Where does the SBC stand on the death penalty? How can a person before sanctity of life but support the death penalty?
Feb 6, 2012
This is a common question. We believe it is appropriate to be pro-life and also to support capital punishment because the Bible clearly takes this position. In Gen. 9:6 God tells Noah that anyone who sheds human blood shall be required to pay in human blood. This requirement was set before Israel came into existence. So one cannot say that it applies only to Israel. The requirement was given to the people who provided the beginning for all human societies.
In Romans 13:4 Paul makes it clear that the requirement of capital punishment is still an appropriate response by civil government for punishing evil. The connection to capital punishment comes from Paul’s use of the word “sword” in Rom. 13:4. Every time he uses this word in Romans, it means “death.” See Romans 8:35-36 as an example.
Perhaps the best way to sum up the biblical teaching is: All people are conceived with the right to life, but some forfeit that right by their actions.