May 1st, 2014
09:15 AM ET

Why Christians should support the death penalty

Opinion by R. Albert Mohler Jr., Special to CNN

(CNN) - The death penalty has been part of human society for millennia, understood to be the ultimate punishment for the most serious crimes.

But, should Christians support the death penalty now, especially in light of the controversial execution Tuesday in Oklahoma?

This is not an easy yes or no question.

On the one hand, the Bible clearly calls for capital punishment in the case of intentional murder.

In Genesis 9:6, God told Noah that the penalty for intentional murder should be death: “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image.”

The death penalty was explicitly grounded in the fact that God made every individual human being in his own image, and thus an act of intentional murder is an assault upon human dignity and the very image of God.

In the simplest form, the Bible condemns murder and calls for the death of the murderer. The one who intentionally takes life by murder forfeits the right to his own life.

In the New Testament, the Apostle Paul instructs Christians that the government “does not bear the sword in vain.” Indeed, in this case the magistrate “is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the evildoer.” [Romans 13:4]

On the other hand, the Bible raises a very high requirement for evidence in a case of capital murder.

The act of murder must be confirmed and corroborated by the eyewitness testimony of accusers, and the society is to take every reasonable precaution to ensure that no one is punished unjustly.

While the death penalty is allowed and even mandated in some cases, the Bible also reveals that not all who are guilty of murder and complicity in murder are executed.

Just remember the biblical accounts concerning Moses, David and Saul, later known as Paul.

Christian thinking about the death penalty must begin with the fact that the Bible envisions a society in which capital punishment for murder is sometimes necessary, but should be exceedingly rare.

The Bible also affirms that the death penalty, rightly and justly applied, will have a powerful deterrent effect.

In a world of violence, the death penalty is understood as a necessary firewall against the spread of further deadly violence.

Seen in this light, the problem we face today is not with the death penalty, but with society at large.

American society is quickly conforming to a secular worldview, and the clear sense of right and wrong that was Christianity’s gift to Western civilization is being replaced with a much more ambiguous morality.

We have lost the cultural ability to declare murder – even mass murder – to be deserving of the death penalty.

Oklahoma's botched lethal injection marks new front in battle over executions

We have also robbed the death penalty of its deterrent power by allowing death penalty cases to languish for years in the legal system, often based on irrational and irrelevant appeals.

While most Americans claim to believe that the death penalty should be supported, there is a wide disparity in how Americans of different states and regions think about the issue.

Furthermore, Christians should be outraged at the economic and racial injustice in how the death penalty is applied. While the law itself is not prejudiced, the application of the death penalty often is.

Opinion: End secrecy in lethal injections

There is very little chance that a wealthy white murderer will ever be executed. There is a far greater likelihood that a poor African-American murderer will face execution.

Why? Because the rich can afford massively expensive legal defense teams that can exhaust the ability of the prosecution to get a death penalty sentence.

This is an outrage, and no Christian can support such a disparity. As the Bible warns, the rich must not be able to buy justice on their own terms.

There is also the larger cultural context. We must recognize that our cultural loss of confidence in human dignity and the secularizing of human identity has made murder a less heinous crime in the minds of many Americans.

Most would not admit this lower moral evaluation of murder, but our legal system is evidence that this is certainly true.

We also face a frontal assault upon the death penalty that is driven by legal activists and others determined to bring legal execution to an end in America.

Controversy over an execution this week in Oklahoma will bring even more attention to this cause, but most Americans will be completely unaware that this tragedy was caused by the inability of prison authorities to gain access to drugs for lethal injection that would have prevented those complications.

Opponents of the death penalty have, by their legal and political action, accomplished what might seem at first to be impossible – they now demand action to correct a situation that they largely created.

Their intention is to make the death penalty so horrifying in the public mind that support for executions would disappear. They have attacked every form of execution as “cruel and unusual punishment,” even though the Constitution itself authorizes the death penalty.

It is a testament to moral insanity that they have successfully diverted attention from a murderer’s heinous crimes and instead put the death penalty on trial.

Should Christians support the death penalty today?

I believe that Christians should hope, pray and strive for a society in which the death penalty, rightly and rarely applied, would make moral sense.

This would be a society in which there is every protection for the rights of the accused, and every assurance that the social status of the murderer will not determine the sentence for the crime.

Christians should work to ensure that there can be no reasonable doubt that the accused is indeed guilty of the crime. We must pray for a society in which the motive behind capital punishment is justice, and not merely revenge.

We must work for a society that will honor every single human being at every point of development and of every race and ethnicity as made in God’s image.

We must hope for a society that will support and demand the execution of justice in order to protect the very existence of that society. We must pray for a society that rightly tempers justice with mercy.

Should Christians support the death penalty today? I believe that we must, but with the considerations detailed above.

At the same time, given the secularization of our culture and the moral confusion that this has brought, this issue is not so clear-cut as some might think.

I do believe that the death penalty, though supported by the majority of Americans, may not long survive in this cultural context.

Death penalty in the United States gradually declining

It is one thing to support the death penalty. It is another thing altogether to explain it, fix it, administer it and sustain it with justice.

We are about to find out if Americans have the determination to meet that challenge. Christians should take leadership to help our fellow citizens understand what is at stake.

God affirmed the death penalty for murder as he made his affirmation of human dignity clear to Noah. Our job is to make it clear to our neighbors.

R. Albert Mohler Jr. is president of  The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. The views expressed in this column belong to Mohler.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Bible • Christianity • Courts • Crime • Death • Discrimination • Ethics • Opinion • Violence

soundoff (2,706 Responses)
  1. clank347

    I cannot believe what drivel this post is. How come every time someone mentions things like the bible says you shouldn't mix linen and wool, they say "That's the old testament, we follow the new testament". But then they are free to bring up anything else in the Old Testament any time it suits them.

    And what about the person who puts the murderer to death, "Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image.” – Doesn't that create a wicked cycle that will have us all wiped out in a few months. Because "Whoever" is pretty clear, that means everyone, regardless of it being their job.

    And a study was just released, that got no press, that 4% of those sentenced to die are innocent. How would Jesus feel about that?

    Seriously, you religious folks sound like children. I'm so glad that 1/4 of people below 30 say they have no religious beliefs. Gives me hope for the future.

    May 1, 2014 at 5:19 pm |
  2. new-man

    "God affirmed the death penalty for murder as he made his affirmation of human dignity clear to Noah. Our job is to make it clear to our neighbors."

    Mr. Mohler, this is rubbish! and totally unbiblical. In essence then the death penalty should be given for all sin, because no one sin is greater than the other.
    Someone needs to spend sometime in the Gospel and do as Jesus did.

    May 1, 2014 at 5:10 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      I love it when religionists fight. Of course ONLY MY interpretation of the Babble is the RIGHT one. Everyone else just happens to be wrong.

      May 3, 2014 at 12:10 am |
  3. Dyslexic doG

    Please tell me what sort of asinine deity spends so much time and effort and goodness to create from nothing a perfect universe and a perfect existence with all of its intricacy ... and then tricks Eve into eating an apple so that he can then undo his master work that he put so much time and effort into and turn it into the barely holding together chaos that we see today that he has to constantly micromanage? Seriously?

    May 1, 2014 at 4:21 pm |
    • bostontola

      The bible kind.

      May 1, 2014 at 4:24 pm |
    • believerfred

      The vast majority of mankind since man had capacity to express soul would say God.

      May 1, 2014 at 4:37 pm |
      • igaftr

        they just might say god, but would not agree on which one...man has created thousands of gods, it is likely yours was made up just like all the reat.

        May 1, 2014 at 4:43 pm |
        • believerfred

          Correct to the extent no one can comprehend God so we do the best we can with what we have. The brilliant like Spinoza can spin a great metaphysical proof of the existence of God while I have enough problem just following the simply example Jesus made clear.

