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What is your opinion of death penalty and Vigilante justice?

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  • What is your opinion of death penalty and Vigilante justice?

    God commanded us to not kill but many governments practices death penalty so people will keep following the law. There are many incidents where an innocent person got killed and executed by death penalty and it took decades before they are proven not guilty.

    Then we have cases like the country Philippines where their President uses vigilante justice to kill drug dealers and users. I think he even proudly admitted he dropped a criminal from a flying helicopter.

    Obviously killing is a sin but many nation uses killing as a way to run Justice.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Sparky View Post
    God commanded us to not kill but many governments practices death penalty so people will keep following the law. There are many incidents where an innocent person got killed and executed by death penalty and it took decades before they are proven not guilty.

    Then we have cases like the country Philippines where their President uses vigilante justice to kill drug dealers and users. I think he even proudly admitted he dropped a criminal from a flying helicopter.

    Obviously killing is a sin but many nation uses killing as a way to run Justice.
    There's a difference between killing and murder (evil motive) which the below covers. The Government has the ordained right to wield the sword and combat evil by issuing the death penalty both in war and capital punishment. As far as the Philippines go they have declared "war" on drug dealers/users.

    The Old Testament law commanded the death penalty for various acts: murder (Exodus 21:12), kidnapping (Exodus 21:16), bestiality (Exodus 22:19), adultery (Leviticus 20:10), homosexuality (Leviticus 20:13), being a false prophet (Deuteronomy 13:5), prostitution and rape (Deuteronomy 22:24), and several other crimes. “Whoever sheds man's blood, by man his blood shall be shed, for in the image of God He made man” (Genesis 9:6). Jesus would support capital punishment in some instances. Jesus also demonstrated grace when capital punishment was due (John 8:1-11). The apostle Paul definitely recognized the power of the government to institute capital punishment where appropriate (Romans 13:1-7).

    How should a Christian view the death penalty? First, we must remember that God has instituted capital punishment in His Word; therefore, it would be presumptuous of us to think that we could institute a higher standard. God has the highest standard of any being; He is perfect. This standard applies not only to us but to Himself. Therefore, He loves to an infinite degree, and He has mercy to an infinite degree. We also see that He has wrath to an infinite degree, and it is all maintained in a perfect balance.

    Second, we must recognize that God has given government the authority to determine when capital punishment is due (Genesis 9:6; Romans 13:1-7). It is unbiblical to claim that God opposes the death penalty in all instances. Christians should never rejoice when the death penalty is employed, but at the same time, Christians should not fight against the government’s right to execute the perpetrators of the most evil of crimes.

    There are two different Hebrew words (ratsakh, mut) and two Greek words (phoneuo, apokteino) for “murder” and “killing.” One means “to put to death,” and the other means “to murder.” The latter one is the one prohibited by the Ten Commandments, not the former. In fact, ratsakh has a broader definition than the English word “murder.” Ratsakh also covers deaths due to carelessness or neglect but is never used when describing killing during wartime. That is why most modern translations render the sixth commandment “You shall not murder” rather than “You shall not kill.” However, a very large issue can arise depending on which translation one studies. The ever-popular King James Version renders the verse as “Thou shalt not kill,” therefore opening the door to misinterpreting the verse altogether. If the intended meaning of “Thou shalt not kill” was just that—no killing—it would render all of the God-endorsed bloodletting done by the nation of Israel a violation of God’s own commandment (Deuteronomy 20). But God does not break His own commandments, so, clearly, the verse does not call for a complete moratorium on the taking of another human life.
    I support the death penalty because it is biblical. Because I value the sanctity of life, no other restitution can be made for life other than life. If you say a murderer should spend a life time in prison, are you not suggesting that the murderer's time is equal value to the life he has taken? If you suggest that a financial restitution should be paid by the murderer are you not suggesting a dollar value on the life taken? No other restitution can replace the life or be of equal value except by life for a life.

    Sources:
    What does the Bible say about the death penalty / capital punishment?
    Why is "You shall not murder" in the Ten Commandments?
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    • #3
      You shall not murder can be overwritten by God, as is apparent with Abraham and Isaac, when Abraham was instructed to murder.
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      • #4
        Every rule of the holy book is ordered by God and it is perfect in every way. So we should consider the orders of God without thinking about it. I think it is better to take life in place of a life.
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        • #5
          I agree with this statement that killing and murder are totally different acts. The killing could be a step to provide other people peace and saving them from harmful creature whether from a man or animal. I think that murder should be punished as death penalty.
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          • #6
            The death penalty was abolished in Britain decades ago. The thing which finally persuaded MPs even on the right wing of the Conservative Party was that a wrongly convicted person couldn't have his life restored to him if he was subsequently discovered to be innocent.
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            • #7
              Originally posted by Sparky View Post
              God commanded us to not kill but many governments practices death penalty so people will keep following the law.
              There is a huge difference between murder (which is forbidden in the Ten Commandments) and the death penalty (which is approved by God). So we should not confuse the two. Individuals murder but states apply the death penalty (after due process in the West). The question is "Does the New Testament sanction the death penalty?" and the answer is found in Romans 13:1-7):

              1Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.

