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Pacifism & Capital Punishment

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Definition:  Pacifism is the belief that all violence is incompatible with the Christian faith, and that Christians ought not participate in the military. A corollary to pacifism is that God’s commandment “thou shalt not murder” precludes capital punishment.

Discussion: God’s design for government is to punish evildoers, including the execution of murderers (Rom. 13:2-4). Christians that participate in the military bring the salt and light of the gospel to that very institution. Regarding capital punishment, it is the sanctity of human life that demands justice. God requires the execution of murderers, since mankind was created in the image of God (Gen. 9:6). To prevent vigilante justice, God provided cities of refuge for those who inadvertently killed a fellow Israelite (Num. 35:6).

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