This Statement on Resistance is short and simple, but for the sake of clarity in these troubling times, I will explicitly point out a few things.
First, this is a statement of peaceful and moral resistance. It is not in any way a call for, or an endorsement of, armed revolution, civil war, or political violence of any type.
Second, resistance is an inalienable right, meaning that this right cannot be taken or given away by any means. This right is not subject to governmental or legal authority, nor is it subject to any vote. It cannot be legislated by politicians, nor regulated by bureaucrats. It is not subject to corporate policies or terms-of-service agreements.
Third, "oppressive or tyrannical" refers to any exercise of illegitimate authority, unconstitutional power, and immoral acts. It refers to any attempt to limit or restrict our God-given rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It refers to any attempt to revoke or restrict our personal freedoms as outlined in the Bill of Rights. It refers to any attempt to change or invalidate the Constitution, or any portion thereof, through any means other than the prescribed legal and proper amendment process. It refers to any attempt to limit, restrict, or take our economic freedoms for any reason, including the right to personal property, the right to work, and the right to engage freely in commerce (the right to buy and sell). It includes any attempts to deny or limit the rights of parents to raise their children, including overseeing their children's education and healthcare. It includes any and all attempts to force people into any form of collectivism, including fascism, socialism, communism, marxism, and maoism. It includes any attempt to cancel individuals who hold traditional viewpoints, values, or beliefs, or to otherwise bully people into accepting or conforming to so-called "woke" ideology.
Fourth, this statement does not preclude self-defense and the use of force as a last resort to protect oneself or others from the threat of imminent harm (see my Statement on Self-Defense and the Use of Force).
Statement on Self-Defense and the Use of Force
By Tim Gamble (January 20, 2020)
This statement reflects my views on Self-Defense and the Use of Force, prayerfully developed over many years of consideration. I do not seek to prove these views to the reader, but rather hope the reader will investigate the many sources given in the footnotes, should they have questions about why I hold these views.
For the purposes of the following statement, I define self-defense as "the use of force, including potentially deadly force, as a last resort to protect oneself or others from the threat of imminent harm." This definition therefore excludes the use of force solely for personal gain, or out of a desire for revenge or vengeance. Also notice some key words of that definition - "last resort", "protect", and "imminent harm" - that suggest there are limitations upon the use of force in self-defense. Self-defense is not an excuse for the unlimited use of violence.
Statement on Self-Defense and the Use of Force:
I strongly believe in the unalienable right of self-defense, including the defense of others. It is a biblical concept, which can be proved with numerous passages from both the Old and New Testaments. (see footnotes 1, 2, 3, 4, 8)
I strongly support the Second Amendment. We have the right to possess the tools of self-defense, including guns and knives. (see footnotes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5,)
I reject retaliation, revenge, and vengeance, because God's Word makes it clear that such belongs to the Lord, not man. (see footnotes 1, 6)
I reject unwise and inappropriate use of force in self-defense. This includes being too quick to anger, and lacking self-control. Defensive force should only be used as a last resort. "Employing potentially lethal force out of anger, hatred, jealously, or revenge is always wrong and is condemned by Scripture." (see footnote 7)
I reject unprovoked aggression (the initiation of force without just cause). Aggression (force) is necessary, and ethical, in some circumstances to protect ourselves (or others) from actions or threats against our lives, freedoms, rights, or property.
I reject the concept of absolute pacifism (the idea that force should never be used under any circumstances, even in self-defense or defense of others). I consider refusing to help defend those in legitimate need, when you have the ability to do so, to be a potentially immoral and cowardly act, because it suggests that life isn't worth defending.
1) See the website Biblical Self-Defense for a lengthy examination of dozens of Old and New Testament passages on self-defense.
2) See the article Self-Defense by Fr. John Whiteford on the Orthodox Christianity website.
3) A book on the subject of biblical self-defense that may be of interest is Stand Your Ground: The Biblical Foundation For Self-Defense, by Steve Jones.
4) The article The Six Things Americans Should Know About the Second Amendment, by Richard W. Stevens, contains an examination of self-defense within a Judeo-Christian framework.
5) See The Bill of Rights, particularly the Second Amendment.
6) See the page Revenge and Retaliation on the Knowing Jesus website for 37 verses on retaliation, revenge, and vengeance belonging to God, not people.
7) Quote is from The Biblical View of Self-Defense, on the Biblical Self-Defense website.
8) Watch the five minute video, Do Not Murder, by Dennis Prager.