If a Christian father stands by idly as his child is being kidnapped, is he guilty of sin? I heard an Amish person say that if someone is in danger like this, they should not do anything because they believe in non-resistance. I was reading the Large Catechism and it seems to suggest that those who fail to defend their neighbors are guilty of sin. I am going to be a Christian father soon and have seen these types of things in the news, and want to know if it is right for a Christian father to defend his child or if he should stand by idly. Thank you.
Perhaps the section of the Large Catechism you have in mind is this: “Secondly, under this commandment not only he is guilty who does evil to his neighbor, but he also who can do him good, prevent, resist evil, defend and save him, so that no bodily harm or hurt happen to him, and yet does not do it. If, therefore, you send away one that is naked when you could clothe him, you have caused him to freeze to death; if you see one suffer hunger and do not give him food, you have caused him to starve. So also, if you see any one innocently sentenced to death or in like distress, and do not save him, although you know ways and means to do so, you have killed him. And it will not avail you to make the pretext that you did not afford any help, counsel, or aid thereto, for you have withheld your love from him and deprived him of the benefit whereby his life would have been saved.” [Concordia Triglotta, 635]
A recently-published answer included this response: “Some Christians look to Matthew 5:39 and Romans 12:17 as absolute directives not to resist physical threats. In their context though the verses advocate love toward others instead of seeking revenge.
“Others look to sections of Scripture like Proverbs 24:11-12 and Luke 22:35-38 as the basis for defending oneself and one’s family from physical threats. John 18:10-11 describes Peter’s wrongful use of a weapon as he tried to interfere with the Lord’s humble submission to his Father’s will.
“The positive emphasis of the Fifth Commandment ‘to help and befriend [our neighbor] in every bodily need’ can find application in defending oneself and one’s family.