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Do you really believe disobedient children should be stoned?

Actually, no I do not. This law, which is found in Deuteronomy 21:21, relates, not to children but to incorrigible older youths. The parents say “our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard.” This is no child; it is an older person that has no respect for others, not even his parents. He is well on his way toward a life of crime.

This law cannot be understood properly without considering the society it was a part of. The people were free; there were no prisons, no police forces, no structure to deal with a permanent criminal element. Children had to learn obedience at an early age and were expected to grow up into law-abiding citizens.

Parental obedience reflected obedience to God’s laws, which obedience was essential to the survival of the society as a whole. An older son that held no respect for his parents represented a serious threat to that society. The danger in having such persons as free members of society is on a par with the crime of murder.

This law, as do all God’s laws, deals with the roots and not just the symptoms of problems. Consider what, the threat of death for the adulterer, the incorrigible, the murderer would do: It would make parents better parents. It would give pause to criminals and drive them to repentance in many cases.

By not enforcing God’s Law and supposedly ‘sparing’ lives we are actually losing souls for eternity.