Quotes about Capital_Punishment
Critics may claim capital punishment is hateful and destructive, but it is actually an outworking of God’s common grace to humanity, enabling sinful societies to maintain civil order and deter criminal activity. When executed properly, capital punishment serves as a terror to wrongdoers, restraining depraved sinners from doing what they would otherwise be prone to do (cf. Rom. 3:10-20), and thereby saving lives (Grace Community Church Position Paper).
What must not be lost sight of is that unpleasant as is the task of the jailer and the use of the whip, the cell, the noose, the guillotine, these things stand behind the stability of civilized society, and they stand there necessarily, for God has declared it so, in harmony with reality, rather than with apostate sociological opinion. Government, with its coercive powers is a social necessity, but one determined by the Creator, not by the statistical tables of some university social research staff! No society can successfully vote fines, imprisonment, corporal and capital punishment away permanently. The society which tries has lost touch with realities of man (his fallen sinful state), realities of the world, and the truth of divine revelation in nature, man’s conscience, and the Bible (Robert Culver).
There is no question God has authorized government to exercise capital punishment. The principle is established in Genesis 9:6, implicitly upheld by Christ in Matthew 26:52 (where Peter is warned of the consequences of murder), and reiterated by the apostle Paul in Romans 13:4 (cf. Ac. 25:11, where Paul indicates he understands some crimes are worthy of death) (Grace Community Church Position Paper).
There is a difference in Scripture between what is the prerogative of the individual in interpersonal relationships and what is the prerogative of the state in the administration of public justice. Whereas Christians are not permitted to seek personal vengeance, the state is allowed to seek public justice. The prohibition of personal revenge in Romans 12 is followed immediately by the endorsement of public retribution in Romans 13.
Can a Christian consistently oppose abortion and euthanasia while endorsing Capital Punishment (CP)? Yes. We must remember that “the unborn, the aged, and the infirm have done nothing deserving of death. The convicted murderer has” (Feinbergs, 147). CP is not, as critics suggest, a disregard for the sanctity of life. It is, in point of fact, based on belief in the sanctity of life: the life of the murdered victim. Also, whereas life is indeed sacred, it can still be forfeited. Finally, the Bible opposes abortion and endorses CP. Therefore, if there is an inconsistency, the problem is God’s.
Regard the Mosaic endorsement of capital punishment. Can this be justified on New Covenant grounds? Yes, in two ways. First, in Romans 13:4, Paul speaks of our governmental leaders who do not “bear the sword in vain.” Obviously the sword is not used for correction but for execution, and Paul acknowledges this right. Paul does not bother to provide an extensive list of what crimes are rightly punishable by death, but the right itself is assumed. Also, there is the pre-Mosaic stipulation that murder is an attack on God’s image and, therefore, worthy of death (Gen. 9:6). Murder as a personal attack on God is a notion that is not confined to the Old Covenant alone; it remain a capital offense in every age.