Deut. 13 cites three cases of instigation to idolatry, first, in vv. 1-5, by the false prophet; second, in vv. 6-11, by a private individual; and, third, by a city, vv. 12-18. The penalty in every case is death without mercy. The death penalty is not required for private belief: it is for attempts to subvert others and to subvert the social order by enticing others to idolatry. Because for Biblical law the foundation is the one true God, the central offense is therefore treason to that God by idolatry.
- Rousas John Rushdoony, The Institutes of Biblical Law 38 (1973)