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Author Topic:   Biblical atrocities... ????
forgiven
Inactive Member


Message 16 of 65 (28005)
12-27-2002 9:10 PM


topics like this one lead me to wonder at the purpose... do non-believers point to things they call "atrocities" in the bible in order to say something like "i don't believe in God because....." or what?

that kind of logic reduces to, i don't believe in God because i disagree with things he's said or done... my short answer is, so what?

God isn't in the dock, as lewis said... he is God, his actions are just and holy and require no apology from me or any other christian

God is perfectly just in his dealings with humanity... the fact that some argue about the form his justice took at one time, or takes now, has no bearing on that...

but the thing that *really* gets to me in discussions like this is, where in the world do people who deny the existence of good and evil get the notion that an act of God is good *or* bad? how convenient to appeal to some moral standard they deny exists when the subject is God

God is the creator, we are the creatures... God is perfectly holy and just, we are not... none of us are innocent, not one... and any judgement God proscribes is, by definition, just


Replies to this message:
 Message 17 by Coragyps, posted 12-27-2002 9:29 PM forgiven has responded
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 Message 22 by Gzus, posted 12-29-2002 10:08 AM forgiven has not yet responded

  
Coragyps
Member
Posts: 5375
From: Snyder, Texas, USA
Joined: 11-12-2002


Message 17 of 65 (28007)
12-27-2002 9:29 PM
Reply to: Message 16 by forgiven
12-27-2002 9:10 PM


quote:
God isn't in the dock, as lewis said... he is God, his actions are just and holy and require no apology from me or any other christian.

Yeah, at least as just as Idi Amin eating his political opponents' livers while they're forced to watch...
Genocidal atrocities are still exactly that, no matter who commits them or at whose orders. I take a little comfort, at least, in knowing that a large part of the conquests and probably all of the death tolls reported in Joshua, etc, are fictional.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 16 by forgiven, posted 12-27-2002 9:10 PM forgiven has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 18 by forgiven, posted 12-27-2002 11:04 PM Coragyps has responded

    
forgiven
Inactive Member


Message 18 of 65 (28009)
12-27-2002 11:04 PM
Reply to: Message 17 by Coragyps
12-27-2002 9:29 PM


quote:
Originally posted by Coragyps:
quote:
God isn't in the dock, as lewis said... he is God, his actions are just and holy and require no apology from me or any other christian.

Yeah, at least as just as Idi Amin eating his political opponents' livers while they're forced to watch...
Genocidal atrocities are still exactly that, no matter who commits them or at whose orders. I take a little comfort, at least, in knowing that a large part of the conquests and probably all of the death tolls reported in Joshua, etc, are fictional.

you write the above as if you care, as if you have some standard against which you are measuring the supposed atrocities found in the bible... do you? where does it come from? or is it mere preference on your part?

why should amin not eat his opponent's livers? what makes his act morally wrong? suppose he woke up one morning and said, "should i tie my shoes or torture an enemy?"... what would make one act better or worse than the other?

btw, define genocidal atrocities for me... tell me what makes them right or wrong...


This message is a reply to:
 Message 17 by Coragyps, posted 12-27-2002 9:29 PM Coragyps has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 24 by Coragyps, posted 12-29-2002 1:46 PM forgiven has responded

  
Mr. Davies
Inactive Member


Message 19 of 65 (28010)
12-28-2002 12:40 AM
Reply to: Message 16 by forgiven
12-27-2002 9:10 PM


quote:
topics like this one lead me to wonder at the purpose... do non-believers point to things they call "atrocities" in the bible in order to say something like "i don't believe in God because....." or what?

Well it's like this. As a former Christian myself, I came to understand that the God of Abraham was not a nice being. You can tell me till your blue in the face on how your God is just, caring, and benevolent. However many here, and its not just me, can easily use the Bible to show you just how the God of the Bible is nothing of the sort. The OT is full of how God was going to punish his chosen for turning away from Him, but it also shows God turning a blind eye so his chosen can rob, maim, kill, and just rape those He did not find worthy. Why God did not bother coming down and showing His other cildren the way is plain wrong.

