Every now and then, a cry is heard from fundamentalist Christians in the USA and Western Europe that we should all live according to the "God-given" laws in the Bible. Such fundamentalists claim all societies would function better if these laws were applied. After all, as they claim, Biblical laws are given by the Christian God, the one true God, of the one true religion, so they are actually universal laws applicable to all peoples. But these God-given laws are so extreme and severe, that their enforcement would result in a massive wave of executions throughout Western Europe and the USA. So let us examine the effect of strict application of these laws on the populations of these two world regions.
What are the consequences of living according to these God-given laws, and their strict application? A quick perusal reveals a drastic lethality when dealing with those violating these laws of God. So the real question is rather; "What percentage of the people currently living in the United States of America and Western Europe would survive the sudden strict and literal introduction, as well as application of biblical law?" For clarity, I have put the consequences of strict application of Biblical law in table form below.
% USA & European women that must be put to death
% USA & European men that must be put to death
Biblical crime: Not being a virgin when marrying.
Biblical crime: Adultery
Biblical crime: Homosexual contact.
Biblical crime: Disobedient sons
Biblical crime: Blasphemy.
more than 1%
more than 1%
Biblical crime: Working on the Sabbath / Sunday.
more than 5%
more than 5%
The Christian Bible is divided into two major sections - the "Old Testament" and the "New Testament". The Old Testament contains the revelations of God to the "chosen people" of Israel - the Jewish nation. The New Testament is a revelation of the word of God after the coming of the great Jewish prophet Jesus, who claimed to be the son of God. These revelations of Jesus formed the basis of Christianity which is currently largest world religion. So the first task is to determine whether the laws of God in the Old Testament are applicable to Christian societies. The words of Jesus in two books of the New Testament of the Bible provide clear answers to this question.
Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest part or the smallest part of a letter will pass from the law, until all things have taken place.
For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass the law until all is accomplished. Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 5:17-19)
But it is easier for heaven and earth to disappear than for the smallest detail of the Law to be done away with. (Luke 16:17)
These passages refer to the the law. The law referred to is the laws of God handed down to the ancient tribes of Israel by Moses. These passages make it very clear that Jesus considered these laws as applicable in his time. And why not? After all, God is eternal, the creator of the universe and all within. So the laws of God are not just for one moment for a single tribe of miserable fugitives from oppression in ancient Egypt. No, the laws of God are supposedly immutable and applicable to all peoples for all time. This is the truth of the word of God in the Bible as interpreted by extreme fundamentalists.
But are these laws the word of God? Various passages in the Old Testament reveal these laws are indeed the word of God. Answers to these questions are found in Chapter 20 in the book of Leviticus, and Chapter 4 in the book of Deuteronomy.
1. And Jehovah spake unto Moses, saying,Ö..
22 Ye shall therefore keep all my statutes, and all mine ordinances, and do them; that the land, whither I bring you to dwell therein, vomit you not out.
23 And ye shall not walk in the customs of the nation, which I cast out before you: for they did all these things, and therefore I abhorred them. (Leviticus 20: verses 1 and 22-23)
1. And now, O Israel, hearken unto the statutes and unto the ordinances, which I teach you, to do them; that ye may live, and go in and possess the land which Jehovah, the God of your fathers, giveth you.
2. Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish from it, that ye may keep the commandments of Jehovah your God which I command you.
3. Your eyes have seen what Jehovah did because of Baal-peor; for all the men that followed Baal-peor, Jehovah thy God hath destroyed them from the midst of thee.
4. But ye that did cleave unto Jehovah your God are alive every one of you this day.
5. Behold, I have taught you statutes and ordinances, even as Jehovah my God commanded me, that ye should do so in the midst of the land whither ye go in to possess it.
6. Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples, that shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.
7. For what great nation is there, that hath a god so nigh unto them, as Jehovah our God is whensoever we call upon him?
8. And what great nation is there, that hath statutes and ordinances so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day?
9. Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes saw, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life; but make them known unto thy children and thy children's children; (Deuteronomy 4:1-9)
All this is a very clear statement of the truly just, merciful, and God-given nature of these laws. Many of them are also applicable to non-Jews and non-Christians living within communities of Jews and Christians. This is not at all surprising as God is supposedly the only, one and true God, which is the justification for the universal applicability of these laws.
This table makes it immediately clear that immediate and strict application of the laws of God handed down to us in the Old Testament would have horrific consequences for the populations of Western Europe and the USA. Applying the letter of these laws means that more than 80% of women, and more than 40% of all men living in these countries must be put to death immediately! This is of course totally insane, but it is the consequence of rigid application of Biblical laws. And to think, that some people actually say they want such laws to be applied. Such people are either very ignorant, or their view of a "merciful God" is evidently very different to that of most people. Such laws can only be regarded as biblical madness.
Furthermore, it is women who seem to bear the brunt of God's "just laws". This is stange and very unjust. After all, what have women done that God treats them so badly and so unjustly? For example, God does not require men to be virgins before marriage. This requirement is only forced upon women. However, the Bible does provide another answer to this problem. God considers women to be dirty little creatures who only defile men. A passage in the book of Revelation even confirms this opinion.
Then I looked, and there before me was the Lamb, standing on Mount Zion, and with him 144,000 who had his name and his Fatherís name written on their foreheads. And I heard a sound from heaven like the roar of rushing waters and like a loud peal of thunder. The sound I heard was like that of harpists playing their harps. And they sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders. No one could learn the song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth. These are those who did not defile themselves with women, for they remained virgins. They follow the Lamb wherever he goes. They were purchased from among mankind and offered as firstfruits to God and the Lamb. No lie was found in their mouths; they are blameless. (Revelation 14:1-5)
So why does God regard women in this way? After all, God supposedly created both women and men. This is a fascinating subject discussed on another page of this site, and a depressing example of how the Bible discriminates aganst women. Hell must be full of women if God regards them in this manner. However, back to the main topic of this page - living according to biblical laws is clearly very, very dangerous and foolish.
Page made 10 June 2013