I have talked a good amount with my boss and his friends who are muslim. They purport the idea of jihad to be the same as resistance in terms of self defense. Also how, in doing so, they cant go "beyond the limts". Whatever that means. So i was reading up a bit on Islamic history and the Qur'an and I came across a few verses talking about the first time they are told to "bear arms" in defense against the polytheistic cities surrounding yathrib/medina. Muhammad has a bone to pick with the peoples surrounding him and his followers because they reject the one true god. After much ridicule and persecution from those living in Mecca it's to be expected that at one point or another the opportunity to defend themselves would be inevitable. Here's my question. For a group of Christians living in an area where they will be heavily persecuted, what exactly does "self defense" mean? If that group is pushed around or attacked, is it completely biblical to fight back with the same force used against you? Or do you just keep running? Seems like the disciples just kinda left whenever things escalated to a violent point. If they had the numbers, maybe they would have fought back? I don't know. Living in the USA, persecution just looks different. I get taunted sure but no one is going to beat me down for sharing my faith. Most people would be annoyed at my gospel sharing and probably try to steer clear of me. I cant even imagine sharing the gospel and being threatened or attacked. And if me and other believers WERE attacked, would be be okay to defend ourselves by attacking back? I guess from what im reading about, I can't tell if the battles that Muhammad got himself into were wrong in and of themsleves or not. They weren't really commands from the Lord so they arent justified in any way, i know that. Still, I cant imagine a battle taking place between the Apostles and the Ephesians during the riot in Acts for example. But if there HAD been some type of violent skirmish would it fall under biblical self defense, thus making it okay? Would appreciate some help thinking through this, thanks.