1. Welcome to Religious Forums, a friendly forum to discuss all religions in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Our modern chat room. No add-ons or extensions required, just login and start chatting!
    • Access to private conversations with other members.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

Committing adultery today

Discussion in 'Christianity DIR' started by Messianic Israelite, Aug 14, 2019.

  1. Messianic Israelite

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2019
    Messages:
    93
    Ratings:
    +27
    Religion:
    Assemblies of Yahweh
    In the Bible, committing adultery was punishable by death (Leviticus 20:10). Unlike other cultures, in Yahweh's Laws, both the adulterer and adulteress were to be put to death. In our modern day society, we have a lapsed attitude towards adultery. I believe our current Prime Minister Boris Johnson is said to have committed adultery for example and no punishment was forthcoming. Does anyone think that if there were a death penalty for committing adultery that society would improve and there wouldn't be such a high incidence of divorces? Does anyone find it strange, that even in the U.S which bases their constitution on the Bible, adultery is not punishable by death?


    Your thoughts would be much appreciated.
     
  2. Musing Bassist

    Musing Bassist Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2014
    Messages:
    2,517
    Ratings:
    +1,126
    Religion:
    Catholicism
    Christians are not under the judicial of the Mosaic Law, thus there is no obligation to enact the death penalty for adultery. Adulterers should be called to repentance rather than punished by secular law. John 8:10-11
     
    #2 Musing Bassist, Aug 14, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2019
  3. Terry Sampson

    Terry Sampson ζει

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2019
    Messages:
    2,121
    Ratings:
    +1,621
    Religion:
    Creedalist Xian
    My biological parents were married, but not to each other. Had the law to which you refer been enforceable and enforced after I was conceived but before I was born, I wouldn't be here today, typing this. Had the law been enforceable and enforced after I was born but before my biological mother dropped me off at my biological father's house, in all probability I would have had as miserable an upbringing as my two half-brothers who are now dead. Because the law to which you refer was not enforceable and enforced, my mother dropped me off at my father's house and his wife raised me till I was 12 and turned me over to her Lutheran preacher who raised me with his own five children until I turned 18. I am now 71 and am here to tell you: I have personally known no less than eight righteous people, none of whom were biologically related to me and all of whom believed in Jesus of Nazareth and had a profound understanding of and appreciation for these words from Deuteronomy 4:31:

    כִּי אֵל רַחוּם יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ (For the LORD your God is a merciful God).
    Uncle Terry says: until you have understood that, you have understood nothing.
     
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
  4. Messianic Israelite

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2019
    Messages:
    93
    Ratings:
    +27
    Religion:
    Assemblies of Yahweh
    I assume with that reasoning we should let murderers go free (forgiveness), rapists too and all other law breakers. Clearly we have to distinguish a line between Government law and the laws of the New Covenant which are applied to the individual.

    I personally feel that adultery should be punishable. Whether by death or imprisonment is a separate issue.
     
  5. David1967

    David1967 Well-Known Member
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2015
    Messages:
    8,662
    Ratings:
    +6,711
    Religion:
    Christian
    I'm glad I actually read your OP. From the title, I thought you were planning on "committing adultery today." I was going to advise you against it. Hurts a lot of people, especially when the couple has children. As far as the death penalty? Naw. Different time. We need to get past the idea that we should be killing people. Just look at countries where they still kill people for such things. To be clear, I am against adultery, but prison or death is not the answer.
     
  6. Messianic Israelite

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2019
    Messages:
    93
    Ratings:
    +27
    Religion:
    Assemblies of Yahweh
    Thanks for sharing your opinion David. haha, no I'm not thinking of committing adultery, don't worry! It is true, when you look at countries that, for example, stone people to death still, it seems barbaric, but in the Kingdom of Yahweh, the death penalty will be used to exterminate of the sinners (Psalm 101:8). I am curious, you say you are against adultery but you don't believe it should be punishable? Isn't that a bit duplicitous?
     
  7. Musing Bassist

    Musing Bassist Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2014
    Messages:
    2,517
    Ratings:
    +1,126
    Religion:
    Catholicism
    With a distinction between immorality and criminality, we need assume nothing of the sort.

    Unless you are confident in your own righteousness, you should be careful in calling for stones.
     
    • Winner Winner x 1
  8. Goodman John

    Goodman John Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2019
    Messages:
    257
    Ratings:
    +133
    Religion:
    Cathar
    To clear up one issue from the start, the US Constitution was not based on either the Bible or Christianity. There are values enshrines in it that mesh with Christianity- but when looked at they also mesh with Judaism and Islam and a host of other faiths.

