It is fashionable to become anti-death penalty advocates in these days where you will attract a following for joining this righteous cause and of course become respectable in this modern world to be associated with such activist movement. However, should Christian lawyers join this bandwagon?
Fighting such cause is usually the hobbyhorse of left wing bleeding heart liberals seeking to challenge the established norms of society since time immemorial. Many western countries have since abolished death penalties and victims of murders and other serious crimes do not get justice due to them where criminals are allowed to live when they actually deserved death for their crimes.
Some Christian activists go into emotional spasm claiming sanctity of life and dignity of death to champion the cause of criminals and their rights but conveniently forget about the rights of victims of crimes committed against them and their family. They have this half-baked romanticized notion quoting scriptures out of context to justify their noble cause.
They claim Jesus forgave the thief on the cross so we should likewise forgive criminals. What they failed to realize is that the repentant thief did not escape capital punishment but he received salvation where Jesus told him this:
Luke 23:43: And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.
It is tragically pathetic that highly educated Christian lawyers lack spiritual insight. They can’t distinguish the difference between God forgiving sins of a sinner and the State executing punishment on a criminal where the sinner has to face the consequence of his crime.
The gospel of Christ is not designed to save a sinner from physical death but to grant him forgiveness of sin that comes with the free gift of eternal life.
You might probably have heard these lawyers quote the gospel where Christ came to save sinners so criminals deserve a second chance. Again they fail to understand Christ came to save sinners from their sins and not to justify their crimes and to avoid punishment mete out by the State.
They would also quote the Lord’s teaching on the sermon on the mount as though they have solid biblical justification for their righteous cause to give murderers second chance for sanctity and dignity of life which is precious according to their opinion.
Matthew 5:38: Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:
Matthew 5:39: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.
There you have it. So the Lord Jesus Christ came to abolish retribution?
Why stop at verses 38 and 39? Why not quote the next three verses?
Matthew 5:40: And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also.
Matthew 5:41: And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.
Matthew 5:42: Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.
So you death deserving murderers, please don’t just ask these left wing Christian lawyers to spare your lives, ask them for their wealth too. Better still murder their loved ones and ask them to champion your cause to avoid the death penalty.
These foolish activists keep insisting that life is precious and should not be taken away but what about the life of the victims? Aren’t they precious too? They claim that if we take the life of a murderer, we are no better than the murderer. This is humanism in all its glory!
You just can’t believe their ridiculous logic to justify the life of murderers but do nothing to the victims and their family. In fact, since they adopt such cavalier attitude towards murder victims and their family, it would be a great idea for murderers to test their resolve by raping and murdering the loved ones of these foolish activists and see whether they continue to sing the same tune and dance to the gallery.
When the Lord preached the sermon in preparation for the coming Kingdom of heaven, those commandments were meant for individuals to adhere and not the State to comply. These left wing Christian lawyers hell bent on riding the hobbyhorse to champion anti-death penalty know not the scriptures and whereof they affirm. They think they know better than the Creator of the universe on how to govern men on earth with their misplaced compassion.
Let’s take a quick survey on the evolution of the justice system on earth since the fall of Adam in the Garden of Eden.
The first murder took place where Adam’s eldest son Cain murdered his brother Abel. Instead of taking away the life of the murderer immediately, God spared his life and even protected him from human retribution.
Genesis 4:10: And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground.
Genesis 4:11: And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother’s blood from thy hand;
Genesis 4:12: When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth.
Genesis 4:13: And Cain said unto the LORD, My punishment is greater than I can bear.
Genesis 4:14: Behold, thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth; and from thy face shall I be hid; and I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth; and it shall come to pass, that every one that findeth me shall slay me.
Genesis 4:15: And the LORD said unto him, Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And the LORD set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him.
So Cain the murderer lived on till he expired many years later. Unfortunately, without the deterrent of death penalty, life on earth didn’t get better. When you think men governed by their own conscience should know how to get along with each other when there was no death penalty, it got worse.
Genesis 4:23: And Lamech said unto his wives, Adah and Zillah, Hear my voice; ye wives of Lamech, hearken unto my speech: for I have slain a man to my wounding, and a young man to my hurt.
Genesis 4:24: If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold, truly Lamech seventy and sevenfold.
