Land defends capital punishment - with stipulations

Friday, October 30, 2015
 | 
Bill Bumpas (OneNewsNow.com)

hands on prison barsThe nation's largest evangelical association has adjusted its stance in support of the death penalty, acknowledging that Christians differ over their beliefs about capital punishment.  

After backing the death penalty for more than 40 years, The National Association of Evangelicals recently passed a resolution recognizing the growing opposition to capital punishment among Christians concluding that "we affirm the conscientious commitment of both streams of Christian ethical thought."

OneNewsNow sought reaction from Dr. Richard Land, president of Southern Evangelical Seminary in North Carolina.  He cites Romans 13 for his support of the death penalty and argues that Christians can be both pro-life and pro-capital punishment.

Land, Dr. Richard (SBC, ERLC)"You're echoing what God says in Genesis 9," says Land, "that anyone who takes another human being's life premeditatedly and wantonly is assuming the prerogatives of God. And they have no right to do so and that the penalty for doing that is the forfeiture of your own life."

The longtime theologian adds a caveat to his support, which is that the legal system must provide adequate legal defense. That includes competent defense attorneys and an adequate appeals process, and DNA testing in every capital case.

"If we're going to support capital punishment – and I do – then we have to be as committed to its equitable and just application as we are to it being used," Land says.

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