Eugene Cho

who would jesus execute?

Tragic.

On Wednesday, September 21, 2011 (at 11:08pm ET), Troy Davis was executed by lethal injection in the State of Georgia – all this despite evidence that he may have been innocent. Certainly, there was too much doubt.

He was executed in the name of justice but…what does this say about the system and state of our understanding of justice in this country. Like others, I mourn the situation. And I mourn the execution of Troy Davis. And I mourn for the McPhail and Davis families.

Honestly, I don’t know enough about all the details and intricacies behind Davis’ story and circumstances that led him to jail and ultimately, to his execution. Certainly, the entire situation is tragic – starting with the death of an innocent police officer/security guard named Mark MacPhail.

In a recent letter he sent to his supporters, Davis wrote these words:

To All:

I want to thank all of you for your efforts and dedication to Human Rights and Human Kindness, in the past year I have experienced such emotion, joy, sadness and never ending faith. It is because of all of you that I am alive today, as I look at my sister Martina I am marveled by the love she has for me and of course I worry about her and her health, but as she tells me she is the eldest and she will not back down from this fight to save my life and prove to the world that I am innocent of this terrible crime.

As I look at my mail from across the globe, from places I have never ever dreamed I would know about and people speaking languages and expressing cultures and religions I could only hope to one day see first hand. I am humbled by the emotion that fills my heart with overwhelming, overflowing Joy. I can’t even explain the insurgence of emotion I feel when I try to express the strength I draw from you all, it compounds my faith and it shows me yet again that this is not a case about the death penalty, this is not a case about Troy Davis, this is a case about Justice and the Human Spirit to see Justice prevail.

I cannot answer all of your letters but I do read them all, I cannot see you all but I can imagine your faces, I cannot hear you speak but your letters take me to the far reaches of the world, I cannot touch you physically but I feel your warmth everyday I exist.

So Thank you and remember I am in a place where execution can only destroy your physical form but because of my faith in God, my family and all of you I have been spiritually free for some time and no matter what happens in the days, weeks to come, this Movement to end the death penalty, to seek true justice, to expose a system that fails to protect the innocent must be accelerated. There are so many more Troy Davis’. This fight to end the death penalty is not won or lost through me but through our strength to move forward and save every innocent person in captivity around the globe. We need to dismantle this Unjust system city by city, state by state and country by country.

I can’t wait to Stand with you, no matter if that is in physical or spiritual form, I will one day be announcing,

“I AM TROY DAVIS, and I AM FREE!”

Never Stop Fighting for Justice and We will Win

As I’ve spoken with different folks over the past few days, I’m not in the most capable position to make a legal case for his innocence or guilt.

I am not suggesting that making a case is not important. Pursuing truth and justice are indeed very important – not only to this case but to any healthy and functional society. But while fully acknowledging the importance of laws, rules, and consequences, isn’t it [past] time to

put to death the death penalty.

Capital punishment, the death penalty, or execution is the sentence of death upon a person by judicial process as a punishment for an offence. Crimes that can result in a death penalty are known as capital crimes or capital offences. The term capital originates from the Latin capitalis, literally “regarding the head”. Hence a capital crime was originally one punished by severing the head from the body. [wikipedia]

Did you know that only 58 nations actively practice capital punishment with 96 countries having abolished it. If you haven’t figured it out, the United States is one of the nations that practices the capital punishment.

Scriptures support capital punishment?

Those that are religious that support the death penalty often quote verses from Scripture “supporting” capital punishment.

Please. You don’t have to quote Scripture to me. I have read those verses. I have studied those verses. But to elevate isolated verses and isolated stories to contend that God allows and even commands capital punishment is dangerous. To not be open to the remote possibility that the Scriptures is written within a social construct and with subjectivity and always interpreted through some sort of human lens is dangerous.

I believe in the authority of the Scriptures.  I believe in the Word of God.  But I also believe that the Bible was written in context and culture and subsequently, we must – with deep prayer and discernment – study, interpret, and be guided by the Holy Spirit.

Let’s be honest:

If the Bible were easy to interpret, we wouldn’t need to study, teach, preach, write, exegete, etc.

Many will say that reading the Bible in such a way is dangerous because it leads us to a “slippery slope.”

Umm, interpreting the Bible as the Word of God is serious business.  Anytime we attempt to speak on behalf of God is serious. Period.

But more importantly, we celebrate the Scriptures as God’s revelation but certainly, not as the ultimate or exclusive expression of God’s revelation. More specifically, we are grateful for the Scriptures but we do not worship the Scriptures. The Bible does not redeem us, save us; The Bible did not go to the cross for us. The Bible instead, testifies and points to the incarnation and embodiment of a Savior.

We have a Savior and his name is Jesus.

And his life, words, and ministry all testify to a God, and a Way, and a Kingdom that is beyond what the religious elite and experts understood to be the ways of God.

But if Christians believe in Jesus, follow Jesus, and worship Jesus…

I wonder this question:

Who would Jesus execute?

We know Christ was brutally executed but who would Jesus execute?

