Saturday, November 3, 2007

Capital Punishment

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation. Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay," says the Lord."But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head."Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. Therefore, whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves. For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same; for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil.

(Romans 12:14-13:4, NASB)

As the Supreme Court considers the concept of the death penalty, and as Christians find reason to contemplate the issue afresh, I find helpful these words from God's Word. Romans 13:4 asserts the relevance of this passage to the issue—Roman soldiers did not employ their swords to spank people with the flat of the blade; the sword was a tool of death. The government "does not bear the sword for nothing." John Wesley's notes on this verse state the matter plainly: "The sword - The instrument of capital punishment, which God authorizes him to inflict." Here Bro. Wesley is right-on-the-money.

Furthermore, the government wields the sword as a "minister of God." The executioner as someone "called to ministry"?! Not in the sense that we employ the phrase "called to ministry" these days, but literally, according to the Bible, yes, the executioner is a minister of God in a limited sense. Some will assert that the death penalty is contrary to the will of God. One cannot possess this view without contradicting Romans 13, where we read not only that God is not opposed to capital punishment, but that the state performs this action as an agent of God and in His stead.

Perhaps something of the rationale behind government-sanctioned capital punishment is revealed in this passage as well. There is a reason that I have included in the quotation those verses from Romans 12. Immediately prior to Paul's discourse on governmental punishment, he reminded the Roman believers of Christ's calling upon them to renounce vengeance. We are to "never pay back evil for evil to anyone." This statement is understandable, universal, and absolute. Yet, God does not call upon believers to abandon the hope for justice. Indeed, when we cease to care about justice, we have stepped away from the holiness of God. Vengeance is part of justice. We are not told that vengeance isn't right; we are told that vengeance isn't ours. Rather than taking our own vengeance, we are instructed to "leave room for the wrath of God," knowing that God has promised in His Word, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay."

Summarizing up to this point: We are to get out of the vengeance business entirely, confident not that vengeance is unnecessary, but that God will deal out vengeance served in helpings of His own wrath."

Then, in the very next paragraph, Romans 13:4 tells us that this sword-wielding government is "a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath." God, who has promised to avenge evil in our place, has committed some portion of that task to government. This is the sense in which government is God's minister—God, through the agency of human government, metes out reward to those who do what is right and vengeance to those who do what is wrong. Of course, the ultimate reward and the ultimate retribution occur directly from God's hand in eternity, but some partial measure of justice God has chosen to dispense here and now.

Implications?

  • Vigilante justice is not justice at all. Earthly justice ought only to be rendered by duly authorized institutions of God (parents, government, etc.). Part of the function of penal systems in general and capital punishment in particular is to forestall vigilanteism.
  • To the degree that government punishes those who do right or fails to punish those who do wrong, it has deviated from its Divine design. To the degree that it does more than establish justice (within its borders through the policing forces and beyond its borders through the military), it reaches beyond its primary purpose.
  • In a democracy, we find ourselves in a situation unaddressed by the book of Romans and the New Testament—Christian believers who also are the government. The Old Testament does, however, address the idea of God's children in the magistracy. In the Old Testament, God expected governmental leaders to punish wrongdoers through the force of the state, including capital punishment.
  • Capital punishment is a positive biblical ordinance in both testaments.
  • The difference between criminal actions ("The State of Texas v John Doe") and civil actions ("Bart Barber v John Doe") is the difference between Romans 13 and 1 Corinthians 6, between Romans 13 and Romans 12, between the state seeking vengeance for the sake of justice and me seeking vengeance for the sake of myself.

45 comments:

Ron P. said...

Bart,

Clear, concise, Biblical exegesis.

I think you correctly assert that God EXPECTS all governments to carry out the death penalty as a part of His justice. You are "spot on" when you state that "Some will assert that the death penalty is contrary to the will of God. One cannot possess this view without contradicting Romans 13..."

Unfortunately, contradicting Scripture has never been a problem for man.

Ron P.

Bob Cleveland said...

I'm circling the date on my calendar. I agree 100% with you, even with fewer and less adequate reasons than those you've set forth.

Does this mean you've become a Charismatic Calvinist, too? :)

Seriously, Dad said he had two reasons for this belief.

