“I’ve got a King James Bible,” Worley said. “I’ve been a preacher for 53 years. Do you think I’m going to bail out on this?”

Are unbelievers today, under the Law?
No, the Law was a temporary guardian to bring us to the time of faith (Gal 3:24).
If they are not, by what standard is the unbeliever judged?
The law of God, written on their hearts.
Is an unbeliever guilty of adultery, or are they exempt from the Law because they are an unbeliever?
No, adultery is a sin outside the Law.
Is an unbeliever guilty of murder, or are they exempt from the Law because they are an unbeliever?
No, murder is a sin outside the Law.
Is an unbeliever guilty of sodomy, or are they exempt from the Law because they are an unbeliever?
Presuming you mean homosexuality, no, because it is outside the Law.
What is the standard we preach to the unbeliever?
The righteousness of God, of which the Law was a temporary expression for a particular covenant community upon their deliverance from Egypt. To be “not under the Law of Moses” is not to be without some standard. There was a standard long prior to the Law, and there is one afterwards.

Tom, even if I grant your point, what does that have to do with establishing the death penalty for homosexuality?

Greg Long, Ed.D. (SBTS)

Pastor of Adult Ministries
Grace Church, Des Moines, IA

Adjunct Instructor
School of Divinity
Liberty University

are not aware of its socially damaging if not damning products and by-products to a state at large

Nobody’s denying that these behaviors are harmful. I’ve already made it clear why—harmful or not—they cannot be effectively prevented by means of law in a land such as ours in a day such as ours. Without the aid of some kind of supernatural guidance in solving cases (which they did have in Moses’ day and after… for a while), how could it be effectively prevented by law in any land? It really has to be internally regulated. That is, people have to believe it’s wrong and act accordingly. So the solution is persuasion, not coercion.

Farmer Tom N… It might help to emphasize the difference between the law of Moses and God’s law in general. The former was an expression of the latter for a particular group of people whom God offered a covenant relationship. That particular set of laws defined the terms of the relationship. Only those who were parties to the covenant would be under the law of the covenant.
As for the law of God, we are all under it and judged by it. Romans bears this out (and explains that in Christ, the Spirit eventually produces conduct that satisfies God’s law in the believer (ch.8) through the indwelling of the Spirit and union with Christ (ch.6).) [edit: actually, looks like you get that part already… I’ll leave it for others who might gain from a short description of the difference]

But it doesn’t follow, as I posted earlier, that if something is morally wrong (contrary to God’s law, sin), it should necessarily be made part of a society’s criminal law. This might be more clear if I use an extreme example: should we have state or federal laws against thinking hateful thoughts or indulging in envy? But these are both contrary to God’s law. We don’t put them in the criminal code because…
a. impossible to enforce in any meaningful way
b. It’s impossible to make every morally wrong act illegal—wrong behavior takes a nearly infinite number of forms
c. Even if a and b were not a problem, there is ultimately no substitute for character, for real virtue. The “b” situation makes internal regulation of conduct necessary, but even apart from that, what value is there in doing every decent thing we do only because some punishment will occur if we don’t?

So, clearly, some wrong things (a.k.a. things contrary to God’s law) should not be illegal. So the question is, when should something morally wrong (sin) be illegalized/criminalized?
In breif: civil law is for people who will not do right out of their own conviction/love of the good, and only has value (usually) where it can be effectively enforced in order to coerce these people.

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.