Some will criticize the oversimplification of the above question and my thought process but perhaps, we are overcomplexifying the fundamental truth that “life is sacred.”

And by life…I mean, that all life, is sacred. Even the life of a Troy Davis. And yes, even the life of a Lawrence Brewer who was also executed yesterday for his brutal hate crime. If we truly believe in the sanctity of life, how can we jubilantly celebrate the assassination of Osama bin Laden.

It is my hope that “Christians” who believe in the sanctity of life would lead the way to finally put to the death the death penalty.

Troy Davis’ final words just before his execution were as follows:

I’d like to address the MacPhail family. Let you know, despite the situation you are in, I’m not the one who personally killed your son, your father, your brother. I am innocent. The incident that happened that night is not my fault. I did not have a gun. All I can ask … is that you look deeper into this case so that you really can finally see the truth. I ask my family and friends to continue to fight this fight. For those about to take my life, God have mercy on your souls. And may God bless your souls.

Know this. Last night, another person was to be executed in Texas [but received another stay by the US Supreme Court] and on this day, another person is to be executed in the State of Alabama.

Please. Let’s not reduce the life of Troy Davis to a 48 hour frenzy of social media. Let’s all re-commit ourselves to human dignity and justice.

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44 Responses

  1. michelle says:

    I couldn’t stop weeping last night. May God have mercy on us!

  2. Jim says:

    I agree with you, Eugene, but I am disturbed that I don’t have the same emotional reaction when I read about someone like Lawrence Brewer being executed. It’s easy to wish for justice for the oppressed, but often the demise of our enemies is a much less bitter pill.

  3. I only heard of the case last night (I’m Canadian) when my Twitter stream started to explode with the news of no clemency. Obviously, I’m against the death penalty in any and every case but this one in particular just seems unbelievable to me. I appreciate your voice in this, Eugene. Thank you.

  4. Joey says:

    Lawrence Russell Brewer was executed last night in Texas. He tied a black man to the back of a pickup truck and dragged his body till it was mutilated beyond recognition.

    Yet, Brewer was made in the imago dei. In hate and brokenness he took the life of another because of that man’s race. And Jesus died for even him.

    Violence gives birth to violence. It is easy for me to hate the death penalty when thinking about Troy Davis. It is much more difficult to hate the death penalty in Brewer’s case. But my sentimentalism is not the Lord who told me to love my enemies and who ultimately laid down his life for his’.

    • Eugene Cho says:

      Yeah, I’m aware of the story of Lawrence Russell Brewer. The little I know of is incredibly difficult to stomach.

      Like you said, I agreed with the trajectory that if life is sacred, all life is sacred…even those that don’t “deserve” it.

  5. […] further reading:  Eugene Cho with “Who Would Jesus Execute?” David Henson “The State Killed Two Men Last Night” (HT: Kurt Willems) The […]

  6. hopefulleigh says:

    Amen.

    What are some tangible ways we can commit to ending capital punishment? Signing a petition or making a phone call about individual cases is one thing but it doesn’t pave the way for abolishing it altogether.

    • Eugene Cho says:

      It’s complicated like so many things.

      Part of the complexity is that as it stands now, each state determines their own policy regarding the death penalty.

      I am hoping that the Troy Davis execution, as tragic as it is, is the spark that fuels the debate on a local, state, and national level.

  7. Joy says:

    There was another state mandated execution last night in the state of Texas…a white supremacist…who was convicted of murdering a black man by dragging him behind a truck. It was an open and shut case. He was guilty. The story not nearly as sensational as the Troy Davis story…who was quite possibly put to death by the state as an innocent man. There were no vigils or protests @ the Lawrence Brewer execution. Who would Jesus execute? All life is sacred.

  8. Mike B. says:

    Would Jesus have verbally contravened a death sentence in the first century, had the Jewish state been allowed by the Romans to carry out death sentences according to the Mosaic law? I don’t know the answer, but it seems to have bearing on this…as does the reality that the pre-incarnate Christ was most likely the one that dropped the bomb on Sodom, for being “arrogant, overfed and unconcerned” for the poor; Ezekiel 16:49-50. I once saw a bumper sticker that said “Who Would Jesus Bomb?”…in light of Ezekiel, the answer to that may be more uncomfortable than some folks want to make it, and that was a mass execution.

    • peter c. says:

      I think that is where the WWJ model breaks down. But at the same time, this does not give us license to act as God does. God may strike and judge, but we aren’t called to do the same, because we lack the wisdom and mercy to do so justly, as only He can.

      • Jin says:

        Peter, agreed. Its important the remember that our God is a jealous God, and a just God… when he strikes and judges, it is under those pretenses, not out of spite or revenge. the concept of life and death to our Creator CANNOT BE and IS NOT the same as what we perceive it. our God can take a life, because He has the power to restore it… last time i checked we do not.

      • steve says:

        Doesn’t Romans 13:1-4 directly state that part of human governance is anointed to address evil with a “sword”? I don’t think they were spanking them with the sword, were they?

        When you say “we aren’t called to do the same, because we lack the wisdom and mercy to do so justly, as only He can” are you saying that God was expressing poor judgement by asking people of faith to submit to governing ordinances which include mortal judgement?

