The Death Penalty: American Law vs. Christianity

The reason Christians should oppose the death penalty is because they believe that (1) humans are Eikons of God who, because of the redemptive work of the trinitarian God in the Cross, Resurrection, and Pentecost, (2) can be restored to union with God and communion with others. Christians can oppose the death penalty because they have hope and believe that God’s grace can undo what has been done and remake the criminal into a person he or she was not previously.
— Read on www.patheos.com/blogs/jesuscreed/2015/05/18/the-death-penalty-american-law-vs-christianity/

And I would add to this:

(3) Time is the means God uses to allow for repentance. Therefore, we should allow for as much time to repent, as is reasonable and possible.

4 thoughts on “The Death Penalty: American Law vs. Christianity

  1. I tend to agree, but what about children or teens who die and didn’t have a chance to come to Christ? God, in His foreknowledge, knows who will accept or reject Him. Just a thought.

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    1. Thanks for your comment, ACountryBoy!

      To address your concerns, please allow me to say:

      A. I gather you are Reformed in theology. I am not. As such, I see no conflict between God’s sovereignty and human responsibility. If any human (child or teen or mentally challenged person) is able to understand consciousness before God, as well as actionable offenses or moral corruption, then that one is able to respond to God’s call in repentance and faith. For this reason, many branches of Christianity have held to credobaptism as opposed to pedobaptism.

      B. Just because God foreknows a thing does not mean he determines (overrides) the powers of the will he bestowed on humans. Foreknowledge is relational; God’s ability to experience special connection with believers from his vantage point of eternity (outside of time and space). Again, it does not mean he overrides the will of humans, which would make them robots.

      C. Only meticulous determinism makes this subject problematic for Reformed theology. The Bible clearly states, “The Lord is not slow concerning his promise, as some people count slowness; but he is enduring patiently with us, not wishing for any to perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). From that, one gathers whatever delay of death we experience, it is God’s giving us chances to repent.

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      1. No I am not Reformed. Totally disagree with Calvinism. I believe in Free will. I disagree with the death penalty. In your post you mentioned criminals should be given more time to seek forgiveness, instead of being put to death. This led me to ask what about kids and teens who die and were not given more time to come to Christ. I believe God is fair and He certainly knows who would accept Christ and who would not.

        Good post.

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      2. Thanks for clarifying.

        In response, again, everyone who is aware of consciousness and corruption bear responsibility for their own soul before God. If one is truly unable to understand, then innocence prevails… and there is no specific age. Each person is different, though young children obviously cannot fathom consciousness or corruption.

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