cslewislover wrote:Montana, God gave us a new covenant. Times are different, circumstances are different, and those things are real. We can't control them all, whatsoever, so to somehow place better or worse morality on punishments doesn't make any sense. The act itself - say with murder or homosexual sex - is immoral. For us not to go out and kill homosexuals today isn't immoral relative to the laws of Israel.
To be clear, I'm not advocating individuals nor groups to do this. To be consistent, like the Hebrew magistrate would carry out the sentence, so too then, would the modern magistrate in this argument (if it were indeed, a moral thing to do).
We live in a land where the killing of homosexuals is illegal and deemed morally wrong. Even if we thought that we would be doing God's will by killing homosexuals, we would be going against the law of the land here by doing so.
But again, the argument from consistency isn't saying that Christians would go out and do this (in this hypothetical), but rather that is what Christians would advocate (as a political will). That is, while they personally would not carry out the sentence on the streets as individuals, they would push their position through the legal system as it would be a law that conformed with their moral values (assuming again, it is moral to do so).
Did the Jews go against the Roman law when Rome ruled them? Pretty much the answer is no.
But going against the law is irrelevant here. We aren't suggesting that. The question is, should Christians push to make it the law of the land that homosexuals are executed by the authorities of the state? After all, since it was commanded by God for Israel to do so, and it was moral to do so, to be consistent would it not be moral for Christians to hold this position as well?
Do you think, as Christians, that we have a basis for taking over our government so that we can implement the laws of the OT?
I don't know. I guess that's what I'm asking. My belief is no, but I cannot explain why logically. I'm looking for answers and a way out of the seeming inconsistency.
According to you, this would then make us consistent. But it wouldn't; the morals are consistent, but how God implements justice in regards to them is within His will. There should be an answer that you can accept, since ever since Christianity began, it has been like this.
I think this is WHY my belief is such as it is...but I don't know that it fully explains the issue of the moral value changing (if one existed in the first place) or there not being a moral value attached to the punishment.
I have this book that I use a lot, that I really like, Hard Sayings of the Bible.
Thanks for the reference, I just bought it from Amazon.
In it there's a chapter called, "Why Does God Seem So Angry in the Old Testament & Loving in the New?" It hits on the morality aspect and judgment. I wish I could post it all here for you, but that would take a lot of typing. As the author says, it's "a difference between judgment within history and judgment at the end of history." We are following God's will by letting Him punish and judge later. God forgave the Ninevites after He sent Jonah to them, and they repented. Was God inconsistent in doing this? Maybe Jonah thought so! His laws carried out in Israel were not the same as in the rest the world. And it's like that today. In Matthew 5, Jesus tells us to judge ourselves, basically. He's not telling everyone to go out and stone their neighbor, but he's telling us to reflect on our own sin and seek to stop it. But Jesus talks of judgment a lot - and it is future. If God is going to judge sin, then how important is it for us to always implement punishment here and now consistently? We can only do what we can do with the circumstances we're in, but we are also supposed to lead people to repentance. God's primary wish is for people to come to Him and repent.
I THINK I understand, but it certainly isn't crystal clear. I didn't have such a problem with the issue until I was challenged by an atheist on the matter. And because I have to explain this to an atheist, I have to fully understand this issue before getting back to him.
Killing a child purposefully for stealing is wrong.
But if it is punishment...how can it be immoral (if punishments are amoral)?
I mean, I'm in agreement with you, but it seems inconsistent with what you were saying previously about punishments not containing a moral value (or is it the type of punishment that matters?). Now we have an example of a punishment (reaction to an immoral act) with an attached moral value.
Killing a child by accident is amoral. Killing a child who has bombs attached to himself, running toward you, is moral, I believe. To save many lives from someone intent on murdering them, even if that someone is a child, is a good thing. The immoral person in that case is the one that had the child run toward people with bombs attached. (This scenario is a real one, told me by Nathaniel from military people in his family.)
I agree w/ this. But IMO, it's a softball, which is why I phrased the situation to be a punishment for an immoral act...something a bit more relevant to the issue of execution as a punishment.
I do appreciate your time and patience however. I am having this discussion on about 4 other boards, and thus far, you are probably closest to providing the best argument. I just feel like there needs to be a bit of filling in the gaps so to speak...and it may very well be the case that a forum just isn't the place for it (which is why I ordered the book). I wish Geisler, Rhoads, McDowell, Zacharias, etc... tackled this issue somewhere, I have quite a few books from each of them...yet they are silent on this specific instance.