Adultery and homosexuality in the moral law

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Taylor

Puritan Board Senior
Those who commit crimes must be punished by government and civil authorities, as Paul states they are acting as agents of God then.

Did you read my question at all? I did not ask you who should punish. I asked you this question—please read carefully: What punishment should be exacted on a kidnapper, and upon what basis do we determine its equity?
 

PuritanCovenanter

Moderator
Staff member
If Absalom was upset with his Dad he should have respected him enough to tell him. He should have told him where the sin lay. He just usurped wanting a Kingdom as it appears. That is wrong. God would have given it to someone who loved him maybe. We can not know this on this side.
 
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My Pilgrim Way

Puritan Board Freshman
If Absalom was upset with his Dad he should have respected him enough to tell him. He should have told him where the sin lay. He just usurped wanting a Kingdom as it appears. That is wrong. God would have given it to someone who loved him maybe. We can not know this on this side.
I thought he was referring to David's infant son he had with Bathsheba, but I may be wrong.
 

PuritanCovenanter

Moderator
Staff member
Both died because of his sin. Sorry if I took it for the wrong one. King David had to lament both. But when it came to who ruled he had to fight for more than one. His sin was great. He became lax on many fronts and presumed too much for many years.
 

Taylor

Puritan Board Senior
This is becoming hypothetical now.

Not only hypothetical, but bad hermeneutically, as well.

Folks, we follow first and foremost the commands of Scripture. Of course, God can and does work outside of these norms in Scripture, but that is his prerogative, and it by no means negates what he has given us to be normative in our lives—his law. Statements that begin with "Yes, but God did this thing one time" are why we have women preachers, faith healers, and Charismatics, among other things.
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
Not only hypothetical, but bad hermeneutically, as well.

Folks, we follow first and foremost the commands of Scripture. Of course, God can and does work outside of these norms in Scripture, but that is his prerogative, and it by no means negates what he has given us to be normative in our lives—his law. Statements that begin with "Yes, but God did this thing one time" are why we have women preachers, faith healers, and Charismatics, among other things.
When I was in the AOG, 2 main issues were failure to see that Acts recorded the transition from Old to New Covenant, and that what was done was not meant to be normative.
 

Taylor

Puritan Board Senior
When I was in the AOG, 2 main issues were failure to see that Acts recorded the transition from Old to New Covenant, and that what was done was not meant to be normative.

You do realize that what you said here undermines your entire argument against the death penalty for adultery on the basis of a narrative, right?

Isn't it holding that society today are meant to rule and governed by the OT Law of Isreal?

Theonomy is simply the belief that the Law of God is the moral standard for all of life—the civil just as much as the individual.
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
You do realize that what you said here undermines your entire argument against the death penalty for adultery on the basis of a narrative, right?



Theonomy is simply the belief that the Law of God is the moral standard for all of life—the civil just as much as the individual.
Not really undermining it though, as the command of death for murder predate Mosaic Law, and us binding for all time, while the deslth pensly for other sins given to Isreal.
 

Taylor

Puritan Board Senior
Not really undermining it though, as the command of death for murder predate Mosaic Law, and us binding for all time, while the deslth pensly for other sins given to Isreal.

That's not the point, though. Your argument was that because God did not demand the death penalty for David's murder, it no longer has to be applied today. In your argument, it doesn't matter when a law was instituted; the bare fact that God once did something different removes obligation to it. And your comment above regarding the improper application of Acts did in fact undermine this argument.
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
That's not the point, though. Your argument was that because God did not demand the death penalty for David's murder, it no longer has to be applied today. In your argument, it doesn't matter when a law was instituted; the bare fact that God once did something different removes obligation to it. And your comment above regarding the improper application of Acts did in fact undermine this argument.
I am saying that since the Lord gave to us the death penalthy for murder before the Mosaic Law, that is one that is permanent to us, and yet even then God can chooise to exercise grace to spare one gulity of that crime, so we can enforce death for murderers still, but not needed to be every time.
 

Taylor

Puritan Board Senior
I am saying that since the Lord gave to us the death penalthy for murder before the Mosaic Law, that is one that is permanent to us, and yet even then God can chooise to exercise grace to spare one gulity of that crime, so we can enforce death for murderers still, but not needed to be every time.

I’m not sure how I can respond to so self-contradictory a post.
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
I’m not sure how I can respond to so self-contradictory a post.
Please help me with your understanding here, as the Lord gave to us in Genesis 9:6 the prohibition against murder, and established the death penalty for that crime, which he reinforced to us in Romans, but the other various death penalties proscribed for sins against tthe Mosaic Law seemed to not been carried over into the New Covenant era. Those would still be sins committed against His Moral Law, and yet not rtequiring to have the death penalty applied towards them. I know Pul gave to the government right to execute judgment for God for murder, but what other crimes were tostill fall under that listing is what I am asking?
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Clerk
but the other various death penalties proscribed for sins against tthe Mosaic Law seemed to not been carried over into the New Covenant era.

