Irreverent musings: a devil’s advocate for the death penalty

The National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) has revised its resolution on capital punishment to account for evangelicals who oppose the death penalty. CT covered the story by declaring that evangelicals are “now officially divided on [the] death penalty.”

Setting aside the strength and weaknesses of either position, arguments like this are begging the question:

“As Christ taught throughout his ministry, no one is ever beyond redemption,” wrote a group of eight evangelicals, mostly pastors, who asked Nebraska to end the death penalty. “Yet the death penalty risks cutting short the process of redemption in the lives of those imprisoned.”

Enter the devil’s advocate:

  1. Did Christ really teach that no one is beyond redemption? (Mat 23:29-33; Mk 3:28-29; Jn 17:12)
  2. Is it possible to cut short God’s process of redemption? Is redemption ever thwarted because a man dies before God can finish his work? (Psa 139:16)
  3. Couldn’t the death penalty speed up the “process of redemption”? If a man has any inclination to settle his account with God wouldn’t he be more apt to do so prior to his “date certain” death? (Luke 23:39-43)

Just sayin’.*

*The author is hereby immune from any criticisms, especially those that would cast doubt on his Christian bona fides. Further, he has no obligation to respond to niggling comments, counterarguments, or cross-examination although he welcomes feedback. -The Administrator

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Author: Jonathan P. Merritt

Happily married father of six. Associate pastor for education at Edgewood Baptist Church (Columbus, GA). Good-natured contrarian and theological Luddite. A student of one book.

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