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Featured Death Penalty: My view

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by canadyjd, Aug 10, 2021.

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  1. canadyjd

    canadyjd Well-Known Member

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    I was asked in another thread how any Christian could not support the death penalty. I decided to explain my view here instead of derailing the thread.

    I supported the death penalty most of my adult life. I changed my mind after studying scripture carefully in light of the execution in Texas of Carla Faye Tucker in 2000.

    Many find support for the death penalty in Gen. 9. Any man that sheds blood shall have his blood shed by man (or words to that effect). The passage is viewed as an absolute standard. God requires the death of those that commit murder.

    There were no governments during that time just after the flood. This is a reference to the ancient near East custom of the “blood avenger”. A relative who sought vengeance for death, accidental or intentional. Israel had cities of refuge for people seeking to avoid the blood avenger.

    Concerning God setting the standard of execution for murder, I point to these examples. Cain killed Abel and God did not require his death (prior to the flood and Gen 9).

    Moses killed the Egyptian. Moses was a murderer. (after the flood, prior to the law) God did not require his death.

    David killed the husband of Bathsheba, by proxy as it were (after the law, before Christ) God did not require his life.

    Paul persecuted Christians to the death (after Christ) and God did not require his life.

    Paul is particularly important to this discussion. I’ll address that next.

    peace to you
     
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  2. canadyjd

    canadyjd Well-Known Member

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    In 1 Timothy 1:15-16, Paul identifies himself as the worst of sinners and then states “for this reason I wax shown mercy,… to be an example for those who would believe.”

    This is the essence of Paul’s argument. He was a murderer, the worst of sinners. Jesus showed him mercy as an example for future believers to follow.

    We should show the same mercy to the worst of sinners, even murders like Paul, because Jesus gave us that example to follow.

    Now, Romans 13 clearly states governments have the power of the sword, the death penalty.

    That does not mean Christians should support it. There is more, but we will start there

    peace to you
     
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  3. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    Another issue for pro-death penalty Christians is the same Scripture they rely upon makes requirements that are not normally met in death penalty cases.
     
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  4. canadyjd

    canadyjd Well-Known Member

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    This is true in OT Law. The death penalty was given for a variety of offenses that seem unwarranted today.

    That brings me to Jesus and the woman caught in adultery (John 8:1-8 or so)

    When Jesus said “let he that is without sin cast the first stone” He wasn’t just shaming them. He was changing the standard for implementing the death penalty.

    Deuteronomy 17: 2-8 or so is one place where the standard for implementing the death penalty is explained. The accused is brought before the elders and the whole community. There must be two or three witnesses to the offense. The two or three witnesses are the first to cast stones and then everyone joins in to stone them to death.

    Jesus changed the standard from “two or three witnesses” implementing the death penalty to “the one without sin” being the one to implement the death penalty.

    Only God is without sin. Only God knows the whole truth. Only God should implement the death penalty.

    And if God wants someone to die, he doesn’t need our help to do that.

    peace to you
     
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  5. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell Well-Known Member
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    you haven’t made the case that the woman caught in adultery changed the standard. What the Pharisees was doing was wrong. They did not include the man, they did it for the purpose of trying to trip up Jesus. He didn’t let them do it. By your standard it should no longer be punished at all.

    Jesus said none of those things. You are imposing that on that passage.
     
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  6. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    And the testimony of two witnesses was required (not as proof, but as men testifying....essentially putting their lives on the line).

    When it comes to the death penalty I have seen the most hate-filled supporters of death being Christians. I just do not get that part. Some seem almost giddy when a human being is killed.
     
  7. canadyjd

    canadyjd Well-Known Member

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    The reference to “casting stones” is directly connected to the standard of implementing the death penalty in the OT. I gave the scripture reference.

    Jesus is God. Every time He spoke, it was important. I take Him at His word. Only the one without sin can cast the first stone.

    By that standard, you are correct, only God would implement the death penalty.

    peace to you
     
  8. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell Well-Known Member
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    I agree it’s a reference to the death penalty. His not calling for her death in no way changes the standard on the death penalty . There is a severe casm between understanding what He meant by casting stones and jumping to changing the standard on the dp
     
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  9. canadyjd

    canadyjd Well-Known Member

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    I appreciate your view, but disagree. Jesus often challenged the understanding of OT Law.

    He said not only should you not commit adultery, if you look at a woman with lust you commit adultery in your heart. He said not only should you not commit murder, but you shouldn’t be angry.

