“It is morally acceptable to stone homosexuals, Christians, and adulterers to this day in other cultures. How well does that mesh with what you consider morally acceptable?” (Xander)
Personally I find that abhorrent and reprehensible. Again, it is taking life that may not be deserving of such a penalty. I think when we read the Torah we are not quite getting what is being said there (logistically and lawfully). I raised the point about adultery already and the problem people have with interpreting that law in Torah.
But let’s make this clearer in understanding – more close to home. Some states have the death penalty for the act of pre-meditated murder. However, for other acts of murder (2nd degree) there may only be a stiff jail term. And for even lesser offences within the murder hierarchy (manslaughter) someone may see short stints in prison – even extended probation. However, it’s all ‘thou shalt not murder’.
The problem with present Christians and their view of the Torah is they don’t understand what it is they are reading – they see a narrative and an ethical code – but it’s a law code….and it needs to be interpreted as such. In the case of something like ‘You shall not commit adultery’ (Ex 20:14) – well at what point of severity is the stoning to occur? Anyone that cheats is to be killed? Or is it more like a hierarchy – like murder is? One needs to remember, ‘eye for eye, tooth for tooth, and life for life’…the only thing deserving of death is ‘murder’ (not adultery according to that measurement for judgment). Adultery that ends in murder would make more sense in this context as to what was deserving of ‘death’.
But far be it for current Christianity to really get down and dirty with the texts to start revealing the methods of the Torah (functions as law). Christians really have no clue how to approach those texts…and law can change. Judaism is aware of this. Christians should be aware of this – just cannot grasp God provided a law that can change. Movements away from slavery, genocide, and segregation are supposed be the norm as humans seek ‘peace’. One needs remember this is a God of peace we supposedly serve.
*Comment first presented on Xander’s blog ‘The Immoral God’