We invite comments from Christians wrestling with the issue of capital punishment. We recognize that there are sincere, informed Christians on both sides of the capital punishment debate.
A few of our thoughts (offered not to close but to open discussion)...
- Jesus did not see his church as the state. His first followers were "outsiders" when it came to political authority. Only later in history did Christianity get hold of the levers of political power, with mixed results. We must always be careful about articulating a "Christian political platform."
- The New Testament assumes that the state will use deadly force against criminals. Romans 13 tells us that this is with God's permission.
- But the New Testament does not "cheerlead" for executions. Following what God has revealed of His own personality, the Savior and his followers appeal to sinful people to repent. We don't think you would see Jesus at either demonstration outside the prison - He would not wave a "Capital punishment is murder!" placard nor would he be with the "Fry him!" crowd. His call is for the murderer to repent and find faith, because unrepentant murderers are among those who will suffer God's judgment.
- In Elijah Page's case, he is indisputably guilty of a horrible crime. We can't see into his soul - we can only pray that his last days have led him to repentance and true faith in Jesus Christ, the only one who can wipe away such a stain from a human soul.