It is often believed that the Bible gives absolute religious freedom to everyone. Most of the Christians in the United States and in the West think that the freedom of choice and speech that they have comes originally from the Bible. Let’s just see how accurate this myth really is.
In the Old Testament:
Let us look at Deuteronomy 13:6-9 “If your very own brother, or your son or daughter, or the wife you love, or your closest friend secretly entices you, saying: Let us go and worship other gods (gods that neither you nor your fathers have known, gods of the peoples around you, whether near or far, from one end of the land to the other, or gods of other religions), do not yield to him or listen to him. Show him no pity. Do not spare him or shield him. You must certainly put him to death. Your hand must be the first in putting him to death, and then the hands of all the people.”
Also let us look at Deuteronomy 17:3-5 “And he should go and worship other gods and bow down to them or to the sun or the moon or all the army of the heavens, …..and you must stone such one with stones and such one must die.”
2 Chronicles 15:13 “All who would not seek the LORD, the God of Israel, were to be put to death, whether small or great, man or woman.”
In the New Testament by Jesus and Paul:
Note: Please pay close attention to my red emphasis below.
Let us look at what Jesus said in the New Testament in context:
1 Then some Pharisees and teachers of the law came to Jesus from Jerusalem and asked,
2 “Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? They don’t wash their hands before they eat!”
3 Jesus replied, “And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition?
4 For God said, ‘Honor your father and mother’ and ‘Anyone who curses his father or mother must be put to death.‘
5 But you say that if a man says to his father or mother, ‘Whatever help you might otherwise have received from me is a gift devoted to God,’
6he is not to ‘honor his father’ with it. Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition.
7You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you:
8 ” ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.
9 They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.'”
There are few points to notice here:
1- Notice in verse 3, Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for breaking the Commands of GOD Almighty.
2- In verse 4, he used the cursing of parents’ punishment as an example. The context, however, is not limited to just this example!
3- In verses 7,8 and 9, he used a quote from the book of Isaiah in the Old Testament, to further prove that they are not following the Commands of GOD Almighty.
4- Jesus clearly had a problem with them not following the punishment of death for cursing the parents or any punishment of death that is commanded in the OT for this matter! In fact, Jesus himself said:
“Do not think that I [Jesus] have come to abolish the Law (the Old Testament) or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke or a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law (the Old Testament) until everything is accomplished. (Matthew 5:17-18)”
“Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: ‘The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. So you must obey them and do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach.‘ (Matthew 23:1-3)”
This clearly means:
1- Jesus absolutely approved and commanded the following of the OT’s Laws regarding apostates!
2- The fact he commanded death penalty for cursing the parents clearly proves that he also approves of killing apostates as clearly shown in the OT verses above!
There is no question that Jesus approved of killing apostates, exactly as killing those who mistreat their parents!
Let us look at Romans 1:20-32 (from the New Testament) “20. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.
21. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.
22. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools
23. and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.
24. Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another.
25. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator–who is forever praised. Amen.
26. Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones.
27. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.
28. Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done.
29. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips,
30. slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents;
31. they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless.
32. Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.”
Also psychics must be put to death. Let us look at Leviticus 20:27 “And as for a man or woman in whom there proves to be a mediumistic spirit or spirit of prediction, they should be put to death without fail. They should pelt them to death with stones. Their own blood is upon them.”
So Christians are the last one to talk about the punishment of apostasy, since the punishment for apostasy according to the Bible is DEATH.
Jesus did honor the Old Testament’s laws and ordered his followers to follow the Old Testament until the day of Judgment:
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law (the Old Testament) or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke or a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law (the Old Testament) until everything is accomplished. (Matthew 5:17-18)”
Christians always say as an excuse that an Old Testament law does not apply to them. According to Matthew 5:17-18, we clearly see that Jesus honored the Old Testament, and forced Christians to follow the unmodified laws of it that have not been replaced by newer ones in the New Testament. The Old Testament as we clearly see above orders the immediate killing of apostates/renegades. The New Testament as we also clearly see above, orders the death of the apostates/renegades. And according to Matthew 5:17-18 above, apostates/renegades in Christianity must be put to death simultaneously.
By the way, please visit: Christians are obligated to follow the Old Testament.
Also, during the middle centuries when the Church used to rule over everything, the minority Christians and the Christian Scientists were slaughtered and put to death by the majority ones just because the Priests and Ministers of the High Church decided to call as “heresies” or “apostates”. The Bible does give clear authority to the Priests and Ministers to call someone an apostate:
“The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man’s judgment. (1 Corinthians 2:15)”
What about the NT verses of “love your enemy”?
Let us look at what Jesus said:
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’
44 But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that?
47 And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?
48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Some Christians argued that Jesus’ commands about loving your enemy abrogated the Old Testament’s Laws of punishment. Like much of Christianity, this is all a bunch of man-made gibberish nonsense, because
1- We already saw how Jesus in Matthew 15:1-9, above, praised the Old Testament’s Laws of punishment, and he even rebuked those who didn’t follow those Laws.
2- The verses of Matthew 5:42-44, above, do not abrogate Jesus’ praises of and demands to follow the Old Testament’s Laws of punishment, because they simply talk about one’s treatment to his/her enemy. The punishment of the guilty has nothing to do with these verses, because these verses are talking about your personal relationship with people and how you should deal with those who have animosity toward you, while the OT’s Laws of punishment are talking about punishing someone for disobeying GOD Almighty’s Divine Commands.
If anything, this argument that I encountered proves that Christians are totally confused .
The Bible in both the Old and New Testaments command the killing of apostates, and those who disagree need to produce their proofs.
After all, the Medieval Churches during the middle centuries, who used to persecute minority Christians and Jews, were not deviants after all! They were simply following their bible.
And Allah knows best..