I may be opening myself to a very awkward and uncomfortable situation in my family for this bold revelation I am about to make but I feel the need to share what I’ve felt very passionate about for a while now. It seems that the majority of my family thinks the same way about a very difficult subject. There may be some that think the way I do but in a family where diversity is not celebrated, those of us who do not think as the majority does are kept in silence for the sake of the appearance of family civility.
The topic is death…and life. Who has the power over death and life? Who determines when a life is over? Who determines when another human being can no longer breathe the same air we breathe, see the same sun we see, or the same moon? Who has the right to say that someone else can no longer be alive?
I cringe when a lighthearted comment is made on the subject—a loose thought, a passing phrase—with conviction of vengeance rather than love. Only God alone has the right to determine when someone’s life ends for vengeance is God’s alone. As Christians, love should be our only conviction, our only sentiment.
When given the argument of “an eye for an eye,” I must then say that the Old Testament, although valid for insight into God’s character, can no longer be taken in a literal sense. We live in the new covenant. Living under the law is no longer our burden. Grace and Mercy reign today.
All people who have accepted Jesus have been blessed with Grace that none of us deserve. We are all equal in the sight of God—equally unworthy of His Grace. We are told in the Great Commission to go and make disciples of ALL nations, not just the pretty parts of the world. We are to turn ALL people into passionate followers of Jesus Christ, not just the people we like. How would Christ feel about Capital Punishment? When considering that question, take into account the fact that it was He and his friends being killed by the reigning authority of His day.
Christ taught life, not death. How can we at one point say we are pro-life and that a baby has the right to be born but then turn and say that we are pro-death and that a criminal doesn’t have the right to stay alive? How can mere humans, who don’t deserve the Grace they’ve received, place themselves into a position to determine the worth of one life over another?
How can the blasé acceptance of death achieve an atmosphere of love? We must show the love of Christ at all times and at all cost. If that means forgiving someone who hurt us, we must do it. If that means letting someone live even though the worldly idea of justice persuades otherwise, we must do it. It is our duty as children of God to show life through the love of Christ, not death through the vengeance of popular justice. What more are we Called for? What else is our Purpose?
So, what will be considered as my greatest crime in this, my endeavor at persuasion? That I am addressing the fact that diversity of thought is not celebrated in a family? Or, that I am coming out against a practice that I feel is so horrible and foul but still widely accepted even by people who boast the love of Christ? And what will be my punishment for such crimes? Whatever the cost I will pay, for the passion I feel for this cause is worth whatever befalls me. Isn’t passion worth the pain that inevitably follows? For the experience of either feeling can lend itself to the other beautifully. And if Christ is the author and orchestrator of such passion, the pain will yield an even greater reward.