Organic Faith

This week in one of my classes we were talking about why we punish criminals. As a class we came up with a list of reasons that are often cited for the various punishments criminals are sentenced to. Part of the class reading for that week was four articles written by four Christian men on Retribution{locking people up, death penalty, forced labor ect.} (one of the reasons why criminals are punished).  They split on whether retribution is a good or a bad thing but they all in some way referenced God’s justice.

That got me to thinking, were do I stand and what would God think about that. I would say that I’m probably in favor of retribution, I see in the news that someone murdered some one I think ‘I hope justice is done and that the murderer gets sent to prison.’ But how often is what I say is retribution something else when the offense is against me or someone close to me. For example someone I know gets attacked and I want the people responsible for it to “get at least as well as they got” on a good day, and to die an agonizingly painful death on days when I’m not feeling so great.  Is what I want retribution or is it revenge? And more importanly is it what God would want?

Once when I was younger I had an issue with someone else in my Youth Group and the youth director suggested that I pray for the person. Now the prayer I wanted to say would probably have been sort of like the prayer that country music artist Jaron is talking about in the song “Pray for You.” I don’t think that, outside of the meeting with my youth director I ever prayed for that person probaly for that reason.

Now I don’t have a crystal ball or some sort of window directly into God’s mind on this specific issue, but the Bible does say that we are to forgive one another and to turn the other cheek and all that Jazz (Matt. 5: 28-42) meaning my response might not actually be (in fact probably isn’t) the kind of response God would approve of.  That being said I do believe that God probably doesn’t have a problem with governments punishing criminals. Just with individual humans being judgemental and vindictive towards each other.

Just incase you’re interested here is a link to the song on Youtube

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