Monday, February 27, 2006

God of All Comfort

Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ. And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation. - 2 Corinthians 1:3-6


What a magnificent message in two ways. First we are told that our Lord is the "God of all comfort." Whenever we are in distress, we can rest on Him.

Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him... -Psalms 37:7

I think back on many times I have been worried or panicked over something or other, and have failed to rest on God. Because of this, I worry needlessly for hours and even days...

Fortunately, God will always ( even if others forsake us) be there for us.... ready to help us when we come to Him...

When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up. -Psalms 27:10

The verse also tells us to comfort one another as we are comforted by God.

Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous. -1 Peter 3:8

Even if we are feeling fine and worry-free, we must take the time to console, comfort, and have compassion upon others.

But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? -1 John 3: 17

Saturday, February 25, 2006

South Dakota House Approves Abortion Ban Bill

Browsing through Yahoo news, I came upon this news flash:

---South Dakota lawmakers approved a ban on nearly all abortions Friday, setting up a deliberate frontal assault on Roe v. Wade at a time when some activists see the U.S. Supreme Court as more willing than ever to overturn the 33-year-old decision.

Republican Gov. Mike Rounds said he was inclined to sign the bill, which would make it a crime for doctors to perform an abortion unless it was necessary to save the woman's life.

Many opponents and supporters of abortion rights believe the U.S. Supreme Court is more likely to overturn its 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion now that conservatives John Roberts and Samuel Alito are on the bench. Lawmakers said growing support among South Dakotans for abortion restrictions added momentum to the bill.

"I think the stars are aligned," said House Speaker Matthew Michels, a Republican. "Simply put, now is the time."

Planned Parenthood, which operates the only abortion clinic in South Dakota, has pledged to sue over the measure. About 800 abortions a year are performed in South Dakota...

Under the measure, doctors could get up to five years in prison for performing an illegal abortion. The House passed the bill 50-18 on Friday, and the Senate approved it 23-12 earlier this week. If signed, it would become law July 1.

Some advocates said an abortion ban would hurt poor women the most by forcing them to travel long distances to other states where the procedure is legal. ----

Read more about the bill here.

Well, this is an excellent step toward the overturning of Roe vs. Wade. For over 30 years, America has made the murdering of infants, legal. Hopefully, things will change for the better...

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Finding God in the Olympic Games

That was my mission over the past couple days, to find God in the 2006 Winter Olympics.

There has been a lot of negative Olympic feedback from most of the bloggers I know. Everyone is eager to jump out and show the bad parts of the Olympics. Now, I confess the Olympic games are flawed in many ways ( i.e. doping, drugging, and cheating). But these "world games" are not entirely without the Light of God.

First of all there are several Christian athletes participating in these games, such as US Bobsledder, Vonetta Flowers:

Vonetta Flowers made history when she became the first African-American to win a medal at a Winter Olympics game. In the 2002 Salt Lake City games, Flowers stunned the world as she won gold, beating the heavily-favored German team. Vonetta Flowers is married with two children, and is a devout Christian. In her book, Running on Ice, Flowers describes what it is like to be saved: "...the decision meant more to me than going to church or studying the Bible on a regular basis. It meant that day in and day out, I was going to follow the heart of God and the footsteps of Jesus. My Bible became more than a book that I carried to church on Sundays."

Once again, Vonetta Flowers has made the US Olympic team in Torino, Italy. "I just put my faith in God and let him take over. I do my job of training and put the rest in his hands."

Learn more about Vonetta Flowers

(Another Christian Olympic athlete is Rebecca Dussault, US cross-country).

Also, many of the Olympic athletes have Christian coaches and ministers:

The International Sports Coalition – a sports ministry –has sent off several Christian counselors and coaches to aid the athletes. These counselors and ministers will hold devotionals, services, and prayer meetings throughout parts of Italy. "Athletes in Action" and "Campus Crusade for Christ" have also sent out ministers and Christian coaches. These men will be handing out evangelistic material, such as the Jesus film. The counselors are from various nations of the world, bringing the Gospel to their fellow countrymen.