          May 1, 2014 at 5:00 pm |
        • kudlak

          If no one can comprehend God how can any believer be certain what God wants, thinks is right, or feels about humanity? You Christians could be completely wrong in your assumption that God holds the same positions that you do.

          May 1, 2014 at 10:14 pm |
        • ssq41

          oh, come on kudlak...haven't you been paying attention?

          It's the secret Holy Spirit Decoder Ring each gets at the altar. It allows them to interpret the "revealed" word of God in the way that suits their worldview.

          And for a monthly love offering of $232.94, you can be filled with the Holy Ghost and get your choice of ring color, but only if you call in the next fifteen minutes.

          May 1, 2014 at 10:32 pm |
        • kudlak

          $232.94 a month?!? That's cheap church membership compared to a lot of mega-churches.

          May 1, 2014 at 10:40 pm |
        • ssq41

          Sorry, k...I was old school...I was a Christian when the Mega Pastors were kids and teens...they hadn't yet developed their "Church Planting Strategies: How Greed is as Sacred as the Blood of Jesus" entrpreneurial spirit in the 70's and early '80s.

          May 1, 2014 at 10:49 pm |
        • kudlak

          My impression is that a lot of them are like resort communities. They'll even take you on a tour, show you the facilities, activities and clubs they have before sitting you down for the hard sell. There's a lot of competi.tion out there, but they don't mind squeezing out smaller churches because they see them as "dead" and "unbiblical" anyway.

          In a way, they're like the Costco or Walmart of churches. Big boxy things, on the outskirts of town offering all your faith, community, and friendship needs under one roof.

          May 2, 2014 at 8:16 am |
      • Akira

        If you are going to say the majority, you would have to concede that the Jews, Muslims and Christians all worship the same exact God.

        Otherwise, no.

        May 1, 2014 at 4:43 pm |
        • believerfred

          We can begin by observing the all look in the same direction for God as did Neanderthal.

          May 1, 2014 at 5:01 pm |
        • Akira

          Then state it as god. That's more honest.

          May 1, 2014 at 5:09 pm |
        • believerfred

          No, all are looking for God. In the process of looking and attempting to reconcile a core instinct that there is something greater than rather than less than self history reflects many gods

          May 1, 2014 at 5:16 pm |
        • Akira

          Then state it as as looking for a god. It is more intellectually honest and doesn't detract from your faith in your God one iota.

          May 1, 2014 at 5:42 pm |
        • believerfred

          I believe the three faiths you mentioned would claim God and I recall Spinoza showing proof for God even though it certainly was not any possible form anthropomorphic God of those faiths.
          Needless to say you have a good point since I did mention Neanderthal worship and we have no clue what they saw.

          May 1, 2014 at 5:53 pm |
        • sam stone

          i think capitaling god means that the writer is referring to a specific being

          May 1, 2014 at 9:39 pm |
        • kudlak

          The earliest god that we have evidence for being worshipped was the fertility goddess usually portrayed as a small statue with huge breasts.

          Does this sound like God to you?

          May 1, 2014 at 10:28 pm |
      • clank347

        Including all Muslims.

        May 1, 2014 at 5:21 pm |
        • believerfred

          Muslims yes, but I do not know if we can all just as we cannot say all Jews, or all Christians because some have been shielded from the knowledge of God for their own protection or simply because of the grace of God.

          May 1, 2014 at 5:31 pm |
    • believerfred

      Looks like you have not heard the story right.
      In the beginning God created ....
      It was the light of God that separated the darkness to bring about all that is good. You simply do not like the plan and process God created to bring out all that is good.
      You cannot claim on one hand God micromanages then turn around and claim there is no evidence of God doing anything. Perhaps you should work through that contraction first before you attempt to create God in your image.

      May 1, 2014 at 4:51 pm |
      • sam stone

        sure thing, fred. better we create god in the image of iron age sheepherders

        May 1, 2014 at 5:06 pm |
        • believerfred

          You seem to have an image of God that is opposite of hope and goodness. How did you arrive at your false image?

          May 1, 2014 at 5:08 pm |
        • midwest rail

          " How did you arrive at this "false" image ?
          By watching the majority of his followers ?

          May 1, 2014 at 5:41 pm |
        • sam stone

          i don't have a false image of god
          i don't have a false image of mohammed
          i don't have a false image of any god that man created

          i do think that the god described by the majority of blog christians is a tyrant

          if god is omniscient, there is no free will

          in fact, god's own blog representative, theo phileo says that free will does not exist

          if god punishes people who lack fre will, he is a tyrant

          May 1, 2014 at 5:47 pm |
        • believerfred

          midwest rail

          ' By watching the majority of his followers ?"
          => ok, Jesus gave two simple commands to love and we can't even get that right. The problem is man and his image of God not God who at one time made us in the image of God. I don't know what Adam and Eve looked like do you?

          May 1, 2014 at 5:55 pm |
        • believerfred

          Sam Stone
          If you begin with the latest image of God presented to man do you see Jesus as tyrant?

          May 1, 2014 at 5:57 pm |
        • midwest rail

          " The problem is man and his image of God ..."
          No, fred, the problem is contemporary Christians claiming absolute knowledge of what said God wants, and then act as if it is only everyone else besides them who must conform to those standards.

          May 1, 2014 at 6:00 pm |
        • sam stone

          i see jesus as a myth

          May 1, 2014 at 6:12 pm |
        • believerfred

          midwest rail

          " the problem is contemporary Christians claiming absolute knowledge of what said God wants"
          =>The problem is the nature of mankind is to seek something other than God as being more desirable. Assume for a moment Jesus was the Glory of God just to keep things simple. Do you not know what God wants?

          "act as if it is only everyone else besides them who must conform to those standards."
          =>Yes that would be a problem and is not biblical.

          May 1, 2014 at 7:02 pm |
        • believerfred

          sam stone
          "i see jesus as a myth"
          =>does the myth of Jesus as presented show him to be a tyrant?

          May 1, 2014 at 7:05 pm |
        • sam stone

          fred: not really

          May 1, 2014 at 7:21 pm |
        • believerfred

          sam stone
          "if god is omniscient, there is no free will"
          =>God is not limited to our time line. Current scientific thought also assumes pre big bang cosmology would exist outside of our dimension of time and space. Even in metaphysical understanding it cannot be within our time and space otherwise there would be no beginning of time. However you wish to view what is outside of our time and space it cannot be constrained by our sequencing of time in terms of past, present and future. That perspective could yield a time sequence in any order which is why the Apostle Paul could that for those who chose Christ they were predestined by God.
          Another way to put it God knows how we are going to exercise our free will only because we have already done so from Gods timeless reference point. How does an eternal nature differ from timelessness?
          => Just look at Eve in the Garden or Christ on the cross and the myth as you call it reflects choice. Jesus called out on the cross why hast thou forsaken me..............yet 3 days latter resurrected while Eve wrestled with her decision to reject God. The Bible shows free will

          May 1, 2014 at 7:43 pm |
        • midwest rail

          fred, I'll let you be the judge of whether or not it is biblical. It is, however, one of the predominant characteristics of contemporary Christianity. The fringe has become the center.

          May 1, 2014 at 8:21 pm |
        • ssq41

          fred says: "Another way to put it God knows how we are going to exercise our free will only because we have already done so from Gods timeless reference point..."

          And, if your theology is accurate, then your God is even more a monster for sitting on the all-knowing sidelines while some of the most horrific actions are routinely carried out (many of which were/are/will be done in his name).

          May 1, 2014 at 10:43 pm |
        • sam stone

          "Another way to put it God knows how we are going to exercise our free will only because we have already done so from Gods timeless reference point",

          so, god knows all evil before it happens, but still allows it to happen?

          i have read other blog christians, maybe you too i don't remember, opine that all god allows all for his self glorification. do you believe that?

