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On Capital Punishment, Part 2

Oct 12, 2007

It is clear that the Old Testament has ordained the death penalty as part of criminal justice in a fallen world. Human life is so valuable to Yahweh that one who takes innocent life must lose his own life as a consequence.

But does the coming of Jesus and the New Testament change all that? Many Christians feel that capital punishment is wrong, at least by New Testament standards, and whatever the Old Testament may have said about it, believers today cannot countenance it. Are they right? Did the teachings of Jesus mean the end of capital punishment? It is to these questions that this essay turns.

Bridging the Testaments

First a word about theological method. One of the bigger debates taking place amongst biblical scholars is the relationship between the Testaments. This debate has been especially pronounced in recent times, but it has been a very longstanding discussion throughout the history of church.

The issue really comes down to this: is there continuity, or discontinuity, between the Testaments? The short answer is to say there is both continuity and discontinuity. Some things contained in the Old Testament surely seem to carry over into the New, such as the reality of sin, God’s love and concern for mankind, and his attempt to have us become reconciled to him. These are constants which run throughout the Scriptures.

Other things seem to have been discontinued. For example, the various dietary laws given to the nation of Israel, and certain religious practices such as animal sacrifices, seem to no longer be in force in New Testament times. Indeed, the related questions of how we are to understand the Mosaic law today (what is its purpose and function for the church, what aspects of it carry over into the New, etc.) are also bound up in this whole discussion.

While some of the matters that are either continuous or not can be easily identified, the real problem arises with those things which are not so clear. That is where the real debate arises. Thus gallons of ink have been spilt on this and related vexatious questions.

How we answer these big issue questions will in large part determine how we think about the specific issue of capital punishment, and whether New Testament believers should continue to support it.

For example, let me consider just one issue. Often those believers opposed to capital punishment will argue that we are no longer under law, but under grace. They claim that the death penalty may have been alright in Old Testament times, but Jesus has freed us from the law, and shown us a new and better way.

Several responses can be made to this. First, the provision for capital punishment was made in what is known as the Noahic Covenant, which preceded the Mosaic Covenant by quite some time. So even if most of the Mosaic law is no longer binding for New Testament believers, this law precedes it.

Moreover, other aspects of that covenant made with Noah are still in effect. The promise of the continuation of the seasons is still in effect (Gen. 8:22), and the dread of man by animals is still in effect (Gen. 9:2). Finally, we are still made in God’s image, so presumably Gen. 9:6 is still in effect.

Jesus

But some believers argue that Jesus has put a whole different spin on things, and his call to love and show compassion rule out the death penalty. Several main passages or themes of Jesus are appealed to by those who argue against capital punishment.

The Sermon on the Mount in Matt. 5-7 is an important portion of Scripture to examine in this regard. Consider especially Matt. 5:38-41: “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles.”

On the surface, this seems like a pretty clear denunciation of the principle of a life for a life, or at least any form of retaliation. But several replies can be made. Jesus is clearly teaching a personal ethic here, which may in fact differ from the social ethic taught elsewhere, as in Romans 13. That is, we have responsibilities as individual believers, but states also have their God-given responsibilities, which include maintaining social justice and punishing wrong-doers.

It would appear that what Jesus was talking about here in fact is a case of personal retaliation. As such, it has no direct bearing on the question of whether the state has been authorised by God to carry out the death penalty. The text seems to say that I can turn my cheek if I am personally attacked, but it does not refer to a third party coming under attack. Can I protect an innocent person under attack?

If I am walking down the street with my wife, and a gang attacks her and seeks to rape her, do I have an obligation to defend her, in the interests of justice? It is one thing if I defer my right to self-defence (which is established in places like Exodus 22:2-3) and allow myself to be wronged or attacked. But it is another matter to allow the innocent to suffer injustice. While I may not be permitted to take the law into my own hands, and should defer to the police forces, there may well be times where I need to lift my hand to avert tragedy.

For example, if a crazed gunman walks into a crowded kindergarten, ready to start shooting, is it in fact wrong for me to seek to stop him from carrying out his murderous intent? I could wait till the police arrive, but a massacre may by then have occurred. So I am not sure if Jesus is denouncing the protection of third parties here. He may merely be saying that for the sake of the gospel, we should personally be willing to endure wrong.

