Capital punishment has been discussed, argued, rehashed, dissected, and then some more. Professors bring it up for discussion and philosophers pontificate an idealism that can get just about anything to be or go anywhere. However, we as Christians, must understand capital punishment in light of the scriptures.

Christians can become very complacent with their beliefs and regard these types ofsubjects as inappropriate for discussion by God-fearing people. However, it is an issue addressed within the scriptures, and it should be understood by those of us who aspire to be obedient to God. Consider the early and insightful commandments that He gave to His created man. Genesis 9:5-6 And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man's brother will I require the life of man. 6 Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man. This is God’s give law--how man should interact with his peers.

In the next dispensation, God reiterated His absolute law. Exodus 21:12 He that smiteth a man, so that he die, shall be surely put to death. Exodus 21:29 But if the ox were wont to push with his horn in time past, and it hath been testified to his owner, and he hath not kept him in, but that he hath killed a man or a woman; the ox shall be stoned, and his owner also shall be put to death. It’s God’s perfect law given to His created man and thereafter to be justly executed by man. It is not an optional law--it’s absolutely restrictive. Even when God’s people were living within a theocracy, God gave the law for man to obey and execute in righteous judgment. Man must abide by God’s law, and man must judge the disobedient according to God’s law. God knows best--He knows the best way to govern.

Jesus stipulated the precise point of man’s relationship with God and his fellow man. Matthew 22:37-40 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. Based upon these two commandments, God’s Law is always justifiable and morally correct! God from the beginning, gave His created man a law that was morally, ethically, and spiritually correct. Politics did not play a part within the relationship of God to man, nor man to God. So it must be today--God is not political; Christians shouldn’t be, either!

There are some issues that cannot be. We, as created beings, cannot rise above God. No one can rise to a position of right and wrong that is above and beyond what God has given. When the media analysts shed their tears of contempt for the judicial system of our government and the onslaught of the dialogue is for the criminals and against the government it cannot make one barbaric or non-barbaric by their own standards. To argue that the means of punishment that God devised is incorrect is to suggest that man is of greater intelligence than God.

Our laws are legislated for the sake of justice. Therefore, if a law has another objective, then the law becomes meaningless. If we are civilized, we cannot condone an attitude of “survival of the fittest.” The inferior dies so that the superior might live--lions kill and eat antelope--whales swallow minnows--birds eat worms.

If it is a majority that makes right, then the larger the community the more correct are their laws. The size of the government does not justify the slaughter in Tiananmen Square--might does not make right. God’s legislated laws punish evil, and justice is served. So it is when man’s laws are based on the laws of God, innonence is protected, justice is served, and evil is punished because it is evil.

It’s not OK for someone to engage in a campaign of terror. Rightful law enforcement is inherent in our constitution which has its foundation in the Laws that God has given. Punishment, in accordance with the law, must serve two purposes. First, it punishes the one guilty of the crime committed. Thus, it impresses the transgression of the offense upon the offender. Second, it must serve as a deterrent to others who might contemplate the type of criminal actions against others. However, our society does not follow these tenets very well. We’ve allowed our senses regarding right and wrong to become altered. We’ve allowed our thinking to be skewed. We’ve come to accept that there are varying degrees of right and wrong (gray areas)--that has never worked before, and it will not work now. God was right then, and He is right now. Ecclesiastes 8:11 Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.

When society maintains itself with the righteous judgment contained in God’s law, then our society will be better and safer. Romans 13:4-5 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 thadoeth evil. 5 Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. This is God’s will regarding capital punishment.!

by Patrick D. Andrews

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