I have written a few articles on the subject of punishment for an offense, focusing on capitol punishment for murder. In response to the article many people have commented that crime and punishment are one and the same, when in fact, they are very different. Since we live in an age of relativism I am not surprised that many do not know the difference between crime and punishment. If you want to believe that crime and punishment are one and the same then you can and it is correct, that is, if you believe the lie of relativism. If you have common sense and realize that there is right and wrong then you will quickly be able to distinguish the difference between crime and punishment. For those of you who do not know the difference, let me see if I can clear things up for you. Before I begin I would like to quote from the Bible about how people in an age of relativism think.
Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools (Romans 1:21-22)
This is the age that we live in. People know that God is real but yet they do not want to recognize it so they become foolish in their vain imaginations.
As I have stated earlier, I described a situation where a murderer is caught and proven guilty then he must pay with his life. Paying with his life does not mean that he in turn is murdered as many seem to believe. Paying for a crime is not the same as committing a crime. From wikpedia I found some info on punishment that you can read.
The word is the abstract substantivation of the verb to punish, which is recorded in English since 1340, deriving from Old French puniss-, an extended form of the stem of punir “to punish,” from Latin punire “inflict a penalty on, cause pain for some offense,” earlier poenire, from poena “penalty, punishment of great loss” .
From the etymology of the English word “punish” we see what it means. A penalty that one must pay for an offense. So, once again, punishment and crime/offense are not the same thing.
Let us look at the word crime. Once again you can look to wikipedia for more info on the subject .
God tells us exactly how to behave normally in every circumstance of life in the 10 commandments found in the Old Testament.
“You shall have no other gods before Me.
“You shall not make for yourself an idol . . .
“You shall not worship them or serve them;. . .
“You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain.
“Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the LORD your God gives you.
“You shall not murder.
“You shall not commit adultery.
“You shall not steal.
“You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife or his male servant or his female servant or his ox or his donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor.“
Those who commit murder must be punished because murder is a crime and ever crime requires punishment. A person paying for his crime cannot be confused with the crime itself. God tells us exactly what the punishment is for murder in His Word.
“Whoever sheds man’s blood, By man his blood shall be shed, For in the image of God He made man (Gen. 9:6)
In this passage we do not see who is to punish the murderer but there is another passage where God does explain who punishes the murderer.
Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you. For he is God’s servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God’s servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. (Romans 13:2-4)
The governing authorities who are ordained by God are the ones who are to carry out punishment for crimes. If they do not then they are being disobedient to God and innocent people will continue to suffer. Let us return to the Scriptures and learn how to live, how to distinguish between good and evil, right and wrong, so that future generations will not have to suffer the way that our modern society is suffering today by being blind to fact that evil must be punished and good must be rewarded.