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THE BIBLE GOD AND CAPITAL PUNISHMENT
  
Jesus said that the Old Testament was infallible and was God's revelation and his unbreakable word. If Jesus was God, then he made the vicious laws of God given in the Bible that demanded that heretics and homosexuals and whole nations be violently slain by his people.

Capital punishment is seen as an act of just and unavoidable war by a state against its own citizens who need destruction for being so dangerous and for killing others.  That is the belief of the Church even though it may now say that there is too much injustice to risk allowing capital punishment for it will be abused.  The principle is still maintained.   The Churches then as long as they approve the just war doctrine have to be open to agreeing with capital punishment and supporting those who implement it.

In his book Where Does it say that in the Bible? page 164 on the inquisition Catholic scholar Patrick Madrid quotes with approval the text of Deuteronomy 17:2 to 7 where scripture commands that a man or woman who adores gods other than God are to be stoned to death. It commands that the witnesses must be the first to lift the stones.  By approval he means that if it were reinstated today by God it should be obeyed.
 
The Church says that Jesus saved the life of an adulteress in John 6. Some use this story to argue that Jesus did away with the capital punishment laws. There a woman was caught in adultery and hauled before Jesus by a mob who asked Jesus if they should stone her to death. He said that if anybody was without sin let him be the first to cast a stone at her. This certainly says that a sinless accuser could indeed stone her to death. They all walked away and Jesus told the woman to go and sin no more. Some say that he could have stoned her being sinless and he didn't so he didn't agree with stoning women like her though the law commanded stoning for such. But the woman had been hauled before him by a mob not the legal system. Had these people been really concerned for the law they would have had a warrant to stone her. They didn't when they were able to walk away. The story does not teach that capital punishment is wrong. Quite the opposite. It implies that adulterous people should be destroyed but through the proper channels and by fair courts. Jesus and the early Church did not believe that magistrates had to be sinless before they had the right to punish offenders. They punish as representatives of the law not in their personal capacity. They are doing a job.
 
The Church agrees with the evil laws made by God in the Old Testament. Jesus Christ in John 8:7,11 said that the only objection he had to the woman being stoned to death of adultery was that the accusers were no better themselves. If they had been sinless he would have agreed. Read page 16 of Apologia Catholic Answers to Today’s Questions. The Church would say that if we could go back in time far enough, we would have to keep those laws. This makes the Church a murderer in its heart (Matthew 5).  Jews when able to, put adulterous people to death. What about Jesus telling the Jews to judge men or women who remarried after divorce as guilty of adultery?   He said that to Jewish leaders who were also lawyers meaning he was virtually telling them to execute the divorced and remarried and not just cheaters.

Jesus told the Jews off for not executing young men who cursed their parents and said they annulled the commandment of God in doing so.
 
Indeed Jesus supposedly saved the soul of the thief who was crucified with him because the thief confessed that he deserved the cross. Jesus told him that he would be saved that very day implying that the thief was a saint just for approving of what the evil Romans did to him.

The Bible gives no hint that the laws of God commanding the killing of murderers, homosexuals and adulterers etc in the Old Testament were temporary civil laws. It does not say they were only state laws. If they are moral laws then they are still valid for today's Christians.

Read what Peter, Jesus' apostle said in the Acts of the Apostles. The context is how Jesus was supposedly murdered as a result of Jewish scheming. "Now, fellow Israelites, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did your leaders. But this is how God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, saying that his Messiah would suffer. Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, and that he may send the Messiah, who has been appointed for you—even Jesus. Heaven must receive him until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets. For Moses said, ‘The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own people; you must listen to everything he tells you. Anyone who does not listen to him will be completely cut off from their people.’" Peter adds the command about being cut off to that text. In the Law, it does not appear beside that command but it does appear in relation to other subjects such as sabbath breakers. Cutting off appears in the Law of Moses which apparently refers to somebody being thrown out of the community and left to die in the wilderness. Most authorities regard it as referring to direct execution. Exodus 31 is clear that “cut off” means execute - to take the life.  Peter refers to a complete cut off which is clearly a euphemism for murdering them. Peter is endorsing Moses as commanding that those who turn to Jesus and then away from him must be executed. The method would have usually being stoning. Jesus referred to that verse about the prophet too. Peter by saying Moses and Jesus are both to be obeyed totally is indicating that both want rebel Christians put to death. He does not say it can be done but that it must be aimed for and done when possible. No sect ever claims it can just go out and execute as if the government was not there.
 
