Saturday, May 26, 2007

Me on Capital Punishment from God's Politics Blog

I, also, am opposed to Capital Punishment, but on different grounds. With Capital Punishment there is no opportunity for retribution.

Say Joe kills Tom. Tom’s wife, Mary, is now destitute and has no support for her and her children. If we execute Joe, Mary remains in her current condition. If, however, we make Joe pay retribution to Mary, she is relieved, Joe’s dignity is improved, and there more productive individuals participating in society.

Now, as Christians, we are in the unique and peculiar position to be able to offer forgiveness, even unconditionally, but this is a new law only for those whom have experienced regeneration, and we ought not to expect or demand this ethic of the world.


True forgiveness does not have to be asked for, “While we were yet sinners Christ died for us.” Indeed the perpetrator is unable to ask for forgiveness until they are already forgiven. The act of forgiveness is done as self-sacrifice in imitation of Christ, with no conditions whatsoever.

I am also opposed to Capital Punishment on legal grounds. Today’s laws are written arbitrarily, and make no investigation of the natural law. We have lost our Common Law foundation in many cases. If it can be shown that a criminal is guilty on precedent according to scientifically discovered natural law, then I am willing for the public court to pass judgment on him. Otherwise, I refuse to recognize laws which are not in accordance with the natural law, and which have no history of discovery.

Romans 13 says that the state exists to punish the evildoer, and no more. This passage is complicated only if you desire for the state to do more or less than this. There is Biblical support for such a system. The book of Judges records over 400 years of time where there was no centralized government in Israel, only a loose federation, and Judges, whom decided cases by applying the Mosaic codified precedtial law. When Judges says, “And every man did that which was right in his own eyes,” this is a good thing. It means there was no central government making arbitrary decrees and demands upon the people, and they were free.

Now, the Israelites sometimes fell into state-worship, or paganism. They were cleansed of this repeatedly through the judges. Eventually, God lets them have their way, in I Samuel 13, and gives them a pagan government... a King. This was never God's best for them, and it established an arbitrary ruler which led them repeatedly into pagan idol worship. They were not cleansed of this until after Babylon, when they returned and wrote Chronicles.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think the word you wanted was "restitution" not "retribution". Peace, Tim