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Featured Death Penalty - Is it Biblical?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Salty, May 10, 2022.

  1. Salty

    Salty 20,000 Posts Club
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    The death penalty (DP) was often used the OT but rarely in the NT
    1) Does the NT prohibit the DP
    2) Does the NT permit the DP
    3) Does the NT remain silent of the DP

    A) is the DP effective in stopping murders and other major crimes
    B) Is Life without parole effective in stopping murders .....
    C) What Crimes deserve the DP
    D) Do political parties take a strong stand on the DP - Pro or con?

    Other comments?


    Opinion Polls: Death Penalty Support and Religion | Death Penalty Information Center
     
  2. Reformed1689

    Reformed1689 Well-Known Member

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    Yes. It is part of the moral law. It was established well before Israel. It is about humanity, not just Israel.
     
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  3. kyredneck

    kyredneck Well-Known Member
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    ??? Apples and oranges, from lack of written NT historical records alone. Two millennia vs...what, 40 years?

    No.

    Yes. Romans 13:4

    No, 1 John 5:16

    Absolutely. By incapacitation. They'll never kill again.

    Lifers have been known to murder other inmates.

    Genesis 9:6

    Republicans used to generally uphold DP, not so sure nowadays.
     
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  4. canadyjd

    canadyjd Well-Known Member

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    God gives governments the “power of the sword” per Romans 13. So yes, it is permitted for governments.

    However, I do not believe Christians should support the death penalty.

    The death penalty is certainly effective in stopping murders and other serious crimes, particularly with reference the person executed.

    Life without parole is only effective if the person serves in isolation 24/7 with an hour of supervised rec time per day.

    I agree it hasn’t been a big political issue for a while, and probably won’t be a big issue this cycle.

    peace to you
     
  5. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    I don't support the death penality for a couple of reasons.

    First, as used in the Bible there had to be the testimony of two witnesses. I do not believe this was simply to determine guilt (DNA is not a substitute) but related to having two people testify. Under the moral law these were two Israelites (two people within the people of God). So there was also an issue of moral character and people putting their own at stake confirming their words. And this was judged under a system God placed. And there was also a reason the community as a whole were the executioners.

    The second reason is that I do not trust our judicial system. Our judicial system is too often a game, or a contest, between lawyers.

    The third reason is I have witnessed Christians almost celebratory when an execution (particularly one that has been publicized or was being protested) takes place. Perhaps that is not a reason for opposing the death penality as much as it is a condemnation.
     
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  6. Reformed

    Reformed Well-Known Member
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    As other's have cited, Romans 13 justifies capital punishment by the state. The state bears the sword, not a electronic detection bracelet. However, Jon is right to point out the flaws in our justice system. Ergo, I believe sentences in capital cases need to be based on overwhelming physical evidence (not DNA), and/or irrefutable witness testimony.
     
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  7. canadyjd

    canadyjd Well-Known Member

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    I get what you are saying, however…

    Such a legal standard would never be met. You would have to have clear definitions of “overwhelming physical evidence…” and “irrefutable witness testimony”.

    It took a while to hammer out what “beyond a reasonable doubt” means and that is still debated in nearly every case by the attorneys.

    Peace to you
     
  8. Salty

    Salty 20,000 Posts Club
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    Fully agree with you on that Statement - Jon.
    NO, we should not celebrate when a death penalty has been carried out.
    We should sadly realize it was an action taken to protect the citizens
     
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  9. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell Well-Known Member
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    Yes
     
  10. Reformed1689

    Reformed1689 Well-Known Member

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    And this has no basis in biblical support. The death penalty PREDATES Israel. So you can't go under the law for Israel. It is the law for humanity in general. Genesis 9:6
     
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  11. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    Paul was guilty of accessory to murder before the fact (encouragement, holding their coats). Were this merely an after the fact crime he could get 15 years in prison. But as it was before the crime he could be face the same charge as the principal.

    My question is how Paul's actions aligns with our sense of justice?

    I think many would say he could be forgiven, but still must be convicted for his crime.

    We look to the guy waiting in the getaway car as just as guilty as the robber who kills the guard when things go wrong.
     
  12. kyredneck

    kyredneck Well-Known Member
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    Compare:

    "Ignorance of the law is no excuse".

    With:

    13 though I was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: howbeit I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief; 1 Tim 1

    I've no doubt Christ had Paul in mind here:

    2 They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the hour cometh, that whosoever killeth you shall think that he offereth service unto God. Jn 16
     
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  13. canadyjd

    canadyjd Well-Known Member

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    First, Genesis 9 is not a “law”. There were no governments. It is a reference to the ancient near East custom of the “blood avenger”. If you “shed blood”, even by accident, a near relative could seek to kill you.

    Second, there is no absolute command from God that murder be punished by death.

    Prior to the flood and before the OT Law, Cain murdered Abel and God did not require his desth and, in fact, forbade others from killing him.

    After the flood, but before the OT Law, Moses murdered the Egyptian and hide his body in the Sand. God did not require his death.

    After the OT Law, David killed Uriah by proxy to hide his sin with Bathsheba. God did not require his death.

    After Christ came, Paul, by his own statement, persecuted Christians to the death. God did not require his death.

    When Jesus told the Pharisees “the one without sin be the first to cast a stone…” He wasn't just shaming them. He was referencing the OT Law concerning the death penalty.

    Under the OT Law, at least two witnesses had to verify the allegations and those witnesses threw the first stones, symbolically yaking the blood of that person in their hands if they gave false testimony.

    Jesus is changing the requirements for the death penalty, imo. No longer is it the two witnesses that implement the death penalty, it is the “One without sin”. Since God is the only one without sin, only God should implement the death penalty.

    I’ll add God doesn’t need a Christian’s help to kill someone.

    peace to you
     
  14. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    Yep. Under the Law there was no forgiveness for intentional sins.
     
  15. canadyjd

    canadyjd Well-Known Member

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    More accurately, there was no sacrifice to gain forgiveness for intentional sin.

    peace to you
     
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  16. JesusFan

    JesusFan Well-Known Member

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    the DP was given and instituted by Yahweh before he gave the law, so would still be binding that first degree murderers still do deserve to get the death penalty, as they killed the very image of God in another human being!

    That being said, each case should be seen on its own merits, as the penalty should be applied only in true first degree murder cases
     
  17. canadyjd

    canadyjd Well-Known Member

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    There was no such designation of “first degree murder” in the law or before the law. That is a modern concept.

    peace to you
     
  18. JesusFan

    JesusFan Well-Known Member

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    Even God Himself saw there was a big difference between premeditated murder and manslaughter case!
     
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  19. canadyjd

    canadyjd Well-Known Member

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    Where was that, prior to or in the OT Law? I don’t deny the distinction in the OT, just the modern terminology.

    please read my post #13, I’m interested in your opinion on it. Thanks

    peace to you
     
  20. JesusFan

    JesusFan Well-Known Member

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    We know that God did in fact show grace towards those such as a Cain and David who deserved to die for their sins of murder, but the general principle still remains, so while not required for every case, not a sin nor wrong to apply it towards say ted Bundy or Jack the Ripper!
     
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