Substance Abuse Counseling Training Program Article on Causes of Addiction

Did you ever wonder why one person can drink and even binge drink during their college years and never emerge addicted , while another person may become addicted to alcohol his or her whole life?  It is a multi faceted issue that does not have just one answer but multiple issues that can come together and form the scary picture of addiction.

Many factors can lead one to addiction. Please also review AIHCP’s Substance Abuse Counseling Training Program and see if it matches your professional and academic requirements

 

The article, “Why do some people become addicted to drugs while others do not?”  by Pam Rush takes a closer look at the biological, personal, and environmental issues that can lead to addiction. She states,

“No single factor can predict whether a person will become addicted to drugs. A combination of genetic, environmental, and developmental factors influences risk for addiction. The more risk factors a person has, the greater the chance that taking drugs can lead to addiction. Environmental, genetic, and developmental factors may include:”

To read the entire article, please click here

Please also review AIHCP’s Substance Abuse Counseling Training Program to see if it meets your academic and professional goals.  The program is online and open to qualified professionals seeking certification in Substance Abuse and Addiction counseling.

 

Legal Nurse Consulting Certification Article on Doctor Client Confidentiality

The confidentiality between a doctor and patient is on par with that of a attorney or client, or priest and spiritual dependent.  It is critical that there is no breach in this confidentiality.  Like other bonds, there are serious complications and consequences when this confidentiality is betrayed.

Doctor Patient Confidentiality is a fundamental block of THE patient doctor agreement. Please also review AIHCP’s Legal Nurse Consulting Certification

 

The article, “What Is A Breach Of Doctor-Patient Confidentiality?” by Paul Tolzman  takes a closer look at this.  He states,

If someone has a health issue that requires medical attention, or is simply going in for their annual check-up, anything they discuss with their physician is kept between them and the health care provider. The physician is legally required to uphold a doctor-patient confidentiality agreement, which is based on the concept that a patient should never be concerned about seeking medical treatment for fear that private medical information will be disclosed to others. ”

The article goes on to state, malpractice and other suites can follow when a breach occurs.  To read the entire article, please click here

It is important for healthcare professionals to protect sensitive medical information regarding their clients.  When this is not done, legal action usually follows.  If you would like to learn more about Legal Nurse Consulting or would like to become certified as a Legal Nurse, then please review AIHCP’s Legal Nurse Consulting Certification and see if it meets your academic and professional goals in the field of medical law.

Grief Counseling Certification Article on Chris Haws and Telegrief

The article below is from Chris Haws, founder of Telegrief.  Online assistance is critical for individuals facing depression during quarantine.   Online assistance and appointments are also a wave of the future for many in the mental field.  Chris Haws discusses the vital importance of online communication for mental health.

TELEGRIEF

One of the frequent  characteristics of grieving is that people isolate and withdraw from their everyday lives.  They need time to think, time to reflect and time to cry.  They need to assess this new reality – a reality without that much loved spouse, partner, parent, child, sibling or friend.  Some people find it easier than others and can re-engage with the world in their on time and at their own pace.  In every case, the support of a professional grief counselor can be invaluable during this transition from acute, agonizing, pain to a new way of living that integrates the grief and the sorrow of the loss into an ongoing, meaningful and even joyful existence.  People can and do learn that it’s OK to laugh – and love – again.

Isolation and grief are not a good mixture. Chris Haws offers online services for the isolated through Telegrief.

 

But what if the isolation is imposed by circumstances beyond the grief sufferer’s control?  Circumstances such as the current Covid-19 pandemic that is forcing everyone to “lockdown”, “shelter in place”, and “self-isolate”?  It’s tough enough for people with busy lives to lead, mouths to feed and families to raise.  Throw the emotionally shattering experience of a bereavement on top of all that and the result can be devastating.