Read more about these projects here.

Hundreds of youth missions and evangelistic outreaches flock to the Olympics:

The "More than Gold" outreach event is headed up mainly by ministers from Italy and the US. Over 50 churches are available to the athletes and the spectators. “We’re linking together with churches and other Christian organizations and the main emphasis of the outreaches are serving the people of sport and reaching out through literature and video materials to the visitors and the athletes that are going to be there at the games,” said Martin Bateman who heads OM’s Sportslink ministry. “Having something like a big event where the Christians can be motivated and come together [like the Olympics] can be a springboard for more ministry and more opportunities...” The "More than Gold" ministries have rented a 4000-seat arena for their mission purposes...

Read more about "More than Gold"

The WMU ( Woman's Missionary Union) will also have a large presence at the games. The WMU pass out Olympic-themed evangelistic materials and Biblical tracts.

Andrea Mullins, publisher for WMU’s New Hope book division and team leader for the trip on the Olympic games: “The incredible thing about the Olympics is that you actually have an opportunity to share the Gospel with people from all over the world, and because they’re at the Olympics they’re more open,” she said. “You can just walk up and talk to anyone in a way that you’re just not normally free to do.... [A]t the Olympics people want to talk, they want to meet other people. They’re there to engage the experience.”

Read more about WMU here.

"Committee 2006" will spend the Olympics passing out tracts on the "Gospel of Mark" to anyone visiting one of their churches. "The Gospel according to Mark is one of the books of the Bible which tells the story of the life, work and teachings of Jesus Christ," said Pastor Luciano Deodato, president of the "Committee 2006", As a concrete sign of warm welcome to our visitors, we've decided to make a gift of that which is precious to us as churches and church people."

Read more about "Committee 2006" here.

So we come to my conclusion. Yes, the Olympics are flawed ( as any sport is), but there are several spots to be found.



1. Christian athletes ( like Vonetta Flowers) show their trust and faith in God. They use their publicity to spread the Gospel and be a witness to others ( through open confessions of faith, authoring books, or speaking out to the media). Since the Olympic are watched worldwide ( in the US the Olympics average 28 million viewers a night), these Christian athletes, though few, are a shining light.

2. The Olympics bring the opportunity for Christian missionaries, counselors, and coaches to witness to foreign athletes. Many of these foreign athletes are highly celebrated and often in their country's spotlight. These athletes, if called by God, could be incredible witnesses to millions of people. But these athletes first must hear the Gospel, and what better place for this to happen then the Olympics?

3. Over 300 separate missions have flood the Torino area bringing the Good News with them. As Andrea Mullins stated: "The incredible thing about the Olympics is that you actually have an opportunity to share the Gospel with people from all over the world, and because they’re at the Olympics they’re more open..." People from across the globe gather to watch their countries' participants. This is a giant mission opportunity. If the seed of God is planted in the heart of one man, that man will return to his home country carrying the Light of God with him.

4. The Olympic games carry the Christian spirit and message in many ways.

A. The athletes hold great courage. "Be strong and courageous, be not afraid nor dismayed..."- 2 Chronicles 32: 7

B. These athletes find great obstacles and stumblingblocks throughout the games and their lives.

C. The Olympic athletes stand strong, and never give up. "...stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong."- 1 Corinthians 16:13

D. The athletes continually practice over and over again until they achieve their goals (Hebrews 5:14).

E. They refine their skills. "A wise man will hear, and will increase learning..."- Proverbs 1:5

Once more we see God's light shining, even in unexpected places.

Personally, I LOVE the Olympics. I love the competition, and the values held and shown by the participants. I love to watch the athletes overcome great odds and triumph in victory. But even more then that... I love the fact that God uses everything, including the 2006 Winter Olympics, for His own glory.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Update

Thank you all very much for your prayers! My grandfather's surgery went very well; the doctors successfully removed the small tumor. He is in recovery in the hospital ( where he will probably stay for over a week). The doctors aren't sure yet if he will need chemo therapy or not. Hopefully, he won't need it, but we are all just very thankful that everything worked out.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Prayer Request

My grandfather will be undergoing cancer surgery tomorrow ( the 21st) at noon. He was diagnosed with colon cancer a little less then a month ago. The doctors caught the cancer early, so thankfully this isn't as bad as it could be. But please keep him in your prayers.

