Why Indonesia Just Shot Itself

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Bali 9 Capital punishment Death penalty drug trafficking. drugs politics

Why Indonesia Just Shot Itself

30 April 2015 Hits:22487

I sit here still in shock at the execution of eight people by the Indonesians.  I had still hoped – against hope – that the authorities would see reason and allow these men to live, in prison, to continue the good work they had been doing since being rehabilitated.  But no, the executions went ahead.

For some people, that’ll be the end of it.  Some people don’t care. Others are glad it’s over because they’re fed up hearing about it in the news, after all, “these guys were hard-core drug traffickers and knew the risks over there.”  “Let’s not forget how many lives they would have ruined if they weren’t caught.”  And that’s true.  I wish all drug traffickers were caught; and I wish they got the people higher up the chain rather than just the drug mules who are often victims themselves.

One guy said, “They would never have come to know Jesus if they were not in this position.”  Really?  So you know the future and what would happen if things were different?

Another person wrote, “I won’t be losing any sleep they were scumbags.” Well those “scumbags” were someone’s son; someone’s brother; someone’s friend.  They were our friends who’d we’d got to know a few years ago and worked alongside to help with the projects that were reforming and rehabilitating 100s – if not 1000s – of other prisoners.  We’ve had the privilege of meeting many of these reformed people over the years – people who are now out of jail, off drugs, holding down good jobs, getting married, having kids and being responsible members of society.

That’s the sad truth here.  You see Indonesia has the death penalty in place for drug traffickers.  Indonesia also has a massive drug problem (so obviously the whole death penalty thing is not working as a great deterrent to the traffickers or users).  Indonesia needs help with its drug problem.  What they had in Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran were two men who were helping to reform drug users, traffickers and other prisoners.

So, if you have people helping you achieve your goal of reducing drug crime you get alongside and help them right?  You find out what’s working and develop those projects in other prisons.  You resource them because what they’re doing is helping reduce the drug problem in your country.  That would make sense wouldn’t it?  No, not if you’re the Indonesian President.  You take these men (who were helping you reduce your country’s massive drug problem) out onto a lonely island in the middle of the night and shoot them.  There.  End of problem, right?  Wrong.

Indonesia woke up yesterday morning just a little poorer.  They lost eight people who had reformed under its prison system and because of political pressure and a need to increase political popularity they killed them.

What’s even worse, they were about to kill an innocent woman as well.  Mary Jane Veloso from the Philippines had always claimed an international trafficking gang tricked her into bringing 2.6kg of heroin to Indonesia from Malaysia five years ago as she chased a nonexistent job as a domestic worker.  The Indonesian justice system found her guilty and was about to kill her.  At the last minute Cristina Sergio, suspected of recruiting Veloso, turned herself in to authorities in the Philippines.  The Indonesian president, Joko Widodo, granted a reprieve to Veloso.  They were about to kill an innocent person.  Right there is a good reason to be anti-death penalty.

And right now there are other innocent people who have been punished by the deaths of eight – their family members and close friends many of whom will live with grief and sadness for the rest of their lives.  In a way Indonesia shot them too.

I am angry at the injustice and hypocrisy demonstrated by the Indonesian authorities, but I will channel by anger into energy to continue to advocate against the death penalty, to help those in prison to reform and reform others, to help people out of poverty that often leads them into crime in the first place, and to give pastoral care to those who are affected by drugs.  I will continue to lead our church community at Bayside Church to show justice, mercy and love to a world so desperate for the genuine love of Jesus.

If you’d like to read more of this subject click on this link: https://baysidechurch.com.au/why-the-death-penalty-is-wrong/

Rob Buckingham

Senior Minister

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49 replies on “Why Indonesia Just Shot Itself”

Nandinisays:

Thank You, Pastor Rob.

