The Death Penalty 3 (Due Process, Stoning, Alternative Punishments) | Victor Tey

Part three on the death penalty covers a few points I missed in the first two sermons. Also the due process that God put in place to carry out the death penalty, what factors need to be considered? Why did God ordain stoning as a method of executing criminals? What other types of punishments do we see in God’s laws and why is imprisonment an unjust and inhumane way to carry out justice?

Points I missed in the last sermon that I don’t want you to miss out on

  1. 1 Peter 2:13-14 sent by him for the punishment of evildoers
  2. Romans 12 to overcome evil with good precedes Romans 13 on government punishing evildoers
  3. John 8 it was obvious that the pharisees were not concerned with executing justice because only the woman was brought to Jesus even though she was supposedly caught in the very act.

What conditions need to be met in order for the death sentence to be delivered or any iniquity for that matter?

  1. People’s perception of the OT laws:
    1. People just think if we have God’s laws there would be carnage
    2. A superficial reading of the OT may seem as though God is encouraging people to take the law into their own hands
    3. This may have been happening at the time of Jesus – John 10:27-33
    4. If we did have these laws in place, the sins that are so commonplace today would not be, because people would fear the punishment.
    5. You need to take into account all of scripture
  2. Deuteronomy 19:15:21
    1. Multiple witnesses
      1. Numbers 35:30
      2. Deuteronomy 17:6-7
    2. Diligent inquisition by the judges
      1. Deuteronomy 19:18
    3. Penalty for false witnesses
      1. What the false witness wanted done to the defendant
      2. Eye for eye – this will make you think twice before bearing false witness
      3. With no punishment it will encourage corruption in the witnesses.
    4. Result?
      1. Deuteronomy 19:19-20
      2. Put away evil
      3. People shall hear, fear, and henceforth commit no evil
    5. Church also has due process – Matthew 18:15-17

Why stoning as a form of capital punishment?

  1. 4 Reasons for Stoning
    1. Practical – stones are easy to get, no contraptions to create
    2. Public – makes an example of the person, very gruesome and visual
    3. Executed by the people – encourages the society to hate the sin, keeps them in touch with the crimes, as opposed to secret capital punishment by an executioner
    4. Personal Conviction – The witnesses are first to cast a stone, so you are not sending someone else to carry it out, you must do it. If you falsely accuse someone, the innocent blood will be on your hands.
  2. Perspective:
    1. “It’s so barbaric” well then don’t commit the crime and you won’t have to worry about it! Jail is barbaric, but if you don’t do the crime, you don’t do the time.
    2. We have gone soft because we may know people who have committed adultery and can’t imagine executing them. Do you realize the seriousness of the sin?
    3. Hell is eternal torment
      1. Do you realize the seriousness of your sin?
      2. Do you realize what Christ did for you?
      3. It’s a warning to those that would sin and reject the grace of God.

What are the alternative punishments to the stoning in the bible?

  1. There are more than just 3 types. There are three main methods but these are not the only methods.
  2. Other methods that God uses to punish crime
    1. Beating or Scourging
      1. Deuteronomy 25:1-3 worthy to be beaten
      2. 2 Corinthians 11:24-25 forty stripes save one
      3. Leviticus 19:20 – lying with a betrothed bondmaid, woman is scourged, man must give an offering for the sin.
        1. Bondmaids are treated differently to free women
        2. Exodus 21:20-21 – servant that is beaten
      4. This is one reason why spanking is good.
        1. It is a minor form of the criminal punishment.
        2. Sets a precedent for our children
    2. Restitution
      1. Exodus 22:1-15 – various laws about theft and property
      2. Exodus 21:26-36 – various laws about damage to person or property
      3. Restitution vs Fines
      4. Why should the government get a payment when they are not the wronged party?
    3. Eye for an eye?
      1. Exodus 21:22-25 – mischief follow
      2. Deuteronomy 19:18-21 – false witness
      3. Leviticus 24:19-20 – breach for breach
      4. How this differs to loss time via striving – Exodus 21:18-19
    4. Fire
      1. Leviticus 20:14 – wife and mother – burnt with fire
      2. If you think it’s harsh, good, then you won’t do it
      3. Who is tempted to sleep with their mother in law?
    5. Dismemberment
      1. Deuteronomy 25:11-12 – taketh him by the secrets
      2. You can help your husband but this is not the right way to do it.
    6. Exiled
      1. Numbers 35:15-34 – cities of refuge
      2. Different to jail because you are still free to work and live, just not in your home country

What about imprisonment?

  1. Not a punishment ordained by God, but by men
    1. We see the nation of Israel putting prophets into prisons and the Jews and Romans in the NT putting the early christians into prisons.
  2. Colleague that was telling me capital punishment is never right
    1. Example used was the Bali drug traffickers
    2. Taking plant materials over invisible lines should not be a crime
    3. Asked him if someone raped and murdered his son would he want to pay for them to be fed, clothed and accommodated for the rest of their life? Is that fair?
  3. Is this humane? People on the “death penalty is so barbaric” rhetoric don’t mind locking someone in a prison for life.
  4. Is this just? The offended party is now burdened with the expense of the livelihood of the offender
  5. Do you think prisons are free? Just like healthcare, education, hospitals, other things people believe are a right… as opposed to a service.
  6. They can repeat the offense when they get out
  7. They come out a worse criminal because the system is corrupt and they’ve just spent 10yrs fellowshipping with other criminals worthy of the death sentence that should also have been removed from society.

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