Fortunately, although hugs and literal hand holding can be comforting, the grief counselor’s principal job is to listen.  And having listened, to gently guide the sufferer out of the darkness of their pain towards the brighter world in which their grief is not denied or suppressed, but is integrated into the next chapter of a purposeful and satisfying life.

And that’s why remote counseling works.  Whether by phone, or using one of the new video linking technologies, counselors can still listen and interact with their clients just as effectively as they can in face to face sessions – and, paradoxically, sometimes even more comfortably.  Clients can sometimes be more “themselves” when they don’t have to tidy the house or dress up before the counselor arrives, or take the bus or get in their cars to travel to a distant consulting room.

Prompted by Covid-19, but building on prior experience with an international clientele that is scattered across the country and around the world, that’s why psychologist and grief counselor Chris Haws has created “Telegrief”.  Clients can interact remotely with Chris using whatever technology they choose, and the results are already proving to be remarkable.  If you or someone you know are in need of counseling for a recent bereavement, then go to telegrief.com and check out what Chris Haws is offering.  As he says “It’s your call”.

Chris Haws is a British born Psychologist and Counselor based in Northwest DC who specializes in bereavement and grief, substance abuse and recovery, and personal development and mindfulness.  For over three decades, his writing has appeared in print, radio and TV around the world.  He is the founder of “Telegrief” and can be contacted at telegrief.com  

 

 

Please also review AIHCP’s Grief Counseling Certification program and see if it matches your academic and professional goals.

EFT Certification: EFT Tapping and Child Anxiety

The emotional Freedom Technique or EFT can play a big role in helping individuals with a variety of mental maladies.  From bad habits to trauma, the ability to move negative energy buildup out of the body and replace it with neutral and good energy plays a key role in helping individuals cope and heal.  AIHCP also offers a certification in EFT for qualified professionals.

EFT can play a positive role in helping children deal with childhood anxiety. Please also review our EFT Certification program

 

The article, “What Is EFT Tapping And How Can It Help With Child Anxiety?” by Megan Glosson looks at the nature of EFT and how it can help with children and anxiety.  She states,

“Emotional freedom technique (EFT), also called “tapping” or “psychological acupressure,” is an alternative treatment for physical pain and emotional distress. EFT is based on the same Chinese medicine as acupuncture and uses meridian points — or energy hot spots — to restore your body’s energy balance.”

To read the entire article, please click here

EFT can play a positive role in one’s life.  Qualified professionals can earn an EFT certification and help individuals through the practice of tapping.  Please review the program and see if it meets your academic and professional standards.

Stress Management Consulting Article on Working Temporarily at Home

Working at home can be a blessing and a curse.   With epidemics and national crisis those blessed enough to still work will have more experiences with working from home.   Those who work from home for a living naturally will have different experiences than those who do not regularly work at home.   This is because those who work from home are set up permanently not temporary.   Those who have to learn to adjust to the changes may experience some stress in adjusting to the new existence.

BUT first, before we discuss the many issues and coping strategies of working from home, we must first acknowledge that still having a job and the ability to earn a paycheck is a blessing during crisis.  Many individuals during pandemics or crisis are laid off or lose their job.  They have to worry about bills and food.   So before, individuals moan and gripe over issues that may be annoying or stressful, it is important to recognize the far more superior stress of those who have no income during crisis.

Working from home in times of crisis can be stressful but is a blessing instead of unemployment

 

This is perhaps the most important mindset one must possess.  If one enters into the temporary work from home paradigm as grateful instead of angry, then many stresses while annoying can be dismissed.  Annoyances and stress of change of scene are real but in comparison to having no job during crisis properly puts things into perspective.   A feeling of gratitude should exist despite some of the annoyances.

One of the first struggles to identify for those just starting to work at home is structure and regularity.  The comforts of home and distractions can be overwhelming for some personalities.  For those who need structure to function it is essential that a consistent schedule exists.  If one awakens at a certain hour and starts at a certain hour, then this should be maintained for these types of individuals.   Daily, weekly and monthly projects should be written into a time plan and crossed off as completed.   Certain times for lunch and break should remain consistent as well.