Anne Irwinsays:

Thankyou Rob. I believe the blessing from this is the amazing witness that these men have been up to the very point of death. The reporter who said that she had never seen anyone so happy to be meeting God, said it all. They showed a living faith that carried them through the doors of death into the awaiting arms of their Saviour. I acknowledge the pain of their family and friends, even of people who knew them only through the socila media. I regard them as great men of God who left us poorer by their death, and yet also richer by it.
Rob and Christie, thank you for what you have done for these men and for us who have been watching. God bless you both. Anne Irwin. Grovedale.

andrewsays:

Like our anzacs, Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan will not grow old and age shall not weary them. They will not see their parents die of old age and they themselves will not get old and possibly sick. As the Bible says, we are not those who grieve with no hope. The Bible also teaches that we shall be reunited with our loved ones. To this end, let us hope and pray for the remaining families of both men that they too will come to a personal saving knowledge of The Lord Jesus Christ. In this way, they too can have the comfort and assurance that they will be reunited with Myuran and Andrew. “I have gone ahead to prepare a place for you. In my father’s house are many mansions.” Jesus said to the condemned criminal next to him on the cross : “This day you shall be with me in Paradise”. Both Myuran and Andrew although also condemned criminals put there faith in Jesus and are this day in Paradise. We need to comfort their family members so much and remind them of this. Let us pray that our Loving Heavenly Father picks them all up and wraps His Strong Loving Arms around them, never let’s them go and that they too come to a saving knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Kumar Swamysays:

brilliant blogging, pastor Rob ! May god bless your effort to enlighten the world. India is praying for you and pastor Christie. Blessings.

Kumar Swamy

Cameron Bouchersays:

Well said Rob. I have tears in my eyes and sadness in my heart reading this. I am amazed and encouraged by what you and your wife have done. It has helped me to have a change of heart regarding two people I don’t even know. I was reminded yesterday after hearing the news report they sang ‘Amazing Grace’ about the story of John Newton. I wonder how many of those critical of whether Andrew & Myuran had had a change of heart, have actually been to an event where they’ve sung that hymn. How many of the haters have sung it without knowing the author was once slave Trader. I’m surprised at the cynical comments questioning whether anyone can truly change. I hope that they can also find God’s Amazing Grace.

Rob Buckinghamsays:

Well said Cameron. I too am gobsmacked by the hateful comments. If God can’t forgive and change all people we are all in trouble!

andrewsays:

Hi Rob, would like to know if Andrew was able to bring Mauran Sukymaran to the Lord and the belief of the others. Amazing guys, I feel I know them. Thank you for all the help you and your wife gave them. I am relieved to know your wife was with them right up to the end for support. Bless you, A.W.

Veronica CHEEsays:

It is so hard not to be burn with anger and disgust about the whole situation about the Indonesia government as much as I would like to be seen as a descent Christian individual. I have been the follower with the Mercy campaign for long time lead up to the execution. I prayed I cried I prayed again just gutted. I vowed not to travel to Indonesia anymore but I heard Pastor Rod mentioned in the radio that we do not punish the Bali locals as they are all poor people. We need to channel our righteous anger the right way. Lots to learn I am sure.

Melissasays:

I hear you Veronica, I too struggle with these same feelings and it is a continuous effort to remind myself that we can not punish the masses for the things that a few have done.

Natasjasays:

I was wondering yesterday, at what point is a wrong made right, by the death of 8 people? We are so fast to judge, yet sin is sin and Jesus said whoever is without sin, throw the first rock. I could not have have been the one to throw, I am not without sin.

Robynsays:

Very sad about all this- the happenings and the vicious comments- How can we help carry on their work? Do you have a program at Bayside that we can support?

Rob Buckinghamsays:

Yes we do Robyn. We do a lot of work locally with homeless and disadvantaged people as well as overseas in Bali and Africa particularly.

Neil Meyersays:

Well done to you guys bringing your influence and recources to these guys, and walking with them till the end of their time here in the body.

Sure could use some help working with the guys at Teen Challenge any time you want to continue using that influence to impact drug dependant people.

Blessings

Neil

Rob Buckinghamsays:

I love the work of Teen Challenge Neil. Right now we’re pretty stretched doing what we already do.