              2Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.

              3For 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:

              4For 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.

              5Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.

              6For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God's ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.

              7Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.

              Please note in verse 4 that the executioner: (1) beareth not the sword in vain, (2) he is the minister or servant of God, and (3) he executes wrath upon them that do evil.

              So what the Holy Spirit says is that when men commit heinous crimes, their just punishment is the death penalty. That does not excuse the corruption of the justice system in most countries, nor does it excuse the wrongful execution of innocents. However, when a heinous crime is committed, justice demands the death penalty.

              As to vigilante justice, that is not generally acceptable, but when criminals control governments (as is true in many countries) then vigilante justice may be the only form of justice available.
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              • #8
                In the Old Testament there is 'a life for a life' and at the same time God instituted the cities of refuge. If the person seeking refuge was found guilty -- he would be confined there until the high priest died. So, if he was Young, then it could be a Long time of confinement -- if he was Old, then he was better off. But if the person Left that city of refuge, he could be killed by the relative of the person he'd killed.

                For me -- I'm For the death penalty -- when it would be applicable -- when it's obvious who the murderer was -- no question at all. Depending Also on whether it was accidental / self-defense. That which Does bother me is that there's usually such a Long time before the sentence is actually carried out. A good lawyer can have a case held up in appeals for Years. So the person ends up on death row for Years rather than weeks.

                The sentence Needs to be carried through Swiftly -- and That Might make a person think twice before murdering someone. But That would only be for the person who is obviously guilty -- no question about it.

                Trist -- the situation between Abraham and his son, Isaac. God told him to sacrifice his son to God. When he showed that he was willing to obey God , then He provided a ram for the sacrifice. That situation was Not someone setting out to murder another person because of malice / premeditation.


                What really makes me a bit disturbed is that in the U.S. -- it was declared to be cruel, unusual punishment to be executed by lethal injection. So it was put on hold in some states. It's far crueler to be the Victim of a murder.
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                • #9
                  Well Sue last time I checked planning to kill someone without their knowing and without consent is considered premeditation.
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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Trist View Post
                    Well Sue last time I checked planning to kill someone without their knowing and without consent is considered premeditation.
                    I should hope that you're not referring to Abraham and Isaac and God.
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                    • #11
                      Sue D.
                      ​​​​​​​I will say this VERY clearly.

                      God commanded Abraham to MURDER his only son Isaac.

                      If you cannot find beauty in this, then you have much to learn of humility and power. For the all powerful One to lower Himself to the level of his creation by allowing Abraham to either/or choose between his own reasoning and God is the greatest performance of humility ever performed. It is more humble than that of a man stepping aside to make way for an ant. As for power, you must believe that God does not act out of mercy but out of duty. No commandment is higher than God himself, he is the highest; higher than human reasoning in regards to the morality of murder. If God had not offered a ram He would be no less than He is now.
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                      • #12
                        I do not believe God's command to Abraham was wrong, for God has the right to take human life and therefore had the right to command Isaac's death. Had Abraham initiated the sacrifice or followed the order of someone who was not authorized by God, then his act would have been wrong.

                        Consider that Christ's crucifixion was a certainty which God planed in eternity and prophesied would come to pass in the Old Testament. God foreordained the most evil event in history, the crucifixion, yet He lays blame for it completely on the choice of godless men. God told Abraham to kill his son Isaac because their actions are pointing ahead to the person of Christ in a typology of the true sacrifice. One cannot deny that God sacrificed His only beloved Son Jesus Christ. But would we consider it murder though God arranged His Son's betrayal, to the coming together of His accusers, to the unjust condemnation of Pontius Pilate, the scourging, spearing, and crucifixion (Acts 4:27-28)?

                        Regarding typology, you can see the close parallel of the sacrifice of Christ which was typified in the sacrifice of Isaac.

