FAQ :: Is capital punishment murder?

Opinions are divided on this issue, even within Christian circles. Some believe that life is so sacred that, in the case of murderers and rapists, the death penalty is necessary to uphold protection for the sanctity of life. Others believe that this God-like power should never be used, even in the case of vile criminals, and that doing so completely eradicates their ability to repent and find the Lord.

God does value life. Psalm 130:13 says, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.” This applies to all life. However, God also stands up for injustice and executes swift judgment against those who hurt the innocent. This is a difficult issue to decide, let alone to convince another person about. The best thing to do is pray for guidance for yourself as well as for the lawmakers of this land. They bear a huge responsibility before God. Pray that they seek His will and abide by it.

The following passage of Scripture from the New Testament is often used to support the position of capital punishment.

“For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.” (Romans 13:3-5)

What purpose does the sword serve in the aforementioned passage? Note that the presence of the sword is not donned for show. Instead, it is an instrument used to execute judgement on those who do evil. It is a capital punishment.