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Discussion Forum : General Topics : Capital Punishment

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saved_matt
Member



Joined: 2005/7/3
Posts: 233
Lancashire, England

 Capital Punishment

As far as i can tell this topic hasn't been discussed in any great depth on this site, you are welcome to correct me if i am wrong (please post the link too).

Capital punishment has become quite upopular in our modern 'civilized' society. But it is blatent from the OT laws that capital punishment was the prescribed judgement for certain offences such as adultery, murder, idol worship, homosexual behaviour, witchcraft, even gathering sticks on the sabbath (Num 15:32-36)

But should capital punishment be upheld by the church today? The best case against CP would be Jesus and the woman caught in adultery in John 8, 'Let him who is without sin cast the first stone' said our Lord to the angry mob who wanted the woman put to death under the law layed out in Lev 20:10.

That surely should be the end of the case, Jesus forgave the woman, He taught us to forgive our neighbours when they wrong us and to love our neighbours as ourselves, end of story...?

what about Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5?

Is CP still justice in the eyes of God or is our human judicial system so messed up that we should leave CP alone in case we're wrong?

I look forward to your responses

matt


_________________
matt

 2005/12/18 16:19Profile
groh_frog
Member



Joined: 2005/1/5
Posts: 432


 Re: Capital Punishment

What's the point of CP?

I believe in two kinds of punishment for crimes, and I'll get into why in a minute. For lack of better wording, they are proportional and disproportional punishment.

Some crimes are temporary. They have a victim, but it's something that doesn't matter- it's not life-changing to the victim, life goes on. These crimes deserve a proportional discipline. Example: If you're caught trying to steal $100, you should pay back $400. Can't afford it? Lots of community service due back. It isn't just discipline, but it makes an example, showing that crime isn't acceptable, stopping other potential crimes in their tracks.

Some crimes, however, are never justifiable, and will change a victim's life. These deserve a disporportional punishment, namely CP. I'm talking about rape, murder, child molestation, etc. There is no reason that this should happen other than a person's lust, depravity, etc. But when it's allowed to go on, there's a problem. When CP becomes the penalty for such a crime, it provides a discipline and an example, stunting these crimes.

In the OT, CP is an instructed punishment for many crimes. Adultery, Witchcraft, etc. It's a discipline- a penalty to be paid, and it's also stopping further lawlessness in its tracks, both by this perpetrator, and others who see.

Basically, you have to ask why you would have CP to begin with. What would it acccomplish? I think it would be great if we could rehab every child molestor, but (1) it's unrealistic, and (2) it allows lawlessness to go unpunished, undeterred. It's about order. Sometimes, you have to make an example, proportionate or not.

Now look at this crime of rape. That woman will never recover. NEVER recover! That single lustful (or whatever inspired it) event will change her life- her confidence, her self-worth, her relationship with others, everything. It will tear apart families.

How do you make a punishment for this? Jail a person for a few years? There is a victim that will live in a mental prison for the rest of their lives, and a penalty must be paid.

It's about order. You can never make up for some things, and those things must be deterred. Is it a happy thing? No. Like war is some respects. Never nice and clean. But it's so necessary.

Now, I should say that I don't see my views as becoming reality in the future. The U.S. itself is becoming more and more liberal, justifying lawlessness as necessity, and will continue to do so. That's the spiraling depravity of man, as we continue to "increase in wickedness" (Gen 6)

Grace and Peace...

 2005/12/18 22:25Profile
Eliel
Member



Joined: 2005/12/13
Posts: 15
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

 Re:

Quote:
What's the point of CP?

I believe in two kinds of punishment for crimes, and I'll get into why in a minute. For lack of better wording, they are proportional and disproportional punishment.

Some crimes are temporary. They have a victim, but it's something that doesn't matter- it's not life-changing to the victim, life goes on. These crimes deserve a proportional discipline. Example: If you're caught trying to steal $100, you should pay back $400. Can't afford it? Lots of community service due back. It isn't just discipline, but it makes an example, showing that crime isn't acceptable, stopping other potential crimes in their tracks.

Some crimes, however, are never justifiable, and will change a victim's life. These deserve a disporportional punishment, namely CP. I'm talking about rape, murder, child molestation, etc. There is no reason that this should happen other than a person's lust, depravity, etc. But when it's allowed to go on, there's a problem. When CP becomes the penalty for such a crime, it provides a discipline and an example, stunting these crimes.



Fallacy #1 - Capital Punishment causes a lower crime rate.

There's simply no proof to back this up. It seems logical, but the world often isn't. Start investigating studies done on Capital Punishment objectively, and you'll find that the studies done are fairly mixed as to the effect CP has on the crime rate for dangerous crimes - some will increase, some will decrease, some will flatline.