                        ISAAC
                        Genesis
                        JESUS
                        Gospels
                        Only begotten Son Gen. 22:2 John 3:16
                        Offered on a mountain, hill Gen. 22:2 Matt. 21:10
                        Took donkey to place of sacrifice Gen. 22:3 Matt. 21:2-11
                        Two men went with him Gen. 22:3 Mark 15:27; Luke 23:33
                        Three day journey. Jesus: three days in the grave Gen. 22:4 Luke 24:13-21
                        Son carried wood on his back up hill Gen. 22:6 John 19:17
                        God will provide for Himself the lamb Gen. 22:8 John 1:29
                        Son was offered on the wood Gen. 22:9 Luke 23:33
                        Ram in thicket of thorns, crown of thorns Gen. 22:13 John 19:2
                        The seed will be multiplied Gen. 22:17 John 1:12; Isaiah 53:10
                        Abraham went down. Son didn't. Isaac is "not mentioned" Gen. 22:19 Luke 23:46
                        Servant, gets bride for son Gen. 24:1-4 Eph. 5:22-32; Rev. 21:2, 9; 22:17
                        The bride was a beautiful virgin Gen. 24:16 2 Cor. 11:2
                        Servant offered ten gifts to bride Gen. 22:10 Rom. 6:23; 12; 1 Cor. 12
                        It must be admitted that the Scripture plainly teaches that God ordains evil events and remains blameless, events which include the self-determined choices of man. Would we consider God a murderer because:
                        • God "works all things after the counsel of his will" Ephesians 1:11.
                        • the slaughter of his people Psalm 44:11,
                        • the suffering of saints 1 Peter 4:19,
                        • the persecution of Christians Hebrews 12:4-7,
                        • the giving of life and the taking in death 1 Samuel 2:6,
                        • and the crucifixion of his Son Acts 4:27-28.

                        Premeditated murder is clarified in Exodus 21:12-14:
                        • He who strikes a man so that he dies shall surely be put to death. However, if he did not lie in wait, but God delivered him into his hand, then I will appoint for you a place where he may flee. But if a man acts with premeditation against his neighbor, to kill him by treachery, you shall take him from My altar, that he may die.

                        "This clearly separates a premeditated murder from an accidental killing. One can discern from verse 14 that, under this circumstance, constituted civil authorities are permitted by God to enact the death penalty.

                        Exodus 21:14:
                        • If a man wanted mercy, he would grab the horns of the altar. God says, "I don't care who he is. If he acted with premeditation, you loosen his grip on those horns and kill him. He gets no mercy."

                        This word "premeditation" is the same word that is elsewhere translated presumptuous. So, we have to add this idea of premeditation(intent) to our concept of presumptuousness. This idea is present in the "intentional sin" (Numbers 15:30-31), but this adds to it. Lying in wait with craftiness—that is the element of planning or setting out with a purpose to sin. Often times, it is not done emotionally; a person sits down and plans to sin—no matter what." - Premeditated Murder (Forerunner Commentary)
                        We must embrace the teaching in the Scriptures that God ordained Jesus Christ's (an innocent man) death at the hands of sinners, yet they freely did so because they wanted to. However, God used evil for good and did so blamelessly, therefore, I do not believe God can be said to murder. And God's moral authority had the right to command Isaac's death.

                        God bless,
                        William
                        Comment>

                        • #13
                          God commanded Abraham to MURDER his only son Isaac
                          I believe we need to distinguish between sacrifices to God and murder. Isaac was to ostensibly be a sacrifice to God. And while the Lord Jesus Christ was on the cross, He too offered Himself as a sacrifice to God. The motivation changes the meaning of a life being taken.
                          Comment>

                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Trist View Post
                            Sue D.
                            ​​​​​​​I will say this VERY clearly.

                            God commanded Abraham to MURDER his only son Isaac.

                            If you cannot find beauty in this, then you have much to learn of humility and power. For the all powerful One to lower Himself to the level of his creation by allowing Abraham to either/or choose between his own reasoning and God is the greatest performance of humility ever performed. It is more humble than that of a man stepping aside to make way for an ant. As for power, you must believe that God does not act out of mercy but out of duty. No commandment is higher than God himself, he is the highest; higher than human reasoning in regards to the morality of murder. If God had not offered a ram He would be no less than He is now.


                            And I will just as clearly -- refer you to the above post # 12. :)
                            Comment>

                            • #15
                              I believe that we should not kill because of spite or malice.The Bible tells us that we should also obey the law of the land and if we don't then there are consequences that we will have to face. Remember God gave David the authority to David to slay Goliath in order to save his people from oppression. If someone is attempting to take your life and you would have to kill that person in self-defense to stop him from killing you what would you do?
                              Comment>
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