Thus it seems that an interpersonal relationship is the subject here. Individuals may have this mandate of non-retaliation from Jesus, but the state is given a different mandate (as in Rom 1:1-7). As J. Budziszewski, writing in the Aug/Sept 2004 First Things put it, “Christ did teach personal forgiveness, but he never challenged the need for public justice. The supposition that personal forgiveness implies a requirement for universal amnesty is not merely weak but mistaken. Taken seriously, it would destroy all public authority, for if punishment as such is incompatible with forgiveness, then why stop with capital punishment? Must we not abolish prisons, fines, and even reprimands as well?”

Another key passage appealed to by Christian critics of capital punishment is the story of the woman caught in adultery as narrated in John 7:53-8:11. But it is not altogether clear if this passage can be used to argue against the death penalty. Several considerations arise.

First, (and this is not meant to be an evasion of the issue), as most Bibles will note somewhere, we simply do not have good manuscript evidence for this pericope. It seems to be a latter addition to the gospel. So whether it is in fact part of the inspired original text is a debatable point.

Second, it is questionable whether this passage negates the Old Testament law. In fact, it seems to stringently fulfill it. Jesus seems to be affirming the strict requirements of Old Testament justice here (according to Deut. 22:22-24, the man involved was also to be included in the punishment). Jesus implies that the accusers were at fault, and were violating the Old Testament provisions for such a case.

If absolute sinlessness was being required here, we would have no judicial system at all. And as Jesus stated in the Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 5:17), “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.”

And elsewhere Jesus seems to acknowledge the legitimacy of capital punishment. When Pilate tells Jesus that he has the power to either release him or crucify him, Jesus does not deny this, but simply tells him where this power has come from (John 19:10-11).

But still, the critics will argue that mercy triumphs over justice, and Jesus has fully renounced the old “eye for an eye” principle. What about mercy and grace, they ask? What about the cross? Does not the New Testament replace retribution with mercy?

Much can be said about this, but I must be brief. Mercy and grace may be free, but they are not cheap. They are very costly. God’s justice was not waived at the cross. Death and judgment were meted out, but on Christ. The reason why God is able to act graciously to believers is because the requirements of justice have been met in Christ. Justice was not for one moment minimised at Calvary. Instead, God’s grace as exhibited on the cross presupposes the fulfilling of justice. As Budziszewski again rightly points out, “The reconciliation of justice with mercy lies in the Cross. God does not balance mercy and justice; He accomplishes both to the full.”

The fact that we are now freely forgiven does not mean that somehow the needs of public justice have been swept away. Not only is God still a God of justice in New Testament times, but justice in this life must still be maintained. Thus the role of the state in dispensing justice has not been done away with by the coming of Jesus.

And passages such as Romans 12:14-21 which warn against revenge and retaliation do not contradict this. What Paul is arguing against there is personal revenge. We are not to take the law into our own hands and become vigilantes. It is the job of the state to fight injustice and punish lawbreakers.

Likewise the disciples seem to accept the legitimacy of state-sanctioned capital punishment. Paul says this to Festus in Acts 25:11: “If, however, I am guilty of doing anything deserving death, I do not refuse to die. But if the charges brought against me by these Jews are not true, no one has the right to hand me over to them. I appeal to Caesar!”

And we have already mentioned Romans 13 as a pivotal passage in relation to the role and authority of the state, and as God’s means of achieving social justice. God has ordained the state to enforce public justice and to punish those who do what is wrong. Peter makes the same case: “Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every authority instituted among men: whether to the king, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right.” (1 Peter 2:13-14).

Public justice has not been abolished with the coming of Christ, and the provision of capital punishment seems to remain today.

Conclusion

Much more could be said on this complex topic. Other biblical texts could have been discussed. And many arguments have not been addressed here; arguments looking at such issues as deterrence, the effectiveness of capital punishment, various social and philosophical objections, and so on. Perhaps these will be addressed in a future article.

I have tried to show that a Christian can, in all good faith support the death penalty. But I recognise that other believers will beg to differ. As I said at the outset, this is one of those sticky issues where there will be a legitimate difference of opinion amongst believers. Those who oppose the death penalty rightly appeal to aspects of the life and teachings of Jesus to support their case.

Those in favour will argue that other Biblical considerations also need to be taken into account, such as the role of the state in promoting justice and punishing evil. This may well be an issue in which believers must be willing to learn to live with differences.

