The Death Penalty Is Not a Joke, But It Has Become One
I was going to write about the Death Penalty based on a timely ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court, but I needed to put it off until this week for one important reason – I simply could not deal with how insane it has become. Over the past 10 years, I must have written at least four Nearing Midnight articles on the craziness of capital punishment.
It has become increasingly difficult to carry out a death sentence because of an ever-growing number of tactics. Lawyers for the condemned will raise issue after issue until they find a judge that agrees with them. The U.S. Supreme Court recently blocked the execution of a Buddhist inmate on death row because prison officials wouldn’t let his spiritual adviser be present in the death chamber. The adviser was said to be essential in guiding the inmate into the rebirth of his next life.
There has been a long battle over the use of drugs in executions. The left has convinced most domestic drug companies it would be bad publicity for their product to be used in an execution. The state of Texas had to create a secrecy law to shield the pharmacy that provided the Texas Department of Criminal Justice with the pentobarbital used in its execution.
When Oklahoma executed Charles Warner by substituting potassium acetate for the potassium chloride, the anti-death penalty purists whined that there had been a major violation of the state’s execution protocol. Both Nebraska and Ohio attempted to purchase sodium thiopental from overseas suppliers, and either the companies quit making the drug or they banned all exports to the U.S.
The lack of access to drugs has caused some states to turn to alternative execution methods. Tennessee reauthorized use of the electric chair, while Oklahoma passed a bill to make nitrogen gas asphyxiation its backup method. These two methods will likely be combated with the “cruel and unusual punishment” amendment that was first used to gum up the death penalty process.
When carried out in a timely manner, capital punishment has an enormous deterrent effect on the number of murders. Murder rates, which had trended downward since 1935, took off almost vertically after 1963, the year the Supreme Court started overturning state death penalty convictions.
The reason why we need a death penalty is to protect society from evil people. The press loves to give coverage to cases where someone is released from jail after being wrongfully convicted. They remain silent when a murderer is released, then kills someone else.
Last month, a man was released from jail who simply shouldn’t be breathing air. Thomas Kokoraleis was part of the four-man satanic cult called the “Ripper Crew” that terrorized Chicago in the 1980s, killing up to 18 women in the area, according to The Chicago Tribune. Kokoraleis went to prison for a single woman’s 1982 murder after he agreed to a 70-year plea deal. Because Illinois required the person incarcerated to get day-for-day credit for time served, Kokoraleis only served 35 years.
The mother of that slain woman was obviously outraged by Kokoraleis’s release:
“I will never understand how a man who was convicted of raping and murdering my daughter could be walking free in Illinois today. My daughter was an innocent victim,” she said. “Her murderer did not receive the justice that he deserved. But I believe in God, and I have no doubt that God will deliver the final judgment,” said Lorraine Borowski.
The Bible provides strong support for the death penalty with the Old Testament bluntly saying “Whoever takes a human life shall surely be put to death” (Leviticus 24:17). In Romans, Paul wrote that it’s indication of sound authority rule for leaders to properly punish wrongdoers. The fact that capital punishment has become such a massive joke is one more indication that this world is well deserving of God’s end-time wrath.
“Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience….”(Romans 13:1-14 ESV).
Bad News/Good News
Our news as Christians today is filled with trepidation. It seems all is bad news.
Every aspect of life at present appears on the brink of contributing to the bringing forth of the dreaded Tribulation predicted by God’s Word.
Geopolitically, the world is on the verge of war and freedom seems on the cusp of being snuffed. Even the great bastion of freedom–the United States of America–appears subject to a future of such oppression.
Sociologically and culturally, evil men and seducers are growing worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. Paul’s 2 Timothy chapter 3 “perilous times” are front and center in the news during our every waking moment.
Religiously, even the evangelical body of believers seems to be defecting–moving at breakneck speed into the apostasy of 2 Thessalonians chapter 2 and beyond.
