|Peter Gay||Interaction by Kevin Craig|
|Genesis 9:6, the only justified use of force against another is for restitution for crimes that violate civil liberties; life, liberty, property.||I don't agree that Genesis 9:6 is for "restitution." If I vandalize your car by blowing it up, "restitution" does not mean shedding my blood; it means I get you a new car. God did not require the shedding of blood to compensate the estate of the murdered victim.|
|Because of the nature of the crime that calls for restitution.||There are many crimes in the OT that do not call for "restitution," but rather death.|
|The logic goes that governments are not free to violate God's moral law. No individual, group, government agent our government agency has that authority. Further, civil magistrates are servants of King Jesus, not the king themselves. Thus the scope of their authority is defined by his word. So what has his word defined as their scope of authority?||Good question.|
|Genesis 9:6 established the principle that violence is punishable by violence, leaving no room for any other just use for violence.||So then by definition, homosexuality is a crime
of "violence," because God requires it to be punished by death (the
You have to admit this is logical, given a "Theonomic" presupposition. (Demonstrating, I hope, that we must always check our presuppositions.)
|In the Mosaic law, this is fleshed out further in case law in Exodus 21. Thus, the civil magistrate's jurisdiction of authority us over those sins which bring harm to victims.||Therefore, blasphemy brings "harm" to victims, and should therefore be punished by death.|
|However, many are confused by the fact that there are other portions of the law of Moses that appear to be in the domain of the civil magistrate by virtue of their civil penalties. It is important to remember that these laws were given in a completely different section of the law, the language surrounding them is completely different, and there is no identifiable civil victim. So they are moral laws being enforced by the civil magistrate, not civil laws being enforced by the civil magistrate. This begs the question, should moral laws be enforced by the civil magistrate? After all, Romans 13 says that the magistrate us supposed to punish those who do evil.||Throughout the Old Testament, and even in the Pentateuch, you have laws which are "civil" mixed directly with laws which are "ceremonial." This is why James Jordan has (accurately, I believe) claimed that there is in fact no such thing as a "civil code" in the Bible. God's Word doesn't fit into the easy compartments of secular humanist polis-centered thinking.|
|Here we come back to the issue of authority. By what authority were the moral laws enforced by the civil magistrate? By the authority of God as their king. This is the same authority that commanded the conquest of Canaan and the utter destruction if Jericho. Are land conquests and city destruction just? If not, then how is the civil enforcement of the moral law just?||Theonomists like Bahnsen explicitly distinguish "standing laws" from laws of limited geography or time, such as the laws to exterminate the Canaanites. See here for more.|
|But surely that's not convincing enough. Do we see anywhere that the enforcement of moral law by the civil magistrate had been repealed? Yes. In 1 Corinthians 5 we see the same kind of law (incest) applied in the very specific context of church discipline using the same language from Leviticus "purge the evil from among you."||There is nothing in 1 Corinthians 5 which
"repeals" a "civil" punishment for incest, or in any way
says Caesar is no longer obligated to punish incest. Incest was in fact punished
by the civil magistrate in Paul's day, but the church at Corinth was not the
In 1 Corinthians 5, Derret, "Handing Over to Satan," 11-30, ... holds that Paul hands over the man to civil authorities for physical punishment and execution. Roman law forbade such incest (Gaius, Institutes 1.63; Cicero, Cluentio 5.27). Similarly, Gaca, Making of Fornication, 139-40, holds that Paul sentences the man to the death penalty. [Source] There is certainly no evidence in 1 Corinthians 5 that if Caesar were to convert to Christianity, he would have been urged by Paul not to carry out the "death penalty" for crimes which carried a "death penalty" in the Scriptures. (That argument could be made elsewhere, but it is certainly not being made in 1 Corinthians 5. That is a mis-use of the passage.)
|So by covenant topology, we see that Israel was a shadow of the church and God's coming eternal kingdom. In Israel there was a historically unique blend of church and state that has never been divinely sanctioned before or since and will not recur until Christ returns.||For an examination of "typology," see here.|
|Now that the church has come and has been decoupled from the state, the scope and means of human enforcement of the moral law has been changed. What was once a matter of civil enforcement for the purpose of maintaining the purity of a covenant people living in the presence of the Shakinah glory, is now a matter of discipline for a people in whom the Spirit of God dwells individually and collectively.||To say that the military occupation of a given
geographic region by a pagan government -- which assumes all civil power and
punishes rival exercise of civil power -- reflects God's "decoupling of
church and state" is certainly debatable. When Israel was taken captive to
Babylon, Israel was unable to carry out the "civil laws" given to
Moses, but that didn't mean they would never do so in the future. Roman invasion
and occupation of Israel at the time of Christ is not determinative of the
responsibilities of a Christian civil magistrate after Rome falls.
Everything about the "glory" of God in the OT has only been INTENSIFIED under the New. Whatever reason there was to be "pure" in the OT is even MORE applicable in the New. See Hebrews 10:28-29. Jesus intensified God's Law -- He did not relax it. See the Sermon on the Mount.
|This leaves the civil magistrate concerned only with those matters that are purely civil. That is to say: those sins that cause harm to others. Those sins that have a civil victim. Those matters in which the life, liberty or property if someone is harmed through aggression, force, the threat of force, fraud, gross negligence, etc.||There is no such thing as "purely civil." The law against murder is a religious law. It is God's Law, not the law of a human legislature or political scientist. The law against theft is not humanistic or secular, it is religious. All law is religious. There is no neutrality.|
|For a civil magistrate to do anything else is to step outside the jurisdictional authority given to him by King Jesus and to claim authority he does not have to violate God's moral law by committing aggression against those who have done no harm to any victim thereby becoming the criminal.||I see here the replacing of God's Authority
with the authority of a secular libertarian principle known as "the
non-aggression principle" or the concept of "victimless crimes."
There is no such thing in the Bible as a "victimless crime."
Who is the "victim" or the "offended party" in the case of adultery?
Against Thee, Thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in Thy sight: that Thou mightest be justified when Thou speakest, and be clear when Thou judgest.
There is no Biblical basis for saying that adulterers should not be punished by the civil magistrate because adultery (or homosexuality, or incest, or other "victimless crimes") does not violate some secular principle called "the non-aggression principle." Adultery is an aggression against God and His institution of the family. It is aggression against society. If the "civil magistrate" should punish anything, it should punish adultery and homosexuality more aggressively than mere theft of property.
|Or as a convenient summary: the non-aggression principle.||Yup. I should have kept reading before I wrote the above.|
|It is by this standard that I evaluate all civil governments and laws.||Read Bahnsen's books, By This Standard, and No Other Standard. Our standard must be God's Law, not the slogans of men.|
|The above quote is from a Mr. Mike Lewis.||
Although I consider myself a "Theonomist," I oppose all "capital punishment" for all crimes. I'm not advocating capital punishment for anything on this webpage, just trying to clarify our reasoning, hoping we can all become more Biblical in our presuppositions and reasoning, and less Humanistic.
Previous interaction with Mike Lewis.