Is the God of the Old Testament Cruel?

antitox

Well-Known Member
The world will always cite the OT when they want to accuse God. It's simply that they do not understand what was going on. Without going into too much detail, I would mention that the covenant (promise) started first with one man. The promise was then brought to fruition, and a covenant with the descendants was made - a covenant of law. Law states the vast gap that occurred in the beginning with Adam & Eve. At this point the spiritual significance (types and shadows) of this law was being brought to them externally. In Heb 9, it states "According to this arrangement gifts and sacrifices are offered which cannot perfect the conscience of the worshiper, but deal only food and drink and various ablutions, regulations for the body imposed until the time of reformation." This was a step forward giving the Israelites some understanding about uncleanness versus purity (discerning between the clean and the unclean). It was the type and shadow which our Lord would then make this external physical example to the internal heart of man, hence, the New Covenant. God always does everything in it's proper order. He doesn't do things without an orderly revealing of His plan. I know it's hard sometimes to grasp the "why" of the process that He takes, but it is all being done perfectly. First the promise, then the external example, then the heart of man.
 

Kaatje

My soul waits for the Lord, and in His Word I hope
If he "was" cruel, what's the standard by which you're judging him to be cruel?
Great question.

Some millenia ago, a man named Job struggled with this question too.
God’s answers to him are very humbling. Just read the last chapters of Job’s book.

Who are we to judge Him? How can the pot call the Potmaker out? (Isa. 29:16)
Still, God loves us so much, He wants to communicate with us, redeem us and bring us into His everlasting glory. (John 3:16)

Cruel?
No.

What an awesome, loving, caring, good benevolent God we have.
Hallelujah!
 

antitox

Well-Known Member
There's nothing cruel in this. Everything that God did was according to the covenant made. If one was to read the outlines of the covenant God stated that according to that law they must do this and He would respond according to stated law. The Lord always abode by that covenant; He never departed from His commitment to it. Rom 3: "Let God be true though every man be false...."
Man always relaxes law, he always lessens penalties, he never and can't perfectly adhere to a vow or commitment. We see that today in our courts and other places. So man is always going to insist that God is unfair or harsh because man isn't able to hold the line himself. Corruption always violates law and vows uttered. Prov 16 "All the ways of a man are pure in his own eys, but the Lord weighs the spirit."
 

Bohdan

Well-Known Member
It's all the same God, there isn't any "God of the Old Testament" in contention with Christ.

We know by faith that God is good, but it cannot always be said that God is "nice".

Jesus could be a meanie too, as with driving the money-changers from the Temple.
And when you think of it, the money-changers probably didn't think of themselves as bad guys.
 
Is the God of the Old Testament Cruel?
Enlarged November 16, 2016 (first published November 19, 2014)
David Cloud, Way of Life Literature, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061
866-295-4143, [email protected]

“When the LORD thy God shall bring thee into the land whither thou goest to possess it, and hath cast out many nations before thee, the Hittites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than thou; And when the LORD thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them: Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son. For they will turn away thy son from following me, that they may serve other gods: so will the anger of the LORD be kindled against you, and destroy thee suddenly. But thus shall ye deal with them; ye shall destroy their altars, and break down their images, and cut down their groves, and burn their graven images with fire” (Deuteronomy 7:1-5).

Unbelievers have long used Israel’s destruction of the Canaanite nations as evidence that the God of the Old Testament is unjust and cruel.

American skeptic Thomas Paine called the God of the Old Testament “boisterous, contemptible, and vulgar” (The Age of Reason, 1807). More recently, Oxford atheist Richard Dawkins called the God of the Old Testament “a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully” (The God Delusion, 2006).

Having studied the Bible for nearly 45 years, having been a skeptic and now a believer, I reject this as libel against the good God revealed in Scripture.

The following facts must be taken into consideration:

First, God waited 400 years before judging these nations, which reminds us that He is very longsuffering.
“And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years; And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance. And thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age. But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full” (Genesis 15:13-16).

These nations had the light of creation and conscience, and they also had prophetic light. There were prophets in the region such as Melchizedek, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and his sons. The Canaanite nations could have repented like Nineveh did, and God would have forgiven them (Jonah 3:5-10).

Far from being hot-headed, impulsive, and capricious, the Jehovah God revealed in the Bible is longsuffering.

“The LORD is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy” (Psalm 145:8).

“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).

The patience of God was seen in the days before the Flood.

“GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5).

Yet God waited a long time, probably 120 years, while Noah built the ark.

“Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water” (1 Peter 3:20).

In Abraham’s day, God would have withheld His judgment on wicked Sodom had He found even 10 righteous souls therein, but there were not even 10 (Genesis 18:32).

God is very patient with sinners, but His patience has an end. In Noah’s time, there came a day when God shut the door of the ark. The opportunity for salvation was finished and judgment fell irrevocably. The same thing happened to the Canaanites. “The time of God's patience and forbearance towards provoking sinners is sometimes long, but always limited: reprieves are not pardons; though God bear a great while, he will not bear always” (Matthew Henry).

Second, the nations in question were devoted to every sort of vile moral perversion, including homosexuality, rape, incest, bestiality, and the burning of their children.

“And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, I am the LORD your God. After the doings of the land of Egypt, wherein ye dwelt, shall ye not do: and after the doings of the land of Canaan, whither I bring you, shall ye not do: neither shall ye walk in their ordinances. (Leviticus 18:1-3) ... Also thou shalt not approach unto a woman to uncover her nakedness, as long as she is put apart for her uncleanness. Moreover thou shalt not lie carnally with thy neighbour's wife, to defile thyself with her. And thou shalt not let any of thy seed pass through the fire to Molech, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I am the LORD. Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination. Neither shalt thou lie with any beast to defile thyself therewith: neither shall any woman stand before a beast to lie down thereto: it is confusion. Defile not ye yourselves in any of these things: for in all these the nations are defiled which I cast out before you: AND THE LAND IS DEFILED: THEREFORE I DO VISIT THE INIQUITY THEREOF UPON IT, AND THE LAND ITSELF VOMITETH OUT HER INHABITANTS” (Leviticus 18:1-3, 19-25).

“When the LORD thy God shall cut off the nations from before thee, whither thou goest to possess them, and thou succeedest them, and dwellest in their land; Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them, after that they be destroyed from before thee; and that thou inquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise. Thou shalt not do so unto the LORD thy God: for every abomination to the LORD, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods; FOR EVEN THEIR SONS AND THEIR DAUGHTERS they have burnt in the fire to their gods” (Deuteronomy 12:29-31).

