"Christians Would Never Agree With Capital Punishment." Do You Agree?
“Christians Would Never Agree With Capital Punishment.” Do You Agree?
On one hand some would agree with this statement, as capital punishment goes against the commandment ‘Do not commit murder’. Christians should follow this extremely important rule; surely killing a murderer makes the executioner a murderer as well? Jesus taught his followers about the concept of forgiveness, he told them to ‘love your enemies’. If we kill people for their crimes, we are not giving them a chance to admit they have done wrong and repent. Jesus taught his followers the right way to pray,
‘Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who have sinned against us.’
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Jesus also said in the Bible ‘Turn the other cheek.’ This clearly displays that fighting back or killing someone because they have committed a murder, is not the way we should go about things. Also if a criminal is later found that they are actually innocent, they can not be brought back from the dead.
Sister Helen Préjean is a spiritual adviser who goes around to people on death row oferring them support and helping them realise that God has forgiven their sins and he will always be with them. Helen is strongly against capital punishment; she has witnessed several executions in her lifetime and believes that it solves nothing, except one less life. Like a lot of other Christians she believes that there are other ways of punishing criminals, which are more effect and it is not our decision when to end an individual’s life. Helen asks Christians a key question, is the God you believe in vengeful or compassionate? Some Christians might say God is more vengeful in the Old Testament, and more compassionate in the New Testament. Other Christians say that God is both vengeful and compassionate, and he does not change.
On the other hand others would disagree with this statement, as there are many Christians which support the act of capital punishment. For example Harry Connick Senior, who is a district attorney, he states that ‘Religion promises hell.’ George W Bush and the governor of New York also support the death penalty. Some Christians support capital punishment because they believe that some criminals are not sorry for their crimes and society needs protecting in case they decide to re-offend. The Old Testament teaches ‘an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth’, a lot of Christians still chose to follow this statement. It is quite rare for a life sentence to be given and the duration of it filled, a lot of criminals appeal and their sentences are shortened. A prison governor said that ‘people should be given hope even on death row.’
Personally I do not believe that the death penalty should be legal in any country in the world. I do believe that criminals need to be punished to fit the crime they have committed, but it is not up to us to decide when to take their life. I think that it definitely makes the executioner a murderer and no one should have to have the responsibility of that job. If someone murders someone, I think that life imprisonment should be given and no appeals can be made after the judge has given that final verdict. Criminals can then repent if they wish to during their time in prison. I think that any Christian living by God’s teaching should never agree with Capital Punishment.