As God is the creator of us all, supposedly, and we are, again supposedly, all His children, the utter contempt this god has for most of its children boarders on the criminally insane. Why God or any parent would favor one child over the next to the point of letting a select few butcher the others is beyond the pale. However when you are asked why your God allows and encourages the chosen ones to kill and rape, you say "It's His Justice" or something equivalent. As there is no justice there, unless you twist the words ala 1984, you'd be better off saying "My God can do what He wants, so down on your knees and beg for forgiveness".

quote:
that kind of logic reduces to, i don't believe in God because i disagree with things he's said or done... my short answer is, so what?

Well my short answer is I don't believe in your God at all. I was asked, by you I think, what type of god or gods do I believe in. Well I still don't know but I doubt if it's anything like what is described in the OT. If there is a god that created us all and it allows its children to behave like butchers, then it doesn't care, lives through us, or maybe even something else that I can't think of at the moment. But don't tel me your God is all kind and just as it is not.

quote:
God isn't in the dock, as lewis said... he is God, his actions are just and holy and require no apology from me or any other christian

Ok, but what about non-Christian god or a different god other than the God of Abraham? If I were to read to a bunch of Christians what the God of the OT did but with a changed name, the syntax dressed up in different phrases and changing the stories ever so slightly, but doing the same things to humanity, allowing some chosen class to do what they want to enemies of their god, they'd act in total revulsion. What is so funny is when you compare the actions of this created deity next to theirs from the OT and watch a paradygm shift without a clutch. While your God can do anything you want Him to do because He's God, it does not make Him Holy, righteous or even right.

quote:
God is perfectly just in his dealings with humanity... the fact that some argue about the form his justice took at one time, or takes now, has no bearing on that...

The "M" part of an "S&M" couple also says something like, "My Master is perfectly fair to a little miscreant like me, isn't that right Master?".

quote:
but the thing that *really* gets to me in discussions like this is, where in the world do people who deny the existence of good and evil get the notion that an act of God is good *or* bad? how convenient to appeal to some moral standard they deny exists when the subject is God

I don't deny the existence of some deity or deities, I think yours is either A) A petty, egotistical tyrant or B) Non-existant. Just because I don't believe in your God does not make me an atheist. Just like not believing in Amen-Ra makes you an atheist either.

quote:
God is the creator, we are the creatures... God is perfectly holy and just, we are not... none of us are innocent, not one... and any judgement God proscribes is, by definition, just

Perfectly Holy? By whose standards? Not by mine or some on this board. Yes, we may be holding up you God to our imperfect human standards but even still your God fails the Humane tests. The rest of your arguement is circular and without meaning. You hold that your God can do no wrong, fine. However, I seriously doubt you give credence to another deity or deities from other cultures and religions. So why should yours get any respect for acting like a spoiled child (worship me or die for all eternity!)?

As for not being innocent, this God of yours is supposedly omnipotent and may know before conception if a person is going to hell or not. Yet the pain and suffering that we've been told awaits us in hell is not on His list to worry about.

If your God is truly just, then I don't fear my death and standing before Him. I would think a just and righteous god would not worry what a scant 60, 70, or even 120 years are compared to eternity. I also don't think that a righteous God requires worship or in need of praise from His creations. If He is, then He's a raving Egomaniac and I doubt any of us could stand before Him and not piss Him off in our imperfection.

