Do we prevent somebody being hurt by superstition or faith by rejecting and challenging those things? 

Is it mistaken to support organised religion in membership or donations?

If people do good because they are human, not because God prompts them then is it right to risk giving God any credit when they alone own their good?

 


JESUS DEFENDED DEATH PENALTY IN PRINCIPLE AS WELL AS BEING A PRAGMATIC MATTER

Jesus did not say that it was wrong to stone the adulteress to death in John 8.

She was brought to him in the Temple to see if he would pass a test of obedience to God's law about stoning her to death.

He exposed the hypocrisy of her accusers and declared them unfit to carry out the holy act of killing her.

He told her to go away and avoid this sin.

The story is deliberately misread as a protest against capital punishment. 

He said if you were any better than her it was okay to cast the first stone. That is saying the death penalty is right in principle even if not always practical or possible. Obviously if it is not wrong in principle it is not the worst sin if you go out and murder an adulteress!
 
He did not stone her for those who had the authority to do so in Jewish Law had walked away thus cancelling what they intended to do.
 
The Jews brought the woman to him to test him if he would obey the law of God to have her stoned. They expected him to tell them to stone her and probably participate himself. The Jews were definitely very convinced Jesus would say yes. They were willing to implicate themselves as they were so sure. Clearly, Jesus must have been involved in stonings previously.  If those stonings were illegal then the authorities did not know about it. Or Jesus had been heard endorsing stoning. He could have been complaining against Rome's interference with the divine law that such women are to be stoned.
 
Jesus was careful not to imply that stoning anybody to death was necessarily wrong. A really good man would have condemned it outright. Jesus was willing to risk his hide over lesser matters such as the frauds in the Temple market and even go berserk in the Temple.
 
Why did the would-be stoners bring the woman to Jesus? It was a trap. That is all the gospel tells us. It does say what kind of trap or how dangerous this trap was or if they only intended to make Jesus look like a fool.
 
The Christians imagine they know why it was a trap. It is believed the law of Rome which banned Jews from carrying executions. If he said yes then he broke Roman law that the Jews could not stone and would have had to be arrested. But surely he would not have been arrested unless the men were truly about to stone the woman and attempting to and killing her would mean they would be worse off than him! You would wonder how people would try to get Jesus to sanction a murder against Roman law when they were sanctioning it too and just wanted his blessing!
 
It is odd how most people say Jesus couldn't tell them to stone her for that would put his own life in jeopardy with Rome and they still lie that Jesus saved the woman because he opposed stoning. If Jesus was forced to save her then the story is no argument against stoning. It is an argument for stoning.
 
Some believe that Jesus could have sanctioned her murder without suffering any consequences from the Romans. But the gospel itself, whether it is true or false, does say the Jews were banned from performing executions.
 
Jesus said yes if the person without sin could cast the first stone. Surely even saying that WAS breaking Roman law (assuming Jewish executions were banned) so it was not Roman law he worried about but the law of Moses. Or it could be that he took a risk anyway. If so, that shows how much he agreed with killing her so barbarically.
 
It could look as if the gospel shows no concern for Romans at all. It was purely about obedience to God speaking in Moses. Some say that Jesus could not say no to the proposed stoning and that was where the trap lay. They wanted to see if he would say no to letting her be punished by stoning to death and thus contradict Moses God's prophet and therefore God. That argument declares that Jesus had no problem enabling brutal religion and put man before principle and cruel moralism before a woman's life.
 
Some think the episode is about people who wanted to lynch her and that the proposed execution had nothing to do with the Jewish Law but was the law being abused. If so Jesus could have condemned them outright and didn't. Others believe that the execution laws are pro-lynching.
 
Incredibly some say the Jews wanted Jesus exposed as a person who relaxes public morality! If that is what they wanted they got it if the story really proves that Jesus abolished the death penalty for adultery! In the light of the Jewish Bible which Jesus treated as infallible, God says he will not acquit the guilty in Exodus 23:17. Jesus was unlikely to have relaxed the laws.
 
The mention of the trap gives you the proof you need that Jesus did not consider stoning women to death to be intrinsically evil but justifiable.
 
If Jesus agreed with the woman being stoned then he agreed with gays being stoned.
 
Jesus was careful not to say he had forgiven her. He only told her that as the men who were going to stone her had gone he was not going to stone her and asked her not to commit adultery again.
 
It is believed that the law of Moses about stoning was misapplied by the men in this case because they brought her for stoning and not the man she was caught with and the law decreed that both had to die. But that assumes the man didn't get away or was not already stoned. It would mean that Jesus said it was okay for them to stone her even if the law was being abused by them as long as they were without sin. If Christians think Jesus was more liberal than Moses about allowing stoning then let them!
 
Despite the fact that the event involved the Jewish officials and even the Temple show the story was not about a lynching. It was all official. And the woman had been tried and found guilty. Even Jesus said she was guilty.
 
The Christian has no right to say Christ did not engage in such killings when he was on earth for nobody knows anything about the most of his life. As a good Jew who supported the law it is possible that he did participate. And likely.
 
The argument of some that God is against the death penalty but merely permits it overlooks the fact that he actually commanded it. The argument is a shame-faced lie. Usually it is said that Jesus said Moses had to permit divorce for the people would go out of control if he didn't. But it is obvious that if a nation was that keen on sexual freedom it would not have wanted to stone adulterers. There is a universe of difference between God being forced to tolerate divorce and legislate for it and him having to tolerate stoning and legislate it. Allowing divorce would not justify letting human life be taken. If God was against the death penalty then why did he allow the cruellest form of the death penalty imaginable - being stoned to death and degraded to the lowest? Hanging would have more dignity!