February 24, 2010

Mixing Political Conservatism and the Kingdom of God (and Should Sabbath Breakers be Stoned)?

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78 Comments
  1. Ruth,

    Well, the curse is here. I wonder, would it be if we were remembering the Torah with its statutes and judgments. Would sexual sin be so rampant? Would AIDS and other murderous diseases be so prominent? Would the body of Messiah be breaking the Sabbath? Would our children be forsaking the faith? Are we missing out on being great in the kingdom? Are we really faithful in the big things if we neglect the small ones?

    Let’s talk about loving our neighbor. It is a quote. Here is the context:

    Leviticus 19
    11 ¶ Ye shall not steal, neither deal falsely, neither lie one to another.
    12 And ye shall not swear by my name falsely, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I am the LORD.
    13 Thou shalt not defraud thy neighbour, neither rob him: the wages of him that is hired shall not abide with thee all night until the morning.
    14 Thou shalt not curse the deaf, nor put a stumblingblock before the blind, but shalt fear thy God: I am the LORD.
    15 Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment: thou shalt not respect the person of the poor, nor honour the person of the mighty: but in righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbour.
    16 Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer among thy people: neither shalt thou stand against the blood of thy neighbour: I am the LORD.
    17 Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him.
    18 Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD.
    19 ¶ Ye shall keep my statutes….

    We hate our neighbor when we fail to warn him when he is in sin. Love would rebuke him because we do not want him to suffer the consequences in this life or eternity. Love sets up a righteous legal system so that our neighbor will have the right and means to be recompensed when wronged by another. Love would be a witness against one of our neighbors, if need be, to be sure the other of our neighbors is fairly compensated. Love would not lie to or about our neighbor. Love would testify in a capitol punishment case for the sake of all the other neighbors being able to live in peace and safety.

    We cannot not deal falsely with our neighbor if we have unjust scales. We will not have a truly righteous legal system if we invent our own judgments, statutes, and ordinances. YHWH’s are the only ones that are perfect.

    The blood of Messiah was shed for and is perfect atonement even for murder, but it looks like the land cannot be cleansed except by capitol punishment.

    Numbers 35
    33 So ye shall not pollute the land wherein ye are: for blood it defileth the land: and the land cannot be cleansed of the blood that is shed therein, but by the blood of him that shed it.

    Shalom

  2. Ruth,

    It may not seem loving to carry out the death penalty, but when we do not carry it out it is unloving to everybody else. I think you have basically said, “I do not want to be stoned therefore I should not stone my neighbor.”

    Of course it is not the individuals place to take vengeance. That is YHWH’s job. And He set up governments as His agent to do so.

    Romans 13
    1 ¶ Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
    2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.
    3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:
    4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.

    I think the argument should go:

    I would not like to be stoned therefore I would not like my neighbor to be stoned. Since I would not like my neighbor to be stoned I will warn him so that he might repent before it is too late.

    That the world governments do not punish evil according to YHWH’s judgments shows how corrupt the world has become.

    I think this passage sums the whole situation up.

    Proverbs 29
    1 ¶ He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.
    2 ¶ When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.

    Shalom

  3. Thanks for all your painstaking efforts, Bo. I will make a study of these…

    May the LORD make His Face to shine upon Thee
    and Be Gracious unto Thee

  4. James 2:8-13
    KJV

    “If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well:
    But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors.
    For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.
    For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transressor of the law.
    So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty.
    For he shall have judgement without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment.”

    Matthew 7:1-5
    Jesus:

    “Judge not, that ye be not judged.
    For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

    And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye,
    but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
    Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.”

    Mark 12:14-17

    “And when they were come, they say unto him, Master, we know that thou art true, and carest for no man: for thou regardest not the person of men, but teachest the way of God in truth: Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar, or not?

    Shall we give, or shall we not give? But he, knowing their hypocrisy, said unto them, Why tempt ye me? bring me a penny, that I may see it.

    And they brought it. And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? And they said unto him, Caesar’s.
    And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”

    Ruth (me):

    So if God says “Do not kill,” and Caesar says, “Kill” and we disobey God that we might obey Caesar, then have we not rendered our soul unto Caesar, i.e., the government?

    Psalm 127

    “Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.

    It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep.”

  5. Ruth,

    I think that the “Do not kill” that you refer to is translated more accurately as “Do not murder.” And by all means we ought to obey YHWH rather than man.

    Shalom

  6. Lot of law differentiating shades of “murder.” Generally, malice aforethought and or malice implied makes the killing of a human construed as murder…

    I like the perfect, idyllic view of no loss of life…no decay, no bloodshed, no disease…lush plant and animal life, everyone enjoying the day…lambs brushing up against furry, loving lions…all of Creation singing ! …and since God created man and woman in this idyllic, Edenic state…we are verily imprinted with the desire to return to it…!

    No killing of any kind…ever again… Ah, paradise!

  7. So, Bo, do you think “stoning” and “capital punishment” are interchangeable today? Do you see fulfilling the law of “stoning” as necessitating the use of literal stones to be thrust upon the evil-doer?

  8. Good question. My thoughts are that the main thing is the public aspect of it. I’m not so sure that lethal injection with just a few witnesses accomplishes the “And all Israel shall hear, and fear, and shall do no more any such wickedness as this is among you.” very well. But yes, capitol punishment is basically the same. I think? But it is possible that YHWH had reasons for specifying stoning in the prescribed instances that we do not understand.

    Shalom

  9. To me it seems that at least one of the reasons for stoning was that the whole nation had to be a part of
    “… So you shall put away the evil from the midst of you.” (Deut.13:5b)

    It is one thing to know that evil should be put away, but another thing to actively participate in doing it away. Those who participate actively in putting away evil will not so easily later participate in evil themselves.