My grandmother will be alone for several weeks (while my grandfather is recovering in the hospital) for the first time in their almost sixty years of marriage. So please keep her in your prayers as well.

Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.- 1 Peter 5:6-7

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Are Christians Ever To Fight?

This question is highly debated among many Christian denominations. Some, like the Mennonites, who use the teachings in Matthew 5, believe that Christians should be at all times, non-resistant.

The following is my argument, using the Word of God and simple logic, that there are indeed certain times when a Christian must stand up and fight.

To start off, let's look at Ecclesiastes, Chapter 3:1-8:

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

This passage states that there is: "A time to kill" and "a time for war" Obviously, there are times when fighting is necessary.

Throughout the Old Testament, we see the Lord leading the children of Israel into battle. The Lord, Himself, fought against the Israelite's enemies:

And the LORD delivered it also, and the king thereof, into the hand of Israel; and he smote it with the edge of the sword, and all the souls that were therein; he let none remain in it; but did unto the king thereof as he did unto the king of Jericho.- Joshua 10:30

....Arise; for the LORD hath delivered into your hand the host of Midian.- Judges 7:15

And there was no day like that before it or after it, that the LORD hearkened unto the voice of a man: for the LORD fought for Israel.- Joshua 10:14

And all these kings and their land did Joshua take at one time, because the LORD God of Israel fought for Israel.- Joshua 10:42

And the fear of God was on all the kingdoms of those countries, when they had heard that the LORD fought against the enemies of Israel.- 2 Chronicles 20:29

Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle.-Zechariah 14:3

So we get to the main issue at hand- are Christians today ever to "draw swords"? Are we ever called on to fight? Are we ever to defend ourselves, our homes, or our loved ones?

To delve into this some more, I'm going to go ahead and set up a scenario:

There is a Christian named Steve. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Cindy, and three kids. One night he comes home from work and finds his house broken in to. His wife is being attacked by a thug.

Now what should he do, as a Christian?

A. Stand there and watch the proceedings, being totally non-resistant.

B. Go attack the criminal and defend his wife.

Let's go to the Scriptures to figure this out....

But he.. [ David]...stood in the midst of the ground, and defended it, and slew the Philistines: and the LORD wrought a great victory. - 2 Samuel 23:12

David defended his land, and GOD WON A GREAT VICTORY. Did God condemn David for this act of defense? Did God punish David for fighting? No! The exact opposite happened. God wrought a great victory.

Jesus while teaching His disciples in Luke 11:21 said: When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace.

Why will the strong man's goods be kept in peace? Because the strong man defends his house.

In John, Jesus tells the disciples to arm themselves in order to defend themselves if necessary:

Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.-John 22:36

( Note: The only reason the disciples didn't use the swords to defend Jesus at the Garden of Gethsemane was that it was God's plan for Jesus to be arrested and put to death: But all this was done, that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled..... Matthew 26:56)

But obviously the disciples were to use the swords elsewhere when necessary. ( If they were not to be used, then why did Jesus tell the disciples to carry swords in the first place?)

In one instance, Jesus defended the tabernacle from the wicked: And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers' money, and overthrew the tables. -John 2:15

Did Jesus sit back and wait for the money changers to leave? No, he forced them out of the temple.

Did Jesus hold the scourge (whip) and say: "Knock it off, or I'll hit you?" No, He didn't! He "drove" the money changers out. He "cast them out" of His temple ( Matthew 21).

Zechariah speaks of the House of Judah fighting against evildoers:

And they shall be as mighty men, which tread down their enemies in the mire of the streets in the battle: and they shall fight, because the LORD is with them.... Zechariah 10:5

THE LORD IS WITH THEM.

