The Instigator
willact723
Con (against)
Winning
27 Points
The Contender
FrontLineConservative
Pro (for)
Losing
19 Points

Being a Christian does not negate being in support of the Death Penalty.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/12/2007 Category: Religion
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 3,133 times Debate No: 278
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (42)
Votes (15)

 

willact723

Con

I am under the impression that as a Christian, it is wrong to be in favor of the Death Penalty.

I believe a great argument comes from the 6 chapter of Luke, verse 37: "Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven." Does this not speak to Jesus' entire message while on earth? Judgement is not reserved for us, but for God alone. Granted, we need to keep order on earth, but doesn't the ultimate judgement of death negate forgiveness? How can we forgive someone and then kill them.

When Peter asks Matthew how many times he should forgive, Jesus responds with not seven times, but seventy-seven times. How is that in line with the Death Penalty?

I do not believe an argument from the Old Testament is a viable one in this debate. Jesus came and established what was important from the OT. Love your God and your neighbor. I also believe that it is difficult to pull passages from the OT for random argument seeing as how so much of the OT is clearly based in a different time and does not hold the same validity as it does today.
FrontLineConservative

Pro

I'm a Christian and I've always been taught that "you reap what you sow." There is a, distinct, but fine-line between killing someone and murdering someone. The death penalty is not murder. Murder is taking someones life just for the sake of taking a life. The death penalty is for those who commit such horrific crimes that we must not only put an end to their life but also make an example of them in the process. Sometimes the only way that justice can be served is by taking the life of the one that took a very fragile and innocent life away from this earth.

The Bible certainly teaches that death is a justified way of punishing someone. Read the story of Sodom and Gomorrah.

God has struck many people down and killed them. The government has an obligation to put an end to those whose crimes are so heinous that the only way to bring justice to them is by ending their life.
Debate Round No. 1
willact723

Con

I respect the fact that you are a Christian and believe in the death penalty, but that doesn't prove that it makes sense.

I should say that I never once used the word murder. If you want to get technical, murder is defined by law as the "unlawful taking of someone's life", so because the death penalty is the law, it cannot be murder. And that is exactly why I chose not to use that word, so your argument regarding it not being murder, doesn't really matter. I never argued it.

While i understand your comments on Sodom and Gomorrah, I believe I stated that passages from the Old Testament are not viable in this argument. If you would like to refute that, to THEN use that argument, please do.

You then move on to say: "The government has an obligation to put an end to those whose crimes are so heinous that the only way to bring justice to them is by ending their life." That is fine if you believe that, but that has nothing to do with the question. You are trying to prove that Christianity supports the death penalty.

You have also failed to address some of my claims made previously.

How can the God that implores us to constantly forgive, and leave justice to the Lord, approve of us taking someone Else's life. Is there not a more Christian way of handling their crimes. While the idea of punishment is not foreign to Christianity, the idea of punishment without the chance for redemption is. And that is exactly what the death penalty does.

Well, now that i've laid out how to attack my argument, you may do so when you please.
FrontLineConservative

Pro

For you to say that anything in the Old Testament has no validity in the discussion of the Death Penalty is completely wrong. I'm going to use a lot of scriptures so try and keep up and delve into them for your own sake.

Romans 13:1-7 discusses our "Christian" citizenship.

"Obey the government, for God is the one who put it there. All governments have been placed in power by God." -Romans 13:1

So what is the reason for human government?

1) They are ordained of God (Romans 13:4)
2) God sets up Kings & brings Kings down (Daniel 2:21 & Daniel 2:37)
3) So that God's power may be displayed (Romans 9:17)

When Jesus is standing before Pilate, He reminds Pilate how he was given his power in John 19:11.

God ordains Human Government (Romans 13:3-4)

Why does God ordain human government? He does it to restrain evil. You don't legislate morality, you legislate against immorality. The government cannot make someone be nice to me, but they can do something to keep them from murdering or convicting other crimes.