Melissasays:

Wow…I’m actually astounded by a lot of what I’m reading recently. If these guys truly had a relationship with Jesus, then they by now they are in the fathers presence and have cast off all the horrors of this world. From what you are saying, God has forgiven them, as they are reformed men and really that’s all that matters, because this life is fleeting and there is injustice and evil everywhere. Only he really knows and can know any of our hearts intimately. The death penalty in this day and age has passed it’s use by date and yes they may have reformed and rehabilitated many if they had of lived . Ultimately, the ones who pulled the trigger and decreed the penalty will pay, possibly with their lives for eternity when they stand and give an account. Don’t forget though that our biblical ancestors were felling evil doers in their millions, innocents as well, just because they belonged to a certain tribe. We don’t seem to think that was so horrific and there is just a level of acceptance about that by Christians all over. I’m sure not all of Pharaohs army were evil. Some were good men who probably sympathized with the Israelite’s and once they stood before him would have given an account of that as well. What about all the Martyrs? Foxes book of Martyrs is an inspiration. Our hearts go out to the families, No-one wishes this on them and hopefully their hearts will be turned as well. It’s always hardest for those left behind. It’s also possible that much good will come out of this and maybe many will be softened and their hearts turned as well. You are obviously very close to the action so have quite a different perspective.

Natsays:

Hi Rob,
You don’t know me; I only visited Bayside a few times. Just wanted to let you know I was up late that night praying for the boys, their families and you guys. Like thousands of people across Australia I will continue praying for strength, courage and peace beyond understanding for you all in the days, weeks, and years to come. I also hope this awful situation stimulates thought and action in all levels of government, and our communities about what mercy and redemption looks like.

Debbie Charlesworthsays:

I was feeling distressed at the unfairness and topsy turviness of the justice systems, the Bali Bombers and Adrian Bayley for example. How these people can get out of prison unrepentant and unreformed, yet Andrew and Myuran were not just repentant but transformed into amazing men. But then l got this peace and God said “l got their backs, they are with me, it’s ok” God’s world is nothing like our world and what a relief that is.

Miss Chandra Benjaminsays:

Thank you Pastors Rob and Christie for showing great Grace, Fortitude, Courage and Boldness and Love to stand by Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran during the last 3 years and in their final hour, not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Finshed work of the cross. Thank you also for being for their Families and for all of us fellow soldiers in Christ for strengthening us to be strong to witness the unfolding tragedy.
Such handsome young men who courageously showed Grace and dignity till the very end and comforted their fellow death row prisoners. If our Spiritual eyes could have been opened, I am so sure they must have seen Holy angels and Chariots around them and Heaven preparing to receive them and Lord Jesus awaiting their arrival, instant in the Presence of the Lord Jesus. I am sure they prayed for their accusers in their last gasp as Jesus Prayed ‘ Father Forgive Them for they do not know what they do’. Lord Jesus thank you for dying on the cross for us all, new light and life has dawned for our dear brothers Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, they fought the good fight and they have Finished their race with excellence, till we join them in Heaven in God’s timing, May the Holy Spirit be our Comforter when there are no earthly answers to these horrific scenes. May God’s Peace as Jesus Spoke in John Chap 14 be our anchor for the coming days and months. Thank you Pastor Rob and Christie for your tireless efforts in the prisons in Jesus Name. Miss Chandra

Gerda Hudelistsays:

Dear Rob!

You have said this so wonderfully to the point! Is there any way at all that you could publish this into more channels other than just fb etc? This message needs to get out to as many peoples possible. I commend both you and Christie in the wonderful way you both stood with Andrew and Myuran and still do and I am sure will continue to do so! Many many heartfelt blessings are coming to you from me! Only eternity will fully show the fruits thereof!

Lyn Mitchellsays:

I was reminded yesterday of what Joseph said to his brothers who had tried to kill him: “you meant it for evil, but God used it for good.” I pray that God will use the senseless deaths of these young men for His good and His glory, that many, many lives will continue to be changed. Yes, their original intent was foolish and wrong, but: “let him who is without sin cast the first stone.” Indonesia has shown no mercy, no love – we must not follow – me must show grace, show love, show mercy. Well done Pastors Rob and Christie for your faithfulness.