These nations were not innocent. They were destroyed for their gross moral wickedness.

“For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee” (Deuteronomy 18:12).

“Defile not ye yourselves in any of these things: for in all these the nations are defiled which I cast out before you: And the land is defiled: therefore I do visit the iniquity thereof upon it, and the land itself vomiteth out her inhabitants” (Leviticus 18:24-25).

Consider the condition of Sodom and Gomorrah hundreds of years before God ordered the destruction of these nations. The men of Sodom surrounded Lot’s house and tried to force themselves on the visiting angels (Gen. 19:4-9).

These pagan nations were proud and bold in their sin (Isaiah 3:9).

Following is a description of the horrible practices of the Canaanites of Joshua’s day. This is from “Killing the Canaanites,” Christian Research Journal, Vol. 35, No. 4, 2010.

Idolatry. The Canaanites took seriously the testimony of the Old Testament witness of Yahweh and His revelation, if for no other reason than intentionally to transform the scriptural depiction of Yahweh into a castrated weakling who likes to play with His own excrement and urine (See Ulf Oldenburg, The Conflict between El and Ba‘al in Canaanite Religion, p. 172). ...

Incest. Like all Ancient Near East (ANE) pantheons, the Canaanite pantheon was incestuous. Baal has sex with his mother Asherah (“El, Ashertu and the Storm-god,” trans. Albrecht Goetze, ed. James B. Pritchard, The Ancient Near East: Supplementary Texts and Pictures Relating to the Old Testament), his sister Anat, and his daughter Pidray (W. F. Albright, Yahweh and the Gods of Canaan), and none of this is presented pejoratively. ... In the larger ANE context, it is helpful to consider that in an Egyptian dream book dreams of having sex with your mother or your sister were considered good omens (Lise Manniche, Sexual Life in Ancient Egypt).

Adultery. Canaanite religion, like that of all of the ANE, was a fertility religion that involved temple sex. Inanna/Ishtar, also known as the Queen of Heaven, “became the woman among the gods, patron of eroticism and sensuality, of conjugal love as well as adultery, of brides and prostitutes, transvestites and pederasts” (Gwendolyn Leick, Sex and Eroticism in Mesopotamian Literature). As University of Helsinki professor Martti Nissinen writes, “Sexual contact with a person whose whole life was devoted to the goddess was tantamount to union with the goddess herself” (Martti Nissinen, Homoeroticism in the Biblical World). The Canaanites even remake the God of the Bible, El, after their own image and portray Him ceremonially as having sex with two women (or goddesses). The ceremony ends with directions: “To be repeated five times by the company and the singers of the assembly.” About this John Gray comments, “We may well suppose that this activity of El was sacramentally experienced by the community in the sexual orgies of the fertility cult which the Hebrew prophets so vehemently denounced” (Gray, The Legacy of Canaan).

Child sacrifice. Molech was a Canaanite underworld deity represented as an upright, bullheaded idol with a human body in whose belly a fire was stoked and in whose outstretched arms a child was placed that would be burned to death. The victims were not only infants; children as old as four were sacrificed (Shelby Brown, Late Carthaginian Child Sacrifice and Sacrificial Monuments in Their Mediterranean Context). Kleitarchos reported that “as the flame burning the child surrounded the body, the limbs would shrivel up and the mouth would appear to grin as if laughing, until it was shrunk enough to slip into the cauldron” (John Day,Molech: A God of Human Sacrifice, p. 87).

Homosexuality. No ANE text condemns homosexuality. Additionally, some ANE manuscripts talk about “party-boys and festival people who changed their masculinity into femininity to make the people of Ishtar revere her” (Stephanie Dalley, “Erra and Ishum IV,” Myths from Mesopotamia, p. 305).

Bestiality. Probably the ultimate sexual depravity is intercourse with animals. Hittite Laws: 199 states, “If anyone has intercourse with a pig or a dog, he shall die. If a man has intercourse with a horse or a mule, there is no punishment” (Harry A. Hoffner, Jr., “Incest, Sodomy and Bestiality in the Ancient Near East,” in Orient and Occident: Essays Presented to Cyrus H. Gordon on the Occasion of His Sixty-fifth Birthday). ... There should be no surprise that bestiality would occur among the Canaanites, since their gods practiced it. From the Canaanite epic poem “The Baal Cycle” we learn: “Mightiest Baal hears / He makes love with a heifer in the outback / A cow in the field of Death’s Realm. / He lies with her seventy times seven / Mounts eighty times eight / [She conceives and bears a boy” (Ugaritic Narrative Poetry, 1997, ed. Simon B. Parker). There were absolutely no prohibitions against bestiality in the rest of the ANE. In fact, in an Egyptian dream book it was a bad omen for a woman to dream about embracing her husband, but good things would happen if she dreamed of intercourse with a baboon, wolf, or he-goat (Lise Manniche,Sexual Life in Ancient Egypt, 1987). In short, their sexual fantasies involved everything that breathes. This explains why, in certain cities, Yahweh sentenced to death everything that breathes. If they had sex with just about every living thing they could get their hands on, and they did, then all had to die” (Clay Jones, “Killing the Canaanites,” Christian Research Journal, Vol. 35, No. 4, 2010).

It is not morally wrong for a holy, lawgiving God to punish those who willfully, flagrantly, and unrepentantly break His laws and pollute and degrade human society.

Men are quick to call for justice whenthey are offended, but they hypocritically criticize God for exercising justice against sinners.

Three, blood retribution practiced by ancient tribal culture required the destruction of families as well as the men.
“So long as one member of a family remained, that person was bound by cultural law to attempt retribution against the enemies of his people. Such unrest and hostility would have persisted throughout the nation's history, with no possibility of peace in the land. What appears to be genocide was actually the way wars were typically prosecuted” (Denison Forum on Truth and Culture).

“These children would have likely grown up as adherents to the evil religions and practices of their parents. They would naturally have grown up resentful of the Israelites and later sought to avenge the ‘unjust’ treatment of their parents” (“Why Did God Command the Extermination? Gotquestions.org).
Four, God’s judgments are warnings to others.

The destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and other Canaanite cities are merciful warnings to those who will listen, even to these end times. This is emphasized in Scripture:

“And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned themwith an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly” (2 Peter 2:6).

“Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire” (Jude 1:7).

Even in judgment, God is merciful. What He loves above all is mercy and what He is above all is a Saviour, but men must repent and turn to Him. That is His requirement, and the Creator has every right to set the rules!

Five, the Lord was merciful to individuals like Rahab who repented of their idolatry and put their faith in Jehovah God (Joshua 2).

