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TheAnswer99
Apr 9th 2009, 01:56 AM
I'm sure this topic has been discussed ad nauseum, but I'm a new member of the flock so I wanted clarification on the Christian perspectives on capital punishment

I know that there are various Christian positions on death penalty

I'm reading the Bible for the first time and havent gotten through all the way so bear with me...

In the Old Testament, the Jews frequently utilized the death penalty for various sins.

In the New Testament, Jesus said "blessed are the merciful for they will be shown mercy" (Matthew 5:7) and also stopped the stoning of a woman.

1.) Did Jesus speak against the death penalty?
2.) If so, did it replace the death penalty commands of the OT?
3.) How did the early Church feel about the death penalty given that it was frequently used to kill early Christians during the persecution years?

TheAnswer99
Apr 9th 2009, 02:03 AM
In the interest of full disclosure, before Christ entered my life, I was opposed to the death penalty. I am willing to change that view if that's what God commands. However, I have seen convincing evidence for both positions from Christians. Based on my limited knowledge, though, I yield to those with a better understanding of the Word

THOM
Apr 9th 2009, 03:25 AM
I'm sure this topic has been discussed ad nauseum, but I'm a new member of the flock so I wanted clarification on the Christian perspectives on capital punishment

I know that there are various Christian positions on death penalty

I'm reading the Bible for the first time and havent gotten through all the way so bear with me...

In the Old Testament, the Jews frequently utilized the death penalty for various sins.

In the New Testament, Jesus said "blessed are the merciful for they will be shown mercy" (Matthew 5:7) and also stopped the stoning of a woman.

1.) Did Jesus speak against the death penalty?
2.) If so, did it replace the death penalty commands of the OT?
3.) How did the early Church feel about the death penalty given that it was frequently used to kill early Christians during the persecution years?

1) NO! JESUS Never spoke against "the death penalty". In fact JESUS CHRIST fulfilled "the death penalty". Here's how:

"Behold, all souls are Mine; The soul of the father As well as the soul of the son is Mine; The soul who sins shall die. (Ezekiel 18:4)";

Remember, JESUS CHRIST was TOTALLY SINLESS, yet HE became Sin (on HIM, BUT NOT in HIM) for all of mankind. . .and DIED. . .to pay the penalty of sin ("Death"), so that all who confess their sins to HIM ("LORD"), could be saved by HIM (ala: THE RESURRECTION!!!).

2) In order to put anyone to death in the OT, you had to be INNOCENT of whatever it was you were putting that person to death for. Or to put it another way, YOU had to be a "PERFECT" Keeper of ALL THE LAW [of Moses, aka: The Commandments]. If you had violated the least of any of GOD'S Commandments, they you're just as guilty as one who violated ALL of GOD'S Commandments, and that disqualified you from PERFECTLY keeping any of GOD'S Commandments. In other word, you may not have "killed (murdered)" anybody, but if you had "coveted (desired something that belonged to someone else)", then you just violated all of GOD'S Commandments.

3) I have no idea;

As for "Jesus. . .stopped the stoning of a woman.", she had been caught in the very act (according to Scripture) of adultery, and the law demanded stoning her, yet JESUS tells her, "Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.", right after she answer HIS question, "Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?". . ."No man, Lord."

Do you now know why JESUS didn't "condemn" her?

crossnote
Apr 9th 2009, 06:48 AM
I'm sure this topic has been discussed ad nauseum, but I'm a new member of the flock so I wanted clarification on the Christian perspectives on capital punishment

I know that there are various Christian positions on death penalty

I'm reading the Bible for the first time and havent gotten through all the way so bear with me...

In the Old Testament, the Jews frequently utilized the death penalty for various sins.

In the New Testament, Jesus said "blessed are the merciful for they will be shown mercy" (Matthew 5:7) and also stopped the stoning of a woman.

1.) Did Jesus speak against the death penalty?
2.) If so, did it replace the death penalty commands of the OT?
3.) How did the early Church feel about the death penalty given that it was frequently used to kill early Christians during the persecution years?

The death penalty was instituted before the Mosaic law. It dates back to the post flood in Noah's time and therefore pertains to all mankind not just the Jews.
Jesus was speaking in terms of individuals (turning the other cheek etc.) yet the death penalty was still the responsibility of the State, not the Church.
Paul speaks of the role of the State in Romans 13-
For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.
(Rom 13:3-4)
The early Church submitted themselves to God's will even in the face of unjust State tyrants.

Emanate
Apr 9th 2009, 03:40 PM
The death penalty was instituted before the Mosaic law. It dates back to the post flood in Noah's time and therefore pertains to all mankind not just the Jews.


Correct me if I am wrong in my interpretation of your statement. Are you saying that the death penalty is more valid because it was around before we have record of God saying anything about it?

RockedByRequiem
Apr 9th 2009, 09:45 PM
Ok, I am going to weigh in here, as I feel this is one of the most important issues facing christians.

Geez, I dont even know where to begin. The truth is, capital punishment violates the very essence of what Jesus preached, and what He represented. I have seen soooooo many scriptural loopholes people use to agrue in favor of it, and they all fall flat on their face. Let me first point out that the laws of the OT no longer apply. Jesus came to do away with that. And because of that, any referrence to the OT when it comes to this debate holds no weight whatsoever. I mean, if you would like to cling to those laws, shall we also put to death all the other people he OT says shall be put to death? People who disrespect their parents, homosexuals, adulterers? The OT certainly has it's place....Prophecy, inspiration, history, etc... However, the laws of the Torah have no bearing on modern christianity.

We all know the scriptures where Jesus refers to "An Eye For An Eye" and "Do not repay evil with evil", so I will not take the time to go there. But the fact of the matter is, "Do not repay evil with evil" is the utter foundation of what we believe. I often see people use the Romans 13 argument, to which I respond....If someone were to ask you, what, as a christian, are you supposed to represent, above all? Would you answer, "Obey your government"? I dont think you would. Obeying your government is a secondary principle. That's the easiest way to look at it. Do not repay evil with evil is not only A primary principle, it is THE primary principle. People defend this argument claiming Jesus was referring to individuals only, and not the government. This is one of those loopholes I was referring to. Jesus brought that message, and it has NOTHING to do with individuals vs collective groups of people. The same principles apply.

Another thing I want to point out for you all is this.....Only God knows someone's heart, and only God is permitted to take life. James 4:12 says, "God is the only Lawmaker and Judge. He is the only One who can save and destroy. So it is not right for you to judge your neighbor." And there are many more verses like this. It doesnt matter how sick we think someone is, WE DONT KNOW! And who are we to say that person will never be brought to Christ? The truth is, many lifers are brought to Christ. Even ones that have committed heinous crimes. The blood of Christ washes over even the most vile of sins. Remember that.

One defense I have seen people use for this is, "Well, they have ample time to give their life to Christ before they die". Well, who are YOU to make that determination? Everything is in God's time, not ours. People find Christ at all different times in their life. Let me encourage you to read Matthew 20:1-16. That sums up what Im driving at quite nicely.

It comes down to this....When supporting capital punishment, you are indeed giving in to your desire to seek revenge. Therefore, you are sinning. I know that's not easy to hear. But it is fundamentally true. It's like any other sin we are commanded to flee from. Revenge is a human instinct we are commanded to resist.

One more thing I want to address here is more of just a moral aspect. Think of it this way....Is killing someone who YOU think deserves to die to prove a point more important than the life of even ONE innocent person? I sure hope not.

It is barbaric, primitive, and not in the least bit civilized. Infact, we are one of only 3 democracies in the world to practice the DP. I could sit here all day and list reasons why it's wrong. From a christian standpoint, and a secular standpoint. There are obscene ammounts of sickening statistics that most people ignore. But I will stop here. However, I have no problem addressing any arguments you may have that I did not address in this post. I have this thing covered from all angles, as it is something I have put a great deal of time and energy into. And it is something I really want to educate christians on. Non-believers see christians supporting the DP, and it fuels their hypocrite accusations. It contradicts everything we are supposed to stand for, biblically and morally.

Butch5
Apr 10th 2009, 04:32 AM
Ok, I am going to weigh in here, as I feel this is one of the most important issues facing christians.

Geez, I dont even know where to begin. The truth is, capital punishment violates the very essence of what Jesus preached, and what He represented. I have seen soooooo many scriptural loopholes people use to agrue in favor of it, and they all fall flat on their face. Let me first point out that the laws of the OT no longer apply. Jesus came to do away with that. And because of that, any referrence to the OT when it comes to this debate holds no weight whatsoever. I mean, if you would like to cling to those laws, shall we also put to death all the other people he OT says shall be put to death? People who disrespect their parents, homosexuals, adulterers? The OT certainly has it's place....Prophecy, inspiration, history, etc... However, the laws of the Torah have no bearing on modern christianity.

We all know the scriptures where Jesus refers to "An Eye For An Eye" and "Do not repay evil with evil", so I will not take the time to go there. But the fact of the matter is, "Do not repay evil with evil" is the utter foundation of what we believe. I often see people use the Romans 13 argument, to which I respond....If someone were to ask you, what, as a christian, are you supposed to represent, above all? Would you answer, "Obey your government"? I dont think you would. Obeying your government is a secondary principle. That's the easiest way to look at it. Do not repay evil with evil is not only A primary principle, it is THE primary principle. People defend this argument claiming Jesus was referring to individuals only, and not the government. This is one of those loopholes I was referring to. Jesus brought that message, and it has NOTHING to do with individuals vs collective groups of people. The same principles apply.

Another thing I want to point out for you all is this.....Only God knows someone's heart, and only God is permitted to take life. James 4:12 says, "God is the only Lawmaker and Judge. He is the only One who can save and destroy. So it is not right for you to judge your neighbor." And there are many more verses like this. It doesnt matter how sick we think someone is, WE DONT KNOW! And who are we to say that person will never be brought to Christ? The truth is, many lifers are brought to Christ. Even ones that have committed heinous crimes. The blood of Christ washes over even the most vile of sins. Remember that.

One defense I have seen people use for this is, "Well, they have ample time to give their life to Christ before they die". Well, who are YOU to make that determination? Everything is in God's time, not ours. People find Christ at all different times in their life. Let me encourage you to read Matthew 20:1-16. That sums up what Im driving at quite nicely.

It comes down to this....When supporting capital punishment, you are indeed giving in to your desire to seek revenge. Therefore, you are sinning. I know that's not easy to hear. But it is fundamentally true. It's like any other sin we are commanded to flee from. Revenge is a human instinct we are commanded to resist.

