Saturday, May 3, 2014

The Christian and the death penalty

This used to be my written opinion on the death penalty:

God supports the death penalty. Not just because He prescribed it as punishment in the Old Testament, but because that is how He chose to have His Son Jesus, die for us. Jesus did not die in an accident, nor was he murdered, die of natural causes or disease. God did not waive the penalty.
                                               

In the Old Testament, God prescribed the death penalty to pay for sin. Bulls and lambs were sacrificed for the sin of the people. To pay for our sin, Jesus was executed. To me this affirms God’s support for it.

I still have the same opinion yet... I have been wondering about what happens when there was a wrong death penalty decision in the Bible. 
For instance...


Deuteronomy 21:18-21
New International Version (NIV)
A Rebellious Son18 If someone has a stubborn and rebellious son who does not obey his father and mother and will not listen to them when they discipline him, 19 his father and mother shall take hold of him and bring him to the elders at the gate of his town. 20 They shall say to the elders, “This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious. He will not obey us. He is a glutton and a drunkard.” 21 Then all the men of his town are to stone him to death. You must purge the evil from among you. All Israel will hear of it and be afraid.

What if the parents were wrong? There is no indication of a fair trial, nor do we see instructions for a fair trial.




dwell on the positive

Last Sunday, we attended Life Changers Church, a mega-church in Hoffman Estates. The sound volume was so loud that we could not sit inside for fear of damaging our hearing. During the offering, the pastor used manipulative tactics to pressure people into giving 10% of their salary. He told a story of a businessman who was going to give a check to the pastor when someone came and gave him bad news. He reached out and took back the check and tore it up. Then he wrote a fresh check for double the amount, saying 'this is what it will take to get me out of this mess'.

However, I must say that two ushers were very helpful and understanding. They were in obvious fear of saying anything to the leadership about the damaging sound. Yet, there was hospitality - first time guests receive a free sandwich lunch.

I realized something important. Both are facts, Good and Bad. I will never visit that church again because it seems to be a church that exploits its members.

One must not deny the truth - both Good and Bad. However there is a choice in what one dwells on. I often would have been stewing over the negative - and ruin my mind. The Bible says, "As a man thinketh, so is he". One must also look for positives in one's experience. In other words, acknowledge and briefly discuss the negatives in this case, but allow ones mind to dwell on the positives.