Please, if you're going to make comments like these, at least TRY to justify it with studies, even if they are from biased pro-CP sites.

Quote:
In the OT, CP is an instructed punishment for many crimes. Adultery, Witchcraft, etc. It's a discipline- a penalty to be paid, and it's also stopping further lawlessness in its tracks, both by this perpetrator, and others who see.

Basically, you have to ask why you would have CP to begin with. What would it acccomplish? I think it would be great if we could rehab every child molestor, but (1) it's unrealistic, and (2) it allows lawlessness to go unpunished, undeterred. It's about order. Sometimes, you have to make an example, proportionate or not.



Now, this I will agree with, provisionally. The truth is the rate of Child Molestor rehabilitation isn't great, and while some do get rehab'd, some don't. But is that a sign of the depravity of our generation, or a sign that the methods we use are ineffective? I'll leave you to ponder over that.

Also, as to it being the prescribed punishment in the OT, I believe adulterers are also prescribed that punishment, but we don't stone them. From my reading of the Law, that was about cleanliness and being set apart for God, so that no sin would be part of God's people, the Israelites. But we now have Jesus' blood to cleanse us of all unrighteousness, and there is a new covenant, superior to the old.

Final note: If you're big on ceremonial cleanliness, are the clothers you're wearing of one type of material, and not a blend of any sort? I didn't think so.

Quote:
Now look at this crime of rape. That woman will never recover. NEVER recover! That single lustful (or whatever inspired it) event will change her life- her confidence, her self-worth, her relationship with others, everything. It will tear apart families.



I seem to remember someone saying something like "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." May be my imagination though.

Not that I don't feel it is a horrific crime, but that I think you downplay the power of God in that paragraph.

Quote:
How do you make a punishment for this? Jail a person for a few years? There is a victim that will live in a mental prison for the rest of their lives, and a penalty must be paid.



Not only doubting the power of God, but also subjective, basing all cases on a hypothetical in your head, or perhaps one or two case studies in your head.

Quote:
It's about order. You can never make up for some things, and those things must be deterred. Is it a happy thing? No. Like war is some respects. Never nice and clean. But it's so necessary.

Now, I should say that I don't see my views as becoming reality in the future. The U.S. itself is becoming more and more liberal, justifying lawlessness as necessity, and will continue to do so. That's the spiraling depravity of man, as we continue to "increase in wickedness" (Gen 6)



Funny, the Liberals seem to think that America is going the opposite way to what you think. Funny how your viewpoint affects your view on things...

As for me, I used to be firmly against Capital Punishment, but now I'm heading towards supporting it. However, that doesn't mean I support quite a few of your statements, as they are obviously ill-informed.

May the Lord of Heavens Armies strech out His arm and make His truth known to all men.


_________________
Matthew Peterson

 2005/12/18 23:44Profile
Warrior4Jah
Member



Joined: 2005/7/5
Posts: 382
The Netherlands

 Re: Capital Punishment

A few thoughts about Capital Punnishment..
What if someone kidnapped a child and murdered it not long after.. this person would deserve and receive Capital Punnishment according to many people. According to the Old Testament such a person deserves death, according to the New Testament such a person deserves hell. (just like everyone who doesn't know Christ)

I think its better to have people locked away for life then put them to death. Why? Because sentencing capital punnishment on someone would (in many cases) just have him/her end up in hell real quick. God will judge everyone. Imprisioning someone for the rest of his life (or many years) gives a person time to repent and find Christ so that he or she might be saved.

[b]Hebrews 10:31[/b]
[i]It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.[/i]

I hope I will be able to forgive and even bless someone who takes away, murders or molests a loved one. Hopefully I will never encounter this on my path. But if it happens I hope that my flesh and carnal thoughts may be overcome by the Holy Spirit, silencing the cry for revange.

[b]Romans 12:19[/b]
[i]19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. 20 Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. 21 Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.[/i]


_________________
Jonathan Veldhuis

 2005/12/19 8:08Profile
saved_matt
Member



Joined: 2005/7/3
Posts: 233
Lancashire, England

 Re:

thank you all for contributing,

I am aware that this could quickly turn into a dispensational argument about what laws we are to obey and which were fulfilled by Jesus, ie. the dietry laws and the laws about wearing clothes of different materials i noticed Eliel mentioned. This is not my intention for this forum.

what does scripture teach about CP in the New Coveneant era or has it left it a grey area? Is CP down to personal preferacne i noticed Warrior4Jah quoted Romans 12:19-21 surely your not implying that crimes should go unpunished because [i]'Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord'[/i] Yes the Lord will recompense but we are also to fight against lawlessness, we are to be salt and light, in a dark generation, we are to be holy as God is holy in an unholy world, we are to resist the devil not ignore him and say God will deal with him one day.