Now, the Scripture does speak out strongly against revenge, murder, and needless violence. We are taught to turn the other cheek, for if we didn't, our lives would be full of violence and "getting even". But nowhere in the Bible are we called to be cowards. Nowhere are we commanded to be sissies.

In Numbers 32, the men of the tribe of Rueben are told by Moses to fight and not be cowards:

Shall your brethren go to war, and shall ye sit here?-Numbers 32:6

God defended the Children of Israel against their enemies. Why? Because He loved them and cared for them. Jesus defended His temple, by driving out the traders and money changers. Great men of God like David and Joshua fought against evil doers and were commended by God.

There is NO passage in the Scriptures that says it is a sin to defend one's home or loved ones.

We are to be like Jesus: patient, loving, merciful, forgiving, and when NECESSARY a fighter/defender. Yes, we should not fight for revenge, blood-lust, or any other wicked desire, but sometimes, through love, we must stand up and fight.

-----------------------------------------------
I wrote this article while arguing the topic with Unconformed, go ahead over and visit the site if you want to read more.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Favorite Country Songs

Today, I'm being kind of random....

As many of you know, I'm a huge country music fan, so here is my list ( I compiled a while ago) of my 100 favorite country music songs. :)

[Click on the links to go to the artist's home page, then scroll down and click on the song you want to hear. All the videos are shown through CMT.com. Some of the videos follow a thirty second commercial, so you'll have to be patient. ]


