Prayer for Tookie Williams

“Is Williams’ redemption complete and sincere, or is it just a hollow promise?” Schwarzenegger wrote less than 12 hours before the execution. “Without an apology and atonement for these senseless and brutal killings, there can be no redemption.”  Gov. Schwarzenegger

One blogger tonight wrote something like, Tookie DIE! Another blogger made reference to the fact that it’s the Christian right who’s yelling that Tookie should DIE, which scares me as a pastor. As a pastor, how do you work through the moral and ethical issues faced within the church? How do you help the people of God discern what’s right and what’s wrong? When it comes to the death penalty, how do you discern who’s to die and how do you know if someone hasn’t made things right? It’s tough. Where do I stand? As a pastor, I stand on the side of grace. I have to hope that Tookie made things right with the Lord in his heart. I remember when my youngest brother died of a crack cocaine overdose and when my father died of complications due to alcoholism, I questioned whether or not they had accepted Christ and his forgiveness. I have to hope they did. I have to trust that sometime in their lives, the Holy Spirit intervened upon their hearts and that they received the Lord’s grace. My prayer is for Tookie Williams and his heart tonight. My prayer is that he made things right with the Lord, for the Lord has already redeemed him and loves him just as much as this sinner.


3 thoughts on “Prayer for Tookie Williams

  1. Sigh…

    Our young adult Bible study just happened to be studying John 8:1-11 – the story of Jesus and the woman caught in adultery. Jesus effectively shut down that execution, even though the woman had violated the law in front of witnesses and could have been legally executed…

    See my own reflections on capital punishment when I was considered for a capital case jury at

  2. My side of grace is in the “against” forum. No court has yet seen the extent to which I deserve to die, but Christ (insert scripture refs here ad nauseum) has seen fit to free me into life and life eternal despite myself.

    This execution really bothers me and I can’t put my finger on why. I just will have to sit for some time with an unsatifiable amount of soul grief.

    Peace, hombre.

  3. Two thoughts on this business of capital punishment.

    First — Jimmy Carter’s book, Endangered Values, is a great work. It has a chapter on Christianity and executions. Worth the read.

    Second — Centuries ago, executions were painful and seemingly inhumane. Part of the purpose was to drive the person to repent before the moment of death. Perhaps the long delay between crime and punishment in our system accomplishes that — perhaps it did so here.

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