Tuesday, November 22, 2005

The Death Penalty

Is trying to be moral easy? No. Can a person think with their heart? Maybe, but will it often be wrong? Yes.

We are supposed to think with our brain with minor input from our heart, but sometimes we find that too much blood flows from the brain and can skew the results.

Want examples? O.K., take when a male starts taking notice of a desirable woman. His blood leaves his brain and arrives somewhere else below the belt, and he no longer thinks clearly. In fact otherwise very intelligent men often make fools of themselves.
:)

When we have empathy for a murderer our blood leaves our brain and arrives back at the heart and again we make poor judgments.

It is easy and makes us “feel good” to make judgments from the heart. Heartfelt judgments make many people feel very good about themselves, and to some that is more important than doing the right thing.

They rationalize that “if it feels good, it MUST be right.” Adultry "feels good" but is it right? Joy riding in a stolen car "feels good", but is it right?

That is why so many people allow “a little indiscretion” because they want to have people love them for their “understanding.”

Having compassion should not stop us from insuring that justice is done and so people who need to learn life’s lessons can.

Again, heartfelt judgments are the easy way out. When our children misbehave is it easy to enforce the rules? No, it is very difficult.

Our heart says to let them off the hook. Being Liberal is easy; doing the correct thing is difficult because sometimes it affects people’s lives and who wants to be the bad guy who enforces the rules? Most real bad guys hate the police and judges.

The correct way to make judgments is to do what a judge does in the courtroom. Look at the circumstances, look at the standards from which we are to apply them, and then make a decision.

Let's start with the "The system is flawed" argument.

“Well your honor, I know there are videos of me robbing the bank, but we need to eliminate all of the "robbery" punishments because the system is flawed.”

So, let me get this straight, we should only apply laws when the system is perfect? Does that argument sound ridiculous? Yep, but it certainly makes sense to those who think with their heart.

Well, that is the same logic they apply to the death penalty.

I have gone back and forth on the Death Penalty. Partly because I want to be loved for being compassionate too, but I always come back to the position that it is a correct principal and I will attempt to explain why.

If a man comes over to my house and steals my car, do I have the right to get it back? Of course I do.

Usually I will call the Police and have them do it for me.

This is the basis for having society "make the victim whole.” It is called Retribution and it is moral and just.

Someone kidnaps you, they take away your freedom, again you are justified to require the Police, (government), to take away his freedom.

If someone is stabbing your spouse, would you be justified in killing them? Yes.

Again, notice I said "killing" them and not "Murdering" them. Self Defense of your family's life or your life is justified. And that is all that Society is doing when it takes the murderer's life. It "kills" the murderer, it doesn't "murder" the murderer any more than you would be "murdering" if you were defending your life.

The definition of Murder is the "Purposeful and Unlawful taking of an innocent life." That is why the Bible correctly translated says "Thou Shalt not Murder.”

But where most people miss the point in the Old Testament in the quote "An eye for an eye", the context here is that this was to be the guidelines for a judicial system of "making the punishment fit the crime.”

We do it all the time with our children. If they come home an hour late, we don't give them the same consequences that we do if we find out that they slashed the tires of the neighbor’s car.

"Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man." (Gen. 9:6)

The purpose of the penal system is not to rehabilitate people; it is to protect the innocent.

If you ask everyone in prison if they are guilty, almost all of them will say no. It is amazing how many people "find Jesus" in prison.

My oldest son told me what happened to him when his wife was mad at him and was kicking and slapping him, so he reached up finally and grabbed her wrist and pushed her down.

The neighbors called the police on her, but the police said both of them had to go to jail because they said my son, should have just left instead of pushing her down.

He agreed that he could and should have just got in the car and left until she cooled down. What were they fighting over? She said they should be “friends” with their children and not give them any consequences, while he said they must have consequences. She lost her cool and got very angry. Why, because he was so calm. She let her emotions, (heart); rule her actions instead of discussing it with her logic and brain.

While in jail, a counselor came into a big room and asked, “How many of you deserve to be here?” My son and only one other person out of about 200 raised their hand. She said, “Well I can see that only two people in here will NOT be back, I will see the rest of you again.”

Do people deserve a second chance? Yes, in every case where the victim can be made whole.

Can the life of the victim be restored? No. Then should the murderer be given a second chance? No.

If we steal money, and then pay it back, we can and should be forgiven. But, in the case of Murder, perhaps the reason in the Bible we find that God requires the murderer give up his life is so when the murderer is standing before God, God can say, well you paid back you deed with your life and now I can forgive you.

I Don't know that to be the case, but it might be. Food for thought.

There is only one unpardonable sin, and that is the sin against the Holy Ghost. Meaning, a person had a sure knowledge that God exists and then he fights against him.

Is the Murderer's life anymore precious than the victum's?

The two most important things to get out of this are the following laws of nature:

1. People must "learn" that their actions have consequences and that consequences are good for their own growth.
2. People must "observe" that actions have consequences that are commensurate with the crime or society will cease to have respect for the law and will not have any safety.

When people get a ticket, why do you think most people get upset? They know that they did something wrong, so why do they get upset?

The reason is that all of us know that the law was not applied equally. Some speeders are not pulled over, so they ask "why me?"

The consequences must be always applied, and with the correct amount, or we loose respect for authority and law.

Should there be an "ultimate" consequence for an "ultimate" crime? The Bible says so, and reality says so.

People will argue that capital punishment is not a deterrent. They will cite all kinds of statistics to prove their point.

I love statistics, but I also think all information we process needs to be filtered with logic and common sense.

Does the following scenario make sense to you: What if you were a criminal and you were told that if you murdered anyone with a blue shirt on you would get the death penalty, but if you murdered anyone else, you wouldn’t?

Would it make a difference to you?

Would it make “any” difference to "some" criminals? Not all murders are “heat of the moment”, that is why we have First Degree Murder because it was “planned.”

Again, using common sense, any intellectually honest person would have to answer that question "YES".

48 Comments:

At 8:16 PM, Blogger jj said...

FAR you logic is flawed. I have very little time but will be back later,
One point

you said
If a man comes over to my house and steals my car, do I have the right to get it back? Of course I do.

Do you have the right to steal his?

One more it is more difficult to forgive than it is to punish a criminal.

Equating a parent punishing a child is comparing apples and bananas.

 
At 8:46 PM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

JJ,

No, I don't have the right to steal his, but that is not what restitution is, it is geting mine back and making me whole.

If he sold mine, then he some how owes me a car, and should be morally required to pay me back.

That is my point. Just as if you borrowed something, do you own it? No, and the owner has the right to come and ask for it back.

We aren't talking punishing, we are talking "paying back" what is owed, and protecting society. Big difference.

The Justice system is to make restitution and to protect, not necessarily to punish, although that is part of the criminals learning process, so they can grow from them.

Parental punishment is not apples and bananas, it has the same heartfelt challenges. We want to be compassionate in both cases.

:)

FAR.

 
At 9:11 PM, Blogger Tex said...

Logic seems fine to me. The biblical law is clear and FAR has hit it perfectly.



Code: cyobv

 
At 9:52 PM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

The single biggest contributor to crime in America today in my opinion is the lack of teaching how to abide by the rules from parents.

