Josh Nichols (Oklahoma City, OK) wroteat 10:09am on November 7th, 2006
Good explanation, Josh. I am going to make a series of comments as the comment block is only allows a certain number of characters. Here we go. The death penalty is
something I have struggled wiht for a long time...and will probably continue to struggle with it. I admittedly am caught between a rock and a hard place with this issue. I am one who would never feel comfortable sentencing someone to death (as a judge or juror). I don't want that decision on me. But, at the same time, I don't lose any sleep when others do it
That's bad, I know...but, it is not so much that I am being hypocritical, but more so that I am at a loss on where to stand with this issue. Am I out for revenge if I am for it? Am I in opposition of my government if I am against it? I appreciate your comments as it gives me a little more perspective. However, the Saddam situation, in my opinion, doesn't fit with the "revenge" scenerio. I think many people would like to see him dead out of revenge, but others for the protection of people. Your right, God will grant judgment, but he has also put people in place to grant judgment in the legal sense while on earth, not for revenge, but for justice and protection.
The Saddam situaiton is one that throws me more into
confusion as I fear for the people as long as he is still alive, but at the same time, could I grant such a verdict myself - I don't know. But, point being, I don't think it is always about revenge. I do like that we don't execute immediately because it gives people a chance to find God. And this is one situation we are not to place judgment. For example Jeffrey Dahmer (spelling??)
studied with a Christian preacher and was baptized for the remission of sins. Some say it was a facade. I personally disagree because someone who has commmitted the crimes to the extent of his knows they aren't getting out of prison or reducing a sentence because they found God. Despite my opinion or anyone elses, that is for God to determine an no one else
To close, your thoughts are intriguing and good to know as I think many Christians shy away from the topic. I appreciate your willingness to share and challenge your readers. It has definately helped me realize that I need to do some more studying on the matter.
William Chip Kooi
wroteat 2:11pm on November 7th, 2006
2 cents worth: Christians should oppose the death penalty because the death penalty makes a judgment about a person that only God is qualified to make -- that he/she is beyond God's redemptive power. Further, I think even the Old Testament teaches that life is God's and God's alone both to give and to take away (rightfully). So, though at times in the OT God orders killings and wars, these episodes do not authorize us, without a
direct communication from God (as Joshua, Saul, David, etc., seem to have had) to take another human life. Or so it seems to me. Chip
Travis Campbell wroteat 5:38pm on November 7th, 2006
are we not also told to protect each other though? on the saddam note: what if he were sentenced to prison and used it as a recruiting ground? wouldn't that endanger more lives?on
a side note: i don't know if i really believe that the law follows christian guidelines...in America the law does not care about fairness, its main concern is being just. many politicians that claim to be christian leaders do it simply to further their own ambitions not to further the mission of christianity.
Josh Nichols (Oklahoma City, OK) wroteat 9:23pm on November 7th, 2006
Response to Chip: Once again, my mind has been sparked by great comments. Chip, your comment about the judgment the DP makes - one being beyone God's redemptive power - I struggle with this one. The DP is the maximum penalty for a crime, and it is typically carried out after a very lengthy stay. Life without parole is next in line, that I am aware of. Thus, does someone deserve a reduced sentence, whether DP or Life w/o Parole or Community Service, because they find God and
obey the Gospel? If I read Romans right, man is without excuse when it comes to God. Thus, our responsibility is to spread the word, theirs is to seek it & obey it once found. Although I'm still working thru where I stand with the DP. I don't view it as judging one's ability to be redeemed. Actually, if the
executions happened immediately...that would really help me with my stance, & I would agree more with this specific part of your comment. Anyways, thanks for the challenging comments - I love this stuff.