    Bottom line, Jesus is God. I believe what He said. Only the one without sin can implement the death penalty.

    When I considered that with Paul’s statement in 1 Timothy 1:15-16, where Jesus gives all believers the command to follow His example of showing mercy to the worst of sinners, even murderers like Paul, I could no longer support he death penalty.

    peace to you
     
  10. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell Well-Known Member
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    He didn’t say the only one without sin can implement the death penalty. He was calling out the Pharisees for their hypocracy. Hence let him without sin cast the first stone. Your view takes this passage out of context.
     
  11. canadyjd

    canadyjd Well-Known Member

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    The “one without sin” or “him without sin”… does that change what was said?

    There is no doubt he was calling out the Pharisees, not for hypocrisy but for biased judgment. God prohibited bias in delivering judgement. They violated that command. Another reason only him without sin can implement the death penalty.

    I notice you haven’t commented on the 1 Timothy 1:15-16 passage. What are your thoughts there?

    Thanks for the comments and civil discussion.

    peace to you
     
  12. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell Well-Known Member
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    yes you and I have discussed this before. In both cases you are misapplying the verses both of which in no way have any context with regard to changing the death penalty. The longsuffering of God is not in that context. Misapplication based on wrong context.

    Jesus was calling the Pharisees hypocrisy not just because they were themselves guilty of some sin but most likely guilty of the very same sin. It had nothing to do with changing the law in fact in other passages Jesus made it clear He had not come to change it but only to fulfill it.
     
  13. Earth Wind and Fire

    Earth Wind and Fire Well-Known Member
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    In the other discussion, we were specifically discussing pedofile behavior. Jesus said that the Father has concern for all of His “little ones” (Matthew 18:1–14). In that passage, He says, “But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea”

    So what do you think... was that a suggestion or a commandment?
     
    #13 Earth Wind and Fire, Aug 11, 2021
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2021
  14. Alcott

    Alcott Well-Known Member
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    I wonder if Samuel knew that when he killed King Agag; which Saul failed to do upon command. Also, the animals that were heard. Saul must have got at least most of the men, women, and children he was ordered to slaughter. People who think of God as a benevolent grandfather who wants everyone to be happy doesn't know the God of the Bible.
     
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  15. canadyjd

    canadyjd Well-Known Member

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    Yes we have. We will continue to disagree.

    peace to you
     
  16. canadyjd

    canadyjd Well-Known Member

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    Do you think God needed Samuels help to kill them? God had commanded Saul to kill them, he disobeyed.

    Jesus commands us, in 1 Timothy 1:15-16 to follow the example of our Lord by showing mercy to the worst of sinners, even murderers like Paul.

    Will we obey the commands of our Lord Jesus?

    peace to you
     
  17. canadyjd

    canadyjd Well-Known Member

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    Not a commandment or a suggestion. An observation.

    The “little ones” is reference to believers (child like faith): The offend or cause to stumble refers to falling away because of persecution.

    Not a reference to the death penalty.

    peace to you
     
  18. Bible Thumpin n Gun Totin

    Bible Thumpin n Gun Totin Well-Known Member
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    I agree 100% Canady. I was pro-death penalty before, but I am not any longer. I changed my views a couple years ago for many of the exact reasons you mentioned. There's also the idea of letting a sinner, a murderer, stay alive longer so that he is exposed to the Gospel.

    Believe it or not, Gandalf the Grey makes a good point in Lord of the Rings that also led me away from the death penalty:
    “Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement.”

    I don't believe this means we cannot kill in self-defense though. If somebody is attacking my family, or breaking into my house I would have 0 qualms about killing them immediately.
     
  19. Earth Wind and Fire

    Earth Wind and Fire Well-Known Member
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    Again, it is commonly known that pedofiles do not change. The law can arrest them, families can have interventions with them, they can take counselingi etc., but they continue to abuse children. I’m thinking Jesus knows this already. So what deterrent do you suggest?
     
  20. Bible Thumpin n Gun Totin

    Bible Thumpin n Gun Totin Well-Known Member
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    To say that pedophiles don't change is to deny the change of heart that Christ performs at the moment of salvation. The solution is to evangelize them and every other criminal.

    Then, if they are released and break into your house to harm your children, you shoot them dead :Thumbsup .

    Pedophiles have their particular sin and the rest of us have our own sin. We're no better than they are and are all equally condemned to Hell without Christ.
     
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