When Moses delivered the ten commandments they represented what was needed by the Hebrew tribe who were by all accounts a rather unruly bunch.
As happens with most things, however, the powers that be decided that if rules and regulations were good (pleasing to God) then more and more rules and regulations would be better and better (even more pleasing to God).
But that is not necessarily the case.
The commandments of the law were health regulations and prohibitions on such things as incest. Most of these things were for the good of the tribe.
As happened in the 1960s when too much regulation was rectified by more and more freedom until there were virtually no rules at all, the pendulum swings wildly one way and then the other.
Perhaps the answer lies in the UCA Sexuality Report which suggests freedoms and responsibilities.
A balance between the two.
Interestingly these two principles are ruled astrologically by Uranus and Saturn - the two co-rulers of the sign of Aquarius.
So finding a balance between the two extremes is a clue to the Age of Aquarius.
Saturn rules regulations and restrictions, the traditional, old things (the right wing).....
Uranus rules freedoms, the radical, new things (the left wing).....
You will find both in the Bible :
- the law, the Old Testament,
- the New Testament, new wine, a new thing, New Jerusalem.
Although some rules and regulations may be a good thing it by no means justifies harsh punishments.
I have never known God to punish anyone.
Punishment is a concept based on fear :
- fear of crime,
- fear of violence,
and as such is a human invention.
God works through light :
and relies on goodness.
Punishment relies on a dim view of humanity.
"'You of little faith.'" Matthew 14:31 (NRSV)
Consequences, on the other hand, are to do with cause and effect.
AIDS is not a punishment from God for homosexuality but if you are promiscuous and have many sexual partners you run an increased risk of contracting a sexually transmitted disease.
This has more to do with common sense than moral law.
The law is a set of guidelines to protect the community from disease and suffering.
(Scripture quotations (marked NRSV) are taken from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A., and are used by permission. All rights reserved.)