A few people have mentioned how being given life in prison gives a criminal the oportunity to repent and come to Christ, but this also happens on death row, i dont know if it happens more or less or the same perhaps Eliel does.

I'm just interested in whether the NT teaches over ridingly one way or the other or leaves it for us to decide ourselves as the Lord leads,

what saith the scriptures?

matt


_________________
matt

 2005/12/19 14:18Profile
Compton
Member



Joined: 2005/2/24
Posts: 2732


 Re: black and white

Quote:
what saith the scriptures?



Often this issue becomes hazy because people mix feelings of personal vengeance and unforgiveness with the responsibility of government to provide security and law. If we confuse our personal reaction to violent crime with the government’s responsibility to violent crime...we will think the bible is schizophrenic.

As a Godly man and citizen I am to forgive my enemies and should not take revenge for their crimes into my own hands.

"...avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head."

As a Godly ruler I am to provide justice and security for those who are lawfully refraining from taking vigilante vengeance on their enemies. Government is entrusted with the authority to defeat evil that threatens good. The focus of this power is not about affecting social statistics...it is to reciprocate against specific and individual injustice.

" 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. "

Notice how the latter verses "make good" on God's promise within the first verses. So, if you are against Capital Punishment then by all means help prevent it by not committing a Capital Offense!

MC


_________________
Mike Compton

 2005/12/19 14:45Profile
philologos
Member



Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

We did discuss this briefly some time ago under the heading of [url=http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?viewmode=flat&order=0&topic_id=712&forum=35&post_id=&refresh=Go]the death penalty.[/url]


_________________
Ron Bailey

 2005/12/19 17:34Profile
rocklife
Member



Joined: 2004/4/1
Posts: 323
usa

 Re: Capital Punishment

personally, with just the little bit that I know about, it looks good if life sentences were the ultimate punishment, let God end their time as He sees fit. The prison should have humane treatment, but isolation as needed, and complete bible opportunities.

that may just be wishful thinking, I wish they would all turn away from sin and turn to God too :) God has His reasons, we should continue to pray for our leaders and governments and reach out to sinners.


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Jina

 2005/12/19 19:19Profile
letsgetbusy
Member



Joined: 2004/9/28
Posts: 957
Cleveland, Georgia

 Re:

I could probably be convinced either way on this subject. The most powerful argument against would be the possible salvation of the individual while incarcarated. The strongest pro argument I heard was from Ray Comfort. He explained that Jesus believed in justice, and therefore accepted the death penalty on himself for sin. Pretty convincing, but I have such a heart for people getting saved before they die that I wouldn't want to pull anyone's plug.


_________________
Hal Bachman

 2005/12/19 21:57Profile









 Re:

Quote:

Compton wrote:
Quote:
what saith the scriptures?



".....................As a Godly ruler I am to provide justice and security for those who are lawfully refraining from taking vigilante vengeance on their enemies. Government is entrusted with the authority to defeat evil that threatens good. The focus of this power is not about affecting social statistics...it is to reciprocate against specific and individual injustice.

" 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. "

Notice how the latter verses "make good" on God's promise within the first verses. So, if you are against Capital Punishment then by all means help prevent it by not committing a Capital Offense!

MC
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Steve's response:

I agree. It is the Governments job to provide justice- a life for a life. It is God's job to forgive if the convicted man has repented of his sin, and prayed for forgiveness, and accepted Christ as his Savior.

As an injured party in the convicted man's/woman's crime, it is my duty to forgive him as well, in order to go on with life. As Compton so aptly stated:

"As a Godly man and citizen I am to forgive my enemies and should not take revenge for their crimes into my own hands."

Whether or not the convicted criminal has accepted Christ as his savior, the death penalty still applies. Only Jesus Christ knows the heart of man, and Governmnet's job is to protect society. If the criminal is saved and his life is terminated, he will immediately be in the presence of the Lord. If he is not saved, he will immediately be in hell.

That is what the scripture teache me.

If I look in the Old Testament, the only people that were spared were people that killed another by an accident- maybe an axe flew off it's handle while a person was chopping down a tree and killed another man. That person had a chance if he could run fast enough to a city of refuge. By explaining his story to the Chief Priest of that city, and it was accepted by the Priest, he would be safe from the brothers and blood brothers of the person that he had accidentally killed. He would have to stay in that city to be safe from those that wanted blood. Only when the Chief Priest died could he enter society again, and return to his home town in safety.

Ancient Israel had no prisons. All capital punishment was dealt with by the brothers, and blood covenant brothers, of the dead party.


God bless,

Stever

 2005/12/20 1:05





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