Christian Conservative Christian "Independent"

I'm an evangelical Christian, member of the CPC, but presently & unjustly exiled to wander the political wilderness.
All opinions expressed here are solely my own.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

The things you learn... the hard way

Well, it went from a quiet week, to a rather noisy weekend... I suppose that happens when one puts their foot in their mouth.

It's been interesting seeing my name up in lights over on the Liblogs... for all the wrong reasons. Twenty-four hours later, I can say I totally understand why some of them were peeved... boy, I guess I really didn't think that one through. But, I'm just as prone to make a mistake as anyone... the right thing to do in such a situation is to take time to consider what exactly went wrong, and how to learn and grow from it. So, here goes...

I'll start off by saying my biggest mistake was the subject matter... if this had been any other topic other than the death penalty, it likely would have flown under the radar. As my long time readers (I hope) may understand, I'm a fairly lighthearted guy... my faith allows me to keep things in perspective, and the little things in life don't bother me as much in my day. (Just so there's no mistake in understanding, the big things in life do bother me... for example, I was doing some reading last night on the continuing existence of racism in our culture... and shaking my head in disbelief. I truly don't understand how anyone can devalue another person based on the tone of their skin, or the accent of their mother tongue... it boggles my mind) But I see how the fact that the topic at hand held the life of another man in the balance, it made my remarks look to be in complete poor taste. That was problem number one.

Second of all, there was the aspect of the online poll. Right off the bat I'll say that I have little or no faith in online polls or petitions, for the exact reason I myself put on display yesterday... the results are only reflective of who knew of the polls existence, and in cases such as yesterday, who motivated enough of their forces out to vote for their point of view. Anyway, when it comes to blogging, online polls and other things of a political nature, I tend to have a more fun-loving attitude... sometimes, it's all just a big game. Unfortunately, I took that same attitude in this instance, when again, a man's life is ultimately in the balance. Poor taste indeed.

If it helps anyone understand, though it may not reflect well on me personally, I was not even considering this man in all of my thinking last night... this, in my mind, was simply another online poll that asked a question regarding the competence of our Government... a Government who I view as indeed being competent. As such, I only wanted to alert like minded individuals to show their support on the poll.

As for voting from three PC's, again, I was viewing it more as a game than anything else... I did not think it through to it's logical conclusion in this subject matter.

As for this particular matter, I do indeed support our Government's position at present... but upon reflection, I most certainly would not do so in such a flippant and dismissive manner. Subjects of great importance as this one deserve a mature and reasoned response... a response which I did not provide last night.

In that regard, I apologize to my readers for that.

To repeat what I said yesterday, I again apologize to anyone that was offended by my flippant post last night. It was not a Biblical or Christ-like response to such an issue. This was a matter that dealt with several important issues, and instead of a well thought out response, I offered up a childish barb.

Now, on to a thought out reply to the subject at hand.

For the record, I do agree with our Government's position on this matter, not to seek clemency for this man in Montana. Regardless of his citizenship, this is a matter of justice, albeit in a foreign nation.

As for people asking if the Lord Jesus Christ would condone this man's death, I think He would... the Lord Jesus always affirmed to the people that they ought to submit to those who are in authority over them, so long as those authorities do not require a man to reject God or His laws.

Some may point to the example of Christ's forgiveness of the woman caught in adultery in John 8, as to Christ rejecting capital punishment. I disagree with that view for several reasons. The first point in this regard is in the text itself... John 8:6 tells us that the religious leaders posing the question, were "testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him." So one must realize that His response was designed more to deal with the religious leaders, and not this woman's act. The second point to consider in this is a question I've heard several times... "Where was the man?" It takes two to commit adultery, and both were to be condemned to death for it. The Lord's response in seeking clemency for this woman could His response to the injustice the religious leaders were displaying, as they had apparently released the man they had caught in the act, while bringing the woman to the Lord in an effort to entrap Him. Thirdly, His response was to them as individuals, and not to them as the societal leaders they were... who had the legitimate God-given authority to put this woman to death for her crime. It is of note that the Lord did not condemn them for seeking to enforce God's laws, but rather responded to them in their efforts to entrap Him. The Lord never told them "Putting her to death is wrong", but instead He turned the tables on them by reminding them of their own sin, of which we are all guilty. This is not in and of itself a condemnation of capital punishment.

Finally, though somewhat of a rabbit trail, though connected with the issue of capital punishment, we have in Luke 23:40-43. There, we have the witness of one of the other men condemned to death alongside the Lord Jesus, who said to the third man on death row, "Do you not even fear God, seeing that you are under the same condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong. Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom." To this, the Lord replied, "Today you will be with Me in Paradise." Though not the words of Christ Himself, I think there is much insight that we can gain from this passage. Christ nowhere condemns the practice of putting criminals to death... in fact, He even went so far as to take upon Himself our own death penalty for sinning against God. He never indicated that the sentence was unjust, even though He personally did not deserve it... but He went through with it all the same, because, in His opinion, you were worth it.