        I have for a long time struggled with the idea that we can’t do what the Bible says to do because we are not God, when I am starting to think that is a straw man argument that distracts from the reality that we don’t want to do what God has put in the Bible for us to do, whether we are talking about participation in miracles (John 14:12) or appropriately hating evil (Romans 12:9). Doing it would not be easy or comfortable or purely human or without toil and prayer and emotion. But writing it off because we are holding God and our faith to a “greater standard” might have bigger consequences. Jesus talked about hating our parents in Luke 14 and most everyone agree that this means… not loving our family more than we prioritize our relationship to God. If the Word says to take care of the poor, then we preach we should do it, even if we don’t care well enough. And if Jesus references death penalty situations in a manner where he assumes they exist and would continue as he did in Matthew 15, why would we pretend that Jesus was categorically opposed to it (Jesus was asking why the people of his day would setup situations where their traditions and values were more important than the commands of scripture involving capital punishment much like he did in Luke 14).

        I believe Jesus wanted to give out mercy, but he did it coupled with repentance and forgiveness (amazing!). And he also told stories about how people who harmed the faith of kids would be better off if they were drowned in a lake by tying them to heavy stones! (Matthew 18:6)

        I just don’t think we believe in evil or see the spiritual side to these things anymore. I think we want a simple Jesus that doesn’t use words like hate or who talks about hell or punishment, or who calls hypocrites names or who sees evil (money changers in the temple taking advantage of people) and takes action as a result (flips tables and hand crafts a whip and beats people out of the temple). We KNOW Jesus loves us and IS love! But to imagine He wasn’t passionately opposed to sin and evil and called us to listen to Holy Spirit and get involved in resolving that kind of injustice is just selling something other than the whole Jesus from the Bible.

        • Jamie says:

          Well said, I agree.

        • Jamie says:

          What I meant by well said was that I have come across those same passages in scripture and basically my thoughts are the same. And what I hear is God addressed evil in that manner. God even asked kings to put to death some nations and other kings because of their evil. If God is the same then, today, and yesterday. And God is Jesus. Why do we think as Christians that God tolerates evil. God also calls for justice in nations. When Troy was stating is innocence, and there was too much doubt in the evidence, the witnesses, and his trial. It was obvious that this man could and I believe was innocent. There were too many doubts. God bless Troy’s soul. But the case with Lawrence who dragged a black man for know reason but for hate and evil. That was too obvious! I am disturbed by Troy’s soul death, and if the death penalty should remain in our country then we need stricter laws and regulations to protect those that could be innocent.

        • Eugene Cho says:

          steve:

          i understand your point about the role of governance…

          but you stand w/ that with the role of any government? with china and their human rights violations? with north korea?

          • I believe there are situations where people actively participate in responding to a government that has sinned against God. Here are two stories:

            Israel is being oppressed by Eglon, King of Moab (subject to a broken planet and out from under their previous relationship to God because of sin). A whole lot of prayer goes up to God for deliverance and then Ehud shows up on the scene, resulting in the execution of Eglon, King of Moab. (Judges 3)

            Then at another period in history, King David commits adultery which, had he been caught by two witnesses, he would have been put to death for this according to the law at the time (so King David was an example of corrupt Governing power). He apparently wasn’t caught by two people but God knew. So Nathaniel shows up on the scene and confronts Dave the King on his sin. David knows that it is God who is revealing his sin by the way Nathanial prophetically reveals the truth, and David repents (similar situation like the woman caught in adultery in the NT story where Jesus is in the Nathanial position). David is given grace within the position of repentance! (2 Sam 12)

            All of that to say, in both of those stories we see corrupt governance being addresses and both the threat as well as opportunity for grace and mercy with regard to capital punishment. What I do not believe we are seeing is a doing away with capital punishment. We are seeing a balance of justice on Gods terms and in both situations human being played an actively engaged role. What we do not see is corrupt leadership resulting in a reactionary polarized justification of the end of capital punishment.

            The tough part of your question here is the idea that because there are corrupt governments, are we released from needing to “give the (corrupt) government what it is due”. Jesus was confronted with this exact question and I don’t know that Jesus answer always feels comfortable either (but I do not recommend we rewrite what Jesus said).

            There is a flip-side to the coin you are examining. If corruption releases up from legal obligations, where do we draw that line? Does the very corrupt governance in China release us from the laws we feel are unjust? What about the just laws that exist in China or Korea? Or is it an example of horrible human rights violations with regard to death an killing from China that we then feel taints all forms of death, including capital punishment? What about love then? If people “love” poorly or constantly confuse lustful sin for love, do we throw a right expression of love out with the baby and the bathwater because of so many poor expressions of love?

