headbegone02I received the following question:

Have you written anything on the topic of CAPITAL PUNISHMENT?
If not, I could use your scriptural expertise on this subject if you have time to jot down the proper view.

No, I have not written anything on capital punishment, though I have probably said something in my messages on the sixth commandment http://preceptsaudio.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/murder/ and http://preceptsaudio.wordpress.com/2013/06/01/we-establish-the-law-4-the-ten-commandments-part-2/

Capital punishment was first instituted by the LORD’s direction in Genesis 9:6.

Whoever sheds man’s blood, By man his blood shall be shed; For in the image of God He made man.

Many point to this as the Biblical justification for having human government, which it probably is. This took place right after the flood, and placed Adam’s race under the obligation to execute the murderer.

Some have tried to point to the sixth commandment (thou shalt not kill) and claim this speaks against capital punishment. These show how ignorant they are of the Scriptures, as Exodus 21:12 shows that capital punishment is the Biblical penalty for breaking the sixth commandment!

Killing in war is also clearly not the intention of this commandment, since Israel was often commanded to do this. For example, Deuteronomy 20:16.

16. “But of the cities of these peoples which the LORD your God gives you as an inheritance, you shall let nothing that breathes remain alive,

Some might argue that we should not be involved in any kind of violence, including executing people, in the dispensation of grace. It is true that as believers, we are called to show grace to others, and grace certainly does not include killing them. However, most of us are not in governmental positions. Yet those who are may have an obligation as a governor to do things that they are not to do as a believer. I do not believe that supporting justice by executing criminals is something that is wrong or sinful today. We should not kill as believers, but this does not mean that we should not be involved in administering justice. This just might be our obligation, not as believers, but as human beings. We cannot advocate for no justice in our day because we want everything to be about grace. So I believe that capital punishment is still appropriate to deal with those who have committed the worst of crimes.

I pray this helps.