God saved Rahab’s entire family because of her faith in Him. He would have done the same for others, but they did not repent.

The whole tenor of Scripture teaches that God delights in mercy more than in punishment. He “is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). He “will have all men to be saved and to come unto the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4).

Six, God is omniscient.

He knows all things. He knows the beginning from the end. He knows what people will do and the choices they make even before they born and while they are still infants. It might seem cruel and unreasonable for God to have children killed with their parents, but God knew what these children would do when they grew up, as He knew in the days of Noah.

Seven, it was necessary for those wicked pagan nations to be overthrown so that Israel could be established in that land as a light to the world.

Had they been left alone, Israel would have been corrupted morally and religiously within a very short time (Deut. 7:2-6). The destruction of those nations was actually an act of great compassion on God’s part. The tribes that were destroyed deserved what they got by persisting in their sin, and by exercising His righteous judgment on them God was preparing blessing for the whole world. Through Israel, God gave the world His divine revelation in the Bible, and through Israel He brought the Saviour into the world to die for man’s sin. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

Those who charge God with injustice and cruelty ignore the fact that God Himself paid the price demanded of His own holy law so that men can be saved. The heart of God was revealed in the amazing words that Jesus spoke from the cross about the people who had so terribly, unjustly abused him: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

The God revealed in the Bible is the most compassionate Person in the universe. In fact, He is the source of all true love and compassion, but He is also a thrice holy, lawgiving God, and He cannot be judged by man’s puny, inconsistent standards and thinking.

“Was it fair that Israel destroyed the residents of Canaan? If God were fair, none of us could see his perfect heaven. We are all spiritual Canaanites, saved from eternal wrath only by the love of our Creator. Think back to your last sin. Admit that this one transgression warrants the judgment and condemnation of a holy God. And thank God that he is not fair” (Jim Dennison).
Eight, the atheist has no basis for making absolute moral judgments against God.

If life is a product of accidental, meaningless, naturalistic events, it has no ultimate purpose and there can be no absolute basis for moral judgments.

If man is merely an animal, who is to say how he must live and act? Is the snake morally wrong for eating a rat or the cat for tormenting a bird?

If “God” is merely a product of man’s invention, who is to say that one “God” is more righteous than another?

Further, the atheistic code of morality is relativistic. Situational ethics12 is the sound track of this skeptical generation:

“I’m free to do what I want any old time” (Rolling Stones, 1965).

“It’s my life and I’ll do what I want/ It’s my mind, and I’ll think what I want” (The Animals, 1965).

“You got to go where you want to go/ do what you want to do” (Mamas and Papas, 1966).

“It’s your thing/ do what you want to do” (Isley Brothers, 1969).

“I’m gonna do it my way. ... I want to make my own decision ... I want to be the one in control…” (Janet Jackson, “Control,” 1986).

“Nothing’s forbiddenand nothing’s taboo when two are in love” (Prince, “When Two Are in Love,” 1988).

“... the only rules you should live by [are] rules made up by you” (Pennywise, “Rules,” 1991).

“So what we get drunk/ So what we smoke weed … Living young and wild and free” (“Young, Wild and Free,” Snoop Dog and Wiz Khalifa, 2011).

“We can do what we want; we can live as we choose” (Paul McCartney, “New,” 2013).

If man is the ultimate standard for morality and there is no higher authority, who can say it is wrong to lie, steal, commit adultery, and kill? Who is to say that homosexuality is wrong?

Under such a philosophical system, it is ridiculous for men to claim that God is unjust. Who says? On what absolute basis can such a judgment be made?

If atheism is true, moral arguments amount to a bunch of hot air.

“The extreme irony of the atheistic argument against God’s morality is that atheism is completely impotent to define the term ‘moral,’ much less use the concept against any other system. ... If atheism is true and humans evolved from non-living, primordial slime, then any sense of moral obligation must simply be a subjective outworking of the physical neurons firing in the brain. Theoretically, atheistic scientists and philosophers admit this truth. ... Dan Barker admitted this truth in his debate with Peter Payne, when he stated: ‘There are no actions in and of themselves that are always absolutely right or wrong...’ (2005). ... While the atheist may claim not to like God’s actions, if he admits that there is a legitimate standard of morality that is not based on subjective human whims, then he has forfeited his atheistic position. If actions can accurately be labeled as objectively moral or immora

Thus, they would have us believe that the God
Is the God of the Old Testament Cruel?
Enlarged November 16, 2016 (first published November 19, 2014)
David Cloud, Way of Life Literature, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061
866-295-4143, [email protected]

“When the LORD thy God shall bring thee into the land whither thou goest to possess it, and hath cast out many nations before thee, the Hittites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than thou; And when the LORD thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them: Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son. For they will turn away thy son from following me, that they may serve other gods: so will the anger of the LORD be kindled against you, and destroy thee suddenly. But thus shall ye deal with them; ye shall destroy their altars, and break down their images, and cut down their groves, and burn their graven images with fire” (Deuteronomy 7:1-5).

Unbelievers have long used Israel’s destruction of the Canaanite nations as evidence that the God of the Old Testament is unjust and cruel.

American skeptic Thomas Paine called the God of the Old Testament “boisterous, contemptible, and vulgar” (The Age of Reason, 1807). More recently, Oxford atheist Richard Dawkins called the God of the Old Testament “a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully” (The God Delusion, 2006).

Having studied the Bible for nearly 45 years, having been a skeptic and now a believer, I reject this as libel against the good God revealed in Scripture.

The following facts must be taken into consideration:

First, God waited 400 years before judging these nations, which reminds us that He is very longsuffering.
“And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years; And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance. And thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age. But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full” (Genesis 15:13-16).

These nations had the light of creation and conscience, and they also had prophetic light. There were prophets in the region such as Melchizedek, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and his sons. The Canaanite nations could have repented like Nineveh did, and God would have forgiven them (Jonah 3:5-10).

Far from being hot-headed, impulsive, and capricious, the Jehovah God revealed in the Bible is longsuffering.

“The LORD is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy” (Psalm 145:8).

“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).

The patience of God was seen in the days before the Flood.

“GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5).

Yet God waited a long time, probably 120 years, while Noah built the ark.

“Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water” (1 Peter 3:20).

In Abraham’s day, God would have withheld His judgment on wicked Sodom had He found even 10 righteous souls therein, but there were not even 10 (Genesis 18:32).

God is very patient with sinners, but His patience has an end. In Noah’s time, there came a day when God shut the door of the ark. The opportunity for salvation was finished and judgment fell irrevocably. The same thing happened to the Canaanites. “The time of God's patience and forbearance towards provoking sinners is sometimes long, but always limited: reprieves are not pardons; though God bear a great while, he will not bear always” (Matthew Henry).

