Sjolander Road Fellowship

Declaring the God of Unconditional Love


the church and deadly force



I notice that not many in Christian Orthodoxy seem opposed to capital punishment. In fact, I hear them invoking the Old Testament laws as proof that God approves of current day death penalties.


I have a hard time understanding how Christians, who profess a belief in eternal torment and a personal responsibility to rescue people from that fate, could countenance deliberately killing someone and sealing their eternal destiny in such a horrendous state. Do they really believe that it is their right to send people to Hell, to cut their lives short and end any possibility of future redemption?


Those familiar with the OT will note that there was no teaching about eternal punishment as a part of OT Judaism. So capital punishment under the OT law did not presuppose what the church teaches today. Additionally, OT law was a Jews only requirement. It did not apply to mankind at large as Orthodoxy claims their doctrine of eternal torment does. The Jewish practice of capital punishment cannot, therefore, be equated with current day death penalties under the auspices of Christianity.


We witness an exceedingly strange anomaly in how the Christian church reacts to capital punishment versus abortion.  The death penalty, according to their theology, almost always sends the person to eternal damnation. Meanwhile, abortion, in the understanding of most Christians, means a sure trip to heaven for the baby. Based on the "narrow road" concept of salvation, routinely taught by the church, one must assume that a child saved from abortion is very likely to end up in the not so nice place  as a result of being rescued from premature death. Hardly a happy ending to a prevented abortion.


The church's unwavering support of and even reverence for the military is another strange phenomenon given their teachings on Hell. Armed conflict has to logically send thousands to eternal torment, so how does the church justify being a cheerleader for such activities?


Either the church manages to harden the sensibilities of their membership immensely or people in the church don't really believe what they teach and claim they believe. I suspect the latter. The average person could not be so hard hearted as logic would otherwise indicate.