In sum, to those believers who argue that a New Testament believer must oppose the death penalty, I suggest that to my mind the case has not yet been fully and persuasively made, and much counter-evidence can be appealed to.

See Part 1 here:

billmuehlenberg.com/2007/10/11/on-capital-punishment-part-1/

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24 Responses to On Capital Punishment, Part 2

  • Definitely a hot topic, and there are so many pro and con examples in the New testament, even the couple who sold their property and didn’t give the full amount to God, but kept a share themselves… what was their reward?: death. I’m still torn between wanting justice, and offering grace. Some good points in there to make me also realise that I’m not evil for sometimes backing capital punishment. Just accept a certain point of view without really thinking about it, and your article definitely makes you think more.
    Paul Rosenfeldt

  • Paul said “the state does not bear the sword for nothing”.

    True, but the state at that time would lawfully execute a soldier for deserting or sleeping on the job, for theft …

    If this passage means that Paul endorsed his government’s use of capital punishment; and since his government used capital punishment for crimes of less than willful murder; then Paul must have endorsed the use of capital punishment for crimes that are less than willful murder?

    True/false? Why/not?

    I am interested in your thoughts on this matter.

    Thanks, Dale Flannery

  • Dale,

    May I make the following observations in a spirit of gentleness. In endorsing the duty of the magistrate to execute justice Paul is not supporting the abuse of that power.
    Of course authorities get it wrong, and there are times when we must obey God before man. But you cannot use the abuse of power to deny its legitimate exercise.

    Another consideration from the New Testament is the counsel of John the Baptist;
    “And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said unto them, Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages”. (Lu 3:14).
    He does not suggest the profession of bearing arms was wrong, notwithstanding the charge to “do violence to no man”, for this may be understood as a rebuke of the abuse of power to extort money with menaces.

    John Nelson

  • The opposition to Capital Punishment has a strong materialistic humanist bias as well – if this is the only life we have then surely taking it away is the ULTIMATE crime. But in Matt 10:28 & 29 Jesus reminds us that the first death is not something to be feared – the second death is. A murderer duly and properly judged for his crime is more likely to repent when he faces iminent execution and the certainty of meeting his Maker – and then be saved from the Second eternal death, that our Lord warns us to avoid at all cost.
    Stephen White

  • My main reservation regarding capital punishment is this; Christ’s death atoned for the sins of shoplifters, car-jackers, adulterers (etc, etc, etc)…and murders! He offers life to those who reject it, and a second chance to those who deserve none. Capital punishment appears to contradict this.

    Capital punishment seems to me, to be man enacting harsh punishment on man. Old Testament Israel was, as you point out in an earlier comment, a theocracy. Essentially, God made the decisions (although this didnt always prove to be the case!). Any nation that uses capital punishment is deciding that it has the right and ability to judge a man’s crime(which it does), and the right deem death as an appropriate penalty(which is debatable). My point is that nations are, when making a decision about whether to end a life as punishment, are possibly stepping beyond their rightful responsibilities. I think that following the example of our Lord, we should offer grace and the opportunity for them to be regenerated.

    Simon Kennedy, VIC

  • Other important aspects of the Noahic covenant that I hope are still in effect are God’s promise to never again destroy the Earth with a flood, and permission for man to eat meat. If these have been revoked along with the death penalty then climate-change alarmists might be right about the rising seas, and we would all have to go vegetarian!

    Ewan McDonald, Victoria.

  • Thanks Simon

    As I mentioned, God is the one who ordained the death penalty, and it has never been clearly repudiated by anyone in the New Testament. God also set up the state to maintain justice and keep evil in check.

    I do not in the least see how Christ dying on the cross for our sins takes away the God-given responsibility of the state to maintain order, implement justice and punish wrongdoers. Paul makes this role of the state quite clear in Romans 13, as does Peter in 1 Peter 2.

    There is no contradiction in God offering individuals forgiveness based on the finished work of Christ, and the state exercising its delegated authority to do what it is called to do. I simply fail to see the logic here of this supposed contradiction.

    The biblical view of capital punishment has absolutely nothing to do with “man enacting harsh punishment on man”. Even in the Old Testament, the provisions for it ensured that personal bloodletting and family retaliation was kept out of it. But in the NT scheme, God has given the state responsibility to perform the tasks I just mentioned. It is thus not a case of one man’s harsh punishment, but of a state’s impartial administration of justice.

