In many instances God's people virtually stood by and watched as God fought for them. If we will but act in true repentance and faith God will bless our zealous but feeble efforts with abundant success. Therefore, we must act in a decisive and timely manner.
Every civilization experiences the ebb and flow of peace and war in which lives and resources are garnered and stored in peace and then expended in war. The resources we have garnered since the Civil War have caused us to become lazy and apathetic to the issues of freedom and justice over which the Civil War was waged. This is the time for us once again to expend our energies, resources and lives in defense of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Not all can be on the battle line. However, all able-bodied men who are men indeed should rise to serve the cause in one form or another. Many rode into the Civil War in full gallop without being forced to enlist. Surely their families suffered as their resources were drained and as their young men spent the vigor of their youth upon the bloody fields of battle. But isn't sacrifice and suffering in doing our duty to protect life the honorable way to serve our God?
The concept of a just cause urged both sides into the conflict in the Civil War. If their motives were mixed and their cause unclear, ours need not be. Our motive is love to our unseen neighbor and our cause is just. Should we not therefore with zeal fired to a steady white glow, go forth to show forth God's righteous indignation upon those who defile with gruesome death children made in His image and likeness?
Will you remain at home while your neighbors respond to the call from the womb? Will you continue to build bigger barns while your little neighbors are being abruptly decapitated? Will you be like the priest and Levite who passed by on the other side on the way to pursue their own interests? Or will you be like the good Samaritan who gave of his time and property and risked his very life because he realized that all his fellow men are his neighbors?
Death opens her cavernous mouth before you. Thousands upon thousands of children are consumed by her every day. You have the ability to save some from being tossed into her gaping mouth. As hundreds are being rushed into eternity, other questions shrink in comparison to the weighty question, "Should we defend our born and unborn children with force?"
Take defensive action!
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