Second, the nations in question were devoted to every sort of vile moral perversion, including homosexuality, rape, incest, bestiality, and the burning of their children.

“And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, I am the LORD your God. After the doings of the land of Egypt, wherein ye dwelt, shall ye not do: and after the doings of the land of Canaan, whither I bring you, shall ye not do: neither shall ye walk in their ordinances. (Leviticus 18:1-3) ... Also thou shalt not approach unto a woman to uncover her nakedness, as long as she is put apart for her uncleanness. Moreover thou shalt not lie carnally with thy neighbour's wife, to defile thyself with her. And thou shalt not let any of thy seed pass through the fire to Molech, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I am the LORD. Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination. Neither shalt thou lie with any beast to defile thyself therewith: neither shall any woman stand before a beast to lie down thereto: it is confusion. Defile not ye yourselves in any of these things: for in all these the nations are defiled which I cast out before you: AND THE LAND IS DEFILED: THEREFORE I DO VISIT THE INIQUITY THEREOF UPON IT, AND THE LAND ITSELF VOMITETH OUT HER INHABITANTS” (Leviticus 18:1-3, 19-25).

“When the LORD thy God shall cut off the nations from before thee, whither thou goest to possess them, and thou succeedest them, and dwellest in their land; Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them, after that they be destroyed from before thee; and that thou inquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise. Thou shalt not do so unto the LORD thy God: for every abomination to the LORD, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods; FOR EVEN THEIR SONS AND THEIR DAUGHTERS they have burnt in the fire to their gods” (Deuteronomy 12:29-31).

These nations were not innocent. They were destroyed for their gross moral wickedness.

“For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee” (Deuteronomy 18:12).

“Defile not ye yourselves in any of these things: for in all these the nations are defiled which I cast out before you: And the land is defiled: therefore I do visit the iniquity thereof upon it, and the land itself vomiteth out her inhabitants” (Leviticus 18:24-25).

Consider the condition of Sodom and Gomorrah hundreds of years before God ordered the destruction of these nations. The men of Sodom surrounded Lot’s house and tried to force themselves on the visiting angels (Gen. 19:4-9).

These pagan nations were proud and bold in their sin (Isaiah 3:9).

Following is a description of the horrible practices of the Canaanites of Joshua’s day. This is from “Killing the Canaanites,” Christian Research Journal, Vol. 35, No. 4, 2010.

Idolatry. The Canaanites took seriously the testimony of the Old Testament witness of Yahweh and His revelation, if for no other reason than intentionally to transform the scriptural depiction of Yahweh into a castrated weakling who likes to play with His own excrement and urine (See Ulf Oldenburg, The Conflict between El and Ba‘al in Canaanite Religion, p. 172). ...

Incest. Like all Ancient Near East (ANE) pantheons, the Canaanite pantheon was incestuous. Baal has sex with his mother Asherah (“El, Ashertu and the Storm-god,” trans. Albrecht Goetze, ed. James B. Pritchard, The Ancient Near East: Supplementary Texts and Pictures Relating to the Old Testament), his sister Anat, and his daughter Pidray (W. F. Albright, Yahweh and the Gods of Canaan), and none of this is presented pejoratively. ... In the larger ANE context, it is helpful to consider that in an Egyptian dream book dreams of having sex with your mother or your sister were considered good omens (Lise Manniche, Sexual Life in Ancient Egypt).

Adultery. Canaanite religion, like that of all of the ANE, was a fertility religion that involved temple sex. Inanna/Ishtar, also known as the Queen of Heaven, “became the woman among the gods, patron of eroticism and sensuality, of conjugal love as well as adultery, of brides and prostitutes, transvestites and pederasts” (Gwendolyn Leick, Sex and Eroticism in Mesopotamian Literature). As University of Helsinki professor Martti Nissinen writes, “Sexual contact with a person whose whole life was devoted to the goddess was tantamount to union with the goddess herself” (Martti Nissinen, Homoeroticism in the Biblical World). The Canaanites even remake the God of the Bible, El, after their own image and portray Him ceremonially as having sex with two women (or goddesses). The ceremony ends with directions: “To be repeated five times by the company and the singers of the assembly.” About this John Gray comments, “We may well suppose that this activity of El was sacramentally experienced by the community in the sexual orgies of the fertility cult which the Hebrew prophets so vehemently denounced” (Gray, The Legacy of Canaan).

Child sacrifice. Molech was a Canaanite underworld deity represented as an upright, bullheaded idol with a human body in whose belly a fire was stoked and in whose outstretched arms a child was placed that would be burned to death. The victims were not only infants; children as old as four were sacrificed (Shelby Brown, Late Carthaginian Child Sacrifice and Sacrificial Monuments in Their Mediterranean Context). Kleitarchos reported that “as the flame burning the child surrounded the body, the limbs would shrivel up and the mouth would appear to grin as if laughing, until it was shrunk enough to slip into the cauldron” (John Day,Molech: A God of Human Sacrifice, p. 87).

Homosexuality. No ANE text condemns homosexuality. Additionally, some ANE manuscripts talk about “party-boys and festival people who changed their masculinity into femininity to make the people of Ishtar revere her” (Stephanie Dalley, “Erra and Ishum IV,” Myths from Mesopotamia, p. 305).

Bestiality. Probably the ultimate sexual depravity is intercourse with animals. Hittite Laws: 199 states, “If anyone has intercourse with a pig or a dog, he shall die. If a man has intercourse with a horse or a mule, there is no punishment” (Harry A. Hoffner, Jr., “Incest, Sodomy and Bestiality in the Ancient Near East,” in Orient and Occident: Essays Presented to Cyrus H. Gordon on the Occasion of His Sixty-fifth Birthday). ... There should be no surprise that bestiality would occur among the Canaanites, since their gods practiced it. From the Canaanite epic poem “The Baal Cycle” we learn: “Mightiest Baal hears / He makes love with a heifer in the outback / A cow in the field of Death’s Realm. / He lies with her seventy times seven / Mounts eighty times eight / [She conceives and bears a boy” (Ugaritic Narrative Poetry, 1997, ed. Simon B. Parker). There were absolutely no prohibitions against bestiality in the rest of the ANE. In fact, in an Egyptian dream book it was a bad omen for a woman to dream about embracing her husband, but good things would happen if she dreamed of intercourse with a baboon, wolf, or he-goat (Lise Manniche,Sexual Life in Ancient Egypt, 1987). In short, their sexual fantasies involved everything that breathes. This explains why, in certain cities, Yahweh sentenced to death everything that breathes. If they had sex with just about every living thing they could get their hands on, and they did, then all had to die” (Clay Jones, “Killing the Canaanites,” Christian Research Journal, Vol. 35, No. 4, 2010).