Lamech the murderer justified his crime and claimed the long laid down principle of the justice system without death penalty and so he abused it. So criminals didn’t need any left wing liberals to champion their cause during those days. It was by default they could get away with murder. It was a great era for criminals where murderers got away with murder scot-free and lived on on earth. Of course God’s justice system prevails with horizon that stretched far beyond this present sun. The sinners that sinned will die whether now or in the future and there is more to physical death thereafter.
So without death penalty during that Age, violence took over the whole world and God had no choice but to destroy the world and perform an ultimate reset to the world justice system.
Genesis 6:12: And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.
Genesis 6:13: And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.
So the Age where human conscience that was supposed to guide human affairs failed miserably. Without death penalty to restraint the raging madness of fallen men, that world came to a tragic end.
After the global flood, eight survivors from the previous world were given the commission to repopulate the world. The justice system from the previous world has to evolve because human conscience failed to govern men on earth.
Genesis 9:6: Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.
Capital punishment was then introduced to keep fallen men in check and prevent the recurring raging madness of violence that plagued the world before the flood. This is a universal law found in all known nations in the world where murderers are put to death for their crimes.
This law was further codified in the penal code for the nation of Israel when they received the Ten Commandments.
Exodus 20:13: Thou shalt not kill.
Numbers 35:31: Moreover ye shall take no satisfaction for the life of a murderer, which is guilty of death: but he shall be surely put to death.
It is the responsibility of the State to execute criminals to maintain social order in society. Capital punishment serves as a deterrent as well as a retribution to potential criminals which prevents society from descending into lawlessness. This time proven God ordained law is now being challenged by ignorant and foolish men trusting their fallen mind to govern men in this world that have not changed and will not change since the fall of Adam.
Genesis 8:21: And the LORD smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done.
It is a terrible shame for Christian lawyers to take a different position from the God of the Bible who concluded that the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth. Hence, capital punishment is a necessary evil without which, the entire world would be wiped out once more like the flood before that.
Left wing liberals tend to rationalize away evil and offer sentimentalized solution believing this will do greater good for mankind. They could not be more wrong. In fact, the prophet Daniel saw it coming more than 2500 years ago that men in the last days will attempt to overthrow God’s ordained law and reject the Almighty’s mode of governance on earth.
Daniel 7:25: And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.
It is escalating fast and furious these days as we see the coming of the Lord draws nigh. This is especially the case when Christians being in the legal profession or otherwise, join in the choruses of left wing activists to champion abolishment of death penalty for criminals. These self-conceited Christians fail to realize that the institution of the Church is not ordained to replace the institution of the State. In fact the State is ordained by God to govern men on earth while the Church serves a different function running in parallel with the State on earth. The Church concerns the spiritual realm while the State governs the physical domain on earth.
Romans 13:1: Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
Romans 13:2: Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.
Romans 13:3: For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:
Romans 13:4: For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.
Romans 13:5: Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.
Some specific members of the State are ordained by God to execute vengeance on evil doers on God’s behalf on earth. Even members of the Church are subject to the powers that be concerning matters on earth. Are Christians so foolish to challenge God’s ordained ministers and seek to influence, coerce and repudiate these ministers with their own opinions and conceited views on punishment of evil doers based on their own sentimental emotions and faulty logic?
If these foolish Christian lawyers still think it is their prerogative to champion the prevailing winds of change in the legal landscape that is sweeping across the western world, let them take note of what the apostle Paul has to say concerning capital punishment.
Acts 25:11: For if I be an offender, or have committed any thing worthy of death, I refuse not to die: but if there be none of these things whereof these accuse me, no man may deliver me unto them. I appeal unto Caesar.
Paul was accused of many things by the Jews and he went through the whole legal process available to him as a Roman citizen during his days. He acknowledged and confirmed the validity of the death penalty and he submitted himself to the legal process and if he be found guilty, he was willing to die. Are Christians lawyers going to challenge Paul on his view on capital punishment?
It is not just the apostle Paul who recognized the God ordained functions of the State, even the apostle Peter exhorted Christians to submit to these ministers serving in the physical domain because they are indeed God-sent ministers to punish evil doers and this obviously include capital punishment to be meted out to criminals where there is justifiable cause that commensurate with the nature of the crimes committed.
1 Peter 2:13: Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme;
1 Peter 2:14: Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well.
Before the advent of the Church Age, human governments have been institutionalized to govern the affairs of men on earth. Even with capital punishment in force, this however, did not stop men from killing each other. Capital punishment serves to certain extent as a deterrent to prevent a repeat of what happened prior to the flood.