            Likewise, assuming rightly with everyone else, is a completely broken example of the use of capital punishment in the case of Troy, a righteous justification of throwing out all cases of capital punishment if there is 3100 years of Biblical example, from early chapters of Genesis to the end of the book of Revelation, of such a type of judgement happening? I am not comfortable claiming that capital punishment is wrong, especially if God has put it in the Bible and Jesus bumped into it in a few examples within the Word and didn’t say it was wrong or referenced it and didn’t say it was wrong. I love it that Jesus took an opportunity to extend grace and mercy in situations where capital punishment could have happened (the woman caught in adultery and the woman at the well) where the person was repentant. I believe this tells me, reasonably, that Jesus “may” have continued to believe that justice happened within capital punishment, and at the same time, that view of justice can be overruled by a combination of repentance, forgiveness, and Jesus own sacrifice (acknowledging that both the woman in adultery and the woman at the well were guilty).

            So I would answer your question with, “If government is oppressive and putting it’s will over the instruction of God, rendering the instruction of God unattainable, then I would pray for salvation and justice, whether that comes in the form of capital punishment for corrupt leaders or a realized opportunity for loving grace and mercy leading to repentance.”

    • m cline says:

      Mike Bell, those are some good thoughts. We need to think Trinitarian about these issues, thanks for the reminder. But I would go with Peter Chin on that…just because we might come to the conclusion that God acted in a certain manner does not give his created beings the right or the mandate to do so except where specifically addressed in Scripture. Some might say that Romans 13, for example, is such a place. Personally. I think we’ve totally misinterpreted Pauls’ argument in Romans.

  9. Erik Ronningen says:

    It is important to remember as we look at the mercy filled life of Jesus that He came the first time as a Savior, the second time it appears there will be plenty of death under His reign for anyone who is His enemy. So who would Jesus execute? That question is interesting but also sort of misleading. We aren’t Jesus. But the OT does lay out a system of capital punishment for those who reject God’s ways. And interestingly in Romans 13 the government is said to possess the sword to punish those who do evil, I ask, why a sword if capital punishment isn’t in view?

    That isn’t to say that Troy Davis ought to have been executed. If there were questions they should have been investigated. And no, capital punishment and the death of our enemies (Osama bin Laden comes to mind) ought to sadden us because we are made in God’s image. But God doesn’t say that keeps us from death – it actually seems to raise the severity of the punishment for if we who are to be reflections of God are trampling His reputation by our actions don’t we deserve a great penalty? And government is His idea, just saying.

  10. There is a tension in Scripture on this issue that I have not myself fully resolved. I wrote about it yesterday and invite others to share their thoughts as I work through it: http://jmsmith.org/blog/death-penalty

    Emotionally, even under strict Biblical standards, I would’ve been grieved at having to put to death the man who was found gathering wood on the Sabbath in Numbers 15…wouldn’t any of us?? Yet this is, almost inexplicably, what God commanded in that situation. Jesus Himself never advocated executing anyone…but He also did not speak against the concept of government taking the life of those who take life. When asking WWJD, I don’t think there is an answer that falls neatly on either side.

    I do know that the death penalty in this country is almost never practiced fairly, according to Biblical standards of having at least 2 eyewitnesses who are willing to put their own lives on the line for the sake of their testimony. Unless that were to be the case, I cannot support the death penalty as it currently stands.

  11. Michael J. Bond says:

    To say the death penalty is never warranted is neither Christian nor logical. As a former Marine, I would have been proud to have served with the SEAL team who killed bin Laden, thereby preventing many future deaths. I would also have been proud to be Eichmann’s hangman. Something about being able to look at Holocaust survivors I have known and being able to tell them he paid for his unspeakable crimes.

    • Eugene Cho says:

      michael,

      while i mention the bin laden post and (celebration) in my post, i wasn’t comparing the bin laden assassination with the death penalty. they are different.

      i am grateful for the role of the government and it’s part in capturing bin laden and i commend the SEAL team as well. it’s just the sight of jubilant celebration.

      as odd for me as the sight of hundred of people cheering and clapping when governor perry mentions the # of execution in his state of Texas under his leadership.

  12. […] who would jesus execute? (eugenecho.com) […]

  13. […] would Jesus execute? By Roger Bird Leave a Comment Categories: Uncategorized https://eugenecho.com/2011/09/22/who-would-jesus-execute/ Like this:LikeBe the first to like this […]

  14. Jenny says:

    I don’t think it’s an oversimplification at all. Sure, God has destroyed people, but Jesus is humanity as it was supposed to be, humanity as we are meant to be, and in that capacity he *didn’t* destroy people. Might’ve been a hint…

  15. BLKC says:

    Just to add on the theological side (sorry, not trying to minimize the incident with Troy Davis)

    God is the same as yesterday, today and forever. Never changes in character. He slow to anger and quick to be merciful. Jesus was and is God from the OT and NT. There is a time for mercy and a time for judgement.

    “17 If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, 18 do not consider yourself to be superior to those other branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you. 19 You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in.” 20 Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but tremble. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either. 22 Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off. 23 And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. 24 After all, if you were cut out of an olive tree that is wild by nature, and contrary to nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more readily will these, the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree!” Rom 11

    “The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.” Mt 3:10

  16. BLKC says:

    Acts 5 – Lying to the Holy Spirit led to the death to two people.

