There are many different types of Christians and their beliefs mainly follow the same thread. In this essay I am going to explain how Christians use their knowledge from the bible to treat Criminals. In the parable of the lost son, Luke 15, v11-32; the younger son receives inheritance from his father early, so he goes away and spends it on reckless living and eventually ends up working with the pigs. He realises the error of his ways and repents and goes home.
The older loyal son is jealous that the dad let him back into his life like nothing happened. Then the father says, “All I have is yours”, and “my son was lost and now is found, he was dead and now is alive. ” This parable shows the father as being God, the young son as the people who make mistakes and repent, and the older son as believers loyal to God the father. When the father says to the loyal son “Everything I have is yours” I think this is talking about Eternal life, because in the bible God promises everyone who believes eternal life.
This story should show Christians to not want to take Revenge, because in the end God will make it fair on Judgement day, like the Father made it fair to the son, by not still making sure they had both equal property and the other son would get no more, just because he came back. Also it shows that if God can value a sinner, and could see them as a person; this is what the father did to the by letting the son back.
Furthermore Christians should learn that they shouldn’t turn the person away, if they ask fro forgiveness but help them to become a better person, like the father tried with the repentant son. Another parable in the bible, which teaches how Christians should treat criminals, is in Mathew 18: v23-35, the parable of the Unmerciful servant. In this story a servant is in heavy debt and the King forgives him and takes away the debt. Someone else owes that servant money, and instead of forgiving him like the King forgave him, he throws the un-paying man in prison.
When the king finds out that he did not forgive like he was forgiven, he puts him in jail and he to has to pay the whole amount, Jesus says “This is how God will forgive everyone, unless you forgive your brother from the heart. ” This teaches Christians that if you want to be forgiven by God, you have to be ale to forgive others. Also that they should treat other people how they want to be treated; for example if they want to be accepted and forgiven by God, they need to be able to forgive without even debating it.
The incident of the woman in adultery, John 8; 2-12, shows a lot of what Jesus was really about; fairness, justice, respect. In the story a woman has committed adultery and is brought to Jesus, the angry mob are threatening to throw stones because she has broken one of the ten commandments. Jesus said “whichever one of you has committed no sin, may cast the first stone”, the crowds went away and Jesus said to the woman “I do not condemn you” and “but do not sin again. ” The story shows that Jesus gave people a second chance, so should all Christians, if they want to follow him.
This woman was probably so scared that even the thought of the mob, deterred her from doing anything like that again. If she have had just been killed she wouldn’t have chance to repent and that one second took away a beautiful life that God himself made. Also that the death penalty is not always the way, because this woman has been forgiven she now has the chance to go and change other peoples lives. Sometimes its better to help people to repent, which means make them a better person than to just punish and send to prison or death.
The penitent thief, Luke 23; 32-43, this incident is from when Jesus was being hanged on the cross. They mocked him and Jesus asked God to forgive them. Out of the two Criminals both side, one asked Jesus to help and to remember him and that he was really sorry. Jesus said, “I promise that you will be in paradise with me! ” This incident shows that you should learn to forgive even in the hardest circumstances like Jesus did, and that its never to late to repent or to help someone to repent. There isn’t a set time you have to say sorry, its when you are ready and Jesus would like it whenever you repent.
Christians are human; it’s not easy to forgive someone. To say what does a Christian think about Criminals is such a hard question because the word Christian means “Someone who follows Jesus” this can cover so many different things and can be anyone. There is a line, and at one end are there is the American bible belt, they are a fundamental evangelical organisation, who believe in the old testament teachings “an eye for a eye and a tooth for a tooth” they believe that if someone gets killed, the killer should automatically die every time, as justice.
In the middle there is Forgiveness with consequences, I think this is where Jesus stands because he forgave the woman in adultery but told her not to that that again, which is a consequence because she cant do what she was doing before; furthermore there was the embarrassment in front of everyone and her being recognized in the street for what she has done. Stephen Lawrence’s parents are like Jesus because when he was killed, they announced on air that they forgave the criminals, which is a very hard thing to do.
Then on the far left there is a liberal Christian, who believes in forgiveness without consequences, because God will sort it out on Judgement day and they have to stop low to punish them. Overall Christians should remember that in the bible it says when God comes back to Earth on Judgement day, he will restore the earth and punish those who need it. All those Crimes will be considered, in Gods eye all sins are equal, whether it was stealing or murder.
Christians shouldn’t see themselves better than the Criminals, they shouldn’t try and take that role of God because he will make sure Justice is done. These stories all seem to be the same sort of thread that you need to give people second chances by helping them to repent and forgiving them, like you would want to be forgiven. Not all Christians will feel the same, as they have different perceptions of the bible, but if you really want to follow Jesus, which is what being a Christian is about, then you should want to follow these teaching and try and treat Criminals how Jesus would.