If my child does something wrong, and I don't make him suffer consequences, I have just condemed my child to not be able to cope in the real world.

If a child steals money from his Mommy's purse, and the parenst say, "it is harder to forgive than to punish, so let's forgive", then those parents have just help ruin that child's development.

Because when they get into the real world, they will find that they must play by the rules or there will be consequences, because the big boys don't put up with tantrums.

FAR.

 
At 10:39 PM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

jj,

One more point about the "steal his" question.

If some one murders my son, I cannot get my son's life back, but I can ask the state to help show others that if they take someone else's life, then the only way they can "pay" for it, is with theirs. Not paid to me, but paid to the person who "gives" life in the first place...God. They give a life back to God for the one the took.

:)

FAR.

 
At 12:10 AM, Blogger KT4JC said...

FAR, I have also written a post on this.

I agree that we must consider the death penalty logically instead of allowing our emotions overcome clear thinking. However, I think you are violating your own rule, only in the opposite direction. For instance, vandalizing the car of the vandal might make you "feel good". So might killing (or have the government kill) the person that killed your family member.

You can't deny that some of most vocal advocates for the death penalty are often (not always, but often) the family affected by the murder. I find it hard to believe that the families are only using logical thinking and are not influenced by emotions.

So therefore, both sides are at least somewhat influenced by emotions.

However, I believe that there is a logical argument against the death penalty and I explain this on my blog.

You say that "Someone kidnaps you, they take away your freedom, again you are justified to require the Police, (government), to take away his freedom. If someone is stabbing your spouse, would you be justified in killing them? Yes. Again, notice I said "killing" them and not "Murdering" them. Self Defense of your family's life or your life is justified. And that is all that Society is doing when it takes the murderer's life."

Actually, no. By this logic, if someone steals, the government should take an equal amount as punishment. If you are just going by exactly "an eye for an eye," then there would be no reason to imprison a thief. If someone was stabbing your wife, you would have a justifiable reason to kill them in defense of your wife. However, if the crimminal was stopped and secured, would you still go up and stab him? I would guess that you wouldn't, if you were thinking logically and not letting your emotions be overpowering.

So what is the difference here? The difference is that in the first case, you are trying to prevent the crimminal from hurting your wife. In the second, you are doing it solely for revenge. Therefore, punishment is meant to stop and prevent the action from happening again.

In the case of a murderer on death row, he (or she, I suppose) are secured. If the system does its job (and the crimmal receives full life in prison), they are unable to commit the crime again. So, if we are to kill the murderer, we are not doing it in self-defense, but in revenge.

All of your Biblical quotes are from the Old Testament. However, your theory that an "eye for an eye" "was to be the guidelines for a judicial system of 'making the punishment fit the crime'", is not withheld in the Old Testament. In the Old Testament, other crimes that had the death penalty as punishment were adultery (Leviticus 20:10), homosexual behavior (Leviticus 20:13), kidnapping (Exodus 21:16), loving anything more than God (Leviticus 20:2), occult practices (Exodus 22:18 ), pre-marital sex (Leviticus 21:9), not observing the Sabbath (Numbers 15:32-36), and striking or slandering a parent (Exodus 21:15, 17. Do you agree with these punishments?

In the New Testament, Jesus did not advocate the death penalty, even when Jewish law would have demanded it. This was because Jesus came and died for our sins. Otherwise, if we are to follow only Jewish law, we would still be offering animal sacrifices.

Bottom line: Punishment, including capital punishment, is only to stop and prevent the action from happening again, or in other words, self-defense of society. When society has been protected, there is no further reason to kill. The Bible, when you include the New Testament, does not condone capital punishment.

 
At 4:36 AM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

kt4jc,

said: "For instance, vandalizing the car of the vandal might make you "feel good". So might killing (or have the government kill) the person that killed your family member."

You pose an interesting thought, however, the retribution is not analogous, because the exercise is to have him restore my car, not to have me vandalize his.

The object also is not for me to "feel good" but to have a safe environment from which to function.


"and: "Actually, no. By this logic, if someone steals, the government should take an equal amount as punishment."

First, they should return the amount to me, to make me whole, and then I believe we, as a society would be better off, if it was a first offense to have them do community service as a way of insuring consequence. For if all that happened was to return what was taken, then how has he/she learned anything so as to not do it again. We only learn correct behavior by feedback. People need Positive feedback for good behavior, and Negative feedback for bad behavior.


And: "So, if we are to kill the murderer, we are not doing it in self-defense, but in revenge."

No, we are not doing it for revenge, but as the just consequences for his/her actions. It helps society to see that "actions have consequences", so it is for the good of society to see this feedback, not for revenge. It is also for religious people, done to fulfill a commandment given by God, who might just know a thing or two.


The Old Testament had certain practices called ordinances like the law of sacrifice, that were done away with once Jesus came, the purpose of the sacrifice was to help remind them that Jesus would be the sacrificial lamb.

When Jesus was here he found that instead of the law of Moses, (Judicial Law), being only done by the State as was intended, individuals were taking the law into their own hands, and thus he was reaffirming that vigilante actions were not what individuals should be doing, but he wasn't saying get rid of the laws themselves, i.e., don't put people in jail for stealing and let's just let these thieves run around free. Try to help them when they need it, but he never said Justice was no longer in vogue. He was saying that an eye for an eye was not for individuals, but for the state alone.

Now as to the other reasons for Capital Punishment, they were given to a specific adulterous generation and wicked people.

Once people start seeing that actions have consequences and start "behaving better" he can ease up on the consequences a little. We do these same things when we are raising our children. When they can handle things better, we give them more leeway.

Do you think we are more moral now than in Sodom and Gomorrah’s time?

Do you think we are a less wicked people in this generation?

I don't, and I think he may no longer demand death for adultery anymore, but then if Moses was put back with us, I am not so sure that God wouldn't tell him that things better change quickly or else! I think there is a lot of wickedness in our generation.

I believe he destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah for the same things that are going on now in San Francisco.

You presented some good points, some not analogous, but some I had considered myself as I vacillated on this subject myself, (happens when you have an open mind), but at the moment I am convinced that the ultimate evil act, deserves the ultimate consequence in order to send the correct negative feedback to this generation. (Not for revenge, but to send the correct message.)

:)

FAR.

 
At 4:48 AM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

kt4JC,

Let me see if I can articulate our point of agreement, and disagreement succinctly.

We both agree that actions should have consequences, but where we differ is only on the degree.

I believe that in some cases life in prision is enough, but in others it isn't, where as you believe that in all cases of murder, life in prison is enough.

Does that sum it up?

I like to make sure where the difference is for clarity's sake.

:)


FAR.

 
At 4:55 AM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

kt4JC,

I always try to answer all questions directly so here goes.

"Do you agree with these punishments?"

I don't think we should do them now because they would be against the law, but in those days they were not against the law.

I believe that God is not wishie-washie, and that if he thought they were a good idea at that time, then they must have been just for that time and that group of people.

What do you think about the Wishie-washie part? Does God ever say, "oops, I made a mistake, let me have a do over?"

:)

FAR.

 
At 6:39 AM, Blogger Tex said...