  17. Dennis Lyons says:

    In a perfact world the death penalty might have it’s place, but this is far from that PERFACT world.
    Romans 5:20,21 “The law was added so that the trepass might increase. But where sin increased, GRACE increased all the more, so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also GRACE might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

    I think God is saddened to see the arogence of men who declare judgements on other men.

  18. Ryan Bell says:

    I completely agree with you Eugene. It took two years living in Africa as a missionary and seeing the tribal warfare and revenge murders and seeing as Americans we do the same things, just package them in a nicer box to make ourselves feel good about it. As a side note, my devotional site went through the roof with hits the day Osama was killed. There were a lot of searches on google for “Rejoicing in Justice”, which was the title of one of our devotions.

  19. BLKC says:

    Not equating the Holy Spirit to human government. My point is, God’s justice continues to operate in the NT, today and future. I love His mercy and grace but at the same time, He is just. God does operate through human government to bring justice. God has operated throughout the OT and NT to show his mercy and grace. Again, I highlight His MERCY and GRACE. At the same time, we need to recognize He is just. The arguments that Ive read from other sites that try to justify that God doesnt support the death penalty (not talking about Troy Davis’ case) is a belief that is not Biblical. The argument you will find is that God is so merciful that it negates the righteous side of God. Again, I highlight He is slow to anger, MERCIFUL and full of GRACE but He is also RIGHTEOUS and JUST. The OT and NT provides examples of God showing mercy and at the same time, there are example of those being put to death through different circumstances because of sin.

    I do support the death penalty (not in Troy Davis case). I do not support other countries that perform the death penalty to the innocent such as Christian missionaries who share their faith and helping the poor.

  20. […] Last week, Troy Davis was executed for the 1989 murder of Mark MacPhail. Davis was executed despite no murder weapon ever being recovered and despite the fact that 7 of the 9 witnesses who testified against him have since recanted their testimonies. Yet today, Troy Davis is dead. As dead as Mark MacPhail. His death did not bring back MacPhail, and while MacPhail’s family claimed Davis’ execution would bring them closure, with so much evidence stacked AGAINST his conviction I have to wonder how his death provides any real sense of closure. Sure, Troy Davis is dead, but it is very likely Mark MacPhail’s murderer is alive and well. On the flip side, on the same day as Troy’s execution, Lawrence Brewer was executed in Texas for the brutal dragging death of James Byrd, Jr. This all begs the question – Who would Jesus execute? […]

  21. Michele Carson says:

    My daughter was killed and I know for sure who did it. I have a picture of his face embedded in my memory from a newspaper article picture. I can not tell you his full name, I know very little about him or what is happening. I hope he gets jail time. He might, but is from a wealthy Loisiana family and can afford a highly paid lawyer. He hit my daughter while she was knocking on the window of a car she saw hit on the notorious I-10 expressway. He made a choice to leave the scene
    and allow my daughters body to lay on the side of the rode for 4 hours until a passing motorist saw her. I did not find out
    until very late that same day (11pm) she was dead. It took that long to identify her, as she had no identification on her,
    it was in her car , left by on the side of the road in her haste to help a passing motorist , a decision that brought her death. I do not want this man killed. I actually do not think of him much. I think of her daughter left behind, her brother who will
    be forever lost without her, I think of me, and how my life has been changed forever, her friends who lost a spirited and impulsive
    fun loving person..but mostly I hope she is at peace.

    I wonder if the family who lost their son really wanted Troy Davis to die? I am sure they are still heartbroken and not a minute goes by for them that they do not think of him. I wonder why they did not say “we think he is guilty, but let
    him live his life in prison?” I do not think taking a life will help them get their son back. I do not think they will have less
    sadness now. I DO think they will forever be tramatized by the fact that this man died declaring his innocence. I do not know what they know. I empathsize with them. I know that my daughters killer had DNA on the body of the car she was hit by, and it was my daughters. I do know that my daughters killer took his car to a bodyshop to be fixed , hoping no one would find out. The bodyshop reported to the police and within 2 weeks they knew it was the car that killed her. Even with this much STRONG evidence, I would not want him to die.

    Do we as a society really have the right to take a life for a life? If you had asked me before my daughter was killed,
    I would have probably said yes, it is just. Now , well no, I have a different perspective based on being in MY shoes
    a victims family member, and I can not get my daughter back no matter what. I would not feel better if this man died. I would feel nothing. I have no thoughts for him, except that he killed her, and he should go to jail.

    How do we decide who is killed? This is bothering me. I think my daughter’s death is just as tragic as the death of this police officer who was killed. Her death was violent. She was thrown over 100 feet and left to die. He said to the police when arrested “I thought I hit a deer” so he knew he hit her. He made the decision to leave without checking to see if
    she might be alive. I again empathize with this family, but I do not think the peace his mother asked for will come from
    the death of Troy Davis. There are many families like mine who might never see justice for the killer of their loved one.
    So in my opinion the death sentence is not really an option, because of the factors involved. Life in prison for the most depraved individuals , no sunlight, no walking amoung humanity , left to think and reflect on the crime is a much more humane, and worthy way to invoke justice. The death penalty leaves no room for reflection, the death penalty is final, and without forgiveness. The death penalty is barbaric and brings humans to a level of the killer themselves.

