Tuesday, May 25, 2010

This Christian's Thoughts on the Death Penalty

In 2000 my stepson, Dustin Arnwine, died. Through the conviction of the Holy Spirit, my husband felt compelled in court to forgive the man responsible for his death. I'm always shocked by the response of many Christians when I tell them I'm against the death penalty. I could talk for a long time about the injustices in our current judicial system regarding this issue. But the truth is I didn't come to this position because of that. I am against the death penalty because I follow Jesus and I believe He doesn't want me to support it.

If you are a Jesus follower, here are a few things I hope you will prayerfully consider.

A few thought from the New Testament

We are now dwelt with the Holy Spirit and commanded to love our enemies Luke 6:27,28. In John 8 when the woman was caught in adultery, Jesus stopped the stoning and told her to go and sin no more, in effect he stopped her execution. Stephen, the first Christian martyr, as he was dying “fell on his knees and cried out, "Lord, do not hold this sin against them." When he had said this, he fell asleep.” Acts 7:60

What does Jesus say about murder?

Matthew 5:21-22: You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, 'Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.' But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, 'Raca,' is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, 'You fool!' will be in danger of the fire of hell.

Matthew 5:38-39: You have heard that it was said, 'Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.' But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.

I believe all human life is sacred. We are all made in God's image. He loves everyone, and has the power to change anyone. Need some proof of this? Just check out Abounding Love Ministries , its just one example of what God is currently doing through a convicted murderer: