Q Zone: When is it okay…

Self Defense….to defend yourself?

That was the question I had to “pass” on last Sunday in our Q-n-A time after teaching through Stephen’s martyrdom in Acts 7. It wasn’t because of a lack of an opinion or answer, but rather due to one thing: TIME! That question isn’t quickly answered, no, not even if I had taken an extra 10 minutes. Even though there were multiple questions around this theme, I felt it was impossible to do the question justice in our usual format. Thus, it’s here in my blog.

Fortunately, I did provide at least one key component to maneuvering through this issue — the Holy Spirit. After all, Jesus promised his disciples that in their hour of trial, his Holy Spirit would give them the words to say. So they weren’t to worry, but rather keep on witnessing, knowing God would fill their mouths at just the right time with the words necessary for a proper defense.

Of course, that doesn’t answer the question from the angle of physical violence. Yet, my point was that “defending ourselves,” generally speaking, is probably best answered situationally and prayerfully. While there are certainly some non-negotiable situations where we should defend ourselves and others, Stephen’s story (Acts 7), as well as Peter and John’s earlier (Acts 4-5) and James’ later (Acts 12), indicates there may be times when we don’t. When we do either is perhaps an on-the-spot decision.

It is to that end that I offer the following trusted links. They will break this issue out in more detail, give various scenarios and Scriptures, and help you sort through the options and opinions facing you. I’ve read through them myself, and enjoyed the similarities and differences,  Yes, there will be some variance in these articles, and you will need to weigh what the Bible says and how the Holy Spirit leads in each situation so that you are acting with a clear conscience, a sober mind, a disciplined body, and a God-honoring heart.






0 Comments on “Q Zone: When is it okay…”

    1. Richard,

      Love hearing from you!

      Basically, we post a phone number in our worship folder (on the screen when I start) that can be used to text questions to (bad grammar I know). I share that number with one or two others on my staff (like our small group pastor), so our phones get the texts. Usually, our small group pastor is in the booth, so he filters and rewords as necessary. Then he lets the tech people do their stuff and they get the q’s into the projection slides, etc. If he is gone, I usually leave my phone with them and they do well at it too.

      Generally, I answer questions after I work through the text (3/4 of the way through the message), so the tech people know when it is coming and have 2-3 ready to go. So there is little or no delay. This also means most of the questions seem to deal with textual stuff, which isn’t always interesting to others. I like it, but we need shoe-leather questions too. Still, some application “life issue” questions get asked.

      I also provide a planned question (or two) that has come in earlier that week, and we always end with those. So when I see those specific questions, which I am already aware of, I know that is the last of the questions, This helps me transition more smoothly to the last part of my message, which is usually a directed application about how the text relates to Christ so that as we move into Communion (which we do each week), there is the proper focus and attention on Christ’s all-sufficient work.

      When we first started this, I took questions live. Sounds good, but rarely did anyone speak up. When we moved to this text format, tons come in! Plus, it gives me lots of fodder for my blog (as you probably know).

      This has added to my sermon length a bit, but no one minds at all. Also, when I start, I try and mention the fact that “I will take questions in a bit, so feel free to utilize your phone while I speak and text them to the number on the screen.” People are so used to being told to turn off their phones in church that they often get jazzed about being able to use it. Plus, we use YouVersion/live, so there is a good bit of “techie” participation going on in the service.

      It may help you to watch one of our videos on Vimeo and skip to the Q & A part to see how I actually do this.

      and go to the 24-minute mark). I answered them a little earlier in this message than normal, but you’ll get the idea.

      Believe me, this is a work in progress. We’re constantly adjusting to improve this process. Hope this helps a little.

  1. Thanks for the great links, Todd. This is an issue I’ve wrestled with in the past but the information you shared really helped. Thanks!

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