You've got to punish your children. There's blessings in an obedient child. God will curse the descendents to the 3rd and 4th generation of those who hate God and bless to 1000 generations of those who keep his commandments (Exodus 20:4-6). I want my children to have the blessings of God, many of which I did not receive because my parents did not believe nor follow.

He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him (Proverbs 13:24).

Not sure where to go from here, but incarceration is not biblical. Can't think of a single example to justify it as means of punishment. Can find justification of the death penalty and restitution.


Code: jhszkcg

 
At 8:52 AM, Blogger jj said...

It is hard to know where to start. Let’s work backwards.

As a deterrent it does not work you say not all murders are heat of the moment (most are) and that’s why we have first degree murder. True enough and it did not deter those did it?
Think about how murders happen. Do you honestly think any of the perps. stop and think I may get the death penalty if I do this so I won’t? That’s ridiculous.

You say Can the life of the victim be restored? No. Then should the murderer be given a second chance? No.
Are the only choices kill him or free him? Of course not you lock him up for the rest of his life no parole . That protects the public and punishes the perpetrator. Killing the perpetrator will not make the victim or their family whole nothing will. Taking a human life in retaliation will not make the family feel better. Ask them they still feel the loss and it does not heal them like they thought it would.

An eye for an eye? What about turn the other cheek. Leaving the contradiction in the Bible out of it. Do we severely beat a person that severely beat his wife? No we lock him up. If someone burns your house down do you go and burn his down? No we lock him up. And so on.

Nothing can bring back or make a person whole after a murder. Killing someone that is locked up and not a danger to anyone anymore will not fix or even make them feel better unless their need for revenge has consumed them. Even then they will be left empty.

It cost much more to put someone to death than it does to lock them up for life. And to think an innocent person will not or has not been executed by mistake is foolish. How do you fix that?


You go on about different punishments for different crimes and self defense. Yes.
If you don’t see the difference between killing someone in self defense and killing someone that is locked up and no longer a danger to anyone there is nothing left to say.
That is vengeance Sorry.

 
At 9:01 AM, Blogger jj said...

One more thing I do not like being a country that when it comes to the death penalty is the same as China and Saudi Arabia, Iran... etc.

Are their legal systems an example for the rest of the world? We should be better than that.

 
At 9:28 AM, Blogger Mahndisa S. Rigmaiden said...

11 23 05

I guess we are all musing upon this issue eh;) I need to think over some of the things you have written. Thx for taking the time to offer another opinion on this matter; it makes me dizzy! Happy Thxgiving FAR:)

 
At 12:01 PM, Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

All I have to say is that Katelyn is the smartest 15-year-old I have ever encountered. I am so impressed I am speechless. She pretty much said everything I was going to say, so I'm giving her kudos and bowing out.

 
At 12:05 PM, Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

Tex -

Why do Christians always rely on the OT to justify violence?

I am no Biblican scholar, but it really irritates me that some Christians talk out out of both sides of their mouth about the OT laws. Jesus either created a new covenant or he didn't. If you are going to cite Exodus and Leviticus for your beliefs, then I expect that you will keep kosher and circumcise your kids.

It's fine to punish kids and others who do wrongs. There is no dispute over that. The dispute is as to what constitutes appropriate punishment. An eye for an eye is from the OT. "Turn the other cheek" and if "someone steals your cloak, give him your tunic" is from the NT. Which is it because you can't have it both ways?

 
At 12:48 PM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

jj

said:"An eye for an eye? What about turn the other cheek. Leaving the contradiction in the Bible out of it. Do we severely beat a person that severely beat his wife? No we lock him up. If someone burns your house down do you go and burn his down? No we lock him up. And so on."

I already answered this, but I will try again. There is no contradiction between the Old and New Testaments.

"If someone burns your house down do you go and burn his down?" No, restution says he should help rebuild yours and then we should assign the appropriate consequenses. The Retribution and Consequenses are seperate issues. One is to make the victum whole, the other is to give out Consequences. See the seperation?

If the theif just pays me back, how has he given up anythig of his? How is he been reprimanded?

In the New Testament, the turn the other cheek was to show people how to treat each other, had nothing to do with the Justice System. Jesus was not saying to ignore wrong doing, he threw out the money changers, he did not turn the other cheek. And he certianly was not saying to just let criminals go unchecked so they can continue to harm others. It was to eliminate individuals from taking the law into their own hands.

I hope that my summation that were most of us disagree is with the amount of consequences and not whether or not that there should be any.

jj said: "Do you honestly think any of the perps. stop and think I may get the death penalty if I do this so I won’t? That’s ridiculous."

So, "no one" who murders will ever consider the consequences when he is planning a murder, is that not just as rediculous?

What keeps most people from stealing? Their own consciense, or what might happen to them? I am not talking about those who are currently stealing, I am talking about those who didn't steal, I am talking about those who change their mind because of consequenses, and we will never know if those numbers increase or not because we will only see the ones who don't care, not the ones who changed their minds. And who knows how many more of those might change their minds if the Consequences were swifter and maximum for maximum crimes.

See the problem of trying to use statistics to measure those who don't do it because of consequenses?

We cannot measure that.


:)


FAR.

 
At 3:32 PM, Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

FAR - what about "if someone steals your cloak, give him your tunic"? Are you saying that Jesus was saying, give him your cloak and tunic, then call the cops and let them chop he guy's hand off or kill him?

 
At 6:51 PM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

ii,

This is the best way to discuss in my opinion, i.e., a question is asked and directly answered and then the other participant asks a question and has it answered.

Discussion and Study are not the same as arguing, debating and Contention.

Contention is of Satan.

"What doth it prosper a man to win an argument and loose a friend?" - Unknown

And you ask really good questions. :)

First before I directly answer the question, let me lay a little ground work.

Most religions agree that the God of the old testament is the same one who came to us as Jesus. In the Old testament he was called Yahweh, Jehova, Yahwe, Yahve, Yahveh, and Jahveh.

Since he was the one laying down the laws of the Old Testament, he would therefore be consistent in his laws.

It is not possible for a person to say that they believe in Jesus, but they don't believe in the God of the Old Testament. They are one and the same.

ii said: "Are you saying that Jesus was saying, give him your cloak and tunic, then call the cops and let them chop he guy's hand off or kill him?"

Now to answer your question.

No.

If a man "needs" a coat so much that he is prepared to take it from you, then Jesus is saying that you as an individual should help him by giving it to him instead. Once you have given it to him, there is no theft. No need to turn him in for anything.

People who can't reconcile the Old Testament with the new are just not familiar with it enough to understand that God does not change.

He might clarify, or withdraw some laws or ordinances based upon the circumstances, but either God's laws are just or there not. And who is the best one to determine if the laws are just? God.

Now if someone doesn't choose to give up his coat, and wishes to press charges, then the law should be obeyed and Justice should be done.

They will be ignoring the example that Jesus gave, but then that is a persons prerogative. We may all choose evil over good at anytime we wish. It is freedom.

:)

FAR.

 
At 7:05 PM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

Oops, I should have said most "Christian" Religions. Not most religions.

:)

FAR.

 
At 9:44 PM, Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

It is through these exchanges that we all learn.

Ok, so if the OT is law, why wouldn't Christians keep kosher? Doesn't it say don't cook a lamb in its mother's milk or something like that? If the OT is not just background flavor, then those rules should govern Christianity as well.