    Now, on to adultery. While it is true that adultery is punishable by death in the Old Testament, one must realize that the laws given in Leviticus were and are intended for Jews only. If a Jewish person were to kill someone for adultery, he could- theoretically- appeal to the law in Leviticus as justification; for a Gentile to appeal to Leviticus as justification for the same act, though, is neither possible nor appropriate.

    If the death penalty were to be enacted for those found guilty of adultery, however dim a view one may have of it, the bar would have to be necessarily high for prosecution. For starters, just what exactly is the legal definition of 'adultery'? We can say it is simply having sex with another person who is not one's spouse. Okay fair enough. But what is the definition of sex then? Is it limited to genital penetration? Does it include manual or oral techniques? If it is limited to genital penetration, can lesbians be charged with 'having sex' as they possess no penetrative organs, and thus they cannot be prosecuted for adultery?

    And what of evidence? If one suspects his or her spouse of adultery, can one impose a DNA check on the other? Who pays for the DNA check? Must one have a single witness or multiple witnesses to the act? In the absence of evidence, all that's left is to obtain a confession by the individuals in question- and suppose one confesses to the act while the other does not?

    This sort of thing is precisely why the courts of today rarely grant a divorce on the grounds of 'adultery' as it is often so difficult- and costly- to prove. In the vast majority of cases one will find the divorce is granted for 'irreconcilable differences' as an alternative.

    Curiously, though, adultery in the military is still administratively punishable under the Uniform Code of Military Justice- not for any biblical reason, but rather because it contributes to disruption in the ranks and can easily affect the morale and behavior of the troops. A personal brush with this came while I was stationed in Germany; my Troop's Commanding Officer's wife was personally making sure that everyone in the unit was 'taken care of' and I was one of the many she bestowed her favors upon. In time, her ambitions went higher and she was caught in flagrante delicto with our Squadron Executive Officer. As a result, my CO was lightly warned- for not keeping his wife on a leash- but the Executive Officer was charged with adultery and was officially reprimanded, essentially ending his career. To those of us in the enlisted ranks nothing was done, but the CO's wife was sent back to the States and we were thus deprived of her said 'favors'. That is, until a new 'barracks bunny' made herself known, but that's a different story... :D)
     
  9. Messianic Israelite

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2019
    Messages:
    93
    Ratings:
    +27
    Religion:
    Assemblies of Yahweh
    Good afternoon Goodman John,
    My opinion is that the Bible did play a major part in the shaping of the U.S constitution. I'll quote from an article I read about this subject: The Pilgrims began the process in the Mayflower Compact of 1620, which was done “in the name of [Yahweh],” in which they declared their purpose was “for the glory of [Yahweh] and the advancement of the Chr-stian faith,” as they formed “a civil body politic.” After this Compact, there came about a hundred or so Bible-inspired covenants, frames of government, and articles in America, leading all the way to the U.S. Constitution in 1787.

    One of these Puritan documents was the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut of 1639, which says they started their colony for the “liberty and purity of the gospel of our L-rd J-sus.” The Fundamental Orders was the first complete constitution written on American soil and is believed by historians to have impacted the U. S. Constitution. This is why Connecticut calls itself “the Constitution State.” The U. S. Constitution itself says that it was done “in the year of our L-rd”---meaning Jesus. But also it was done in the 12th year of independence. The Constitution is predicated on the Declaration of Independence---our national birth certificate, which mentions G-d four times.

