Because I'm conservative and realize that the threat of death is a deterrent to capital crimes I have always been in favor of capital punishment. It is a deterrent, but we must think more deeply than that! Yesterday I was enlightened. It was while I was merely sitting waiting for God's inspiration that it came to me!
Capital punishment is "just" punishment. People DESERVE what they dish out. That's only fair. Scripture says ( three different places incidentally):
Exodus 21:23 "And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life, 24 Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, 25 Burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe."It is justice to pay life for life. I don't know about espionage and treason, but since they can cause death, that too seems fair to me, and apparently to God.
This specific incidence for justice is in regard to the abortion of an unborn child:
Exodus 21:22 "If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished, according as the woman's husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine."Then it goes on to say "life for life". Abortionists DESERVE death because the most innocent child is an unborn one. They entirely depend on the parents for protection from "mischief", meaning sin. The specific sin of abortion is murder. It is a capital offense deserving capital punishment!
Until yesterday I would be the first to volunteer to pull the switch on an abortion monster. That is righteous anger and the culprits do deserve scorn! It's almost inhuman to snuff out the life of an innocent child and arguments against their life is futile in the face of science and God.
Of course there are those who believe in abortion and infanticide given the cleaned-up clinical name of "partial birth abortion", which incidentally Obama favored when he was state senator in Illinois.
Murderers are those who not only "pull the trigger" so to speak, but create the environment for murder. I doubt if Hitler ever murdered anyone himself. He had others do it for him. With that said Hitler was the most notorious killer of all time! One should wonder about those who create the climate for murder. For instance millions of otherwise "good" people turned their heads knowing that Jews were being massacred under The Third Reich, but they stood by with plugged ears and fogged glasses to give themselves and air of innocence. Their tolerance of those who murdered made them accomplices to murder. They killed without lifting a hand while the stood idly by in apathy!
The fate of children are my concern. People say that since I'm not a woman, what they do with their own body is of no business of mine! That's the attitude of those in socialist Germany at that time. They weren't Jews, so they made the killing of them none of their business. People who rationalize life away so easily are murderers and DESERVE just punishment. I would convict them of some degree of murder if there was ever a jury. Yesterday I would have done so. Today, I would have second thoughts because God gave me second thoughts!
Consider what Jesus said about revenge:
Matthew 5:38 "Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: 39 But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also."We are to treat others as we desire to be treated. That's "The Golden Rule" and it's God's place to be vengeful, not ours. Justice of course is "an eye for an eye", etc., but we're not the ones to do it. Of course God ordained government to institute laws for the protection of mankind, but we still need to be careful!
My change of heart considered two of the most devoted people to God who ever existed! They were both bad guys, murderers, even doing espionage and treasonous acts! I'm referring to King David, "the man after God's own heart" and the Apostle Paul who gave God his own heart!
Without quoting the scripture, David, for the lust of married Bathsheba, had her husband Uriah sent to the front lines in battle where he was soon killed! David didn't pull the bow string nor toss the spear, but he murdered Uriah by laying the groundwork for his death!
The Apostle Paul had a personal vendetta against Christians for what he perceived as violating Mosaic Law. As such he sought them out, rounded them up, had them killed and surely did some trigger-pulling himself. Regardless, Christians were murdered and Paul was a murderer!
David and Paul DESERVED to die for their crimes. David convicted himself because Nathan the Prophet presented him a case which he failed to recognize as himself. Paul called himself "a chief sinner" because his sin of murder was so grievous. God took these two murderers and convicted them both. Unto David God's Spirit indicted hmi with guilt. Unto Paul Jesus himself confronted him and made him see by making him blind!
By law these two characters would be executed in some fashion because that is justice. Instead God by grace allowed them to live and and made them into new persons! Jesus does that and since God and Jesus are one, God did that with David as well!
God doesn't want people to die who are far from him. Murdererers are far removed from God's will. Why? "Because God so loved the world!" and because he loves all of us he doesn't want any of us to have eternal death. Jesus said that (John 3:16).
What if David had been executed for his crime? There would be no Jesus because David is the ancestor of Jesus! There would have been no Jewish Kingdom nor a Temple for God because David built the kingdom and his son built the temple! Because David loved God so much for his grace the Holy Spirit came upon him and he became God's royal spokesmen. Billions of people have heard about Jesus because of David!
With Paul, Jesus came to him in person and convicted him of his sins. Rather than having Paul tried and executed, a just punishment, Paul became the most prolific of all the apostles. Through Paul's wrtitings when he became a new person, billions of people have been saved ard are still being saved! God used crooked sticks to save the souls of people because he loves them so!
Don't get me wrong. David and Paul DESERVED death. A life for a life was "The Law". God's grace protected them from true justice because they became new persons! David became THE man of God and Paul became THE apostle of Jesus who was inspired the most.
Now let us consider other evil people. Pick any. Let's pick someone sane though because many insane people have murdered. How about Saddam Hussein. He was certainly an evil man, a murderer and a tyrant, but I don't believe he was insane. He enjoyed power and wanted to keep it. He was an intelligent man and motivated. He was convicted and shot because he murdered. Like Paul and David, he didn't pull the trigger that I am aware of, but he caused many triggers to be pulled and many innocent people died because of his power.
When he was caught hiding under the floor as he was captured, he was a pitiful man. His power was stripped and he was vulnerable to punishment. In his depravity he was a prime candidate to learn about Jesus! But, at that time, I could have been in the firing squad because Hussein DESERVED death... and that's what he got. I believe this was God's justice, but what if God had had other plans for Hussein. Perhaps some Christian could convince him that he needed salvation. With his intelligence and motivation Iraq could have been a changed world from what it is today!
Perhaps God did not plan that for Hussein, but what if he had and we didn't know it! Hussein could have made a difference. Now it appears he is serving another ruler in hell. By executing Hussein he had no further opportunity to be convinced. Justice, which he deserved, killed him once, but by doing so, killed him twice. It appears that Hussein likely never repented and now he never will. He is dying forever and will never be born again. That's a stiff penalty which God's grace can prevent... and he says salvation is for all!
Let's examine any murderer: By condemning them to death we liklely are condemning them to a second death... and everlasting neverending death. My change of heart is because of grace. Since God gave me millions of chances, my heart is to put them away and let the Holy Ghost do some discusiing with them. Many have been made a new creation in prison because God had grace on them and they answered his knock. Justice can be incarceration and I favor erring toward charity if we are to err!
The guilty will meet justice whether we hand it out or not. If God's will is that they face eternal punishment they will. Of course his plan is that all shall come to him and as such he will continue to call until either one accepts or rejects. God's grace relies on his desire that people will seek him. Most won't, but his will is that they get a chance. God knows that eternity is a long time and God would have loved it if even Hitler had come to him!
God still speaks to stubborn people. I am one! Even in my previous belief, I could never actually shoot the murderer unless it was for the protection of my family or myself. I had no problem with others meeting out justice for me, but I shouldn't expect others to do what I won't do!
My change of heart is not a change of mind! My flesh still seeks revenge, but my spirit has more grace than that!