 
At 10:13 PM, Blogger Tex said...

Intellectual,

I can quote it in Jude and it'll say the same thing. Will that make you feel better?

Btw, I do keep kosher, and my son is circumcised. I only hope his heart will be one day cirucumcised.

How is restitution a justification of violence?

The fulfillment of the Law and Prophets is not abolition.

Why do postmodernists insist that one everlasting covenant is done away with and another takes precedent? Destroying one covenant and replacing it with another makes God a liar and the Christian faith a fraud.


Tex


xxwkj

 
At 11:40 PM, Blogger Conservative Schooler said...

"All I have to say is that Katelyn is the smartest 15-year-old I have ever encountered."

AHEM! Am I to take that as an insult?

Just kidding. As I've said before, Katelyn makes me look like a slacker.

BTW, I'm going to stay out of this debate, but I think that everyone has some valid points.

 
At 12:35 AM, Blogger KT4JC said...

FAR, I believe that we are both saying the same things, and yet coming to different conclusions (so yes, your statement is correct.)

I believe that killing is only justified when it is the only action that will stop or prevent wrongdoing. As I have said, it is a sort of self-defense of society. From what I have read here, I would believe that you would agree with me that the protection of society is the key reason of punishment.

Quote:"The purpose of the penal system is not to rehabilitate people; it is to protect the innocent."

Quote:"The Justice system is to make restitution and to protect, not necessarily to punish, although that is part of the criminals learning process, so they can grow from them."

Quote:"The object also is not for me to "feel good" but to have a safe environment from which to function."

Therefore, if there is no threat to society by keeping the criminal alive, there is no reason to kill him from that aspect. The only real reason left is revenge, disguised as "justice."

Let's use your example again. Suppose your wife is being stabbed. It would be just to kill the person in self-defense in order to stop them. But would it be just to stab the criminal after he is restrained and secured by the police? No? Do you believe that this action would be justified? That is what the death penalty is doing, killing someone when the use of self-defense has already been taken care of.

You mention retribution, but what I think you mean is reimbursement. I would agree with that. A victim of theft deserves their stuff back, etc. Reimbursement is not the reasoning for punishment because often it cannot happen, as in the case of rape. How can that be reinbursed? As you say yourself, "The Retribution and Consequenses are seperate issues." Then why are you using that as a case for punishment? In the case of murder, as jj said, there is no earthly victim to pay back, and there is no way that we can give the life back to reimburse him.

You argue that, "If some one murders my son, I cannot get my son's life back, but I can ask the state to help show others that if they take someone else's life, then the only way they can "pay" for it, is with theirs. Not paid to me, but paid to the person who "gives" life in the first place...God. They give a life back to God for the one the took."

Because the debt is to God, it is not up to us to "pay it back." That is rather beside the point, because as in all of our sins against God, we are unable to "pay" God back. If we were able to, there would be no need for Jesus.

Another one of your arguments is that "He [Jesus] was saying that an eye for an eye was not for individuals, but for the state alone." I believe that you are forgetting that the government is "we the people." In Romans 13:1, it says, "Let every person be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God." However, we must remember that while the government comes from God, it is human and therefore has human flaws. (Example: abortion.)

When asked if the death penalty for adultry, etc. as God demanded in the Old Testament, you reponded, "I don't think we should do them now because they would be against the law, but in those days they were not against the law." Talk about circular logic! Since when does law equal morality? In fact, it should be the opposite: that morality is hopefully formed into law. So, why is it that adultry is no longer awarded the death penalty? You said that it was because "Now as to the other reasons for Capital Punishment, they were given to a specific adulterous generation and wicked people." Then you go on to say that they are the same as the people in San Francisco. So, what changed? You say that "and that if he [God]thought they [the punishments] were a good idea at that time, then they must have been just for that time and that group of people." You just might be on to something...


The reason is that, in the Old Testament, there was no redemption. You sin, you die. ("Wages of sin is death.") End of story. However, when Jesus came, there was a New Covenant. (Look at Hebrews 8:13, Jeremiah 31:31) This of course does not mean that God is wishy-washy or contradictory. It is simply that because the situation changed, so did the terms. In this case, Jesus paid the price for all of our sins, so it is not up to us to have to make up for it. However, this does not mean that we are not responsible for our actions.

In summary:

You argued that to oppose the death penalty is to rely on only your emotions.

--Not true.

You argued that killing an already secured prisoner protects society.

--Not true.

You argued that by killing the criminal, we are repaying a debt and "mak[ing] the victim whole."

--Not true.

You later argued that it was repaying a debt to God.

--Refuted above.

You argued that Capital Punishment "sends the correct message," or in other words, is a deterent.

--No evidence is given as such. However, life in prison is definitely a deterent. Otherwise, prison time would not be used for other crimes.

You argued that because God called for Capital Punishment in the Old Testament, it is relevent now.

--Refuted by your own thinking. Quote:"they [the punishments] must have been just for that time and that group of people."

I believe if you truly look at this logically, (without emotions getting in the way. ;) ) you will see that the reasons you have given for the death penalty have been refuted.

 
At 8:36 AM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

Wow, I love this stuff!

I don't have all the answers, and that is one reason that I discuss my conclusions here.

You guys and gals keep me on my toes, teach me great stuff, and allow me to reevaluate all the time and I thank you all for it from the bottom of my heart. I only hope the same is felt in return. :)

Now, first to ii's question:

"Ok, so if the OT is law, why wouldn't Christians keep kosher? Doesn't it say don't cook a lamb in its mother's milk or something like that? If the OT is not just background flavor, then those rules should govern Christianity as well."

Some things in the Old Testament were Law, some were Ordinances and some were wise council for their health.

Did the people in the OT have refrigerators? Why did the people in the New Testament drink so much "New Wine" and "Old Wine?"

Both related to health and necessity. In the New Testament the wells were few and far between, so most people drank grape juice, (New Wine), and some drank strong drink, (Old Wine - fermented grape juice), the latter being frowned upon by the Jews and the Christians.

Now to the "kosher" and other "Words of Wisdom" that were given to the OT folks.

People in the OT didn't have the mountians of evidence that smoking is bad for you, and again, we "command" that our children watch what they eat, but in reality as they get older we don't punish them for not listening as they are old enough to know better and decide upon their own.

God also loves freedom. He warns us and places a lot of things in the Old and New Testament for our benefit, but realizes that some things that can now be pasturized, or refrigerated can be safely consumed.

Laws, Ordinances, Health suggestions.

Laws can be withdrawn and added as needed for a certian generation, same with Ordinances and health, but some laws are meant for all generations.

Jesus didn't say..."OK guys I'm here now, so we can get rid of the Ten Commandments!"

Thou shalt not Murder is still in effect.

I will address the remaing of this in my reply to Katlin.

Circumcision was for health reasons. Many cultures are re-learning that this may just be good for them.

:)

FAR

 
At 9:48 AM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

kt4JC,

First let me say that I have a great deal of respect for your position and one reason is that I have held that position before.

First let me give my main two points as all of the rest of my points are "supporting" points and are not necessary for the main two.

