"Conservative pastor changes mind on death penalty," is Kevin Riggs OpEd in the Tennessean. He's pastor of Franklin Community Church.
Because there is an issue that I want to talk about, and where I land on this issue has been the result of much prayer, study, debate and restless nights. Where I land on this issue is different from where I started and what I was taught in my conservative church and Bible college.
The issue is capital punishment. The reason for bringing it up now is because Tennessee is scheduled to execute 11 inmates over the next two years, the first in October.
Because I spent the majority of my life in favor of capital punishment, I know the arguments and understand the Scriptures used to support it. Today I also know the arguments and understand the Scriptures used to support doing away with it. Both views have their strengths and weaknesses. Both views can be defended from the Bible. However, I now oppose the death penalty, and I want to share at least a couple of reasons why.
Honestly, I would have to admit that one reason I was pro-death penalty for so long is that the issue simply wasn't important to me. I didn't have the time or energy to think about it. I think that is how a lot of people feel. But now is the time for all of us to think and pray about it. I still don't care for labels, but if you want to label me, you can count me as opposed to the death penalty.