April 20, 2007

Should a Christian Support the Death Penalty?

Posted in politics, religion, scripture, theology at 1:40 am by Jerry

Yes – if they think the bible is a revelation from God.

The theology of bible-believing Christians requires “a life for a life”. Yet many Christians don’t believe that today’s criminals should get the death penalty because even though everyone deserves the death penalty, Christ took their place on the cross. But through this support of Christ’s atonement on the cross, Christians in fact, do support the death penalty.

So, to these Christians, withholding the death penalty from criminals is not because justice is better met through a lifetime of incarceration. Rather, it’s because one man took the death, that everyone deserves, upon himself.

Does this motive make you as uneasy as it makes me? Personally, if I was the criminal being spared the death penalty, I would prefer it be done by those who DON’T think I really deserved it anyway.



  1. Eric said,

    Hey Jerry, I agree (are you surprised?)
    Just an example of the kind of reasoning one deals with from that book. Kill people who kill people because killing people is wrong. Suppose I need to hit my kids to teach them hitting is wrong too.

  2. Jerry said,

    Hey Eric,

    It’s interesting how much debate can be made over whether or not the bible is “inerrant,” literally true, a revelation from God, or whatever. But putting aside the question of its historical accuracy, just looking at the ethical implications of its most fundamental teachings makes me wonder how I could ever have agreed to live by its ideology.

  3. isaak said,

    well… I think many Christians oppose the death penalty because they want to practice forgiveness as per Christ, not really for the very specific and scholastic reason you describe. The idea of Christ, I think, involves forgiveness. Christ said, “let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” And of course, “Vengence is mine, sayeth the Lord.” The “eye for an eye” thing is in opposition to Christ’s “turn the other cheek.” The bible, after all, is multi-voiced, produced by many authors over long periods of time, and chasing its reasonings around is a spurious sort of endeavor.

  4. Jerry said,

    Hi isaak,

    If you’re saying the bible is unreasonable, I agree. Yet, scholars or not, Christians consider the bible to be the ultimate guide to truth. With contradictions such as the “idea of Christ” simultaneously involving forgiveness AND punitive measures (including the everlasting one), it’s no wonder so much faith is required to hold onto these mysteries.

    And don’t you think it’s strange that even God doesn’t practice what he preaches when he says, “turn the other cheek”? Since God is said to be without sin, why would he care to cast the first stone, or take “vengence,” or require a living sacrifice for a crime committed?


  5. Eric said,

    I know I know!
    To answer your question, “Since God is said to be without sin, why would he care to cast the first stone, or take “vengence,” or require a living sacrifice for a crime committed? ”
    Because the bible IS NOT the inspired word of god but only a book written men, violent, uneducated, superstitious and entirely WITHOUT morality or a sense what ‘truth’ is.

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