Greg Kochsays:

I 100% agree……
for the last 2 days I’ve been correcting people on Facebook. …I’ve asked them to please please be politically correct…..
This was not an execution nor just a shooting…There is only one word what Indonesia did, and that word is MURDER….
And why do they have rehabilitation in their prisons if they’re just going to murder people…

Jeffrie Trikasays:

@greg koch, murder is those 110,000 innocent Australian babies that are killed through abortion each year, enough to fill one Grand Final @ the G. These men did the crime, not a first timer, seriously blaming others is a sign of immaturity, GROW UP.

shansays:

It’s common sense that when you visit another country you respect their rules and laws. And as grown ups you take responsibility for the choices you make. No wonder many Asians say that the western countries are bullies, because they force their own moral judgment on others. You see the faces of the dying men but do you see the suffering and pain of many families and children because of the drug trafficking problems?!

Barbara Finchsays:

http://www.travelethos.com
If you want to boycott Bali, take a look at this site. 90% of Balinese hotels are owned by the corrupt police / ,military / political figures. This site only lists hotels that are owned by local Balinese. That way you are going to enjoy your holiday knowing you’re not supporting a corrupt regime.
Me, I’m still not ever going to Indonesia. I’ve just blocked Balinese Facebook communicators, I am so disgusted; if I could cancel the $600 million foreign aid we give the country every year, I’d do that too.

Anne Slabaksays:

Thank you Rob. It is good to read your views as at Crossway I have occasionally heard second hand news of the wonderful work done by you and Christie in the prison. We need all to band together to stop any further executions. Bless you both for all that you have done and continue to do.

Rachel Ivellsays:

Hi Rob. Thank you for this post. I totally agree with you and am still devastated. To those who are not sure how they feel: Yesterday I made a video discussing why these men were different and why Indonesia should have stood for mercy. If you would like to see it, you can here: https://youtu.be/ogkyfsVRJFg

MDPsays:

It amazes me how human beings still up to this day kill the people who help others the most. A fate suffered even by our own savior. Seems like we still love to watch things die. When will we learn?

Sue Skinnersays:

It is so very sad and a great waste of 2 precious lives that have been taken from this world. I am a mother of 3 precious children, one who sadly has suffered from the disease of addiction, the sleepless nights the overdoses the encounters with police and ambulance workers I can’t even recall how many. The execution of these men not for one instant will change any drug trafficking here or in Asia. I am all in favour of rehabilitation, recovery and most importantly hope. I really admire the work you are doing and God bless you both.

Melissasays:

Hi Rob,
Thank you for posting this. You have articulated what I have been feeling, as have everyone else that has commented here. I am devastated by what has happened and can not believe the amount of people I know who are Christians who act as if it is just another day. I just want the world to stop and think of all of them that have spent numerous years on death row being tortured by not knowing when it may happen. It is such a barbaric act! Now I am thinking, who’s next? It is mass murder not only murder, premeditated mass murder. I can not believe what I read that has come out of the AG mouth, it is pure evil in my opinion. why would anyone want to rehabilitate if it will make no difference? I am just so angry and hurt and feel so helpless. What are we able to do to prevent this happening again? I am afraid for the other members of the Bali 9 that want to have their cases reviewed in hope to reduce their sentences but it appears to me that they alternate between death and life, to me these 7 are playing russian roulette, it maybe death or life but I fear it will not be lowered to 20 years.
Thank you to you and Christie for all that you have done for these boys, it would have meant so much to them I am sure. God bless you.

Helen Andersonsays:

Indonesian government in West Papua – 500,000 killed!!!!

Richardsays:

What really angers me about this whole issue is the following:

1) Our foreign minister was completely ignored. No discussion, no engagement, no trying to understand her issues with this barbaric act, just flat out ignored. Obviously the Indonesian authorities hold Australians, our views, opinions and the lives of our citizens with little to no regard.

2) Months earlier men who were convicted killers (bali bombers) walk free. Will they commit a similar crime again?