          May 2, 2014 at 4:53 am |
        • believerfred

          "God is even more a monster for sitting on the all-knowing sidelines while some of the most horrific actions are routinely carried out (many of which were/are/will be done in his name)."
          =>If you have a better plan than the one created for our best interest I would love to hear it. No one has yet proposed one.
          =>You imply God should micromanage and separate good and evil one atom at a time. This is certainly possible given the attributes of God but it is not what we observe to be the plan unfolding. By our own thoughts, actions and inclination of the heart we separate ourselves from the presence of God. We do that because of who we really are. We do that through a process of natural selection which you believe in. The soul has received the opportunity for eternal life as did Adam and Eve. Before us is the tree of knowledge that reveals our true desire to be in Christ (God) eternal or reject the gift of life. It is a struggle, all those desires and so little time.

          May 2, 2014 at 2:36 pm |
        • believerfred

          sam stone
          Creation is a reflection of the Glory of God with that creative ability in us all things work to the good of those who are in Christ (God). Participation in that wonder requires the ability to appreciate goodness, perfect love, joy etc and desire this path. After God created he said it was very good. As you recall light separated the darkness (good and evil) and it was good. Then man desired the tree of knowledge with both good and evil together. The process of separation as it was in the beginning will be light and darkness. Light entered the world but darkness could not see it. So it will be.
          Long winded answer to say yes the glory of God is in the creation but the darkness does not know it. Darkness is blind to the Glory and sees something else. God did not create evil but allows it to reveal and separate itself from the light.

          May 2, 2014 at 2:50 pm |
      • kudlak

        Oh, we've heard it alright, but why do you insist that it's more than just a story?

        May 1, 2014 at 10:30 pm |
        • believerfred

          Since Neanderthal there is evidence of man seeking to understand afterlife. Stories can impact individuals and cultures but to create an entire world view is unlikely. Divine providence is bringing about the salvation of men. As stories go the Bible remains the #1 best seller of all time year after year. In efforts to understand existence and purpose of life only the Bible has the answer or at least that is where seekers go to find God.
          The words of Jesus hold true to this very day and no one has shown me one word that has proven false in 2,000 years. There is power in the word of God to this day which effects reality regardless if there is a God or simply belief in God itself.

          May 2, 2014 at 3:31 pm |
  4. aldewacs

    Another mystery: write a post on this blog, and jeebus makes it disappear. Why bother any more? Too many HOOPS.

    May 1, 2014 at 4:10 pm |
    • otoh2

      You probably ran up against the automatic word filter.

      Bad letter combinations / words to avoid if you want to get past the CNN Belief Blog/WordPress automatic filter:
      Many, if not most, are buried within other words, so use your imagination.
      You can use dashes, spaces, or other characters or some html tricks to modify the "offending" letter combinations.
      ar-se.....as in ar-senic, coa.rse, etc.
      co-ck.....as in co-ckatiel, co-ckatrice, co-ckleshell, co-ckles, etc.
      co-on.....as in racc-oon, coc-oon, etc.
      cu-m......as in doc-ument, accu-mulate, circu-mnavigate, circu-mstances, cu-mbersome, cuc-umber, etc.
      ef-fing...as in ef-fing filter
      ft-w......as in soft-ware, delft-ware, swift-water, drift-wood, etc.
      ho-mo.....as in ho-mo sapiens or ho-mose-xual, ho-mogenous, sopho-more, etc.
      ho-oters…as in sho-oters
      ho-rny....as in tho-rny, etc.
      inf-orms us…
      hu-mp… as in th-ump, th-umper, th-umping
      jacka-ss...yet "ass" is allowed by itself.....
      ja-p......as in j-apanese, ja-pan, j-ape, etc.
      koo-ch....as in koo-chie koo..!
      ni-gra…as in deni-grate
      o-rgy….as in po-rgy, zo-rgy, etc.
      pi-s......as in pi-stol, lapi-s, pi-ssed, therapi-st, etc.
      p-oon… as in sp-oon, lamp-oon, harp-oon
      p-orn… as in p-ornography
      pr-ick....as in pri-ckling, pri-ckles, etc.
      ra-pe.....as in scra-pe, tra-peze, gr-ape, thera-peutic, sara-pe, etc.
      se-x......as in Ess-ex, s-exual, etc.
      sm-ut…..as in transm-utation
      sp-ic.....as in desp-icable, hosp-ice, consp-icuous, susp-icious, sp-icule, sp-ice, etc.
      sp-ook… as in sp-ooky, sp-ooked
      ti-t......as in const-itution, att-itude, t-itle, ent-ity, alt-itude, beat-itude, etc.
      tw-at.....as in wristw-atch, nightw-atchman, salt-water, etc.
      va-g......as in extrava-gant, va-gina, va-grant, va-gue, sava-ge, etc.
      who-re....as in who're you kidding / don't forget to put in that apostrophe!
      There's another phrase that someone found, "wo-nderful us" (have no idea what sets that one off).

      May 1, 2014 at 4:23 pm |
  5. riccalvi

    There is a componet to supporting the death penalty that Dr. Mohler fails to recognize:

    No law-abiding person is afforded the knowledge of the exact moment of their death. It remains one of life's great uncertainties. This fact makes it all the more tempting for anyone to postpone repentance and right living before God, risking the tragedy of an unexpected and unprepared-for end to God's gracious gift of time, and breath.

    However, the criminal who has been sentenced to death has been given a great luxury: knowing the exact time and place from which they will cross over into eternity, having then to give an account of their deeds to their Creator. Therefore, the "death penalty" may be realized as one of the greatest acts of mercy given to one whose heart has been hardened against the gracious gift of life. He may yet repent and make peace with God ("Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and you perish in the way..." Psalm 2:12).

    Biblically-rooted Christ followers may therefore heartily endorse the death penalty, as I do.

    May 1, 2014 at 4:06 pm |
    • igaftr

      yeah...don't mind that silly commandment that has NO grey area. Thou shall not kill ( unless of course you can find some way of rationalizing it)...oh wait, that last part wasn't in there now was it.

      May 1, 2014 at 4:19 pm |
      • kermit4jc

        it is grey area for those inexperienced with the Hebrew langauge and Jewish culture..... here is a perfect link to show the term is murder and is not a grey area http://jpfo.org/rabbi/6th-commandment.htm

        May 1, 2014 at 5:23 pm |
        • kudlak

          Why is it then that Jesus interfered with the public execution of a woman by stoning? If he believed in capital punishment, wouldn't he have picked up a rock like the rest of them?

          May 1, 2014 at 10:36 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          apparently you don't see the judgement to kill the lady was done unjustly...the LAW says that the MAN ALSO had to be brought before the councils and judged and then stoned...where is the man? clearly this was a kangaroo court

          May 2, 2014 at 2:12 am |
        • ssq41

          Really, kermy...are you certain the story wasn't incomplete...maybe the gospel writer made his point with just telling it like that.

          But maybe the gospels are just stories and not history.

          But I do have to give you props for creating your own story that this was an unjust event.

          May 2, 2014 at 2:38 am |
        • kermit4jc

          not at all...again there was no man present..only the woman..and thus why Jesus would have said "let him who is sinless throw the first stone" further..as for Jesus..he did not come to JUDGE the world..but save it...that was His purpose for coming to this earth

          May 2, 2014 at 2:44 am |
        • ssq41

          Oh, kermy....Jesus said a bunch of things you ignore...like "You've heard it said...but I show you another way..." Which means he is contravening what the OT says...or, what Daddy said.

          May 2, 2014 at 2:48 am |
        • kermit4jc

          I believe we were talking about murder vs killing? what are you getting at?

          May 2, 2014 at 2:51 am |
        • ssq41

          Sorry, kermsicle....didn't realize you couldn't talk about more than one subject at the same time....

          Now I understand why you are context-obsessed, however.

