Was She Really Allowed to Kill Her Husband?

By abandoning absolutes and transcendent standards, are America's courts helping or hurting our society?
by Ben Kinchlow

Watching one of my favorite television talk shows not long ago, I saw this heated debate on the death penalty. As I listened to the rhetoric, I was reminded of a phrase I once heard (paraphrase), "how foolish our arguments become without God in our reasoning." It's impossible to have intelligent debate with people who do not acknowledge the existence of God. Without God, there are no absolutes and no transcendent standards. Without absolutes and standards, chaos reigns. Try to conduct banking, science, or commerce without agreed-upon standards of measure and math. If such mundane operations as counting dollars, measuring inches, and determining how much a pound is require standards, how much more such esoteric concepts as right and wrong?

What determines right or wrong? What group, what religion, what government has the right to dictate "absolute right and wrong", absent the transcendent principles of Scripture?

Example. A court case, which will have been decided as you read this, concerns a woman who killed her husband by driving back and forth over him in her Mercedes, with her daughter in the car. Her attorneys have introduced the "passion defense" and have further modified this with something called "sudden passion"; not to be confused with "temporary insanity", which is "psychological"; passion is "emotional". Without absolute standards by which to judge right and wrong, the jury must arrive at a life-and-death decision based on what? How would you have decided the case? As we have thrown out "thou shalt do no murder", then we must also throw out the cause of her "sudden passion", his "affair of the heart with another woman". Someone's life now hinges not upon transcendent standards, or immutable absolutes, but upon "well, what do you think?"

So what does the death penalty have to do with anything? Why should we have it? Who gives the state the right to kill? How is "murder" by the state different from "murder" by an individual? Given the humanistic basis for reasoning now prevalent in our society, there is no difference. Based on God's view of humanity, not man's view of humanity, however, there is an entirely different rationale for capital punishment. When you understand the "why" of capital punishment, you can clearly grasp the inevitable deterioration of moral standards when the death penalty is removed.

Let us state clearly. God instituted capital punishment as one of the first ordinances after the flood. Immediately after establishing "seed time and harvest, summer and winter, day and night; pronouncing a blessing upon Noah and his sons", and reestablishing man's dominion, God then institutes capital punishment. " And surely for your lifeblood, I will require an accounting; of every beast I will require it and of man; of every man (who spills another's life blood) I will require a reckoning. Whoso sheds man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God He made man." (Genesis 8:22 9:6 AMP)

Can anything be clearer? You commit murder, you die; and, there is nothing in the New Testament that supercedes this principle. Jesus said, "I did not come to destroy (render powerless), but to fill it fully (fulfill it)."

Understand God's reasoning. "Man is made in the image of God". His insistence upon the life of man being guarded is because an assault on man is an assault on God. So valuable is man, that the only price of redemption is the shedding of blood this time, His Son, Jesus Christ.

Elimination of the death penalty of necessity calls for a weakening of every lesser law, until we reach the point where there are no absolutes or transcendent standards and abortion is not only not murder, it is exalted to the position of a Constitutional right. If one cannot be punished for the murder of a child (albeit unborn), then what can one be punished for? Murder is not a crime. Life is not precious. "Sudden passion" substitutes for guilt.

What next?

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