3) These ‘drug mules’ were misled by someone. Someone pitched an idea to them to ‘make easy money’. ‘You won’t get caught’, ‘I’ll see you on the other side with the cash’. Whoever orchestrated this is still probably free and still probably trying to mislead others. If they were serious about dealing with the issue they would go higher up the chain.

4) Their drug problem is endemic with many of their locals involved, yet they go unpunished.

5) Andrew and Myuran were reformed. What greater example could one show that they were indeed reformed than to help others? I think you’re right, I think they were part of the solution, not the problem.

6) Corruption. Because the bribes were not paid, their lives were lost. I find that notion sickening to the core.

As for me and my family. Bali will never be on the to do list. I simply refuse to ever visit the country and spend my hard earned dollars to the benefit of your economy. I wouldn’t care if your beaches were the most pristine on earth, your meals the most delicious ever served and your massages the most soothing. Your morals are corrupt to the core, your value of human life is appalling and your judicial system needs serious alignment with those of the modern world.

I hope president, Joko Widodo your son becomes your immediate successor and turns around the debacle that you have displayed to the world. Your son’s compassion may very well be your saving grace. I hope president, Joko Widodo that your son can restore the Widodo name.

Regards

Richard

Mark hodgekisssays:

Thanks for the comments, I feel your heart and beleive this is more about a spiritual battle than a worldly one, had these boys turned to a differant faith would the result been differant? I also beleive these guys have done more for the kingdom than we realise, So looking forward to getting their side of the story when we chat in heaven.

Ian Joynersays:

What about the Bali bombers that murdered so many Australians? I read the other day that most of them are free walking the streets. … That’s right, they were Indonesians not Christians – a double standard except in a moslem country.

Emily Robertsonsays:

I feel the families will never be able to recover from this tragedy. Thanks for being there for them in their hour of need. We can all still uphold them in our prayers.

shansays:

If other drug traffickers in Indonesia have to face the same death penalties but the these eight get away with it, how is the government going to maintain its integrity to its general public ? Besides, isn’t it common sense that when you travel to another country you respect their laws and rules? Indonesian’s laws on drug trafficking is crystal clear. As grown ups we take responsibility of the choices we make. Some states in the US have capital punishment too, and we seem to be quite comfortable with that.

Paul Thambarsays:

Hi Rob and Christy,
What a wonderful example of Christian love and compassion you have been to Andrew and Myu and the many others in a similar situation. As a believer, I have watched with great sense of admiration for the two of you and your work. May God have a special blessing for you in His a Kingdom. Rgds, Paul

Shansays:

very very sad for what happened to these 2 young Australians. It is heart broken.
I am a christian and I go to Catholic church 5 days a week in New York city. I saw you tube of Andrew Chan praying with other inmates. This man of God Andrew Chan has become one of my saints . I think of this Holy man and I honestly feel Gods presence on me. I cried after hearing the execution of these 2 wonderful men who were changed and it is shame President Joko could not give 2nd chance to Both Mayuran and Andrew. I heard Joko released the mastermind of Mali Bombing but could not show compassion for these 2 men. I am still heart broken.

Diana Kambuayasays:

I am also on your side Pastor Rob to against death-penalthy. I know only God has right to take someone’s life. Indonesia needs Jesus love

Owen Dawesays:

I don’t really understand this article and the comments. If God is against capital punishment like many of you say. How come He ordered the wholesale slaughter of towns and nations? The Old Testament contains many stories where the Jewish nation was ordered to to kill nations, people old and young, even all their camels, goats, sheep and grapevines. David is considered a mighty man of God yet he killed Goliath in one foul swoop to the tune of Horray! In the New Testament a husband and wife (can’t remember their name) were put to death.

Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran could have been spared if God had have willed it. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were. No one denies Chan and Sukumaran were low down criminals, nor that they did a tremendous job in prison after coming to Christ. Good works is not necessarily a ticket to a easy ride in this world. It is by the Grace and Mercy of God go you and I.

