Vatican changes teaching to oppose death penalty in all cases [Reuters]

Discussion in 'Anglican and Christian News' started by World Press, Aug 2, 2018.

  1. Tiffy

    Tiffy Member Anglican

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    Can it really be as simple or as 'black vs white', as that though? Does the church know everything, wrong or right, about the will of God yet?

    It took a long time for the church to get round to openly admitting that slavery is 'wrong'. That was because there were plenty of 'Church people' who had amassed great wealth by the imposition of slavery on their fellow human beings, who they mostly did not recognize as 'truly human'. It is astonishing what some 'church people' will be accepting of, if it suits them. It was relatively easy for them to justify their arguments by quoting the scriptures which seemed to conveniently support their deeds. It is possible to rack up a case supposedly supporting almost anything using scripture. Even turning stones into bread or leaping from a temple pinnacle and surviving the fall, in order to get a crowd of fervent followers. Matt.4:3-11.

    Discerning between The Holy Spirit's prompting and the 'secular zeitgeist' of popular fashion in vogue, is a Gift of The Holy Spirit. A gift I might add that, like speaking in tongues, discernment is unfortunately not universally possessed by all believers. 1 Cor.12:30. 1 Cor.12:7-11.
     
  2. Peteprint

    Peteprint Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Hi Chris. I find, reading your postings, that we are often in agreement. In this case, however, I have to disagree. We can argue that it is implied in scripture that slavery is wrong, for instance, but I don't think that we can make the case that scripture forbids it. No where in either the Old or New Testaments is that the case. Of course I believe that slavery is immoral but, just like with polygamy, there is no scriptural prohibition of it other than by implication. It concerns me when a Church "evolves" its position by using scripture to back up that evolution. It is perfectly legitimate to make the argument by implication (women's ordination, capital punishment, slavery, polygamy for example), but it is disingenuous for someone (in this case the Pope) to claim that scripture clearly and unambiguously advocates such a position.
     
  3. Tiffy

    Tiffy Member Anglican

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    I am very happy to discover from what you say that we are in complete agreement on the points you make. I said slavery was 'wrong', not that it was forbidden in scripture. What scripture actually does regarding slavery is progressively subvert it as a human institution, but use it as a spiritual metaphor for a covenant relationship with God. Thus no specific prohibition of it will be found in scripture, but its demise as a humanly instituted form of oppression is guaranteed, as human beings begin to live by the Spirit, in The Kingdom of God.

    It is, in my opinion, interesting that The Book of The Covenant Ex.20: to Ex.31, begins with the 10 Commandments, followed immediately by restrictions on how God is to be 'worshipped' and 'approached', (How we must come to God, Ex.20:21-26), followed by the first 'ordinance', which is "How to treat your slaves". Ex.21:1-11. None of this law has been 'repealed'. Matt.5:18. It has all been 'fulfilled'. Jn.13:34. In a spiritual sense it all pertains still in a covenant relationship with God, which is what we enter into through babtism and confirmation in Christ's church today. And in a similar way to unrepealed ancient laws of Parliament in the UK, they may not be literally applied any longer, but remain as symbolic examples and guides to wisdom and insight how law affects conduct, for better or worse, in individual or society at large.

    Thus the letter of Paul to Philemon, Phil.1:1-25, while not actually condemning slavery as such, transforms it into a benign relationship, (in Kingdom of God terms), which restores human dignity and replaces oppression with friendship, compassion and loyalty.

    That is the power of our gospel. It undermines the devils defenses, subverts the oppression of power and restores human dignity in perfect freedom in obedience to God.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2018
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  4. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

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    :confused: :confused: Were you answering my post?
     
  5. Tiffy

    Tiffy Member Anglican

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    Just musing to myself.

    Ok
    I suppose for all our sake's it is just as well that Jesus did 'not once oppose or reject it', if by it, you mean his unjust and unlawful execution/murder. Though I doubt very much that Jesus Christ Our Lord was actually endorsing the unjust and unlawful use of the death penalty by his willing submission to violent injustice.

    I think you must already know the answer to that question. I have no doubt I know the answer in both my case and yours. :unsure::hmm::no:

    I suppose, using the same logic you seem to be using to justify the death penalty, if it had been abolished in The Time of Christ, then Jesus would have died of old age, we would still be dead in trespasses and unforgiven sin, and Judas would have visited Jesus in jail periodically to say sorry for betraying him.

    In that case we would all be so much worse off without the death penalty, wouldn't we. :clap:
     
  6. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Why yes you're right... is that not the conclusion to which we are inexorably drawn?


    I also do not think that Jesus would even be born, if there were no death penalty, for he was born to be sacrificed by the Father for our sins... And thus without death, there can be no life, and we could not be freed from our sins, as we now are under the Resurrected Lord
     
  7. Tiffy

    Tiffy Member Anglican

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    But the mere fact that the death penalty is not actually forbidden in scripture, in fact it is the 'wages of sin', which we justly earn by our deeds, (for instance by crucifying God's Christ, when he came only to teach and save us), that fact does not entitle us to take the lives of others unjustly. And who "without sin", is to "cast the first stone?" Jn.8:1-11.

    The mere fact that Slavery is not forbidden or condemned in Holy Writ does not give us permission to enslave our fellow man, as much in need of redemption by Christ, as we ourselves.

    The only person in the crowd who could have "Cast the first stone", refused to do so, because he came not to judge, but to save the world, and the adulterous woman was a fully paid up member of that world that Jesus came to save. Was she not?

    What does that tell us about Jesus and the death penalty. He suffered it, though he could have summoned legions of angels to prevent it. He refused to obey the law of Moses and would not stone a convicted adulteress.

    Of course Jesus had his reasons. He did not endorse injustice and stoning the woman alone without the man that had committed the act with her would have been unjust and therefore illegal. Deut.22:22.
     
  8. JoeLaughon

    JoeLaughon Active Member Anglican

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    The Article XXXVII of the XXXIX Articles of Religion and Saint Thomas Aquinas always seemed to sum it up well.

    The Laws of the Realm may punish Christian men with death, for heinous and grievous offences.

    Therefore if a man be dangerous and infectious to the community, on account of some sin, it is praiseworthy and advantageous that he be killed
     

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