For those who are more able to focus, some of the luxuries of home can be afforded.  Those more focused can still accomplish the goals of the day and put in the necessary time.  They can be taken away from a task and still be honest, dedicated and responsible enough to complete the task  later.  To them the comforts, familiarity, peace and solitude may be very conducive to productivity.  Ultimately it depends on your personality and what type of schedule permits you to honestly perform your duties and fulfill the needs of the company.

This does not mean the home environment is equally peaceful for everyone.  Larger families will deal with children.  Sometimes a diaper may need changed, or children will need told to allow father or mother to work in privacy.  Pets will need fed or let out.   So the situation is not ideal and there will be times needed to step out as required.   Do not feel guilty for this but be sure to put the honest time and effort in throughout the day.  Accomplishing tasks are beyond an 8 hour restriction if home.  This can permit a lunch break that involves a brisk walk or run, or even a lunch break to

Stress will find anyone though in a different environment.   The practical and efficient office environment cannot be replicated at home.  Productivity can be close but truly cannot equal being in the office.   The office itself has the records, the files, the machines, and the supplies needed.   The temporary home office hopes to take the most essential to function.  The most pertinent paper work, files and supplies are taken.  Many who experience a pandemic will undoubtedly spend the last day in the office collecting a variety of tools and papers needed to function at home.  One can only try one’s best to collect everything needed.

Offices to function away from the the business site will deal with a variety of preparation stress.   They will need to forward office phones to a tracker phone, or set up alternate numbers.  They will also need to set up a remote access so that office computers can be accessed from the employee’s home computer.   These adjustments are necessary but also come with minor inconveniences.   The remote access has a slight delay in transmitting information.  While extremely slight it is not as instant as in the office.   This can also lead to delayed typing by a split second.  The font on some program can also be smaller.  Another issue is printing.  Most programs will not print remotely to the employee’s home printer.   This involves emailing printable forms to the employee’s home email and then printing it from the home computer itself.   This slows the process of printing and in itself becomes a project.

Working from has its advantages and disadvantages. Please also review our Stress Management Program

 

Another stress is dealing with customers.   Not being able to have complete access or mail certain things may cause irritation to impatient customers.   Customers need to be more aware of national crisis but not all are so understanding.   Patience and care need taken when dealing with impatience.

Managers under law are able to deal with issues of payroll, mail, and maintenance of computers or machinery in the office.   Through emails and comunication, managers can ensure that “stay at home employees” are given the necessary documents that arrive in the mail, as well as monitor any issues that may occur technologically.   Office computers could turn off affecting remote access, or the phone service may not transfer calls to a tracker phone.   The fax may jam or a host of other technical issues could occur at the office affecting the workers at home and their ability to complete tasks.  Managers under the law can ensure that the business continues to flow with a short visit to the office.

In continuing with continuity and communication, remote access meetings can be planned.  Software and technology allow meetings to take place among multiple employees over the phone with digital viewing.   A meeting room can be set up with certain software that allows all to meet and report status of reports and production.

While less than ideal, it is better to stay in business than to go out of business in difficult times.  Despite some issues and new dynamics of stress, technology allows companies to stay in business but ultimately it lies in the hands of good employees to become dedicated to the change and perform at a even higher level.  This involves new challenges and stresses but all can be overcame flexibility, responsibility and honesty.

To learn more about Stress Management Consulting and coping with stress, please review our program and see if it meets your academic and professional goals.  In the meantime, be safe and continue to control stress and be productive at home.

 

Pet Loss Grief Recovery Article on Adjusting to the Loss of a Pet

Like any loss, life changes afterwards. It takes time to recover and adjust to the new normal.  While this new normal may be painful, people learn to adjust and grow.  Losing a pet is no different.  Adjusting to not having the love and company of a pet can take months to heal and finally accept as a new and sad reality.  Time heals but one never forgets the love of a dog that greets you at the door, or snuggling cat, or even a ride through the forest with a horse.  They are not truly pets but companions and family.

