The Death Penalty for Adultery?

Pastor Anderson's Blog

June 22, 2016

When someone says that homosexuality is worthy of death according to the Bible, people inevitably will bring up other sins that were also punishable by death in the Old Testament. They think they are somehow catching us in hypocrisy, but the truth is, Bible believing Christians DO agree with those other Old Testament penalties as well. This sermon on the Correlation Between the Old Testament and the New Testament provides an overview of the differences between then and now. In short, though, we just need to realize that God’s laws were the law of the land in those days. Today, adultery is not punishable by law in the United States, but it should be.

Yes, a righteous government would implement the death penalty for those tried and convicted of adultery. We all know normal people who have unfortunately committed this grievous sin, and of course we wouldn’t want them to die for it. If we were to somehow vote in a law making adultery illegal, it would not be retroactive--it would be the law going forward, and adultery rates would plummet and so would divorce rates.

Think about it, though. Do you really think as many people commit adultery in societies where it is punishable by death? Of course not…so you can relax about your Aunt Trudy who cheated on her husband thirty years ago. If Aunt Trudy had lived in a society that enforced the death penalty for adultery, chances are she would never have committed that sin in the first place.

How many people would risk their lives to sleep with someone other than their spouse? Occasionally someone would try to get away with it—just like some people commit murder despite the consequences. But most don’t. In countries where adultery is still a capital crime, it’s not an everyday occurrence and usually ends up in the news. Just as capital punishment is a strong deterrent against murder, it has the same effect on other crimes.

Telling us that we would not want people we know and care about to be put to death is a straw man argument. We don’t want our friends and family to be convicted of murder either, but they probably won’t kill anyone, so we don’t worry about it. When the children of Israel committed adultery, they knew the risk going in.

Here is a sermon on Preventing Adultery.

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