Death Penalty

Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. – Romans 13:1-3 (NIV)

I felt someone rubbed my arms softly as I felt her presence and opened my eyes as I waited for the numbing medicine to start working on the spot where our family dentist hit with precision… I knew her even before our previous dentist had left. She had been working in that facility for many years.

“Are you okay?” she asked as she smiled and her blue eyes looked directly as I turned my head to where she was.

“You look like…”

“Like what?” I quickly asked with concern upon hearing her statement that sounded like it wasn’t going to end nice.

“Stressed out…”

“Ahhh…Not really…At least, not at this time…except for the anticipated procedure…” I replied.

She was that kind of dental assistant who always smiled at everyone who walked in, into those individual, little rooms as the empty chairs invited every person who needed a procedure or just to have their regular dental evaluation done. She had known me for all those years my family and I had been going. I tried not to miss each 6th month visit. Despite, I had one cavity needing to be fixed this morning.

My mind didn’t stop there after what she said…

“It’s probably me…been working nights for many, many years. So, some nights, even when I’m off, I’m up…”

“Maybe…Where do you work?”

“In the prison…”

“Ohhh…I didn’t know that…” And with her mouth slightly agape, another question came out without hesitation.

“Sooo….do you support the ‘death penalty’?” 

I wasn’t sure what to say at first. I was caught off guard as I tried to talk with a growing numbness on the left side of my face. Trying to read her face, I couldn’t sense if she was for it or against it with what she just asked me.

“Ahhh…” I started carefully, not meaning to offend her point of view, but then, only to realize, I had to state my own:

“I’ve dealt with very evil men in there and yes, I support it if there is solid evidence that someone has really done such horrendous crimes one’s guilty for.”

I wasn’t sure if it was the “Jodi Arias’ case” widely-televised lately since the trial started that I noticed many people had been conversing about death penalties. Like at work. My co-workers asking many questions, too.

She didn’t say anything but nodded her head. As if to agree with what I uttered. But not allowing me to truly know what was brewing in her heart.

I could be wrong. I could be right. She could be right. She could be wrong.

The only thing that was right…no matter…was that God has the highest standard than any human being. It would be wrong to say that He wanted “death penalty” all the time for He had shown grace and mercy  in some cases.  Nor “He wouldn’t want it for those who deserved it” for He had shown His wrath somehow in some other cases.

Yes…as believers, we shouldn’t rejoice to hear a person was granted a “death penalty” yet at the same time, we could respect the authority’s decision against those who committed such the worst of the evil acts or crimes…

What’s your take on this?
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The Attacker (5/15/09)

The sun was just peeking from the Eastern skies. Ephesians 6:12 [37 kb]

Out in the prison’s yard, some huge Sheriff’s buses were illuminated by the soft glow coming from the lights all over from the tall lamp posts. Their engines were turned on, warming up, before the buses would take the inmates to the different courts where they would have their trials.

Orange-uniformed men were lined up in pairs, joined together with handcuffs and chained, forming a long line. They already had their breakfast and had their morning medications prior to going to courts. Some were fidgeting, as they waited to board those buses.

All of a sudden, all hell broke loose! Two men were engaged in a fight, using weapons they made secretly for a while. Deputies called for help on the radio, both for custody back-up and medical staff, as well.

When the air was cleared and the other inmates were secured, one man was down on the floor. He sustained multiple gashes but two of them were deep. One cut was vertically etched from his left ear going down to the jaw line. The other dangerous cut was horizontal on his left neck, close to the jugular vein. Pool of blood dripped all over the floor. Holding his bleeding neck, he was pointing at the other inmate few feet away, being guarded by the other deputies.

The other man being accused was not hurt. There were no lacerations nor any other signs of trauma. He was obviously very agitated as he was being questioned by those deputies, while the medical staff started treating the other man on the floor. They cleaned the wounds and controlled the bleeding. That man was sent to the nearby hospital.

When the investigation was finalized, it turned out to be that the “downed man who was accusing the other inmate” was the attacker and the other one who didn’t have injury was the one attacked. The deputies found out that it was the second attempt to attack the unhurt man. Both attacks on him failed. He was well-prepared after the first attempt on him, that when the second attempt was done, he was able to defend himself and ended up injuring his attacker severely.

[Source: NLT Bible ]:

We also have an “accuser of the brethren.” Satan and his army of demons are the enemies of God and of everything good.

“Because God’s children are human beings – made of flesh and blood – Jesus also became flesh and blood by being born in human form. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the Devil, who had the power of death.” –Hebrews 2:14

Because of what Jesus had done [dying on the cross], we, who live in constant fear of death shouldn’t be afraid anymore. Jesus had freed us from that fear so we can live for Him. When we belong to God, we know that death is only the portal that leads into “eternal life”. [“Thank You Lord!].

Paul warned us, too that we also battle against the evil forces of Satan, who is a vicious fighter. But to be able to withstand their attacks, we must depend on God’s strength and use every piece of His armor. We face an army whose goal is to defeat Christ’s church. When we believe in Christ, they become our enemies. They will try any device to turn us away from the Lord.

Fear not! For God has provided His supernatural power to defeat Satan and his army, through His Holy Spirit within us. So, arm yourselves with God’s armor.

Let us be strong in the Lord's mighty power. Let's put on His whole armor to resist the enemy's attacks: put on the sturdy belt of truth and the body armor of God's righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News, so that we are well-prepared. We will need faith in every battle as our shield to stop the fiery arrows aimed by Satan and his army. Let us put on salvation as our helmet, not forgetting the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. Let's pray at all times, on every occasion in the power of the Holy Spirit. We must stay alert and be persistent in our prayers for all Christians everywhere. [Ephesians 6:10-18].