Life after the loss of a pet is never the same. Please also review our Pet Loss Grief Counseling Training Program

 

The article, “Life after a pet’s death” from Manilia Standard Lifestyle looks at the steps to go through in adjusting to life without a beloved pet.  The article states,

“Grieving is a highly personalized, individualistic experience that is influenced by culture and social groups. The process in which you might experience the pain of losing your pet might look immensely different from even a direct family member living in the same house, “ said Adam Clark, LCSW, in “7 Self-Care Essentials While Grieving the Death of a Pet” in Psychology Today.”

To read the entire article, please click here

Please also review AIHCP’s Pet Loss Grief Counseling Training and see if it matches your academic and professional goals.

 

 

Legal Nurse Consulting Program Article on Expert Affadavit

Malpractice suites and claims from the plaintiff require in some states an expert affidavit.  This may seem as an additional hurdle for a patient to move forward against a medical provider, but it is important to prevent false claims that can raise insurance costs.  Many states require an expert affidavit.  This is an important step is validating claims. It is not a huge hurdle but one that is common sense.  Legal Nurse Consultants can play a role in this step of the malpractice case as well.

Legal Nurse Consultants play an important role in producing expert witness and also expert affidavits. Please also review our Legal Nurse Consulting Certification

 

The article, “The Expert Affidavit Requirement in Medical Malpractice Cases” by Tatum O’Brien reviews this process and some of its implications, especially in North Dakota.  He states,

“Litigating a medical malpractice case has many hurdles, one of which is the expert affidavit requirement. As part of medical malpractice “tort reform,” in addition to caps on damages and a short statute of limitations, many states have enacted laws also requiring an expert affidavit supporting the claim of malpractice.”

To read the entire article, please click here

Please also review our Legal Nurse Consulting Program and see if it meets your needs.  As a Legal Nurse Consultant, one can be play an important roles in approving affidavits.  Expert witnesses and providers are key in any case, regarding of plaintiff or defendant.

 

 

Grief Counseling Certification Article on Social Reaction to Deaths of the Famous

The death of a celebrity, or a national tragedy can bring society closer together.  It can unite society in tears and also help others question their own reality.  The levels of grief and despair vary greatly.  Hence reactions vary in extremity.

Collective and social grief emerges when a a universal tragedy occurs.  The epicenter of the grief reaction obviously is correlated with the connection to the person or event.  Hence, when a national catastrophe occurs, those with more personal investment in the people or area will react more sincerely in a true grief reaction, while others who may be empathetic but not directly related, will experience a more indirect grief reaction.

Social grief can emerge collectively in a nation over the death of a famous person, politician or sports star. They are seen as heroes and can bring a nation together into mourning

 

Society as a whole will react to a loss.  For example, the most recent loss of Basketball Great, Kobe Bryant is a stinging loss to many and a reality check for many others.   Whenever anyone dies unexpectedly, individuals react to some extent.  Some may lose little sleep due to the distance of connection, but the idea of death and its reality always stings.  When the person is famous and not just a mere name, it resonates with the subconscious.  Whether there is emotional investment or not, the death of someone famous reinforces the idea that death happens unexpectedly and can happen to anyone, even oneself.

This is the first and most remote reaction to the loss of a famous individual.  The reminding that anyone can die at any moment.  This may force one to re-evaluate their own life, relations with others, or future goals.  A famous person is just not anyone in the news but a person, for better or worst, that plays a key social role.

The social role that one plays to the individual will reflect the grief reaction.  Fame is a way of knowing, but it is not true knowing.  Yet, even though it is not the knowing of friendship, it still creates an aspect of knowing, where that famous individual has touched the person in some way.  While it is not a reciprocal process such as friendship, the reality of the famous person’s influence on others is a reality.  It is an imbalance but still creates a subjective connection on the part of the fan or everyday person who witnesses this person on television.  While in some cases, there can be a pathological obsession and grief over-reaction to a person one does not personally know, there is definitely a reality that denotes value of that person.

