The following are positive biblical examples of approved negative civil sanctions which are nowhere expressly revealed in the portions of Scripture dealing with the laws related to civil punishments:
1. When King Josiah made a covenant to destroy the high places, vessels, altars, priests of Baal worship (2 Kings 23), he did not leave his covenant arbitrary; but 'he made all who were present in Jerusalem and in Benjamin join in it,' (2 Chron. 34:32), which is a precedent to Christian reformers. This must have included either threatening or inflicting punishment upon the transgressors. Where in Scripture is Josiah, as king, told to cause "all that were present in Jerusalem and Benjamin to join in" this particular covenant? Yet, Scripture commends Josiah's work as a covenanting king.
2. King Asa nationally caused (by civil power) the inhabitants of the nation to join in the covenant in 2 Chron. 15:10-15. This particular covenant renewal was not revealed in Scripture as a duty which king Asa was to enact (in his civil capacity over the nation), but was a civil duty deduced by Asa "by good and necessary consequence" from the moral law of God? The negative civil sanctions attached to the covenant refusers in Judah, that “whoever would not seek the Lord, the God of Israel, should be put to death, whether young or old, man or woman” (2 Chron. 15:13) were not explicitly revealed, but were also deduced from Scripture, "by good and necessary consequence," from the moral law of God.
3. The civil rulers have the just powers to punish seducing Prophets as well as other evil-doers, by the law of nature and Nations, as taught by Job 31:26-28, who was not under the Law of Moses that obligates the Jews, but a Gentile, and so being led by the Law of nature and Nations, makes Idolatry and worshipping of the Sun and Moon to be a gross immorality to be punished by the Judge.
4. Ezra provides a godly example during the covenanted Reformation of his day: Ezra 10:3-8. Where in the judicial law do we find civil penalties which state that if one did not attend this particular covenant renewal "within three days" that the civil magistrate could relieve him of all his "substance," and exile him from the covenanted people of God? Nowhere, which provides guidance on such contemporary questions as how the civil ruler should deal with the pornography plague.
5. Nehemiah, a civil reformer par excellence, exemplifies God's ordinance of a civil ruler as a "nursing-father" (Isa. 49:23) to the church of Christ: Neh. 13:15-21. Note carefully that in his treatment of those who just gave "the appearance of evil," by waiting outside the gate for the Sabbath to end, Nehemiah threatens to apply negative civil sanctions ("I will lay hands on you") *before* any actual *explicit* Sabbath violation (i.e. buying and selling, etc.) occurs. There is not explicit judicial law requiring the ruler to punish those who look as if they are about to break the Sabbath. Nehemiah's civil threats were a logical inference deduced by good and necessary consequence from the fourth commandment and the Scriptural duty of the civil ruler. What is pornography but a temptation to violate the seventh commandment?
I see nothing said in Scripture against bodily punishing of such as teach transubstantiation to others: for the Idolaters and Seducers in the Old Testament believed the same way: There is one true God “Jehovah that brought them our of Egypt,” Exo. 32:4-5; Jeroboam who made two Gods, and Jehu who was zealous for Jehovah, 1 King 13:1-6; 2 King 9:25-6,37; 2 Kings 10; 2 Kings 16:20,21; yet they denied and hated this *logical consequence* that they had 'forsaken the Lord,' Jer. 9:13,14. or Deut. 32:18, 'forgotten the rock that begat them', Ps.78:11,41. Ps. 107:12-13, that 'they forsook him days without number'... and *they did error indeed in a consequence, against the light of nature, yet the irreligious and wicked stopping of eyes and ears at *natural consequences in matters of Religion is no innocent error*, as is clear, Isa.44:18; yet *the Papist will deny this consequence*, that he multiplies Gods as loaves are multiplied in an oven; because as Isaiah [44:18] says, 'he knows not, he understands not, God has shut his eyes'; certainly that knowledge he denies to the Idolater, is the natural knowledge of a natural consequence; if you worship a bit of a ash-tree, or a bit of bread, ergo, the half of your God, or the quarter thereof, 'is baked in an oven', ergo, 'there is a lie, and an abomination in your right hand'; then **the denial of logical consequence in Religion, and the teaching thereof to others, may be, and is an heresy, and punishable by the civil ruler, as Deut.13 and Exod. 32. So Christ rebukes Matt. 22 Sadducees as ignorant of the Scripture, when they denied but the consequence or a logical connection, as God is not the God of the dead but of the living, ergo, the dead must rise again, and Abraham must live, and his body be raised from the dead. And the Idolaters who were to die by the Law of God (Exod. 32; Deut. 13) did not deny the true God more than our false teachers do now who deny him in consequence. We see no reason why the only ones who should be called false teachers are those who obstinately deny fundamentals.
I do no say that merely for believing transubstantiation, men are to be hanged; but the laws are not bloody and unjust that ordain seminary Priests and Jesuits, whose trade it is to seduce souls to the whole body of Popery, to be hanged. They are most just Laws and warranted by Deut. 13, based on the good and necessary inference that the enticing of the people to Romanism, for though 'Romanism' is not mentioned by name in Scripture, it is the enticing of the people to 'go and serve other Gods' Deut. 13:2,6,13. and that the King and Parliaments of either Kingdoms serve Christ, and Kiss the Son in making and executing these Laws. But you may say that "This is a hard saying; who can hear it?" [John 6:60]. The answer from the lips of our Lord: "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me" [John 10:27].
Pornographers should come under negative civil sanctions (to a greater or lesser degree depending on the level of offence) as a logical consequence of their public violation of the law of God (and in light of the damage their actions do to the promotion of godliness in society as a whole).
The civil magistrate should not leave stumbling blocks in the middle of the road (such a pornography) which ultimately encourage its citizens -- especially the young and immature -- to break the seventh commandment. Such stumbling stones, if they were found in the middle of a busy highway (and caused car accidents) would never be tolerated, yet we are told that the *greater dangers* posed by *spiritual stumbling stones* are to be left alone civilly, until they are removed by the "church, family, or the providence of God." Even a civil highway department couldn't be run on the bases of such principles, much less a nation seeking to honor God. Hordes are held captive to the lusts that readily available pornography feeds, when civil governments are commanded by Scripture (rightly understood) to have long ago brought out the graders and rock crushing equipment and to have removed such impediments from the road. And this is not to say that externals will produce salvation or righteous behavior, but the older Reformed writers all recognized the
value of (civilly) limiting the public expression of sin in every legitimate way possible.- Reg Barrow, “Pornography, the Anabaptists, and Doug Wilson's Civil Antinomianism” (1997), http://www.swrb.com/newslett/actualNLs/porn.htm?utm_source=God%27s+Moral+Law%2C+Free+Reformed+MP3s%2C+Books&utm_campaign=SWRB-EMAIL-GodMorLawBible-Jan29-2014&utm_medium=email