    Governments are not “stepping beyond their rightful responsibilities” by carrying out capital punishment. Indeed, it may be the exact opposite: they may be forsaking their God-given responsibilities when they don’t carry it out.

    I fail to see how following the example of our Lord precludes governments from carrying out the responsibilities they were divinely entrusted with.

    Your unstated assumption seems to be that forgiveness in Christ is incompatible with public justice. I fail to see the connection.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • I believe that there are crimes committed that are so horrendous that there really should be only one penalty, for example the Anita Cobby murder.
    I believe that the Bible also exhorts us to be extremely careful in exercising capital punishment, it tells us to be very certain, to me that rules out circumstantial evidence.
    When will our society start to consider the victim’s rights instead of rehabilitation of the criminal and the slap on the wrist penalties meted out. They happen so often now it has gone past the point of being ridiculous.
    Another consideration, albeit a secondary one, is the financial burden place on normal taxpayers in providing accomodation, clothing and sustenance to these people in reward for their crime.
    Jim Sturla

  • Fair enough, Bill. Thanks for responding. I obviously see a connection that you don’t. It doesn’t seem particularly Christ-like to end someone’s life as punishment for a crime, in my opinion. But, as you say, much biblical counter-evidence can be appealed to. This ‘biblical’ aspect that you have covered are very interesting, and most important in the context of any debate. As Paul Rosenfeldt said in an earlier comment, your article makes one think more about the topic, as opposed to blindly having an opinion. Thanks for tackling it.
    Simon Kennedy, VIC

  • Thanks Simon

    As I mentioned, believers can rightly differ on this issue. So simply because I am in favour of the death penalty does not mean others should be. We each must prayerfully study Scripture and be convinced in our own minds. As you say, the important thing is that we all engage these sorts of issues in more depth, and wrestle with the issues of the day from the Biblical worldview.

    But I would like to pick you up on just one point, if I may. Jesus is God. God instituted the death penalty. So how can one say that the death penalty “doesn’t seem particularly Christ-like”? This does not quite follow to my way of thinking. But thanks for the comments and your interaction.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Hi Bill

    John Nelson implies the use of the sword by the Roman government for mere theft is an ‘abuse of power’. I however don’t see the distinction in that text. Do you? If Paul is unconditionally endorsing the bearing of the sword perhaps he is not actually endorsing the death penalty as it was then being used by Rome (eg: for theft)? Your thoughts …

    I don’t want to be obscure, so I will tell you my thoughts, so you understand what I want to understand, and I would appreciate your comments.

    I view the Romans passage as Paul endorsing the right of government to govern, and to enforce penalties (even the death penalty) for the good of society as a whole. This is not a privilege but a responsibility required by God.

    Where my thoughts differ at the moment is that I believe the Genesis passage is a direction for humanity as a whole (ie: to be implemented by government not individuals).

    The tension is in the difference in how corporate humanity and the individual human should respond to the sinner.

    Government should punish wrongdoers, and is authorised to do so. ‘It does not have final say over whether you live or die for no reason’ – that reason is that God has established it for the purpose of reward and punishment.

    Individuals should forgive, love, serve, rebuke, exhort the sinner even though at the same time they may also have a societal obligation to ‘dob in a drug dealer’, use deadly force in self-defence or otherwise defend the victims of crime.

    Hence the nun in ‘Dead Man Walking’ was behaving in a Christ-like way, visiting the imprisoned, trying to assist, to offer comfort of God’s forgiveness. (If the movie character was not offering that, she should have been!). And the government was also fulfilling it’s own responsibility before God in maintaining order and punishing wrongdoers.

    My uneasiness is when Christians call on God (or on their government) to bring vengeance to those they hate and fear, that they are awfully close to tripping over both Proverbs 24:17-18 and Romans 12:19-21.

    I appreciate you helping me to work this out.

    Cheerio, Dale Flannery

  • Yet another point about the Noahic covenant is that it was not given to Israel only since this was many years before even Abraham. It was a covenant with Noah from whose family every nation on earth has descended. Therefore God’s command to protect human life by way of capital punishment is universal – it applies to every nation on earth.

    Ewan McDonald, Victoria.

  • Simon Kennedy

    He offers life to those who reject it, and a second chance to those who deserve none. Capital punishment appears to contradict this.