Well, how do you explain Exodus 20:13 when it says "Thou shall not kill." This literally means in the Greek text "Thou shall not take personal vengeance."

I explain it by turning to Exodus 21:12 where it says "Anyone who hits a person hard enough to cause death must be put to death."

Genesis 9:6 states it in this manner, "Yes, you must execute anyone who murders another person, for to kill a person is to kill a living being made in God's image." All murder is killing, but not all killing is murder.

God has his "ordained ministers" (government officials) to carry out the punishment of crimes.

God is too good not to punish sin.

Lastly, I ask you this:

Who crucified Jesus? God the Father poured out His wrath against his Son so that we might be saved. He had to take on our sins and die the most painful death that has ever been experienced.

I don't how much more convincing the Bible can be.

God does not contradict Himself because if He did then He would not be God.
Debate Round No. 2
willact723

Con

Okay, so you've established the reasoning for human government, and that is all well and fine, but it does not answer my question.

"Why does God ordain human government? He does it to restrain evil. You don't legislate morality, you legislate against immorality. The government cannot make someone be nice to me, but they can do something to keep them from murdering or convicting other crimes."

That is the comment where it went from you using scripture, to you putting your own opinion in. Granted, you may have reasoning for saying that, nothing that precedes or follows that comment actually supports that.

I say the OT is not a convincing argument, because you are just picking and choosing. And I do not say just you, we all do that when trying to prove a point.

While I understand your statement from Exodus, I really believe you need to establish how you can pick and choose from the OT. How can you use a line from Exodus and say "that is how God ordains it" but ignore others from the OT. Does God not ordain those?

I believe it is weak to use Jesus' Crucifixion as an argument. That was 2000 years ago, from a different people, in a different time. While the Bible offers perspective, Jesus' Crucifixion was different. You can't claim that if we didn't have the death penalty Jesus' wouldn't have been able to find a way to die for our sins.

I believe God is powerful enough to find a way.
FrontLineConservative

Pro

Debating with you is like talking to a wall. I've pointed out my argument and you've completely disavowed it.

If Jesus had not died for our sins, we wouldn't have a Savior.

I've pointed out all I need to. Now is the time that you investigate it for yourself.
Debate Round No. 3
42 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Novan_Leon 9 years ago
Novan_Leon
If you're ever on COD4, let's do a cage match to settle our differences. ;)
Posted by topher 9 years ago
topher
To Novan and Fred: FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT! :)
Posted by Novan_Leon 9 years ago
Novan_Leon
As do I, and there is no intentional "twisting" of the truth on my part.

There is no need for you to feel defensive.
Posted by PreacherFred 9 years ago
PreacherFred
The cop-out is in the twisting. You are certainly entitled to your opinions but I still maintain a 100% win ratio without ever using sarcasm, disrespect, etc.
Posted by Novan_Leon 9 years ago
Novan_Leon
PreacherFred:

I can't help but feel that your statement about me "twisting your words to fit my argument" is nothing more than a cop-out. The #1 rule in debating is honesty, otherwise the debate would perish. You would NOT win a real debate. Your arguments are too insubstantial and insupportable.
Posted by Lydie 9 years ago
Lydie
I too think too much emphasis is put on other issues brought up in the bible besides the example that Jesus demonstrated.

I think better a killer locked up in prison for a lifetime than an innocent man put to death by our own justice system.

The bible is a collection of stories, so there is a wealth of evidence to use, and I think you could back up pretty much whatever you want with evidence.

No one should be able to decide if a person dies or lives.
On the street or in a courtroom. Human error is just too unstable.
Posted by easy2know 9 years ago
easy2know
FrontLine your apology is welcome, as Christians we all should focus on more what Jesus would say...it is naturally overwhelming (and so controversial) when a life is taken from us from the hands of another.

