Lay Down your Stones: A look into why Christians support the Death Penalty and the justifications for being against it.
Greene, Mary Elise
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This project explored the issue of the Death Penalty in America. Particularly, this study focused on why Christians are some of the largest proponents for the Death Penalty despite the foundations of our beliefs resting on the execution of our savior under the government. In this study, I looked at passages in the Bible that deal specifically with issues of capital punishment, such as the gospel texts about the woman in John 8, Pontius Pilate and Barabbas, and the crucifixion of Jesus. I looked at these passages through the lens of commentaries specifically from Christian church/Church of Christ publishing houses, to see what the Church, and specifically the movement that is my own heritage, has to say about capital punishment. In addition to this research, I also studied how the early church in Acts and the leaders of the Stone-Campbell movement approached the issue of state executions in contention with their faith. The foundational beliefs that Christians hold is that we have been saved through grace from death, though being guilty of sin and undeserving of life. However, that belief does not seem to stand true when it comes to extending the same grace and forgiveness towards others who sinned just like us. All throughout the Bible is a story of grace and forgiveness, a story that we as Christians should extend and share with others, even those who seem the most unlikely.