          May 2, 2014 at 3:03 am |
        • kermit4jc

          well..you were going off of my post about the "grey area" of murder..so I wanted to know where your thing was going..off topic then? then please make a point...thanks

          May 2, 2014 at 3:07 am |
        • ssq41

          Sorry, kerm...wrong again...check your threads...not word one to you about any "gray area"....haze gray and underway (as they say) is all that interests me.

          May 2, 2014 at 4:32 am |
    • halfdime1

      Relishing in death, seems odd to me.

      May 2, 2014 at 2:26 am |
  6. bostontola

    Happy National Day of Reason today. I guess no one sent the memo to Mr. Mohler.

    May 1, 2014 at 3:43 pm |
    • igaftr

      What was the reason for the national day?

      May 1, 2014 at 3:51 pm |
      • bostontola

        It's in contrast to the National Day of Prayer (also today).

        May 1, 2014 at 3:56 pm |
        • igaftr

          Can it be the national day of Riesen? I love those.

          May 1, 2014 at 4:02 pm |
        • bostontola

          Every day is Riesen Day.

          May 1, 2014 at 4:16 pm |
        • Akira

          He is Riesen.

          May 1, 2014 at 4:33 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Why May Day? That's not doing us any favors?

      On Sunday, May the Fourth be with you all dear Belief Bloggers.

      May 1, 2014 at 3:58 pm |
      • bostontola

        It's on the 1st Thursday in May.

        May 1, 2014 at 4:05 pm |
  7. bostontola

    Genesis 18:23-32

    23 Then Abraham approached him and said: “Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked? 24 What if there are fifty righteous people in the city? Will you really sweep it away and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty righteous people in it? 25 Far be it from you to do such a thing—to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and the wicked alike. Far be it from you! Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?”

    26 The Lord said, “If I find fifty righteous people in the city of Sodom, I will spare the whole place for their sake.”

    27 Then Abraham spoke up again: “Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, though I am nothing but dust and ashes, 28 what if the number of the righteous is five less than fifty? Will you destroy the whole city for lack of five people?”

    “If I find forty-five there,” he said, “I will not destroy it.”

    29 Once again he spoke to him, “What if only forty are found there?”

    He said, “For the sake of forty, I will not do it.”

    30 Then he said, “May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak. What if only thirty can be found there?”

    He answered, “I will not do it if I find thirty there.”

    31 Abraham said, “Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, what if only twenty can be found there?”

    He said, “For the sake of twenty, I will not destroy it.”

    32 Then he said, “May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak just once more. What if only ten can be found there?”

    He answered, “For the sake of ten, I will not destroy it.”

    This story is the basis of the justice principle in Blackstone's ratio and innocent until proven guilty. It is better to let many guilty people go free than punish 1 not guilty. Imagine when the penalty is death and humans make the guilty verdict, not an omniscient God.

    Mr. Mohler's analysis is incomplete and his conclusions are simplistic. There is plenty in the bible to advise against the death penalty. Just because the death penalty is allowed by the bible, doesn't mean it should be used (other than the most extremely certain cases). To advocate people support this is irresponsible and immoral.

    May 1, 2014 at 3:38 pm |
    • colin31714

      Sounds like a mediation I was recently in.

      I have no issue with a justice system that includes the death penalty. For e.g., Osama Bin Laden deserved it. Where it becomes problematic is that, when administered on a wide scale basis over an extended period of time, innocent people will be executed. DNA evidence is exonerating people on death row all the time.

      So, those who support its use in a justice system as large as that of the USA must acknowledge that they accept the death of a few innocent people as the price for keeping the death penalty in place. There is simply no way around this as the exonerations are hard facts.

      May 1, 2014 at 3:59 pm |
      • bostontola

        I agree Colin, that's why I can't support it as is.

        In practical terms, the number of cases where we would feel confident is so low, we are better off without it. There is no objective evidence that it deters murder. It could actually make things worse. Once a person kills someone in a crime, they have nothing left to lose and would kill more to get away.

        May 1, 2014 at 4:08 pm |
  8. colin31714

    It is amazing how different sects of Christianity can come to such divergent views on a seemingly fundamental issue as the right to take a human life. Sort of proves that their book of mythology can be used to support any view on any matter.

    May 1, 2014 at 3:36 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      But Colin, morality is absolute and immutable. It is God-given and clearly spelled out in the Bible.

      (Or so they claim.)

      May 1, 2014 at 3:38 pm |
      • colin31714

        Exactly. Just like so many other issues. It is amazing how poor a communicator the creator of the entire Universe is, isn't it. lol

        May 1, 2014 at 3:40 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      There's no shortage of capital punishment in the bible, so we can all agree with Dr. Mohler that is is indeed Biblical.

      But what does Jesus say about capital punishment? Would Jesus tell his followers to kill felons?

      Christians are primarily followers of Jesus, are they not?

      May 1, 2014 at 3:42 pm |
      • colin31714

        Well, he was all for drowning those whose children would not follow hi; ""If anyone causes one of these little ones–those who believe in me–to stumble, it would be better for them if a large millstone were hung around their neck and they were thrown into the sea”

        May 1, 2014 at 3:49 pm |
  9. Reality

    Mr. Mohler should be more concerned about the following: pedophilia in the SBC ranks

    From: http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1855948_1861760_1862212,00.html#ixzz0jg0lEyZj

    “Facing calls to curb child s-ex abuse within its churches, in June the Southern Baptist Convention — the largest U.S. religious body after the Catholic Church — urged local hiring committees to conduct federal background checks but rejected a proposal to create a central database of staff and clergy who have been either convicted of or indicted on charges of molesting minors. The SBC decided against such a database in part because its principle of local autonomy means it cannot compel individual churches to report any information. And while the headlines regarding churches and pedophilia remain largely focused on Catholic parishes, the lack of hierarchical structure and systematized record-keeping in most Protestant churches makes it harder not only for church leaders to impose standards, but for interested parties to track allegations of abuse."

    May 1, 2014 at 3:23 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      jesus really DID love the little children ...

      May 1, 2014 at 3:25 pm |
  10. colin31714

    If God were real, why would he make the Evangelicals the least intellectually talented people in the country. About 70% of them believe the entire planet is less than 10,000 years old and that the entire human race started with one man and one woman who were lead astray by a talking snake.

    I'm not making this up. And, it's the grown adults who believe this! It's not just a story they tell their little ones.

    May 1, 2014 at 3:21 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      there's a reason they use the "shepherd and sheep" analogy in christianity ...

      May 1, 2014 at 3:23 pm |
      • Rynomite

        The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want
        He makes me down to lie
        Through pastures green he leadeth me the silent waters by
        With bright knives he releaseth my soul
        He maketh me to hang on hooks in high places
        He converteth me to lamb cutlets
        For lo,m he hath great power and great hunger
        When cometh the day we lowly ones
        Through quiet reflection and great dedication
        Master the art of karate
        Lo, we shall rise up
        And then we'll make the bugger's eyes water.

        Bleating and babbling we fell on his neck with a scream
        Wave upon wave of demented avengers
        March cheerfully out of obscurity into the dream.

        May 1, 2014 at 3:26 pm |
        • Dyslexic doG

          love that album!

          May 1, 2014 at 3:39 pm |
        • bchev

          That played out in my head as the most terrifying epsiode of Shawn the Sheep ever.

          May 1, 2014 at 3:41 pm |
    • awanderingscot

      Radiocarbon dating, 8-10k years max by their own estimates, hardly a measure of the earth's age. Calibrated by tree rings, totally useless. Why? because the THEORY of evolution requires millions, even billions of years or for it to become viable even as a THEORY. Now that radiocarbon dating has been thoroughly discredited, the nose-haired government-grant sycophants are scrambling to find a new device to "prove" the age of the earth and deny a supernatural creator. scratch the surface and one can see just how pathetic these unregenerate God-haters are.