It is not morally wrong for a holy, lawgiving God to punish those who willfully, flagrantly, and unrepentantly break His laws and pollute and degrade human society.

Men are quick to call for justice whenthey are offended, but they hypocritically criticize God for exercising justice against sinners.

Three, blood retribution practiced by ancient tribal culture required the destruction of families as well as the men.
“So long as one member of a family remained, that person was bound by cultural law to attempt retribution against the enemies of his people. Such unrest and hostility would have persisted throughout the nation's history, with no possibility of peace in the land. What appears to be genocide was actually the way wars were typically prosecuted” (Denison Forum on Truth and Culture).

“These children would have likely grown up as adherents to the evil religions and practices of their parents. They would naturally have grown up resentful of the Israelites and later sought to avenge the ‘unjust’ treatment of their parents” (“Why Did God Command the Extermination? Gotquestions.org).
Four, God’s judgments are warnings to others.

The destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and other Canaanite cities are merciful warnings to those who will listen, even to these end times. This is emphasized in Scripture:

“And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned themwith an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly” (2 Peter 2:6).

“Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire” (Jude 1:7).

Even in judgment, God is merciful. What He loves above all is mercy and what He is above all is a Saviour, but men must repent and turn to Him. That is His requirement, and the Creator has every right to set the rules!

Five, the Lord was merciful to individuals like Rahab who repented of their idolatry and put their faith in Jehovah God (Joshua 2).

God saved Rahab’s entire family because of her faith in Him. He would have done the same for others, but they did not repent.

The whole tenor of Scripture teaches that God delights in mercy more than in punishment. He “is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). He “will have all men to be saved and to come unto the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4).

Six, God is omniscient.

He knows all things. He knows the beginning from the end. He knows what people will do and the choices they make even before they born and while they are still infants. It might seem cruel and unreasonable for God to have children killed with their parents, but God knew what these children would do when they grew up, as He knew in the days of Noah.

Seven, it was necessary for those wicked pagan nations to be overthrown so that Israel could be established in that land as a light to the world.

Had they been left alone, Israel would have been corrupted morally and religiously within a very short time (Deut. 7:2-6). The destruction of those nations was actually an act of great compassion on God’s part. The tribes that were destroyed deserved what they got by persisting in their sin, and by exercising His righteous judgment on them God was preparing blessing for the whole world. Through Israel, God gave the world His divine revelation in the Bible, and through Israel He brought the Saviour into the world to die for man’s sin. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

Those who charge God with injustice and cruelty ignore the fact that God Himself paid the price demanded of His own holy law so that men can be saved. The heart of God was revealed in the amazing words that Jesus spoke from the cross about the people who had so terribly, unjustly abused him: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

The God revealed in the Bible is the most compassionate Person in the universe. In fact, He is the source of all true love and compassion, but He is also a thrice holy, lawgiving God, and He cannot be judged by man’s puny, inconsistent standards and thinking.

“Was it fair that Israel destroyed the residents of Canaan? If God were fair, none of us could see his perfect heaven. We are all spiritual Canaanites, saved from eternal wrath only by the love of our Creator. Think back to your last sin. Admit that this one transgression warrants the judgment and condemnation of a holy God. And thank God that he is not fair” (Jim Dennison).
Eight, the atheist has no basis for making absolute moral judgments against God.

If life is a product of accidental, meaningless, naturalistic events, it has no ultimate purpose and there can be no absolute basis for moral judgments.

If man is merely an animal, who is to say how he must live and act? Is the snake morally wrong for eating a rat or the cat for tormenting a bird?

If “God” is merely a product of man’s invention, who is to say that one “God” is more righteous than another?

Further, the atheistic code of morality is relativistic. Situational ethics12 is the sound track of this skeptical generation:

“I’m free to do what I want any old time” (Rolling Stones, 1965).

“It’s my life and I’ll do what I want/ It’s my mind, and I’ll think what I want” (The Animals, 1965).

“You got to go where you want to go/ do what you want to do” (Mamas and Papas, 1966).

“It’s your thing/ do what you want to do” (Isley Brothers, 1969).

“I’m gonna do it my way. ... I want to make my own decision ... I want to be the one in control…” (Janet Jackson, “Control,” 1986).

“Nothing’s forbiddenand nothing’s taboo when two are in love” (Prince, “When Two Are in Love,” 1988).

“... the only rules you should live by [are] rules made up by you” (Pennywise, “Rules,” 1991).

“So what we get drunk/ So what we smoke weed … Living young and wild and free” (“Young, Wild and Free,” Snoop Dog and Wiz Khalifa, 2011).

“We can do what we want; we can live as we choose” (Paul McCartney, “New,” 2013).

If man is the ultimate standard for morality and there is no higher authority, who can say it is wrong to lie, steal, commit adultery, and kill? Who is to say that homosexuality is wrong?

Under such a philosophical system, it is ridiculous for men to claim that God is unjust. Who says? On what absolute basis can such a judgment be made?

If atheism is true, moral arguments amount to a bunch of hot air.

“The extreme irony of the atheistic argument against God’s morality is that atheism is completely impotent to define the term ‘moral,’ much less use the concept against any other system. ... If atheism is true and humans evolved from non-living, primordial slime, then any sense of moral obligation must simply be a subjective outworking of the physical neurons firing in the brain. Theoretically, atheistic scientists and philosophers admit this truth. ... Dan Barker admitted this truth in his debate with Peter Payne, when he stated: ‘There are no actions in and of themselves that are always absolutely right or wrong...’ (2005). ... While the atheist may claim not to like God’s actions, if he admits that there is a legitimate standard of morality that is not based on subjective human whims, then he has forfeited his atheistic position. If actions can accurately be labeled as objectively moral or immoral, then atheism cannot be true. ... It is evident that atheism has no grounds upon which to attack God’s character” (Kyle Butt, “Is God Immoral for Killing Innocent Children?” apologeticspress.org).
Ninth, the same skeptics who criticize God for the killing “innocent children” typically justify abortion.

They justify the killing of unborn children by the multiplied millions on the basis that it is “the mother’s body” and “the mother’s choice.” If the pregnancy is not convenient or desirable, it should end, though this requires the destruction of a perfectly innocent child.

