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Christians and the Death Penalty

In: Religion Topics

Submitted By latmit84
Words 265
Pages 2
Latasha Mitchell
Professor: Moreau
Religion 330
Assignment 3
March 26, 2014
Christians and the Death Penalty We believe that God instituted the death penalty after the Flood. In Genesis 9:6, God says, "Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made man." The stated reason for the death penalty here is that every person bears the image of God. To kill an image bearer of God is to show contempt for God himself.

Elsewhere, the Bible says, "Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord." (Romans 12:19) Christians may not take justice into their own hands, but must allow God to deal with justice. Christians are to forgive; it is God who judges.

One way that God judges is through the government. The next chapter in the Bible says that God created government to maintain order. It goes on to say that the government is "God's servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer." (Romans 13:4) So, when God says that he will take vengeance, this is how he does it -- through his servant, the government.

But Jesus' actions do not suggest that the death penalty is not God's will. Jesus' teaching primarily has to do with personal ethics, not the function of the government. It is our job as individuals to forgive. It is God's job, in part through the government, to provide justice for...

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