    America’s founders quoted heavily from the Bible, Montesquieu, Blackstone, and Locke---in that order.
    • In his The Spirit of Laws, Baron Montesquieu wrote: “We shall see that we owe to Christianity, in government, a certain political law, and in war a certain law of nations—benefits which human nature can never sufficiently acknowledge.”
    • Sir William Blackstone, who has often been quoted by the Supreme Court, said that the laws of nature were written by G-d and were supplemented by the Holy Scriptures. He wrote: “This law of nature being…dictated by G-d Himself, is of course superior in obligation to any other. It is binding over all the globe, in all countries, and at all times. No human laws are of any validity if contrary to this.”
    • John Locke penned: “The Bible is one of the greatest blessings bestowed by G-d on the children of men.” I used to have a Sunday school teacher, Dr. Greg Forster, who earned his Ph.D. at Yale studying Locke and became a Christian because of Locke’s classic book, The Reasonableness of Christianity.
    • Although not all framers of the Declaration and Constitution were orthodox Christians, about 95 percent of the founding fathers were active members of Trinitarian Chr-stian churches. To many of them, the Christian faith was central in their lives:
    • In his “Circular to the States” (1783), George Washington said that America could never hope to be a happy nation unless we learned to imitate Jesus, “the divine author of our blessed religion.”
    • In his Inaugural Address (1797), John Adams calls “a decent respect for Chr-stianity among the best recommendations for the public service.”
    • Thomas Jefferson said that Jesus is the reason we can have religious freedom. To force people to believe in religious views they don’t share are a departure from Him, “the holy author of our religion.” Jefferson wrote this in his Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom (1777, adopted 1786).
    • James Madison, a key leader in the creation of the Constitution, wrote that our obligations to G-d come before those to the state: “Before any man can be considered as a member of Civil Society, he must be considered as a subject of the Governor of the Universe.”
    Yahweh and the Bible are greater than anyone or any country. But I think we do a disservice to our history to discount the incredibly positive role the Scriptures played in helping to shape the U.S nation.
     
  10. Messianic Israelite

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2019
    Messages:
    93
    Ratings:
    +27
    Religion:
    Assemblies of Yahweh
    Now on to what you said referring to adultery. You say 'While it is true that adultery is punishable by death in the Old Testament, one must realize that the laws given in Leviticus were and are intended for Jews only.'. This simply isn't true. Matthew 5:17 prove that the laws are to be fulfilled (or carried out) by the Messiah and subsequently His people. I read the Beatitudes every day before work and in the Beatitudes Yahshua the Messiah, or Saviour tells us that they are laws in the Hebrew Scriptures but Yahshua is magnifying those Laws so as to be even more inclusive and all encompassing to our every day lives. For example, Matthew 5:27 isn't just supporting the Hebrew Scriptures Levitical Law on not committing adultery, but to magnify that Law by saying that even looking at a woman and lusting after her is an evil.

    The Laws found in the Hebrew Scriptures are meant for all people's who are trying to please Yahweh. Even the commandment to love our neighbour is first found in the Hebrew Scriptures in Leviticus 19:18, and yet many Chr-stians act like this is a new New Testament thing. The only laws that no longer applies is the sacrificial laws (Hebrews 9:9) since Yahshua was the perfect sacrifice. Romans 7:12 tells us clearly that the laws in the Bible are "holy, and the commandment holy, and righteous, and good."

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------​

    You say "For starters, just what exactly is the legal definition of 'adultery'?". Well the definition of adultery is voluntary sexual intercourse between a married person and a person who is not their spouse. In terms of what this covers, well it covers sex and the definition of sex is sexual activity, including specifically sexual intercourse. If two homosexuals have sex, then that's a different matter, since the implication from Biblical Law is that homosexuality is prohibited in the Bible in Leviticus 18:22 punishable by death.

    'And what of evidence?'. Good question. How would one prove that adultery has taken place. Well, according to the Bible, you need two or three witnesses all in agreement to establish evidence according to Deuteronomy 17:6. We don't believe in circumstantial evidence. A DNA check would work as one piece of evidence, but you would need another one or two pieces of concrete evidence (such as a testimony) to prove that adultery took place. Therefore you are right, it would be difficult, even in Biblical times to punish adultery with death because of the lack of evidence, but sometimes it would be provable. If one confesses to the crime and the other does not, then that would not be grounds for punishing the supposed perpetuators with death. Yahweh's Law is righteous.

    You say 'Curiously, though, adultery in the military is still administratively punishable under the Uniform Code of Military Justice- not for any biblical reason, but rather because it contributes to disruption in the ranks and can easily affect the morale and behavior of the troops.'. I was really interested in the story you told regarding this. Intriguing. But can you tell that it would be hypocritical for the military to impose certain codes to live by, yet when out of the military one could fragrantly break those codes. Codes are supposed to be for life. Too many people, whether that is in the military or schools or whatever reluctantly accept the codes their institutions have to offer, but when the opportunity arises, they no longer continue in these practices. Another example could be wearing skirts in school. Most schools demand that skirts go below the knees. This is a good practice I don't have to explain why, but it seems girls or women do not choose to adhere to these same good codes when they leave school, despite them being there for a reason.

    What I'm trying to say in a rather long-winded way is that the military rightly so believes adultery adds disruption, chaos and confusion in the ranks and this is the same that it does out in the lives of the people it effects, therefore it should be prohibited by Law.
     