We live in a fallen world. The Devil goes about like a roaring lion seeing who he can devour. We have a free will. We’re free to do what we like. Pilots can go bonkers and fly a plane load of innocent people into a mountain when their girlfriend dumps them. God is not going to intervene as this takes away our free will. This article seems to say that Chan and Sukumaran were a couple of good guys and a corrupt Indonesia put them to death. Chan and Sukumaran were free to smuggle drugs, as they were free to proclaim the gospel in prison. Indonesia was free to make laws and shoot people like that.

Welcome to the world folks. This is how it is. Neither you or I are called to be God’s policeman or assist him to make judgement.

carolesays:

It’s been a funny old week. I couldn’t stop thinking of the 9 of them to be executed especially Andrew and Myurum. I cried both Monday and Tuesday nights traveling home from work praying God would spare them and playing through my mind how they had reformed and had touched so many lives in a good way. I lit a candle for them Tue night hoping. I woke Wed and checked yahoo. Amazingly I felt such a peace when I read the news. I knew as much as I wanted their lives to be spared, they were now totally set free. Amazingly too, at home group Tue night we prayed for them but I said to my group, if it goes ahead, I hope they go out singing praises to God. My eyes welled up when I heard that they did exactly that. Now they are in Glory, walking the streets of gold. It is the families who are left behind that are hurting and need time to heal. We have a great God who can do the impossible, turn lives around 180 degrees. But we all have to make the choice to allow him to do this. Grace is amazing as it can extend to anyone and everyone. Thank you Rob and Chrisie and Bayside Church and all those other people who have stood by these guys and others plus their families and continue to do so. Xxx

Naomisays:

Hello Everyone,
I want to give comments in this post and its comments. I just want to remind us not to judge anyone. Remember, only God Himself can do judge for His people. What the government of Indonesia did, I believe it allowed by God. If God didn’t want it to happen, then He would use His power to make it not to happen. Also, in fact, if the government of Indonesia was wrong in making the decision, I believe God will deal with them. The blood of the 8 killed people will be the Indonesia’s government responsibility to God. Let us surrender all to God. God knows and understands what’s happening. The government chosen, I believe they allowed by God to rule. I believe everything happen for a reason: God’s flawless plan for us, for their family. Let’s take this as a lesson in our lives, not about ways to judge. Only God can judge.
Cheers,

Deborahsays:

Hello pastor congratulations on what has been pastor and team working in Kerobokan prison.
Many lost souls can be saved….

I believe what happened in the life of Andrew and Myuran under God’s control. If indeed God wants them to stay alive they certainly live up to this moment. Anyway they know where they will go and they are happy to meet Jesus.

We may pray and ask for God’s mercy but not our will be done… only God will be done..
We can not blame who wrong and who right…
As a people to know God, we should to wise and asked for God’s wisdom before we talk or anything we do…
I think not good as a leader as a people of God too easy judge other as a hypocrisy….

I agreed with you, we should to help people out of poverty that often leads them into crime in the first place, and to give pastoral care to those who are affected by drugs, and everything we did for the glory of God alone.

Thy Kingdom come Thy will be done…
God bless your capacity in HIS ministry. .

Johnsays:

Thank you, Pastor Rob.
All this does is remind me that I am a sinner – a filthy rag and worthy of death myself. I am not a drug mule – not even a drug user – but I’m no better than anyone. We are all sinners, all redeemed by our Saviour’s blood. How dare we stand in judgement, lest we too be judged. We have all broken God’s Holy Commandments in our hearts, if not, in actuality. Therefore, we all deserve death. Yet God has forgiven us – redeemed us – reformed us and helped us help others in their own reformation and, though God’s Spirit, lead them to salvation through Christ. What, then, is the difference between Andrew and Myuran and any of us? God has his boys now – their work on Earth now done. We must remember that God will use all things (even the bad) for good for those who love Him. Let’s believe in that promise and love others. We can only do that when we final,y admit that we are no different to Andrew and Myuran – reformed sinners – still with the free will to son, yet forgiven and so very loved by our Father.
Let’s pray that Indonesia will see the light and abolish the death penalty. Let’s love our Indonesian neighbours and pray for a Christian revival in the most populous Muslim nation on Earth – right on our door step. We can’t expect reform through hatred. Andrew and Myuran were able to help others reform their lives because of the love they showed. “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a WRETCH like! I once was lost, but now I’m found, was blind, but now I see!”