Thus, they would have us believe that the God of the Bible is unjust to kill “innocent children” in the context of removing the wicked Canaanite nations, though this God is the Creator and owner of man and the infallible judge of right and wrong who can see the beginning and the end.

But this same crowd would have us believe that they are just to kill innocent children in the womb, though they are but mortal, fallible, frail men.

copyright 2013, Way of Life Literature

http://www.wayoflife.org/reports/is_the_god_of_the_old_testament_cruel.html
Is God, as described in the OT, cruel on the basis of commanding His followers to kill, without mercy, the children of the Hittite, Girgashite, Amorite, Canaanite, Perizzite, Hivite, and Jebusite nations?

I will abstain from offering my own answer to this question

Instead, what I would like to do is to address the nine points that have been outlined above as "proofs" that God is not cruel for having commanded His followers to kill the children of the nations surrounding Israel

1. God is not cruel for commanding that children be killed because He is long suffering and patient

Is He though? Is God really patient and long suffering? Four hundred years might seem like a long time to man, but to God such a span passes by in something less than the blink of an eye. More to the point, if a particular action, such as a command that children be killed, is wrong, then it is always wrong whether the command come right away or many years from now, right?

2. God is not cruel for commanding that children be killed because these nations deserved it

Here, the argument seems to be that God is morally justified in commanding His followers to kill the children of nations devoted to "every sort of vile moral perversion" {including the burning of their children} on a basis of two wrongs making a right. I have to wonder, though, what sense does it make to combat the evil of infanticide by commanding additional infanticide?

3. God is not cruel for commanding that children be killed because "blood retribution" as practiced by ancient tribal cultures required that children be killed

Since when is God bound by the conventions of man? Furthermore, since when is it morally acceptable to "punish" for a crime that has not yet been committed? Even if these children were to, for an absolute fact, grow up to seek revenge against the Israelites, they were subjected to capital punishment while still innocent. Whatever happened to the concept of "innocent until proven guilty"?

4. God is not cruel for commanding that children be killed because God's judgments serve as a warning to others

What if the state were to take away your guns as a warning to those who would use guns to commit crime? Would you still support the idea that a "warning to others" warrants infringement upon your rights?

5. God is not cruel for commanding that children be killed because God is merciful to some individuals

If I were a kindergarten teacher who physically beat just one of my two dozen students - would you call me a good teacher? Does anyone truly believe that treating person A mercifully excuses and justifies treating person B without mercy?

6. God is not cruel for commanding that children be killed because He is omniscient

Isn't this just a reiteration of reason #3? At any rate, if God knew, even before these children were born, that these children would grow up to oppose and attack the Israelites - then why allow these children to be born in the first place?

7. God is not cruel for commanding that children be killed because in doing so He established Israel as a "light to the world"

Really? A nation that kills the innocent children of surrounding nations is a beacon of light? Wouldn't most people consider this a dark blotch upon the earth and it's humanity?

8. God is not cruel for commanding that children be killed because "the atheist has no basis for making absolute moral judgments against God"

Huh? What bearing does an atheist have on the actions of God? An action is good or evil on it's own merit, isn't it?
That said, why would you think that being born into a world without meaning and purpose precludes the ability to create meaning and purpose? To the contrary, wouldn't such a state of being suggest this very solution? Towards this end, the human race has collectively established a moral code by which the vast majority of us choose to abide. One such moral precept we hold dear is that it is immoral to kill innocent children. Don't you agree?

9. God is not cruel for commanding that children be killed because some people support the continued legalization of abortion

This one is particularly absurd. Because a human being says it's OK to terminate the life of an unborn child {that may or may not fully qualify as a human life} this makes it OK for God to command His followers to murder a living, breathing child that NO ONE would ever fail to recognize as a full fledged human being??

Again, it's not for me to say if God was cruel for commanding His followers to kill the children of those nations opposed to Israel, but I am curious if anyone can come up with better reasons for why He wasn't than those presented in the OP

Thanks for reading and I look forward to some interesting discussions
 
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Eric Nicholas

Well-Known Member
You could say that His character is revealed throughout the entire Word. So, even if we took a few instances that we did not agree with, especially early on, as is usually cited, it would only be intellectually fair to read and watch His character be revealed to us (not changed) through both the Old and New Testaments, or point A to point Z. Imagine that we took any other form of literature with characters or developments (so basically all literature) and focused on a period of their revealed character, instead of reading about it from cover to cover, to gain the full revelation of their character. Of course we would get a warped view of that character, whoever it may be. I think this is no different.
 
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Is God, as described in the OT, cruel on the basis of commanding His followers to kill, without mercy, the children of the Hittite, Girgashite, Amorite, Canaanite, Perizzite, Hivite, and Jebusite nations?

I will abstain from offering my own answer to this question

Instead, what I would like to do is to address the nine points that have been outlined above as "proofs" that God is not cruel for having commanded His followers to kill the children of the nations surrounding Israel

1. God is not cruel for commanding that children be killed because He is long suffering and patient

Is He though? Is God really patient and long suffering? Four hundred years might seem like a long time to man, but to God such a span passes by in something less than the blink of an eye. More to the point, if a particular action, such as a command that children be killed, is wrong, then it is always wrong whether the command come right away or many years from now, right?

2. God is not cruel for commanding that children be killed because these nations deserved it

Here, the argument seems to be that God is morally justified in commanding His followers to kill the children of nations devoted to "every sort of vile moral perversion" {including the burning of their children} on a basis of two wrongs making a right. I have to wonder, though, what sense does it make to combat the evil of infanticide by commanding additional infanticide?

3. God is not cruel for commanding that children be killed because "blood retribution" as practiced by ancient tribal cultures required that children be killed

Since when is God bound by the conventions of man? Furthermore, since when is it morally acceptable to "punish" for a crime that has not yet been committed? Even if these children were to, for an absolute fact, grow up to seek revenge against the Israelites, they were subjected to capital punishment while still innocent. Whatever happened to the concept of "innocent until proven guilty"?

4. God is not cruel for commanding that children be killed because God's judgments serve as a warning to others

What if the state were to take away your guns as a warning to those who would use guns to commit crime? Would you still support the idea that a "warning to others" warrants infringement upon your rights?

5. God is not cruel for commanding that children be killed because God is merciful to some individuals

If I were a kindergarten teacher who physically beat just one of my two dozen students - would you call me a good teacher? Does anyone truly believe that treating person A mercifully excuses and justifies treating person B without mercy?

6. God is not cruel for commanding that children be killed because He is omniscient

Isn't this just a reiteration of reason #3? At any rate, if God knew, even before these children were born, that these children would grow up to oppose and attack the Israelites - then why allow these children to be born in the first place?

