Christians would believe Essay
Christians would believe in showing forgiveness and compassion to an offender, as this is the message Jesus portrays in his teachings in the New Testament. The ultimate judgement over whether a wrong doing has being committed during a person’s life, for Christians, is decided by God. It will be determined upon a person’s death if they have lived a life of sin, if so they will reside in hell for eternity.However those people who have followed the laws of God – theonomy – will be rewarded with heaven. People who also are sorry for their sins and reform will be rewarded by God in heaven by seeking forgiveness for their sins and showing repentance, penance, contrition, forgiveness and reconciliation. An example of this is the Repentant Thief: “We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve…Jesus answered him …you will be with me in paradise.”1 The thief fully realised that the actions were wrong and meets his execution bravely, those who realise their mistakes are likely to be judged more favourably in Gods ultimate decision between heaven and hell.Whilst living on Earth, it is believed by Christians that, not only should we follow the word of God, but we should also be guided by the lead of our government, St Paul wrote: “Everyone must submit himself to the government’s authority”2. In other words we should follow the notion of vindication and uphold the law for the sake of upholding it. The only occasion when Christians would not follow the government’s authority is if this contradicts the word of God, “the church must say to worldly rulers, whose laws are at a variance with those of God’s ‘we had much rather obey God than man'”3Christians would also believe that people who have committed a crime should be punished with consistency according to others who have committed the same misdeed. Today’s media led society is not always fair when issuing punishments, an example of this is Roy Whiting, the murderer of Sarah Payne. Although most murderers do receive a life sentence they get released from prison a long time before they die, however the judge in this case said: “I recommend to the appropriate authorities that you will be kept in prison for the rest of your life”. 4His trial and sentence showed an inconsistency within the penalties delivered for murder because the media had publicised the trial.In a Christian’s Kingdom of God, there would be no need to punish and judge people, this would be appointed by God to do, however in today’s society this would be unrealistic. Innocent people suffer due to the malicious wrong doings of criminals who break laws agreed by the government so Christians following Gods guidance have to punish people: “God is merciful and man shares in God’s merciful nature”5. In order to judge people fairly Christians try to follow the guidelines set by the five theories of punishment: vindication, protection, deterrence, retribution and reform. However the theory of retribution does pose a problem for Christians, despite it saying in the Bible “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth”6 , it also stated “never pay back evil for evil”7. Retribution is described as repayment for evil done8, however for Christians one sin does not justify another, if a person truly repents their actions then they must be forgiven and compassion should be shown.