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Objections to the Death Penalty - Matthew Postiff

Posted October 24, 2022 | Length: 00:57:37 | File size in bytes: 20747232

During the week of my study for this message, the State of Oklahoma executed a man named Benjamin Cole who 20 years ago broke the spine of his 9-month-old daughter and caused her to bleed to death. Despite some claim of mental illness, there was evidently no question that he committed the crime, just as there has been no question raised as to the culpability of Nicholas Cruz for the Parkland school shooting, or of Ethan Crumbly for the Oxford school shooting. These are clear cases. To be as clear as possible, my position, derived from Scripture, is this: (1) We cannot eliminate the death penalty altogether because our all-wise and merciful God has set it in place as the ultimate restraint against evil. Otherwise, evil will over-run good, and we 7 will live in a society full of anarchy. God records for us in Scripture the exercise of this punishment on numerous occasions. (2) We can and should exercise mercy on a case-by-case basis for youthful offenders, those with mental illness, or other mitigating factors. God demonstrates mercy in Scripture as well. (3) Because of the sinfulness of all people—judges, prosecutors, and accusers included—not just murderers—we must be very conservative to make sure that the offender truly deserves the death penalty. The Scriptures’ rules for witnesses and punishment for false witnesses demonstrate this as well. All three points are supported by Scripture. Where Scripture stands, I stand. I hope you will stand with God in His book as well. As difficult as some things are in this life, dear friends, they must be done for society to honor God. You might ask, “What can I do…after all, the laws of our land are what they are, and I cannot change that.” True enough. But you can do something—believe rightly! Believe how God explains the matter in His word. Trust Him and His infinite goodness. Do not think you can out-think God on this one. He has considered the totality of the world situation, of every individual situation, of every one of His attributes, of all possible future circumstances, of every possible expression of mercy and goodness and judgment. And in wisdom He has put all that together and instructed us for our good and His glory.

Our Scripture reading was found in Proverbs 29:1-27.

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