100. Don't Come Home A Drinkin'- Loretta Lynn

99. The Highwaymen- Highwaymen

98. When the Lights Go Down- Faith Hill

97. Whiskey Lullaby- Brad Paisley/ Alison Krauss

96. Cheatin' Heart- Hank Williams

95. Is There Life Out There?-Reba McEntire

94. Stand By Your Man- Tammy Wynette

93. One's On the Way- Loretta Lynn

92. When You Say Nothing At All- Alison Krauss

91. Jackson- Johnny Cash

90. You Win My Love- Shania Twain

89. Ashes By Now- Lee Ann Womack

88. Sunday Mornin' Coming Down- Johnny Cash

87.My Maria - Brooks and Dunn

86. We Were In Love- Toby Keith

85. What About Now- Lonestar

84. Killin' Time - Clint Black

83. The Cowboy in Me- Tim McGraw

82. Mama He's Crazy- the Judds

81. I'm Tryin'- Trace Adkins

80. Bye, Bye- Jo Dee Messina

79. The Chair- George Strait

78. I Fall to Pieces- Patsy Cline

77. Blue- LeAnn Rimes

76. Beautiful Mess- Diamond Rio

75. The Dance- Garth Brooks

74. The Heart that Jack Broke- Lorrie Morgan

73. Bring On the Rain- Jo Dee Messina

72. Drive- Alan Jackson

71. Any Man of Mine- Shania Twain

70. Crazy- Patsy Cline

69. What a Beautiful Day- Chris Cagle

68. Cowboy Take Me Away- Dixie Chicks

67. Be My Baby Tonight- John Michael Montgomery

66. Coat of Many Colors- Dolly Parton

65. The Baby- Blake Shelton

64. Midnight in Montgomery- Alan Jackson

63. How Do You Like Me Know?-Toby Keith

62. Runnin' Away With My Heart- Lonestar

61. Wide Open Spaces- Dixie Chicks

60. Walkin' After Midnight- Patsy Cline

59. Mayberry- Rascal Flatts

58. My Town- Montgomery Gentry

57. She's My Kind of Rain- Tim McGraw

56. Blessed- Martina McBride

55. The Rodeo Song- Garth Brooks

54. The Fightin' Side of Me- Merle Haggard

53. Beer For Me Horses- Toby Keith/ Willie Nelson

52. Check Yes or No- George Strait

51. Better Things to Do- Terri Clark

50. I Walk the Line- Johnny Cash

49. What Say You?-Travis Tritt/ John Mellencamp

48. Friends in Low Places- Garth Brooks

47. Broken Wing- Martina McBride

46. Where Are You Christmas?- Faith Hill

45. Go Rest High on That Mountain- Vince Gill

44. Big Red- Blake Shelton

43. Meet in the Middle- Diamond Rio

42. No Place That Far- Sara Evans

41. Forever and Ever, Amen- Randy Travis

40. No One Else on Earth- Wynonna

39. Don't Rock the Jukebox- Alan Jackson

38. Indian Outlaw- Tim McGraw

37. One More Day - Diamond Rio

36. One Way Ticket- LeAnn Rimes

35. I Miss My Friend- Darryl Worley

34. When Mama Prayed- Randy Travis

33. Have You Forgotten?- Darryl Worley

32. When I Said I Do- Clint Black

31. Ring of Fire- Johnny Cash

30. Thunder Rolls- Garth Brooks

29. Please Remember Me- Tim McGraw

28. Saints and Angels- Sara Evans

27. Independence Day- Martina McBride

26. Mendocino County Line- Willie Nelson/ Lee Ann Womack

25. Breathe- Faith Hill

24. He Stopped Lovin' Her Today- George Jones

23. Not A Day Goes By- Lonestar

22. My Heart Is Lost to You- Brooks and Dunn

21. You're Still the One- Shania Twain

20. She's In Love With the Boy- Trisha Yearwood

19. God Bless the USA- Lee Greenwood

18. God Bless the Broken Road- Rascal Flatts

17. Hurt- Johnny Cash

16. It's a Great Day to Be Alive- Travis Tritt

15. American Child- Phil Vassar

14. Something in Red- Lorrie Morgan

13. I Cross My Heart- George Strait

12. It's Your Love- Faith Hill/ Tim McGraw

11. Should've Been A Cowboy- Toby Keith

10. I'm In a Hurry- Alabama

9. Amazed- Lonestar

8. Only In America- Brooks and Dunn

7. Three Wooden Crosses- Randy Travis

6. Coal Miner's Daughter- Loretta Lynn

5. Keeper of the Stars- Tracy Byrd

4. Where Were You?-Alan Jackson

3. I Will Always Love You- Dolly Parton

2. Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue- Toby Keith

1. Islands in the Stream- Dolly Parton/ Kenny Rogers


Any thoughts? Any country music songs I missed?

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Exclusive Story from Iraq (Joke)

A U.S. Marine squad was marching north of Basra when they came upon an Iraqi terrorist, badly injured and unconscious.

On the opposite side of the road was an American Marine in similar but less serious state. The Marine was conscious and alert and as first aid was given to both men, the squad leader asked the injured Marine what had happened.

The Marine reported, "I was heavily armed and moving north along the highway here, and coming south was a heavily armed insurgent. We saw each other and both took cover in the ditches along the road.

I yelled to him that Saddam Hussein is a miserable, lowlife, coward, scumbag, and he yelled back that Senator Ted Kennedy is a good-for-nothing, fat, left wing liberal drunk pig.


So I said that Osama Bin Ladin dresses and acts like a frigid, mean spirited woman!"


He retaliated by yelling, "Oh yeah? Well so does Hillary Clinton!"

"And, there we were, standing in the middle of the road, shaking hands, when a truck hit us."
--------------------------------------------

A friend of mine showed that to me, I thought it was a riot. :) More later....

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Busy....

I am really sorry for not updating in the past couple of days.... I have been swamped with school. Plus we got hit by a snowstorm over the weekend so things have been REALLY busy. But I am still alive, and will have a real post soon!

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Arda Message Forum

Let's try this again.... I posted this once and then it disappeared.... :)

Two friends of mine, Gabriel and his sister, Regina, started a message forum, called Arda. Arda is a place where Christian teens can discuss books, movies, and some politics. Eragon, Lord of the Rings, and The Chronicles of Narnia are among the various topics. The forum is still small so we would appreciate any membership!


ARDA-The Land of the Valar, Elves, Dwarfs, Men, and Hobbits

(Note: The name, Arda, refers to the works of J.R.R. Tolkein)

Check it out! If you like it and want to join, register here! After you've joined let me know so I can tell Gabriel and Regina who you are. Thanks! Enjoy!