    I truly hope the victims family finds peace, but not through Troy Davis’ death but through self awareness, forgiveness
    and moving forward. I am still working towards these goals. It is not easy. I however, would not find them by the
    death of my daughters killer.

    This is just one mother’s perspective on the death of a child.

    Michele (Huffman) Carson

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    Linda Lou Bennington Nolan So so sad dear friend, but beautifully ‘shared’…..HUGS
    Thursday at 5:39am · Unlike · 2 people

    Gretchen Pech You make a strong case Michele, and I agree. An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind. Misha would be proud. Thank you so much for sharing. This is beautiful. ♥
    Thursday at 6:04am · Unlike · 4 people

    Jim Palmer youtube took down the beverley song. this is the only version left. listening still moves me. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YXA_k6iyTSQ

    A Tribute To Michael Jackson – Who’s Gonna Save Your Soul?
    http://www.youtube.com
    PLEASE READ: Well, as all of you loyal fans were and are, I was completely shock…See More
    Thursday at 6:09am · Unlike · 1 person ·
    Michele Huffman so sad today about everything that goes on in this world..
    Thursday at 6:11am · Like · 1 person

    Lesley Litrento I believe in natural justice. (karma) Everyone gets what is coming to them. The guy who most likely accidentally hit Misha and didn’t stop to aid in her rescue will no doubt, if he hasn’t already, get his due. There are so many problems with our justice system….it isn’t just.
    Thursday at 6:24am · Unlike · 2 people

    Elayne N. Wallach Boehm Eloquently spoken, however I’m not as big a person as you are. Pics are BEAUTIFUL and depict a happier time with some great memories! Thank goodness for photos. We always think we’ll remember certain things that go on in our lives, but photos sure do help!!!
    Thursday at 6:28am · Like
    Michele Huffman Elayne it is not about being a big person, it is just that we can not go on in life with hatred in our souls..it will destroy me , like this man killed my daughter
    Thursday at 6:31am · Like · 5 people

    Floyd Miller · Friends with Gloria Jean Davis
    This is how a REAL Christian is supposed to think, not the ersatz ones that dominate today (they’ve replaced Christ with Ayn Rand). The thing is, if the wrong man is convicted and executed, the mistake cannot be corrected. I also believe if the right person is convicted, true life imprisonment (not just 20 years) is a worse punishment than death if the person is indeed sane.
    Thursday at 6:44am · Like
    Michele Huffman Dear Floyd, I am spiritual, I am not judging anyone. I empathize with the family of the victim. I just am stating my beliefs. I was changed dramatically from her death. I would like to share that because it might help others suffering with a loss. It is better to move forward to bring goodness and create good karma, than to do what has been done to you. I believe that brings emptiness, and no fullfillment
    Thursday at 6:47am · Like · 5 people

    Hilary Smith Michele – Thank you.
    Thursday at 6:51am · Unlike · 1 person

    Lynn Hoffman Grossman Michelle, thanks for the perspective. So much has happened since our lunch in Tally…my thoughts are with you…
    Thursday at 6:53am · Unlike · 1 person

    Isabel Llopart Douglas Thanks for sharing ♥
    Thursday at 6:58am · Unlike · 1 person

    Julie Blacker Strong · Friends with Ryan Ange
    Thank you .
    Thursday at 7:12am · Unlike · 2 people

    Caron Conway Michele, your courage, grace and humanity continue to inspire me. You hold a special place in my heart. Love you, dear friend.
    Thursday at 7:53am · Unlike · 2 people

    Ryan Ange ♥ Michele.
    Thursday at 8:59am · Unlike · 1 person

    Ann Short Chirhart Good post, Michele. Well said. Peace to you.
    Thursday at 10:04am · Unlike · 1 person

    Georgi Hill Branden Once again, you are amazing.
    Thursday at 1:30pm · Unlike · 1 person
    Michele Huffman Thank you for all the kind comments..please share if you want..it might help someone who is dealing with horrible grief and sadness..
    Thursday at 2:55pm · Like

    Sandra C. Ange · Friends with Jim Palmer and 2 others
    ♥ to you, Michele.
    Thursday at 3:34pm · Like

    Lincoln Schappe wow ….thanks for sharing your experience Michelle …how heartbreaking …:( ..u are very strong and u deserve Peace and Happiness eternal ..:)
    Thursday at 4:05pm · Like · 1 person
    Michele Huffman Linc..I am strong, still working on peace and happiness…
    Thursday at 4:18pm · Like · 1 person

    Lincoln Schappe many of us are …trust …I never thought it would be so hard ..hugs ..:)
    Thursday at 4:21pm · Unlike · 1 person

    Leanne Coffman Michelle, with your permission, I’d like to pass this on and share it with some of my other friends. Your pain is so etched across these words. Yet, your sadness is free of bitterness. What a beautiful human being you are, inside and out!
    Thursday at 4:45pm · Unlike · 1 person
    Michele Huffman please share away..I hope it helps people, yes my pain is still raw..but I have accepted it as part of who I will be from the moment I found out about her death..
    Thursday at 4:46pm · Like · 2 people