1) The society which stands ready to swiftly exact the death penalty on someone who wantonly takes the life of another, that society it is which truly values human life.

2) When enforced, the recipient of the capital punishment has not been known to repeat his transgressions.

Anonymous said...

BArt

While I agree strongly with your Biblical reasoning - how do you deal with the disparity of excecutions to those who are poor, and the number of people who have been exonerated due to DNA evidence.

I have always been pro death penatlty - especially when it is due to the death of a child, and pure cold blooded murder. However over the last few years I have been disturbed by the willingness of the state to execute, and are then found to be wrong.

Jim Champion

Debbie Kaufman said...

I share the same concerns as Jim Champion. While I do strongly believe in the death penalty, I do not want the innocent to receive this fate.

Ken said...

Jim, On the DNA issue,
No one wants to see innocent people put to death for a crime they did not commit. At the same time I am not so sure the number of people cleared by DNA evidence is real high. I have seen a few media reports that share stories of DNA clearing them but have never seen stats for this. I am curious to know if anyone knows the stats as to how many innocent death role inmates have been cleared by DNA?

I have seen media reports that will highlight these stories in order to get their anti death penalty ideas across, but statistically it may or may not be that high. Some might say that one is too many. I am not sure I would throw out the death penalty for one wrongful death by the system any more than would also throw out prison terms because one wrongful prison sentence?

Gary L said...

One of the most problematic issues with the death penalty has to do with its fair and impartial application.

What's more important, though? The lesson of cause and effect (crime and punishment) that is behind our system of law (and thus freedom and justice) or the imagined mandate that we will never administer punishment mistakenly or to an inappropriate degree? Rejecting the former disintegrates a society, rejecting the latter persecutes an individual.

Rather than throw the death penalty out, as the Dallas News and others advocate, we should work for accurate and just applications of the penalty. We will never acheive perfection but I think God knew that when he inspired Rom. 13.

Debbie Kaufman said...

I do not have the statistics available for wrong executions or those who were discovered before they were executed. But you also have to remember that the founding fathers were very concerned that the wrong person would be punished and believed that one was one too many(as I do). There would also be the chance that the guilty would go unpunished but the founding fathers knew this. Look at our laws closely, they were made to protect the innocent from unjust punishment even if the guilty went free.

Gary L said...

Debbie,

I agree that theoretically one is too many and that our laws are written to protect the innocent. People being flawed, and I assume they will continue to be flawed, the logical extension of the argument that we can should administer punishment perfectly or not at all becomes absurd.

No, you didn't take your argument that far. But some here in Texas are saying that the death penalty can never be used, however equitably, so long as people are flawed in their judgments.

Either we make the punishment fit the crime and administer justice as best we can, or we do something less coherent. No punishment fits some crimes as well as death.

Anonymous said...

I can think of at least four or five that have been freed due to DNA at least in TX. Some will say - well now that we have the DNA fixed we wont have that problem any more, I disagree. I think that the DNA issue is the tip of the iceberg - these are just the ones who have been absolutely positively freed because of the DNA evidence - how many are killed because of "eye wintnesses", who are wrong, but there is no DNA one way or another.

The economic/racial disparity distrurbs me more that any other. If you are rich enough to hire a good lawyer, you will go free, or at least only get life in prison, while the poor get injected.

And I think as Christians, if one person is excecuted unjustly we should be very very disturbed. Innocent life is innocent life, be it an unborn baby or an adult

JIm Champion

Ben Macklin said...

Bart -

Just because God via Paul recognizes administrating justice (even the death penalty) as the purpose of the government doesn't mean that we as Christians have to be advocates. It seems that Paul was recognizing the role of a secular government in the administration of a fallen world, not arguing that Rome’s use of the sword was right. You’re thinking too deontological. We can recognize government's place without issuing an endorsement. When you are "for" the death penalty you step beyond merely recognizing government's role and become an advocate.

Your dear friend,

Ben

volfan007 said...

hang'em.

david

Bart Barber said...

Jim,

"To the degree that government punishes those who do right or fails to punish those who do wrong, it has deviated from its Divine design." -from the original post.

Bart Barber said...

