Blog Template Theology of the Body: Christians and Capital Punishment

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Christians and Capital Punishment

We believe that God calls to the human person, and thus human life is sacred from conception to natural death; furthermore, Christ gave His life for all sinners to redeem and forgive them.

So I wrote this for a friend a few weeks ago. It was the best I could do...

As a pro-life lawyer who believes in promoting a culture of life, I appplaud any decision not to enforce the death penalty.

Our culture's maintenance of the death penalty is patently unbiblical. In ancient Israel, the death penalty was permitted by God as a manifestation of His direct rule in the Hebrew theocracy, and as a necessary expedient in the life of a nomadic people whose wanderings did not allow for the cultural good of a prison system. The death penalty cannot justly or righteously persist in a nation goverened by popular election, rather than the direct rule of God, to whom human life belongs; and furthermore, the death penalty is by no means a necessary expedient in our culture, where we have plenty of facilities to contain criminals.

Furthermore, the Biblical description of Israel's use of the death penalty in cases of rebellion against parents, fornication, and impurity is not enforced in our society; thus our arbitrary selection of the death penalty for capital crimes only does not apply the Biblical description properly, and hence is unbiblical.

The taking of sacred human life, which is invested with God by inviolable dignity from conception to natural death, in a society where capital punishment is neither necessary nor expedient, is intolerable.