Not just because of PreacherFreds age difference (or mine) but as our walk in life draws closer to the end, elders seem to use past experiences as a guide to leave our children with lessons we learned. Personally I know Freds works, the many lives he has touched are plainly nothing less than outstanding, he is one of the most humble persons I know.

The ultimate sin is murder, to murder there is no doubt the murderer is "insane". When and if this loop hole of pleading insanity is closed in our court system, and it is excepted (regardless if pre-meditated or not) that they spend the rest of there life in a "secured" prison with no chance of parole, also that they be treated for insanity, God willing they will be cured, and only then will they realize the many lives they destroyed. Retribution will never be achieved for those familys who lost their loved ones to a murderer, but like number plates that are made by prisoners so could society benefit from those incarcerated. Jesus would smile upon us knowing he gave himself for "everyones" sins, and like the thief on the cross they will be judged, so will be the murderer.

The implications of the death penalty will no doubt go on for years, but like the one story in Maine where the son murdered his Mother,the Father pleaded for years his son was not normal,the system ignored his pleas, till he committed the murder. Maybe some of the answers are looking more at prevention than executions. I truly believe like in "anything" the quick fix will not stand the test of time, and most those who are involved with the actual putting to death will say something does not feel right..! Just so everyone understands there are times when death to one has justification.

Wishing a Happy and safe Holiday season to all :o)
Posted by FrontLineConservative 9 years ago
FrontLineConservative
The ban on eating pork had to do with pigs being viewed as unclean animals. I don't think that it had anything to do with refrigeration.

easy2know-
i'm not worried about losing an online debate. this is just a way to "vent." accept my apology?
Posted by PreacherFred 9 years ago
PreacherFred
Novan Leon: You has misread or misunderstood what I have posted. In fact, you have twisted some of it to fit your argument. No need to debate for the same would happen again.

Your quotes: "For arguments sake, let's take the Old Testament out of the picture entirely then."

"... again, this is only if we're entirely ignoring the Old Testament."

My statement: "The Old Testament story of Cain clearly shows support for the anti-death penalty camp. If the Old Testament were a reliable guide in the matter of capital punishment, half the people in the United States would have to be killed tomorrow. The Bible requires the death penalty for a wide variety of crimes, including sex before marriage, adultery, homosexual behavior, doing work on Saturday and murder. It even calls for some criminals (e.g. prostitutes who are the daughters of priests) to be tortured to death by being burned alive. Most Christians feel that many of these grounds for the death penalty no longer apply to Christian societies."
Posted by Novan_Leon 9 years ago
Novan_Leon
PreacherFred,

I made no motion to discount the Old Testament other than to satisfy your already discounting it as useless in the modern framework. The only reason I would discount the OT is for arguments sake since you seemed to have discarded it as meaningless.

Much of what you say illustrates a basic misunderstanding of the nature of "Justice" and "Forgiveness". Who can forgive except the one wronged? If I murder someone, how can the victim forgive me? How can I forgive the murder of the man who killed my sister? All I can do is forgive the man for the pain that he caused me, but I cannot forgive him on my sisters behalf. Likewise, the government cannot "forgive" a man for killing someone. Only the person wronged can forgive.

Conversely, we cannot deliver justice for ourselves, only for others. If a man wrongs me, I cannot punish him in order to deliver justice, otherwise it would be revenge. Only others can deliver justice for my cause. The Lord has set in place authority to deliver justice to the people (Romans 13, the New Testament).

Forgiveness can only be given by the one who was wronged for the wrong that was done. Justice can only be delivered by others on your behalf. To say that we, as a society, have the ability to forgive a murderer for killing someone, is extremely arrogant.

We find murder abominable, NOT the neutral act of killing (such as in war) or the delivery of justice (praise the Lord!), but murder.

Think about it. If you are correct and we, as a society should forgive those who commit murder, why do we still imprison them? If we were to do things your way, nobody would ever be punished for anything.

I think I've said all I can for now. If you'd like to debate this further please send me an official debate invite.
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