Doves and Serpents

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Gina B, May 19, 2014.

  1. Gina B

    Gina B
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    Amid all the discussion about the death penalty recently, a lot of venom exists, and rightfully so. Some of the crimes committed are horrific, with death row inmates admitting their guilt.

    However easy it is to not care about the suffering these criminals endure, I've found myself suddenly taken back by the idea, my own lack of caring, on how the penalty is carried out. Maybe even on my agreement in general with the death penalty where the accused does not freely admit guilt.

    That happened because Matthew 10:16 came to mind. After looking it up in a few different versions, it seems that the common translation in the versions I often read says to be prudent as serpents, guileless as doves.

    So exercise good judgment and do not cheat or mislead.

    We see bad judgment, cheating, and misleading in a lot of court cases. Some think it's for the greater good - to close a case, or because they believe the person being judged really did the crime and the evidence just needs a little help.

    We also see bad judgment when criminals are let free after terrible crimes against people. We hear of something awful, then find that this person did the same thing a few years ago, yet they only spent a short time in prison and were allowed access to us again.

    It's easy to feel anger and violence when we feel afraid, easy to want criminals to suffer when we feel wronged.

    But is that the right way to think? While it's not wrong to want justice, I think many of us recently have gone too far in our idea of what justice is, not seeing it for the sorrowful, painful result of sin that we'd prefer never happened in the first place. We've become bloodthirsty, and that doesn't seem at all wise. Rejoicing over justice is one thing, but rejoicing in the personal suffering, and comments such as "I'd love to be the one to put a bullet in him" or "Who cares if he suffers during the execution, his victim suffered more, so I'd buy popcorn and watch," that's not rejoicing over justice. That's rejoicing over someone else's suffering. There is a difference. Evidence that this is true is pretty simple - it's rare to hear anyone who makes these comments during the carrying out of the death penalty make any similar ones when the person who did the crime gets caught and taken off the streets. The streets became safer THEN, so where was our joy?

    Maybe it's time to rethink our attitudes about justice. About ourselves. About what Matthew 10:16 means if we take it and apply it to all aspects of our lives.
     
  2. Zaac

    Zaac
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    We should always exercise grace as grace has REPEATEDLY been given to each of us.

    Capital pinishment, if you ask me, is much like divorce. God ALLOWS it, but still deems it wrong to take a life.

    The NT way seems to be one of forgiveness and not the taking of a life for a sin.

    He ALLOWS the governing authorities to set laws in which a life may be taken. His word DOES NOT say that it is the correct penalty and in fact points to it being the incorrect penalty.

    It is the ultimate hypocrisy of the modern church to claim to be pro-life while being okay with taking a life.
     
  3. Gina B

    Gina B
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    Zaac, does forgiveness, for humans here on earth, mean no expectation that the person who did wrong should have no consequences for what they did? Is that not poor judgment? Can't a person forgive while the person still has earthly consequences for what they did?

    I've never seen the pro-life argument as pertaining to this, since the death penalty is the result of a wrong that the person did, while taking someone who isn't in a vegetative state off life support against the family's wishes, refusal to render care to someone in need who will die without it, or performing an abortion is ending the life of someone who has not been judged guilty of a crime. The Bible clearly states that rising up against someone without cause and ending their life is wrong. It doesn't say the same for the death penalty for crimes. If it does, please point that out or how it can be interpreted as such.
     
  4. Zaac

    Zaac
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    Absolutely. And that's what I was saying. It's obvious that there will be consequences. Scripture just doesn't seem to point to one of those consequences being the taking of life or advocating of the taking of a life by those who are in Christ.

    It is a sign of an UNFORGIVEN, UNREDEEMED world that thinks that the consequence of any wrong doing should be death. That's an unsaved POV. The POV of the saved, based on what's in the NT should not be to advocate the taking of a life because of sin anymore than we would want our lives taken because of a sin.

    Where in the NT does it say that the penalty for certain crimes should be death at the hand of another equally merited of death sinner? Like divorce again, God allows the governing authorities to say it's allowed. But everything in the NT seems to point to the default stance of the redeemed needing to always be life.

    If in the eyes of God, all are guilty of sin and we believe that unborn to be part of that all, it makes no sense to be against not killing one, but killing another.


    The essence of ALL OF the GOOD NEWS is this very GRACE.
     
  5. Scarlett O.

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    God allowed, via Moses, for divorce in the Old Testament because of the hardness of the men's hearts. Jesus said that.

    God commanded the death penalty - before the Law (in Genesis 9) and in the Law (several passages) and Paul (in Acts 25) admitted that there were crimes worthy of the Roman death penalty and that if could be found guilty that he would not opposed his own death.

    Romans 13 says that we are to obey governing authorities.

    Did Jesus show mercy to certain individuals worthy of the death penalty? Yes. But two criminals died along beside Him and Jesus didn't demand mercy for their crimes against the state.