Jesus said that we are commanded to love God with all our hearts - so we should be willing to embrace everlasting torment if God asked us to. Such a severe message makes capital punishment seem such a little thing! We should not be surprised if God asks us to implement it! It is no reply to say that loving God just means keeping his commandments. That would be loving his commandments but we are asked to love God.

GOD AND CAPITAL PUNISHMENT

No one can deny that capital punishment is evil except when it is the only way to stop a killer killing any more. But then it is not capital punishment but self-defence. To say that capital punishment is always wrong then does not have anything to do with forbidding killing in self-defence.
 
John Paul II stated that capital punishment is morally right when it is absolutely necessary to destroy someone who will kill others. That is not capital punishment.
 
God takes life which implies he can authorise us to do it. Belief in God then endangers opposition to capital punishment. Even if it just opens up the possibility that there is a being who could reveal that it should be carried out to promote the belief is to promote murder in its capital punishment aspect. To refuse to enlighten believers is to make it more possible for capital punishment to return big time. Believers in God cannot use the only real reason for rejecting capital punishment, that since humans should be happy their lives must be worth more than happiness so life is an absolute value and should never be destroyed. For the sake of men and women, we reject God as an abomination.
 
The Bible says that God himself commands capital punishment and records his words making it clear that heretics, apostates, worshippers of other Gods, adulterers, women who are not virgins on the wedding night, homosexuals, those who curse father or mother or God or the priests are to be put to death.  He said that these should be put to death by stoning or burned to death. These commands were done purely because of Israel’s conviction that it should obey God. It wasn’t about protecting society at all. The Bible refutes toads who say that murdering in the name of religion is impossible and blame modern killers who kill on religious grounds of using religion as an excuse.
 
Evil Christian defender Norman L Geisler in The Case for Faith (Lee Strobel, Zondervan, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 2000) states that we don’t have the right to take life for we didn’t create it but God has the right for he created it (page 168). He argued that you can cut down your bushes in your own garden but nobody else’s because the bushes are yours so God owns our lives and can take them as he pleases. He says this in response to those who say that God commanding killing in the Bible proves it is an evil book and unworthy of belief.
 
The first reply to Geisler is that to say God has the right to command us to take life for life is his to take is to say that men have the right to kill if belief in God bids them to. That is what it amounts to. In the Bible, the prophet Samuel gave Israel a message from God to erase by killing the nation of Amalek, men, women and children and flocks and all. And we see no evidence looked for that this man was indeed a prophet.  The command was carried out. It was Samuel who was obeyed for how do we know what if anything was communicating with him and issuing the commands?  People like Geisler are pure bigots underneath the charm.
 
The second reply to Geisler is that making life does not give you the right to destroy it when you want. Even if you made it, the life doesn’t belong to you but to the being that you gave life to. We are not like mere bushes we are people. Making life gives God no authority to take it away. To say that your life doesn’t belong to you is to say you have no rights over it. This is the demeaning implication of belief in God for people like Geisler have no other excuse for explaining how God can have the right to command killing or kill.
 
The third reply to Geisler is that atheists then must claim the right to kill their children since they must believe they make life. So for God to have the right to kill we must give it to atheists too!
 
The fourth reply to Geisler is that human life comes before religious beliefs and if God endangers respect for human life he shouldn’t be believed in. Geisler stoops so low as to say that when God commanded the extermination of the Amalekite children and babies that he was doing them a favour for babies that die go to Heaven (page 169, The Case for Faith). So killing babies to save them isn’t intrinsically wrong.
 
The fifth reply to Geisler is that some believers are convinced that God speaks to them and doctrines such as his only encourage them to think God may want them to kill. There are thousands of such deaths every year.
 