One more thing I want to address here is more of just a moral aspect. Think of it this way....Is killing someone who YOU think deserves to die to prove a point more important than the life of even ONE innocent person? I sure hope not.

It is barbaric, primitive, and not in the least bit civilized. Infact, we are one of only 3 democracies in the world to practice the DP. I could sit here all day and list reasons why it's wrong. From a christian standpoint, and a secular standpoint. There are obscene ammounts of sickening statistics that most people ignore. But I will stop here. However, I have no problem addressing any arguments you may have that I did not address in this post. I have this thing covered from all angles, as it is something I have put a great deal of time and energy into. And it is something I really want to educate christians on. Non-believers see christians supporting the DP, and it fuels their hypocrite accusations. It contradicts everything we are supposed to stand for, biblically and morally.

Well said my friend.

Butch5
Apr 10th 2009, 04:52 AM
I'm sure this topic has been discussed ad nauseum, but I'm a new member of the flock so I wanted clarification on the Christian perspectives on capital punishment

I know that there are various Christian positions on death penalty

I'm reading the Bible for the first time and havent gotten through all the way so bear with me...

In the Old Testament, the Jews frequently utilized the death penalty for various sins.

In the New Testament, Jesus said "blessed are the merciful for they will be shown mercy" (Matthew 5:7) and also stopped the stoning of a woman.

1.) Did Jesus speak against the death penalty?
2.) If so, did it replace the death penalty commands of the OT?
3.) How did the early Church feel about the death penalty given that it was frequently used to kill early Christians during the persecution years?

I agree with Rock on this. I will also give you quotes from the early church, some deal with war and some with personal attacks however they carry the same idea.

The Early Church Fathers: Ante-Nicene Fathers Volume 1


Justin Martyr 160 AD.
we who formerly used to murder one another do not only now refrain from making war upon our enemies,

The Early Church Fathers: Ante-Nicene Fathers Volume 1

Justin Martyr
and we who were filled with war, and mutual slaughter, and every wickedness, have each through the whole earth changed our warlike weapons,—our swords into ploughshares, and our spears into implements of tillage,—and we cultivate piety, righteousness, philanthropy, faith, and hope, which we have from the Father Himself through Him who was crucified;
The Early Church Fathers: Ante-Nicene Fathers Volume 2
Tatian 160 AD.
How, then, shall I admit this nativity according to Fate, when I see such managers of Fate? I do not wish to be a king; I am not anxious to be rich; I decline military command;
The Early Church Fathers: Ante-Nicene Fathers Volume 2


Athenagoras 175 AD.
for we have learned, not only not to return blow for blow, nor to go to law with those who plunder and rob us, but to those who smite us on one side of the face to offer the other side also, and to those who take away our coat to give likewise our cloak. But, when we have surrendered our property, they plot against our very bodies and souls,5IV-1-5 pouring 130 upon us wholesale charges of crimes of which we are guiltless even in thought, but which belong to these idle praters themselves, and to the whole tribe of those who are like them.

The Early Church Fathers: Ante-Nicene Fathers Volume 1


Irenaesu 180 AD.
the new covenant which brings back peace, and the law which gives life, has gone forth over the whole earth, as the prophets said: “For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem; and He shall rebuke many people; and they shall break down their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks, and they shall no longer learn to fight.”
The Early Church Fathers: Ante-Nicene Fathers Volume 1

Irenaeus
But if the law of liberty, that is, the word of God, preached by the apostles (who went forth from Jerusalem) throughout all the earth, caused such a change in the state of things, that these [nations] did form the swords and war-lances into ploughshares, and changed them into pruning-hooks for reaping the corn, [that is], into instruments used for peaceful purposes, and that they are now unaccustomed to fighting, but when smitten, offer also the other cheek, (Matt. 5:39)


The Early Church Fathers: Ante-Nicene Fathers Volume 2


Clement of Alexandria 195 AD.
For it is not in war, but in peace, that 235 we are trained.

The Early Church Fathers: Ante-Nicene Fathers Volume 2


Clement of Alexandria
And an enemy must be aided, that he may not continue an enemy. For by help good feeling is compacted, and enmity dissolved.

The Early Church Fathers: Ante-Nicene Fathers Volume 3


Tertullian 197 AD.
If we are enjoined, then, to love our enemies, as I have remarked above, whom have we to hate? If injured, we are forbidden to retaliate, lest we become as bad ourselves: who can suffer injury at our hands?

The Early Church Fathers: Ante-Nicene Fathers Volume 3


Tertullian
the Christian does no harm even to his foe
The Early Church Fathers: Ante-Nicene Fathers Volume 3

Tertullian
Nay, He puts His interdict on every sort of man-killing by that one summary precept, “Thou shalt not kill.”
The Early Church Fathers: Ante-Nicene Fathers Volume 5


Cyprian 250 AD.
Consider the roads blocked up by robbers, the seas beset with pirates, wars scattered all over the earth with the bloody horror of camps. The whole world is wet with mutual blood; and murder, which in the case of an individual is admitted to be a crime, is called a virtue when it is committed wholesale. Impunity is claimed for the wicked deeds, not on the plea that they are guiltless, but because the cruelty is perpetrated on a grand scale.

The Early Church Fathers: Ante-Nicene Fathers Volume 5

Cyprian
and that by this very fact they are invincible, that they do not fear death; that they do not in turn assail their assailants, since it is not lawful for the innocent even to kill the guilty;
Cyprian
The Early Church Fathers: Ante-Nicene Fathers Volume 5

nor, after the Eucharist carried in it,208II-4-208 is the hand spotted with the sword and blood.

The Early Church Fathers: Ante-Nicene Fathers Volume 7


Lactantius 304-313 AD.
For how can a man be just who injures, who hates, who despoils, who puts to death? And they who strive to be serviceable to their country do all these things: for they are ignorant of what this being serviceable is, who think nothing useful, nothing advantageous, but that which can be held by the hand; and this alone cannot be held, because it may be snatched away

The Early Church Fathers: Ante-Nicene Fathers Volume 7


Lanctantius
For it is not right that a worshipper of God should be injured by a worshipper of God.

Here is my take on it.
Isaiah 2:1-4 ( KJV )
The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.
And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD’S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.
And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.

Micah 4:1-3 ( KJV )
But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it.
And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.
Bith Isaiah and Micah, prophesied about a time when people would beat their swords into plowshares. Notice the law shall go out of Zion and the word of the lord from Jerusalem. Didn't Christ bring the new law ? Didn't He send the disciples forth from Jerusalem? Peter calls this the last days when he quotes Joel. Here we have both Isaiah and Micah Referring to the last days.

Joel 2:28-32 ( KJV )
And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:
And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.
And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.
The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come.
And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.

Joel 3:1-17 ( KJV )
For, behold, in those days, and in that time, when I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem,
I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land.
And they have cast lots for my people; and have given a boy for an harlot, and sold a girl for wine, that they might drink.
Yea, and what have ye to do with me, O Tyre, and Zidon, and all the coasts of Palestine? will ye render me a recompense? and if ye recompense me, swiftly and speedily will I return your recompense upon your own head;
Because ye have taken my silver and my gold, and have carried into your temples my goodly pleasant things:
The children also of Judah and the children of Jerusalem have ye sold unto the Grecians, that ye might remove them far from their border.
Behold, I will raise them out of the place whither ye have sold them, and will return your recompense upon your own head:
And I will sell your sons and your daughters into the hand of the children of Judah, and they shall sell them to the Sabeans, to a people far off: for the LORD hath spoken it.
Proclaim ye this among the Gentiles; Prepare war, wake up the mighty men, let all the men of war draw near; let them come up:
Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruninghooks into spears: let the weak say, I am strong.
Assemble yourselves, and come, all ye heathen, and gather yourselves together round about: thither cause thy mighty ones to come down, O LORD.
Let the heathen be wakened, and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat: for there will I sit to judge all the heathen round about.
Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe: come, get you down; for the press is full, the vats overflow; for their wickedness is great.
Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision.
The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining.
The LORD also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the LORD will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel.
So shall ye know that I am the LORD your God dwelling in Zion, my holy mountain: then shall Jerusalem be holy, and there shall no strangers pass through her any more.


Acts 2:14-21 ( KJV )
But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:
For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day.
But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;
And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:
And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:
And I will show wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke:
The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come:
And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

I think these passages make it clear that the time when they would beat their swords into plowshares was when Christ would come. He brought a new law. The Scripture says they would no longer learn war. What is war but self defense on a grand Scale.

crossnote
Apr 10th 2009, 05:34 AM
Ok, I am going to weigh in here, as I feel this is one of the most important issues facing christians.

Geez, I dont even know where to begin. The truth is, capital punishment violates the very essence of what Jesus preached, and what He represented.

Really?
And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
(Rev 19:13-15)


I have seen soooooo many scriptural loopholes people use to agrue in favor of it, and they all fall flat on their face. Let me first point out that the laws of the OT no longer apply. Jesus came to do away with that. And because of that, any referrence to the OT when it comes to this debate holds no weight whatsoever.
Is that why many of the commandments are reiterated in the NT? In a sense this argument of yours nullifies your point since one of the OT commands is 'Thou shalt not murder'. But since according to you because it is in the OT it no longer applies.



People defend this argument claiming Jesus was referring to individuals only, and not the government. This is one of those loopholes I was referring to. Jesus brought that message, and it has NOTHING to do with individuals vs collective groups of people. The same principles apply.
The Scripture (Rom 13:1-4) was presented that God has ordained government to carry out CP. No one is making a case that private individuals are to practice CP. What specific scripture do you have that refutes the Romans 13 passage? Or do you just pick and choose what seems right?


Another thing I want to point out for you all is this.....Only God knows someone's heart, and only God is permitted to take life.

Once again Romans 13:1-4. He has ordained govt. to practice CP.




One defense I have seen people use for this is, "Well, they have ample time to give their life to Christ before they die". Well, who are YOU to make that determination? Everything is in God's time, not ours. People find Christ at all different times in their life. Let me encourage you to read Matthew 20:1-16. That sums up what Im driving at quite nicely. I don't see how the Matthew passage applies.


It comes down to this....When supporting capital punishment, you are indeed giving in to your desire to seek revenge. Therefore, you are sinning. I know that's not easy to hear. But it is fundamentally true. It's like any other sin we are commanded to flee from. Revenge is a human instinct we are commanded to resist. Perhaps we who are for CP also seek that no further innocent lives are taken. Revenge a human emotion? Need IA reremind you of the passage cited earlier in Rev 19?


