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Posts Tagged ‘capital punishment’

Let me say from the outset that I am not in favor of abortion.  I think they are most often performed as a matter of convenience, whether to make one’s life easier, or to preserve one’s reputation.  But I also know it is a very complicated issue.  There are many times when mothers or couples agonize over the decision and feel they truly have no way out.  My heart goes out to them as they do what they feel they must do.

But in being in the “pro-life” camp, I am also persuaded that this reaches far beyond the issue of abortion.  Many other social issues are raised which need to be viewed through this lens.  I was first introduced to this idea when confronted by a woman with whom I worked.  She could not understand how someone could be pro-life and pro-capital punishment at the same time.  She argued that they both are killing by one definition or another, and the stance was incomprehensible to her.  (It’s interesting to note that she herself was pro-abortion and anti-capital punishment.)

This was several years ago, but the idea has remained with me.  If I am to call myself pro-life, does this not extend to areas of compassion toward the adult members of society as well?  Is medical care not a vital part of life?  Is not the environment?  Is not justice?

As Christians we have the responsibility to represent our Lord in all areas of life.  Our knowledge of Him should inform our every decision and belief.  A few years back I was mentoring a new believer, a mature woman who found the Lord after the age most folks do.  She came to one of our weekly get-togethers very troubled.  She had been attending Bible studies, trying to learn as much as she could about her new-found faith.  She listened attentively to what was being taught, and picked up on the casual conversations before and after the meetings.  He question to me was this:  “Do I have to become a Republican now?”  Politics was a big topic of conversation among her new friends, and they believed everything they studied pointed to a conservative way of government, or so it seemed to my friend.

My answer to her was pointed.  I said, “The most important thing for you to do is to learn God’s word, in order to get to know Him better.  Learn to listen and to follow.  And let your understanding of Him inform everything else.  Don’t worry about what it’s called.”

Then I showed her an example of how two Christians can come to different viewpoints on the same topic, each basing their position on their understanding of God’s word.  Let’s examine capital punishment.  One says, “It’s all over the Old Testament.  It’s just.  It is not undeserved.  It is not murder and is not immoral.”  Another says, “I see from the Bible that man is fallible and does not always judge rightly, either because of misinformation or out of corruption.”  They are both right.  But we can’t have it both ways.

My friend was relieved.  She felt free.  She did not need to try to conform to any other standard than what she saw in Jesus.  It’s simple:  read the Bible, understand what it’s saying, know God better as a result, and follow Him.

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