Ever since the passage of the Ten Commandments bill, I’ve been trying to wrap my head around the idea that some laws which used to matter a great deal to the ancient Hebrews ought not carry much weight in the here and now. The basic idea here is that a morally-perfect and changeless transcendental mimd created human beings and revealed His perfect law to some of them, but now some of these laws are no longer worthwhile. Consider for a moment only those Mosaic and Levitical laws for which the penalty was death. Is it philosophically consistent for believers to say that we should decriminalize any of them? If these crimes were once so serious as to warrant death in a society set up by an all-wise and morally exemplary being, it seems terribly counterintuitive to reduce such transgressions to mere foibles, the suppression of which is best left to culture and personal conscience.
Bible-believing Christians usually deal with this problem by pointing out that they are no longer bound by the ancient Hebrew laws. There is ample New Testament support for this proposition, no doubt, but this does not really solve the problem. Christians who vote must decide which divinely ordained laws are timeless and ought to always be recognized by every society (e.g. those proscribing murder, theft, perjury) and those which are only relevant within an ancient cultural context (e.g. head-coverings for women, circumcision for men, kosher food for everyone).
I would think it quite obvious that any law which once carried the penalty of death and was not specifically addressed and overturned in the NT would qualify as one which Christians should support whenever given the chance, whether by electing representatives to the legislature, by direct plebiscite, or by other means.
How, then, do Bible-believing Christians justify their failure to support theocratic politicians like Brogdon and Ritze in a crusade to recriminalize apostasy, buggery, cursing, divination, and other such victimless crimes? What is the reasoning which allows you to treat these seemingly absolute moral commands once set in stone by a perfectly moral being as mere matters of personal conscience? Seriously, guys, I’m stumped here - please help me out. How can you tell which divine laws are timeless and which were intended only for one tribe living far away and long ago?