My heart became hot within me. As I mused, the fire burned; then I spoke with my tongue: "O Lord, make me know my end and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting I am!"

07 April 2006

Truth

As I work on this week's sermon about truth and labor, I'm listening to this story on npr.org about Moussaoui's trial. The prosecutors have brought Rudy Guiliani and many other families and witnesses of the 9/11 attacks. The purpose behind these powerful testimonies is to convince the jury that Moussaoui deserves the death penalty for his actions. Biblically, I believe, the answer is "yep."

But two things are bounding around in my head: first, that there has to be such a long, drawn-out trial (beyond establishing guilt) to decide if someone deserves the death penalty, shows that we've got capital punishment all fouled up. These days, to get the death penalty in a federal trial, the crime has to have one or more "aggravations", technical points which make it somehow worse. As if plotting and executing the death of thousands weren't enough.

Second is how poorly npr reported this story. While being quite subtle about it, the flow and phrasing of their reporting clearly favors releasing Moussaoui from the death penalty. Merely judging by the amount of time they give to predicting the defense's options (most likely they'll paint Moussaoui as a victim of bad parents and Islamic extremism), it's clear that their humanism knows no bounds. Now I realize that when I listen to npr, I'm wading into the lion's den as far as truth goes, but this one really took me by surprise. So, here's my word to npr: "Whoever says to the wicked, 'You are in the right,' will be cursed by peoples, abhorred by nations, but those who rebuke the wicked will have delight, and a good blessing will come upon them." (Pro. 24:24,25) Those who report the news take upon themselves a great responsibility to the God of truth, whether or not they acknowledge it.

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On a far, far happier note: PBS is airing a 13 week series on the Legends of Jazz, with performances by 13 top jazz folks. Here's an interview with Pat Metheny by USNews.com, partly in reference to the city. Too bad we don't get any television (anybody wanna tape it for me?).

10 comments:

Tamara said...

Jared do you realize we are playing into his hands. He wants the death penalty. He thinks he will get 7 virgins. He would have to rape them all. No true heavenly woman would want a killer as a husband. But, anyway. Justice is right in the bible. But it says bless your enemies and do not curse them. This man needs life in prision where he can be treated like a king so he can truly suffer.

Nathan Stockwell said...

I strongly disagree with you Tamara. Moussaoui may believe all that Islamic nonsense, but it doesn't match up with reality the reality that faith in Jesus Christ is the only way to heaven. The reality is that God can deal with Moussaoui far better than a prison ceil ever can and that according to God's Law Moussaoui's crime is punishable by death. In the humanists worldview the death penalty makes no sense because justice will never be met by the offenders escape. However, according to the Christian worldview justice can be met because nothing escapes God.

In addition, you mention Moussaoui suffering in prison. How is that just?

Tamara said...

Because like I said Jesus' teachings outway the old testement law. You are right, justice needs to be served. That is why we turn the other cheek. That is why we bless him and not curse him. It is contrary to the world's view. Most in America wants him dead. The law requires that he die, but give that over to God. Do you want his blood on your hands? I don't. It wouldn't serve justice. It would allow us to take the judgement thrown of God. Dangerous territory. In fact you may be right. He could easily need the death penatly. Answer a fool according to his folly. Don't answer a fool according to his folly. I wish people saw the wisdom in Christ. He is the only judge we are helpless to make a correct decision. Totally Depraved. Action or inaction we fail. Moussaoui deserves a fair trial. You are percecuting him for his beliefs. You live in America you can't do that. Sorry I am studying criminal justice and it just doesn't fit our government system. All this death. Jesus said I am the way, the truth, and the LIFE. We want abortion to stop. We don't think it is okay to take a feeding tube out of a woman's arm. But, killing someone for our rage is okay. It will only build more hate. I love him and hope he finds Jesus before we send him to hell! Now that Jesus has died on the cross everyone has a chance at redemption. That is why the old testament law is helpless. Jesus makes it possible for the nations to be saved for eternity. What good news. Why steal it from this man because he followed a religon blindly. Does that make sense.