    Not at all. One of the two criminals crucified with Jesus recognized that his crimes were worthy of death, yet Jesus promised him that they would meet again that day in paradise (Luke 23:39–43).

    I discussed the pericope adulterae earlier on this site in Is it ever right to kill?

    Jonathan Sarfati, Brisbane

  • Thanks Dale

    As to Paul and Roman capital punishment, bear in mind the historical setting of Romans 13:1-7. Paul was writing this epistle under the reign of Nero, hardly a friend to the new faith. So he counsels his listeners to submit to the ruling authorities, since they are delegated by God. Of course elsewhere we learn that when state edicts run counter to what a believer must do – or not do – then disobedience is appropriate, although with the willingness to accept the consequences.

    So yes Paul here is telling believers in Rome to submit, and to accept the laws of the law, including such things as the death penalty – even for crimes other than murder. Later in church history when believers were able to participate in the political process, they then of course could work to change laws, including what was subject to the death penalty, and so on.

    Some might say that capital punishment is not made explicit in the text, nor in 1 Peter 2. But the use of the word “sword” tells us that at a bare minimum, the state has divine authority to use force to maintain the good and punish wrongdoing. But since the same term is used of death earlier in this epistle (Rom. 8:35) and is used of execution in Acts 12:2 and Rev. 13:10, it is quite reasonable to assume that Paul supports this understanding here.

    Recall that God has given both the church and the state their own differing set of roles and responsibilities. Believers have duties and obligations to both, as Jesus instructed us in Mark 12:17. So again, while I as an individual believer may seek to forgive and offer grace to a murderer, the state has its own divine obligations in relation to the murderer. The state may take into consideration any calls you may give for clemency, but it still must implement justice, which includes punishment for evil.

    Again, to confuse the believer’s Christian ethic with the state’s ethic is to invite trouble. Imagine if the state simply forgave and pardoned every criminal. Chaos would ensue. But God ordained the state to maintain both order and achieve justice. So the state cannot do what an individual Christian might do.

    As to your last remark, I am not quite sure what you mean, and I am not aware of anyone calling on God or the state to “bring vengeance”. In Romans 12 Paul makes it clear that individual believers cannot enact vengeance nor engage in personal retaliation, such as becoming a vigilante. God is the God of vengeance, and the state is given the role to carry out God’s vengeance and punishment on the wrongdoer. To support the state in this activity does not seem to be wrong.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • The problem I most see with capital punishment is not the state’s mandate to inflict it but its imperfect means of determining guilt. Under mosaic law, where there was some element of doubt there was the possibility of seeking the LORD for a verdict.

    I would loathe to be in the position of sending an innocent man to the gallows because of an imperfect criminal justice system. There have been plenty of “cut and dried” convictions for murder that were overturned much later because new evidence had come to light.

    Capital punishment was a common occurance in 17th century England where simply an act of theft was sufficient to send a man to the gallows. I believe that the actions of Christian reformers led to the eventual phasing out of hanging.

    Lennard Caldwell, QLD

  • Thanks Lennard

    Fair point. Of course the possibility of convicting an innocent person for any crime is an inherent part of living in a fallen world. If complete foolproof convictions are to be demanded, we would have to dispense with the criminal justice system altogether. That is why we speak of proof beyond a reasonable doubt in reaching a verdict in modern legal cases. Absolute certainty can rarely be achieved.

    But it appears that I need to pen another piece, this time dealing with the non-biblical arguments in this debate.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • I agree this is a emotive debate, and if I had lost a loved one in the Bali bombings or events of 7/11, for example, I would be torn between wanting justice, and as a Christian, loving and praying for one’s enemies (Matt 5:44).

    In response to Simon’s comment that “capital punishment seems to me, to be man enacting harsh punishment on man”, may I say that God was the One who instituted capital punishment (Gen. 9:6).

    The Old Testament law commanded the death penalty for various acts: murder (Ex. 21;12); kidnapping (Ex. 21:16); bestiality (Ex. 22:19); adultery (Lev. 20:10); homosexuality (Lev. 20:13); prostitution (Lev. 21:9) and rape (Dt. 22:24,25), and several other crimes. However, God often showed mercy when the death penalty was due. For instance, David committed adultery and murder, yet God did not demand his life (2 Sam. 11:1-5, 12:13). Ultimately, each and every sin we commit should result in the death penalty (Rom. 6:23), yet, thankfully, God demonstrates His love for us in not condemning us (Rom. 5:8).