1. I believe that God desires that man make restitution on as many things as he can, "And if it be stolen from him, he shall make restitution unto the owner thereof." (Ex 22:12), before he forgives us, as restitution is part of repentance.

- Now there are some things that we cannot restore. As some have mentioned here, rape, murder, etc. On those we must shift the "pay back" over to the Consequences part.

2. For Societies sake we must make the Consequences fit the Crime.

- "and those [governments] which exist are established by God." (Romans 13:1 )

God wants order, not chaos, and that is one reason he gives us laws and governments.


Katelyn said: “You argued that Capital Punishment "sends the correct message," or in other words, is a deterrent.

”--No evidence is given as such. However, life in prison is definitely a deterrent. Otherwise, prison time would not be used for other crimes.”


It is not possible to present evidence for something that doesn’t happen because of something else. I have said this earlier in my comments, but I will repeat it one more time below and hope we don’t say again that evidence, that cannot be measured, should be used in this discussion:

While it is not possible to measure how many crimes are NOT done because of stronger consequences, we therefore cannot use statistics to prove or disprove that capital punishment is more of a deterrent than life in prison, but I contend that common sense says that it is, if it weren't then why would so many say it is "too harsh?" Why have any "degrees" of punishment at all, if a lesser one would do the job for all crimes. "You beat this man to a pulp and he no longer can see, go pick up that piece of paper. Oh, and you, you cut up that little girl into pieces after you raped her, go pick up that piece of paper."

We must have degrees of consequences to fit the crime, that is the true meaning of "an eye for an eye" and not some sick idea of revenge. Revenge is for God, but degrees of consequences are for our Societies benefit as a deterrent.

Those are my main two points and the others we could discuss an equal amount of time, but they are but supporting, but not necessary points.


:)

FAR.

 
At 4:57 PM, Blogger KT4JC said...

FAR, your two main points are fine. I too believe that restitution (reimbursement) is necessary. I too believe that the consequences should fit the crime.

However, you never support the bridge between them. Quote:"- Now there are some things that we cannot restore. As some have mentioned here, rape, murder, etc. On those we must shift the "pay back" over to the Consequences part.

Please explain your reasoning, because as it is given now, you are making quite a jump.

You say, "It is not possible to present evidence for something that doesn’t happen because of something else. I have said this earlier in my comments, but I will repeat it one more time below and hope we don’t say again that evidence, that cannot be measured, should be used in this discussion:"

If you use percentages of murders in a state that has the death penalty, and compare that to the percentages of murders in a state without the death penalty, and other main factors are the same (ie. having one variable), you are able to determine whether it is a likely deterrent or not.

If you argue with that, you are arguing against a method commonly used in science.

Quote:"While it is not possible to measure how many crimes are NOT done because of stronger consequences, we therefore cannot use statistics to prove or disprove that capital punishment is more of a deterrent than life in prison,"

No, we cannot prove it. However, we can see if there is a trend. Again, if you disagree with that, you are disagreeing with a method commonly used as evaluation.

You continue,"but I contend that common sense says that it is, if it weren't then why would so many say it is "too harsh?" Why have any "degrees" of punishment at all, if a lesser one would do the job for all crimes. "You beat this man to a pulp and he no longer can see, go pick up that piece of paper. Oh, and you, you cut up that little girl into pieces after you raped her, go pick up that piece of paper."

I agree that there are degrees of consequences, but I believe that life in prison should be the highest consequence. If someone is rational enough to be deterred by the death penalty, they will also be deterred by the punishment of life in prison.

Here are the ways you have given for the death penalty (correct me if I am wrong):

-as restitution
-as protection to society
-as a deterrent

Neither life in prison nor the death penalty can repay the debt to the victim or God (restitution). Both life in prison and the death penalty stop the murderer from killing again (protection to society).The death penalty may be a deterrent, if the murderer is a reasonable person. That is a big if.

Therefore, it is (possible) deterrence alone that differentiates between the death penalty and life in prison. That is not a big enough difference to support killing another person.

Cheers, and have a Happy Thanksgiving!

-Katelyn

 
At 5:33 PM, Blogger KT4JC said...

One thing I forgot to mention-

In most cases of murder, the criminal did not value his life in the first place. For example, the gang member on the street is definitely not evaluating his actions for whether they will result in death. He faces death every day. He would be more likely killed tomorrow than killed by the death penalty.

 
At 6:40 PM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

kt4JC

I have taken science clases in college and understand the methods used to prove a theory or to test hypothisis.

However, I am not sure you can hold all of the variables constant but one, (the death penalty), in a complex society.

Rural vs metro, and the length of time on death row are just two of the variables we cannot account for.

For example, all of the crooks know that about 95% of all death row inmates die of old age, (natural causes), even in the states with the death penalty.

Would you not agree with the following:

"If just ONE person's life is saved because somebody was deterred by the death penalty, it would be worth it to have."

To me that statement makes so much common sense, that I must be for it. It all boils down to common sense in the end.

Degrees of consequesces and max consequences for max crime. Makes sense.


:)


FAR

 
At 7:05 PM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

Just to make sure my point about variables is clear.

If the states with the death penalty, like California, have 95% of death row inmates die of natural causes, might it be that the crooks look at those stats and say.."not much difference!"

In order to be effective, we need swift and puiblc exections, the more crooks that see the results, the more effective the consequences.

If all of the executions are done in seclusion without making them real, they lose their effectiveness.

The reason people got outraged about anything is because of the press coverage and specially when we see "real" people involved.

The reason we are a nation of apathy for those hundreds of thousands of people who are being slaughtered in Darfur, is because we don't see it on T.V. and Therefore it is not real in poples minds.

:)

FAR.

 
At 10:56 PM, Blogger KT4JC said...

Quote:"Would you not agree with the following:

"If just ONE person's life is saved because somebody was deterred by the death penalty, it would be worth it to have."


No, I would not agree it would be worth it to have many people lose their lives to possibly save one life.

You continued, "To me that statement makes so much common sense, that I must be for it. It all boils down to common sense in the end."

You would think that common sense would include using supporting facts. You would think that common sense would have you actually explain how the death penalty is justified.

Quote:"The reason people got outraged about anything is because of the press coverage and specially when we see "real" people involved.

The reason we are a nation of apathy for those hundreds of thousands of people who are being slaughtered in Darfur, is because we don't see it on T.V. and Therefore it is not real in poples minds."


Is that for your case or for mine?

 
At 10:17 AM, Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

Tex -

I must say that I am impressed by your integrity. It is a breath of fresh air and I wonder why more Christians do not subscribe to your interpretation.

 
At 10:21 AM, Blogger jj said...

For some reason a post I put up is not there I will repost.

II I agree with you that Katelyn is very intelligent and mature for 15. I never would have guessed she was 15 had you not said it.

Katelyn very impressive.

My point on the Bible was lets leave it out and discuss justice. II laid out the reasons why.

As for the deterrent My mistake for using the word any. I am sure some one thought about it. Most murders are not planed out and even the ones that are they are planning it even knowing the consequences.

There is a difference between stealing and taking a life. there should be Punishment for both. However no one can be made whole if someone has been murdered. So that lets make the person whole arguement is a straw man.

Lets make this simple and stop debating things that do not matter.

The only question is do we as a society kill murders (like China ect) or lock them up for life. After they are arrested they are no longer a danger to the public.