One more thing I want to address here is more of just a moral aspect. Think of it this way....Is killing someone who YOU think deserves to die to prove a point more important than the life of even ONE innocent person? I sure hope not.
Who's innocent? The murderer? Maybe we should think about saving further innocent lives from those would be murderers who would fear doing the crime knowing they will be put down one day soon.


It is barbaric, primitive, and not in the least bit civilized. Infact, we are one of only 3 democracies in the world to practice the DP. I could sit here all day and list reasons why it's wrong. From a christian standpoint, and a secular standpoint. There are obscene ammounts of sickening statistics that most people ignore. But I will stop here. However, I have no problem addressing any arguments you may have that I did not address in this post. I have this thing covered from all angles, as it is something I have put a great deal of time and energy into. And it is something I really want to educate christians on. Non-believers see christians supporting the DP, and it fuels their hypocrite accusations. It contradicts everything we are supposed to stand for, biblically and morally.
You really have not made a case except by excising the OT and it's authority and replacing it with your secural reasoning pattern. You have taken the NT and tried to disprove CP by referring to cautions by Jesus for individuals not to take an eye for an eye etc. We all agree to that but you have not proved it is the States duty to protect it's innocent ones by using the sword on the evildoer of murder.

crossnote
Apr 10th 2009, 05:45 AM
The death penalty was instituted before the Mosaic law. It dates back to the post flood in Noah's time and therefore pertains to all mankind not just the Jews.
Jesus was speaking in terms of individuals (turning the other cheek etc.) yet the death penalty was still the responsibility of the State, not the Church.
Paul speaks of the role of the State in Romans 13-
For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.
(Rom 13:3-4)
The early Church submitted themselves to God's will even in the face of unjust State tyrants.


Correct me if I am wrong in my interpretation of your statement. Are you saying that the death penalty is more valid because it was around before we have record of God saying anything about it?

It was spoken to Noah who was able to communicate it to the known world (7 others). Because of this (and my point) it pertains as much to the Gentiles as to the Jews (who also descended from Noah). :hug:
Moses wrote about this event but it was already exposed to world cultures by that time.

RockedByRequiem
Apr 10th 2009, 09:27 PM
Really?
And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
(Rev 19:13-15)


Not quite sure what you're getting at here, or how this directly relates to CP, in particular.


Is that why many of the commandments are reiterated in the NT? In a sense this argument of yours nullifies your point since one of the OT commands is 'Thou shalt not murder'. But since according to you because it is in the OT it no longer applies.

So what you're saying is, we should continue to practice OT laws? Like I already asked, shall we also then put to death adulterers, homosexuals, people who disobey their parents? Does that sound acceptable to you? Jesus Christ did away with the need for that kind of "justice", did he not? So what is the difference between practicing all those laws, and practicing CP?


The Scripture (Rom 13:1-4) was presented that God has ordained government to carry out CP. No one is making a case that private individuals are to practice CP. What specific scripture do you have that refutes the Romans 13 passage? Or do you just pick and choose what seems right?

This is the ultimate DP-defending scripture. Yet, it doesnt ultimately help the argument. God gives these men the power to govern, certainly. Does that mean He approves of THE WAY they govern? Does He approve of all the other disgraceful practices of the men He allows to govern? Is abortion okay as well, since it is also a law made by the men God allows to govern? You see, Im not the one picking and choosing. You are. I am representing the New Covenant, in all it embodies. And if you refute this argument (Which Im sure you will), you are now opening a whole new can of worms. Now, we're venturing into a discussion about free will, which as we both know, will never end.


Who's innocent? The murderer? Maybe we should think about saving further innocent lives from those would be murderers who would fear doing the crime knowing they will be put down one day soon.

Ill tell you who's innocent. The 130 people that have been exonerated while on death row since the DP was reinstated, and the confirmed 25 that were found innocent after the execution was carried out. Let me also make you aware of the fact that the courts do not normally address cases in which the offender is already dead. Had they, I can only imagine what the number would be.

Save innocent lives? And by putting them in prison for life, we are somehow not saving innocent lives? Im sure you will reply with "They can kill in prison too". Death row inmates are separated from the general population, so none of them will be harmed. Should they kill another death row inmate, what would you care anyway? Afterall, you think they should die anyway.

As for the last part of your statement....Statistics show, OVERWHELMINGLY, that CP is NOT a deterrent. Infact, in the US, DP-using states have a murder rate about double that of non-DP states. Lets also not forget about all the other civilized democracies who dont use a DP. They all have murder rates far below ours. Does it prove it increases violence? No. But it absolutely proves it doesnt decrease it.


You really have not made a case except by excising the OT and it's authority and replacing it with your secural reasoning pattern. You have taken the NT and tried to disprove CP by referring to cautions by Jesus for individuals not to take an eye for an eye etc. We all agree to that but you have not proved it is the States duty to protect it's innocent ones by using the sword on the evildoer of murder.

Where do I begin with this statement....? Im not replacing anything with MY reasoning pattern. The OT serves its purpose. But we are not to take those laws and live them out. If we do, we are blatantly undermining Jesus Christ and what He brought to the world.

Cautions? Is that all they were? That's a very interesting stance to take. Im wondering what else you think is just a "caution".

Evildoer of murder....Says who? You? You dont know someone's heart. You dont know the circumstances that led to the crime, and the circumstances surrounding the crime itself. Are certain people now excluded from being able to accept this gift we have accepted? Even if they were, you dont know who they are. Only God knows. I love when christians have this attitude of "Im better than them". An attitude that completely goes against everything the NT teaches us. Human "justice" and Godly justice are two completely different things, and we are in no place to take life, based on OUR principles. When we do that, we are essentially playing God.

The fact of the matter is, CP is fundamentally wrong, according to christian doctrine, on so many levels. You can go on picking and choosing what OT laws you want to still apply, and what ones you dont. I look at this from a bigger perspective. One where I see Jesus' teachings as perfect, and I do my best to abide by them, in every facet of life. I feel very good about the fact that when that day comes, I can stand before Jesus, and say in all honesty that I rejected that philosophy.

*Hope*
Apr 10th 2009, 11:28 PM
"Genesis 9:6 - 'Whosoever sheddeth a man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man'. Man is such a special creation that to take his life in a wanton, murderous way deserves a particular punishment...The reason that the punishment for murder can be so severe is that man, being created in the image of God, has a particular vaule - not just a theoretical value at some time before the Fall, but such a value yet today." - Francis Schaeffer, Genesis in Space and Time

Objection 1 - "The OT laws no longer apply"
Response - See above

Objection 2 - "God is the only Lawmaker and Judge"
Response - So we should abolish all laws and governing authorities?

Objection 3 - "It's about revenge"
Response - No, it's about justice, and a justice system that originated with God (see above)

Objection 4 - "Multiple people have been confirmed innocent after execution and hundreds exonerated while on death row"
Response - Patantly false information. The last I checked, there had been just under a 1000 executions since the death penalty was revised in 1976 and ONE proven case of an innocent person being executed. In light of the fact that we now have DNA evidence, and considering the multiple hurdles that prosecutors must go through in order to even get a clearly GUILTY person convicted...it is even FAR less likely now that an innocent person will be put to death.

Objection 5 - "Statistics show that the death penalty is not a deterrent"
Response - Not true. I could post multple sources of the latest research which suggets that each execution may prevent dozens of murders. If this is even close to accurate, then imposing the death penalty would not only be permissable, but morally obligatory. In fact, refusing to enforce capital punishment for one murderer would thereby be condemning multiple other innocent people.

I have to ask...where are you getting your "statistics"? Google? Deathpenalty.com? Ugh...

apothanein kerdos
Apr 10th 2009, 11:36 PM
Even objection 5 doesn't really matter in the big scheme of things. The government is to uphold justice, pragmatic consequences aside. If the death penalty is just, then the government has an obligation to uphold it.

The problem is, most opponents of the death penalty never have an adequate definition of justice, so their arguments really don't make a lot of sense and don't stand.

fuzzi
Apr 10th 2009, 11:42 PM
I am unsure of how I feel about capital punishment: I used to be gung ho for it, but since I was saved, I'm not as sure as I was before.

In Deuteronomy 19, the concept of a city of refuge is given: if a person accidentally killed someone, the killer could flee to a city of refuge where the family, out for revenge, could not apprehend him.

If someone committed premeditated murder, then their life was forfeit.

In Joshua 21 the cities of refuge are instituted.

No where in Scripture have I seen any reference to God instituting imprisonment as a punishment.

It's an interesting topic, for sure. :hmm:

RockedByRequiem
Apr 10th 2009, 11:51 PM
First of all, what is "justice"? True justice is God's justice. And killing, for ANY reason, constitutes human "justice". OT justice and NT justice are not the same. Im overwhelmed by your blatant disregard for the significance of Jesus and what He commanded (Not cautioned).

Again I ask you, if we are to embrace capital punishment on the grounds of "God allows them to govern", why do we reject abortion? Oh, I know why....Because so many christians pick and choose what they want to apply, and what they dont. To go even further, if we accept the notion that unborn children are capable of sin (Which many do believe), then CP and abortion are EXACTLY the same.

Defending our criminal justice system's screwups that have resulted in ruining countless people's lives proves you're more interested in personal feelings toward people you consider "bad", than you are in accepting foundational NT principles. The numbers of innocent people executed will never be known, due to the courts not addressing such cases. It is FACT that 130 innocent men have been exonerated before execution. That doesnt bother you at all?


In fact, refusing to enforce capital punishment for one murderer would thereby be condemning multiple other innocent people.

Stop it. I already crushed this argument. I am not going to retype everything. Re-read my last post.

All you are doing is clinging to OT laws and principles that have been conquered by Jesus. If that is the only argument you present, I am not even going to acknowledge your posts. Im not trying to be disrespectful here, but seriously now.

As far as where I get my statistics....Many sources. I have done extensive research on this topic, and there isnt a whole lot of variation in the info I have found. And I certainly havent found any that suggest it is a deterrent. That is false. Maybe YOUR sources are questionable. Maybe you only find exactly what you're looking for.

apothanein kerdos
Apr 11th 2009, 12:03 AM
First of all, what is "justice"? True justice is God's justice. And killing, for ANY reason, constitutes human "justice". OT justice and NT justice are not the same. Im overwhelmed by your blatant disregard for the significance of Jesus and what He commanded (Not cautioned).

I'm overwhelmed by your blatant postmodernism!

How are old testament justice and new testament justice different? Have you not read Revelation? Likewise, if justice is changeable, then it is not part of God's attributes. This means that God can exist without being just, or that He defines justice as an idea and not as an attribute of who He is.