    Ade Baumgardner I found your writing to be very inspirational. I have never had to face what you have had to go through and I really hope I never have to. I think I would not support the death penalty but I wonder. Thanks for sharing your tragedy and know that I think you are one special woman and I am glad to call you a friend. Take care.
    Thursday at 5:50pm · Unlike · 1 person

    Antoinette Karla Thank you for sharing this *Wipes Tears away*
    Thursday at 6:10pm · Unlike · 2 people

    Andrea Desumbila This is very soul wrenching stuff…i have no words…i have no doubt Misha is an angel in heaven by her own actions and by yours.
    Thursday at 6:19pm · Unlike · 1 person

    Josefina Melgar Gaisford Thank you for sharing your experience and opinions. My soul needed to hear this because in my heart I know this to be true. I commend you for being such an evolved human being and being a righteous example in the toxic USA we live in today. Please allow me to share your story in as many arenas as I can.
    Thursday at 7:19pm · Unlike · 1 person

    Larisa Bolyard I love you so much, my darling Michele. I mourn with you. I get tears in my eyes whenever I think of her and you. You’re strong and beautiful and are doing her memory justice. I love you. Can’t say it enough.
    Thursday at 7:56pm · Unlike · 2 people
    Michele Huffman Josefina..please do. Larisa, I ♥ you and I felt Misha was guiding me when I wrote this note..
    Thursday at 8:01pm · Like · 1 person

    Larisa Bolyard OH dear. *Crying* now. I love you. Misha loves you. We all love you.
    Thursday at 8:02pm · Unlike · 2 people

    Josefina Melgar Gaisford Thank you is not enough for your wise and healing words, dear mother and grandmother. My heart and appreciation are yours.
    Thursday at 8:19pm · Unlike · 1 person

    Lizz Reigle Thank you for sharing so deeply from your heart. I must agree with you. It does not solve anything, it just makes another family mourn. ♥ I never met Misha, but I think of her often, having met you and hearing so much about her. Lots of love to you.
    Friday at 2:31am · Unlike · 2 people

    Brian Holcombe Michele, what I see is that you have no hate in your heart. It speaks to who you are. ♥
    Friday at 4:43am · Unlike · 2 people

    Frank Cannon Sr I also believe that life in prison with no chance of parole is a far worst sentence then being put to death. I’m sure many pray and hope for death.

    Hate can only hurt those that hate, and nothing moves the soul as much, except for love. …See More
    Friday at 9:54am · Unlike · 4 people
    Michele Huffman Thank you Frank…your comment means a lot to me
    Friday at 10:00am · Like · 1 person

    Laurel Muir Well said Michelle. I am still so sorry for your loss.
    Friday at 7:06pm · Unlike · 1 person

    Louise Reid Ritchie If you would like to connect with this mother, who is my friend, ask to join the FB group, “Achieve Higher Ground,” which she started. Unfortunately, you can’t read the story without paying for it on the Tallahassee Democrat’s site, but he…See More
    Friday at 10:25pm · Unlike · 1 person

    Louise Reid Ritchie Agnes Furey helped mediate with the families involved in this situation. Unfortunately, a paywall prevents my linking you to the whole story, but here’s the gist.

    “Michael McBride was vacationing with his family in Panama City when he fo…See More
    Friday at 10:30pm · Like

    Tina Jackson God bless you, and bring you true peace! Everyone is right, ‘hate just brings about more hate, and cuts your blessings.’ The power to forgive and to turn your grief into helping others truly glorifies you daughter’s wonderful life, and will…See More
    Friday at 11:46pm · Unlike · 1 person

    Darlene Elane · Friends with Reaching Behind Bars
    Michelle , unfortunately the family of the victim DID state publicly that they wanted to see Troy Davis die , I found that alarming as they had suffered loss of a loved one and knew how Davis’ family would suffer … He went to his death st…See More
    Yesterday at 12:57am · Unlike · 2 people

    Sam R Tayebwa No comment… Well Said… Well Put… May their souls rest in Peace
    Yesterday at 3:00am · Unlike · 1 person
    Michele Huffman Dear Darlene, I saw that interview with the mother on CNN while watching if they were going to execute Troy Davis. I felt such sadness for her. She kept saying get it over, just do it, something like that. 20 yrs with hate, I can not imagin…See More
    Yesterday at 3:15am · Like

    Michele Fontana This is beautiful ♥
    13 hours ago · Unlike · 1 person

  22. Yes, God is just. And his justice will be expressed to its greatest level on the day of judgment. But for as long as any person lives, there is a chance for repentance and forgiveness of whatever horrible crimes or simple sins he has committed. The God we serve is mighty to transform the worst sinner’s heart into the likeness of Christ.

