Monday, November 14, 2005

Thou Shalt No Kill - Part One

What Does the Fifth Commandment Teach?

The fifth commandment - "You shall not kill"(Ex 20:13) - teaches respect for the sanctity of human life. All human life is sacred. This is true from the first moment of conception until natural death brings a person to God. Only God is the Lord of life. Humans have utmost dignity because God wills us into being for our own sake, creating us in his image and likeness. Therefore, any direct and intentional killing by anyone is always gravely sinful.

The fifth commandment refers to he deliberate murder of innocent persons. The Old Testament teaches that murder arises out of anger and envy, as in Cain killing Abel, and is the result of original sin. Such killing violates human dignity, God's holiness, and Jesus' teaching to love neighbor as self. Jesus himself condemned anger that leads to revenge and to hatred that deliberately wishes another evil. These sinful atttitudes of heart lead to grave sin, including murder.

When is Killing Morally Justfied?

Killing in self-defense is morally permissible when, as a last resort, a person is protecting his or her own life or another person's life for whom he or she is responsible. Killing is not morally permissible for the protection of property. In legitimate self-defense one only intends the effect of saving one's life against an unjust aggressor; the killing of the assailant is not willed, only permitted.

Analogously, public authorities have both the right and the duty to defend citizens against unjust aggressors, especially in the case of a war defense. HOWEVER, if bloodless means are enough to defend against aggressors, they must be used and killing avoided.

Also, many Christians today, cannot reconcile capital punishment with a consistent "respect-for-life ethic". The purpose of punishing criminals is to redress the disorder caused by the offense, to preserve public order and personal safety, and to correct the offender. The poor and minorities, who cannot afford the costly appeals process of our legal system, have suffered capital punishment the most, a form of punishment that does not reform the criminal. Furthermore, there is little evidence to show that capital punishment deters crime, a key reason people have used to justify it. And although scripture recognizes society's right to use the death penalty in grave cases, it is to the credit of Christian nations to follow Jesus' example of forgiving love and refrain from exercising it. The gospel of Jesus' forgiving love teaches that because of the many means society has to deter crime today, capital punishment should very rarely be used. It should only take place in cases of absolute necessity: in other words, when it would not be possible otherwise to defend society. Today, however, as a result of steady improvements in the organization of the penal system, such cases are very rare, if not practically non-existent.

The Christian person should not be hold on to vices such as the need for revenge or the need for retribution and other vices that lead to the "want of murder" toward another.

Good day and go live the Gospel.

P.S. Save all of your abortion comments for Part Three.

4 Comments:

Blogger Remnant said...

1Sa 15:2 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I remember that which Amalek did to Israel, how he laid wait for him in the way, when he came up from Egypt.
1Sa 15:3 Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.

Reconcile that to your theory!

6:34 AM  
Blogger freeman said...

The first time “Thou shalt not Kill” is located in scripture is Exodus 20:13, if you go to the very next chapter it says “He that smiteth a man, so that he die, shall be surely put to death” (Exodus 21:12). It does not say “May be put to death”, it says “shall be surely put to death”. The death penalty is not by permission, it is by COMMANDMENT.

9:09 PM  
Blogger mojoala said...

There are a lot of places where the death penalty is commanded, but thank God that God sent his son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, to teach us humanity and love for one another.

Remember the woman that was about to be put to death for adultry by OLD TESTAMENT LAW...what did Jesus do? HE FORGAVE HER AND TOLD HER TO GO AND SIN NO MORE.

Picture this in your mind.
Picture all of the children coming up to our lord. Now picture a man sitting in an electric chair, now picture Jesus walking up a throwing the Switch. Can you really see Jesus doing this after all he said and taught?

4:02 AM  
Blogger freeman said...

You keep getting personal salvation mixed up with criminal justice. They are two different things all together. The words of Jesus that were quoted in the gospels were a reaction to the conventional wisdom of the Day. Which happen to be the teachings of the Pharisees and the Sadducees. He never spoke against any of the law with regard to punishment for criminal offenses. You may say the “Eye for Eye” was one, but that was about personal revenge, and not about criminal justice. You keep mentioning the woman caught in adultery, but if you look at the footnotes of all the modern translations of the New Testament, they say that those scriptures were not in the earliest manuscripts that we have to translate the Bible. (New American Standard Bible, New Century Version, New International Version, New Living Translation, New King James Version, New Revised Standard, Living Bible) Lets just for arguments sake, say that those scriptures do belong. These scriptures were not about weather the death penalty was just or not. According to Biblical scholars, the Sanhedrin was denied the right to put people to death by the Roman Empire about the time Christ was born, if they did put some one to death its was unlawful. The Jews were trying to get Jesus convicted of breaking Roman law, Just like they did when they tempted Jesus regarding paying taxes to Caesar.

8:57 PM  

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