“The Bible says not to kill yet many Christians support the death penalty”, CARM defends this view.

In this I article I would like to address a post that was created on CARM.ORG. CARM is the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry, an organization devoted to the defense of the Christian gospel and ideologies. The post I’d like to address is a CARM writer’s response to an email written concerning Christians and their support of the death penalty. The email reads:

” The Bible says it is forbidden to kill, yet many Christians in America support the death penalty and order wars and bombs which kill tens of thousands, yet this is somehow rationalized and an excuse is made as to how this does not violate Christianity, when it plainly does.”

This is a very serious statement and is quite hard to address when dealing with the “turn the other cheek” principle and forgiveness that Jesus taught. Is it Biblically moral for a Christian (a New Testament following Christian) to believe that the killing of a person who has committed a crime, is just?

The response to this email is blurred by word play, but in the end the conclusion is:

“Furthermore, murder is the unlawful taking of life. Killing is the lawful taking of life. Therefore, in the issue of taking life we must determine whether or not is lawful or not. If a murderer is sentenced to death in a lawful manner via the law of the land, then it is not murder.”

With this conclusion one can see immediate problems, starting with the assumption that there is a lawful and unlawful taking of life. This is then followed up by saying that the lawfulness of taking a life is determined by the ‘law of the land’, thus immediately raising the question “Does this in turn justify Sha’ria law also?”

Not only does the statement made by the writer of this article, produced by CARM.org, suggest that the taking of life can be lawful, it also condones revenge.

“[…]God gives us the right of self-defense and sometimes in that self-defense, it is necessary to kill someone.”

Self-defense would be prohibiting something harmful from happening in the first place. Revenge is making a harmful action after the initial wrong has been done. And of these two categories, the death penalty would fall under the latter.

To follow a Christian principle of forgiveness, murder cannot be justified, but if one feels so inclined to quote an obscure Old Testament verse that condones war or violence or murder, and rape for that matter, then remember this, using a holy scripture to justify your actions can go both ways. Any person who thinks it is lawful to take your life can be justified by scripture also.

Murder and Killing are two terms for the same act, taking ones life. Does either term seem less violent? No, Killing is Murder, Murder is Killing, they are one in the same. However, it is no surprise that Christian Fundamentalists do not share this view.


4 responses to ““The Bible says not to kill yet many Christians support the death penalty”, CARM defends this view.

  1. God imposed capital punishment after the flood. It’s messy and unpleasant but it is also God ordained justice in the hands of a government authority. This kind of justice was served in a lawful manner last night with the killing of OBL by the U.S. CIA under presidential authority. The noose and electric chair are also worthy tools to serve justice to those murderers who have shed innocent blood.

    Ge 9:5 And for your lifeblood I will surely demand an accounting. I will demand an accounting from every animal. And from each man, too, I will demand an accounting for the life of his fellow man.
    Ge 9:6 “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made man.

  2. I am a Christian but I believe that no human being has the right to take the life of another. Genesis may say that it is okay to kill a man if he has killed someone himself but it also says that parents and a community should ostracize a boy who is uncircumcised…

  3. Hi Zack, I just wanted to let you know that I wrote a post today that is a sort of agreeing/disagreeing post with this one you have here. But also that I linked to your forum thread about the God Dilema in my post. Since you are the owner of that thread, I thought to share my post with you. Is it ok to add my link here? If not, just delete it with no hard feelings. http://midaevalmaiden.wordpress.com/2011/05/03/in-defense-of-violence-faith/
    For what its worth, Ide love to see you visit my humble blog post.

    • I had a look at your post and it has some really nice thoughts and I see where your coming from.
      I agree that it is often hard to have hope in humanity, but I disagree that god is needed to find the good in humanity. Opinions differ and that is what makes life interesting 🙂
      I have no problem with you posting a link here, I believe that wordpress should be run as a community and we should help each other out, so if you ever have something that relates to one of my topics feel free to share it in a comment, I like to see other peoples opinions.

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