The death of the famous, may not make all grieve, but it will definitely remind all of the nature of death and fragile nature of life

 

And this is not obsession.  Famous individuals, whether in sports, entertainment, or politics have social value.  That value is what joy or status they give to one as a collective whole.  A king or queen’s death represents a national death and can affect millions.  Losing a sports figure, can be a great loss to a fan base that revered the player as a hero.  These are not pathological reactions but true losses at different varying subjective levels.

For some though, the loss may be meaningless.  If a singer dies suddenly that had no impact upon an individual, then only the reality that someone famous died resonates, but for a person who considered the singer and his or her songs to be instrumental to his or life passes, then the impact is far greater and even more personal.  It is ultimately very subjective how much someone who is famous plays a part in one’s life.   While it may seem silly to some, or obsessive to mourn someone you may have never met or only seen from the distance, it still does not equate to pathology but a true human connection.  Again, where subjectively draws the line to a pathological grief reaction and a normal reaction is a cloudy line.

The loss of a famous person, while not personal in nature, is subjective in nature and is correlated to the role the person’s message played in the griever’s life and development

 

For instance, Kobe Bryant’s death has reminded everyone collectively of the fragile nature of life.  His death has also brought the basketball community to tears.  However, as one approaches the epicenter of the loss, proportionate grief reactions are seen more intense.  The friendship Kobe had with teammates and family is obviously greater than that of a distant fan.  The love between his parents, wife and children is also far more intense.  Kobe is not an image to these individuals but a true reciprocal relationship.  Kobe’s closest family did not lose a mere name or symbol, but a husband, father and son.

If grief reactions from fans or the national collective match the intensity of close family and friends, then one may have to consider the attachment to Kobe and the grief reaction to be obsessive and pathological.  Yet, to merely admonish someone for grieving the loss of a famous individual is wrong and simply bad grief counseling.  It is healthy to socially grieve a sports hero but it has to be proportionate.  Grief Counselors need to identify what is healthy and not healthy in this type of social grief.

With social media discussing his death everywhere there are bound to be ignorant comments and reactions.  Some will come from individuals who fear death itself and prefer to ignore it or hide it by dismissing Kobe.  There will be those who downplay it and criticize others for grieving the loss.  Others will dismiss Kobe and say, others should only grieve real heroes, like soldiers.  These dismissive snubs and rude remarks are a result of inner issues or reactions to arise responses from others regarding Kobe’s death.  They will seek to escape the story of his death and troll other social media users.

In the social media age though, this is what occurs when news happens.  There is naturally an over flooding of content of which is sure to upset some.  Some individuals will post and post about an event.  Others within the news or light of society, will try to make memes about the death of an individual.  Many are attempting to memorialize the event.  Others may be over reaching and creating more drama than necessary.   Hence, one will see in deaths, a rift between the over dramatic and the acrimonious.  Where one will over dramatize the event, while the other downplays the death with sarcastic remarks.

While it is natural to grieve the loss of a famous individual, there can be pathological and obsessive grief reactions not correlated with the relationship with the person

 

Why is Kobe’s death more impactful?  Why are the unknown people that die not recognized at such a dramatic and universal level?  Why is the death of a soldier not mourned more universally than the death of a star?  One is never dismissing the death of anyone, especially soldiers or others who may have died, with Kobe,  in the tragic helicopter accident, but when famous people die, people notice.  Maybe not due to importance of the person personally, or that this person did more or did less, but because famous people are known.  A known individual, important or not, touches everyone.  How it touches one may vary, but it nonetheless touches.  A soldier’s death clearly is more impactful than a mere stranger.  While the soldier is not personally known, he collectively represents our national heroes, but the impact of a famous person’s death  may resonate deeper because that person is known.  Whether this occurs for everyone or not depends on their military up-bringing, level of patriotism, and values.  Obviously, a soldier’s death is far more important to the nation, but in regards to attachment, fame can make one feel closer.