This would then mean that justice isn't an outpouring of who God is - so we must question how in the world He developed it.

Likewise, this argues for a movable type justice, which if this is the case, God changes on what does and does not offend Him.

You need to offer a better definition of justice. You failed on this attempt.


Again I ask you, if we are to embrace capital punishment on the grounds of "God allows them to govern", why do we reject abortion? Oh, I know why....Because so many christians pick and choose what they want to apply, and what they dont. To go even further, if we accept the notion that unborn children are capable of sin (Which many do believe), then CP and abortion are EXACTLY the same.

This is a fallacy of equivocation. Capital punishment is administered because the person has (generally) taken a life (lives) in an extremely heinous and premeditated act. Justice so-called demands that his or her life be taken as well. In other words, the criminal is killed for something he has done.

Abortion, however, is an innocent human life being taken due to convenience and even being deemed not human.

In order to argue that the two are the same, you would first need to show that (1) those on death row are innocent despite their deeds or (2) fetuses are guilty of murder in some way.


Defending our criminal justice system's screwups that have resulted in ruining countless people's lives proves you're more interested in personal feelings toward people you consider "bad", than you are in accepting foundational NT principles. The numbers of innocent people executed will never be known, due to the courts not addressing such cases. It is FACT that 130 innocent men have been exonerated before execution. That doesnt bother you at all?

Not really considering the tests are not sample tests. Every person on death row gets the same tests, the same overview. In other words, the 130 isn't a sampling, it is direct reality. Thus, the innocent have been able to be rescued prior to being killed.

REGARDLESS, the argument doesn't work because it appeals to pragmatism. How many men have received life sentences for murder even though they are innocent? Does this mean we should get rid of life sentences? Of course not. Why not? Because the results have nothing to do with the justice of the situation.

You, once again, need to define justice (and simply saying, "nu tesimen/justc = GOD lol!" doesn't cut it) before you can begin to appeal to the pragmatic application of the death penalty.





Stop it. I already crushed this argument. I am not going to retype everything. Re-read my last post.


:rofl:




All you are doing is clinging to OT laws and principles that have been conquered by Jesus. If that is the only argument you present, I am not even going to acknowledge your posts. Im not trying to be disrespectful here, but seriously now.

You may not be trying to be disrespectful, but you're still being disrespectful. You need to prove how the OT moral laws no longer apply. Considering Genesis 9:6 wasn't a part of the ceremonial Law and therefore is still in effect and further considering that the moral laws of the Law are still in effect, you have an uphill battle. Furthermore, you need to find a spot in the New Tesatment saying Jesus nullified the entirety of the Old Testament (which, btw, wasn't a distinction for the New Testament writers - they simply called the Old Testament "Scripture").




As far as where I get my statistics....Many sources. I have done extensive research on this topic, and there isnt a whole lot of variation in the info I have found. And I certainly havent found any that suggest it is a deterrent. That is false. Maybe YOUR sources are questionable. Maybe you only find exactly what you're looking for.

All that research and you still haven't learned a thing.

All the research in the world won't do you a bit of good. This is a philosophical issue, not a pragmatic policy one.

*Hope*
Apr 11th 2009, 01:59 AM
RockedByRequiem,

AK just blew all of your arguments out of the water, but I'll address something you said:


As far as where I get my statistics....Many sources. I have done extensive research on this topic, and there isnt a whole lot of variation in the info I have found. And I certainly havent found any that suggest it is a deterrent. That is false. Maybe YOUR sources are questionable. Maybe you only find exactly what you're looking for.

I’ll tell you what, I will amuse you by allowing you to post your sources, since you’re so proud of your “research”. If you post yours, I’ll even post mine. Acceptable sources are book citations, legal journals/articles, and/or other data that would be seriously considered and/or reviewed by the Supreme Court. Wikipedia, biased sources such as anti-death penalty websites and the like are unacceptable.

In the end, however, your “statistics” are moot since, as AK stated, whether or not capital punishment is a deterrent still doesn’t address whether or not it is just.


REGARDLESS, the argument doesn't work because it appeals to pragmatism. How many men have received life sentences for murder even though they are innocent? Does this mean we should get rid of life sentences? Of course not. Why not? Because the results have nothing to do with the justice of the situation.

Brilliant. :)

RockedByRequiem
Apr 11th 2009, 03:25 AM
First of all, lets just all agree to forget about the statistics. I could go back through all the sites Ive used, quote them, and then you can tell me they're not reliable. Lets just skip that part, shall we? It really has no bearing on what we are debating anyway.


You need to offer a better definition of justice. You failed on this attempt.

Did you miss the part where I asked what "justice" was? I cannot define that, nor can you, or anyone else. That's the point. Your worldly idea of justice is revenge. You're dancing around the subject anyway with all the philosophical stuff, and trying to figure out God.

There comes a point where there is nothing more I can say to contribute to this argument. Pick and choose, pick and choose, ignore, pick and choose, distract, etc....You cannot be subjective when it comes to such critical foundational principles, and that is exactly what you are doing. I hear the arguments, "It was a caution" and "It doesnt apply to the collective government, only to individuals". The truth is, you cannot even begin to back that up scripturally. It all comes back to "Read Romans 13". Ive read it. Many times infact. It proves God allows them to govern, not God approves of how they govern. Do we not still have free will? Or does free will not apply when we're talking about rulers either?


In order to argue that the two are the same, you would first need to show that (1) those on death row are innocent despite their deeds or (2) fetuses are guilty of murder in some way.

It has been proven innocent men get put on death row, we've been over that. And if even one is executed wrongfully, that is too much for me. I appreciate, respect, and value human life. Life God created.

Like I mentioned, many educated christians believe unborn fetuses are already capable of sin. Theologically, they would be correct. Are all sins not the same in the eyes of God? Is God less likely to forgive a muderer than He is to forgive a thief? I think not. Once again, the blood of Christ washes over even the most vile of sins. By putting someone to death, you are essentially taking it upon yourself to say that person is not worthy of forgiveness.


to prove how the OT moral laws no longer apply.

I never stated the moral laws no longer apply. The moral laws of the OT and NT are exactly the same. If anything, I am the one abiding by them. It is the laws that reflect the absence of Christ's reconciliation that no longer apply.


more, you need to find a spot in the New Tesatment saying Jesus nullified the entirety of the Old Testament

Never said that. You're putting words in my mouth.

You are basically minimizing (Or possibly downright ignoring) what defines the christian faith, in the interest of defending your human principles. Im sorry, but if I start telling myself one particular aspect is an exception, I can run as far as I want with that, ultimately ending up right back where I started before I put my faith in Christ. This genuinely upsets me. It is things like this that keep me away from debates with atheists, as when they call hypocrisy, I have essentially lost as I have no reasonable defense. It contributes to the image people have of christians, and it is extremely discouraging. And Im sure there are more christians lurking who agree with me, but going against the majority is not an easy thing to do. Especially when the opposition is on your own team. Apparently the end result of this discussion is not what I hoped it would be (A slim hope). This is now going to grow increasingly repetative.

*Hope*
Apr 11th 2009, 03:38 AM
First of all, lets just all agree to forget about the statistics. I could go back through all the sites Ive used, quote them, and then you can tell me they're not reliable. Lets just skip that part, shall we? It really has no bearing on what we are debating anyway. You’re the one who brought up all your “research” so I was just giving you an opportunity to educate us. I’ll go ahead and give you a few to chew on anyway, although most of my information comes from prosecutors and books, not the internet. Here are some that you can read online, however. Enjoy!


http://econ.cudenver.edu/mocan/papers/GettingOffDeathRow.pdf

http://www.cema.edu.ar/publicaciones/download/volumen7/zimmerman.pdf

http://www.cjlf.org/deathpenalty/DezRubShepDeterFinal.pdf

http://bpp.wharton.upenn.edu/jwolfers/Press/DeathPenalty/ADeathPenaltyPuzzle(WaPo_Oped).pdf (http://bpp.wharton.upenn.edu/jwolfers/Press/DeathPenalty/ADeathPenaltyPuzzle%28WaPo_Oped%29.pdf)



Like I mentioned, many educated christians believe unborn fetuses are already capable of sin. Theologically, they would be correct. Are all sins not the same in the eyes of God? Is God less likely to forgive a muderer than He is to forgive a thief? I think not. Once again, the blood of Christ washes over even the most vile of sins. By putting someone to death, you are essentially taking it upon yourself to say that person is not worthy of forgiveness.Huh? So...babies are guilty, but...murderers are innocent? :eek:




Did you miss the part where I asked what "justice" was? I cannot define that, nor can you, or anyone else. That's the point. Your worldly idea of justice is revenge. You're dancing around the subject anyway with all the philosophical stuff, and trying to figure out God.

So justice cannot be defined? God cannot be known?



It has been proven innocent men get put on death row, we've been over that.

(http://bpp.wharton.upenn.edu/jwolfers/Press/DeathPenalty/ADeathPenaltyPuzzle%28WaPo_Oped%29.pdf)
Actually, no, this hasn’t been proven (with the exception of one). Furthermore, this point was shown to be moot anyway.

(http://bpp.wharton.upenn.edu/jwolfers/Press/DeathPenalty/ADeathPenaltyPuzzle%28WaPo_Oped%29.pdf)
(http://bpp.wharton.upenn.edu/jwolfers/Press/DeathPenalty/ADeathPenaltyPuzzle%28WaPo_Oped%29.pdf)

THOM
Apr 11th 2009, 03:53 AM
Ok, I am going to weigh in here, as I feel this is one of the most important issues facing christians.
Geez, I dont even know where to begin.

Sure you do! You started in a great place. . .you started where you begin. . .GODLY.


The truth is, capital punishment violates the very essence of what Jesus preached, and what He represented.Not so. JESUS CHRIST understood the necessity for "capital punishment"; HE didn't "preach" against it, nor did HE "represent" it otherwise. . .HE just understood how and why its a necessity for us humans.
When JESUS CHRIST told the "religious leaders of HIS day", that had brought to HIM, a woman caught in the very act of "adultery", that "he that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.", nobody "stoned" her. . .and neither did JESUS. . .do you know why?

What you need to know about "capital punishment", is that if you're going to implement it against someone, then you, who implement it, MUST beGUILTLESS of committing the same (identical and/or similar) crime that we're to put him/her to death for.


I have seen soooooo many scriptural loopholes people use to agrue in favor of it, and they all fall flat on their face. Let me first point out that the laws of the OT no longer apply.Could it be because you're guilty of those same crimes. . .I know that I am!