Thus, it is wrong for the government to execute any person who is innocent. It is also wrong for the government to fail to punish the guilty. That last point is the one that seems to be missing from many arguments. Establish justice in the gate.

Bart Barber said...

Ben,

You said, "It seems that Paul was recognizing the role of a secular government in the administration of a fallen world, not arguing that Rome’s use of the sword was right."

Can you please point me to that in the text? I'm thinking, not deontologically, but exegetically. :-)

Luke said...

Bart,
I believe you are on target with this post. I think the idea that an innocent person might be put to death is tragic but when I think that cold blooded murderers get off on paper mistakes rather than the facts of the case, it is just as tragic. There is much, I believe, that can be said for the trepidation at which we should approach the application of the death penalty. I do not think that it should be applied with joy and celebration but rather with the solemn thought that the one put to death has just met eternity and must now face the Righteous Judge. The idea that the innocent are routinely put to death would surely draw the attention of God and retribution at the appropriate time. The moral failures of the government do not trump the rule and Word of God though. For me, the idea of capital punishment is one that God has instituted before the Law of Moses was ever given. In Genesis 9:5-6, God tells Noah of the law of blood for blood. Murder is obviously an extremely vile act in the eyes of God such that it is seen even as an attack upon God's image in which man was created. While abuse of the penal system may need to be corrected, neglect of the penal system is just as much in need of correction. It seems that we hear a great cry for the guilty, but we hear so little for the innocent slain at the hands of the guilty. Thank you for a relevant post and the opportunity to stir my mind concerning this issue.

Ben Macklin said...

Bart -

Q - What government was Paul referring to in Romans 13?

A - The Roman govt.

Q - Why was Paul urging the Roman believers to behave according to the rules of the Roman govt., and the rules concerning taxes and debt (see 13:1,5-8)?

A - So that Roman believers would be at peace with the secular government and so that believer's conduct in everyday life did not negate the highest purposes of Christian life (Romans 13:9-10). Obedience would ensure that Christians could not be accused of acting unlawfully by the secular government; rather they would "behave properly as in the day" (Rom. 13:11-14), not as children of darkness.

Q - Why would Paul want believers to have a good testimony in a secular (and very pagan) world?

A - Because the Law "is summed up in this saying, 'Love thy neighbor as yourself,' Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law" (Romans 13:9b-10). Also, "The night is almost gone and the day is near. Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light" (v.12).

I have no problem living under the government, but I do not have to be an advocate of it!


Ben

Bart Barber said...

Ben,

I agree that Paul was recognizing the role of government. I agree that Paul was urging Roman Christians to live in subjection to that government. I agree that the reasons you provide are all reasons that contributed to Paul's thinking and instruction.

What I dispute is not what you say that Paul said, but what you say that Paul did not say. You assert that Paul did not affirm Roman capital punishment as right—did not advocate it. Yet, he has stated that the government bears the sword as a minister of God, an avenger that brings wrath. If those words are not advocacy, what are they?

If you are saying something like this—"God has endorsed capital punishment as a rightful function of human government without saying that all governments have acted rightly in all of their executions"—then we agree.

If instead you are saying something along the lines of—"This passage is about the need for Christians to submit to human government and does not assert that government acts under God's authorization to punish evil as His agent"—then I cannot reconcile your interpretation with the wording of the text.

Or perhaps you are asserting some tertium quid and I miss you altogether.

CB Scott said...

Many times I fight with Bart because he is just so very wrong and I am so very right. But in this case he is dead right on the ten ring at one thousand yards.

Except, he may be a little too cautious which at that point I agree with Vol, whom I often fight with more than with Bart.

Vol said "hang 'em. He is right. Our problem is we have hung too few and not soon enough. I have smelled the breath and looked into the empty eyes of pure evil far too many times to get high minded about this matter. We have killed far too few.

Capital Punishment would be a very effective tool against evil if properly enforced.

Thank you, Bart for this post.

cb

Ben Macklin said...

Bart -

"God has endorsed capital punishment as a rightful function of human government." Right. Does that mean we have to be advocates ourselves? Should we be cheerleaders of death? Should we grind our teeth desiring vengeance? Or can we calmly and dispassionately say, "off with their heads."

