Originally Posted by octaveshift
I am interested in having a legitimate and friendly discussion with resident Christians on how they can/can't rectify the disparity between "Thou shall not kill" and state-sanctioned killing. (Death penalty, the war, etc...)
I hear a lot about how the United States "is a Christian nation", and yet its actions run completely counter to some of the most basic tenants of the faith.
Anyone feel like discussing?
here's the way I see it...
God himself installed capital punishment in Genesis 9:6.
Note, this had nothing to do with Christianity or even the Mosaic law, it was before the law.
"Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man." Gen. 9:6
People have funny ideas about who God will kill. God has a love/hate relationship with sinners. Scripture says God is love, and God loves the world (John 3:16) but it also says the Lord is a man of war. The truth is, God is omnipotent, He can and will kill anyone at any time He wants. He also killed almost everyone on Earth at one time as shown in Genesis 6, but it should be noted this was a result of a population that was filled with violence:
"And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth." Gen. 6:13
Please note: After the flood, the first thing God told Noah (while still on Ararat) was, "Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man." This installment of capital punishment was important and it is still important today.
Please note: God provided a way to avoid this terrible judgement. (only one way, see John 14:6). If people would have repented, God would have had Noah build more arks!
Lastly, Jesus came to Earth as the Lamb of God last time, but next time He will return as the Lion of Judah, and He will utterly destroy the nations that rise up against Israel! (Rev. 19)
More below from Fred Thompson, sorry for the cut and paste...
Common sense on capital punishment
By 2008 GOP Candidate Fred Thompson
"Our country seems to be able to come to the right conclusions over time, even when we’re being told over and over again that we're wrong. When I say the right conclusions, by the way, I mean conclusions supported by honest research and real evidence. I've got a good example -- capital punishment.
For decades, the self-proclaimed smart kids have been telling us that the death penalty just doesn't work. The people with the top jobs in academia and the news business have scoffed at the American people's insistence that executions prevent murder.
On the very surface of the issue, it would seem pretty obvious that an executed murderer can't murder anybody else -- but we’ve been told that we were wrong even about that. You've undoubtedly heard the old saw about executions actually motivating murderers to kill, presumably because what murderers really want is attention. The argument is a stretch, demanding that we believe that killers aren’t deterred by the consequences of being caught and executed. Without evidence, though, it's hard to rebut.
In the last few years, however, serious researchers have applied themselves to finding the evidence. Criminologists and economists have gathered and analyzed a mountain of data, and many of them were surprised by what they found. Now, they’ve published papers in respected academic journals that are establishing an unexpected consensus.
The reliable two-thirds of Americans who have always supported the death penalty probably wouldn't be surprised to find out that study after study has shown that the death penalty deters murders. Some studies show really dramatic effects, with each execution of a murderer deterring as many as 18 or more murders. That’s according to Emory University professors, who found as well that delaying execution also leads to further murders. Most studies have concluded that some number of murders between three and 18 are prevented for every application of capital punishment.
I guess the most surprising thing to me was seeing an article about these findings just a few weeks ago by the Associated Press. The most interesting quote was from a well-known opponent of capital punishment who looked at the evidence and said, “Abolitionists or others, like me, who are skeptical about the death penalty haven't given adequate consideration to the possibility that innocent life is saved by the death penalty."
Certainly, the use of DNA evidence to clear long-held prisoners from murder charges proves that we need to be more careful about handing out death sentences; and science must be used even more and earlier in the criminal process to protect the innocent and convict the guilty. However, these studies are important in properly analyzing the effect of the death penalty."