Bloggers have taken an interest in the Kelly Gissendaner case as her sentence is coming close to being carried out. As a believer, I have no problem with the death penalty. It is a punishment for certain crimes and God has established that punishment so we really cannot call it criminal, inhumane or some other derogatory term.
If a man takes the life of any human being, he shall surely be put to death. (Lev. 24:17)
So no believer should be arguing about the different nations use of that option. They may fight to ensure that the sentence has been applied justly but they cannot argue against the death penalty. Some people do though because their own sensibilities have led them to disagree with the use of death as a form of punishment, even though the Bible clearly states that death is a just sentence. Not only do we have Noah’s flood as an example of God’s opinion of about using death as a form of punishment ,we also have Romans 6:23 telling us that our crimes (sins) will lead to death:
23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
I will get to two of the bloggers commenting on this issue in a minute but first, I want to pose a question for you to research and consider:
Where in the Bible does it state that if a man or woman become a believer in Jesus they are relieved of their judicial sentence?
Another question would be, is it just to let those who convert to Christianity receive a lighter sentence for their human crimes? Wouldn’t doing so make a mockery of both Christianity and legal justice?
For a historical point, Jim West actually does say something worthwhile on the topic:
Dear Everyone Who Says ‘But Christians Can’t Support Capital Punishment’
As a matter of historical fact, yes, yes they can. That you or I may not support capital punishment is our own perspective informed by our own historical situation. That our forebears and contemporaries can and do support the execution of the worst of society does not automatically make them unbelievers.
Indeed- you will search the records of Church history in vain to find any Christian before the modern era who saw capital punishment as either criminal, sub-christian, or unacceptable.
So, please, stop being so historically uninformed and parochial. All reality isn’t determined by your view of reality. To imagine otherwise is hubris. (https://zwingliusredivivus.wordpress.com/2015/03/02/dear-everyone-who-says-but-christians-cant-support-capital-punishment/)
Then West makes some other good points as well:
Is that the #Gissandaner affair shows that we’re just so selective in who we really love. Christians, yes. Muslims, not so much. Prisoners, yes. Unborn children, not so much. (https://zwingliusredivivus.wordpress.com/2015/03/02/i-think-what-troubles-me-most/)
So it isnt just American exceptionalism with which we have to do but Christian. #WhatIfGissendanerWereAMuslim? (https://zwingliusredivivus.wordpress.com/2015/03/02/exceptionalism-is-wrong-except-when-it-serves-our-ideological-agenda/)
It is food for thought to consider the motives behind the drive to commute her sentence to life imprisonment. Is it simply because she is a white woman that she is getting this attention? Is it because she has become a Christian and that it would be wrong to execute a Christian? Hard to say what is driving the pleas for clemency.
We must ask, what makes this case so special among all the other cases where convicts have turned their lives around due to the efforts of those engaged in prison ministries? Is it because she is a woman and most western abhor or react in disgust when a woman is threatened or facing the implementation of honest justice? I cannot speak for those who are pleading her case with the Governor but I can ask these questions to see if their motives are divinely fueled and that they are truly concerned for the welfare of this person.
Christians should not be afraid of death, whether it is going to happen to them or other believers. Longevity on this earth is not our goal nor our gift. Our focus is living with God forever, so we really need to take a better and more honest look at our perspectives of death, the death sentence and so on. Nothing really stops us from commuting her sentence except the question, is it truly the right thing to do? Will God be served by her receiving a reprieve?
What glory will go to God if the pleas to the Governor are successful? I do not think that the many people advocating that her sentence be changed are thinking everything through. I think it is a more personal, emotional drive than anything else because she is a mother and a woman. These people seem to be glossing over the fat that she killed her husband, the person who helped her have those children and they seem to be forgetting to put value on his life. Does he not deserve to receive ‘justice’?
Everyone can quote Micah 6:8
but justice is for all people not just those we like.
What I do not like are those people who make false accusations against others or distort the issue because their personal views do not support the just sentence handed down by the proper authorities
What grieves me the absolute most of this pending execution is that it proves what we truly love in America: vengeance over restoration.
Kelly is not the person she was 17 years ago. Instead, she is the epitome of the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to radically transform and renew anyone into a “new creation.” With her death, the world will lose yet another ambassador and a shining example of the Jesus we claim to follow.
21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. (Phil. 1 NASB)
O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” (1 Cor. 15:55)