Season 3, Episode 52: The Wages of Sin is Death: Vigilante "Justice" in a Small Texas Town
Capital punishment is a hotly debated topic among Christians, and rightly so. Both the old and new testaments talk about it being within the government’s rights. But let me know if you are aware of any verses that condone private citizens executing a man when the government isn’t doing it fast enough for them.
This week we are wrapping up the case of The Santa Claus Bank Robbery, an amazing book by the late journalist and author A.C. Greene. One robber died from injuries he suffered during the robbery, one was sentenced to 99 years in prison, and one was executed. We are picking up the story as Santa himself, Marshall Ratliff, is angling to be found insane and escape his appointment with the electric chair.
Then we will dive into Romans 12:19-21:
Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
I used to misunderstand this verse. That heaping burning coals sounded pretty revenge-like which can seem attractive when you’re mad at somebody. But in other biblical references to burning coals, we see that they represent judgment, which is clearly God’s. They also symbolize spiritual purification. Again, this is something only God can do. So when we feed our hungry enemies and give them something to drink, we are showing that we are different. We don’t try to take revenge ourselves. We leave to God what is only His to do.
The mob wanted to do what they wanted to do. And it was evil.
Don’t worry if you’ve missed the three previous episodes. You can listen to them here:
Season 3, Episode 49: The Art of Storytelling: Bringing Facts to Life
Season 3, Episode 50: All I Want for Christmas is You...Not to be In Jail
Season 3, Episode 51: Repeat Offenders: If Only They Were Still Inmates
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To read the full story, grab a copy of The Santa Claus Bank Robbery for yourself!