This is in response to your guest column in the Oct. 23, 2019 issue entitled, “A soldier or a killing machine?”
Kary Love wrote, “Jesus of Nazareth stopped the hand of Peter when he drew his knife (actually it was a sword—JW) and attacked one of the soldiers (actually he was a servant—JW) sent to arrest Jesus. Jesus made it clear in this teaching that violence, even when used to save the life of God, was repudiated by God. “If saving the life of a god does not justify it, what lesser value can.” Love’s conclusion is a distortion of what this passage teaches and is a distortion of the Bible generally.
Kary would have read Romans 13 also. In that passage, the inspired Apostle Paul wrote that law officials are ministers of God and are a “revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil” (Romans 13:4).
If there is no retribution against evil, as Kary Love contends, then there can be no resistance when a child is molested or a woman being raped, or a bank being robbed, or murder being committed, or criminals terrorizing a city, or the invasion of a nation.
No, Jesus did not disarm the police, national army, or average citizen with second amendment rights. What Jesus stopped was the interference with the divine plan. God planned that Jesus die on the cross (see Psalms 22; Isaiah 53). Peter was interfering with that plan. This is seen in the words of Jesus to Peter: “Thinkest though that I cannot now pray to my father and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that this it must be” (Matthew 26:53, 54).
We all regret war. Often it comes from the greed of men (James 4:1, 2). But as David stepped out (with God’s approval) and killed Goliath who threatened to enslave Israel, so there are times when arms must be used against evildoers.
Jerry Weller, Moulton