I will ask for a response to my previous comment-

Nothing can bring back or make a person whole after a murder. Killing someone that is locked up and not a danger to anyone anymore will not fix or even make them feel better unless their need for revenge has consumed them. Even then they will be left empty.

It cost much more to put someone to death than it does to lock them up for life. And to think an innocent person will not or has not been executed by mistake is foolish. How do you fix that?

If you don’t see the difference between killing someone in self defense and killing someone that is locked up and no longer a danger to anyone there is nothing left to say.
That is vengeance Sorry.

 
At 2:27 PM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

kt4JC,

"Is that for your case or for mine?"

Mine, because the murderers don't feel the reality of the death penalty when it is done in private.

"No, I would not agree it would be worth it to have many people lose their lives to possibly save one life."

- So, x number of murders lives spared is worth more than one innocent life?

People who can't reconcile the Old Testament with the new are just not familiar with it enough to understand that God does not change and I will agree with Tex that "Destroying one covenant and replacing it with another makes God a liar and the Christian faith a fraud."

I believe that Like the Ten Commandments, God's law of Capital Punishment does not go away with time.

There are 14 passages in the Bible that express the fact that God "Requires" capital punishment and two of them are in the New Testament.

"For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death" - (Matt. 15: 4)

"Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death." (Rom. 1: 32 )


jj,

To sum it up, I guess I must admit that my main conviction is with most of my convicions and that is where I get my standards are from my spiritual understanding of the worldview of what works best for mandkind, and that God's knowledge of "cause and effect" is better than our individual rationalizations.

I think we will not be able to convince each other that either side is correct. Again mine is based mostly on "spiritual understanding", others are based upon "heartfelt" and "logic."

While I have been trying to present understanding based upon logic, I now see that it is fruitless, because mine is not based upon logic only and therefore if I try to express my position only on a logical basis, I can only go so far, and as in most instances, there are often good reasons on two sides of a discussion.

Fair enough?


:)


FAR.

 
At 3:07 PM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

ii,

I think Tex and I are both Christian mavericks and I would bet that like me, he believes in the possibility that there are multiple Universes.

I have yet read anything he has posted that makes me think we don't think alike when it comes to our Worldview of Old and New testaments complimenting each other, and not contridicting each other.

My sister, who is a Methodist and somewhat of a maverick also, said to me one day..."What if the 99 sheep that were good, and the one sheep that went astray, was a metaphore of there being 99 other earths that didn't need Jesus to visit, but ours was the one that went astray and we therefore needed Christ to visit us."

I thought, Wow, what an interesting concept.

I love deep thoughts like that and I bet Tex does too from what I have read of his posts.

I think it is kind of Arrogant for us to think that we are the only planet that has humans on it.

I like to keep an open mind.


:)


FAR.

 
At 8:27 PM, Blogger Bstermyster said...

Happy Thanksgiving FAR and now....MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!! The season has begun. It has been awhile since I stopped by....actually since I even posted anything but I figured i better stop by ans say hello and let you know I have not forgotten about you!!

 
At 11:16 PM, Blogger Roseville Conservative said...

WOW!!!

I am speechless...

 
At 12:27 AM, Blogger KT4JC said...

Quote:"The reason people got outraged about anything is because of the press coverage and specially when we see "real" people involved.

The reason we are a nation of apathy for those hundreds of thousands of people who are being slaughtered in Darfur, is because we don't see it on T.V. and Therefore it is not real in poples minds."


My point was that people are apathetic to the death penalty because they don't see it. But whatever.

Quote:"- So, x number of murders lives spared is worth more than one innocent life?"

As a Christian, you would understand that all lives and souls are equally valuable. Jesus showed us this by his example of caring even for the tax collector and prostitute. Also, no one is "innocent." We are all human and therefore all sin.

Romans 2:10- "For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one [point], he is guilty of all."

Quote:"People who can't reconcile the Old Testament with the new are just not familiar with it enough to understand that God does not change and I will agree with Tex that "Destroying one covenant and replacing it with another makes God a liar and the Christian faith a fraud."

Perhaps you are the one not familiar with the Bible.

Jesus was a new covenant:

Jeremiah 31:31-

"The time is coming," declares the LORD, "when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah.

Luke 22:20-

In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.

1 Corinthians 11:25-

In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me."

2 Corinthians 3:6-

"He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life."

Hebrews 8:8-

But God found fault with the people and said : "The time is coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah.

Hebrews 8:13-

By calling this covenant "new," he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear.

Hebrews 9:15-

"For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance—now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant."

If you want to call God unfamiliar with his own Word, then go ahead, but somehow I don't think that is the case.

Again, in the Old Testament God required the death penalty for adultery, idol worship, etc. So why does he not demand that now? You said it was because it was "that if he [God]thought they [the punishments] were a good idea at that time, then they must have been just for that time and that group of people." Actually, these laws spanned many generations, possibly over 100's of years. But according to your logic, wouldn't that mean that God was lying and being "wishy-washy?"

No, he wasn't. As in that case, when the situation changed, so did the terms. When Jesus came and died, we no longer had to try to "pay" for our sins. We have to be repentant, but we don't have to pay for them ourselves.

In the case of the Ten Commandments, Jesus did "renew the terms." He said, "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."

However, instead of renewing the death penalty, Jesus stopped capital punishment. He did not let the woman be stoned, and he did not suggest capital punishment even when it would have been "demanded," as in the case of the woman at the well.

Your argument was that Jesus was just stopping vigilantes. However, these people were following Old Testament law. They asked, "Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?" (John 8:4-5).

Now, surely you can recognize that the two New Testament verses you stated are saying the same thing as "the wages of sin is death."

"For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death" - (Matt. 15: 4)

"Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death." (Rom. 1: 32 )


Those that sin (ie. all of us), deserve to die and will, naturally. Never does it say because your brother has sinned, by all means, kill him.

Quote:"Again mine is based mostly on "spiritual understanding", others are based upon "heartfelt" and "logic."

Again, I have just given a case for "spiritual understanding," whereas you have given no case in any category.

So here we have it:

You argued that to oppose the death penalty is to rely on only your emotions.

--Not true.

You argued that killing an already secured prisoner protects society.

--Not true.

You argued that by killing the criminal, we are repaying a debt and "mak[ing] the victim whole."

--Not true.

You later argued that it was repaying a debt to God.

--Not true.

You argued that Capital Punishment "sends the correct message," or in other words, is a deterrent.

--It might possibly, but so does life in prison, if the murderer is logical at all.

You argued that because God called for Capital Punishment in the Old Testament, it is relevant now.

--Refuted above, and again, by your own thinking. Quote:"they [the punishments] must have been just for that time and that group of people."

Next we limited the difference between the death penalty and life in prison to (possible) deterrence only.

You argued that killing people to possibly stop other people from killing "innocent" people is justified.

--Refuted above.

You (yes, again) argued that because God called for Capital Punishment in the Old Testament, it is relevant now.

-Again, refuted.

Next, you basically admitted that you are being illogical:

Quote:"While I have been trying to present understanding based upon logic, I now see that it is fruitless, because mine is not based upon logic only and therefore if I try to express my position only on a logical basis, I can only go so far, and as in most instances, there are often good reasons on two sides of a discussion."

