So, on a Facebook I had a discussion with a couple friends who argued that the Bible incited violence through the verses about the stoning of whitches, homosexuals, or the commands to kill groups of people. What do you think?
In the Old testament, the Law was given to the Israelites, they made a covenant with God. God gave them the law, and they had to follow it. The Law contained punishments to Israelites who made a “social contract” with him. Agreeing that they wouldn’t do X in exchange for Y. We do it all the time, we penalize things that others may seem as ridiculous. And anyone seeking to exact the penalties of the Old testament for those sins, would have to subject themselves to the law. (Something that is near impossible to do)
However! The reason why the reading of the whole bible is important is that in the death of the Christ ALL of God’s wrath towards humanity was poured out. And according to Paul, with the completion of Jesus’ death and Resurrection the law is no longer something we follow except to show us that we are sinners, and what God likes and dislikes. In Acts, we also see a message from God about the dietary laws which gives us the OK to ignore them.
With Jesus’ words to the rich young ruler, we know the completed law that we follow is the law of love. We are to love God with everything we have, and to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. These are all clearly visible in the doctrine of scripture. Jesus exampled through his teachings that we are no longer beholden to the law, and how we had forgotten the purpose of the law and that it really is more of a heart issue than an outside action issue.
*edited top paragraph for clairity.* 8-15-2011