Jesus came to do away with that.Not so, according to Scripture: "Think not that I am come to destroy thelaw, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill . (Matthew 5:17)"


And because of that, any referrence to the OT when it comes to this debate holds no weight whatsoever.Not so again, according to JESUS CHRIST, "Think not that I AM come to destroy thelaw, or the prophets: I AM not come to destroy, but to fulfill . (Matthew 5:17)"


I mean, if you would like to cling to those laws, shall we also put to death all the other people he OT says shall be put to death? People who disrespect their parents, homosexuals, adulterers?"For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. (Matthew 5:18)"


The OT certainly has it's place....Prophecy, inspiration, history, etc... However, the laws of the Torah have no bearing on modern christianity.Remember what you're about to read:

"HE hath remembered HIS covenant for ever, THE WORD which HE commanded to a thousand generations. (Psalm 105:8)";

"For ever, O LORD, THY WORD is settled in heaven. (Psalm 119:89)";

"THY WORD IS TRUE from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endures for ever. (Psalm 119:160)";

"The grass withers, the flower fades: but THE WORD of our GOD shall stand for ever. (Isaiah 40:8)";

Just so you'll know that the NT is in TOTAL Agreement with the OT:

"Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by THE WORD of GOD, which lives and abides for ever. (1Peter 1:23)";

Did you note the word(s), "for ever"? If it was wrong them. . .guess what? Its still wrong ("disrespect their parents"; "homosexuals"; "adulterers"; etc.).

apothanein kerdos
Apr 11th 2009, 03:54 AM
Did you miss the part where I asked what "justice" was? I cannot define that, nor can you, or anyone else.Then why are you defending what you're saying? If we can't define what is and is not justice, then how can you know the death penalty is unjust? Furthermore, how can you know something is and is not wrong? We often say x is wrong, but implicit in such a statement is, "x is wrong because it is unjust." Regardless of if you take justice back to God, the fact remains that we determine what is "right" and "wrong" by what we view as just.

Thus, if we cannot know the nature of justice, we cannot know what is right or wrong. We cannot know if we are truly guilty before God or innocent and don't realize it. Finally, we must eradicate the entirety of our judicial system, which contradicts the Bible.

So no, we can know what is and is not just.


Your worldly idea of justice is revenge.Where did I lay forth my treatise on justice? I'm not seeing it anywhere. And even it it were, simply saying "it's revenge" doesn't mean a thing - you would first have to show how revenge isn't justice and is unjust, but this would violate your first paragraph.


You're dancing around the subject anyway with all the philosophical stuff, and trying to figure out God.Considering it's both a philosophical and theological subject, I fail to see how I'm dancing around it. In fact, I would argue that theology merely informs philosophy when it comes to discussing justice, so bringing up the "philosophical stuff" makes the most sense since the question of "What is Just" tends to fall under the field of philosophy (specifically Ethics).



There comes a point where there is nothing more I can say to contribute to this argument. Pick and choose, pick and choose, ignore, pick and choose, distract, etc....You cannot be subjective when it comes to such critical foundational principles, and that is exactly what you are doing. I hear the arguments, "It was a caution" and "It doesnt apply to the collective government, only to individuals". The truth is, you cannot even begin to back that up scripturally. It all comes back to "Read Romans 13". Ive read it. Many times infact. It proves God allows them to govern, not God approves of how they govern. Do we not still have free will? Or does free will not apply when we're talking about rulers either?Considering nothing in here deals with what I said, but with others said, I don't see your point. Unless you're trying to create a strawman argument, what's the point of bringing up what you think I'll say or what others have said?

Again, what is justice? If you can't answer it, then the conversation is over because you lose all ground to say that the death penalty is right or wrong. And don't' turn this around and go, "Well, what do YOU say is justice?" Though I will give my definition after you give yours, for the sake of fairness you should simply give me your understanding. If you can't, then I'll assume that you don't have one and consider that an admission that you have no ground to claim the death penalty is wrong.


It has been proven innocent men get put on death row, we've been over that. And if even one is executed wrongfully, that is too much for me. I appreciate, respect, and value human life. Life God created.This doesn't make sense. It's actually a logical fallacy:

(1) Some death row inmates are innocent and have not committed murder

(2) A fetus is innocent and has not committed murder

(3) Therefore, all death row inmates are innocent

You go from a subjective premise with (1) to an absolutist premise with (2) and conclude with an absolutist conclusion in (3). The thing is, a subjective premise cannot lead to an absolute conclusion.

So the argument doesn't work. It still goes back to pragmatism; "Because some inmates are innocent, all inmates are innocent." That doesn't work. You're arguing against the flaws of the administering of justice, not against the justice itself.

Regardless, your argument is logically invalid - it doesn't demonstrate how a convicted murderer, one we know to have actually committed the crime, is equal in innocence to a fetus.

As a side note - 99% of the people killed under our judicial system could be innocent; this still wouldn't affect whether or not the death penalty is just. It would certainly bring into question our use of evidence, but it says nothing about the "justness" of the act.



Like I mentioned, many educated christians believe unborn fetuses are already capable of sin. Theologically, they would be correct. Are all sins not the same in the eyes of God? Is God less likely to forgive a muderer than He is to forgive a thief? I think not. Once again, the blood of Christ washes over even the most vile of sins. By putting someone to death, you are essentially taking it upon yourself to say that person is not worthy of forgiveness.No, not all sins are the same in the eyes of God. Though all sins are rebellion against Him and all sins will result in an eternal punishment, the punishment for sins here on earth bear different temporal consequences. Even when we look to the Law we see there are different consequences for different laws. Thus, in God's justice, He sees sins as bearing different temporal consequences. Considering the death penalty is a temporal consequence, your argument doesn't work here.

But let's take it a step further. Are babies equally guilty in a temporal sense in the womb, or even in an eternal sense? No. Few, if any, theologians argue that babies commit sins while in the womb, just that they are merely guilty by nature. Someone on death row, however, is guilty by both nature and comission, so again, your argument fails.

So as you can see, comparing abortion to the death penalty is fallacious and shouldn't be attempted.

Finally, in dealing with putting a life to an end, you're again using pragmatism. The pragmatic result of killing someone is that if that person hasn't accepted Christ, he will be unable to once dead. While this is certainly tragic, it speaks nothing to the justice of the act. If the person has warranted the death penalty (e.g. premeditated murder), then that person has taken his own denial into his own hands. Though the eternal consequences are tragic, he has had sufficient time to repent. If you argue he hasn't had sufficient time, then this means God is incapable of (1) knowing the future and (2) getting His message to everyone.


I never stated the moral laws no longer apply. The moral laws of the OT and NT are exactly the same. If anything, I am the one abiding by them. It is the laws that reflect the absence of Christ's reconciliation that no longer apply.Those would be the moral laws.

Regardless, considering Christ fulfills the ceremonial laws and that the death penalty isn't even under the Mosaic Law, your argument still falls flat.



Never said that. You're putting words in my mouthIt's by implication. The OT utilizes and prescribes the death penalty in multiple parts. Thus, to deny it is to deny parts of the OT that are not a part of or tied into Mosaic Law. You need justification for doing so.


You are basically minimizing (Or possibly downright ignoring) what defines the christian faith, in the interest of defending your human principles. Im sorry, but if I start telling myself one particular aspect is an exception, I can run as far as I want with that, ultimately ending up right back where I started before I put my faith in Christ.This is a slippery slope argument, another logical fallacy. You would need to show how the death penalty, under Biblical prescriptions, somehow leads to sinful beliefs. Even if it holds the potential to go that route, it still doesn't nullify the truthfulness of the said belief. Again, you're using pragmatism as a response and not looking to the issue itself.


This genuinely upsets me. It is things like this that keep me away from debates with atheists, as when they call hypocrisy, I have essentially lost as I have no reasonable defense. It contributes to the image people have of christians, and it is extremely discouraging. And Im sure there are more christians lurking who agree with me, but going against the majority is not an easy thing to do. Especially when the opposition is on your own team. Apparently the end result of this discussion is not what I hoped it would be (A slim hope). This is now going to grow increasingly repetative.You can play the martyr all you want and act like you're the only Christian who "gets it," but it still doesn't contribute to the discussion. You're using an emotional appeal (logical fallacy) and an appeal to auxiliary causes (logical fallacy - e.g. "You're statement upsets people a lot!" - this doesn't negate my statement; it says more about people's perceptions, but nothing about the truthfulness of my statement).

Doesn't it bother you that you're using so many logical fallacies to justify your position? All you have to do is define justice, not concerning the death penalty, but just give a workable definition of justice. We can move from there. The discussion will only become "repetitive" if you are unable to supply a definition of what "justice" is.

crossnote
Apr 11th 2009, 06:25 AM
We see the institution of CP in Genesis where it is spoken to all mankind through Noah. Yet it is objected by RbR that CP no longer applies since it is an OT law. It follows then that stealing, lying, adultery,coveting even murdering are all ok since after all, their prohibition belongs to the OT!

RockedByRequiem
Apr 11th 2009, 04:44 PM
Ok, let me start with the justice thing, since you seem to think it will move this discussion in a better direction. Instead of saying we cannot define justice, lets instead say we cannot understand justice. True justice will only be served through God's judgment of the world. True justice lies in Jesus Christ and our eternal destination, and that is the only true justice. Ultimately, human justice means nothing. So is CP really justice to you? Because if CP isnt practicing "An eye for an eye", I dont know what is. Imprisonment in punishment, CP is revenge, neither is justice. Punishment is required to maintain order, revenge is not.


Finally, we must eradicate the entirety of our judicial system

Why exactly? Punishment is necessary, killing is not. I think my answer to this statement is summed up quite well in the previous response.


Some death row inmates are innocent and have not committed murder

Excuse me, but HOW IS THIS A SUBJECTIVE PREMISE???? They are innocent of the particular crime, not innocent in a general sense.


Regardless, your argument is logically invalid - it doesn't demonstrate how a convicted murderer, one we know to have actually committed the crime, is equal in innocence to a fetus.

It is not "logically invalid" by any means. Unless of course you want to revert back to what "innocence" is in your eyes, as a human being. In which case, logic is subjective. But that's not what we're discussing, is it? One is no more or less entitled to the gift of salvation, based on the simple fact that one has committed a particular sin that the other has not. Because we are ALL sinners, from the time of conception. That is what Im trying to convey here. But you continue to look at this from a worldly perspective.


If you argue he hasn't had sufficient time, then this means God is incapable of (1) knowing the future and (2) getting His message to everyone.

