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Thursday, November 29, 2007

Gov Mike Huckabee, Jesus and the Death Penalty

In tonight's CNN/YouTube debate, Huckabee, who is an ordained Southern Baptist minister, dodged the question, "What would Jesus do?" and made it into a joke about how Jesus didn't have to run for public office. Hey, Mike, don't have much moral courage, do you?

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5 comments:

Joshua of the Shire said...

To say that Mike Huckabee has no moral courage in the way he answered the question is to misinterpret the situation, a fallacy of contextualization. MY point goes back to the question of the young man on YouTube: “The death penalty: what would Jesus do?” This question has three errors for its foundation. First, it is intentionally ambiguous and short to both impress (giving a guise of profundity while using clich├ęs) and to hide the real question. To make the question make sense other words would need to be added. Second, the question is using a popular yet crafty tactic of playing to the public’s popular notion of Jesus. “Oh, Jesus would never do that!” is the understood unexamined presupposition. The truth is that many have never read the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ life and ministry and yet still think they know how he would act. Third, the question is phrased in the future tense and thus diverts the attention off of the established actions of Jesus in the past. Jesus has already given his position about the death penalty. Because this question does not present Jesus as God of the Universe as he claims to be all throughout the gospels (John 5:16-18, and 14:1-11 for examples) the person asking assumes that Jesus would disagree with the direct commands of God to Moses concerning the death penalty.
Mike Huckabee is right, Jesus does not need to be elected to an office to change the world when it is by the power of Jesus’ will that the Universe holds together (Hebrews 1:3). Jesus does not need to be in a position in a human government to carry out justice (he himself being the source of all justice) he will one day judge all, some to eternal life, some to eternal death.
You, the reader may not accept all this about Jesus, but if you don’t then you cannot use your “Jesus” to question the moral standing of people. I do not know what your “Jesus would do” But I believe in the biblical account of what he did

Joseph said...

Actually, sir, the only thing you are correct about is that Christ did give his stance on the death penalty, and that it did have something to do with the law God gave to moses. I direct you to a few verses in the very book of the Bible you quoted, John 8-1 through 11.

The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman caught in adultery, and having set her in the center of the court, 4 they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in adultery, in the very act. 5 “Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women; what then do You say?” 6 They were saying this, testing Him, so that they might have grounds for accusing Him. But Jesus stooped down and with His finger wrote on the ground. 7 But when they persisted in asking Him, He straightened up, and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 Again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. 9 When they heard it, they began to go out one by one, beginning with the older ones, and He was left alone, and the woman, where she was, in the center of the court. 10 Straightening up, Jesus said to her, “Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?” 11 She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more.”

So yes, you are correct, Christ did not disagree with Moses's law. They tried to deceive Christ-if he disagreed with Moses's law, he would be at disagreement with God, but if he was to order a man to be put to death, they would report him to the Roman's. So, what we have is yet another example of the New Covenant that Christ's death on the cross brought about-and that is, in regards to Moses's law, now only he who is without sin would be permitted to put someone to death.

This isn't one of those verses that there is a different interpretation, whether you are a more liberal Christian or a conservative one-Christ was as blunt on his opinion as he could have been.

Joshua of the shire, are you without sin? Is Mike Huckabee without sin? As a Christian, I'm sure you know you're not-so therefore, as a Christian, you should know that Christ himself has said neither of you, or anyone, has the right to put someone to death, because we are all sinners in the eyes of the Lord.

Let us also remind you that, although Christ did not give approval of what this woman did, he forgave someone who according to the Old Covenant would be put to death. Fortunately, He died for us on the cross so that the New Covenant may come around.

It's a shame that after all Mike Huckabee's years learning the word of Christ to become a minister, he seems to not see the deeper meaning behind what is arguably one of the most well known quotes by Christ.

Joshua of the Shire said...

Ummmm… I don’t know why you are angry at me.

Many reputable Christian scholars, theologians and textual critiques, agree that John 8:1-11 was not in the original manuscripts.

Jesus is the only one with the right to forgive sins.

Even if this passage is truly Holy Spirit inspired literature, as it may well be, to say that Jesus is banning the death penalty is a unwarranted interpretive jump. What he is saying is that “I’ll die for you”

The punishment for sin is still death, and we this death is from God’s wrath

There is no “deeper meaning” of scripture. There is only one true worthy interpretation of every text, while this interpretation will be multi-faceted and will be applied in differently in differing situations.

However, Paul tells the Roman church that the authority of al worldly governments is from God. But I will let the text speak for itself:

“Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.” Romans 13:1-7 (ESV)


Governments are given the right by God to carry the “Sword” for the punishment of what is evil. This is why the only proper place for revolution is when the government begins to punish the good and reward the bad.

For the Joy of all Peoples,

Joshua of the Shire

Joshua of the Shire said...

Ummmm… I don’t know why you are angry at me.

Many reputable Christian scholars, theologians and textual critiques, agree that John 8:1-11 was not in the original manuscripts.

Jesus is the only one with the right to forgive sins.

Even if this passage is truly Holy Spirit inspired literature, as it may well be, to say that Jesus is banning the death penalty is a unwarranted interpretive jump. What he is saying is that “I’ll die for you”

The punishment for sin is still death, and we this death is from God’s wrath

There is no “deeper meaning” of scripture. There is only one true worthy interpretation of every text, while this interpretation will be multi-faceted and will be applied in differently in differing situations.

However, Paul tells the Roman church that the authority of al worldly governments is from God. But I will let the text speak for itself:

“Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.” Romans 13:1-7 (ESV)


Governments are given the right by God to carry the “Sword” for the punishment of what is evil. This is why the only proper place for revolution is when the government begins to punish the good and reward the bad.

For the Joy of all Peoples,

Joshua of the Shire

Joshua of the Shire said...

Ummmm… I don’t know why you are angry at me.

Many reputable Christian scholars, theologians and textual critiques, agree that John 8:1-11 was not in the original manuscripts.

Jesus is the only one with the right to forgive sins.

Even if this passage is truly Holy Spirit inspired literature, as it may well be, to say that Jesus is banning the death penalty is a unwarranted interpretive jump. What he is saying is that “I’ll die for you”

The punishment for sin is still death, and we this death is from God’s wrath

There is no “deeper meaning” of scripture. There is only one true worthy interpretation of every text, while this interpretation will be multi-faceted and will be applied in differently in differing situations.

However, Paul tells the Roman church that the authority of al worldly governments is from God. But I will let the text speak for itself:

“Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.” Romans 13:1-7 (ESV)


Governments are given the right by God to carry the “Sword” for the punishment of what is evil. This is why the only proper place for revolution is when the government begins to punish the good and reward the bad.

For the Joy of all Peoples,

Joshua of the Shire