Stoning of women?
How can Christians “cast the first stone” at the Muslim world for the stoning of women when such are the roots of Christianity.
In many middle eastern belief systems, it is common for private or public stonings of women who are accused by two or more of infidelity. A Google search on the word "stoning," notice the images portrayed are over 90% - of women. Are not the men just as guilty, if not more so?
The Christian world abhors the stoning practice. Yet, such is the roots of our Christianity. Let’s examine…
21 Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father’s house, and the men of her city shall stone her with stones that she die: because she hath wrought folly in Israel, to play the whore in her father’s house: so shalt thou put evil away from among you.
22 ¶If a man be found lying with a woman married to an husband, then they shall both of them die, both the man that lay with the woman, and the woman: so shalt thou put away evil from Israel.
23 ¶If a damsel that is a virgin be betrothed unto an husband, and a man find her in the city, and lie with her;
24 Then ye shall bring them both out unto the gate of that city, and ye shall stone them with stones that they die; the damsel, because she cried not, being in the city; and the man, because he hath humbled his neighbour’s wife: so thou shalt put away evil from among you. Deuteronomy 22:13-24
Below is further enlightenment regarding the New Testament story of the "woman taken in adultery," but first -- the condoning by God of 'stoning,' according to the Israelites, was not just limited to adultery but for many offenses, such as working on the Sabbath day:
They found a man that gathered sticks upon the Sabbath day. ... And the LORD said unto Moses, The man shall be surely put to death: all the congregation shall stone him with stones.... And all the congregation brought him without the camp, and stoned him with stones, and he died; as the LORD commanded Moses. Numbers 15:32-56
For goodness sake there would only be a handful alive today if we were to heed the stoning laws of biblical Israel or the Quran. Mother Teresa nor Gandhi would likely escape stoning if today's world adhered to biblical teachings.
Here are other “directives from God” for stoning from the Bible:
For touching Mount Sinai
Whosoever toucheth the mount shall be surely put to death. Exodus 19:13
For taking "accursed things"
Achan ... took of the accursed thing. ... And all Israel stoned him with stones, and burned them with fire, after they had stoned them with stones. ... So the LORD turned from the fierceness of his anger.Joshua 7:1-26
For cursing or blaspheming
And he that blasphemeth the name of the LORD, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him. Leviticus 24:16
For adultery (remember, this includes urban rape victims who fail to scream loud enough)
If a damsel that is a virgin be betrothed unto an husband, and a man find her in the city, and lie with her; Then ye shall bring them both out unto the gate of that city, and ye shall stone them with stones that they die; the damsel, because she cried not, being in the city. Deuteronomy 22:23-24
For animals (like an ox that gores a human)
If an ox gore a man or a woman, that they die: then the ox shall be surely stoned. Exodus 21:28
For worshipping other gods
If there be found among you ... that ... hath gone and served other gods, and worshipped them ... Then shalt thou ... tone them with stones, till they die. Deuteronomy 17:2-5
If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which thou hast not known, thou, nor thy fathers ... thou shalt stone him with stones, that he die. Deuteronomy 13:5-10
For disobeying parents
If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother ... Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city ... 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 with stones, that he die. Deuteronomy 21:18-21
For witches and wizards
A man also or woman that hath a familiar spirit, or that is a wizard, shall surely be put to death: they shall stone them with stones: their blood shall be upon them. Leviticus 20:27
For giving your children to Molech
Whosoever ... giveth any of his seed unto Molech; he shall surely be put to death: the people of the land shall stone him with stones. Leviticus 20:2
For cursing the king
Thou didst blaspheme God and the king. And then carry him out, and stone him, that he may die. 1 Kings 21:10
The New Testament paints a different picture regarding this stoning. In John 8 is the story about a woman caught in adultery and wherein Jesus spoke these oft repeated words, “he who is without sin let him cast the first stone.”
For sure, as a civilized society we should not condone stoning, but perhaps we can at least be understanding of such beliefs and practices. People really do believe that God directs such. But should the civilized world allow this? For Gods sake, a young beautiful girl was stoned recently just for 'entering' a beauty pageant.
Imagine what a father or mother, or a grandmother must feel witnessing their offspring stoned. Near equal pain, is having to believe their soul is damned in the next life.
Enough is enough. If Christianity could rise above stonings' barbarism, so can the Muslim world. What God, of any belief, would sanction such. Jesus did not teach such a God.
