On this date in 1959 the state of Nebraska executed the death sentence upon Charles Starkweather, an admitted, notorious spree killer and mass murderer. Certainly, when “Charlie” (as he was known) was captured after a shootout in Douglas, Wyoming there was little doubt and by the end of his trial it was certain that he had committed a shocking and brutal series of murders in and around what was then a sleepy college town and state capitol, Lincoln, Nebraska. The only real question that remained through the trial, which persists to this day, is whether Caril Ann Fugate, whose family Charlie murdered, accompanied him willingly during his spree, whether she cooperated in or even committed some of the murders, or whether she was a hostage (as she later claimed) and suffered from Stockholm Syndrome.
The Bible contrasts two very different kinds of ministries. In 2 Corinthians 3:6 the apostle Paul says that we are ministers of the New Covenant, of the Spirit and not of the letter. The contrast the apostle is making is between the New Covenant as the fulfillment of the promises made to Abraham, which he calls the “ministry of righteousness,” and the particular phenomenon of the giving of the law on Sinai to Moses—which he designates as the “ministry of condemnation.” The contrast between them is important because each kind of ministry produces its own kind of fruit in its recipients.