You keep asserting that. You've never proven it. Not once.
Those would still be sins committed against His Moral Law, and yet not rtequiring to have the death penalty applied towards them

The key question is whether they would still be crimes? Assuming they would be, what is the just punishment? What is the criteria for a just punishment? You have never answered that question.
 

Reformed Covenanter

Cancelled Commissioner
The notion that only the death penalty for murder applies today is not confessional. While the entire Mosaic judicial law is not binding in the new covenant, nevertheless, the laws of common or general equity do still apply to modern nations, as they are based on natural law and so not confined to Old Testament Israel.
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
The notion that only the death penalty for murder applies today is not confessional. While the entire Mosaic judicial law is not binding in the new covenant, nevertheless, the laws of common or general equity do still apply to modern nations, as they are based on natural law and so not confined to Old Testament Israel.
Are you saying that for the Moral law of God to be upheld today, that all of the sins done that received dealth penalty still would apply today, even in nations not applying biblical morality, such as in Islamic nations?
 

Reformed Covenanter

Cancelled Commissioner
Are you saying that for the Moral law of God to be upheld today, that all of the sins done that received dealth penalty still would apply today, even in nations not applying biblical morality, such as in Islamic nations?

The subject is a bit more nuanced than that description would imply. My position is that while not each and every Mosaic death penalty applies today (as there were some that were unique to Israel), many of them are part of natural-moral law and may be applied (at the very least) as the maximum punishment for the crimes in question.
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
You keep asserting that. You've never proven it. Not once.


The key question is whether they would still be crimes? Assuming they would be, what is the just punishment? What is the criteria for a just punishment? You have never answered that question.
Jesus with the audultress in John 8, and the life of the Apostle Paul, show to us that the Moral Law of God cam be broken still, and yet not have the necessity of the dealth penalty must be applied every time to have it upheld. Why I cannot answer exactly from scriptures what is a fair punishemnt is due to it not clearly spelled out to us now under the NC, as it would seem to be taken case by case, and in the light of situtaions and just how much the person was transgressing . Someone like a John Newton did horrible sins as a master slave trader, and yet did not the Lord forgive him and use him in a might fashion to get slavery abolish eventually in England?
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
The subject is a bit more nuanced than that description would imply. My position is that while not each and every Mosaic death penalty applies today (as there were some that were unique to Israel), many of them are part of natural-moral law and may be applied (at the very least) as the maximum punishment for the crimes in question.
I think that we can come to an agreement on this, based upon that position, as would we not agree that the dealth penalty could still be potentially applied, but not required every time to be applied?
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Clerk
Why I cannot answer exactly from scriptures what is a fair punishemnt is due to it not clearly spelled out to us now under the NC, as it would seem to be taken case by case, and in the light of situtaions and just how much the person was transgressing .

If it is not spelled out for us in the NC, then how can you know it?
Someone like a John Newton did horrible sins as a master slave trader, and yet did not the Lord forgive him and use him in a might fashion to get slavery abolish eventually in England?

You are confusing sins with crimes, as what Newton did was sinful but still legal.
 

richardnz

Puritan Board Freshman
I had almost passed this thread by without any comment. But at the last moment gave in to the urge to chime in.

I am fully aboard Calvin's basic sentiment, which makes me along with him, under the estimate of the arch-theonomist RJR, guilty of "heretical nonsense." A label I consider a badge of honor. The penal sanctions of the Law of Moses are not of themselves morally binding, but judicial; and subject to considerations of wisdom discovering any general equity they may contain.

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Bringing up David's case together with the woman's (she caught in adultery) seems more than fair. David was the highest judicial authority in the land, and not above God's Law and jurisdiction; but at the same time not subject to a human court. There was none, but perhaps the high priest could have rebuked him as a peer; certainly Nathan did as the divine spokesman.

In the last analysis, God's verdict upon David is clear. The king pronounced his own death sentence on himself (unwittingly, in advance) in 2Sam.13:5, and admitted his guilt in v13. The same v has the prophet announcing that the king should not be put to death, because the LORD the King pardoned him.

God was free to grant this pardon. It was his Law given to men to administer, and he was not bound to abide by it. That David's sin would be paid for by the future Mediator and Sacrifice is implicit, inasmuch as "he will by no means clear the guilty," that is leave any sin unpunished.

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The case of the woman taken in adultery has other parallels in the ministry of Jesus, where his enemies sought to put him in a bind. Could they fashion a trap for him; whereby anything he said in response would trouble him with the people, with the religious authorities, or with the politicals?

