I definitely do not see any support for capital punishment in that verse. It seems to be exactly what Jesus said when He said that all who take the sword will die by it. I think it means if you murder, you will be murdered. It isn't condoning murder in either case.
I used to accept the notion that God would want retributive justice for victims of crime but I later questioned this. I did this for a number of reasons; some Biblical and some simply ethical:
1) It can easily be verified that many innocent people have been put to death. DNA evidence proved this. It means the state has been guilty of murder and when we support capital punishment, we must share the blame.
2) Putting someone to death without allowing them as much time to repent and convert as needed, is simply not a very Christian sentiment. A Christian seeks the conversion of everyone. To put someone to death without a conversion is not a victory it is a loss. It is simply surrendering them over to Satan rather than winning them for Christ.
3) While many victims seek retributive justice, when they receive it, it doesn't often give the closure they had hoped. Really what they seek is revenge but this cannot be given scriptural validation even though this is totally easy to identify with humanly; it is not the way of Christ however.
4) Our Capital punishment system is a poor system to support. Often serial murderers, like the green river killer, are spared the death penalty because they hid so many of their murdered victims. DNA evidence was available against this man and if anyone should have been given a death sentence it was him. It is estimated he killed nearly 100 women. Scott Peterson had only circumstantial evidence against him and he received the death penalty. The message seems to be that if someone kills enough people they can actually get out of the death penalty.
posted 2 years ago. ( permalink )