      May 1, 2014 at 4:06 pm |
      • igaftr

        Scot Hatwell
        back to the lame name calling and the obsession with nose hair.

        The reality is that radio carbon dating is far more effective and accurate than what you have stated. It is far closer to 60,000 years, but it is NOT used for determining the age of the earth, only organic compounds ( hence the CARBON)

        There are MANY methods used and it is rare that any ONE is used, it is normally many used to determine dates, depending on what you are testing.
        Your information is wrong, very outdated.

        May 1, 2014 at 4:14 pm |
      • joey3467

        Nobody uses carbon dating to prove the age of Earth. If you are going to go on a rant, shouldn't you at least know what you are talking about?

        May 1, 2014 at 4:26 pm |
        • Akira

          He is batting 1000% today. I haven't seen him correct in one thing yet.

          May 1, 2014 at 4:48 pm |
      • colin31714

        Carbon dating has nothing to do with the establishment of the age of the Earth, nor does dendrochronology ("calibrating by tree rings" as you call it). Potassium-argon, uranium-lead, rubidium-strontium and uranium-thorium dating are used when we get into the hundreds of millions of years.

        But, even if all these methods, along with the astronomical measurements of star ages and the Hubble red shift (which both independently verify a 13.7 billion year old Universe) were wrong, this would not help your "six days and a talking snake" theory. What evidence do you have to support it?

        May 1, 2014 at 5:20 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          radiocarbon dating methods are calibrated and confirmed by tree rings. you are only betting that people reading your drivel haven't researched it. carbon 14 half-life stands at 5700 years roughly, you don't know what you're talking about.

          May 1, 2014 at 6:19 pm |
        • colin31714

          ws – you said, "radiocarbon dating methods are calibrated and confirmed by tree rings." At times, but so what?

          You also said, "carbon 14 half-life stands at 5700 years roughly." Again, so what. What the hell does either point have to do with how very ancient rocks are dated or with how astronomical ages are determined, both of which show a 4.5 billion year old Earth and a 13.7 billion year old Universe (in its current iteration.)?

          Also, answer my question, what evidence do you have to support your six days and a talking snake theory?

          May 1, 2014 at 6:28 pm |
      • TruthPrevails1

        Oh my, you uneducated fool. We went through this with you yesterday. If you have not yet grasped the difference between a normal theory and a scientific theory I'm afraid you never will.

        May 1, 2014 at 6:18 pm |
    • kermit4jc

      pretty arrogant to say we are less intelligent..or have less intelligent talents....just because we disagree....you have made science into your god..depending soely on science and putting your life in a box ..within confines (hence the misnomer "Free thinkers")

      May 1, 2014 at 5:26 pm |
      • In Santa We Trust

        It's not just because you disagree – it's because you disagree in the face of mountains of evidence which shows the religious texts to be totally inaccurate when it comes to creation of the universe and the origin of species.

        May 1, 2014 at 5:46 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          as if science is always correct...evolution may be presented as "fact" by science..it doesn't mean so.....too many missing pieces...where are the fossils of ancestors of man and ape..and the links between them? they are nowhere to be found....how about between cats and dogs? nothing......yes..DNA says apes and humans match very closely..that doesn't prove we share same ancestor.....again its arrogance just cause we disagree....

          May 1, 2014 at 5:57 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          No kermi, if science presents it as fact than it is only an ignorant uneducated fool who denies it as being so. Evolution is fact regardless of what you may think. Please go and get an education and stop lying about the one you claim to have because obviously you never made it past grade 5. You're such an uneducated bigoted dolt!

          May 1, 2014 at 6:21 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          someone leave the bathroom door open again and forget to use air freshener? sure stinks here....

          May 1, 2014 at 6:23 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          See, posts like that prove you're no older than 10. I made a valid point and you have a temper tantrum. Could you please finally admit that you're not an adult and have never been to university?
          You deny too much of real science to be considered educated. Your god doesn't exist; the stories in your bible are largely false; evolution and the big bang are facts.
          I'm sorry if that hurts you but it is time to join us in this century.

          May 1, 2014 at 6:27 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          LMAO a temper tantrum?????? Im not mad..I was playing around..sheesh..cant take sarcasm..or don't know difference between sarcasm and temper tantrum? wow......whos the child here?

          May 1, 2014 at 6:29 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          With you it is hard to tell!

          May 1, 2014 at 6:31 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          IMnothurt at all..not by a sniveling little child like you

          May 1, 2014 at 6:29 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          You were obnoxious and I'm the one in the wrong? Wow-way to turn things again! Maybe you wouldn't get called out for being a liar if you'd stop acting so uneducated. There is no evidence for any god; no evidence for heaven; no evidence for hell; the bible has been debunked and proven fallacious. How hard is it for you to grasp that the book you hold so dear was written in a time when they had little comprehension of anything and has never been updated? So it would seem natural that there eventually would be info to the contrary of what the book claims and we know that is the case.

          May 1, 2014 at 6:36 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          lol..the Bible was never intended as a science book....but history book..it was NOT given to give science lessons....second..it has nOT been debunked..only in your wishful thinking......and ignorance of the bible

          May 1, 2014 at 6:38 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          kermi: Then stop using it to deny that LGBT is natural or to deny Evolution as fact. Such hypocrisy for you to say it isn't meant as a science book but yet to use it as one when it comes to things that science explains. It is your little fantasy that it hasn't been debunked...the flood didn't happen; virgin birth didn't happen; the resurrection didn't happen and so many other things....debunked and easily.
          It is you that has the obvious ignorance of his own holy book-in fact reading that book is the greatest path to disbelief...care to join us on the rational side of life?

          May 2, 2014 at 5:49 am |
        • otoh2


          Up until 100-200 years ago The Bible *was* considered to be a science book. Real scientists were hamstrung and castigated (and even persecuted) from investigating any other facts which might have contradicted or disproven biblical explanations for things.

          You've thrown in the towel on that claim. Good. Quite a bit of the history in it is suspect too, so that probably will be the next towel to be thrown in.

          All you'll have left is myths, legends, supersti'tions and a few (sometimes valid) morality tales. Your basis for belief is shrinking from significance very quickly.

          May 1, 2014 at 6:54 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          oh NICE way of twisting things...no..they did nOT consider it a science book..but used things for science From it....I di dnot throw in the towel at all.....nice going on looking foolish there

          May 2, 2014 at 2:03 am |
      • colin31714

        Just quoting empirical evidence. If by saying, "you have made science your god," you mean I will not accept something unless there is a rational, evidence backed basis to do so, you are correct. And no, it is not arrogant to say that people who believe in silly, childish things are not very bright.

        That is a fact.

        May 1, 2014 at 6:16 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          it is not a fact we are not bright,,if that being the case, then why are majority og nobel prize winners thesist...instead of atheists??

          May 1, 2014 at 6:20 pm |
        • colin31714

          Don't know that I accept your premise, but I do know that about 95% of the American Academy of Scientists, the most elite scientific body in the USA, are atheists.

          May 1, 2014 at 6:29 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          Got sources for that? and that out of how many scientists available outside the organization? (as if those in the organization are the only credible scientists?)

          May 1, 2014 at 6:31 pm |
        • colin31714

          Oh for the love of God, Kermit, this is third grade stuff. evolution is taught in every major university and college biology program in the World. Not 99% of them, but EVERY one. Universities with extensive evolutionary biology departments include Oxford University, Cambridge University and the Imperial College in England, the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Germany, the École Normale Supérieure and École Polythecnique in France and Leiden University in the Netherlands and the Swiss Federal Insti.tute of Technology in Switzerland. This is just a sample. ALL university and colleges in Europe teach evolution as a fundamental component of biology.

