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Capital Punishment: Explain what differing Christian attitudes might be to Capital Punishment

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Capital Punishment: Explain what differing Christian attitudes might be to Capital Punishment In this assignment I am going to examine the Christian cases for and against Capital Punishment. I will also look at what the different churches say and believe. The Oxford English Dictionary defines capital punishment as: "The punishment of death for a crime; death penalty" Capital Punishment is where a person's life is taken away through judicially appointed means as the punishment for their crime. The death penalty is used in several countries around the world including America. Most countries in the EU find the death penalty as an inhumane form of punishment and so it is not used. There are several ways for the punishment to be carried out but the most common form is that of lethal injection. The injection first knocks the criminal out, putting them into a comma; then the drug slowly paralyses the lungs and stops the heart. The criminal dies in a very peaceful manner. Of the five main aims of punishment, the death penalty carries out four. One of these is retribution, making sure the criminal receives a punishment fit for the crime; another is that capital punishment acts as a deterrent, seeing one criminal sentenced to death may put others off; and another is protection, if murderers are caught and executed then the people on the street will be protected; finally capital punishment keeps the aim of vindication, if people are punished correctly the law will be respected. ...read more.


This story can be taken into question, as Jesus was being tested by the Pharisees we can not say how he would have acted in different circumstances. In Matthew 5:38-48, Jesus says, "You have heard it said, Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth, but I tell you, do not resist an evil man". Jesus then goes on to say that whatever an evil man does to you or makes you do, let him do more. The he leads on to tell us to love our enemies and that we should strive to be perfect as our "Heavenly Father is perfect". This would suggest that we as people should not take revenge in the form of capital punishment but we should forgive, the passage does not say that people should not be punished by the state. It also says that we should show mercy and forgiveness towards our trespassers and it would tend to suggest that Jesus is against Capital Punishment. In Matthew 6:14-15 we are told to forgive, "But if you do not forgive men their sins, your father will not forgive your sins". We are told to show forgiveness in order to receive forgiveness which would imply that we should not kill those who murder but simply forgive. In Matthew 7:1-2 we are told more or less the same as in Matthew 6:14-15. ...read more.


Three Jewish men, Shadrach, Meshach and Abendigo, refuse to worship the golden idol therefore going against the law of the state. This proves that although God tells us to follow his governing authorities we can disobey them in certain circumstances. If the state goes against the law of god then we are better to follow the law of god rather then the state. If the state does go against god then we must follow god and trust that He will protect us although we are still in danger of punishment from the state. In Acts 25:10-11, Paul is standing against the courts being tried. He tells the court, "If, however, I am guilty of doing anything deserving death, I do not refuse to die". This shows that Jesus' disciples are in support of the Capital punishment but in this specific passage Paul refuses to be sentenced because he has done nothing wrong. He does not disagree with it he is simply saying that he does not deserve it. In conclusion Christians have many views and divided view on whether capital punishment is a correct punishment, with some being against it and other in favour. The Bible gives both points of views and Christians interpret the passages depending on what they believe, Christians use Gods words as a guide to whether or not Capital Punishment is still needed as a punishment for murder today. Capital Punishment: Part 1 Angela Wilkinson 10:2 ?? ?? ?? ?? Angela Wilkinson 10 Hall ...read more.

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