  11. pcarl

    pcarl Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2005
    Messages:
    4,022
    Ratings:
    +1,685
    Religion:
    Catholic
    I believe this only applies to the officers, not the enlisted. But you're right the military sets a high priority concerning fidelity in marriage. A friend of ours divorced her husband because of his infidelity. He remarried. He was an army general. His first wife continues to receive all benefits she enjoyed will married to him, even after he retired. When he died she also received all the benefits, his second wife received nothing. I guess it was determined by many years of his first marriage. He did not loose his commission because the affair did not involve one in the military.
     
  12. Goodman John

    Goodman John Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2019
    Messages:
    257
    Ratings:
    +133
    Religion:
    Cathar
    But if you take the position that Jewish Law is in force for Christians as well as Jews (you cited Matt 5:17 in support of this), then ALL the laws are in effect- not just the ones this or that person chooses to observe. If we accept that homosexuality is an 'abomination'- according to the law- then we also have to impose the death penalty to those who do work on the Sabbath. If we accept that shrimp are an 'abomination'- then we also, at least the men, have to grow our beards out and not shave our sideburns and such. How many Christians who invoke Leviticus as grounds for gay-bashing also kill people for working on Saturday or Sunday? How many Christians eat shrimp (oh they're abominable!) and go around clean-shaven?

    You either take and observe all the Law or you reject all of it. Being a 'Cafeteria Christian' (or 'Cafeteria Jew', for that matter), picking and choosing what parts you like or not, isn't exactly kosher, now is it?

    In 2000, a letter was written in response to a radio host using Jewish Law- specifically Leviticus- as grounds for her anti-gay stance. This is what was written, and illustrates my point:

    Dear... Dr. Laura: Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God’s Law. I have learned a great deal from your show, and try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination.... End of debate. I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some other elements of God’s Laws and how to follow them.

    1. Leviticus 25:44 states that I may possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can’t I own Canadians?

    2. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

    3. I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of Menstrual uncleanliness - Lev15: 19-24. The problem is how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.

    4. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord - Lev.1:9. The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

    5. I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself, or should I ask the police to do it?

    6. A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination, Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don’t agree. Can you settle this? Are there ‘degrees’ of abomination?

    7. Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle-room here?

    8. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev. 19:27. How should they die?

    9. I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

    10. My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev.19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? Lev.24:10-16. Couldn’t we just burn them to death at a private family affair, like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)

    I know you have studied these things extensively and thus enjoy considerable expertise in such matters, so I’m confident you can help. Thank you again for reminding us that God’s word is eternal and unchanging. Your adoring fan, James M Kauffman, Ed.D. Professor Emeritus, Dept. Of Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education University of Virginia (It would be a damn shame if we couldn’t own a Canadian)
     
    #12 Goodman John, Sep 5, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2019
  13. Messianic Israelite

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2019
    Messages:
    93
    Ratings:
    +27
    Religion:
    Assemblies of Yahweh
    Good afternoon Goodman John,
    It's preparation day for the Sabbath today and the library closes in five minutes so I only have time to respond to the first part of your post today. I'll get back to you with the rest next week. You say "
    [do I] have to grow our beards out and not shave our sideburns and such. How many Christians who invoke Leviticus as grounds for gay-bashing also kill people for working on Saturday or Sunday? How many Christians eat shrimp (oh they're abominable!) and go around clean-shaven? You either take and observe all the Law or you reject all of it. Being a 'Cafeteria Christian' (or 'Cafeteria Jew', for that matter), picking and choosing what parts you like or not, isn't exactly kosher, now is it?"

    In my faith we observe all those laws. We keep the seventh day Sabbath as a resting day and it's a delight, the best day of the week. We don't eat shrimp or pork: - thanks I will say to those who offer it to me, but no thanks. Those creatures were not meant for human consumption, they were meant to cleanse the environments in which they live. The men grow their beards, as this is what Yahweh has commanded, setting apart the men from the women. It's not like today where men and women look the same. It's confusion. No wonder there's so many transvestites and gender-neutral trends. I don't have time to go through your post right now, but the death penalty no longer applies since the Messiah came to teach the individual laws, not the Government. When Yahweh’s Kingdom is established on this earth for a millennium reign, laws will be established by the Government and the death penalty will be carried out for things like murder and adultery as is proper.
     