    The coming of Jesus to this earth, his death and resurrection for our sins is the seal of approval of the new covenant that God established with us, a covenant of grace and forgiveness and salvation, so that we can have fulfillment of the law through Jesus Christ. Taking away a life by capital punishment is in my opinion a violation of the sanctity of life, usually as a means of revenge (even if the criminal rightfully deserves the consequences of his crime). It is executing a power that solely belongs to God. But it ultimately forgets that grace outrules sin, that grace extends to every sinner who breathes on this earth until God establishes his last exhale.

  23. […] Cho muses on Troy Davis, the death penalty and what is an appropriate Christian […]

  24. BLKC says:

    This is very sad that they went forward with the execution.

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One Day’s Wages

My Instagram

As I soaked in this breathtaking sunrise this morning above the clouds, I felt compelled to pray for so my places in America and around the world that are experiencing such pain, heartache, injustice, and violence. At times, it feels so overwhelming but in prayer, I was reminded of these words from John 16:33. As we keep striving, working, hoping, preaching, loving, truthtelling, reconciling, repenting, forgiving, dismantling, peacemaking, Kingdom building...may we fix our eyes on Christ: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” - John 16:33 Grateful for a very full weekend of ministry and preaching in Toronto, Canada (GTA). Such a privilege to partner with @worldvisioncan @wvcollective to advocate for the most vulnerable around the world. God is so gracious. A true honor to meet and encourage local pastors, lecture at Tyndale University & Seminary (photo), and preach at Richmond Hills Community Church, Compass Point Bible Church, and New City Church. Thank you, Lord, that you use broken and imperfect people like me to speak of Your love. Today, Minhee and I dropped off our eldest child at her college. We have been thinking and praying about this day for many years. On some days, we hoped it would never come. On other days, we couldn't wait for it to come. On some days, we prayed for time to stop and other days, we prayed with anticipation. 
After an entire summer of laughing it off, it hit us...hard...this week. Seeing all of her stuff laid out on the basement floor was the catalyst to a load of emotions.

After unloading the car and taking her stuff to her new home for this year and mindful that she might never live with us again; helping sort out her stuff, saying hello to her roommates...I wasn't sure what to do or say.

A flood of thoughts rushed my mind.

Is she ready?
Have we done enough?
Have we taught her enough? 
What if this? What if that?

And so we shared what we have shared with her the moment she began to understand words: "Remember who you are. Remember WHO you belong to. Remember what you're about. God loves you so much. Please hold God's Word and His promises close and dear to your heart. We love you so much and we are so proud of you." And with that, we said goodbye. Even if she may not be thousands of miles away, this is a new chapter for her and even for us. I kept it composed. Her roommate was staring at me. I didn't want to be that father. I have street cred to uphold. Another final hug. 
And I came home.
And I wept.
Forget my street cred.
I miss her. I love her.
She will always be my little baby.

I'm no parenting guru. I just laughed as I wrote that line. No, I'm stumbling and bumbling along but I'd love to share an ephiphany I learned not that long ago. Coming to this realization was incredibly painful but simultaneously, liberating. To be honest, it was the ultimate game-changer in my understanding as a parent seeking after the heart of God.

While there are many methods, tools, philosophies, and biblical principles to parenting, there is – in my opinion – only one purpose or destination.

Our purpose as parents is to eventually…release them. Send forth. For His glory. Met a friend and fellow pastor who I haven't seen in over 20 years. In him, I saw a glimpse of my future. While only 10 years older, his kids are married and he's now a grandfather of 3. His love for his wife and family were so evident and his passion for the Gospel has not wavered. It was so good to see someone a bit older still passionately serving the Lord with such joy and faithfulness. Lord, help me to keep running the race for your Glory. Happy wife.
Happy life. - Eugenius 3:16

I still remember that time, many years ago, when Minhee was pregnant with our first child. She had left her family and friends in Korea just two years before. Her morning sickness was horrible and when she finally had an appetite, she craved her favorite Korean food from certain restaurants in her neighborhood in Seoul, Korea. I had no way of getting that food from those restaurants so I actually said, "How about a Whopper? Big Mac?" Sorry honey. Eat away. You deserve it. I don't care if it sounds mushy but sunsets are one of my love languages. Seoul, Korea was amazing but WOW...what a breathtaking welcome back sunset by Seattle. Not ready to let go of summer.

my tweets

  • The Gospel, not social justice, is our identity as believers but the Gospel compels us to love God/love people incl. work 4 the common good. || 12 hours ago
  • Folks often ask me, "What is social justice?" "Social justice" are fancier words for "Give a Damn". || 12 hours ago
  • RT @EugeneCho: Just met Edna, a sister-in-Christ. She's 90 years old. She met Jesus when she was 85. You're never too young or too old to f… || 13 hours ago
  • Thank you @fullerfyi @KPowellFYI for this important resource about listening, engaging, and discipling young people: churchesgrowingyoung.com || 13 hours ago
  • Just met Edna, a sister-in-Christ. She's 90 years old. She met Jesus when she was 85. You're never too young or too old to follow Christ. || 1 day ago
  • RT @jennysimmons: Hard to convey the profound impact @EugeneCho has had on me. His endorsement of #MadeWellBook means a great deal. https:/… || 1 day ago

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