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Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Salty, Sep 13, 2011.
We have had quite a discussion on the death penalty.
So where do you stand?
Think the 'bottom line' here form the Scriptures, when taken in context, is that the Lord does NOT prohibit capital punshemnt even while in the Age of Grace, BUT that He has proscribed it to be administered by the 'state", and for ONLY crimes that involve 1st degree Murder, and with proof of the guilty party be proven!
as to the common objections that we are under grace now, and that person might not be saved if executed, could have come to Christ...
Murder in the first degree seems to be a 'special" case, as it involves the shedding of innocent blood on a person made in image of God!
And that the Apostle paul did state the Govt has the sword from god to uphold/keep the peace, and those whom are the elct of God will indeed be saved regardless if executed for their crimes or not, as a genuine Christian has been executed who came to the Lord while on death Row, but still had to face "penalty' for their crime!
Also would say that while God allows for it, can decide to punish by prison, as He does NOT absolutely require it IF there is a chance of "miatiting" circumstances involved !
I did not participate in the other discussion, but this issue seems to be crystal clear to me.......
“Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.”
Not only did God say this “before the law”, but this aspect of judgement and justice, is an enduring part of God’s psyche, because of how He deals with people now and in eternity.
My question, for all those who are against the death penalty is “why”?
(Why are you against the death penalty?)
➀Is it because you feel bad for those people who are put to death?
➁Or have you been convinced that innocent people are being put to death?
(By the way, nobody is innocent!)
➂Or, do you simply think it’s wrong?
If your answer is #1; Let me remind you that your “feelings” have nothing to do with it.
If your answer is #2; Let me remind you, that God is still on His throne and is still a merciful God; Therefore if anybody is on death row and is innocent, and they cry out to God for mercy, He will arrange for them to be released(if it’s in His will).
And if your answer is #3: You need to repent, for disagreeing with God.
This entire issue, boils down to the fact that we live in a Christ rejecting world that has no idea which end is up; And we are exposed to their warped opinions every day of our life.
Therefore we should not be surprised that so many of us are on the wrong side of this issue.
One more thing;
I am not “dyed in the wool”, in my opinion; But I have based it upon God’s Word.
Therefore, if someone can convince me that I am wrong, using Scripture; I will be glad to admit it.
Too many innocents men/women are on death row for me to believe it is a good practice. Since 1977 there have been 1266 people released from death row as they were found to be innocent. That comes out to an average of about 36 people a year.
I will not enter the Biblical argument as it would not change anyone's mind. But the thought of innocent people being executed might give some a pause.
Also just because, in the minds of many, God does not forbid executions, this does not mean we have to execute people. There are numerous commands we no long follow and never will, i.e. Do not wear cloth of mixed fibers.
I am not against life-without-parole.
Think that some have the view that Jesus on the Cross abolished the Death penalty towards us as His death paid for us to be reconciled to God, or else under grace, not law, just as jesus forgave the woman in adultary and kept her from being killed for a capital offense!
I hold as you do, just saying why others might see it differently!
I used to be pro-death penalty. After careful study of scripture, I am convinced that our Lord Jesus Christ does not want His followers to support the death penalty.
peace to youraying:
It is always a tragedy when an innocent person is put to death, but the command of God still stands and we have to decide if we really want to try and find a way around it or obey. It is not like we are knowingly executing people. I can understand if someone were opposed to the death penalty if they claimed we also need to follow exactly the guidelines for pronouncing the death penalty, two or three witness, but even that is not the case. There seems to be just a disregard for the command with a seeking to justify the rebellion by twisting scripture or holding personal views and that should put great fear in the heart of anyone who stands against the command.
Jesus commanded her to be stoned and they would not do it. He then forgave her of her sin. He did not do away with the death penalty.
We are called to love our enemies (Matt 5:44) and I can't seem to come up with how killing someone is loving them.
I know there is a difference between an individual and a government and that there must be consequences for ones actions, but the finality of death is something different all together. Note, being against the death penalty does not mean I am against punishment.
I am against the death penalty because I don't like the idea of the government (or a jury, a person or a panel of really smart and good people) playing God. Once the individual is dead, there are no "do-overs" any chance of redemption is lost forever. For me that responsibility should be God's and God's alone.
Are you saying that you would put someone in prison because you love them? BY the way their redemption is in God's hands on death row. I assume that you regularly visit death row because you have so much love for people and try and win them to Christ, correct?
