I’m not sure why, but the other night I started thinking about capital punishment and abortion. I’ve heard people give reasons for being for and/or against both, so I thought I’d see what might be out there.
I did a few searches and read some reasons and opinions for abolishing capital punishment laws. All were subjective. People gave their “reasons” and treated them like they were facts anchored in concrete, but none had an ultimate standard on which to base their basic logic.
The corresponding search for supporting abortion usually boiled down to a couple of arguments. Namely that a woman should have the freedom to choose, apart from any government telling her she couldn’t kill her own child, and that the unborn child isn’t a person.
What I found most interesting was that none of the reasons given for either stated what God thought and said about the issues. Even the religious arguments. Some of them claimed to have the Bible as their basis, but never quoted any scripture to support their position.
I realize that a secular world view doesn’t recognize God or care what He thinks. Yet, if you look at precedent and go back far enough, you’ll see how what God set down originally influenced many cultures. Those that didn’t follow Him as well as those that did.
I also noticed that people have a very poor understanding of the terms kill and murder. They aren’t exactly the same. And some tend to exchange the meanings to support their positions whenever it suits them.
I have my own opinions, but I decided to check the scripture again and see what God says.
In Genesis 9, we find that God made a covenant with Noah and his family and thus with all of mankind.
“Surely for your lifeblood I will demand a reckoning; from the hand of every beast I will require it, and from the hand of man. From the hand of 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.” Genesis 9:5-6.
That’s pretty clear cut. Any man that takes another’s life, his own life shall be taken by other men. We do this now by governing authority. One of the “reasons” stated against capital punishment was that no government has the right to execute its own citizens, for any reason. God’s original covenant contradicts that. And we’ll see something soon from the New Testament which contradicts it as well.
“You shall not murder.” Exodus 20:13.
One of the Ten Commandments. It’s sometimes translated as you shall not kill, but the term used is actually murder. All killing is not murder. Killing the enemy during a time of war, killing to prevent your own death or someone else’s, and accidental killing are not considered murder.
I believe this distinction is what God intended when He pronounced the covenant. Those who would murder another must pay for their crime by the forfeiture of their own life.
“People do not despise a thief if he steals to satisfy himself when he is starving. Yet when he is found, he must restore sevenfold; he may have to give up all the substance of his house.” Proverbs 6:30-31.
I understand that people can change. Many times, God gives us chances to turn to Him for redemption. But that redemption does not always remove the consequences of our actions.
Committing a murder against another takes something that cannot be replaced. For the sake of those closest to the victim who need closure and for the benefit of society as a whole, the one responsible must be held accountable. Hopefully the perpetrator will see the error of his ways and seek redemption from God before his life ends, but he needs to pay that price.
“Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.” Romans 12:19
“For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil.” Romans 13:3-4.
Here are the other verses I referenced earlier. While God does not want us to take vengeance or revenge on our own, He has put in place governments to exact vengeance or punishment when necessary. This is why in the US, a person must be convicted by a jury of his peers and sentenced by an appointed judge in order to receive capital punishment. No one is allowed to exact that punishment outside the judicial system, a branch of our government.
What about abortion?
“Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them.” Psalm 139:16.
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5.
Obviously, God considered the unborn child a person. And those who knew God considered the unborn child a person. Today’s science knowledge allows us to see and know what happens when a person is conceived. To say we can’t know when human life begins or that the new life is not a person is to be ignorant of the facts.
So, we have a human life which is considered by God to be a person who has never committed a crime against anyone. They’re not at war with anyone or threatening anyone.
Abortion’s aren’t performed by accident. Which leaves us with a deliberate action to end the life of an innocent person. That constitutes murder by any definition.
I’m sure some will say the law doesn’t recognize the unborn as a person and that abortion is currently legal. An action’s legality by man’s law does not make it right by God’s, nor does one’s personhood require acceptance by society. If you don’t believe me, ask Dred Scott.
What is to be concluded from all this?
God is the purveyor of true right and wrong. And without His standards, society cannot make consistent laws which bring life, liberty, and freedom to everyone. Currently we have laws which forbid correct punishment to people who commit heinous, horrendous crimes against others while also having laws which allow for the murder of the most innocent among us.
I don’t believe any society can stand for long which allows such injustice. May we seek to correct the problems before it’s too late.
Thanks for stopping by! Please feel free to comment and let me know what you think!