Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach. For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.
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Hi, Pastor John :
I have (at least) two questions. The first is on the death penalty. At school, you know, they have flyers advertising discussions on various subjects, on anything from abortion (yuck) to the war in Iraq to, of course, the death penalty. All the time I hear people getting all “intellectual-sounding” and essentially saying (as I find this is how “intellectual people” generally like to think), “It’s a woman’s right to abortion! War is bad - and the Iraqis have their right to be Muslims! The death penalty should be abolished!” I’ve thought that since God ordained the death penalty for sin that it is justified even today (though I am curious as to how many people are wrongly accused and sentenced to death - but I guess that is in the hands of God, no?). Actually, I think it’s a mercy that it is not imposed more widely than it currently is!
God has ordained earthly governments and empowered them to execute evil doers. When any nation becomes so “sophisticated” that it refuses to carry out that obligation, it cannot long survive. It will decay from within.
I believe that in the latter part of Solomon’s Wisdom, I speak of the goodness of quickly punishing sin. This includes imposing the death penalty. In the Bible, all that God was interested in was exposing who was guilty in a capital crime. When that was ascertained, the offender was executed within the hour. That kind of swift punishment will deter criminals by putting real fear in them. The way capital punishment is carried out in this country, sometimes decades after the crime is committed, is counter-productive. It encourages sin because those with a criminal mind are not going to fear dying twenty-five years after the crime is committed.
Men are imperfect judges. But if they would do right, God would help them make right judgments. Good discernment is one of the benefits of living a sincere, morally upright life.