Finally he says that the people of Amalek were totally evil unlike any nation today so you can’t assume that we have the right to attack any nation to rid the earth of its evil. He says God was right to get Israel to destroy them for they had four hundred years to repent and never bothered and they would have destroyed Israel. He doesn’t tell us that Israel considered itself the people of God and didn’t make any effort to convert other nations. He doesn’t tell us that the Bible never says the people of Amalek were that bad. And he doesn’t tell us that it is wrong to destroy another nation entirely on the basis that it would destroy yours for it might never do it and the people of Amalek had hundreds of years to attempt to destroy Israel and didn’t. And when Israel had the power to destroy it so easily Israel then was attacking a weaker nation. Therefore an attack from the people of Amalek was just not going to happen. Here we have a case where the commonsense rule that you don’t wage war except in self-defence is opposed by the Bible and the religionists who are mad enough to want it taken seriously.
 
Some believers will object to capital punishment on the grounds that God said, “You shall not kill”, which proves nothing for it was said in the context of a book that commanded capital punishment of the worst kind for nearly everything so “You shall not kill”, just means don’t murder. The other killings were believed to be not murder because they were God’s will. The word murder means illegal killing. The commandment actually supports capital punishment for it does not say you shall not kill but you shall not murder and what murder is or is not is spelled out in the rest of the law of which it claims to be a part. The law is a unit and the context of the commandment shows it was not an absolute ban on taking life. How Christians can quote that command today and ignore the implicit approval in it for the capital punishment laws of the Bible shows either lack of thought or hypocrisy.
 
The fact that capital punishment has been abused and mistakes made like executing the wrong person do not prove that it is wrong. It only proves it should only be employed when absolutely certain. The Bible God advocated capital punishment on very little testimony and gave no rules for testing a testimony so to even say you need to be totally sure before you can put a person to death is heresy. Religion has to go for the sake of the lives of murderers. There is a real danger that the law might at some stage accept only “God fearing” Christians or whatever into juries on the grounds that they are holier than the rest of us. The godly alone were counted as valid witnesses under the Jewish law so they have the scriptural backing.

The doctrine that death is our come-uppance for sinning is official Church doctrine. (And you will find it supported in the following references: Handbook of Christian Apologetics page 247/Radio Replies Volume 3, Question 675/Catechism of the Catholic Church, 402).

St Paul, whose writings are infallible sources of doctrine for all Christians, wrote that all mankind is sinful and that is why all mankind dies. He answered, in his letter to the Romans (5:12), those who doubted that all people are sinners by reminding them that all die and that babies die because they are born in a state of separation from God on account of the sin Adam (their representative and the representative of all humanity) committed. So God has sentenced everybody to death because of sin.
 
Even Jesus supposedly had to die because he took the guilt of humanity on his innocent self. This forbids Christians to rule out capital punishment unless they can prove that God said he will do it himself from now on – which he never clearly said. Had he intended to he would have stated it unmistakeably. And again if capital punishment is right and we forgo it over God that is still fanaticism. It is still fanaticism but less serious if capital punishment is wrong because we are against it because of God and not the reason that it is wrong then that is vicious and arrogant. It means that we will refrain from capital punishment not for people but for religious belief. That is still fanaticism. It means that one cannot object to people having a religious belief that commands them to murder. If you cannot condemn them for hurting people then there is nothing more to be said.
 
The argument that Jesus’ paying the death penalty for us means we don’t pay and the law should not make us even if we commit murder is a complete laughing stock. The law of the land can’t ban capital punishment just because of Jesus. The law has to be secular and practical. Nobody believes that Jesus’ suffering for sin means that we can rob banks and not be entitled to punishment so why should capital punishment be any different?
 
God has no need for death and must only inflict it as a punishment for sin. He could call people into an elevator that takes them to Heaven when their time is right instead. People find the suggestion that death is punishment for sin distasteful. God must want us to gloat about death for when he punishes with it he ignores the good a person may have done. The good doctor who saves loads of lives could be treated worse than the cold-blooded murderer. This tells us that God’s punishing is focused on the evil that a person has done instead of the good. Belief in God certainly reduces the revulsion we should feel towards death and considering the value of the person as being of supreme importance the belief has to be dropped. Even a miniscule of reduction is too much considering the dignity of the person.
 
