Tuesday, August 10, 2010

John 8: How Could a Loving God Have Instituted Stoning?

How could a loving God command us to stone people?

While many of us picture God's laws in ancient Israel as harsh and punitive, we are dead wrong. First, God intentionally made it very hard to convict someone of the death penalty by Old Testament law. Having two witnesses who simultaneously witness a private act of adultery is nearly impossible unless they were trying to trap the person. But trapping a person in sin was highly illegal. Based on Exodus 23:1-9, 1) a malicious witness was invalid, 2) so was anyone who joined together with them in their testimony, and 3) by comparing those who are guilty to a trapped donkey God commands us to be compassionate and warn and help people rather than lying in wait to catch them in sin. These simple rules taught love rather than vehemence toward defendants accused of a crime.

God had laws that protected the defendant's rights and humanity, just like it took modern nations and extra 3000-4000 years to develop. Today, police can't break into someone's house to find evidence against them without a warrant from a judge. Any evidence found in such a manner without a warrant is inadmissible. God has not given us a warrant to ease drop on others. Instead we are commanded to help them out of their situation.

The important lesson here is that God never intended his people to be the morality police. There should be no Christian espionage. Cops may wait on the side of the road to catch you speeding, but God's people should not be waiting to catch others in their faults. Instead we should be filled with concern, love, and helpfulness for those found stuck in a pit of sin.

No comments:

Post a Comment