Christian ethics and death penalty

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Christian ethics and death penalty

A Christian View and Biblical PerspectiveOctober 18, Kerby Anderson provides a biblical worldview perspective on capital punishment. He explores the biblical teaching to help us understand how to consider this controversial topic apply Christian love and biblical principles.

Should Christians support the death penalty?

The Bible and Capital Punishment | Stand to Reason

The answer to that question is controversial. Many Christians feel that the Bible has spoken to the issue, but others believe that the New Testament ethic of love replaces the Old Testament law. Old Testament Examples Throughout the Old Testament we find many cases in which God commands the use of capital punishment.

We see this first with the acts of God Himself. God was involved, either directly or indirectly, in the taking of life as a punishment for the nation of Israel or for those who threatened or harmed Israel.

One example is the flood of Noah in Genesis God destroyed all human and animal life except that which was Christian ethics and death penalty the ark. Another example is Sodom and Gomorrah Gen. There were also punishments such as the punishment at Kadesh-Barnea Num.

The Old Testament is replete with references and examples of God taking life.

Christian ethics and death penalty

The Old Testament also teaches that God instituted capital punishment in the Jewish law code. In fact, the principle of capital punishment even precedes the Old Testament law code.

According to Genesis 9: The first was murder. In Exodus 21, God commanded capital punishment for murderers. A second offense punishable by death was involvement in the occult Exod.

This included sorcery, divination, acting as a medium, and sacrificing to false gods. Third, capital punishment was to be used against perpetrators of sexual sins such as rape, incest, or homosexual practice.

Within this Old Testament theocracy, capital punishment was extended beyond murder to cover various offenses. While the death penalty for these offenses was limited to this particular dispensation of revelation, notice that the principle in Genesis 9: Instead, the principle of Lex Talionis a life for a life is tied to the creation order.

Capital punishment is warranted due to the sanctity of life. Even before we turn to the New Testament, we find this universally binding principle that precedes the Old Testament law code. New Testament Principles Some Christians believe that capital punishment does not apply to the New Testament and church age.


First we must acknowledge that God gave the principle of capital punishment even before the institution of the Old Testament law code. The principle is not rooted in the Old Testament theocracy, but rather in the creation order.

It is a much broader biblical principle that carries into the New Testament. Even so, some Christians argue that in the Sermon on the Mount Jesus seems to be arguing against capital punishment.

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In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus is not arguing against the principle of a life for a life. Rather He is speaking to the issue of our personal desire for vengeance. He is not denying the power and responsibility of the government.

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus is speaking to individual Christians. He is telling Christians that they should not try to replace the power of the government.

Jesus does not deny the power and authority of government, but rather He calls individual Christians to love their enemies and turn the other cheek.

Some have said that Jesus set aside capital punishment in John 8 when He did not call for the woman caught in adultery to be stoned. But remember the context. The Pharisees were trying to trap Jesus between the Roman law and the Mosaic law.

If He said that they should stone her, He would break the Roman law. If He refused to allow them to stone her, He would break the Mosaic law Lev.Aug 03,  · Christians argue both for and against the death penalty using secular arguments (see Ethics: Capital punishment), but like other religious people they often make an additional case based on the tenets of their faith.

This is a very long document. Please allow the page to load completely. DEATH PENALTY AND SENTENCING INFORMATION In the United States 10/1/ "Hot" religious topics Menu Capital punishment: All viewpoints on the death penalty.

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Execution methods, ancient and modern Cross, rifle, hangman's noose, electric chair, and lethal injection table. When I decided to follow Jesus instead of simply being a Christian who paid him hollow worship while conveniently ignoring the red words, I was forced to abandon my support of the death penalty.

Top 10% Absolutely Positively the Best 30 Death Penalty Websites on the Internet (Top 1%) Death Penalty Information Center Probably the single most comprehensive and authoritative internet rersource on the death penalty, including hundreds of anti-death penalty articles, essays, and quotes on issues of deterrence, cost, execution of the innocent, racism, public opinion, women, juveniles.

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Capital Punishment: A Christian View and Biblical Perspective