          The number of universities and colleges in Europe with a creation science department: ZERO. The number of tenured or even paid professors who teach creation science at any of these universities or colleges: ZERO

          In the United States, the following Universities have extensive evolutionary biology departments staffed by thousands of the most gifted biologists in the World; Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Colombia, Duke, the Massachusetts Insti.tute of Technology, Brown, Stanford, Berkley, and the University of Chicago. These are just some of the more prestigious examples. Again, ALL university and colleges in the USA with tertiary level biology classes teach evolution as a fundamental component of biology.

          The number of universities and colleges in the United States with a creation science department: ZERO The number of tenured or even paid professors who teach creation science at any of these universities or colleges: ZERO

          In Australia and Asia, the following universities and colleges have extensive evolutionary biology departments manned by more of the most gifted biological scientists in the World; Monash University in Melbourne, The University of New South Wales, Kyoto University in Ja.pan, Peking University in China, Seoul University in Korea, the University of Singapore, National Taiwan University, The Australian National University, The University of Melbourne, and the University of Sydney.

          The number of universities and colleges in Australia and Asia with a creation science department: ZERO The number of tenured or even paid professors who teach creation science at any of these universities or colleges: ZERO

          The most prestigious scientific publications in the Western World generally accessible to the public include: The Journal of the American Medical Association, the New England Journal of Medicine, Scientific American, Science, New Scientist, Cosmos and Live Science.

          Every month, one or more of them publishes a peer reviewed article highlighting the latest developments in evolution. The amount of any creationist science articles published in ANY of these prestigious publications; ZERO.

          I could repeat the above exercise for the following disciplines, all of which would have to be turned on their heads to accommodate creation science – paleontology, archeology, geology, botany, marine biology, astronomy, medicine, cosmology and historical linguistics.

          Nearly every scientific society, representing hundreds of thousands of scientists, have issued statements rejecting intelligent design and a peti.tion supporting the teaching of evolutionary biology was endorsed by 72 US Nobel Prize winners.

          Number of creation science Nobel Prize winners: ZERO

          The American Association for the Advancement of Science, the world's largest general scientific society with more than 130,000 members and over 262 affiliated societies and academies of science including over 10 million individuals, has made several statements and issued several press releases in support of evolution.

          Number made in support of creation science: ZERO

          According to The International Federation of Biologists, there are more than 3 million biological scientists globally who rely on the 5 laws of Darwinian evolution for their jobs every single day.

          Give it up. The universe did not pop into existence 10,000 year ago.

          May 1, 2014 at 9:23 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          I asked for SCIENTISTS..not universities..try again...not ALL do such..again this person implied a PARTICULAR list..try following the post better..thanks

          May 2, 2014 at 2:07 am |
        • colin31714

          Who do you think staffs Universities, if not scientists? Janitors? Now, do you have an answer to my post? Are all those millions of scientists, researches Phd's and students fooling themselves? Answer please.

          May 2, 2014 at 10:52 am |
        • kermit4jc

          OH and DID I EVER say it popped up 10,000 years ago?????? Try asking me before you assume what I believe

          May 2, 2014 at 2:08 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Kermi: You do comprehend that Nobel Prizes have been awarded for the Theory of Evolution-right? Colin is correct-you're not very bright.

          May 1, 2014 at 6:29 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          YOu are not very bright either..my POINT was the person made a comment that evangelicals are not bright....and my point was that he made a stupid blanket statement...pretty much saying we all are not bright...

          May 1, 2014 at 6:32 pm |
        • sam stone

          having a temper tantrum, kermy?

          time to go home and get your shinebox, boy

          May 1, 2014 at 9:31 pm |
      • sam stone

        pretty arrogant to say that the creator of the heavens and the earth desires nothing more than a close personal relationship with you, kermudgeon

        May 2, 2014 at 4:59 am |
        • kermit4jc

          so love is an arrogant thing? caring is an arrogant thing? why would you say IM arrogant for saying such things? Almost sounds like to me you have not experienced love from others

          May 2, 2014 at 9:58 am |
  11. Dyslexic doG

    There are over 41,000 sects of the Christian cult. As you can see by reading the comments of this forum, all of them read the same book and yet all of them come up with different opinions about what their god has decreed!

    It's a part of the malignancy of religion that you can make it anything you want it to be. It's a license to imagine up your magical happy world and then tell others that it's what god wants.

    May 1, 2014 at 3:19 pm |
    • kermit4jc

      wrong comment dog.......not all 41000 are different cause of reading of Bible....that's a pretty ignorant statement to make about the differences between churches...not all are different theologically ...some have other reasons to break away.....duch as personality clashes...etc to make a blanket statement is ignorance

      May 1, 2014 at 6:09 pm |
      • TruthPrevails1

        Facts that hurt closed, uneducated mind of yours-don't they? Sorry child but Dyslexic is not wrong but you (as always) are! Not one of those sects has the same interpretation as the other...they may be similar but never the same which is part of why Christianity crumbles for the fallacious belief system it is.

        May 1, 2014 at 6:23 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          IT IS fact you idiot fool.! I BEEN to other churches..I been to quite anumber of churches in my life..and NOT ALL of them disagree cause of Scripture..you are the uneducated fool who lives in a basement and doesn't come out to reality......GO to a number of churches andfind out for yourself

          May 1, 2014 at 6:25 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          No kermi, it is not a fact. Being to a number of churches that preach the same book doesn't mean the tenets of each church remain the same throughout.
          No intelligent person wastes their time in church, they're out there actually do something useful instead.

          May 1, 2014 at 6:31 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          It is a fact cause I been there youidiot....youhavenot apparently..as I said..getoutof thebasement of mamas house and see reality outthere....to say such a blanket statement that al disagree theologically or by Scriptures is an actual ignorant statement..as I said..I been there...I did nOT say itto the point tey preach/teach from same book.....that's yuoutwisting my words and not looking at what I say

          May 1, 2014 at 6:34 pm |
        • ssq41

          Kermit says to Truth: "...you idiot..."

          This is the post-modern method of witnessing to the sinner...it is the way kermy shows the love of the Lord Jesus Christ and proves that God so loved the world that his children resort to name calling.

          But that's okay, kermy...you prove, in your childish responses, how your God is just as immature as you are...a God who, oddly enough, resembles his followers to a "T"....

          Thanks kerm for fulfilling Matthew 28. Jesus couldn't have picked a better example to show us his love.

          May 1, 2014 at 9:48 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          ahh yes as if we areperfect little angels who make no mistakes......knock off the carp I messs up ok>? and I will fess up to it.....give me a break...sheesh

          May 2, 2014 at 2:09 am |
        • ssq41

          Why is it Evangelicals are so full of excuses but they demand that sinners repent and take responsibility....KERMY!....why don't you quit numbing your mind on apologetical novels and start fostering your walk with the Lord....

          You're too old a Christian to say that calling someone an idiot is an "imperfection." You should know better...but the reality is you have anger issues (based on your reactive posts)....and you're a lousy witness for Jesus

          May 2, 2014 at 4:38 am |
        • sam stone

          ssq: not only as immature, but as impotent.

          go ahead, kermy, tell us again how your vindictive pr1ck god is going to get us after we die

          May 2, 2014 at 5:02 am |
      • In Santa We Trust

        And yet they are theologically different – typically the "personality clash" is over theology. Can you provide information of different sects with exactly the same theology?

        May 1, 2014 at 10:00 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          sorry to burst your bubble santa..they are not ALL theologically different..again I been there....seems you been living in a basement as well...go to a number of churches and someday you will see the folly of your assumptions

          May 2, 2014 at 2:10 am |
        • ssq41

          Sorry, kermy...your claim that parts of scripture aren't literal shows that your form of Evangelicalism is different theologically from others...

          Santa is right....