Tonysays:

Death as punishment is difficult for lots of people to understand, and to be honest I am not sure that I agree with it for drug runners. But maybe death, instead of 60 years in jail, may well be mercy in itself. It is commendable that these two were reformed, and that God has welcomed them home, but this whole episode that highlighted a worrying trend in Australia.

Many innocent Australia children forfeit their lives every day and their only sin is being inconvenient. How often did you think of these deaths during the recent media frenzy. Whilst it may seem we have been pointing the finger at the Indonesian government, there is plenty of injustice right here on our own doorstep, and Australians are become complacent, focusing on the more sensationalist media, rather than what is right under their noses. It is food for thought. We live in a fallen world but we can keep doing God’s work here in our own community.

Bob Thomassays:

Dear Rob and Christie,

I’m praising God for your part in bringing these guys to saving faith. What a wonderful testimony to His amazing Grace and the wideness of His mercy. Two stars in your crowns.
I feel ashamed that some Christians can justify capital punishment. It is sanctioned in the Law, and Jesus didn’t alter one jot or tittle of it. But He rendered it inoperable in John 8.7!
I also enjoy your preaching from time to time in the 8am time-slot on Light FM 89.7. It puts me in a good frame of mind for my own preaching a couple of hours later.

God bless you both.

Bob Thomas.

Paulsays:

May God bless you, your wife, family and all those that follow you in your pursuit to end the death penalty throughout the world Rob. Thank you for your work and insight into this very important issue

James Morrisonsays:

While I fully respect the views of others, and their inalienable right to publish those views, the following quote leaves me perplexed and disappointed. This post from “Andrew” on this website 2nd May, while I may disagree with his sympathy for the two executed Australians I do understand why he would feel this way. The loss of two lives is a tragedy for the families left behind, they are without blame or shame and will carry this grief for the rest of their lives. The quote as follows:
“Like our anzacs, Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan will not grow old and age shall not weary them. They will not see their parents die of old age and they themselves will not get old and possibly sick”
How anyone can compare the loss of these two men to the lives lost in service to their country is absolutely beyond me, perhaps I am over reacting and taking this out of context but I don’t think so. I personally believe this is indicative of a major problem this modern society faces, that a “belated” belief in God can wipe away the inexcusable actions of the past. How an eleventh hour declaration of faith can elevate these men to the same status as those who defended this great country with their very lives, now shows the indifference towards the supreme sacrifice previously made.
These were two well educated and loved men, they came from (as it appears to me) good and supportive families, they chose to do what they did and paid the price for it. The choices they made were available to them because of the sacrifices made by others, as much as some may disagree with me that freedom of choice was not only a God given right. It was paid for in the lives of many young men who had only the noblest of intentions, not greed and self interest.
There are many good and righteous people in this church and elsewhere who have grieved for these two men because of their newly found faith, that is you’re right and that right must be defended, but please save you’re thoughts and prayers for the countless many who actually deserve it. Save you’re thoughts and prayers for those who have never had the freedom and choices that these two men so willingly squandered.
They shall now make their own peace with their creator, I am sure he will show them more mercy than they showed to the many, many victims of their vile and destructive trade

Veronicasays:

James the comparison holds true when you consider both groups – ANZACS and Andrew and Myu – stood for what they believed in and died for the cause. I smile at your declaring all soldiers “heroes”. I faced a war and saw your “heroes” rape women and kill children in the name of war in another country. And yes God does forgive at any time even the 11th hour, although having said this, did you not realise that Andrew and Myu served ten years in prison helping others. “Good and righteous” people don’t exist all are sinners and saved by Grace making us saints in God’s eyes. I have learnt from Andrew and Myu God’s grace and forgiveness for myself and others. So how do you rate the woman who killed her ten children or the soliders who rape at war or kill children?

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