Then, you wrote an entire comment on other universes. Why in the world (no pun intended)would you do that on a post about the death penalty, except as distraction?

 
At 2:16 AM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

I once had a 2002 BMW and in the later part of 2002 I got a New Mercedes, and "kept" my "old" BMW, did that make my "old" BMW "obsolete?"

Nope, it is only obsolete if you quit using it.

We still use the Ten Commandmendments.

By taking away our sins from the first Covenenent, he was not saying, "No need to follow thou shalt not kill, because you need not follow that one anymore."

Nope, he was saying that while during the Old Testament, people did not have a way to be forgiven of the sins that they commited, but now they do.

"All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."

Some punishments were taken away, but the laws still remain.

You say that the two quotes in the New Testament is not talking about Capital Punishment, but rather dying from things they did, not dying naturally. As you said we all die naturally, so why not say, you stepped on a rock so you are going to die? Snce we are all going to die naturally. No, it was again talking about actions that require death.

You said: "Next, you basically admitted that you are being illogical"

Not relying on logic and being illogical are not the same, I sincerely hope you don't really believe they do.

Being illogical is using logic in an incorrect way. I surely hope you get that. Were you just saying that because of emotion?

I am trying to present my views and again, I can see and admit that both sides have good points, I only hope that you are not saying that I have "no" valid points and that I am just stupid?

Does the side for capital punishment have any good points? Yes, or No.

It is the spirit of the Devil that says "I must win this discussion, because I want it to be a debate and not a discussion."

I have respect for your views because I was there before, but you must not respect mine because you appear to be trying to "win."

I am not trying to win, but merely presenting views that differ and I am not expecting to win.

God will belss you for standing up for what you believe, but he will bless you more if you recognize this..."What doth it prosper a man, to win an argument, but loose a friend."

This statement appears disrespectful..."Then, you wrote an entire comment on other universes. Why in the world (no pun intended)would you do that on a post about the death penalty, except as distraction?"

You could have left out the distraction part.

If you noticed ii, was commenting upon Tex's unique views and I was just saying that sometimes doing the "right" thing is more difficult and doing the easy thing, and that I share similar views to Tex.

It is easy to have a "anti capital punishment" view. It is difficult to defend one that seems harsh, because it makes those that believe it appear harsh, just as parents who disipline appear harsh.

"Go pick up that piece of paper" is easy punishment, "your grounded" is difficult.

Life in prison is easy for some people, death is not easy for anybody.

Please acknowlede that deciding to not "just" use logic, is not saying illogical statements.

Also, please admit that there are "some"valid points on the other side. If you don't, it comes across as a know it all, and I say that will all due respect.

I am not trying to "win." You have some good points, but the biggest point of all is trying to discover what God wants us to support, and that requirs being in touch with the spirit. I believe I am, you believe you are. Please accept that no amount of "logic" will change either of us.

I will respect your belief, and hope that you will respect mine.

Fair enough?

:)


FAR.

 
At 2:33 AM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

P.S.,

The only reason that I present logic is to show that what I believe that God wants is not silly or illogical, God is not the author of confusion.

Problem is, somethimes you must really study and pray, before you can fully understand somethings.

Now, just because I have studied and prayed a lot more years than you, doesn't mean that you are any less in touch with the spirit.

What is important to understand is that since we differ, and have opposite views, is that God only allows as much light as one can handle, is that one of us, needs more light. And if we ask, God will give us both more and one of us will change since we both can not hold the correct view.

I respect yours, please respect mine.

:)

FAR.

 
At 3:26 AM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

Oops, I see that I didn't explain the "New Covenant" very well.

A Covenant is an agreement between man and God. God presents the conditions and we agree to do what he asks. He then promises certian blessings if we obey those conditions.

The Covenent is an agreement about principals and ordinances. It is not about Gods Laws.

One part of he Old convenant was about "The Ordinance of Sacrifice" which was replaced by the "Sacrament."

The Laws and the Prophets were not changed or done away with. (Not one jot or one tittle.)

"Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.

For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. (Matt 5: 17-19)

I just want to "teach them" as I am supposed to, but I don't want to argue.

Again, the "Ordinances and principals" (Covenant) were done away with, but not any of the "Laws."


cov·e·nant (k¾v“…-n…nt) n. A binding agreement; a compact. In the Bible, God's promise to the human race. - The American Heritage Dictionary.



With thee will I establish my covenant, Gen. 6: 18. Keep my covenant; then ye shall be a peculiar treasure, Ex. 19: 5. Make no covenant with them nor their gods, Ex. 23: 32. Keep the sabbath for a perpetual covenant, Ex. 31: 16. I will never break my covenant with you, Judg. 2: 1. My Saints have made a covenant with me by sacrifice, Ps. 50: 5. Remember his holy covenant, Luke 1: 72


:)


FAR.

 
At 10:27 AM, Blogger jj said...

Katelyn wow. I am out of my league when talking about the Bible.
Very well presented.

Far said-
People who can't reconcile the Old Testament with the new are just not familiar with it enough to understand that God does not change and I will agree with Tex that "Destroying one covenant and replacing it with another makes God a liar and the Christian faith a fraud."

So you main convictions are from your spiritual understanding. I can respect. I do have questions since I do not know why the old and new Testament are different. The Bible was written centuries after the death of Jesus right. Why was there a need for a new testament and who decided?

These are no longer practiced why?
Exodus 21:17 And he that curseth his father, or his mother, shall surely be put to death.
If this was practiced today we would have to kill half the teenagers.

Exodus 31:15 Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD: whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death.
The American economy would suffer except for casket makers.

Leviticus 20:27 A man also or woman that hath a familiar spirit, or that is a wizard, shall surely be put to death: they shall stone them with stones: their blood shall be upon them.

Do you believe in wizards? This is what they used in the Salem witch trials.

Is there a reason God changed his mind on these?


There are countless other passages that are shall we say barbaric by our standards. Does that mean it is time for a new New Testament?
Or am I just being soft and taking the easy emotional way ?

I know God is all knowing. He knew times would change. Is the Bible a living document like the Constitution that can be changed? Seriously would like to know your views.

FARyou sayIt is the spirit of the Devil that says "I must win this discussion, because I want it to be a debate and not a discussion."

Are you saying the Devil is against the death penalty?

 
At 11:11 AM, Blogger Tex said...

Intellectual,

quote:
I must say that I am impressed by your integrity. It is a breath of fresh air and I wonder why more Christians do not subscribe to your interpretation.

To answer your question, No on wants to be a servant to the God Most High. They want to be forgiven and continue to wallow in their sin than to walk in the righteous inheritance awaiting them. Thanks for your complements. God Bless and Maranatha.


Code: oejsf

 
At 11:16 AM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

jj,

Said” The Bible was written centuries after the death of Jesus right. Why was there a need for a new testament and who decided?"

First the word Bible means "Library of Books" literally.

Moses wrote the first 5 books of the Bible, and all of the Old Testament was written by the prophets of the Old Testament.

The New Testament was written by the Apostles as separate books also. Some were letters.

The Catholic Bible has additional "books" in it that other Christians don't acknowledge as divine. Other religions have other books that they consider divine and were also written by prophets. The Koran, The Book of Mormon, etc.