Really? Well, I can say the exact same thing about the person being murdered. God knew it would happen, therefore if that individual was going to be saved, it would have already happened. Again, here comes the debates on divinity and free will. Where does one end, and the other begin? We cannot make that determination.


This is a slippery slope argument, another logical fallacy.

Here you go again with the logical fallacies. Im sorry my friend, you are making exceptions, according to what you believe to be logical. That's the only way people can argue this, with "logic".

:B

*Hope*
Apr 11th 2009, 05:32 PM
Ok, let me start with the justice thing, since you seem to think it will move this discussion in a better direction. Instead of saying we cannot define justice, lets instead say we cannot understand justice.

Then at this point you have just nullified everything you have said or will say. If we cannot understand justice then you cannot declare capital punishment as unjust.


True justice will only be served through God's judgment of the world. True justice lies in Jesus Christ and our eternal destination, and that is the only true justice. Ultimately, human justice means nothing.

Then we should eliminate the Justice System. Afterall, “true justice" is God’s.



So is CP really justice to you? Because if CP isnt practicing "An eye for an eye", I dont know what is.

You’re right, you don’t know what is. You cannot declare something “unjust” if you cannot understand justice.


As a side note, it’s very clear you don’t understand what “eye for an eye” was about. Context is everything. "Eye for an eye" was meant to be used as system of recompense for an injury done to another person. It was a judgment to be carried out by the magistrates. In other words, if you injured a person, the judge would sentence you to compensate that person for the cost of their medical care and any lost wages as a result of the injury you caused. This was the justice system. However, by the time the first century rolled around, this commandment had been perverted into a justification for seeking personal revenge. Note: revenge was a perversion, not the original intent. It was that incorrect usage of the commandment that Jesus was trying to correct in Matthew 5:38-44. Jesus is talking about getting slapped on the cheek, and teaching that “eye for an eye” was not to be used as revenge for personal insult. "Turning the other cheek" should never be used to negate a human justice system. If we took that thinking to it's logical conclusion every crime would simply be ignored. If someone raped your wife, you'd offer your daughter also.



Imprisonment in punishment,

And I could say to you that life imprisonment is far more cruel than the death penalty. I could tell you that a life spent in solitary confinement is unjust. You cannot defend what is acceptable and what is not because again, you claim justice cannot be understood.


CP is revenge

No, it’s not. And because of your initial comments regarding justice, you cannot make any absolute statement such as this.


Punishment is required to maintain order

In order to punish, you must first have an absolute for determining when punishment is deserved. If justice cannot be understood, no one can be culpable.


Here you go again with the logical fallacies. Im sorry my friend, you are making exceptions, according to what you believe to be logical. That's the only way people can argue this, with "logic".

Logic and reasoning are the tools by which we determine what is true and what is false. If you want to deny logic, then everything you say becomes irrational and illogical – in other words, absurd.

apothanein kerdos
Apr 12th 2009, 01:41 AM
Ok, let me start with the justice thing, since you seem to think it will move this discussion in a better direction. Instead of saying we cannot define justice, lets instead say we cannot understand justice.

You're saying the same thing, just with different terms.

If justice can't be understood, then once again, my arguments apply. You can't say the death penalty is wrong because you don't understand what is and is not justice. You can't say that rape is wrong because you don't understand what is and is not justice. The list goes on.

Thus, to argue that we can't know what is and is not just is the same to say that we can't define it. It's a redundancy; if we can know what is justice, then we can define it. If we can't know what justice is, then we can't define it.


True justice will only be served through God's judgment of the world. True justice lies in Jesus Christ and our eternal destination, and that is the only true justice. Ultimately, human justice means nothing.

Then you would argue that we need to do away with our judicial system? Would you argue that if a man brutally rapes and murders a four-year-old girl that we should give him a hearty handshake and let him be on his merry way, to let God deal with him?

Or how do you handle the multiple passages in both the old and new testament showing that governments are to administer justice here on earth, although imperfectly?

Finally, if you are anti-human justice, how can you say I am "wrong" on anything? How do I know your evaluation of "wrong" is not a human construct if I can't know what is and is not just?


So is CP really justice to you? Because if CP isnt practicing "An eye for an eye", I dont know what is. Imprisonment in punishment, CP is revenge, neither is justice. Punishment is required to maintain order, revenge is not.

No, back up. You can't say something isn't just until you tell me what justice is. Until you can provide what "justice" is, you can't say what is and is not just.


Why exactly? Punishment is necessary, killing is not. I think my answer to this statement is summed up quite well in the previous response.

It didn't. It was a sub-par response because it never gave a definition of what justice is. Likewise, it doesn't explain how capital punishment is revenge, but life in prison is punishment (or how those two concepts are different). It assumes quite a bit and arbitrarily declares, "This is so," but it never shows how or proves anything.

You need to show how punishment isn't the same as revenge and take it a step further to explain how life in prison isn't revenge, but the death penalty is.


Excuse me, but HOW IS THIS A SUBJECTIVE PREMISE???? They are innocent of the particular crime, not innocent in a general sense.

Because of the operative word "some." "All" would make it an absolute premise; "some" makes it a subjective premise, thus showing your argument is illogical.



It is not "logically invalid" by any means.

Eh...yes it is. I showed how it's logically invalid by using the rules of logic.

The only way it couldn't be logically invalid is if you were to restructure your argument; but I think your argument is so erroneous that it just needs to be thrown out.


Unless of course you want to revert back to what "innocence" is in your eyes, as a human being. In which case, logic is subjective. But that's not what we're discussing, is it? One is no more or less entitled to the gift of salvation, based on the simple fact that one has committed a particular sin that the other has not. Because we are ALL sinners, from the time of conception. That is what Im trying to convey here. But you continue to look at this from a worldly perspective.

None of this deals with the issue at hand, which is capital punishment. I never said a baby was innocent before God, merely that the baby is innocent of murder. A baby has not murdered.

Furthermore, I also argued that God requires temporal consequences here on earth. Though eternal consequences may be equal, the temporal ones are different. Thus, while you will throw a hardened criminal into jail for stealing a car, you won't throw a five-year-old into prison for stealing a pack of gum. The temporal consequences are different.

Based on the above premise, though a fetus might be guilty before God of sin, this does not mean the baby is guilty of anything that would require a temporal consequence to be placed upon the fetus.

Thus, you're attempting to equivocate what can't be equivocated. A fetus has done nothing worthy of a temporal consequences while a murderer has. Though both might be guilty before God due to their sin natures, their actions on earth - more specifically against society and humanity in general - are different. The fetus has yet to perform any actions and therefore is free from any judicial review or penal consequence. The murderer, however, has taken an action against society that is so heinous that it requires a major consequence.

I don't see why this is so difficult to grasp...


Really? Well, I can say the exact same thing about the person being murdered. God knew it would happen, therefore if that individual was going to be saved, it would have already happened. Again, here comes the debates on divinity and free will. Where does one end, and the other begin? We cannot make that determination.

Again, you're trying to make this about pragmatic consequences. Please, let me reiterate - THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE EFFECTS AND/OR CONSEQUENCES. For instance, a murderer who kills a person who has not accepted Christ is not thrown in prison for that reason. Likewise, he isn't held accountable for killing the person before that person's "due time" (if such a thing exists). Rather, he is held accountable because he has destroyed the image of God and nullified (but not destroyed) the image of God in him by doing so.

So your argument doesn't work.


Here you go again with the logical fallacies. Im sorry my friend, you are making exceptions, according to what you believe to be logical. That's the only way people can argue this, with "logic".

Logical fallacies are absolute. You are using logic in the sentence you posted, though faulty and ultimately unfounded. Logic is simply a part of life and you can't escape it.


So you've yet to provide what "justice" is. In light of your lack of understanding on justice, how can you "justifiably" say that capital punishment is wrong?

RockedByRequiem
Apr 12th 2009, 05:54 PM
Logic and reasoning are often necessary. However, logic and reasoning never outweigh foundational christian principles. But that is what you are trying to do here. You're taking scripture, and directly incorporating logic in a manner that caters to your argument.


You can't say the death penalty is wrong because you don't understand what is and is not justice.

I do understand this: True justice lies in the reconciliation and redemption we have been afforded through Jesus Christ. True justice is no longer found through OT laws, but through the blood of Christ, and the "radical" yet vital principles he brought into the world. You can talk semantics, and make any philosophical argument you want. It still doesnt change the fact that you are ultimately taking it upon yourself to decide how you want Jesus' foundational teachings to apply to worldy practices that YOU find acceptable.

Not to mention, you continue to ignore certain points you have no good defense for. For instance, I have yet to recieve a reason (Other than a vague and practically unrelated piece of scripture) as to why it is acceptable to put to death murderers because the OT says so, yet it is not acceptable to put to death adulterers, homosexuals, and so on, even though....THE OT SAYS SO. Dont tell me because of Genesis 9:6. If you do, you are digging yourself deeper into that hole of picking and choosing.


Then you would argue that we need to do away with our judicial system? Would you argue that if a man brutally rapes and murders a four-year-old girl that we should give him a hearty handshake and let him be on his merry way, to let God deal with him?


It didn't. It was a sub-par response because it never gave a definition of what justice is. Likewise, it doesn't explain how capital punishment is revenge, but life in prison is punishment (or how those two concepts are different). It assumes quite a bit and arbitrarily declares, "This is so," but it never shows how or proves anything.

You need to show how punishment isn't the same as revenge and take it a step further to explain how life in prison isn't revenge, but the death penalty is.

Here we go again....Since you are telling me logic is so important, maybe you should use some here. Oh wait, logic only applies where you want it to, right? Punishment maintains order. Imprisonment is different than death because the DP defines revenge, and the "An eye for an eye" concept. Killing someone for killing someone. How is that any different than chopping someone's hand off for stealing? Do you see what Im saying here? All your arguments completely rely on worldy "logic". At the same time, you are demanding solid scriptural arguments from me (Ones which you will use how YOU want to anyway), and clinging to "secondary" scripture when it helps your argument in some way. You want it both ways.


Thus, you're attempting to equivocate what can't be equivocated.

Actually, it's quite the opposite. You are trying to create different levels of sin, based on....WORLDLY LOGIC AND PRINCIPLES!!! Which you have absolutely no authority to do. "A person who follows all of God's law but fails to obey even one command is guilty of breaking all the commands in that law" James 2:10.


