Capital Punishment

posted Jun 3, 2012, 7:17 PM by Hector Falcon
When it comes to the death penalty, many people remain confused whether it is still applicable in a supposed sophisticated culture such as ours. What many Christians do not realize is that the death penalty was established by God immediately after Noah got off the Ark. Due to global violence in Noah's era God had to destroy the human race and start humanity all over with Noah and his family. In order to prevent the unhindered growth of murder once again, God implemented the death penalty with the rebirth of another civilization. The death penalty that God implemented occurred even before the Law of God was given to Moses. It is a creation mandae that was given at the beginning of a new world after the global flood. The application of this law was to all mankind and it is perpetual as long as the earth remains.

"Surely for your lifeblood I will demand a reckoning; from the hand of every beast I will require it, and from the hand of every man's brother I will require the life of man. Whoever sheds man's blood, By man his blood shall be shed; For in the image of God He made man." Genesis 9: 5, 6. 

One of the most common objections to the death penalty is the supposed belief that God is against it because he prohibits killing in the Ten Commandments. However, God is not saying all killing should not occur. Here he authorizes the state to take the life of a murderer so that murder should not be allowed to occur. If it was true that God forbade all killing then it would contradict the death penalty provision that he gave to Noah following the flood. The reality is that capital punishment is God's idea. He instituted it to deal with murderers so that global violence would not occur once again as it did prior to the flood. 

The principle justifying capital punishment is based on the sanctity of human life. God was so concerned about the sanctity and value of life that he made it mandatory that murderers are to be executed by the state. Every human being bears the image of God. When one murders another human  - it is basically an attack on God since the murdered person bears God's image. Only God has the authority to take the life that bears his image. He then delegates this authority to kill to the state when a murderer purposely destroys the image of God in another human.

So, the bottom line is that capital punishment is a valid biblical principle today for all mankind. We are actually seeing a rise in violence today because the state has moved away from implementing capital punishment. The elimination of capital punishment encourages the growth of criminal activity. 

When the sentence for a crime is not quickly carried out, people’s hearts are filled with schemes to do wrong. Ecclesiastes 8: 11

When society breaks God's laws, they wind up breaking us. 

Prager on Capital Punishment


R. C. Sproul on Capital Punishment