Jesus avoided every pitfall in this crafty bind. Some of his words and acts are open to several lines of analysis. The missing man-culprit reveals a corrupt selective prosecution motive, and the possibility that the woman was made a patsy. His toying in the dust of the temple (Jn.8:2, 6, 8) calls to mind the ritual of trial for adultery, see Num.5:17.

But above all, while his rhetorical device of calling on the innocent ones to cast the first stone drives the accusers away; the actual claim of Jesus in this passage is one of divinity. He sets aside the woman's due penalty, not because she is innocent (she is not, and doesn't protest to be); and not so much on account of a lack of two or three witnesses remaining. He sets it aside because as God and as Messiah, he has the power to suspend her sentence: exactly the same as the LORD's power to revoke David's death sentence.

Ordinary justice could have, would have, proceeded against this woman; perhaps even caught up with her lover, if only to satisfy an equitable result, had Jesus or someone else brought that matter to the fore. No argument could be given that one guilty party in an adulterous situation was unpunishable, if the counterpart in the sin was escaped. That's like saying capturing one member of a gang of thieves will not yield a trial unless all his fellows are also captured.

King David showed mercy to his own son, guilty of an equally egregious sexual offense as this woman's (some will argue: more offensive). We could spend a long time debating the folly of his action (or inaction); wondering if any similar crime would have been pardoned in Israel's justice economy, perpetrated by someone other than a prince; wondering if any such pardon could ever be judged "wisdom" on the part of a human judge; or whether the king of Israel was compelled to condemn (and might never pardon) such crimes as the Law described as Most Heinous.

But the simple fact is that the Executive action of the king was done as God's anointed, and as a rule was not reviewable in this life. It was as the very judgment of God pronounced. I can only think of one case when the king's "justice" was invalidated by a mass repudiation of it by the people, 1Sam.14:44-45. The holy body experienced a kind of gag-reflex, when the head tried to force this injustice down its throat.

It wasn't too long ago, we were discussing on the PB the question of whether, or in what manner or condition or prudence, Jesus was under or was over the Law of Moses. Jesus is always consistent with his Father's will, always obedient to whatever moral righteousness a man--who is also king--ought to do. But Moses was a servant in Jesus' house, never the other way around. The Lord picked particular moments during his ministry to make it clear to various parties which of the two was in charge.

In the case of the woman taken in adultery, Jesus does nothing to subvert the Law, or even give that appearance. But the pardon he gives should not be viewed in any way other/less than his Kingly prerogative.

Here is another angle on David's situation:-
It seems to be taken for granted that David committed a crime but did he? There was nothing illegal about sending Uriah to battle. There was nothing wrong with his commander following orders. Uriah may have survived the battle, even when the other troops withdrew. Others died too. The problem was that God knew David’s murderous reasons, but only God knew. David could not have been prosecuted in a court of law because there was no evidence. Even after Nathan exposed him there was so still no actual crime. Terrible motives but no crime to work with. Lots of men were put at the battlefront that day, and who knows the reasons that the commander put them there. Maybe he got rid of men he did not like in that way also. Who knows. An example of the difference between sins and crimes. No such distinction on judgment Day, but there is in this life.

So David was not “let off” a crime. There was no crime.
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
Here is another angle on David's situation:-
It seems to be taken for granted that David committed a crime but did he? There was nothing illegal about sending Uriah to battle. There was nothing wrong with his commander following orders. Uriah may have survived the battle, even when the other troops withdrew. Others died too. The problem was that God knew David’s murderous reasons, but only God knew. David could not have been prosecuted in a court of law because there was no evidence. Even after Nathan exposed him there was so still no actual crime. Terrible motives but no crime to work with. Lots of men were put at the battlefront that day, and who knows the reasons that the commander put them there. Maybe he got rid of men he did not like in that way also. Who knows. An example of the difference between sins and crimes. No such distinction on judgment Day, but there is in this life.

So David was not “let off” a crime. There was no crime.
His affair though was an open sin and crime, and one that the Law demand the death penalty for, but God showed him grace.
 

Taylor

Puritan Board Senior
His affair though was an open sin and crime, and one that the Law demand the death penalty for, but God showed him grace.

Yes, and if God ever tells any current civil magistrate to have mercy on a criminal, then by all means. However, there is nowhere in Scripture that tells civil magistrates to do so. In fact, the only passage directly addressing the civil magistrate's role in society describes it only as an avenger of God's wrath.
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
Yes, and if God ever tells any current civil magistrate to have mercy on a criminal, then by all means. However, there is nowhere in Scripture that tells civil magistrates to do so. In fact, the only passage directly addressing the civil magistrate's role in society describes it only as an avenger of God's wrath.
True, but the main question is do we always execute the death penalty, or are their times grace should be shown?
 
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