    Forgiving baby rapists, serial killers, and others who have committed criminal acts deemed as criminal by the state is doable for a Christian.

    We should forgive people - ALL people.

    Forgiving, however, doesn't mean that that government cannot demand a penalty of death for their crimes.
     
  6. Zaac

    Zaac
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    4 Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness. 1 John 3:4

    If there was sin, there was the Law so there's no way to Biblically say that God commanded the death penalty before the Law as the Law...the word of truth that is the embodiment of Jesus Christ is as eternal as is He.

    And we are once again looking at the OT where the only righteous death was pronounced by God to those JEWS doing HIS bidding.

    Everything of the NT is about GRACE and MERCY. All fall short so there's not a single one of us who can righteously deem it lawful to take the life of someone who is guilty of breaking the SAME LAW (James 2:10) that we break.

    Why would he oppose such a thing? If the governing authorities passed the law, it just was what it was. This is the same Paul who penned the Epistle to the Romans and told them to submit to the governing authorities. That would be consistent with it being ALLOWED but still not right. This is the same Paul who wrote Corinthians and told them not to divorce.

    So again, like divorce, the death penalty through the government is ALLOWED but it's still sinful to take that life.

    The only one capable of righteously making he decision to take a life is GOD. And He has not authored the foolishness of it being okay for us to kill adults but to not kill babies. That is 100% of the world.

    ??? Again, this is consistent with it being ALLOWED, but still sinful. The taking of a life by another man without a direct command from God has ALWAYS been sinful. The men next to Jesus were there because He allows for the government to take a life because that's the unsaved world view and how they want to handle things. But THE CROSS explicitly shows that He expects those who are to be imitators of HIM to default to grace and mercy just as HE did with the thief on the other cross. There is NO justification for those saved by GRACE through faith to ever think it BIBLICALLY okay for folks who GOD SAYS are guilty of breaking the SAME LAW to take the life of another.

    It is a purely an unsaved worldview.

    I didn't say that the GOVERNMENT could not demand the death penalty. As you mentioned with the thieves on the crosses, it's obvious that the government IS allowed to make such laws.

    I'm simply saying that BIBLICALLY, everything of the NT points to the taking of a life by the government to be sinful just as divorce is.

    Death penalty and divorce . The murder of a life created by God. And the breaking of a covenant with God. Both equally sinful and both which Christians more and more look to justify.

    After all of the folks God commanded His people to righteously kill in the OT, why in the NT do we only see GOD righteously taking the life of Ananias and Sapphira and having an angel of the Lord strike down Herod?

    Every righteous taking of life in Scripture was either commanded by God to His people or done by an angel of God to His glory.

    After the Cross, there is no recorded Biblical history of God commanding ANYONE to take the life of another. That's His call and His alone. Every government and person who chooses to do so, like divorce, do so sinfully.
     
  7. Jordan Kurecki

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    There's a difference between murdering a child on the altar of convenience and a punishing criminals.
     
  8. Zaac

    Zaac
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    In the eyes of man, I'm sure there is. But I'm talking about a Biblical perspective. BIBLICALLy there is nothing that shows that God has given HIS blessings to one sinful human taking the life of another sinful human without God giving the order to do so as He did in the OT.

    Taking a life is taking a life.
     
  9. just-want-peace

    just-want-peace
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    ZAAC:
    Absolutely correct Zaac; don't know how we unlearned peasants have survived thus far without people like you who know what God really meant when He spoke.
    We commoners just have to accept what He said at face value. :tear:
    Again, thank you!!!! :thumbsup:
     
  10. Zaac

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    Any time.:thumbsup: Hypocrisy reigns over Christ in today's church.
     
  11. Gina B

    Gina B
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    Some want more than mere survival. When we were given life, it wasn't just life, but abundant life.

    Why settle for the minimum? We need people who are willing to reach for more. Even if they're wrong. And I'm not saying he's wrong. Or right. I'm thinking about it. That's why I started this thread.
     
  12. Zaac

    Zaac
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    Thank you Gina. I'm just saying that God made the decision when to end a life in the OT. When men RIGHTEOUSLY did so, they did it with God's direction to do so.

    That's not present in the NT of grace.

    The death penalty is just like divorce: allowable but still sinful.
     
  13. Bro. Curtis

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    :applause:

    The death penalty is still Biblical, and we are commanded to use it. God's word does not change.
     
  14. Zaac

    Zaac
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    Yes it's Biblical that it's ALLOWED. It's also Biblical that it's sinful. :thumbsup:
     
  15. Bro. Curtis

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    I already read what you said, and I disagreed. No reason for us to even address each other. I think you're wrong, you think I'm wrong.

    Cool ?:flower:
     
  16. Zaac

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    If there's no need to address each other you didn't have to comment, ya know?:1_grouphug:
     
  17. Bro. Curtis

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    My comment was to Scarlett. I agreed with her. I never meant to engage you, here, as our positions won't change.
     

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