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We need to reexamine how we view the death penalty.

Really, we do.

As Christians, I understand where people might interpret some things to mean the death penalty is never the answer.

But I don’t agree.

I heard a sermon once in which the preacher made it clear who instituted the death penalty. The death penalty was instituted by God.

And while in our human condition we may believe we can be loving and merciful and just — the reality is we cannot be more loving and merciful and just than God.

And God instituted the death penalty.

In fact, God commanded the death penalty in many instances in the Old Testament for many different crimes.

Yet it was not always executed.

Nonetheless, God instituted the death penalty (Genesis 9:6).

Got Questions says that Jesus would support capital punishment in some instances, but He also demonstrated grace when it was due.

It goes on to say Paul clearly recognized the power of the government to institute capital punishment.

We need to keep in mind that the death penalty is not something to be celebrated. None of us should take delight in the government utilizing the death penalty.

But we know that God instituted the death penalty and there is no higher standard than God Himself.

We as individuals do not have the power or ability to put someone to death. But the government is granted that power by God.

Got Questions does a nice job of wrapping up its argument:

“It is unbiblical to claim that God opposes the death penalty in all instances. Christians should never rejoice when the death penalty is employed, but at the same time, Christians should not fight against the government’s right to execute the perpetrators of the most evil of crimes.”

Just because the death penalty is legalized in Iowa for instances where a minor is kidnapped, raped and murdered doesn’t mean it will be used.

In fact, it may provide a bargaining chip if worse comes to worse. Say a child is kidnapped and the police have a suspect in custody. The child hasn’t been found. If the suspect gives the location of the child, perhaps a deal could be worked out to avoid the death penalty.

Maybe the authorities can find the child in time before it is too late.

Maybe not.

When we debate this issue we have to remove our emotions from the equation. We need to recognize where the death penalty came from and who has the power to implement it.

If the death penalty would pass in cases where a child is kidnapped, raped and murdered, there should be a requirement for DNA evidence or video evidence or some kind of irrefutable evidence that cannot be denied or explained in order for the death penalty to be exercised.

At the end of the day, as things currently stand in Iowa, the maximum punishment for kidnapping and raping a child is the same as if you kidnap, rape and murder a child.

That’s not justice. That’s just nonsense.

Author: Jacob Hall