    God allows capital punishment. But at the same time, God does not always demand the death penalty when it is due. What should a Christian’s view on the death penalty be, then? We must remember that God has instituted capital punishment in His Word; therefore it would be presumptuous of us to think that we could institute a higher standard than He or be more kind than He. God has the highest standard of any being since He is perfect. Therefore, he loves to an infinite degree and has mercy to an infinite degree.

    We must also recognise that God has given the government the authority to determine when capital punishment is due (Gen. 9:6; Rom. 13:1-7). It is unbiblical to claim that God opposes the death penalty in all instances – for example, for being a homosexual or prostitute in today’s Australian society. Christians should never rejoice when the death penalty is employed, but at the same time, we should not fight against the government’s right to execute the perpetrators of the most evil of crimes.

    Glenn Timmins, Vic.

  • Hi, Glenn,
    Thanks for that; I really like what I just read.

    I think you have indirectly made the point I was trying to make when I said “capital punishment seems to me, to be man enacting harsh punishment on man”. I feel that, in a society where God is not at the center of a functioning legal system it is very much man punishing man. When God was central to Israel’s legal system, God could, and did, call upon capital punishment to see justice done. When we remove God from the legal system, the debate becomes simply a matter of whether the state should kill it’s citizens or not.

    Simon Kennedy, VIC

  • However, Paul said that the pagan Roman government “does not bear the sword in vain” (Romans 13). So capital punishment doesn’t require a theocracy.
    Jonathan Sarfati, Brisbane

  • I watched a show on TV last night concerning the Greenough Family murder.
    A man violently slaughtered 4 members of a family.
    Not only did he kill the mother but he raped and violated her dead body.
    This man after intensive calmly confessed to police and without remorse related the actions that he had taken.
    He was subsequently sentenced to life but is allowed to apply for parole in the year 2013.
    That means that this monster could be released when he attains the age of 44.
    What about the people he killed, what about the families who have to live with the results of his actions?
    Are we more interested in rehabilitation of the perpetrator at the expense of the victims?
    Don’t the rights of the victims mean anything?
    Who is more valuable, the criminal or the victim?
    Jim Sturla

  • Gruess Gott Bill!

    What I find interesting in the article- actually both articles, is the reference to the acceptance of Christianity and full repentence by the prisoner when their suffering becomes imminant. Many probably do offer up “true” and “heartfelt” conversions and confessions, and many probably don’t.
    Its a wonderful thing to know that as a child of the Heavenly Father, that if we do such a thing, as break one of his Laws, and end up being punished so- that we do have that priveledge to confess and recieve his forgiveness. That is the wonder of it. A totally perfect person, who has maintained a spotless life- feels they have no need to speak to their beloved Lord before passing the curtain- whereas, a person who has fallen, lower than the lowliest, through fear, and hopefully some understanding, comes to the Lord and begs for his forgiveness.

    Shouldn’t we all be that way? Are we not all lowly sinners?

    Sometimes- humility is the hardest thing to aquire… and the most beautiful thing to achieve.

    A lowly prisioner- knowing he is going to suffer death, realizes this- and if he is truly penitent, and has converted, realizes that he is going to the Father, and that the Father, loves him as much as the rest of his children.

    At least- that is my hope and faith.

    ..So back to work on humility…:P

    J. C. Wolfgang A. Mozart

  • See this by Steve Farrell on the death penalty: archive.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2006/6/28/170302.shtml

    and a conservative case for capital punishment: archive.newsmax.com/commentmax/get.pl?a=2000/10/26/083901

    Paul Dewet

  • I know this is an old article but I have only just read it. God didn’t kill David for his sin but he did judge him harshly: God took the child of the relationship, David was at war, on the run and had a dysfunctional family all because of this sin. As David was a “Christian” death would have been much more merciful than the punishment he got, but God had other plans.
    Kylie Anderson

  • Thanks guys

    Above I offer the biblical and theological case for capital punishment. If you want to see the political, philosophical, social and ‘secular’ case for it, see these two new articles:

    billmuehlenberg.com/2012/05/29/the-case-for-capital-punishment-part-one/
    billmuehlenberg.com/2012/05/29/the-case-for-capital-punishment-part-two/

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

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