Skip to main content

Handling Christians' Objections Towards the Death Penalty

I remembered having some trouble with my views on death penalty with Roman Catholics. What should have surprised me or not is that some Christians who are truly saved object to the death penalty. They have various reasons which I will address. Part of being a Christian means correcting one's brethren of their mistakes. 

Objection #1: The death penalty is Old Testament law

Some Christians think that the death penalty is just an Old Testament law that got repealed in the New Testament. This is a problem when they fail to study their Bible properly. While they have gotten their soteriology right, they question the conversion of people who claim to be Christians but evidence suggest otherwise but they are against the death penalty. They say that death penalty may belong to the ceremonial law. They may think that Jesus abolished the death penalty in John 8:1-11. But do they know the context? The problem is not the death penalty. The Pharisees should have brought the adulterous woman to the Roman government and not to Jesus. The whole process was a mock trial. In the law concerning adultery both the man and the woman were to be stoned (Deuteronomy 22:22). Jesus was showing people about the foolishness of taking the Law into your hands. 

The New Testament still supported death penalty. Acts 25:11 has Paul not refusing to die if he ever committed any deadly crime. In Romans 13:4 the government is tasked to bear the sword. The sword is not for planting onions but for defensive killing. The government is tasked to punish evildoers and kill them if need be. Revelation 13:10 demands that those who murder must be killed with the sword. The New Testament may allow Christians to eat pork, crustaceans and mollusks but the death penalty is part of the moral law. 

Objection #2: Didn't Jesus say turn the other cheek? 

The expression "turn the other cheek" can be easily mistaken. It's possible to support self-defense while misinterpreting turn the other cheek. Turning the other cheek didn't mean anything about the death penalty. Instead, it's all about how to deal with insults and let-downs. Jesus told them not to let an insult ruin them for life. If they support self-defense then why do they oppose the death penalty for criminals? Death penalty was designed to be defensive killing. 

Some people can contradict themselves with that they think nothing is wrong with a policeman having to kill a dangerous criminal while they think the death penalty is wrong. They may say that turning the other cheek doesn't mean neglecting public safety. What they may have not seen is that death penalty's intended purpose is to execute dangerous criminals who are a threat to society.

Objection #3: Death penalty could end up taking the life of an innocent person

I don't dare deny that death penalty could take the life of an innocent person. I guess they think that this is death penalty for the sake of the death penalty when it isn't. Instead, it's all about having proper procedures and making death penalty the ultimate punishment for the worst of criminals. To say that we must ban the death penalty because an innocent person died would be similar to banning weapons used for self-defense, kitchen utensils, carpentry tools, water or anything that should be used with caution as part of our everyday lives because they were used in a murder scene or somebody died from their misuse. 

What Christians who are against death penalty may not be aware is that innocent people end up in jail because perjury is not punished accordingly. The Bible has a very severe law against perjury. Deuteronomy 19:16-19 says that any false witness who intends to get an innocent person to be executed will be executed instead. Today, perjury has become a very slight matter. Many people get away with a very light sentence when that lying in court could have ended up misusing the judicial system to murder an innocent person. 

Objection #4: Life imprisonment would be better because it prolongs the agony

Some people prefer the life imprisonment not because it seems "humane" but because they believe it will make the person reflect on their sin for the rest of their life. Part of their reasoning is that locking up a person may give them more chances to receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. What they don't see is that life imprisonment can be a waste of government revenues to keep them in like a zoo. Prison food can be horrible and prison uniform can be humiliating but some may prefer to end up in jail because free food and free clothing is better than none.

I would definitely agree that the death penalty would be better. The problem with life imprisonment is that hideous criminals can escape. If the cells started getting overcrowded then it's time to build new cells. If hideous criminals will get the death penalty then it would be easier to make room for new prisoners. Criminals who don't deserve the death penalty shouldn't be lumped in with prisoners who deserve it. Also, if all the government does it lock up dangerous criminals then what's the guarantee that they won't keep escaping? 

See also:

Popular posts from this blog

Who Will You Believe: Pope Francis or the Bible?

Here's a cartoon of how tragic the afterlife for Roman Catholics would be when they realize that they needed a real, personal relationship with Christ to enter into Heaven. As I grew up as a Roman Catholic I didn't really care about the Bible. I even hear some Roman Catholics are told to never read the Bible for themselves because not everyone should be allowed to read it. The priest often says that reading the Bible alone will confuse you so you need their extrabiblical doctrine. Worse, they are confusing Sola Scriptura with Solo Scriptura. Born again Christians have their tradition but it's dictated by the Bible as a guiding principle to one's lifestyle. It's not that they read only the Bible but rather they have the Bible as their only principle for Christian tradition.

