Dangers of living by Biblical Law

© G.M. Woerlee


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.

Consequences of strict application of Biblical laws

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.


Biblical crime:
Bible reference:
Situation in the USA and Europe:

% 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.
Bible reference: If any man take a wife, and go in unto her, and hate her, and lay shameful things to her charge, and bring up an evil name upon her, and say, I took this woman, and when I came nigh to her, I found not in her the tokens of virginity; then shall the father of the damsel, and her mother, take and bring forth the tokens of the damsel's virginity unto the elders of the city in the gate; and the damsel's father shall say unto the elders, I gave my daughter unto this man to wife, and he hateth her; and, lo, he hath laid shameful things to her charge, saying, I found not in thy daughter the tokens of virginity; and yet these are the tokens of my daughter's virginity. And they shall spread the garment before the elders of the city. And the elders of that city shall take the man and chastise him; and they shall fine him a hundred shekels of silver, and give them unto the father of the damsel, because he hath brought up an evil name upon a virgin of Israel: and she shall be his wife; he may not put her away all his days. But if this thing be true, that the tokens of virginity were not found in the damsel; then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father's house, and the men of her city shall stone her to death with stones, because she hath wrought folly in Israel, to play the harlot in her father's house: so shalt thou put away the evil from the midst of thee. (Deuteronomy 22: 13-21)
Situation in the USA and Europe: A survey published during 2007 in the USA reveals that By age 44, 95% of American women had engaged in vaginal sex before marriage, and 85% had married. This means that by age 44, 95% of 85% = 76.75% of ALL women in the USA satisfied the criterion of not being virgins before marriage (see Trends in Premarital Sex in the United States, 1954-2003). The situation in Western Europe is no different. The Bible does not state anywhere that men must be virgins at marriage, so this law only applies to women.



Biblical crime: Adultery
Bible reference: And the man that committeth adultery with another man's wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbor's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death. (Leviticus 20:10)
Situation in the USA and Europe: An article published by Elizabeth Allen and others during 2008 reveals that about 34% of men and 19% of women report having engaged in an adulterous relationship during marriage (see Premarital Precursors of Marital Infidelity). About 85% of women in the USA are married by age 44 = 19% of 85% = 15.75% of ALL women in the USA have committed adultery at some time during their lives. Similarly, 85% of men have been married by age 44 = 34% of 85% = 28.9% of ALL men in the USA have committed adultery at some time during their lives. This situation is no different in Western Europe.



Biblical crime: Homosexual contact.
Bible reference: And if a man lie with mankind, as with womankind, both of them have committed abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them. (Leviticus 20:13)
Situation in the USA and Europe: A survey of sexual behavior in the USA published during 2011 reveals that about 12% of ALL women in the USA, and 6% of ALL men in the USA have engaged in some form of homosexual contact (see figure 1 in National Health Statistic Reports ). The situation in Western Europe is no different. Careful examination of the Bile reveals that God does not expressly prescribe death for lesbians. So I guess lesbians are simply admonished and cursed as is done by Saint Paul in Romans 1:26-28.



Biblical crime: Disobedient sons
Bible reference: If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, that will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and, though they chasten him, will not hearken unto them; then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place; and they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard. And all the men of his city shall stone him to death with stones: so shalt thou put away the evil from the midst of thee; and all Israel shall hear, and fear. (Deuteronomy 21:18-21)
Situation in the USA and Europe: Rebellious and disobedient sons who also drink too much occur in both these regions of the world. The exact percentage of sons satisfying these criteria is unknown, but is not large. However, it is worth mentioning.



Biblical crime: Blasphemy.
Bible reference: anyone who blasphemes the name of the Lord is to be put to death. The entire assembly must stone them. Whether foreigner or native-born, when they blaspheme the Name they are to be put to death.(Leviticus 24:16)
Situation in the USA and Europe: Blasphemy is common in Western Europe and the USA. Difficult to ascribe an exact percentage, but it is significant.

more than 1%

more than 1%

Biblical crime: Working on the Sabbath / Sunday.
Bible reference: For six days, work is to be done, but the seventh day shall be your holy day, a day of sabbath rest to the LORD. Whoever does any work on it is to be put to death. (Exodus 35:2)
Situation in the USA and Europe: A significant proportion of the USA and Western European population work on Saturday or Sunday. This is part of the normal economies and household work of these countries.

more than 5%

more than 5%


But do Old testament Biblical laws apply to Christians?

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.

Is Biblical law truly from God?

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.


consequences of living by biblical laws


Biblical insanity

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





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