Economically, while the national situation in fiscal matters is pointed out by “experts” as going “great guns,” one doesn’t have to look too deeply beneath the surface of financial/monetary matters to know there is serious trouble brewing. With a national debt of $22.1 trillion and climbing exponentially, how can future prospects be described as looking other than bleak?
In every direction we look on the future’s horizon, we see the last seven years of human history quickly approaching.
So, the news is bad for the most part; there is no other way to put it.
It is with this fact in view that it was brought to mind the good news/bad news plethora of jokes that have assaulted the ears through my life. Here are a few of the clean ones just to give an idea of those similar to the ones I’m sure you’ve heard, too.
These are jokes aimed at pastors for the most part.
Good News: You baptized seven people today in the river.
Bad News: You lost two of them in the swift current.
Good News: The Women’s Guild voted to send you a get-well card.
Bad News: The vote passed by 31-30.
Good News: The Elder Board accepted your job description the way you wrote it.
Bad News: They were so inspired by it, they also formed a search committee to find somebody capable of filling the position.
Good News: You finally found a choir director who approaches things exactly the same way you do.
Bad News: The choir mutinied.
Good News: Mrs. Jones is wild about your sermons.
Bad News: Mrs. Jones is also wild about the “Gong Show”, “Beavis and Butthead” and “Texas Chain Saw Massacre.”
Good News: Your women’s softball team finally won a game.
Bad News: They beat your men’s softball team.
Good News: The trustees finally voted to add more church parking.
Bad News: They are going to blacktop the front lawn of your parsonage.
Good News: Church attendance rose dramatically the last three weeks.
Bad News: You were on vacation.
Good News: Your deacons want to send you to the Holy Land.
Bad News: They are stalling until the next war.
Good News: Your biggest critic just left your church.
Bad News: He has been appointed the Head Bishop of your denomination.
Good News: The youth in your church come to your house for a surprise visit.
Bad News: It’s in the middle of the night and they are armed with toilet paper and shaving cream to “decorate” your house.
When people approach with these good news/bad news matters, they usually ask: “Do you want the good news first, or the bad?” Most, I believe, answer: “Give me the bad news first.” –At least that’s most often my answer.
So, looking through Rapture Ready news recently, I found these headlines that fit in the bad news category. We will have a brief gander at these first.
* Diplomats at the U.N. commit anti-Semitic acts
Global anti-Semitism can best be observed at the General Assembly of the United Nations.
* Mystery E. coli outbreak sickens 72 people in 5 states, CDC says
A multistate outbreak of E. coli has raised alarms and questions: As of Thursday, 72 people in five states have become ill, yet the cause of their infection remains unknown, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Friday.
* China is ‘threat to world’ says dissident writer
A dissident writer…said…that his homeland is a “threat for the whole world”. Liao Yiwu, who was jailed for writing a poem called “Massacre” about the Tiananmen Square protests, told AFP that it would be better for mankind if the economic superpower “splits up.”
* Sources: UN nuclear watchdog inspects Iran ‘warehouse’ Netanyahu pointed to
The UN atomic watchdog policing Iran’s nuclear deal has inspected what Israel’s prime minister called a “secret atomic warehouse.”
That weekend, major Cleveland hotels will host CLAW, the Cleveland Annual Leather Weekend It’s a large orgy of homosexual males focused on “sado-masochism.”
Well, we could have found even more significant signs of the approaching apocalypse. But you get the picture. Bad news is everywhere we look–and in every area of life.
Now for the Good News! Good News, of course, is the definition of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Gospel is that Jesus came to die for the sins of mankind so that all people, if they individually accept God’s grace offer of redemption, will not die apart from God, but will have abundant life for all eternity.
Those same Christians are promised that they will not have to endure the Tribulation that is sure to come. They will be kept out of that time of God’s wrath (Revelation 3: 10). –And that’s the entire seven years of Daniel’s seventieth week (Daniel 9: 26-27).
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3: 16)