My large family is all home for the holidays, and sometimes we get some pretty interesting conversations going. Tonight the topic of choice during supper was capital punishment: what do you think of it?
A few people around the table think that it is ok. That the government has been put in place by God and that we need to respect the government’s decisions and if the government says “capital punishment: ok” then we should too (or something like that). My thought on that (and this just came to me now), is: what about all the other things that the government puts in place that my family has huge problems with? This I don’t understand.
My thought on the whole issue is this:
God has called us to love others. I fail to see how killing someone for what they’ve done wrong shows love to them. Yes, it probably would be justice in a sense. And God is a just god, but he is also a God of mercy, and grace. If he were only focused on justice, we would all be toast. We would all be dead in our transgressions and there would be no way out. Somehow, God balances mercy and grace into his justice equation. Jesus is our mercy and grace. Jesus relieves the severity of the justice we deserve.
If we have been pardoned, do we not also have the responsibility to show mercy and grace to others? We are to represent Christ. Re-present God. There is not one criminal in prison that is beyond the reach of God. No matter how hard and callous someone may be, God has not written that person off. That person is still loved as much as you and I. Despite how many people someone may have murdered or raped or what have you, that person is still loved as much as you and I. Kinda makes you feel shafted hey? “But God! I’ve done all these good things, and that person has done so many bad things. Don’t you love me more? Am I not more lovely?” But the truth is that we are not. So if God does not give up on the murderers, and if God does not give up on the rapists….and we are to re-present God to the world…..than is it not safe to say that we should not give up on them? If we are to love them, does that not mean nottaking their life? It makes sense to me.
What do you think?