Again, you're trying to make this about pragmatic consequences. Please, let me reiterate - THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE EFFECTS AND/OR CONSEQUENCES. For instance, a murderer who kills a person who has not accepted Christ is not thrown in prison for that reason. Likewise, he isn't held accountable for killing the person before that person's "due time" (if such a thing exists). Rather, he is held accountable because he has destroyed the image of God and nullified (but not destroyed) the image of God in him by doing so.

So your argument doesn't work.

Once again, where do you see me arguing with this??? It is you who is relating this statement directly to CP, as if CP is the ONLY punishment.


As a side note, it’s very clear you don’t understand what “eye for an eye” was about. Context is everything. "Eye for an eye" was meant to be used as system of recompense for an injury done to another person. It was a judgment to be carried out by the magistrates. In other words, if you injured a person, the judge would sentence you to compensate that person for the cost of their medical care and any lost wages as a result of the injury you caused. This was the justice system.

Well terrific, now we know "An eye for an eye" really isnt important at all, and that when Jesus taught about it, it really didnt apply or relate to everything else he taught. In other words, it applies only when you want it to.......Which is the theme of this discussion, and is why I have had enough.

apothanein kerdos
Apr 12th 2009, 06:13 PM
Logic and reasoning are often necessary. However, logic and reasoning never outweigh foundational christian principles. But that is what you are trying to do here. You're taking scripture, and directly incorporating logic in a manner that caters to your argument.

If it's not logical then it's not scriptural. If scripture is not logical, then it's not true. It's the equivalent to the Bible saying, "There are little green men on the moon." Well, if there aren't, then the Bible is wrong. Likewise, because logic explains how something is consistent within itself and corresponds to reality (two of the tests for determining if something is true), if something isn't logical then it fails to meet the test for truth.


I do understand this: True justice lies in the reconciliation and redemption we have been afforded through Jesus Christ. True justice is no longer found through OT laws, but through the blood of Christ, and the "radical" yet vital principles he brought into the world. You can talk semantics, and make any philosophical argument you want. It still doesnt change the fact that you are ultimately taking it upon yourself to decide how you want Jesus' foundational teachings to apply to worldy practices that YOU find acceptable.

So you define justice as redemption. Therefore, would you argue that in the case of a man who rapes and murders a child, we should show him grace and forgiveness without requiring any penal payment?

Likewise, Jesus doesn't even operate off this type of justice. In fact, the redemption aspect is BECAUSE of His justice. We see in Revelation that His redemption ends for many and His justice is found. The grace of God is available not as justice, but in replacement for justice. This is because God is a just God.

So you still need to give me a definition for what "justice" is. You just showed me that you don't understand it and, by your own accord, God isn't just in sending people to Hell as this isn't redemptive. So either God doesn't send people to Hell, God isn't just, or your definition of justice is flawed.


Not to mention, you continue to ignore certain points you have no good defense for. For instance, I have yet to recieve a reason (Other than a vague and practically unrelated piece of scripture) as to why it is acceptable to put to death murderers because the OT says so, yet it is not acceptable to put to death adulterers, homosexuals, and so on, even though....THE OT SAYS SO. Dont tell me because of Genesis 9:6. If you do, you are digging yourself deeper into that hole of picking and choosing.

No, not at all. The Old Testament is divided into different sections. The ceremonial law and capital punishments have been removed for such sins. We don't support capital punishment based on Mosaic law, but rather upon the natural law given in Genesis 9:6.

The two are different and this isn't an issue of "picking and choosing." The Mosaic law had the consequences taken upon the cross, but Genesis 9:6 isn't a part of the Mosaic law. If we were to abandon all laws in the Old Testament simply because we're so afraid of "picking and choosing" (and misunderstand the Old Testament), then we would have to forbid marriage, cultivation, and engaging in culture.

Genesis 9:6 is a covenant made with humanity. If this no longer applies, then we would have to accept that God is free to wipe out all of humanity once again in a world wide flood. He would not be held to His promise. Thus, it's hard to say that God must be held accountable, but humanity mustn't.

The contexts for Genesis 9:6 and the Mosaic law are different, that is to say, Jesus didn't take the punishment prescribed in Genesis 9:6 upon the cross. Both Peter and Paul echo this in referring to the "sword" of the government in its use of justice.


Here we go again....Since you are telling me logic is so important, maybe you should use some here. Oh wait, logic only applies where you want it to, right? Punishment maintains order. Imprisonment is different than death because the DP defines revenge, and the "An eye for an eye" concept. Killing someone for killing someone. How is that any different than chopping someone's hand off for stealing? Do you see what Im saying here? All your arguments completely rely on worldy "logic".

Again, I fail to see the difference. Putting someone in prison can still be viewed as revenge. You're "getting back" at the person. That is what revenge means, no matter if that retribution is similar to the damage caused or found in a different way - it is still revenge.

Secondly, this assumes that the death penalty is done with malice and a sense of revenge and not a sense of justice. Until you can define what justice is, you can't say what is and is not revenge.


Actually, it's quite the opposite. You are trying to create different levels of sin, based on....WORLDLY LOGIC AND PRINCIPLES!!! Which you have absolutely no authority to do. "A person who follows all of God's law but fails to obey even one command is guilty of breaking all the commands in that law" James 2:10.

Logic comes from God, not the world. So your argument on this is moot.

Regardless, as I pointed out, the Bible clearly indicates there are different temporal punishments for different temporal crimes. Thus, you still need to show me how a baby deserves to go to prison.

I mean, let's use a different example. Do you think a thief deserves to go to prison? If so, why don't you throw EVERYONE in prison since you're ignoring temporal consequences (as taught in Scripture). Or do you argue that the thief should go free?

You keep getting upset, but all you need to do is provide a working definition of justice and we can proceed. If you can't, then you lose all ground to say what is revenge, what is wrong, what is right, and so on.

RockedByRequiem
Apr 12th 2009, 11:55 PM
So what you are saying is the foundation Jesus laid for humanity, and the principles he commanded we live by have absolutely nothing to do with Noahic Law? Yet they do apply to Mosaic Law? These commands given to Noah were part of an agreement between God and Noah only. For example, if you remember, God said Cain should not be put to death. Also, are we all commanded to have many children, and basically live our life to procreate? Because that was a command God gave to Noah himself. As far as 9:4, that can be interpreted several different ways. But the bottom line is, God's promise to never again destroy the earth by flood had more to do with Noah himself obeying these rules than it did humanity in its entirety over the next 4,000+ years.

That aside, Christ came to free us from all that bound us to sin. It doesnt matter when the laws came into play, they are still the same laws, and the end result is the same. The actual promise to never again flood the earth actually has little, if anything, to do with this concept. Before Christ, a murderer (Among other things) was condemned, regardless of the time period. And when Christ came, everything changed.


Logic comes from God, not the world. So your argument on this is moot.

That's a nice thought, but it is ultimately a very subjective thought. One that is capable of sparking great philosophical debate. It doesnt help your case in any way.


Thus, you still need to show me how a baby deserves to go to prison.

You just dont get it. You're taking something I said, and twisting it into something completely different. It's not a matter of who deserves what worldly punishment for a particular crime. I was illustrating a point in its most basic form, for clarification. It's a matter of life itself, and the fact that, through Christ, no sin is unforgivable.

That's pretty much where it ends. You're going to put more significance in less significant things, while I choose to do the opposite.

apothanein kerdos
Apr 13th 2009, 12:10 AM
I'm sorry, where in there did you supply a definition for "justice?" I must have missed it.

Having such a definition is vitally important if you want to say why the death penalty is wrong. Until you can supply that definition, you really don't have any ground to stand on. I mean, I know the tactic you're using - ignore all the weaknesses of your own argument and go after the other person, but the buck stops here. :)

I can throw out the argument that we can use Genesis 9:6 (though I don't need to because it still applies - and yes, we should still engage in procreation, that's part of what scholars call the "cultural mandate") and still have my point stand.

So where is your definition of justice? How do you know the death penalty is wrong? How do you know it's not just? How do you know it violates God's justice? How do you know God is a God of justice? How do you know God told us not to practice justice? Do you think we should let rapists go free? Do you think we should cease all punishment of thieves? Do you think we should do away with the judicial system?

These are all questions that you've completely and utterly ignored, and they deal directly with the topic whereas our debate on the Law of the Bible does not. I don't need Genesis 9:6 for my justification - it helps and if you had a definition of justice, I'd engage on that debate, but what's the point? You don't have a definition of justice, so you really don't have anything to say on the issue. :) THAT is there it ends; when you fail to supply a definition of justice, there's no discussion beyond that.


That's a nice thought, but it is ultimately a very subjective thought. One that is capable of sparking great philosophical debate. It doesnt help your case in any way.

Considering logic is absolute and not subjective, I fail to see your point.


You just dont get it. You're taking something I said, and twisting it into something completely different. It's not a matter of who deserves what worldly punishment for a particular crime. I was illustrating a point in its most basic form, for clarification. It's a matter of life itself, and the fact that, through Christ, no sin is unforgivable.

You originally said there is no difference between abortion and capital punishment. I showed that a child isn't guilty of committing a crime while a criminal is guilty of committing a crime. You said that children are guilty before God and that all are forgiven. I never contested this. What I proceeded to argue is that we're not talking about sin and guilt before God. We're talking about crimes against society. Thus, in order for your original statement, "Abortion and capital punishment are the same thing," you would need to supply how children are guilty of crimes or how criminals are innocent. By the standard you've provided, either everyone should be in jail or no one should be in jail since we're all sinners, but also have the ability to be forgiven.

I do "get it." I knew the debate would get to this point, just not this quickly. I know four of the possible definitions you'll use for justice if you ever try to supply one. I know my response to those definitions. I know that your reply to me, if you choose to reply (which you will), will be mostly composed of how I ignored your argument on Genesis and you'll either sarcastically thank me for conceding the point (though I didn't, but you'll argue this anyway) or you'll demand that I respond to it. In it all, you won't actually offer a definition of justice and will simply go on about how we're all forgiven and never deal with my contention on what we do with rapists. You'll state how the debate is worthless and have some quip about how it's "over" in your attempt to get the last word. And just so you know, I have responses to everything you're going to say in the above scenario.