Most holy books agree with the Bible in many areas.

Since the Hebrews had a living prophet amounst them, God made things a little tougher for the people who believed in the prophet being a prophet. Where there is greater knowledge, there is greater condemnation. Many of these people actually had great signs and wonders that pretty much convinced them that God exists. The Parting of the Red sea, and other like miracles.

That is why we in our days, we no longer have that severe of punishments.

He hasn't changed his mind, God is perfect and unchanging. He doesn't make mistakes, but he does change ordinances and withdraws certain laws for different generations depending upon different circumstances.

Now, one could argue that he withdrew the laws involving capital punishment, and I would say that is a side worth looking at, but not necessarily "the correct” side. ( I can see that side, and have held it in the past.)

jj said:” Do you believe in wizards? This is what they used in the Salem witch trials."

Most of us have good spirits, (life force), within us. Some of us have allowed additional spirits to get into our bodies by unclean living and other methods. If you read all of the passages in the Bible about wizards, they usually contain words about "evil" or "unclean" spirits.

If you believe in the Bible, then you must consider that Jesus cast out evil spirits, and that they are not some fairy tale.

So, yes I believe there are wizards and evil spirits.

"There are countless other passages that are shall we say barbaric by our standards. Does that mean it is time for a New Testament?"

Boy, you ask great questions.

First a Testament is different from a Covenant. The Old Testament is a “testament of the divinity of Jesus Christ.” He was the God of the Old Testament. The New Testament is a “testament” of the divinity of Jesus Christ.

In the Old Testament they had the “Ordinance of Sacrifice” to use repetition and tradition to remind them that Jesus was going to be sacrificed, while the New Testament replaces the Ordinance of Sacrifice with the Ordinance of the Sacrament.

tes·ta·ment (tµs“t…-m…nt) n. 1. Something that serves as tangible proof or evidence. 2. A statement of belief; a credo. – American Heritage Dictionary

Said:” Is the Bible a living document like the Constitution that can be changed?”

Nope, truth never changes. The reason why God gave us the Ten Commandments was not because they were new, it was because he was saying..”O.K., you guys can’t handle all of the laws that I have given you, how about if I just give you Ten and see if you can even handle those?”

Said: “Are you saying the Devil is against the death penalty?”

Nope, I am saying that “Contention” is the wrong spirit to enter a discussion with. Hate and contention are tools that Satan uses to get us to, as they say in “Star Wars”, “go over to the Dark Side.”

Where you find hate, and where you find contention, on that side you will find those who have given in to the Dark Side.

That is why I try my best to be nice and in the right spirit, allowing others to see my respect by admitting that they are entitled to present their views and I will consider them with all due respect.

But when someone starts calling others names and starts acting like a “know it all”, meaning that there is “no” validly to the others position that is when we are in contention and trying to “win” instead of trying to impart knowledge.

Make sense?

:)

FAR.

 
At 11:28 AM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

P.S.

When people say and really mean.."I can certianlly see that side of the discussion.", there you will find a truly open mind and a wonderfully respectful person.

If you don't agree with the position, it is O.K. to say that you don't agree with it, but to say the other person is not worthy of respect is not following the Golden Rule.

It is O.K. to not respect a position, and to say it, but it is not O.K., to say that it has no merit, because none of us are stupid.

I can't stand Socialism, but I can see the lure of it. Who wouldn't want a chicken in every pot, a free car, a free lunch, a free education, a free house? Makes perfect sense to me for people to want those things. So I understand their position, just can't stand the methods of attaining them.

:)

FAR.

 
At 11:57 AM, Blogger KT4JC said...

Sorry, I didn't mean for my refutes to be taken as attacks against you personally. Not knowing when to back off is one of my main weaknesses. ;) I have greatly enjoyed our discussion.

To me, because we are human and do not always understand God's ways, we should err on the side of life, especially because many other punishments that God also demanded in the Old Testament are no longer in use.

I do believe that Capital Punishment has one good point: possible deterrence. However, as I have explained, that in itself is not enough to justify killing.

I see now that I was a little too harsh at 12 last night. I look forward to more spirited discussions in the Western Alliance with you and the others.

Respectfully and cordially,
Katelyn Sills

 
At 12:43 PM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

Katelyn,

Didn't feel offended, just lack of respect.

I hope that I have not made you feel like I did not have proper respect for your position. I tried my best to say it several times.

I try to pride myself in being consistant, and this is the toughest challenge since I too am in favor of honoring the sanctity of life. But in this case I think that since I know that God had the death penalty for much lessor crimes in the past, I believe he must at least feel that we should have it for the most wicked of crimes today.

Next, since several churches that I respect believe in the Death Penalty, that also lends support for why I believe the way I do.


:)


FAR.

 
At 9:48 AM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

One final thought on how I reach my conclusions.

One of the methods I use to “test my convictions” is to see what those whom I believe have lost their moral compass say about a given subjuct and then see if I stand with or aginst them. If I am with them, I am overcome with doubt about my position, since I know that God is not with those who are bringing down our great pillars of morality.

Let’s look at the abortion issue. Those on the left are in favor of abortion on demand, without any restrictions.

So, lets look at their position. They have no hesitation to murder the innocent, but yet want to beg for the saving of the guilty. ( No hesitation on either issue. )

It is a selfishness issue for them, all about their body and no consideration for the baby.

Now most conservatives want to save the innocent and punish the guilty. (Most all consevervatives will want to hesitate on both issues. If the mother may die because of the baby, then self-defense is in order. If there is any doubt about the guilt of the murderer on death row, we want plenty of appeals to give him every chance to be found innocent.)

For the conservative it is about saftey. The saftey of the baby and the saftey of the society.

The ACLU and most of the left are against the death penalty, and “The survey of 518 Protestant pastors, conducted by Phoenix-based Ellison Research, showed that pastors support the death penalty 72 percent to 28 percent.”

article

So, most “very knowledgeable” religious people are for the death penalty, and the left is against it. Hmmmm.

Not the final reason I am for it, but it does enter in to my conclusions.

:)


FAR.

 
At 12:46 PM, Blogger Reign of Reason said...

You're worldview is so black and white... I'm glad I don't live there...

Dude – come’on. You claim that

"When we have empathy for a murderer our blood leaves our brain and arrives back at the heart and again we make poor judgments."

I thought you were supposed to be a Christian? Don’t Christian’s have ‘empathy’ for all sinners? Aren’t you supposed to love all and leave the judging to god?

Look, I am not against the dealth penality, but as a human being we should empathise with criminals on one level: they are human beings. Sure, some have perpetrated heanous crimes that deserve punishment. But punishment will not undo the crime – and if more good can be had by ‘sparing’ the criminal – well, maybe that’s in the best interest of society.

Sure, it doesn’t satisfy the primal urge for revenge: but revenge is where you let emotion dictate action – emotion as opposed to reason.

Your argument is exactly what is wrong with the right: they profess superior morality, but when you really examine the position, the right’s ‘morality’ is based in the old testament teaching of an ‘eye for and eye’.

We should move beyond that precept: use reason to determine what the proper course of action is… Enforce law, but don’t pretent that blind enforment is “moral”.

 

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