Summary: Part 2 in series on "What does the Bible really say about the death penalty?" In Part 1 we affirm life.
What does the Bible really say about the death penalty? PART 2
Law of Death, Spirit of Life.
by Andrew Chan, PBC, Vancouver, BC
Exodus: 21:12-17 (NLT)
12 “Anyone who hits a person hard enough to cause death must be put to death. 13 But if it is an accident and God allows it to happen, I will appoint a place where the slayer can run for safety. 14 However, if someone deliberately attacks and kills another person, then the slayer must be dragged even from my altar and put to death.
15 “Anyone who strikes father or mother must be put to death.
16 “Kidnappers must be killed, whether they are caught in possession of their victims or have already sold them as slaves.
17 “Anyone who curses father or mother must be put to death.
There is now way we can get around it, the law condemns murderers.., also kidnappers…also bad kids! Hey, obviously, we all should be dead now! Have we not all caused our parents grief, talked back and all that bad stuff?
In article entitled “Beyond Pearl Harbor” By Elesha Coffman associate editor of Christian History.
posted 6/1/01 on website on CT.com wrote about the story of Mitsuo Fuchida.
Fuchida grew up loving his native Japan and hating the United States, which treated Asian immigrants harshly in the first half of the twentieth century. Fuchida attended a military academy, joined Japan’s Naval Air Force, and by 1941, with 10,000 flying hours behind him, had established himself as the nation’s top pilot. When Japanese military leaders needed someone to command a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, they chose Fuchida.
Fuchida’s was the voice that sent his aircraft carrier the message "Tora! Tora! Tora!" (Tiger! Tiger! Tiger!) indicating the success of the surprise mission. Later, he too was surprised when he learned that, of the 70 officers who participated in the raid, he was the only one who returned alive. He had another close call when he was shot down during the battle of Midway in 1942, but despite serious injuries, he survived again.
By 1945 he had attained the position of the Imperial Navy’s Air Operations Officer. On August 6 he was eating breakfast in Nara, Japan, where a new military headquarters was under construction, when he heard about a bomb dropped on Hiroshima. He flew to investigate, then sent a grim report to the Imperial Command.
On the same day, an American P.O.W. named Jacob DeShazer felt moved by the Holy Spirit to pray for peace. DeShazer had been in captivity since 1942, when, as a member of Doolittle’s Raiders, he dropped bombs near Tokyo and then was forced to parachute into China. While imprisoned, first in Nanjing and later in Beijing, DeShazer had become a Christian. He found his heart softened toward his Japanese captors. After being liberated, DeShazer wrote a widely distributed essay, "I Was a Prisoner of the Japanese," detailing his experiences of capture, conversion, and forgiveness.
Fuchida and DeShazer met in 1950. DeShazer had returned to Japan in 1948 as a missionary. Fuchida had read DeShazer’s testimony, bought a Bible, and converted from Buddhism to Christianity. DeShazer had recently finished a 40-day fast for revival in Japan when Fuchida came to his home and introduced himself. DeShazer welcomed the new convert and encouraged him to be baptized. While DeShazer continued to plant churches throughout Japan, Fuchida became an evangelist, spreading a message of peace and forgiveness in his native country and throughout Asian-American communities.
Fuchida died 25 years ago, on May 30, 1976. Like dynamite inventor Alfred Nobel, who wished his legacy to be one of peace rather than destruction, Fuchida wanted the message of his changed heart to supersede the memory of his infamous attack. He wrote, "That morning [December 7] … I lifted the curtain of warfare by dispatching that cursed order, and I put my whole effort into the war that followed. … [But] after buying and reading the Bible, my mind was strongly impressed and captivated. I think I can say today without hesitation that God’s grace has been set upon me."
NOW… If the US Govt were to hunt him down for the all killing he did and killed him for leading the Pearl Harbor attack and for the many others he killed later, he would not have had the chance to meet His Savior. These words of Fuchida would have never been uttered “I think I can say today without hesitation that God’s grace has been set upon me." Furthermore, countless other souls would never have heard the Good News of Christ, because he would not have been around to tell and spread God’s love. See in the story too, it took Jacob DeShazer’s testimony an American POW who could have demanded revenge for his ordeal at the hands of his Japanese captors and ignored the Japanese. Many would have slipped into Christless eternity, including Fuchida. Many hearts were turned toward God, because redeemed people, like their God, refuse to give up on sinners.