There are other things you could come back with, and I'm sure you could come out of left field and surprise me - but it's like street racing. When you've done it enough, you learn how to predict people's patterns in traffic. I know when a car is going to cut me off before it even starts to move into my lane. I just know how to tell. Likewise, I've been in enough debates to know where the debate is going. So I do "get it." Anyway, I hope you prove my scenario wrong and actually deal with what "justice" is.

decrumpit
Apr 13th 2009, 03:34 AM
So what you are saying is the foundation Jesus laid for humanity, and the principles he commanded we live by have absolutely nothing to do with Noahic Law? Yet they do apply to Mosaic Law? These commands given to Noah were part of an agreement between God and Noah only. For example, if you remember, God said Cain should not be put to death. Also, are we all commanded to have many children, and basically live our life to procreate? Because that was a command God gave to Noah himself. As far as 9:4, that can be interpreted several different ways. But the bottom line is, God's promise to never again destroy the earth by flood had more to do with Noah himself obeying these rules than it did humanity in its entirety over the next 4,000+ years.

Good call on this.

The story of Noah shows us that even when God tries (although the story is symbolic) to rid the world of evil-doers, he is "unsuccessful".

What was the first thing Noah did? You guessed it, SIN!!!

We can murder every single wrongdoer and we will be nowhere closer to a perfect world because of it. While the texts of the Bible never directly call for capital punishment, it nevertheless deems that it part of society (Romans 13).

Certainly, in the time of Christ, dangerous criminals must be executed, and a judicious execution is highly just in a society that needs to be protected.

However, many death row criminals come to Christ, and reasoning for our modern societies should be as follows.

1. If we can contain a criminal without causing damage to society, we should without killing him.

2. Some contained criminals repent.

3. Therefore, it is a life-affirming practice to contain criminals without killing them.


Furthermore, you get the bonus of saving money (with appeals costs easily going into the millions, hiring a full time executioner in some states, maintaining and building facilities, etc.)

And for every statistic you give me showing that CP deters crime, I can give many many more that show the opposite to be true!

apothanein kerdos
Apr 13th 2009, 03:40 AM
The story of Noah shows us that even when God tries (although the story is symbolic) to rid the world of evil-doers, he is "unsuccessful".

What was the first thing Noah did? You guessed it, SIN!!!

We can murder every single wrongdoer and we will be nowhere closer to a perfect world because of it. While the texts of the Bible never directly call for capital punishment, it nevertheless deems that it part of society (Romans 13).

I'm not sure where you're getting that line of reasoning from...that sound eerily close to weakness theology/philosophy.


Regardless, the purpose of the story of Noah is to show us that we are capable of angering God and that, when He is provoked, He will administer justice. The point isn't, "No matter what you do, people will still sin." God is not a pragmatists, His laws are not in place as a deterrent, but simply because they are His laws. Virtue ethics should be considered here.


However, many death row criminals come to Christ, and reasoning for our modern societies should be as follows.

1. If we can contain a criminal without causing damage to society, we should without killing him.

2. Some contained criminals repent.

3. Therefore, it is a life-affirming practice to contain criminals without killing them.

The problem with this syllogism is that it's pragmatic, which then leads to situational justice. For instance, if premise (1) is not met, then we can never obtain premise (3).

Regardless, this assumes that justice is based on the results of deterring the crime. So the syllogism might be coherent, but this doesn't necessarily mean it corresponds to reality or what we know to be "just."


Furthermore, you get the bonus of saving money (with appeals costs easily going into the millions, hiring a full time executioner in some states, maintaining and building facilities, etc.)

And for every statistic you give me showing that CP deters crime, I can give many many more that show the opposite to be true!

Again, both of these are pointless. They don't deal with justice. It could be that killing one murderer somehow causes two others to rise up - this would still have no bearing on the justice of the act.

Again - has anyone attempted to supply a definition of "justice"?

decrumpit
Apr 13th 2009, 04:09 AM
I'm not sure where you're getting that line of reasoning from...that sound eerily close to weakness theology/philosophy.


Regardless, the purpose of the story of Noah is to show us that we are capable of angering God and that, when He is provoked, He will administer justice. The point isn't, "No matter what you do, people will still sin." God is not a pragmatists, His laws are not in place as a deterrent, but simply because they are His laws. Virtue ethics should be considered here.


While not the central point of the story, it still illustrates the fact that even when one kills evildoers, there will still be more to take their place. Christ showed us how to deal with them so that would be convicted and led into forgiveness.


The problem with this syllogism is that it's pragmatic, which then leads to situational justice. For instance, if premise (1) is not met, then we can never obtain premise (3).

Agreed! I'm pro-capital punishment, although it should be used judiciously.

There is no one size fits all way to determine how to deal with an issue like this.


Regardless, this assumes that justice is based on the results of deterring the crime. So the syllogism might be coherent, but this doesn't necessarily mean it corresponds to reality or what we know to be "just."

Comprehending the justice of God on this issue, especially in the face of silence of the Bible, is almost impossible. The one NT reference we can glean from this indicates that it is not sinful, although it easily CAN be sinful.

For example, at one point homosexuals were burned to death (hence the vulgar nickname) in Europe. They are still executed throughout the Muslim world. The only time Jesus deals with this incident (although modern textual criticism seems to dismiss this incident as a later addition) is when he says that he is without sin should cast the first stone. Today it is incomprehensible to Christians to have people such as this murdered, even though the Biblical injunction of Leviticus demands their death.

Because the Bible is unclear about WHO should be executed, it is up to the society to use Christian principles in executing people.

apothanein kerdos
Apr 13th 2009, 04:19 AM
While not the central point of the story, it still illustrates the fact that even when one kills evildoers, there will still be more to take their place. Christ showed us how to deal with them so that would be convicted and led into forgiveness.



Agreed! I'm pro-capital punishment, although it should be used judiciously.

There is no one size fits all way to determine how to deal with an issue like this.



Comprehending the justice of God on this issue, especially in the face of silence of the Bible, is almost impossible. The one NT reference we can glean from this indicates that it is not sinful, although it easily CAN be sinful.

For example, at one point homosexuals were burned to death (hence the vulgar nickname) in Europe. They are still executed throughout the Muslim world. The only time Jesus deals with this incident (although modern textual criticism seems to dismiss this incident as a later addition) is when he says that he is without sin should cast the first stone. Today it is incomprehensible to Christians to have people such as this murdered, even though the Biblical injunction of Leviticus demands their death.

Because the Bible is unclear about WHO should be executed, it is up to the society to use Christian principles in executing people.


I understand where you're coming from and I would agree for the most part (except that I reject "modern" textual criticism - it's always full of logical fallacies and horrible scholarship).

I don't think anyone is saying, "Kill them all; let God sort out the mess." For instance, capital punishment is already used sparingly in the United States and generally only in the most clear-cut cases. Even then, there's quite a bit of research put into the person. Look at John Wayne Gacy Jr where they had all the evidence, a confession, pretty much a picture-perfect case...yet it still took them 14 years to finalize the execution. In the modern era, there are not kangaroo courts where the person is caught on a Monday and hung on a Tuesday. :)

dan
Apr 14th 2009, 01:46 PM
In the New Testament, Jesus said "blessed are the merciful for they will be shown mercy" (Matthew 5:7) and also stopped the stoning of a woman.

1.) Did Jesus speak against the death penalty?
2.) If so, did it replace the death penalty commands of the OT?
3.) How did the early Church feel about the death penalty given that it was frequently used to kill early Christians during the persecution years?

1. Jesus reinforced the death penalty and self-defense, IMO.

LK 11:21 When a strong man armed keepeth his court, those things are in peace which he possesseth.

LK 22:36 Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take [it], and likewise [his] scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.

MT 24:43 But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.

REV 13:9 If any man have an ear, let him hear:
REV 13:10 He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.

REV 18:6 Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double.

2. Jesus never intended to change the death penalty for any serious offense, IMO.

MT 5:18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

3. Depends on how they felt about perceived "heresy".

*Hope*
Apr 16th 2009, 01:10 AM
Did we lose RockedbyRequiem?

BroRog
Apr 16th 2009, 01:45 AM
I'm sure this topic has been discussed ad nauseum, but I'm a new member of the flock so I wanted clarification on the Christian perspectives on capital punishment

I know that there are various Christian positions on death penalty

I'm reading the Bible for the first time and havent gotten through all the way so bear with me...

In the Old Testament, the Jews frequently utilized the death penalty for various sins.

In the New Testament, Jesus said "blessed are the merciful for they will be shown mercy" (Matthew 5:7) and also stopped the stoning of a woman.

1.) Did Jesus speak against the death penalty?
2.) If so, did it replace the death penalty commands of the OT?
3.) How did the early Church feel about the death penalty given that it was frequently used to kill early Christians during the persecution years?

I like to respond to the initial post so if I am behind the conversation, please bear with me while I make a couple of observations.

We read in Genesis the account of Cain and Able and how, out of hatred for his brother, Cain killed Able. I believe this was the first recorded murder in the Bible. As time went on, things became worse.

Cain was worried that if anyone found him, they would take vengeance on him and kill him too. Thus we read that God marked Cain and declared that if anyone were to hurt Cain, "vengeance will be taken on him sevenfold." A little further in the text, we read this bold statement from Lamech,

Lamech said to his wives, "Adah and Zillah, Listen to my voice, You wives of Lamech, Give heed to my speech, For I have killed a man for wounding me; And a boy for striking me; 24 If Cain is avenged sevenfold, Then Lamech seventy-sevenfold."

Not only did the murders increase -- I have killed a man and a boy -- the vengeance had multiplied seventy-sevenfold. This continued to such a degree that Genesis declares, "Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually."

After the flood, it is understood that God instituted capital punishment as a deterrent to murder. Rather than allowing mankind to kill at will without consequence, God declared "Surely I will require your lifeblood; from every beast I will require it. And from [every] man, from every man's brother I will require the life of man. Whoever sheds man's blood, by man his blood shall be shed, For in the image of God He made man."

Before the flood, man took revenge on each other, assuaging their fear of being killed with threats of escalating violence -- Lamach's seventy-seven fold. After the flood, the taking of a life was a matter of justice rather than vengeance, and the penalty was a single life for a life.

Another observation I had recently was due to our review of the crucifixion during this time of Easter. I began to wonder, as I read your question, whether the crucifixion would have taken place had Rome not believed in capital punishment. How would Jesus have died for our sins if Rome had not the power or authority to put a man to death?

I wonder.

dan
Apr 16th 2009, 12:18 PM
Another observation I had recently was due to our review of the crucifixion during this time of Easter. I began to wonder, as I read your question, whether the crucifixion would have taken place had Rome not believed in capital punishment. How would Jesus have died for our sins if Rome had not the power or authority to put a man to death?

I wonder.

...Think so.

The greatest penalty for the worst offenses in the OT was the loss of God's Greatest Gift, Life.

If the Christ was to be able to atone for these offenses, His Greatest Possession would be forfeit.

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