Social grief is most intense when the death is of a famous person who is also a national hero. Here we have true objective importance to the entire nation and also the fame that allows subjective attachments to form. Please also remember to review our Grief Counseling Certification

 

 

This is probably why the death of a famous military leader, war hero, or king garnishes the most acknowledgement in society.  It captures true objective importance and also the subjective relationships formed by the masses regarding the individual.

How the person touched you, even though it was never a friendship, depends on the value the person played in your life and what that person contributed socially to the nation and society, or to your own personal views and development.  Hence, grief, even over someone  you never met, is justified.  The reaction though to not be pathological must be proportionate.

For one person, a particular singer may have created a song so important to the person’s life that it encouraged him or her on the darkest days.  For another person, the magical shot Kobe hit that lifted the Lakers to another title, may have been a cherished moment with a father and son.   These moments are not replaceable and play a key role in the person’s life narrative and when the person who shared in it, passes away, it creates a reaction.  Famous individuals whether in a reciprocal relationship or not can sometimes unknowingly play an important part in someone’s life.

Grief Counselors must be careful not to judge those who grieve the loss of famous individuals but also must monitor appropriate grief reactions that are not a result of a unhealthy and obsessive bond.
Please also review our Grief Counseling Certification program and see if it matches your academic and professional goals.

 

Whether pathological reactions, bitter reactions, or true sad social reactions proportionate to the death exist, there will always be reactions to the death of a famous person in any social sphere because it forces one to wrestle with the notion of death.

If you would like to learn more about Grief Counseling or would like to become certified in Grief Counseling then please review the American Academy of Grief Counseling’s certification program and see if it matches your academic and professional goals.  The Grief Counseling Certification is a four year certification and open to behavioral health and healthcare professionals.  The program is also open to those in ministry and care of the grieving.

Grief Counseling Program Article on Season Depression

Seasonal depression is very common.  In the middle of January through most of the remaining Winter individuals begin to long for Spring.  The grey skies, lack of holiday fun, and cold and damp weather can influence one negatively.  With sickness and aches, individuals can succumb to depression more easily.  It is important to stay alert, active and positive minded when dealing with the lack of light, cold and depressive weather.  It is important to be find joy and fun in these days.

The winter months can lead to seasonal depression. Please also review our Grief Counseling Program

 

The article, “Fighting off gloomy-weather depression with simple habits” from KTVO looks at how depressing weather can negatively affect a person.  The article states,

“SAD, is a type of depression that affects people at the same time each year, typically late fall through the winter months.  The disorder is more common in women than men and young people have a higher risk of developing it. With the conditions for most starting in their 20’s.  The changes in your mood are driven by chemicals in your body like serotonin and melatonin. Serotonin is thought to affect mood and appetite while melatonin will give the urge to sleep and wake up.”

To read the entire article, please click here

Seasonal depression is real and needs to be addressed.  If you feel it coming on, find help.  Certified grief counselors can help, as well as licensed professional counselors.  It is important to remain positive and healthy in the darker months of the year.  Please also review our Grief Counseling Program and see if it matches your academic and professional goals.  The program is independent study and online and certified an individual for four years.

Christian Counseling Certification Article on Killing and Murder

The sanctify of life has always been championed by the Christianity.  Stemming from the 5th Commandment, “Thou Shalt Not Kill”, or more properly interpreted, murder, Christianity and the Church has taught it is sinful to take a life without serious applications.  There is a big difference between killing and murdering obviously.   The fact that this distinction is made, in no way lessens the Church or Christianity’s teaching on the sanctify of life, but only saddens the Church when killing becomes necessary.   This brings one to very complicated situations that needs addressed.