Anyway, there's a lot to chew on here... hopefully, I've given ideas and issues to chew on, and not more opportunity for people to chew on me. ;-)

Comments are open again, for now. Please feel free to contribute, but if you just want to rant or reply in anger, I'll just remove the comment. I'm welcoming of other views and opinions, and am always open to learn, as I hope I've proved by this post.

Who knows... maybe your well thought out and polite two cents will be just what I need to make change for a dollar... or $1.06US...

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  • At Sat Nov 10, 10:26:00 p.m. EST, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    ''It's been interesting seeing my name up in lights over on the Liblogs... for all the wrong reasons''

    Testy bunch over there at Liblogs, not optimistic at all, most are resigned to Harper getting at least a minority.
    They have been pouncing on anything that moves.
    IMO, they (including Red Tory who usually doesn't play that game) deliberately over-reacted to your post.

    Even tho it was an on-line poll, people are fed up with treating monsters like Smith with kid gloves; could very well be that the majority of Canadians are on-side with PMSH and you. I am.


  • At Sat Nov 10, 10:40:00 p.m. EST, Blogger said…

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  • At Sat Nov 10, 11:32:00 p.m. EST, Blogger Christian Conservative said…

    Thanks for the "help" L.O., but I'll be fine on my own... thanks.

  • At Sun Nov 11, 08:49:00 a.m. EST, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I've just never understood why Christian fundamentalists support the death penalty. First people, given the appropriate environemnt, may be rehabilitated and, second, courts and governments are ruled by mere humans who make mistakes. Most people don't want the death of an innocent person on their conscience, and I've never understood why those who claim to be the most ardent Christians feel comfortable with this. Is it because they believe God will forgive them, even for supporting the killing of innocent or rehabilitable people, while non-religious people know they have to take responsibility for their own actions. Or is there another explanation?

  • At Sun Nov 11, 05:17:00 p.m. EST, Blogger Christian Conservative said…

    Anon, it's a difficult issue to be sure... true, many people can be rehabilitated, and that's by far the preferred route to deal with those who can be reformed. I only support the death penalty in extreme open and shut cases where there is no doubt... Paul Bernardo, Jeffery Dhamer (who became a Christian some years before he was put to death, interestingly enough), and Adolph Hitler come to mind.

    Some people point to cases like Stephen Truscott as an example against the death penalty, however, I certainly would not have supported the sentence of death that he was given... the case was way to flimsy to even consider it. Like I said, there would have to be no doubt... bodies, solid evidence, and/or witnesses, etc.

  • At Sun Nov 11, 08:38:00 p.m. EST, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I must agree, when there is no shadow of a doubt that someone is guilty of murder, then their life is forfeit, and the government is the one responsible to carry out sentencing, even if that means death.

    As it is, the courts and police officers are mocked regularly, and it is easy to see why.

    CC, just yesterday I was listening to Albert Mohler's (SBTS) address to GodblogCon 2007 from Wednesday, and something you said reminded me of that. He spoke of how we as Christians must be accountable for what we write, for we cannot take it back. While it is a little long, I highly suggest giving it a listen. He is speaking in regards to Christian blogs, but works well for political blogging as well.

  • At Mon Nov 12, 06:57:00 a.m. EST, Blogger Red Tory said…

    No need to excoriate yourself to such an extent. Yes, online polls are goofy and unscientific, but they also rely on a tacit voluntary agreement to “play by the rules” of voting and when people attempt to deliberately manipulate them to “make a point” about some issue or other it just ruins things for everybody. I mean, why even put a poll up in the first place if it’s going to be freeeped? Either that, or layers of security need to be added to it in order to foil such nefarious efforts.

    I find it somewhat amusing that people who subscribe to religion and thereby claim some moral and ethical high-ground as a result of that system of belief will be so cavalier in their attitude towards voluntarily playing by the rules that decent people should have no difficulty adhering to if that proves inconvenient when something motivates them to “make a point” about an issue of importance to their agenda. SUZANNE has boasted of her efforts to torque polls to demonize Pierre Trudeau, for example.

    As always, it’s the hypocrisy, stupid!

  • At Mon Nov 12, 10:03:00 a.m. EST, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    A bit off-topic, but in my experience, non-religious types are much more sensitive to hypocrisy than religous types. This came up in extreme measures in the evangelical-Haggard-male-prostitute case. Some religious sites argued that at least Haggard was preaching against homosexuality, whereas non-religious types were uniformly horrified at the hypocrisy.

    Personally, I am very sensitive to hypocrisy, but not everyone thinks this way.

  • At Mon Nov 12, 04:29:00 p.m. EST, Blogger Brian in Calgary said…

    As a Tory and a Christian, I am not sure how much one's faith, or lack thereof, has to do with one's proclivity toward hypocrisy. As I see it, there are two factors involved: (1) basic sinful human nature; and (2) one's basic character, the raw material that is there before any ongoing change initiated by the Holy Spirit.

    The first factor, the tendancy to want to always do one's own thing, is one that has been present in every individual, save one, that has ever walked the face of the Earth. The second factor is one that obviously varies from individual to individual. Even after one becomes a Christian, one can often grieve the Holy Spirit through one's free-will conduct. I know I do, and whenever it happens, I do not like myself very much at all.


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