I can recognize that God uses government to keep peace without becoming an advocate of administering justice via the government. I can support the government's role in justice without publicly adding my voice to those with a lust for blood (justice).

As a Christian I need to be primarily involved with doing God's work as part of His church (Christ's body and continuing physical presence), NOT being involved with God's use of government to dish out justice.

My point is not whether the death penalty is "right or wrong." My point is that Christians need to spend their precious time preaching Christ to save the lost soul on death row, not arguing that he deserves to die. In the words of Clint Eastwood, "We all got it coming."

Ben

Bart Barber said...

No, Ben, I don't hold tailgate parties in Huntsville. :-)

Capital punishment is always tragic. The tragedy is not that the government has sought justice. The tragedy is that a human being has behaved in such a way as to merit such treatment.

Without being a "cheerleader of death" it is possible to say soberly—without the a scintilla of glee—that it is a mistake for the government to abandon capital punishment. It is possible to say so not because of blood lust, but simply because it is true.

Bart Barber said...

Thankfully, the death penalty does not apply to typographical errors and grammatical mistakes.

Colin McGahey said...

And because of God's order, the good Christian can preach Christ while he is employed as an executioner, a soldier picking off terrorists, a CIA agent taking out a strategic target, or a police officer defending a citizen of his jurisdiction.

CB Scott said...

Colin,

That and more. Very good.

cb

Debbie Kaufman said...

And a Savior who could give them a New Life like He did with the thief on the cross.

CB Scott said...

Ben,

How many prisons have you worked in to preach the gospel? It is right to advocate all that God has decreed. God decreed the death penalty. Therefore, we are to advocate it, teach it and preach it openly. To do anything less is to be disobedient.

cb

Ben Macklin said...

CB -

I've worked with Prisoner's Bible Institute, Paul Carlin evangelist, since 1994, though I've been inactive in the actual crusades after I began my Ph.D. at SWBTS in 2001. I worked for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Institutional and Executive divisions from 1989 - 1997 when I surrendered to the full time ministry to do prison evangelism and discipleship. My current church has an active jail and Texas Youth Commission ministry.

I am generally familiar with the topic at hand.

Ben

Debbie Kaufman said...

CB: Would you actually go so far as to say that not preaching it is disobedient?

CB Scott said...

Ben,

Then you of all people should understand the need for the death penalty as well as the biblical mandate for it. I have worked in two prisons. In both I was a chaplain. Yet, I did not need that experience to justify the death penalty.

I am no cheerleader for the death penalty. I do know it is necessary to take life from some people. It is nothing to be happy about, but it is necessary for society to exist. I have never been happy to see a man die, but I have been happy to know some men will not do the evil to others that they did while alive. There is a difference. I think you do or should understand that from your experiences and a Christian understanding of the Scripture. The Scripture is the primary source of such an understanding.

cb

CB Scott said...

Debbie,

The OT mandates the death penalty. The NT illustrates we, as Believers, are still accountable to advocate it.

If I were preaching or teaching (or to be proper, doing both) through Romans and came to the 13th chapter and refused to exegete the Text and present a true hermeneutic with an application to our current culture and society I would at that point be disobedient.

Debbie, the answer to your question is yes.

cb

Ben Macklin said...

CB -

I don't disagree with any of what you have said. My original post was not a repudiation of the death penalty; Romans 13 recognizes the civil (and in Rome's case secular) government to administer the sword. My whole point is to leave that to the secular government - stop beating the drum.

It seems that many (MANY) Christians see the need to use the government as THEIR ministers, to do THEIR bidding. When it comes to the death penalty, I can recognize God's use of government to inflict it without becoming part of the system myself.

In TDCJ, I would have not participated in administering lethal injection if ever given the opportunity, but I did pray with those about to die when I did a crusade on the Ellis I unit. Two fellows had made their peace with the Father through Jesus our Lord. I'll let the state inject the poison; I'll preach Christ and Him crucified.

Is the death penalty right or wrong? "Right" or "wrong" is the wrong question. Obviously in God's plan it's allowed.

Ben

Ben Macklin said...

CB -

The question is: "What should I do as a Christian, promote the death penalty as part of "the whole cousel of God", or preach Christ to redeem the lost?

