by Matt Slick
As you know, Casey Anthony was found not guilty of murdering her daughter. Whether or not you agree with the verdict, the fact is that she is going to be set free. What should be the Christian response to what many consider a profound injustice? It is simple. On one hand, we should be outraged at any wrong doing--not just the one we think may have occurred in this trial. On the other hand, as Christians, we should sincerely pray for Casey’s salvation.
Yes, murdering Caylee Anthony was a horrendous crime at which any normal person should be very upset. Now, we are not saying Casey Anthony did or did not murder her daughter. That is for the judicial system to decide--even though the evidence strongly pointed to her as the wrongdoer. Nevertheless, if she did murder her daughter, should she burn in hell forever? The answer is yes. She should. But it is also true that we all should burn in hell forever for our sins committed against the infinitely holy God. However, mercy has been extended to millions of Christians, some of which have committed crimes worse than Casey Anthony has been accused of.
Again, as Christians, we should pray for her salvation, for her repentance. We should ask God that she find forgiveness in Christ. We should not pray for her to burn in hell forever. We should not wish that for her or anyone. Hell is indeed a horrible and painful place, without hope, without peace, without comfort, and without end. And though we may emotionally desire that the murderer of a sweet little child go to hell forever, in wishing this we are essentially wishing it upon ourselves. Think about it. Though we have not murdered our own children, we have murdered others when we have hated them unjustly (Matt. 5:21-22). We have committed adultery when we have looked upon someone with lust (Matt. 5:27-28). We have coveted when we have desired the possessions of others (Exo. 20:17). The fact is that we are all guilty, before the infinitely holy God, of sins worthy of eternal damnation (Rom. 3:23). Therefore, to desire the damnation of another, as we rest in the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, is to be hypocritical. It is to say we want mercy and grace for ourselves but not for another, even though we deserve the same punishment.
It is our human weakness to elevate justice over mercy when it suits our selfish, emotional needs. Of course, we must have justice in society or society will destroy itself. But, we must be willing to show mercy, mercy that is distributed with wisdom. Therefore, pray for justice so that society is protected, but also pray that those who are convicted of crimes (or are not) might find repentance and salvation in the forgiving hands of our Lord Jesus Christ. That is the right thing to do.