Monday, September 24, 2007

Getting the Contrast Wrong

In a recent post, Doug Wilson wrote:
"Islamic law has its own ways of dealing with adultery. Jesus had another." (with a photo apparently showing a Muslim woman about to be stoned for adultery, and a quotation of the pericope adulterae)

The problem is, DW has drawn the wrong contrast - at least in the minds of many of those commenting on his thread - through his inclusion of the term "Islamic."

It is not merely Islamic law, but the Law of Moses that deals with adultery by stoning. Stoning for adultery is perfectly just, though severe. Jesus did not come to redefine justice, and His first coming was not as a judge. Christianity does not call for governments to punish crimes differently than Moses appointed, and Christianity should commend, not condemn, Muslim governments in cases where they adminster justice - there are so many areas where they do not.

Nevertheless, there is a contrast between the law and the gospel. The law condemns sinners, but Jesus forgives sinners. The law punishes sinners, but Jesus bears the punishment for sinners. That is the contrast: Jesus is our advocate, our sacrifice, our mediator, the one in whom we trust for salvation. He did not come into the world to condemn the world, but to save His people from their sins.

Jesus will come again as a judge, and on that day He will not hesitate to condemn sinners who have not turned to God. For the (apparently) Muslim woman shown in the picture on DW's blog, the situation is doubly grim. Such a woman has very little time to turn from her sin and cast herself on the mercy of the one Triune God. And you, dear reader, may have even less time - for life is short.

If you are reading this and have not begged Almighty God to accept you, do so today. Pray to the Father, trusting in the finished work of Christ on the cross and you will be saved. Put it off, and you may be lost forever. That should be a far more terrifying prospect than to be struck about the head with stones for a few minutes by an angry mob of men. All have sinned, and no one will escape the punishment for sin, but those who trust in Christ for salvation.

May God's light shine more and more unto the perfect day!


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