          May 2, 2014 at 4:39 am |
        • kermit4jc

          then prov it..PROVE Jesus or the writers wee being lITERAL..show the context..show me your knowledge of Jewish literature

          May 2, 2014 at 9:55 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          kermi: Stop the Holier Than Thou crap. Just because you've been to a few different cult meetings doesn't mean you have the slightest clue about every one of them, nor does it mean we do but we have the knowledge and open-mind to go searching outside to find answers.
          This site shows how wrong you are: http://www.religionfacts.com/christianity/charts/denominations_beliefs.htm
          The only thing you can count on is that they all follow the same bible, nothing more. How the each interpret it is a different story because if they didn't all have their own interpretation, there would not be so many different denominations.
          Oh and please stop assuming that we have no clue when you have no clue as to what our backgrounds are...for the most part, most non-believers followed your cults path at one time, we simply grew up; read the bible at face value and realized that there is no justification for believing in a god of any form (more specifically your vindictive, murderous god).
          For someone who claims to be so educated, you come across as one of the most ignorant people in this world. It truly is no wonder why the USA ranks #22 when it comes to science and math-people like you hold society back and lie to innocent children, thus brainwashing them to believe the crap of the bible and using threats of eternal torture if they don't believe (child abuse at best). Please stay away from all children, you're clearly not safe to be near them.

          May 2, 2014 at 6:38 am |
  12. pjmiller

    Al appears to have forgotten the teachings of Jesus and is still residing under the old covenant.

    See: Why Al Mohler Might As Well Call Jesus’ Teachings “Moral Insanity” – http://www.patheos.com/blogs/formerlyfundie/al-mohler-moral-insanity/

    May 1, 2014 at 3:12 pm |
    • Rynomite

      Mat 5:17

      "Don't think that I came to destroy the law or the
      prophets. I didn’t come to destroy, but to fulfill."

      May 1, 2014 at 3:23 pm |
  13. I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

    Why is it that Evangelical Christians, who are so sure that God will punish the wicked in the afterlife are so keen to get ahead of God's plan and punish the 'wicked' in real life?

    After all Jesus kept going on about turning the other cheek, not revenge, not an eye for an eye. Matthew 5:39 is pretty clear on this topic. Luke 6:29 is pretty clear also.

    Are they Christians first or Jews?

    Evangelical Christians have an Old Testament fixation. They really seem to prefer Leviticus in all things over what Jesus reportedly said.

    May 1, 2014 at 3:10 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      I should clarify that I really don't mean to slight Jews by the comparison. I suspect most Jews are probably not in favor of the death penalty.

      It would be interesting to know exactly what the majority opinion of Jews is on the matter.

      May 1, 2014 at 3:12 pm |
      • Akira

        I find it curious that the Christians have no problem when using OT "justice" when it suits then to do so.
        Mathew 26:52 much warns against viokence, too.

        May 1, 2014 at 3:23 pm |
        • believerfred

          The verse you pick is not as simple as you say
          A large mob had come to arrest Jesus with sword and clubs set up by the Jews. Jesus may simply have said that to still the crowd and Peter as all would have died if he had not said put away the sword then healed the ear Peter cut off. We do not know if that verse was aimed at the Jews who used the Roman swords to kill for them and later themselves died at the sword of the Romans (70AD), or at Peter not understanding the difference between the way God works vs the way man resolves conflict.

          A government was used by religion to execute an innocent man (Jesus) all of which was allowed by God to carryout Gods plan as to salvation. The trial and execution revealed the soul of all those involved as well as the soul of those who read the Bible accounts of the last days of Jesus. This is Divine and not something man is capable of.

          May 1, 2014 at 3:51 pm |
        • Akira

          Religion is still all for the government executing people.
          This is the topic of the article.

          I know the context of the passage.
          Jesus was pointing out that violence begets violence.
          If you disagree, fine.

          May 1, 2014 at 4:40 pm |
    • believerfred

      I do not know of any evangelicals that are hung up or fixated on the Old Testament.

      May 1, 2014 at 3:21 pm |
      • Akira

        See: Theo Philio.

        May 1, 2014 at 3:26 pm |
      • Dyslexic doG


        May 1, 2014 at 3:27 pm |
        • believerfred

          Let me rephrase I do not personally know any. Not even nuns.

          May 1, 2014 at 3:30 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          I would hardly describe nuns as Evangelical Protestants which is the term I should have used above.

          May 1, 2014 at 3:37 pm |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        Dr. Mohler is evidently fixated on the OT.

        May 1, 2014 at 3:36 pm |
  14. Wisdomforlife

    The cliché about killing people to show that it's wrong to kill people creates a false dilemma based on a false comparison. I think it is best not to use the term "killed" to describe what the authorities do to murderers. They execute or punish murderers. But what about forgiveness and the teaching of Jesus to love your enemy? (see: http://thinkpoint.wordpress.com/2012/08/02/is-capital-punishment-mandated-by-god/)

    May 1, 2014 at 3:10 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Execution is state-authorized murder.

      May 1, 2014 at 3:11 pm |
      • bchev

        Self defense is pre-emtive murder, but there are times when it is the right thing to do.

        May 1, 2014 at 3:17 pm |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        We all agree that everyone has a right to defend themselves.

        The specifics get tricky very quickly.

        We can find three very recent high profile cases in Florida where 'self defense' was a very poor motive for killing people and hardly defensible on moral grounds.

        May 1, 2014 at 5:32 pm |
  15. Concert in an Egg

    I am opposed to death.

    May 1, 2014 at 3:09 pm |
    • noahsdadtopher

      Me, too. It's completely unnatural.

      May 1, 2014 at 3:17 pm |
      • Concert in an Egg

        Agreed. What is natural is living on a cloud in a celestial paradise worshipping a selfish deity for all of eternity.

        May 1, 2014 at 3:20 pm |
      • Dyslexic doG


        May 1, 2014 at 3:20 pm |
      • sam stone

        Death is unnatural?

        Gosh, gopher, just when i think you cannot say anything more ridiculous, you prove me wrong

        May 1, 2014 at 4:54 pm |
      • ssq41

        "Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?" – 1 Corinthians 15:55

        Isn't it odd that those who profess to be "pro-life" are, in fact, so terrified of death?

        And isn't it convenient that most of them are so freely and easily able to administer and advocate the death of others.

        May 1, 2014 at 10:09 pm |
        • ssq41

          ...and no, it isn't odd that they are so afraid of death. Their scripture confirms for them that it is an enemy.

          Sadly, the end result, when you fear death and claim it is "unnatural," is that you are afraid of life and living.

          May 1, 2014 at 10:20 pm |
        • halfdime1

          Yea its pro-life as long as you arent born yet, but once your here in the real world, you better watch yourself.

          May 2, 2014 at 2:40 am |
        • ssq41

          Funny, isn't it? They care only for their tribe...and that is questionable.

          Otherwise, half, you are correct....Christians don't really give a damn for the living.

          May 2, 2014 at 2:45 am |
        • kermit4jc

          what makes you say we don't give a damn about the living?

          May 2, 2014 at 2:48 am |
        • ssq41

          Dear pro-lifers...how many kids in US are awaiting adoption vs. how many churches are there in the country. (And God knows you don't want those troublesome african american adolescents)....

          Prisons...why are Christians only concerned with their salvation, kermy...not giving their lives for them by befriending them and caring for them...deeply....not the shallow "love your neighbor" that you guys preach.

          How 'bout planting all your churches at the gates of hell, kerm....why aren't you all abandoing your safe and secure suburbs and setting up shop and house in the worst of the worst inner city neighborhoods?

          Why don't you care about patients in the hospital...how many elderly patients cry themselves to sleep each night because no one is there to sit with them...Christians only show up on Sunday for their "required" visit (Matthew 25)...

          Speaking of the elderly...why have you Christians allowed the disaster that is the Nursing Home industry?

          Supposed to be the salt of the earth, kermsicle....and yet you run away to church schools and abandon public schools "cause SCOTUS is more powerful than God"....those kids need you to befriend them and you all, since the '80s, just ran away....