7. God is not cruel for commanding that children be killed because in doing so He established Israel as a "light to the world"

Really? A nation that kills the innocent children of surrounding nations is a beacon of light? Wouldn't most people consider this a dark blotch upon the earth and it's humanity?

8. God is not cruel for commanding that children be killed because "the atheist has no basis for making absolute moral judgments against God"

Huh? What bearing does an atheist have on the actions of God? An action is good or evil on it's own merit, isn't it?
That said, why would you think that being born into a world without meaning and purpose precludes the ability to create meaning and purpose? To the contrary, wouldn't such a state of being suggest this very solution? Towards this end, the human race has collectively established a moral code by which the vast majority of us choose to abide. One such moral precept we hold dear is that it is immoral to kill innocent children. Don't you agree?

9. God is not cruel for commanding that children be killed because some people support the continued legalization of abortion

This one is particularly absurd. Because a human being says it's OK to terminate the life of an unborn child {that may or may not fully qualify as a human life} this makes it OK for God to command His followers to murder a living, breathing child that NO ONE would ever fail to recognize as a full fledged human being??

Again, it's not for me to say if God was cruel for commanding His followers to kill the children of those nations opposed to Israel, but I am curious if anyone can come up with better reasons for why He wasn't than those presented in the OP

Thanks for reading and I look forward to some interesting discussions
 

JDP

Well-Known Member
Excellent article, and it shows the absolute, hard-to-even-comprehend depravity and evil of the Canaanites. And further reading and detail just makes one shake their head. When folks bring up these OT instances where either God destroys civilizations/cities Himself or commands it to be done by His people, I describe the unfathomable depravity like in the article. It then should lead one to say - it would be cruel for God to NOT destroy such a people. God is indeed amazingly patient because he allowed this behavior to go on for hundreds of years unchecked.

And now look at the behavior across the globe that He has patiently permitted for another 2000 years since Jesus. Canaan on a global scale. From Genesis chapter 1 to the end of Revelation He reveals that it will soon be completely wiped out too after the Millenial Kingdom. That won't be cruel either - it will be patiently just and righteous.
 
Excellent article, and it shows the absolute, hard-to-even-comprehend depravity and evil of the Canaanites. And further reading and detail just makes one shake their head. When folks bring up these OT instances where either God destroys civilizations/cities Himself or commands it to be done by His people, I describe the unfathomable depravity like in the article. It then should lead one to say - it would be cruel for God to NOT destroy such a people. God is indeed amazingly patient because he allowed this behavior to go on for hundreds of years unchecked.

And now look at the behavior across the globe that He has patiently permitted for another 2000 years since Jesus. Canaan on a global scale. From Genesis chapter 1 to the end of Revelation He reveals that it will soon be completely wiped out too after the Millenial Kingdom. That won't be cruel either - it will be patiently just and righteous.
Are children even capable of depravity and evil?

If, as you say, it would be cruel for God NOT to destroy a depraved peoples - do you believe that a command that His followers slaughter them mercilessly shines the best possible light upon God or is it possible that removing these depraved peoples by other, less violent and vengeful means, would have better served God's purpose as a beacon of light to the world?

You are reiterating the claim of the OP that God is truly patient for having allowed certain behavior to go on for "hundreds of years unchecked", but you are entirely ignoring my respectful contention that "hundreds of years" hardly qualifies as patience where God is concerned because hundreds of years are as nothing to God!
 
You could say that His character is revealed throughout the entire Word. So, even if we took a few instances that we did not agree with, especially early on, as is usually cited, it would only be intellectually fair to read and watch His character be revealed to us (not changed) through both the Old and New Testaments, or point A to point Z. Imagine that we took any other form of literature with characters or developments (so basically all literature) and focused on a period of their revealed character, instead of reading about it from cover to cover, to gain the full revelation of their character. Of course we would get a warped view of that character, whoever it may be. I think this is no different.
I have always been under the impression that actions, cumulatively speaking, define character

Every action becoming a matter of record en route to who we are

You're not suggesting that we pretend as if the less than admirable actions never took place, are you?
 

Eric Nicholas

Well-Known Member
No. Nor did I give that impression, so I'd ask you respectfully, to not insinuate that I did. I simply stated that the cumulative be taken into account as it would give a more honest representation of someone/something's character. Which is exactly true and I was exactly clear. None of us would want , otherwise.

But being "less than admirable"? By what standard? Yours? Someone else's? Someone or something in the ether? Social contracts (because those never change)? There is excellent literature on this subject and has been answered sufficiently. It's a question as old as time. Do I like it? No, not always. But my personal feelings about the subject do not dictate truth one way or another. Good day.
 
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Eric Nicholas

Well-Known Member
Are children even capable of depravity and evil?

If, as you say, it would be cruel for God NOT to destroy a depraved peoples - do you believe that a command that His followers slaughter them mercilessly shines the best possible light upon God or is it possible that removing these depraved peoples by other, less violent and vengeful means, would have better served God's purpose as a beacon of light to the world?

You are reiterating the claim of the OP that God is truly patient for having allowed certain behavior to go on for "hundreds of years unchecked", but you are entirely ignoring my respectful contention that "hundreds of years" hardly qualifies as patience where God is concerned because hundreds of years are as nothing to God!
Have you ever seen children out on the playground? Can you imagine children never being disciplined to check their aforementioned selfish desires to get what they want. Ever seen or heard about them being little reavers when they find another kid's backpack? Have you ever heard them (babies, before that gets brought up) cry for their unrelenting selfish needs? If that's good, why is it good? If it isn't good, what is it? Some evolutionary tick? If so, it becomes irrelevant, as it is up to your chemicals reacting on how you interpret evil vs someone else's opinion on how they interpret evil. I do not buy into a fantastical version of little humans that we call "children". I'd submit that they are capable of evil as demonstrated. On the scale of adults? No. But I will believe my lying eyes.

About shining a light? No. In that particular instance, getting back to a cumulative effect, I do not think it shines the best light on anything, as its dishonest to begin with. What would you consider patience, given human time on earth? A thousand years? A million? What do you think of justice that we (humans) mete out on earth? Is it too slow? Too fast? Is that's okay, why is it okay? When we saw a group of people gassing millions of other people, we intervened in fairly short order. Unless you have a very interesting take on the Holocaust, the Killing Fields of Cambodia, etc., we acted fast. Was that impatient? Should we have all waited a few hundred years? I think conflating or equivocating God's timelessness and His interactions with finite being, with our short time on the earth and our interactions with other finite beings, just plain doesn't hunt.
 