You claim that a judge and jury play God so let me ask. When God commanded the death penalty was He wrong for the command because He was making them play God?
The error that Christians who are against the death penalty are making, was summed up in something you said.......
As Christians we should know, that physical death has no finality!
As a matter of fact, it’s a blessing to a Christ rejecting murderer, to be put to death:
(Keeping him from committing even more sin, that would place him deeper into the lake of fire.)
For me(at least), some of my support of the death penalty is a result of my understanding about what “life” is really all about!
Life does not stop at physical death; This is where it actually starts.
Removing any chance for redemption is final. Once you are dead in this life your ability to choose Christ is over, that is final.
That and I'm not so sure that the individual being put to death would consider their punishment a "blessing", that is just strange and somewhat cold-hearted.
I know we have judges, have had judges and the like for these types of difficult purposes. But I believe we can punish the crime without having to kill the individual.
I would also mention that we don't always get it right. We have had people killed who it turns out were not guilty. Sure spending 12 years in jail is bad especially if you didn't do it, but at least you can get out once justice is finally served. We even have a financial system set up to pay those individuals for being wrongly jailed. It's not a perfect fix, but at least it's a step in that direction and a recognition that our system is not perfect.
You kill the wrong person, there is no Edit - Undo button for that one.
Thank you for responding; Because I am also searching for more understanding in this area and conversations like this will help.
Your first argument...........
My calvinist brethren have taught me never to us the word “chance” when talking about somebodies salvation; But their “opportunity” to get saved, is in no way deterred by being put on death row.
Not only have they already had plenty of opportunities to get saved, before killing someone; But the stress of awaiting their own death, will bring all but the hardest hearts to a consideration of their eternity.
Your second argument.......
I have heard several testimonies from prisoners on death row, who have come to know the Lord during that time and realize that their death is an act of justice and were ready for it.
As for my statements being “strange” or “cold-hearted”; They were said in light of eternity; And from that perspective, they are neither strange nor cold-hearted.
When that Christ rejecting murderer gets to hell; He will then realize that it was “good” for him to have been stopped piling even more judgement upon himself.
Your third argument........
But....God’s Word requires the death of murderers......
V.30 Whoso killeth any person, the murderer shall be put to death by the mouth of witnesses: but one witness shall not testify against any person [to cause him] to die.
V.31 Moreover ye shall take no satisfaction for the life of a murderer, which [is] guilty of death: but he shall be surely put to death.
V.32 And ye shall take no satisfaction for him that is fled to the city of his refuge, that he should come again to dwell in the land, until the death of the priest.
V.33 So ye shall not pollute the land wherein ye [are]: for blood it defileth the land: and the land cannot be cleansed of the blood that is shed therein, but by the blood of him that shed it.
We are not suppose to want it to be done, but we are to do it; Because God said to.
But when murderers are “not” put to death, the innocent blood of their victims pollutes the land.
Your fourth argument........
I also agree with this; But we have no other choice.
The only conciliation we have, is the fact that God is still on His throne and any of us(including anyone on death row), can cry out to Him for help and they will be heard.
Injustice is always sad and we should do everything in our power to avoid it.
But justice(according to God’s Word), is more important.
Finally you said.......
Calling a lawful execution “killing”, doesn’t help your case.
Because it reveals that you are being ruled by emotion.
When talking about the death penalty, emotions need to put on the shelf.
Because all that matters is what is “right” and what is “wrong”:
And God’s Word, has the last word in this area.
My emotional response would be that a person who murdered should be done the same way. If they bludgeon someone to death, they should be bludgeon to death.
59 While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” 60 Then he fell on his knees and cried out, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” When he had said this, he fell asleep.
That is not a emotional response.
Going against my emotional response I have to pray that God would get those thoughts out of my head, vengeance. It doesn't bring back the person life they took back.
A murderer should not be set free to murder again, but have time to think of what they did until God takes them before the judgement seat. If God wanted someone dead they would die without any help from us.
Someone who doesn't care about someone else's life, do you think they care about their own?
We are to love God and love others as our selves, killing them is not loving others as our selves, letting them free to murder another isn't either.
I cannot think how it's loving to throw them in prison either. Let's let them all walk.
...as if we decide the spiritual fate of another.
...hence one of the repercussions of living in a fallen world. There was no edit - undo button when the murder snuffed out the life of his victim either.
Letting them go free defiantly loves that one individual but it doesn’t love all man kind to set them free to do it to someone else.
Men do like the most cost efficient way to keep the world safe.