I have a good friend from my younger years who said Christians must separate from civil government. There are roles for each, he believed. His idea was based primarily on Isaiah 2:4: “…they shall learn war no more.” Surely violence ceases in Christ. If everyone in society were faithful Christians to the T, there would be no crime. But, the Bible does not deal with hypotheticals. Everyone is not a faithful Christian and the prophecy of Isaiah was one of peace by the Peacemaker. Our peace is with one another by being right with God. Another argument he often used was Jesus’s statement “To him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer the other also. And from him who takes away your cloak, do not withhold your tunic either” (Luke 6:29, NKJV). The Lord does address crime here, but only at personal expense. He does not say we aren’t to protect our family and neighbors. If necessary, we should lay down our lives to protect them – that is the greatest love. The namby-pamby attitude some people take about Christians being soldiers, policeman, prison guards or the guy with the lethal injection needle in his hand is not cohesive with a biblical understanding.
God is just, and God is love. Therefore, justice is love. Christians are to be loving towards their neighbors (Matthew 22:39) and Christians must be just towards their neighbors. Thus, to love our neighbors Christians must be just. Christians may be a justice of the peace. To keep said peace a civil judge of the court is authorized by Romans 13 to send murderers to death row. Christians must be just by righteous judgment (John 7:24). Therefore, Christians may serve as a justice of the peace, that is, a judge. This truth trickles down to the police who are authorized to stop criminal behavior and arrest guilty parties. That is why a police officer carries a gun and under legal circumstances may use lethal action to stop criminals from harming others. Furthermore, Christians are citizens in the democracy we live in. Since we are permitted to vote, we are authorized to be the candidate. If we can be the candidate, then we can be the official. If we can be the official, then we have the authority to send troops to war. That authority to send troops to war includes the right to bear arms in national conflict. If a Christian has the right to be a soldier, then he has the right to be an executioner of those rightfully on death row. I’m sure more could be said. The bottom line is Christians have the right to be a part of civil government in every aspect to govern the society in which we live including the right to be an executioner of those who have severely broken the law. Protecting society is a loving action and that is what executing those on death row is all about.