First and foremost, revenge killing, murder, abortion and euthanasia are always morally wrong.  It is murder to willingly without sufficient cause to take another human life.   All Christian Churches, especially the Catholic Church, has made numerous condemnations against abortion and euthanasia.  Numerous documents exist that condemn these atrocities.  Pope John Paul II himself referred to today’s culture as the culture of death in which the value of human life has been removed.

The act of killing is not always the act of murder. This is understood in all our legal system as well within moral theology of Christianity

 

Human life through abortion has been commercialized and human beings have been reduced to objects.   Human life through euthanasia has reduced life to a choice instead of a gift.   These social movements have eroded the moral sense of right and wrong in regards to life.  While society hopes to cloud the moral objectivity of murder, Christianity has stood strong in condemning these actions.

Yet, despite the Church’s condemnation of murder, Christian social teaching does not forbid necessary killing.   There is a large difference between justified killing and murder.  Let us first look at war itself.

The Church, especially in the West through St Thomas Aquinas, has taught Just War Theory.  This theory does not praise war but laments the unfortunate necessity of it when evil forces arise.   Aquinas pointed out that war can only be justified when defensive in nature.  Furthermore, certain codes of conduct were necessary.  These codes are reflected today in how civilized nations conduct war.   Use of extraordinary weapons without sufficient cause are forbidden, as well as weapons that can cause massive death and torture.  Furthermore, attacks on civilians, as well as unarmed soldiers and prisoners of war are regulated.   It no longer becomes killing, but murder when the enemy is captured or disarmed and then killed.  This is reflected in Aquinas but also again in modern law regarding war crimes.

Self defense of a nation justifies killing in war, but only to the extent of defense and destruction of evil.   The same ideal is applied to individual self defense.  One who uses deadly force because it is the only alternative in preserving one’s life does not break the 5th Commandment, but instead preserves one’s own life.  Again, this is because the 5th Commandment forbids murder not killing!

Sometimes, one can look to the Old Testament and see the many sanctions of God being very warlike.  These motifs are human words describing the divine in the sacred texts.  It does not mean to interpret a God who has blood lust.  God as the author of life and death can strike down an evil king, for God’s vengeance is justice.  Yet, we see God very much involved in Israel’s history, helping Israel strike down her enemies in war.  We also see in the books of laws, many codes that demanded death for certain offenses.

Interpretation of spiritual or physical death can always be argued, but it is without a doubt, that before Christ, the world was indeed more dark.  God did not magically become different after the coming of Christ, transferring an eye for an eye to turn the other cheek, but God was always the same.  It was the time and the interpretation that differed.

In fact, an eye for an eye mentality found in scripture was actually utilized to minimize violence not condone it.  It looked to prevent excessive revenge and only justice.  Yet, those before the time of Christ, during the fallen era of Satan, were more inclined to sin without the abundance of available grace through Christ’s death.  This does not mean barbaric actions ceased to happen after Christ, but it does point that Satan had a greater grasp on more souls than he does now.   God, before the coming of Christ, through the commandments hoped to guide fallen humanity through the prophets as best he could, but until the coming of Christ, without grace, humanity was at a greater risk of evil influence.   Attempting to curb Israel’s inclinations was the best the prophets could do during these times.  In fact, Christ even pointed out regarding marriage laws, that Moses permitted certain evils only because of the stubborn nature of the people. This applied to all cases in morality.   It would be through Christ that the fullness of law could understood and enacted.

Jesus came to fulfill the Old Law and complete it. His ideas on mercy and forgiveness were key

 

Hence when we review many of the old ways regarding killing in the Old Testament, it must be understood under those lights.  God never sought the death of innocence, but in fact, like with Abraham and Isaac, rejected human sacrifice or death.  Yet, when we see God push forward just punishment upon the wicked, as in the case of the plagues upon Egypt, we cannot associate His justice, as the author of life and death, as wrong.  We cannot apply justification in war and defense towards our own actions, the way God did in the Bible.

