Bryan Fischer
Tiller verdict correct
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By Bryan Fischer
February 1, 2010

Scott Roeder was found guilty of first degree murder Friday for killing notorious late term abortionist George Tiller with a handgun in the lobby of Tiller's church on a Sunday morning. From a biblical point of view, this was certainly a correct verdict for one simple reason: Scott Roeder had no moral authority to do what he did.

According to the Judeo-Christian tradition, the power to carry out capital punishment rests with the state and the state alone. Citizens are forbidden to take matters of justice into their own hands. "Never avenge yourselves," the Scriptures say, but leave room for the wrath of God." (Romans 12:19)

Why? in the next verse we're told, "For it is written, 'Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.'"

Well, how does God carry out his vengeance? In the following paragraph, Paul explains that this is the function of "the governing authorities" who have received delegated authority from God to dispense justice. This includes the power of capital punishment, for Paul tells the magistrate "does not bear the sword in vain." The one who holds God's delegated power "is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God's wrath on the wrongdoer." (Romans 13:4)

The reason why justice is entrusted to the state rather than to the individual is for the obvious purpose of domestic tranquility. Vigilante justice leads quickly to social chaos and vendettas which can last for generations (think Hatfields and Mccoys).

Now Paul makes it clear in 1 Timothy 1:8 that the law can be used unlawfully. That is, the law can protect behavior (such as abortion) that it ought to condemn. But the solution for citizens in a Christian country is not to take the law into their own hands but to work ceaselessly to reform the law so that it conforms to the laws of nature and nature's God.

© Bryan Fischer

 

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