    #13 Messianic Israelite, Sep 6, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2019
    • Like Like x 1
  14. metis

    metis aged ecumenical anthropologist

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2013
    Messages:
    29,802
    Ratings:
    +12,934
    Religion:
    Catholic-- liberal & ecumenical
    In Jewish tradition, the death penalty for certain crimes was considered to be the maximum penalty as it was always taken that there could be some leeway. Matter of fact, the prophets often said that "forgiveness" and "mercy" were important.
     
  15. Christian Democrat

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2019
    Messages:
    22
    Ratings:
    +17
    Religion:
    Christian
    I'd point you to the Pericope adulterae (John 7:53-8:11) in which Jesus forgives the woman caught in adultery*. The death penalty may have been appropriate in the society of ancient Israel, but Jesus seems to bring a new and more forgiving paradigm of looking at these things, so as to educate man about God's mercy as much as God's avenging wrath.

    That's not to say that Christians should approve of adultery though, adultery is wrong and sinful, and the same passage includes Jesus telling the woman to 'Go, and from now on sin no more.' But he doesn't approve of her being stoned for it, for the simple reason that 'let he who is without sin cast the first stone.' If we apply such stringent punishments, most of us probably deserve the death penalty, and indeed if we turn away from Christ death is ultimately all we can expect. So let's forgive rather than condemn.

    For me, I don't think society should be so permissive about adultery and divorce, and it makes me think less of a man such as Boris Johnson that he continues to behave in such a manner without seeming to regret what he's done and the consequences of it for the women he treats in that way. (Although I will still vote for him, albeit reluctantly, as the opposition is nightmarish, but this is a discussion for elsewhere.) I think it would be better to incentivise faithfulness within marriage with tax breaks for married couples etc. - a 'carrot rather than stick' approach, if you like.

    *Before someone mentions it, yes, I know there is dispute about the authenticity of this passage. But although it doesn't appear in the very earliest manuscripts of the Gospel of John, it does appear in several early Greek manuscripts, and in the huge majority of manuscripts overall. Personally I am inclined to believe that it was a genuine event that wasn't included in the original Gospel, but that survived in folk memory and was added by a later editor so that it wasn't forgotten. Certainly it's in keeping with the general tone of Jesus' teachings elsewhere in the Gospels.
     
  16. Goodman John

    Goodman John Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2019
    Messages:
    257
    Ratings:
    +133
    Religion:
    Cathar
    Cathars were pretty laissez-faire about marriage and such being a 'sacrament' and looked on them more like we do civil marriages- if everyone was cool with it, it was all good. If one was married, they were expected to be monogamous and not fool around. Outside of marriage it was pretty much 'anything goes' for the rank and file Credentes (Believers)- sex being one of the few pleasures we can enjoy in this wicked world- but the upper rank, the Parfaits (Perfects), usually took a vow of chastity among their other vows. (Perfects also usually vowed not to eat meat or anything that was produced by sex- which pretty much meant vegetarianism. HOWEVER, in medieval times fish were not thought to reproduce sexually, so fish were permitted in such a diet.)

    As such there was no specified punishment for adultery, but for the rank and file it was considered a sin that one had to do penance for, or risk losing any progress he or she had made in purifying their soul. For the Perfects, breaking the vow of chastity was usually grounds for having one's status revoked and the vows having to be renewed, but as I understand it the sin might be remitted after penance. (Note: the 'Perfect' status was for those who considered their soul to be eligible for return to the spiritual realm, to God, and the longer one maintained a 'Perfect' status- keeping their vows faithfully- the more 'pure' one was considered to be. It was a set of simple but harsh vows, and a slip-up not atoned for could wreck a person's (possibly life-long) preparations for their soul to be redeemed.

    As far as the 'casting the first stone' issue, Cathars didn't sit in judgement of others or swear oaths to God. In modern terms this would mean they would refuse something like jury duty.
     
  17. Mitty

    Mitty New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2019
    Messages:
    4
    Ratings:
    +1
    Religion:
    none
    Biblical morality is just man-made, given that it wasn't morally wrong for Abraham to shack up with his sister Sarah or to commit adultery with Hagar or for Lot to sexually assault his daughters since the ten commandments etc did not apply to them.

    The biblical laws for adultery are about the property rights of men, which is why Numbers 5:20-28 commands the abortions of adulteresses to ensure legitimate lines of descent and inheritance.
     
    #17 Mitty, Nov 29, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2019
  18. Mitty

    Mitty New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2019
    Messages:
    4
    Ratings:
    +1
    Religion:
    none
Loading...