Posted by Gary on December 18, 2007
New Jersey has passed legislation which will end the death penalty in the Garden State. Governor Jon Corzine immediately commuted the sentences of eight individuals to life sentences without parole. See stories here and here. A few thoughts…
Man always seems to think that he knows better than God. God has spoken clearly about what should happen to those who shed the blood of others and why:
Genesis 9:5-6 “Surely I will require your lifeblood; from every beast I will require it. And from every man, from every man’s brother I will require the life of man. “Whoever sheds man’s blood, By man his blood shall be shed, For in the image of God He made man.”
What makes murder evil and worthy of death is that it is the creature attacking the Creator, each of us bears God’s image and to kill someone is to attack the image of God in them. Many try to equate execution with the sin of murder, “It is the same thing” many claim. Apparently in the eyes of God it is not for He has forbidden one and commanded the other. One case is the death of someone innocent, the other is the death of someone guilty of something evil. Murder is a human being’s choice to kill another. Capital punishment on the other hand is government acting on the authority granted it by God (Romans 13) to act on God’s behalf to condemn certain acts of evil.
Many claim that the death penalty doesn’t work. What do we mean by work? Do we mean it doesn’t stop all murders? Well, the claim has never been made that it will end all murders. The only thing that will end all murders is the return of Christ and the end of this sinful age. The death penalty quite simply has to do with retribution. It is a statement by society that certain acts are so evil that they result in the forfeiture of life. Society must respond to such acts with an an act of justice. If others choose not to heed it, they will also suffer the consequence of their rebellion. Seem hardcore? I suppose it does. Murder and death are heavy things.
A commission whose work set the table for the death penalty ban wrote that the death penalty is, “inconsistent with evolving standards of decency.” Standards of decency are evolving in our day, what a word choice… “evolving” meaning what? Do they mean that standards of decency are rising? Were you aware of that? You could have fooled me.
Governor Corzine made the following statement as a rationale for the death penalty ban:
“Society must ask…is it not morally superior to imprison 100 people for life than it is to execute all 100 when it’s probable we execute an innocent?”
I am only left to assume then that a time is coming when New Jersey will not imprison anyone at all. As standards of decency continue to rise we must then come to the place where we must not even be willing to imprison people out of the fear that we might imprison someone who is innocent.
Isn’t it amazing how concerned we can be about certain lives and cold, blooded murderers with others? Aren’t babies in the womb innocent? How is it that New Jersey and our nation as a whole permits murdering them? By the way, if even the chance of innocence means halting the death penalty then shouldn’t the uncertainty of when life begins keep us from allowing people to abort their children? A jury can be wrong about a conviction, isn’t it possible that the medical world could be wrong about when life begins?
I believe without any question that life begins at conception but can we not acknowledge that there is some dispute both in the world of medicine and law as to when life begins? If there is even a chance that this is life in the womb dare we allow it to be injected, dismembered, punctured and vacuumed out? Where O man is the consistency of your logic? Murderers must be dealt with humanely, but not unborn children.
Ezekiel 13:19 “…you have profaned Me to My people to put to death some who should not die and to keep others alive who should not live, by your lying to My people who listen to lies.”‘
I am not bloodthirsty nor do I revel in the thought of anyone being put to death, yet some of life’s most tragic events are most necessary. The God who commanded the murderer to lose his life has said this:
Ezekiel 18:32 “For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone who dies,” declares the Lord GOD. “Therefore, repent and live.”
Yet, God’s Word is full of accounts of God putting people to death for their wickedness and often using the agency of governing authority to fulfill His will.
Is it not a marvel as we watch the unraveling of our country take place before our very eyes that we would insist that we know better than God? Think of the murderous scenes just in the last year: Virginia Tech, the recent mall and church shootings out west,-45 murders per day in the U.S. Add to this the estimated 3,700 abortions per day in our country and what is left to be said? God’s ways are ignored while we perish.
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