« Where does it say that we are not to torture others? No where in Scripture does it say “Thou shalt not torture.” »
While it is true the proscription against torture can be nowhere found in the Book, we can also say that nowhere is doctrine of the Trinity explicitly spelled out. But this is an argument from silence, which says that because a text is silent on an issue, it has nothing to say to the issue.
But this argument from silence ignores the whole testimony of Scripture as to the expected character of the righteous man.
I would find it extremely ironic that the same God who instructs the righteous to care for animals would not expect us to extend similar care for prisoners (Proverbs 12:10, Deuteronomy 22:4, Exodus 23:5, Deuteronomy 25:4).
And since murder was forbidden because it it does violence to the imago dei within every man, woman, and child (Genesis 1:26-28; Genesis 9:5-6), it would seem wrongheaded to forget that fact when it comes to torture.
If we are commanded not to seek revenge (Leviticus 19:18) why is it morally better to punish beforehand, or in proxy, or to get information rather than justice? If anything, a just vengeance would be an attractive moral objective, but it is forbidden. Why would preventative violence be any less forbidden?
Further, we are instructed to not vex, mistreat, or oppress the “stranger” because the people of God were once “strangers” in Egypt (Exodus 22:21-23; Exodus 23:9; Leviticus 19:33-34; Deuteronomy 10:18-19; Deuteronomy 23:7; Deuteronomy 27:19). The Jews were oppressed, beaten, killed, and tortured as strangers–it would seem that treating strangers from the formerly oppressive cultures in like fashion would be a natural reaction. But God expects a different standard of behavior and character from us.
We should not treat others as we have been treated, but as we would wish to be treated. This is the command, it cannot be undone (Luke 6:31; Luke 10:27; Matthew 7:12).
Torture is not the way to love your enemy.
Personally, I want murderers and terrorists to be tortured. It would please me.
And that horrifies me.
[tags]BlogRodent, Pentecostal, Charismatic, Evangelical, Christian, torture, terrorists, prisoners, imago-dei, image-of-god, murder, vengeance, revenge, justice, golden-rule[/tags]