What is this personal relationship? As much as some pastors feel like the term personal Lord and Savior can be dangerous or "personal Savior" may suggest that Jesus is a genie than Lor…

When God Says No, He Means No

When God says no He means no! Do you know why the world is in a mess right now? It's all because Adam and Eve couldn't follow one simple rule that was to never eat of the tree of the fruit of life. I'd like to imagine it that God may have even put an "Off Limits" sign on it. But Satan himself always finds a way to convince people to break the rules.
Genesis 3:1-5 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: for God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.

What Christians Can Learn From Joshua and Caleb's Confidence in Seizing the Promised Land

Being a Christian means you can be stuck in a pickle. Today's lesson will be from Numbers 13-14 which talks about the twelve spies to the Land of Canaan. I think any Christian leader going into much trouble today may find this as both a source of vexation and encouragement at the same time. It's a source of vexation because there are so many people like the rebellious Israelites in the wilderness. It's a source of encouragement because it's a reminder that God is still in charge.

The story of Numbers 13 talks about the spying. We see one member of each of the tribes that were given a political inheritance were there. We can see their names are as follows:
Numbers 13:4-13 And these were their names: of the tribe of Reuben, Shammua the son of Zaccur. Of the tribe of Simeon, Shaphat the son of Hori. Of the tribe of Judah, Caleb the son of Jephunneh. Of the tribe of Issachar, Igal the son of Joseph. 8 Of the tribe of Ephraim, Oshea the son of Nun. Of the tribe of Benjamin…

Drunk Driving is Dangerous to Society

Consider this picture of a drunk driving incident. This is the car that the late Princess Diana Spencer, the late Dodi Al Fayed and the late Henri Paul (the driver) were using before their tragic demise. What was also interesting to note is that their driver had high dosages of alcohol prior to this gruesome incident. I don't want to talk about the conspiracy side of things but the whole ugly picture that drunk driving kills. But even after this incident and many similar ones before it is that many people still do it even if the consequences are clear as day.

The Bible warns that being a drunkard is one of the marks of an unsaved person:
1 Corinthians 6:9-10  Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 
Those who argue that …

Modernization is Not an Excuse to Dismiss Badly Needed Old-Fashioned Revivals

I remembered reading through Jeremiah can be a chore because the events of that book continue to repeat itself. At the same time, reading through Jeremiah can be a comfort because the prophet chose to stand by God's command even if he momentarily stopped preaching (Jeremiah 20:5). One verse that is used to call for old fashioned revivals is Jeremiah 6:16 which says:
Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.
It's a problem you start calling for old-fashioned revivals and people will call you outdated or a neanderthal. While there's nothing wrong with modern technology but the problem is when people only care if something is modern. While modernization can be used to evangelize but it can also be used to spread the influence of sin. The same printing press that allowed the late Martin Luther to publish Bibles was also u…

The Prosperity Gospel is an Enemy of Cheerful Giving

I remembered having a lecture on the prosperity gospel. One of the worst lies of the prosperity gospel is that giving money or the tithes and offerings to their pastors will turn you into a millionaire, God will spare them from trouble and that they can have the desires of their wicked heart. That's one of the worst heresies I've heard. On the contrary the more faithful you are to God the more you should expect enemy attacks. Some people I know are faithful in giving and their tithes and offerings yet they are not living as billionaires. The motive of giving in the prosperity gospel is to gain the false promise that God wants us happy, healthy and wealthy all the time. That's not cheerful giving isn't it?

If you give money to God in exchange for material blessings then something is pretty wrong. It's a terrible misapplication of Malachi 3:9-10. Do they even know that the blessings where there isn't enough room to receive it isn't all about becoming a billio…

Politically Correct Parenting Raises Spoiled Brats

Politically correct parenting is already the norm of parenting in this fallen world. What most parents don't see is that everyone needs a healthy dose of both Vitamin Yes and Vitamin No. But like anything beneficial in excess or in scarcity too many people have either too much or too little of Vitamin Yes and Vitamin No. While it's not okay to have an overdose of Vitamin No but what's so upsetting is that many people today take the opposite extreme. They aren't giving enough Vitamin No ad are given too much Vitamin Yes. Either way both are overly misguided approaches in parenting.

Is there anything wrong with giving the child what they want? It depends on what the child wants. If a child wants something that's going to honor God (ex. They want their own copy of the Bible that they can read for themselves) then the parent should say yes if what the child wants is God honoring. But if the child only wants to be like the secular children with all their nice stuff the…