By Vernon W. Redekop
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Extra info for A life for a life?: death penalty on trial
In the cases of biblical executions, God made the decision to have them killed. In two cases Moses slept on the decision and God revealed to him that the executions were to take place. In the case of Aachan, who stole some property, lots were used to determine his guilt. In the case of sleeping with the wrong person, the execution by javelin doesn't fit into the deliberate, planned taking of life by the community. Since the story is told as though the executioner did the right thing for the community, it may be included in our study.
For men and women of Christian faith, a relationship with God is the foundation of life. It is therefore important that we know how God wants us to deal with those who do wrong within our justice system. Page 15 A Personal Struggle Circumstances have forced me to deal with the death penalty question at a personal level. The story begins more than a decade ago when I left a teaching position in a tiny hamlet of Saskatchewan to direct a community center in downtown Montreal. Upon my arrival there, I was asked to befriend a man serving a life sentence for killing his friend.
But not all things are helpful" (1 Corinthians 6:12). We have to decide how to interpret these texts. In our interpretation we must struggle to come to terms with the whole message of the Bible. Questions for Reflection and Discussion 1. The Bible admits that angry feelings normally follow murder. What important role did the community play with regard to feelings of vengeance? 2. With what spirit should we interpret the Scripture? 3. What role did mercy play in these Old Testament texts? Page 36 Chapter 5 Vengeance Is Mine The owner of a pharmacy in Calgary, Alberta, shot and killed a man robbing his store.
A life for a life?: death penalty on trial by Vernon W. Redekop