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No. Nor did I give that impression, so I'd ask you respectfully, to not suggest that I did. I simply stated that the cumulative be taken into account as it would give a more honest representation of someone/something's character. Which is exactly true and I was exactly clear. None of us would want that. But being "less than admirable"? By what standard? Yours? Someone else's? Someone or something in the ether? Social contracts (because those never change)? There is excellent literature on this subject and has been answered sufficiently. It's a question as old as time. Do I like it? No, not always. But my personal feelings about the subject do not dictate truth one way or another. Good day.
It was not my intention to give an impression one way or the other so please accept my apology if that is how it appeared

I simply meant to ask a question
That said, I am glad to hear that you are not predisposed towards pretending as if the less than pleasant has not taken place

As to the "less than admirable" alluded to in my post - by what standard am I judging an action "less than admirable"?
The human standard, of course

The moral code as adopted and adhered to by most every human being on earth holds that it is immoral and just plain evil to kill a child
 

Eric Nicholas

Well-Known Member
I think the less than pleasant has definitely taken place and I honestly do not like it at all. It's something I think about at least a dozen times a day, especially when I watch beautiful mothers, children, fathers, and other humans (people I have loved dearly) die. It kills me inside and it often leaves me mad. I've wished in the past and sometimes present, regretfully, that I could at least strangle God for a few minutes, to my dismay.

I do think the human standard is subjective. I don't think anyone could honestly argue otherwise. Because many people do not think it's evil to kill a child, as the news tells me that every twelve minutes. You could say they are violating the social contract, but I'd like to see the social contract. Many haven't signed on the dotted line, we may even say a majority of people in other nations haven't signed it, to this day. Majorities of people have held atrocious worldviews and acted on them, since time immemorial. I just don't think the social contract is objective, in the least. I don't think we will agree, but thanks for the conversation. I do share some of your sentiments and I hope the very best for you and yours, Treeplanter. Do be well.
 
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Have you ever seen children out on the playground? Can you imagine children never being disciplined to check their aforementioned selfish desires to get what they want. Ever seen or heard about them being little reavers when they find another kid's backpack? Have you ever heard them (babies, before that gets brought up) cry for their unrelenting selfish needs? If that's good, why is it good? If it isn't good, what is it? Some evolutionary tick? If so, it becomes irrelevant, as it is up to your chemicals reacting on how you interpret evil vs someone else's opinion on how they interpret evil. I do not buy into a fantastical version of little humans that we call "children". I'd submit that they are capable of evil as demonstrated. On the scale of adults? No. But I will believe my lying eyes.

About shining a light? No. In that particular instance, getting back to a cumulative effect, I do not think it shines the best light on anything, as its dishonest to begin with. What would you consider patience, given human time on earth? A thousand years? A million? What do you think of justice that we (humans) mete out on earth? Is it too slow? Too fast? Is that's okay, why is it okay? When we saw a group of people gassing millions of other people, we intervened in fairly short order. Unless you have a very interesting take on the Holocaust, the Killing Fields of Cambodia, etc., we acted fast. Was that impatient? Should we have all waited a few hundred years? I think conflating or equivocating God's timelessness and His interactions with finite being, with our short time on the earth and our interactions with other finite beings, just plain doesn't hunt.
There is no question that kids can and often do act in a manner that is far from moral

However, a child, as far as I am concerned, can NEVER be considered immoral in and of him/herself

Why?

Because children don't know any better
A child has not yet reached the "age of maturity/reason" wherein he or she can reasonably be held accountable for his/her actions

You wouldn't hold a mentally retarded individual responsible for causing harm to or upon another person, would you?
By this same token, it is not right to hold a child responsible when said child does not and cannot be expected to know any better

Dishonest to suggest that God's 'light' be better shone through peaceful rather than violent means?
Sorry, but I must disagree with you vehemently here!
'Prince of Peace' is more than just an empty title, isn't it?

As far as what I consider patient to be, goes...
Who cares, right?

The point is that you consider God to be patient because He chose to withhold punishment for a few hundred years, but a few hundred years to God is like a few seconds to you and me

How, then, can you accurately consider Him to be patient?
Maybe God IS patient
I'm not saying He's not - all I AM saying is that your reasoning for this presupposition is flawed
 

Eric Nicholas

Well-Known Member
You keep saying things that I did not say, nor insinuate. Society has held many mentally retarded people somewhat, if not outright responsible for their actions, as government facilities for their care would indicate. It's a heart issue regarding this topic, as it often is. I think anyone that acts on a bad impulse is evil (which is me, more than I care to admit), as it misses the mark of good. Our human, subjective laws or sentiments with charging or indicting children is silly to conflate with a perfect Judge (assuming it's true) and His dealings with His creation. I think it's dishonest, right out of the gate. I'm not asking you to agree.

Again, I do not like how He does it, hardly at all. But am I in a position, considering my whimsy, to judge any better? If so, why is it better? Because me and a few million, maybe a billion think so? That's a giant fallacy. Your standard is subjective and renders these musings unproductive. But I get wanting to borrow capital. It's easy.
 
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I think the less than pleasant has definitely taken place and I honestly do not like it at all. It's something I think about at least a dozen times a day, especially when I watch beautiful mothers, children, fathers, and other humans (people I have loved dearly) die. It kills me inside and it often leaves me mad. I've wished in the past and sometimes present, regretfully, that I could at least strangle God for a few minutes, to my dismay.

I do think the human standard is subjective. I don't think anyone could honestly argue otherwise. Because many people do not think it's evil to kill a child, as the news tells me that every twelve minutes. You could say they are violating the social contract, but I'd like to see the social contract. Many haven't signed on the dotted line, we may even say a majority of people in other nations haven't signed it, to this day. Majorities of people have held atrocious worldviews and acted on them, since time immemorial. I just don't think the social contract is objective, in the least. I don't think we will agree, but thanks for the conversation. I do share some of your sentiments and I hope the very best for you and yours, Treeplanter. Do be well.
Thanks, I wish you well as well

I agree with you that the human standard is subjective , but I don't quite understand why you feel this is an issue?
I think that the vast majority of us human beings agree on the vast majority of issues - at least those that are of the most importance

You have alluded, specifically, to abortion
Me, personally, I take issue with abortion
That said, I truly believe that most every human being feels likewise
The problem is that not everyone agrees upon the precise point at which human life begins

Were it that the fetus be demonstrated to qualify as fully human as the children that we can see and hear and touch - I am quite certain that very, very few would argue on behalf of abortion
 
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