          Just a few examples, kerm....you don't care about the living....

          May 2, 2014 at 3:00 am |
        • kermit4jc

          Why don't you open your eyes and you will see the answers//there ARE people going to the hospitals and jails..we have ministries here at my church and I know of several other churches around the state doing same thing..maybe YOu should ask that question of your LOCAL churches if you don't see it..I see it here and all over northern california

          May 2, 2014 at 3:06 am |
        • ssq41

          Sorry, kerm...reread what I wrote...those "ministries" are just interested in their salvation and visits on Sundays to get their Matthew 25 merit badge....

          Real human beings require an investment of relationship and personal sacrifice of your life (laying it down for your brother....and no, kerm, that's not a literal brother either...nor is it just for your "brother in the Lord").

          American Christians are consistent cowards when it comes to hospitals and prisons and nursing homes. It takes more than a vist....

          You all should be on every hospital floor 24/7, for instance, listening to patient's stories, holding their hands, crying tears with them as they are in their most vulnerable being somewhere foreign to them and dealing with life-changing health issues...or, end of life issues. You should have to expose your own life and be vulnerable to them.

          At a hospital I worked at in Florida, I asked the head chaplain why we aren't tripping over Christians in the hallways night and day. I assumed it was for legal reasons.....Nope....

          He told me that he had gotten together with the pastors and priests of the neighboring churches and asked them the same question. Their response?

          "We can't even get the pew dwellers to visit their own members when they are sick or dying...."

          Simply, kerm, you don't care.

          May 2, 2014 at 4:54 am |
        • kermit4jc

          SIr...do NOT makle such a blanket statement..just cause some do in YOUR area..doesn't mean it happens with ALL Christians everywhere else...therte ARE soms genuine ones...I work with them as well..come on....be more honest ok?

          May 2, 2014 at 9:57 am |
        • kermit4jc

          I don't care? simply you are silly and like to lump all together....just because a few don't..doesn't mean we all don't....

          May 2, 2014 at 9:57 am |
  16. awanderingscot


    And you won't be so arrogant when you are hanging upside down before Quetzlcoatl and wants to know why you have worshipped the wrong god all these years.

    See, I can make empty proxy threats too.
    May 1, 2014 at 12:45 pm |

    May 1, 2014 at 3:01 pm |
    • igaftr

      Do you have a point?

      May 1, 2014 at 3:26 pm |
      • Akira

        He just learned how to c/p?

        This person reminds me so much of faith/hharri it's not funny.

        May 1, 2014 at 3:31 pm |
        • igaftr

          Yeah...Scot Hartwell still has not managed to master the reply button though.

          May 1, 2014 at 3:34 pm |
        • Akira

          How did you find out his name? What is his age? He presents very young.

          May 1, 2014 at 5:07 pm |
        • igaftr

          When he posts everywhere under the same name, he is easy to track. Scot Hartwell , 56, from Kirkland WA. His address, email were just as easy to locate. He goes on ignorant name calling rants all the time on other sites.

          May 3, 2014 at 8:00 am |
      • awanderingscot

        igafarter – you won't intimidate me in the least by using my name, i'm not a coward like you. but my response that blog was that i will toss your wooden Aztec god into the bonfire and then when you are thrown in afterwards i'll have a toast

        May 1, 2014 at 4:31 pm |
        • igaftr

          gosh...you are so good at pointless name calling, why not grow up?
          If you think you can throw a god in a fire , go for it.
          Your baseless threats are also pointless.

          So again, what is your point? To just come here and look like a juvenile with wrong facts, ad hominem arguments, and baseless threats?
          By all means keep posting...people like you are good for the laugh.

          May 1, 2014 at 4:39 pm |
        • halfdime1

          he looks gleefully towards throwing you in a fire Igaftr, scot must be christian.

          May 2, 2014 at 2:42 am |
  17. the WayWard follower

    my brief response to this misguided piece from al mohler, which in my opinion misrepresents (and even ignores) the teachings of the very jesus christians claim to follow can be read here :: http://www.mjkimpan.com/missing-the-point/

    May 1, 2014 at 2:44 pm |
    • Concert in an Egg

      You cannot deceive a deceiver you obese midget. I am a meat and potatoes man. Our gifts are meant to be given and taken back, like rain dripping to form puddles, then evaporating to become hovering splatter bags overhead. Sweat from cooking flesh. Stick out your tongue!!

      May 1, 2014 at 2:45 pm |
      • Akira

        Now you're sounding like that awanderingscot person.

        May 1, 2014 at 2:48 pm |
        • Concert in an Egg

          I am the wandering egg.

          May 1, 2014 at 2:50 pm |
        • Akira

          True. Bosch painted eggs with legs a lot.

          May 1, 2014 at 3:32 pm |
  18. Concert in an Egg

    You have made death for yourself. You can now wrap yourself in the misery of your own making and loving. Sinister and dark. You crawl from beneath your own foul skin, consuming the meat and wearing the package. Is that why you smell so bad brother? Is that why death is on your breath?

    May 1, 2014 at 2:43 pm |
    • Concert in an Egg

      The heart is fragile, tormentor. And so it must be, for only the delicate palette can discern the subtle flavors of the gift of brightness. Why have you come with your tunic full of brittle bones? If you do not seek enlightenment, then what enlightenment can you give? Do you delight in this tragedy? Have you made it so?

      May 1, 2014 at 2:44 pm |
  19. Rynomite

    Let's see.

    Drown entire world for wickedness. Check.
    Slay first born of Egypt for Pharaoh's crimes. Check.
    Exhort Israelite @ss@ssins to r@pe and murder their neighbors. Check.
    Plan eternal torture for those who don't worship you. Check.

    Yup. The Death Penalty is VERY Christian.

    Good government; however, is not. A Government that kills its own citizens is ultimately suspect.

    May 1, 2014 at 2:39 pm |
    • bchev

      But citizens who kill other citizens should also be strongly suspect. And if the authority (government) in a society can protect its members from those who would harm them, it has a responsibility to do so. There are crimes that break the social contract that humans implicitly make by living together in cooperative societies. Murder is absolutely one of them. If someone commits murder, I don't believe they should really be considered members of the society anymore, they've shown their disregard for it, so why should they benefit from its protections? Now, the government has an enormously heavy burden to uphold in ensuring that they are correct in enacting any punishments, but if it can be known, without any doubt or question whatsoever, that this person killed another citizen or citizens, and the government can remove that theat to the society permanently, why shouldn't they?

      May 1, 2014 at 3:15 pm |
      • Rynomite

        A government can remove an individual from its society permanently without removing the individual: exile and imprisonment are both options.

        " if it can be known, without any doubt or question whatsoever"

        The problem is it cannot ever be known without doubt, AND once you execute an innocent person, you can never make up for that particular error.

        May 1, 2014 at 3:21 pm |
        • bchev

          I mentioned it on the other page, but yes it can be known. Let's use for example public mass murders. Ft. Hood, Aurora Theater; there is no question that those two men commited the acts they are accused of and killed other people. They were, and very easily could be again, threats to the common good of the society they live in. Imprisonment puts a financial and logistical burden on the rest of the society, for no gain to teh society. Executing htem gits rid of the threat, and removes them from being a public burden. Why is that not a good option? I have nothing against exile, but the world has changed, there are no realistic places to dump murderers and rapists nowadays, and be honest. Exile was always intended as a death penalty, it was just used by people who didn't want to commit the act themselves.

          May 1, 2014 at 3:25 pm |
  20. Concert in an Egg

    You have made death for yourself. You can now wrap yourself in the misery of your own making and loving. Sinister and dark. You crawl from beneath your own foul skin, consuming the meat and wearing the package. Is that why you smell so bad brother? Is that why death is on your breath?

    May 1, 2014 at 2:39 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.