After a botched execution in Oklahoma, where the Department of Corrections encountered problems in administering the drugs for the execution of Clayton Lockett, conversations around the death penalty resurfaced.
As Christians and people of faith, where do we stand on this issue?
The Methodist Church, a predecessor body of The United Methodist Church, has opposed the death penalty since 1956.
The Book of Discipline, the denomination’s law book, says the following:
“We believe the death penalty denies the power of Christ to redeem, restore and transform all human beings."
It goes on to say that "The United Methodist Church is deeply concerned about crime throughout the world and the value of any life taken by a murder or homicide. We believe all human life is sacred and created by God and therefore, we must see all human life as significant and valuable. When governments implement the death penalty (capital punishment), then the life of the convicted person is devalued and all possibility of change in that person’s life ends. We believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ and that the possibility of reconciliation with Christ comes through repentance. This gift of reconciliation is offered to all individuals without exception and gives all life new dignity and sacredness. For this reason, we oppose the death penalty (capital punishment) and urge its elimination from all criminal codes."
Recently, United Methodists and other people of faith gathered together to pray and protest the death penalty in Tennessee, with the belief that, "We are about restoration, reconciliation and resurrection."
View the photos here >>