Techical Difficulties

My blog is undergoing some technical difficulties. So you might not be able to read or reply to anything I post. I'm attempting to fix this soon. :)

Friday, February 03, 2006

Treasures

I read this poem in Literature today:

One by one He took them from me,
All the things I valued most,
Until I was empty-handed;
Every glittering toy was lost.

And I walked earth's highways, grieving.
In my rags and poverty.
Till I heard His voice inviting,
"Lift your empty hands to Me!

"So I held my hands toward heaven,
And He filled them with a store
Of His own transcendent riches,
Till they could contain no more.

And at last I comprehended
With my stupid mind and dull,
That God COULD not pour His riches
Into hands already full!

~ Martha Snell Nicholson


What an awesome poem! If we are too pre-occupied with worldy riches and treasures, how are we going to receive any of the blessings God has for us?

And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God. Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother. And he said, All these have I kept from my youth up. Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me. And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful: for he was very rich. And when Jesus saw that he was very sorrowful, he said, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God! For it is easier for a camel to go through a needle's eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. -Luke 18: 18-24

We have to choose between God and this world, riches. Many ( including this ruler), because of their love for money and fame, choose earthly riches and do not inherit the gifts offered by God. In the poem, "Treasures", God took away "All the things I valued most"....earthly treasures. Then He could give the character in the poem his wonderful blessings.

Now this passage does not mean that we as Christians shouldn't have money and things of this world. We just have to make sure that God is always first and fore-most in our lives. We have to be willing to drop everything and follow him. :)

Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: - Matthew 6: 19-20

And check out Glory '06, a new Christian blog run by Noah, a Southern Baptist from Kentucky.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

A Biblical Defense of the Death Penalty

Capital Punishment is an area of high dispute amongst Christians. Some believe that since it involves the killing of a human being, it is wrong. Those who stand opposed to the death penalty use the sixth commandment: "thou shalt not kill" as their platform. Others, like myself, think that the death penalty does not stand against the Word of God.

The following will be a Biblical case for the death penalty.

First, why is a death penalty needed?

Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil. -Ecclesiastes 8:11

If an evildoer is not punished, he will continue to commit evil deeds without fear. Now if a criminal realizes there is a punishment behind murder, he will be less likely to commit it.

Secondly, does the Bible commend the death penalty in any way?

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;- Ecclesiastes 3:1-3

There is a time to kill. A time for the authorities to exact punishment on the wicked.

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.-Romans 13:4

In this chapter, Paul is talking about governmental authority. And he warns, that the authority "beareth not the sword in vain". "The sword" was the means of execution. ( Acts 12:2) Paul tells us that it is the government's JOB to punish the offenders.

For if I be an offender, or have committed any thing worthy of death, I refuse not to die...
-Acts 25:11

Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well. -1 Peter 2: 13-14

Clearly, the Bible supports government and it's job to punish the wicked. ( As a side note: At the time that this was written the chief means of punishment were flogging and execution)

And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss.- Luke 23:41

On the cross, the criminal ( along side of Jesus) knew that he had committed many sins and deserved this punishment.

The sixth commandment speaks of murder. We are not to take justice into our own hands, it is the authorities job to deal out punishment to criminals. Paul admitted in Acts 25, if he committed anything worthy of death then he should be put to death. Punishment and murder are two different things. Murder comes from hate, and a desire to harm someone. Murder is when a person takes the law into their own hands. Murder is obviously, against the Word of God. But punishment, is instituted by God. Punishment ( by the proper authorities) and after a fair trial is Biblical.

Now- how capital punishment should be brought about- and- for what crimes should capital punishment be put into effect- are other questions. Murder and rape are two crimes that should be punishable by death.

The death penalty should not be used "frivolously"....only when necessary. It takes a good, Christian-based government to be able to deem out capital punishment when most needed. Fortuantely, the US has a ( somewhat) Christian-based government with a very fair and just set of laws. Although in my opinion, the death penalty is not used often enough, the US justice system is probably the best in the world. And we should thank the Lord for that!

Any thoughts?