Ben

CB Scott said...

Ben,

OK. It is obvious you have had to struggle with the reality of real men dying as have I and many others. I was, in the beginning, afraid you had only the experience of watching some movie like DEAD MAN WALKING or some such unreal presentation of reality.

Let's work from that position of both knowing the "system" for a moment.

Let me say you are right in the idea of the government becoming the Christians minister being wrong. The government is God's minister as does the Scripture teach. Therefore government must administer the sword. That is the purpose of government in that respect.

At the same time, we must understand we are the government. My position is that if called upon by my government through due process I would have to carry out the punishment as prescribed by government in obedience to God. It is, after all, God who gave the power of the sword to government.

Also, government protects me. I feel I would be remiss in my accountability to God if I refused to carry out the punishment.

I, too, have seen men come to Christ who had done terrible things. I believe their coming to Christ does not negate their accountability to society. Nor do I believe God would expect government to pardon a person having been found guilty of a crime demanding the death penalty because he had become a Believer.

I will throw another kink into this. I do not believe lethal injection is a proper way to execute a man. I believe it to be torture of the highest degree and I think you will know why I say that.

If you ever have to execute me, please hang me, behead me, (with a very sharp instrument)or shoot me in the back of the head. "Cooking me" or injecting me and frying me from the inside out, or gassing me is a form of torture and I think those methods need to be stopped.

cb

CB Scott said...

Ben,

I believe your primary accountability, as is mine and all Followers of Christ, is to preach the gospel to the condemned and the uncondemned knowing that all men are under condemnation as ahving missed the mark of God's righteousness.

A man's circumstance does never negate the primary of sharing the gospel with him.

I say that much easier than I learned it. I has been a hard road of learning for me to come to the reality Jesus did die for whosoever will. I have struggled with not wanting some to be in that group. God has forgiven me and by His grace I have changed. I believe the gospel can save any man and Jesus mandated I share it with the most vile of humanity.

A Dead man walking can experience grace and continue in walking to his punishment. Men like you are to see he gets that opportunity and we need more like you.

cb

Ben Macklin said...

cb -

I don't think Paul saw his comments as referring to the right of a government "of the people, by the people, and for the people." I merely think that he was referring to the fact that as Christians we need to stay on the right side of the law, not dish it out. The whole argument about the death penalty cannot be made only by the text in question.

Ben

Ben said...

cb -

Paul wrote to Romans, a dictatorship in it usual form. We shouldn;t retroject a democratic state into those times, but we can draw general conclusions: Christians need to accept government as being from God and stay on the right side of the law.

Ben

CB Scott said...

Ben,

You are right.Paul did not have in reference our form of government. That is very true. It is also true the Spirit was the true Author of all of Paul's biblical writings. He knew of our form of government before it existed. All Scripture is profitable to us.

Naturally, there was a primary application for the people receiving the letter from Paul. Due to the fact it was isspired for an application for all future generations, societies and cultures it does have an application for us in this nation as well as all others.

There is no doubt of that application.

It is a fact that is not the only Text supporting the death penalty, but if it were the only text to illustrate the effect of the OT mandate in the NT it would be sufficient.

cb

Bart Barber said...

Ben,

Proclaim the gospel or proclaim the whole counsel of God? Quite the false dichotomy, that.

Bart Barber said...

Ben,

You said, "As a Christian I need to be primarily involved with doing God's work as part of His church (Christ's body and continuing physical presence), NOT being involved with God's use of government to dish out justice."

Are you suggesting, in agreement with the Anabaptists, that Christians should not be magistrates?

Bart Barber said...

CB,

Glad you liked it.

CB Scott said...

Bart,

I did like it. I did not like it because I am a cheerleader for killing men. I like it because it presents the truth about a very hard and serious subject of which we all have to deal with as Christians and citizens of the nation wherein we live.

Some people are free tonight because good men made hard decisions and took the lives of evil men. Those men sleep troublesome nights prayerful they did the right thing. It is true that from time-to-time we kill a man innocent of what he was sentenced for in court or tribunal. (actually we free more guilty than execute innocent) In such cases those who had a part in the killing never get over it and carry the pain to the grave. Most would gladly swap places, but of course, that is impossible.