Yet, we see many Christian extremists misuse Scripture, especially the Old Testament, to justify killing, when in reality they are committing murder.  One classic example of this is the Book of Leviticus and its condemnation of homosexuality and the proposed punishment of death.   These old laws are not justification for Christians to murder homosexuals, but with misuse and wrongful interpretation of ancient laws can lead to evil outcomes.

Hence, defense that is appropriate to the action is the only time the taking of another life is justified.  This may appear on a larger scale such as a battlefield, or in individual self defense.  These issues again are only a last resort.

The final social issue that clouds the morality of killing and murder is capital punishment.  The idea as whether the state has the right to deny a person of life is debated in Christianity.  While there does exist a historical tradition for the state’s right to execute, these ideas need to be understood in the context of the time period it was developed in.   The largest concern in regards to capital punishment is the right of the state to defend society from harm.  When this is taken into account, in the past, did sufficient prisons exist to defend individuals from dangerous criminals?  Also, was the person a persistent threat?  For self defense to exist, there must exist immediate threat or potential for that threat to continue.

In today’s prisons, the chance of escape is very low.  The idea of an immediate threat is also almost none existent in a modern system.  The only possible situation may be if the criminal is a mobster who can order hits from within prison.  Yet, if the person is imprisoned, no longer a threat to society, can that person be morally executed by the state?

Whether the action was heinous or not is not the question.  The question is does the person pose an immediate threat to society.

Some would contend this is not an issue and that the state has legitimate authority to execute dangerous criminals who commit the most heinous crimes.  Unlike vengeance which is carried out with emotion from the party injured, the state is a legitimate authority that presents justice.  Does the state hence represent God in someway in carrying out sentences?  This was definitely a medieval ideal where kings and queens were ordained by God to rule. Yet, many states are far from pure and just.  Communist nations murder its own citizens everyday in the name of justice.

Yet if a state has legitimate authority and is utilizing its authority in a just way for the protection of society, does it have an authority from God to execute a dangerous criminal?  Is the sentence of death, even if the person can no longer hurt anyone, justified?  Whether revenge or justice, is it condoned?

Ultimately it comes down to whether one believes the state has authority from God to execute criminals.  This is somewhat still a debated issue, especially since in the modern era, incarcerated criminals are usually no longer a threat to society.   I would contend that, while the state is a neutral and just authority void of vengeance, it still cannot in good conscience take a life within the modern ability to confine criminals.  Of course culpability is lessened for those involved in the legal process than a street mob, but the ultimate price of taking a life is forbidden by anyone.

If the state cannot show proof that the execution is for the defense of society, then it truly has no grounds to execute from a Christian perspective.  The only authority to execute for the sake of execution is God. God alone is the author of life and death not the state.

Again, this is taking into account, modern prisons and the ability of the state to protect the people through the prison system itself.

When the state does execute for the sake of execution, it takes the role of God.  Furthermore, this removes the chance of a person to live a life of repentance while in prison.

Many Christians dismiss this type of murder by the state as not important because the individuals are criminals and evil.  They would rather focus on abortion and the innocents who die.  Both issues are important because both involve murder.  Life must be preserved at all stages and situations.   Also bear in mind, many times, innocent men and women can also be executed.

So while state execution does have a history and may be justified even in the past, it is very hard to foster a Christian defense of its application today.  Still be it, the state, as a neutral voice of justice, must ensure that the execution is humane and without torture.  Of course this is after the fact that it remains an immoral action regardless of circumstance surrounding it.

It is indeed difficult to defend the wicked, but the value of life must be protected for all.  God is author of life alone.  Only in cases of self defense is killing permitted in Christianity and that applies to everyone.

Please also review our Christian Counseling Certification and see if it meets your professional and academic needs

 

If you would like to learn more about Christian dogma or morality, please review our blog.  Also, if you are interested in becoming a certified Christian Counselor, then please review The Christian Counseling Certification and see if it matches your academic and professional goals.