Since death is punishment it must be vulgar and indecent and unfair and sinful to mourn the dead or to care when anybody is murdered. The true believer will only care about the fact that the murderer committed the crime and killed the person instead of leaving God to do it and not about the actual murder or death itself. All will bother him is that God’s toes were tread upon or that the murderer had a sinful attitude.

To say that death is a punishment for sin is to insult us all because it means that though one might mourn for the death of a loved one, one still believes the person deserved it and withholds some or much sympathy. The death is willed and condoned. Even when it is a needless death this is true for you may disapprove of the timing of the death but still you see the death as punishment. Or one can partly condone what God has done in sending death which is bad too. It means you will and condone the evil because of God to the extent that you see the death as punishment. You are willing evil on a person all because of a being you know nothing about and that is totally vile.

To say that God is right to kill is to automatically affirm that God should be loved with all the heart and soul and mind and any good you do for others is really done for his pleasing and not for them at all. It shows that the prayer, “All for thee my God, all for thee”, is a logical follow-on from theism. Therefore to believe in God is to say that nobody else should mean anything to you but him and that is diabolically harmful and seeks to destroy the joy in life and make a debt of death. The wife wants her husband to hold her and love her for herself and not for God and who in their right mind would want anybody that fails to do this?
 
Even if belief in God posed only a slight threat to the preservation of life it would have to go for life is absolutely valuable. It is foolish to say life comes first if pro-death attitudes in any form or to even the slightest degree are going to be fostered so they have to be eradicated. Anyone who loves God insults my life and I will take it personally. Life is so important that every little evil we do or tolerate when we could correct it contributes to making some people commit suicide for evil breeds evil. If you love life then hate belief in God.

The Catechism of the Council of Trent: The Sixth Commandment

The Catechism of the Council of Trent, approved and ordered to be followed by Pope Saint Pius V, is clear that the laws on stoning people to death were in fact correct and from God even if not to be done today. Just because x is not done any more does not mean that x is wrong.  The text is, "The grievousness of the sin of adultery may be easily inferred from the severity of its punishment. According to the law promulgated by God in the Old Testament, the adulterer was stoned to death. Nay more, because of the criminal passion of one man, not only the perpetrator of the crime, but a whole city was destroyed, as we read with regard to the Sichemites. The Sacred Scriptures abound with examples of the divine vengeance, such as the destruction of Sodom and of the neighbouring cities,' the punishment of the Israelites who committed fornication in the wilderness with the daughters of Moab, and the slaughter of the Benjamites. These examples the pastor can easily make use of to deter men from shameful lust."

The Catechism is clear that Paul condemned homosexual sex.  It would have no time for the lies of todays gays that he did not condemn loving gay sex.  The text is, "In the Gospel, too, Christ the Lord says: From the heart come forth adulteries and fornications, which defile a man. The Apostle Paul expresses his detestation of this crime frequently, and in the strongest terms: This is the will of God, your sanctification, that you should abstain from fornication; Fly fornication; Keep not company with fornicators; Fornication, and an uncleanness and covetousness, let it not so much as be named among you; Neither fornicators nor adulterers, nor the effeminate nor sodomites shall possess the kingdom of God."

At the end of the Council full authority was given to the Catechism: "The sacred and holy Synod, in the second Session celebrated under our most holy lord, Pius IV., commissioned certain chosen Fathers to consider what ought to be done touching various censures, and books either suspected or pernicious, and to report thereon to the said holy Synod; hearing now that the finishing hand has been put to that labour by those Fathers, which, however, by reason of the variety and multitude of books cannot be distinctly and conveniently judged of by the holy Synod; It enjoins that whatsoever has been by them done shall be laid before the most holy Roman Pontiff, that it may be by his judgment and authority terminated and made public. And it commands that the same be done in regard of the Catechism, by the Fathers to whom that work was consigned, and as regards the missal and breviary."

Conclusion
 
Obedient Bible-believing Christians must support capital punishment. And not just for murder but for crimes like heresy and homosexuality and many others.
 
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