Does challenging superstition or faith protect people?
Is it mistaken to support organised religion in membership or donations?
If people do good because they are human, not because God prompts them,
is it right to risk giving God any credit when they alone own their good?

 

STONING INNOCENT PEOPLE TO DEATH IS GIVEN AS LAW BY GOD



Here is a Christian argument that the stoning law is not to be obeyed by Christians today -

The Old Testament theocratic law required the death penalty for incest in Israel (Lev. 18:7-17, 29; 20:11-12). Even if this seems unjust, we must remember that the people went into the covenant in complete freedom and consented to these rules or to obey God in whatever he would command. Thus they asked for the penalty if they break the law.

In the fullness of time (Gal. 4:4), the Messiah came and brought forth His catholic or universal church from its Jewish swaddling bands, necessitating a change in the law (Heb. 7:12). The apostles and prophets, whom God used to write the New Testament, set forth the will of Jesus Christ for His catholic church (Eph. 2:20; 3:5; 4:11).

When a man committed incest in the church of Corinth (I Cor. 5:1), Paul did not require the death penalty for him. Instead, the apostle required excommunication from the church and kingdom of God, unless the man repented (I Cor. 5:4-7). Both terrible divine judgements—execution in the Old Testament theocracy and excommunication in the New Testament church—preserve the holiness of God’s church, a reflection of the holiness of God Himself.

The man is handed over to Satan. This is assumed to mean that anybody put out of the Church is at the mercy of the Devil.

Leviticus 20:13 (“If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.”) required the death penalty for homosexuality in Israel. (See also Leviticus 18:22, 29). Similar to the example of incest, the New Testament does not require the death penalty for homosexuals. There were converted homosexuals in the church of Corinth (I Cor. 6:9-11)! The execution of homosexuals in Israel (the Old Testament church) is equivalent to excommunication from the New Testament church. Thus it is a contradiction in terms to speak of gay church members or gay church office bearers or gay Christians. Any churches, therefore, that receive or tolerate impenitent homosexuals as members are therefore false churches in rebellion to the will of Christ.

Do not forget that those who were stoned to death agreed to be stoned if they broke the law in certain ways.

When they were breaking the law two witnesses had to see them doing it.

One or both witnesses have to warn the one committing the act to stop and warn of the consequences.

The sinners deliberately ignore the warning and carry on with or in the act.

We conclude then that the stoning laws were fair and reflect the love and justice of God and his respect for what people choose be it bad or good for themselves.

MY REPLY:

To allege that the cruelty of the law was fair for the people consented to it being put over them is ridiculous. Such decisions are only taken by the majority of leaders. Not all Hebrews could have wanted the law over them. The Bible continually complains that few wanted to keep the law. And what about their children who were not even born when the law took authority? And it is easy to consent to a brutal law when you don't know yet what it is like to live under it.

Nobody says that doing evil to people is okay if they consent. Christians however do say it! If they won't say it then their Bible speaks for them!! They are no better than murderers!

And as for the stuff about two witnesses always being required the law decreed that they must be listened to even though it is aware that witnesses can and do lie. If you got somebody stoned to death by your lies and were found out when it was too late you got stoned yourself. That is not a law that is concerned a lot about human life! The main argument against capital punishment is that innocent people are too often executed. The law sometimes had people put to death without two witnesses - men from surrounding nations were murdered just because they were from non-Israelite nations.
 
The change in the Law referred to in Hebrews 7:12 does not imply that the moral rules of the Old Testament, such as the duty of the God fearing state to destroy gay people are wrong or changed or obsolete. Christians retain many of the laws so it could be they should have retained the murderous laws too.
 
The notion that Israel was ruled by God is nonsense. God gave Israel laws and it was to appoint people to enforce them. God was the legislator of Israel not its head of state. There is no room for thinking that the law does not apply to any nation but Israel for it was ruled by God. It was not.

When Judaism was only a temporary religion that was meant to evolve into Christianity its fulfilment it doesn’t necessarily imply the law had to be changed except in the sense that it was made tougher or more explicit. It is worse to sin when you have experienced the fulfilled faith than the preparatory one. And what you find in the New Testament is Jesus saying the law is fine as it is and he wants us to obey it even more. For example, the rule against adultery was stated to be about more than just actual adultery but was also banning adulterous intentions and desires.

The Bible time and time again says that the Old Testament is full of moral example.
 
The man in Corinth was living in sin with his step-mother. He was at least claiming to be a Christian. Paul judged him as worthy of being handed over to Satan by the Church for the destruction of his flesh so that he might be saved on the day of the Lord Jesus. Did he mean execution? Perhaps the Christians did try to execute the guilty man but by cursing him and urging God to destroy him in the hope that the suffering this entails might make him turn to God again. And the law to execute does not require one to execute where it is impossible.
 
The rulers of Corinth would have destroyed the Church if it went and killed the man. If you can get away with executing you can do it. That is the New Testament doctrine for not once does it hint that the execution laws are done away.
 
The Catholic apologist Robert Sungenis argues that handing the man over to Satan for the destruction of his flesh does mean execution. The Christians saw secular and pagan states as the emissaries of Satan though God still used them to punish the wicked (Romans 13). This accounts for how Paul wrote that the man was to be given to the Devil to make it possible for him to be saved on the day of the Lord - that is the day of the final judgement. The day of the Lord was the last day. You only think about the last day in this life if this life is about to end and the last day is therefore the only concern.
 
Handing over to Satan may mean handing him over to the civil authorities and the destruction may be civil punishment, capital punishment. The fact that Paul sounds so certain the man will be destroyed indicates that he did mean execution. He wants the man put to death so that he may repent before he dies.
 
In fairness, Paul decided in 2 Corinthians that the man should be reinstated for he suffered the censure of the majority and repented. The Church obviously had to judge and condemn him in preparation for the execution. But the man repented before the execution was to happen.

FINALLY

There is no explicit cancellation of the stoning laws.  Christians saying they are obsolete is highly offensive and means that it is circumstances not the laws being wrong that matters.  The victim blaming is terrible for innocent people such as adulteresses and children were destroyed and blamed for their fate.