    Not only does our thinking shape our actions – also our actions shape our thinking. Salvation always includes our thinking as well as our actions. We cannot think holy and act evil, and we cannot think evil and act holy. We have to be seperated from evil COMPLETELY – spirit, soul and body.

    As I said before, the Law was given to convict people of sin, and also stoning was a means of convicting people of sin.
    Today the Holy Spirit convicts people of sin, therefore today we are much more challenged in our walk than the ancient Israelites, since it is much more easy to put away the gentle voice of the Holy Spirit than the enactment of stoning someone who promoted sin.

    Hosea 4:6

    ” My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.
    Because you have rejected knowledge, I will also reject you,
    that you may be no priest to me.
    Because you have forgotten your God’s law,
    I will also forget your children.”

    If we don’t understand God’s order of seperation from sin, not only will WE be destroyed, but also our children.

  10. I agree that the Holy Spirit works in “convicting” the conscience of sin. Jesus refers to the hearts at the time of Moses as being hardened. (See Matthew 19:8) I believe that since Yeshua’s atonement (for all), we are living in a new age, the age of the New Covenant. I believe it is the Holy Spirit who softens our hearts and makes us aware of our sins before God. I believe it is this same spirit of God which also provides the remedy today.

    I am intrigued by Ya’akov’s (James’) (whom reliable sources indicate was stoned to death, btw) mention of the “Royal Law” : “If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well…” James 2:8

    And the fact that Yeshua (Jesus) clarified the definition of adultery:

    “You have heard that our fathers were told, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ And I tell you that a man who even looks at a woman with the purpose of lusting after her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Mattityahu (Matthew) 5:27-28

    So what does the sinner do? Asked to be stoned to death now?

    Yeshua’s words indicate that sin begins in the thoughts, which is consonant with the idea also expressed in The Holy Scriptures, Jewish Publication Society, pg. 362, c. 1957, Isaiah 55:7 :

    “Let the wicked forsake his way,
    And the man of iniquity his thoughts;
    And let him return unto the LORD,
    and He will have compassion upon him,
    And to our God,
    for He will abundantly pardon.”

    So if a man (or woman) looks upon another with lust (obviously excluding married people for whom conjugal relations are consensual) they have already committed adultery. The prescription for this from the Great Physician is “returning” to the LORD, forsaking his evil thoughts and repenting wholeheartedly. As we understand it from these texts, if repentance is genuine, God will “abundantly pardon.”

    What a magnificent merciful God we have!! He would rather we be healed than die…!

    We can avail ourselves of His mercy TODAY. Praise God!

  11. Isaiah 1:18 “Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the LORD, “Though your sins are as scarlet, They will be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They will be like wool. “

  12. 1 Corinthians 5:7, Sha’ul/Saul/Paul:

    “Get rid of the old chametz [yeast], so that you can be a new batch of dough, because in reality you are unleavened. For our Pesach [Passover] lamb, the Messiah, has been sacrificed. So let us celebrate the Seder [Passover eve meal] not with leftover chametz (yeast), the chametz of wickedness and evil, but with the matzah (unleavened bread) of purity and truth.”

    Jewish New Testament,
    David Stern, Translator

  13. Obviously sin starts in our hearts. But we have not commited a sin against someone at that point. The death penalty is only for the actual crime. Just because I covet my neighbors car doesn’t mean that I owe him restitution. But it does mean my heart has a problem.

    Shalom

  14. Nipping sin in the bud, right where it begins, before it inflames the body. We can earnestly and sincerely pray for His help and it is unfailing…unfailing.

  15. To cleanse the mind and keep back the spiritual forces of darkness that seek to invade the quietness of our temples…

  16. Lord we pray for all our peoples throughout the earth, who are in Satan’s slavery to sin. We ask that they be touched, desiring to know You and Your ways of Peace. Oh Lord, let us not be hypocrites, let us know our secret faults…let us be the clean vessels that can be used in your work…Redemption…by the new life you give us; a life cleansed by water and by the Holy Spirit, your holy baptism in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

    May our hearts be softenend to your words, like seeds, fallling into fertile ground, that we may bear fruit for your Harvest.

    In the name of Yeshua (Jesus)
    the Redeemer of Israel
    and All who desire the Water of Life,
    Amen!

  17. Confusion, advarce, sexual dissipation, division in areas of covenant bonds and once past clear boundaries, accusation, lies, murder, etc. Satan is a busy entity of dark ways. What seems outstanding in these times is evil being declared good and good evil by the nonbelieving in positions of influence and authority. In such cases, shall we obey men, or whoever claims whatever identity, or Father God?

  18. “ardvarce”

    I’m gonna have to look that one up. It’s bad out there; that’s for sure. Obedience to our Father, now that’s a good idea.

  19. I do not know the name of the man that stood up against go pride, but wow. That took bravery. I commend him. I don’t know if I would have done the same. Thanks for sharing Dr. Brown

  20. nevermind, I didn’t listen to the rest of his speech. not crazy about his delivery.. 🙂 Great link!

  21. Jesus tried to get us over these issues. We zone in on other’s particular sin, feel better about ourself and forget that we are still sinners, except as justified by the Grace of God. We forget the times our heart fails to believe God. Jesus replied to the man who thought he had it all together and obeyed his commands by saying we should not only commit adultery, but shouldn’t even look on a woman. He says we should not only not kill another, but not hate them in our heart. In other words, he indicted us all! Another time, a man thought he had it all together Jesus looked at his heart and replied, “sell all that you have and give it to the poor.” In other words, you aren’t perfect. You want to earn your way.

    American nationalism has draped a flag over the cross. Very tragic.

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