In America, we have freedom of choice. Most will tell you that this is America’s greatest freedom of all. However, under the law of Moses, this was not so. If one sinned, they were punished for it immediately, even killed. If one were caught committing adultery, they were stoned to death. The same applied for homosexuality and a host of other sins listed in the Pentateuch. Under the old law, Israelites had no freedom whatsoever to sin. Therefore the name for the law of Moses was so deemed as the ministry of death (2 Cor 3:7).
Under the law of Christ, we have the freedom of choice. If one commits an abomination such as adultery or homosexuality, the church nor it’s individual members has the right to kill them or to do any harm to them whatsoever. All the sins that mankind commits will be punished by God under the law of Christ. Thus the name, the perfect law of liberty (Jam 1:25).
In the days of Christ, the Jews were not allowed to kill a man for breaking the law of Moses, as in the days they were a kingdom unto themselves. This was because they were under the captivity of the Roman Empire. Therefore, when the time came that they wanted Jesus to be killed for allegedly breaking their laws, they took him before Roman officials such as Herod and Pilate.
In modern society, this same practice continues to this very day. The church has no jurisdiction in any country to take the law into their own hands. In fact, they have no jurisdiction whatsoever to kill a man according to the laws of God. Yet, many seek to circumvent the laws of God by turning to man’s law. They will vote for elected officials to gain restrictions upon homosexuals and lesbians, and abortionists in order to circumvent what God condemned. God made it perfectly clear that the church, nor it’s individual members has the right to take vengeance upon any man. God said, “Vengeance belongs to me, I shall repay” and again he said, “The Lord shall judge his people” (Heb 10:30).
There are crimes which man can govern which keep society civil. Thus, most every nation have penalties for murder, rape, incest, robbery, etc. However, there are other immoralities which cannot be governed. It is practically impossible to prevent homosexuals and lesbians from indulging in their abominable behavior. Society can slow abortions from happening, but if history is any indication, it is nearly impossible to stop most of them from occurring. Adultery and fornication are abominations before God, but how many prisons would it take to contain all of them? Let’s get real, we would have to jail nearly all of Congress and the President himself if adultery was a crime. Man can’t do what God can do. If mankind misuses their personal freedom, God will have his vengeance. As Christians, we must put our faith in God, and not man, for Christians walk by faith, and not sight (2 Cor 5:7).
Though the church can restrict who worships with them, and avoid contact with an unrepentant sinner, they have no right to do more than that (Matt 18:15-17). So when the churches do as the Jews did in biblical times, they have sinned because they have not stolen such powers from mankind, but from God, and have joined allegiance with the world to do so. This too is an abomination, for they have not robbed man, but God (Rom 12:19).
The responsibility of the church is to teach and preach and convert, for contained therein is the manifold wisdom of God (Eph 3:10). Lot was a man such as we are, who dwelt in a land of great wickedness. Yet, he didn’t seek to condemn Sodom but protected his righteous soul daily from their wicked deeds (2 Pet 2:7,8). In fact, Abraham, who was called a friend of God, begged God not to destroy those wicked cities in hopes there were at least 10 righteous souls among them. He was wrong and it was God who rained down fire and brimstone upon them (2 Pet 2:6).
Today, we live in very wicked times as well. Only God knows if America and the countries which emulate America, are more wicked than Sodom and Gomorrah. Instead of trying to pass laws to punish the wicked by joining forces with the world, we should be teaching and preaching to them the gospel of Christ (2 Tim 4:2-5). No wonder why Jesus said, the harvest is truly plentiful, but the workers are few (Lk 10:2).
It is God who establishes governments to contain the wickedness of mankind, and faithful Christians have no need to fear them. Therefore, we pay them taxes, for they the are ministers of God. We have the obligation as Christians to be good citizens and obey every law of man that doesn’t conflict with God’s law, and to teach everyone to do the same accordingly by God’s Word (Acts 5:29 f; Rom 13:1-7). We can instruct, and be a good example, but we are not allowed to force anyone to obey God (2 Tim 2:2 f; 1 Tim 4:12). Thus was the sin of the Pharisees who crucified our Lord.
God’s kingdom is not of this world. If it were so, the Saints of God would fight (Jn 18:36). As Christians, we must not become involved with the affairs of this world in order that we might become good soldiers of Jesus Christ (2 Tim 2:4). Let every Christian never be ashamed of the gospel that we might be able to save and convert the sinner, and yes, even our very soul (Rom 1:16 ff; Jam 5:19,20; Acts 2:40). No one can be forced into being moral, or forced into becoming a Christian. They are given a freedom of choice. A choice that is given to all who will obey the gospel or refuse it (Jn 12:48). To those who choose to obey the gospel, a promise of eternal life is given (Mk 16:16 f; Tit 1:2). To those who reject the gospel, a promise of hell and damnation (2 Thess 1:7-9). Remember, mankind has the freedom of choice, and God has the freedom to judge the world (Rom 2:16). If we are wise, we will choose to serve the Lord (Josh 24:15).