Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Pro-Life: The Relationship Between Abortion and Capital Punishment

Moses records some very important words of God in Numbers 35:31-33: "You shall accept no ransom for the life of a murderer, who is guilty of death, but he shall be put to death. And you shall accept no ransom for him who has fled to his city of refuge, that he may return to dwell in the land before the death of the high priest. You shall not pollute the land in which you live, for blood pollutes the land, and no atonement can be made for the land for the blood that is shed in it, except by the blood of the one who shed it."

As can be seen elsewhere (such as here) on this website, I am outspokenly pro-life. That is, opposed to abortion. I have been told by some on the evangelical left that I must also be opposed to capital punishment in order to be consistently pro-life. I deny that assertion, because it fails to consider the necessary distinction
between guilty and innocent life. A preborn child cannot have ever caused any harm to another human being. A criminal on death row, however, is there exactly because he has committed some heinous act against at least one other human being.

Why is that so significant? Because God says that we are made in His image (Genesis 1:27), and to attack His image is to attack Him:"Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in His own image" (Genesis 9:6). that has two implications. First, anyone who commits murder has killed the image of God, and He takes that very personally. And second, the perpetrator, who is also an image bearer, must be treated with the moral character that this truth carries. Not only has he committed a heinous act against the image of God, but he has perpetrated an incomparable act of treason as the image of God. And logically, God says, only the taking of his blood, as he has taken blood, is proportionate both to the crime and to the criminal.

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