Gallows, electric chairs, firing squads, gas chambers, and lethal injection rooms! Should Christians reject or embrace these instruments of execution. And…is it wrong to execute a duly convicted criminal? After all, the 6th commandment clearly says we are not to kill. What’s the biblical approach to capital punishment?
Hi. I’m Wes White and welcome to another episode of Connecting History and the Bible at cgi.org. Let’s go to John Dillinger’s old stomping grounds.
I’m standing in front of the old Lake County jail in Crown Point, Indiana. This is the building from which the notorious gangster, John Dillinger, escaped in 1933. This wasn’t supposed to happen because this facility was considered state of the art at the time and everyone thought it was escape proof.
About a year after Dillinger’s escape from this jail, he was cornered outside the Biograph Theater in Chicago and was gunned down by federal agents. His killing back then probably couldn’t happen today because we have different laws on our books now. Our society today has evolved in its approach to fighting criminals and guaranteeing them certain rights.
And this brings us back to the concept of capital punishment. Proponents of capital punishment cite the Bible passages in Leviticus 20 and Genesis 9:6 to say that capital punishment is commanded by God. If this is true, then how do we reconcile these Scriptures in Genesis and Leviticus… with Exodus 20 where it tells us not to kill?
Now, most western democracies today don’t practice capital punishment. And these other countries condemn the US because several American states still practice capital punishment as does the US federal government.
Who’s right and who’s wrong in this argument? As citizens who vote in this democratic republic, should we allow or even encourage our representatives to have capital punishment as part of our judicial system?
We recently created a Bring On the Sabbath broadcast regarding the subject of when is it permissible to kill another person. It recorded in three parts. The first part had to do with capital punishment. The second had to do with self defense. And the third had to do with the military.
If you have questions about when is it permissible for a person to kill another person, then this presentation is probably something that you’ll find interesting and informative. I’ll bet there are things in it that you haven’t considered.
I hope you’ll take a few minutes to watch it. Again, it’s in three parts and it’s called: When Are We Allowed to Kill Another Person. It’s free on our website: cgi.org.
We’ll see you next time on Connecting History and the Bible at cgi.org.