Nathan Stockwell said...

Grace doesn't abrogate Law! If it did then what is grace? Those of us in Christ do not get simply receive a "Get out of jail" card from God and get into heaven. We go to heaven because Christ perfect life according to the Law and paid the penalty for my sins on the cross. Grace and Law must co-exist.

The government’s job is to be concerned with Law not Grace that is the Church’s job. Jesus' words, which are for the record in Matt. 5:38 – 42, are spoken within the context of personal relations. Not as rebukes to the government and the courts. We see this in the beginning of this section of the Sermon on the Mount in verses 21 and 22.

You make in sound as if God needs a long period of time to break the heart of Moussaoui and covert him to Christ, if that is His purpose at all with Moussaoui. First of all, in our country even if Moussaoui is given the death penalty he will probably live for another 20 or 30 years because of all the paper work and shots at appeals. Second of all, and most importantly, God views time as a tool that He has created and He is by no means bound by it. Therefore, if God wants Moussaoui to come to know Jesus as His King and Savor then God has willed the means to bring about the change regardless of how much time he spends in prison.

My position has very little to do with the latest poll numbers or whatever, in fact if the verdict is death there will be quite a number of people protesting against the death penalty, it has to do with what God has said. If you were to ask a lot of those people why Moussaoui should die you would not come up with a clear cut reason. Jesus speaks in the O.T. as well as the N.T. and if you find somewhere where He isn't speaking then we need to reconsider if that is Scripture.

I’m not the government. The first amendment applies to Congress not to its citizens. I’m not persecuting Moussaoui for his beliefs, and I resent that unfounded assertion. However, you seem to think this man needs Christ. Why? If I can not apply the truth to his beliefs how can you say something that he and all sects of his religion would adamantly deny? You also seem to be going back and forth on how committed Moussaoui is to Islam. One moment you’re saying I’m persecuting Moussaoui and Islam but the next you say he followed his religion blindly. Which is it?

You’re comparing apples and oranges when you bring abortion and feeing tubes into the discussion, because Moussaoui has forfeited his right to live through terminating human life which according to God’s standards carry such a weighty penalty; whereas, the other two examples haven’t done anything but live.

Tamara said...

I guess simply stated we have no right to decide based on our religion. It is the government and the law that decides. But, as a chrisitan I don't think we are suppose to judge people any longer unless we are an actual judge. I am not so I reserve judgement. Even in the Old Testement it was the judges that decided cases not just anyone. true?

Nathan Stockwell said...

So what kind of interaction do you think a Christian's faith should have with everyone else? How do you define "judge"?

Tamara said...

A judge is a paid job set up by the governemnt. Judge Judy if I dare use her as an example. The supreme court set up by the constitution and the president is another example. Christians should be in the buisness of preaching the gospel in order that people may be saved. Paul always ended his teachings with thanks for the salvation message of Christ. He rarely spoke about the government except that we submit to it. The only reason he had the right to "judge" others was he was an apostle in the church. He was setting up how the church should run. That is the church not the government. I just fear if we get to much Christianity focused on polotics and the court system and therefore we loose souls. It isn't our job to manipulate our government system or improve how it works unless we are directly involved. Lawyer, Judge, or so forth. We should be focused on this man's soul as a Christian not if he is guilty. We know that. But, so are we. Anyone who has hated his brother is a murderer. I guess I don't understand where you are coming from. I do think death is a juste sentence, but I haven't heard the evidence against him. In a non-christian nation if a Christian woman killed a prision guard who tried to rape her the government would be biased toward the guard. That would be unheard of in America, but okay in some other areas. We should show impartiality until capital punishment is the last resort. I think killing him would be the easy, but dangerous way out of a bigger problem. I think I might start a blog about just discussion instead of taking up Jared's space. I will leave this alone now. :)

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