Death penalty

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    Death penalty

    Do you think most Christians believe in the death penalty? Today in Cincinnati there were some signs posted and protests going on that made me think of this question.

    Personally, I think God has given the government the authority to carry out capital punishment but am curious what others think.
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    As a Catholic, that person chose to take another's life. He knew the rules and knew the consequences. I'm OK with him getting executed. Just wish we didn't have to pay for all of those years he was incarcerated.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PP1 View Post
    Do you think most Christians believe in the death penalty? Today in Cincinnati there were some signs posted and protests going on that made me think of this question.

    Personally, I think God has given the government the authority to carry out capital punishment but am curious what others think.
    I sure hope not because there is no way to correct any mistakes made.

    Given authority!!?? Are you saying every Government in the world has been given the authority to kill by a higher power?

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    I can’t defend it by my faith or New Testament theology.

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    There is this paragraph in the book of Romans 13, which is pretty much where I get this idea. I’ll list it below, it’s only about five verses. Keep in mind though it is the assumption that the governing authority is a fair and just one. Maybe not necessarily righteous, but fair and not evil.

    “1Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. 4For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring
    punishment on the wrongdoer. 5Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.”

    So based on this I think that God is OK with the death penalty. I also think he’s OK with life in prison for specific crimes in lieu of the death penalty.

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    In Catholic teaching the state has the recourse to impose the death penalty upon criminals convicted of heinous crimes if this ultimate sanction is the only available means to protect society from a grave threat to human life. However, this right should not be exercised when other ways are available to punish criminals and to protect society that are more respectful of human life.
    —USCCB, A Culture of Life and the Penalty of Death

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    Quote Originally Posted by PP1 View Post
    There is this paragraph in the book of Romans 13, which is pretty much where I get this idea. I’ll list it below, it’s only about five verses. Keep in mind though it is the assumption that the governing authority is a fair and just one. Maybe not necessarily righteous, but fair and not evil.

    “1Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. 4For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring
    punishment on the wrongdoer. 5Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.”

    So based on this I think that God is OK with the death penalty. I also think he’s OK with life in prison for specific crimes in lieu of the death penalty.
    This is the Bible quote the European Monarchs used to to justify the divine right of kings throughout the Middle Ages. It’s interpretation seems to have evolved and is still disputed how should ultimately be interpreted.

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    According to the Bible, capital punishment originated with God in His laws given to Israel.

    But in the New Covenant, God's people are not confined to a single nation-state, so there is no specific instructions given.

    I am for it in the most obvious instances, but ultimately, I think each state should decide for itself.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PP1 View Post
    There is this paragraph in the book of Romans 13, which is pretty much where I get this idea. Iíll list it below, itís only about five verses. Keep in mind though it is the assumption that the governing authority is a fair and just one. Maybe not necessarily righteous, but fair and not evil.

    ď1Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. 4For the one in authority is Godís servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are Godís servants, agents of wrath to bring
    punishment on the wrongdoer. 5Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.Ē

    So based on this I think that God is OK with the death penalty. I also think heís OK with life in prison for specific crimes in lieu of the death penalty.
    The way this is written it appears to be for political power over the population by the use of religious doctrine. Thatís why some people feel the Bible is written by mortal men for political reasons and power. I donít know, but verses like this sure make it appear that way. Men saying whoever rebels against those in authority will bring Godís wrath, well....thatís pretty self serving and handy. The ancient Pharaohs did very well in their own religion using these same methods. Built a few nice Pyramids from the labor of the those that didnít have a direct message connecting them to the gods.

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    It's easier for Catholics to be human and rationalize our inconsistency in regards to being anti-abortion and pro-DP than to be consistent being truly pro-life.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ColonelPops View Post
    It's easier for Catholics to be human and rationalize our inconsistency in regards to being anti-abortion and pro-DP than to be consistent being truly pro-life.
    It’s about a choice. A fetus doesn’t have the choice to stay alive when it is sentenced to death.
    I’d consider my self anti abortion rather than pro life.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TAC View Post
    It’s about a choice. A fetus doesn’t have the choice to stay alive when it is sentenced to death.
    I’d consider my self anti abortion rather than pro life.
    The Church doesn’t support equivocation, correct ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ColonelPops View Post
    It's easier for Catholics to be human and rationalize our inconsistency in regards to being anti-abortion and pro-DP than to be consistent being truly pro-life.
    I'm Catholic. I'm 100% pro-life. No death penalty. No abortion. Both are evil.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PP1 View Post
    There is this paragraph in the book of Romans 13, which is pretty much where I get this idea. I’ll list it below, it’s only about five verses. Keep in mind though it is the assumption that the governing authority is a fair and just one. Maybe not necessarily righteous, but fair and not evil.

    “1Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. 4For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring
    punishment on the wrongdoer. 5Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.”

    So based on this I think that God is OK with the death penalty. I also think he’s OK with life in prison for specific crimes in lieu of the death penalty.
    I think Paul’s words are not carte Blanche for the Death Penalty.

    So God approves of the hanging of Dietrich Bonhoeffer? I don’t think so.

    When scripture is interpreted through the lens of Christ and the cross, I don’t think the death penalty is supported. If you want to support it by some other criteria, fine. But one section of Romans juxtaposed vs the rest of the NT does not add up IMO.

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    When considering whether earthly government's hold any authority, I'd add Jesus's example of, giving to Ceaser what belongs to Ceaser and give to God what belongs to God.

    The Roman empire was a pagan nation spreading terror throughout the ancient world, yet Jesus recognized their earthly authority. Even His trial and crucifixion were examples of subjugating to the local authority.

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