Some people say life is not always fair. That is wrong. Life is never fair. Some innocent men have died, but that does not mean we cease to carry out the mandates of God. Not every person I have Baptized is saved either, but I must still seek to make disciples and leave the consequences of my obedience to the Word of God in the Hands of God. Consequences are not my department, obedience is and I have trouble enough with that.

One more thing I want to say here about Capital Punishment relating to another way we deal with evil.

We must never forget the fact that hard men keep watch in many places tonight that we may sleep free.

Some of those men will carry out Capital Punishment with extreme prejudice and deadly force against those that have given themselves over to evil tonight somewhere. In the years to come those hard men that keep watch will grow older and question their actions of this night and it is those questions of which their nightmares will be made.

Pray for those men that they come to know the Christ, for it is only in knowing Him they find balm for their wounds received protecting us from an evil so putrid of smell and heartless of soul that most never see or smell it because someone else well handled it on their behalf.

That reminds me of the gospel and my salvation. It cost me nothing and gave me no pain. It cost God seeing His Son become my sin and cost the Son His life in painful death, even the death of the cross.

I can comment on your post tonight because someone has paid the price to keep me free to do so. I thank God for those hard men.

cb

volfan007 said...

cb,

i'd rather be shot by 12 rifles than be hung. shooting may be the most humane way to put down a cold hearted criminal who lives like an animal.

i too am not a cheerleader for death. i too hate to see someone killed. but, i agree with you cb and bart, it is a needed instrument of justice in society, and the bible most certainly condones it.

if you dont believe that God is for the death penalty, then dont read leviticus and dont read where God wiped out sodom and gomorha. dont read where God told the israelites to wipe out the sin infested, sexually twisted canaanites. and, dont read in the nt where the Lord Jesus comes back on a white horse and wipes out an entire army of rebellious people in one battle.

but, always, our prayer should be for the Lord to save these criminals before they die.

david

Ben Macklin said...

volefan -

Your hermeneutical precision is second only to your lack of critical readership.

No one on this string claimed that God doesn't use the government's use of the sword. Read more closely.

BTW, why do you like voles so much? Muskrats are much more loveable?

Ben Macklin

volfan007 said...

ben,

my screen name is vol fan...not vole fan. like, in the tn volunteers...the big orange. lol.

ben,

there was no need to rehash what bart already wrote. the point i'm making is that God most certainly does believe in the death penalty. He commanded His people in the ot to carry it out on whole societies.

now, does the Lord want me to kill people? well, that depends on what those people are doing and what my job is. if someone is breaking into my house, i've got a 12 gauge that will go off in thier direction. and, if i'm a jailor, and part of my job was to execute prisoners, then i'd do it. i'd hate to have that job, btw.

david

Ben Macklin said...

David -

Linking the death penalty with God's commands to wipe out people in the Promised Land (like Joshua 10) is not hermeneutically sound at all. O.T. history is linked with God's ultimate plan to bring the seed of Abraham (Christ, c.f. Gal. 3:16) into the world. Unfortunately for the pagan people occupying Canaan, salvation history necessitated the cleaning of the Promised Land to bring the Messiah through a faithful remnant. The Israelites did not go on a world-wide death penalty spree, nor did they attack all pagan countries - only the ones in the Canaan.

You cannot soundly argue that Israel's macro military history can justify the death penalty, especially when the New Testament reference on Romans 13 is to the secular, pagan, Roman government.

I would not say, as you have, that God is "for the death penalty." What God allows for the purposes of controlling a fallen world is vastly different from what He affirms as His desire. God desires none to perish, but for all to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9) so He holds back his final judgment on this world and uses the death penalty for His purposes. It still doesn't mean He is "for" it. It still doesn't justify us having anything but a resigned acquiescence to the death penalty either.


Ben Macklin

volfan007 said...

ben,

the point i'm trying to make, and i guess i'm not doing too good of a job of it, is to say that God is not against killing. He's for it, when it's justified. God is against murder. but, He's not against killing....as in, killing hardened, mean, low life murderers of children and women. agreed?

there are some out there who would say that God is against killing, thus the death penalty is wrong. but, what i'm saying is that God is not against killing when someone needs killing.

david