Foolish Christians argue that since capital punishment could not prevent murder, so it should be done away with. God is not going to allow these self-conceited Christian activists to bring back the violence that plagued the previous world yet. There will come a time where all human restraints will be removed during the time of Jacob’s trouble when the Church is removed and these self-conceited fools will receive their just recompense of rewards living on earth to experience unspeakable violence then. The Age of conscience failed to govern fallen men on earth and human governments will eventually fail as well.
With the arrival of the Church Age, this does not in any way abrogate the institution of human governments. The Church and human governments run in parallel and they serve different functions on earth. The Church Age is a window period where sinners while living out their lives on earth as a probation may have a chance to hear the gospel and obtain salvation and eternal life in Christ. As we survey the spiritual landscape looking at the current state of the Church, we know the Church will likewise fail as well. The Church cannot and will not prevent men from killing one another so that men may live peacefully ever after.
But when you look forward to the Kingdom Age where the Lord Jesus Christ will return and reign on earth and you think death will be a thing of the past, you would be badly mistaken. Rebellion will still be present and punishment on earth will be meted out which includes capital punishment.
Zechariah 14:17: And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain.
Zechariah 14:18: And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain; there shall be the plague, wherewith the LORD will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles.
Zechariah 13:3: And it shall come to pass, that when any shall yet prophesy, then his father and his mother that begat him shall say unto him, Thou shalt not live; for thou speakest lies in the name of the LORD: and his father and his mother that begat him shall thrust him through when he prophesieth.
Isaiah 65:20: There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old; but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed.
Even during the Kingdom Age living under a perfect human government with the Lord Jesus Christ on the throne and Satan banished for a thousand years, men will still fail and rebel. This will culminate in a grand final rebellion at the end of the Kingdom Age where all rebellions will eventually be put down and become history in the Eternal Age.
Revelation 20:7: And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,
Revelation 20:8: And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.
Revelation 20:9: And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.
Revelation 20:10: And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
There is very little hope that scriptural proofs will convince some of these Christian activists from championing the removal of death penalty. Some not only champion removal of death penalty, they even champion the rights of perverts to practise their perversion and deviant behaviour. This is an affront to the thrice Holy God, the Creator of the universe who governs the affairs of men in all Ages and will never overlook sins of men.
Numbers 14:18: The LORD is longsuffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation.
A Christian may choose to forgive the trespasses and transgressions of a criminal, but he has no business interfering with the law of the land to prevent justice to take its course. Like the repentant thief who believed the Lord and received pardon and salvation, he could not escape capital punishment due to him. His physical body may be lost but his soul is saved.
Christians activists championing abolishment of death penalty brings the Church into disrepute. Such acts implicitly demand compliance from the State and the Church may suffer backlash for intruding into domain that does not belong to the sphere of influence of the Church. The principle of separation of the Church and State must be strictly upheld otherwise this may invite the State to meddle with the spiritual affairs of the Church.
There is no conflict between the State and the Church on the matter of capital punishment and in fact, capital punishment is a direct commandment from the Holy Bible. Unless these Christian activists are apostates where the Holy Bible has no use to them, Christians must never sing and dance with activists seeking to abolish death penalty. After all what has a Christian got to fear about death penalty? Is death penalty interfering with their Christian faith?
Convicted serial-killer Morin Stephen Peter who became a Christian while in prison withdrew all appeals after pleading guilty to capital murder. His conviction and genuine Christian faith could teach these self-conceited Christian activists something on capital punishment.
The wisest man ever lived concluded that the malady of this sin cursed world is not because of the administration of capital punishment by human governments. It is precisely because of the lack of speedy execution of God’s laws on criminals that is responsible for evil to breed and allows wickedness to flourish.
Ecclesiastes 8:11: Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.
It is indeed tragic that Christian lawyers who are so well versed with the finer points of laws of the land and are professionally acquainted with the inner workings of court proceedings but are so spiritually blind to the laws of God and His wills for men from the Holy Bible.
Are they wiser than Solomon? Are these Christian activists greater than the words of the living God? God may perhaps arrange for them or their loved ones to experience some horrible crimes to befall them to help them see the truth and then they may sing a different tune.
Capital punishment will be here to stay for a very long time until the dawn of the Eternal Age, which is at least a thousand years away. So why waste time and fight against God’s explicit commandment?