RE:QUESTA space for resources to help RE teachers and their students explore the Christian faith
Lat Blaylock, Editor, RE Today
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Christian Teachings About Crime
Christians believe that all crime is wrong; committing any kind of crime is considered a sin, and going against the will of God. They get their ideas from the Bible which contains many teachings on the issue.
- The Ten Commandments teach that killing and stealing is wrong.
- Through the examples given in the Bible, they learn that going against God's will has negative consequences. People who do bad things end up with bad things happening to them because of their poor choices.
- The Bible teaches that forgiveness is important. Through the example of Jesus' words and actions, plus his teachings, Christians learn about how they should treat criminals.
- The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant shows that if Christians don't forgive others, they can't expect God to forgive them. This applies to forgiving criminals for the offenses they have committed.
- When Peter asked Jesus how many times he should forgive someone, Jesus said, “No, not seven times,” answered Jesus, “but seventy times seven.' Matthew 18:22.
- When Jesus prayed the Lord's Prayer, he made it clear that we should forgive others sin, just like we expect God to forgive ours.
- The Bible teaches that everyone is guilty of sin, so we shouldn't judge others. In John 8:1-11, we read that Jesus came across a group of people who had brought into the temple courts a woman they accused of committing adultery. They wanted to execute her, but first, they asked him what they should do with her. He replied:
“Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground. At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” “No one, sir,” she said.“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”
Whilst Christians are against crime, many do believe it is important to offer forgiveness and not be judgemental. Instead, they try to help and support criminals, enabling them to become educated and improve their lives.