Welcome to the boards.
(1) If we are supposed to honor God’s laws, why did Joseph not turn Mary over to the authorities to be stoned after discovering she was pregnant, as should have been her punishment according to Deuteronomy?
For the same reason that Jesus healed on the Sabbath…To show that love and mercy is greater than blind obedience to a law.
Can we too selectively pick which of God’s laws to honor?
No…but that simple word is not the end of the matter. In Mt 22:36-40 we see Jesus reduce all of the law and prophets down to just two commands. Love God above all else and love your neighbor as yourself.
In John’s Gospel we see Jesus leave us with a single commandment…To Love one another (John 13:34-35).
Paul reinforces this point in Romans where he states…
8Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. 9The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not kill, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this sentence, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 10*Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
So when one speaks of the rules of the Church that we are to live by and how to understand and live by those rules, one must always measure and weigh their understanding and their judgement by this overriding command…Love one another…
(2) Although I realize we are no longer under these laws, how was it ever ok for God to have condoned the stoning of women as he did in the Old Testament?
This we cannot really know. Being removed by 2000+ years as well as by huge social, intellectual, and cultural differences we cannot really say why God permitted such things.
We can only trust that God did what was right at that time and in that place for those people. Then we need to simply move on and do our best to deal with what we have to deal with today…which is to Love God and neighbor.
I don’t know about you, but trying to get just that right keeps me plenty busy…
You are welcome.