The Urantia Book, printed in 1955 as a gift to all religions, declares that there is no such vengeful God, but as Jesus taught, an all-loving Father-God. Regarding the story of the "woman taken in adultry" here is the story from the Urantia Book:
3. THE WOMAN TAKEN IN ADULTERY
162:3.1 It was during this visit to Jerusalem that Jesus dealt with a certain woman of evil repute who was brought into his presence by her accusers and his enemies. The distorted record you have of this episode would suggest that this woman had been brought before Jesus by the scribes and Pharisees, and that Jesus so dealt with them as to indicate that these religious leaders of the Jews might themselves have been guilty of immorality. Jesus well knew that, while these scribes and Pharisees were spiritually blind and intellectually prejudiced by their loyalty to tradition, they were to be numbered among the most thoroughly moral men of that day and generation.
162:3.2 What really happened was this: Early the third morning of the feast, as Jesus approached the temple, he was met by a group of the hired agents of the Sanhedrin who were dragging a woman along with them. As they came near, the spokesman said: “Master, this woman was taken in adultery—in the very act. Now, the law of Moses commands that we should stone such a woman. What do you say should be done with her?”
162:3.3 It was the plan of Jesus’ enemies, if he upheld the law of Moses requiring that the self-confessed transgressor be stoned, to involve him in difficulty with the Roman rulers, who had denied the Jews the right to inflict the death penalty without the approval of a Roman tribunal. If he forbade stoning the woman, they would accuse him before the Sanhedrin of setting himself up above Moses and the Jewish law. If he remained silent, they would accuse him of cowardice. But the Master so managed the situation that the whole plot fell to pieces of its own sordid weight.
162:3.4 This woman, once comely, was the wife of an inferior citizen of Nazareth, a man who had been a troublemaker for Jesus throughout his youthful days. The man, having married this woman, did most shamefully force her to earn their living by making commerce of her body. He had come up to the feast at Jerusalem that his wife might thus prostitute her physical charms for financial gain. He had entered into a bargain with the hirelings of the Jewish rulers thus to betray his own wife in her commercialized vice. And so they came with the woman and her companion in transgression for the purpose of ensnaring Jesus into making some statement which could be used against him in case of his arrest.
162:3.5 Jesus, looking over the crowd, saw her husband standing behind the others. He knew what sort of man he was and perceived that he was a party to the despicable transaction. Jesus first walked around to near where this degenerate husband stood and wrote upon the sand a few words which caused him to depart in haste. Then he came back before the woman and wrote again upon the ground for the benefit of her would-be accusers; and when they read his words, they, too, went away, one by one. And when the Master had written in the sand the third time, the woman’s companion in evil took his departure, so that, when the Master raised himself up from this writing, he beheld the woman standing alone before him. Jesus said: “Woman, where are your accusers? did no man remain to stone you?” And the woman, lifting up her eyes, answered, “No man, Lord.” And then said Jesus: “I know about you; neither do I condemn you. Go your way in peace.” And this woman, Hildana, forsook her wicked husband and joined herself to the disciples of the kingdom.
Women of today, subject to such barbaric stonings in the name of religion, can perhaps take solace in the fact that one, Jesus of Nazareth was also constantly under threat of being stoned.
Urantia Book 164:5.3 Jesus continued his teaching: “Many loving works have I shown you from the Father, so that now would I inquire for which one of these good works do you think to stone me?” And then answered one of the Pharisees: “For no good work would we stone you but for blasphemy, inasmuch as you, being a man, dare to make yourself equal with God.” And Jesus answered: “You charge the Son of Man with blasphemy because you refused to believe me when I declared to you that I was sent by God. If I do not the works of God, believe me not, but if I do the works of God, even though you believe not in me, I should think you would believe the works. But that you may be certain of what I proclaim, let me again assert that the Father is in me and I in the Father, and that, as the Father dwells in me, so will I dwell in every one who believes this gospel.” And when the people heard these words, many of them rushed out to lay hands upon the stones to cast at him, but he passed out through the temple precincts; and meeting Nathaniel and Thomas, who had been in attendance upon the session of the Sanhedrin, he waited with them near the temple until Josiah came from the council chamber.
Urantia Book 167:4.4 Accordingly, early on Wednesday morning he said to his apostles: “Let us prepare at once to go into Judea again.” And when the apostles heard their Master say this, they drew off by themselves for a time to take counsel of one another. James assumed the direction of the conference, and they all agreed that it was only folly to allow Jesus to go again into Judea, and they came back as one man and so informed him. Said James: “Master, you were in Jerusalem a few weeks back, and the leaders sought your death, while the people were minded to stone you. At that time you gave these men their chance to receive the truth, and we will not permit you to go again into Judea.”