------------------
When all else fails, check the manual


This message is a reply to:
 Message 16 by forgiven, posted 12-27-2002 9:10 PM forgiven has not yet responded

  
funkmasterfreaky
Inactive Member


Message 20 of 65 (28047)
12-29-2002 2:37 AM
Reply to: Message 14 by funkmasterfreaky
12-21-2002 6:41 AM


[QUOTE]Originally posted by funkmasterfreaky:
[B]
quote:
Originally posted by Chara:
quote:
Originally posted by funkmasterfreaky:
Romans 3
25God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement,[1] through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished--



This verse looks back to the whole history of human sin before it was judged at the cross - what you've been referring to as unacceptable - a holy God letting sin pass for four thousand years, from Adam to Christ. God has been righteous (just) in "passing over" sin, both in pardoning without judgment those who believed in Him and those who were His enemies. Why? Because He had already planned to send Christ to become the propiation* for the whole world. God's righteousness (justice) is seen clearly when He judged human sin openly in Jesus' sacrifice.

I also thought of Psalm 73 in connection with this thread:
1
Surely God is good to Israel,
To those who are pure in heart!
2
But as for me, my feet came close to stumbling,
My steps had almost slipped.
3
For I was envious of the arrogant
As I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
4
For there are no pains in their death,
And their body is fat.
5
They are not in trouble as other men,
Nor are they plagued like mankind.
6
Therefore pride is their necklace;
The garment of violence covers them.
7
Their eye bulges from fatness;
The imaginations of their heart run riot.
8
They mock and wickedly speak of oppression;
They speak from on high.
9
They have set their mouth against the heavens,
And their tongue parades through the earth.
10
Therefore his people return to this place,
And waters of abundance are drunk by them.
11
They say, "How does God know?
And is there knowledge with the Most High?"
12
Behold, these are the wicked;
And always at ease, they have increased in wealth.
13
Surely in vain I have kept my heart pure
And washed my hands in innocence;
14
For I have been stricken all day long
And chastened every morning.
15
If I had said, "I will speak thus,"
Behold, I would have betrayed the generation of Your children.
16
When I pondered to understand this,
It was troublesome in my sight
17
Until I came into the sanctuary of God;
Then I perceived their end.
18
Surely You set them in slippery places;
You cast them down to destruction.
19
How they are destroyed in a moment!
They are utterly swept away by sudden terrors!
20
Like a dream when one awakes,
O Lord, when aroused, You will despise their form.
21
When my heart was embittered
And I was pierced within,
22
Then I was senseless and ignorant;
I was like a beast before You.
23
Nevertheless I am continually with You;
You have taken hold of my right hand.
24
With Your counsel You will guide me,
And afterward receive me to glory.
25
Whom have I in heaven but You?
And besides You, I desire nothing on earth.
26
My flesh and my heart may fail,
But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
27
For, behold, those who are far from You will perish;
You have destroyed all those who are unfaithful to You.
28
But as for me, the nearness of God is my good;
I have made the Lord GOD my refuge,
That I may tell of all Your works.

*Propitiation. The turning away of wrath by an offering ... The sin of man HAS incurred the wrath of God. That wrath is averted only by Christ's atoning offering.

And does this make any sense.


still no response to this post?

------------------
Saved by an incredible Grace.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 14 by funkmasterfreaky, posted 12-21-2002 6:41 AM funkmasterfreaky has not yet responded

  
John
Inactive Member


Message 21 of 65 (28049)
12-29-2002 9:09 AM
Reply to: Message 15 by funkmasterfreaky
12-27-2002 7:59 PM


quote:
Originally posted by funkmasterfreaky:
I'd like for this topic to continue, as it is something I can actually discuss.

Hey funk,

The thrust of Chara's post, where this Psalm was introduced, seems to be that God is just because he intended to set thing right eventually with Christ.

1) I don't see how this Psalm relates.

2) It is odd to push justice so far into the future, relative to the unjustly treated persons in the OT, that it becomes insignificant.

3) I have a really bad cold and am not feeling terribly bright today.

------------------
www.hells-handmaiden.com


This message is a reply to:
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Gzus
Inactive Member


Message 22 of 65 (28053)
12-29-2002 10:08 AM
Reply to: Message 16 by forgiven
12-27-2002 9:10 PM


quote:
Originally posted by forgiven:

but the thing that *really* gets to me in discussions like this is, where in the world do people who deny the existence of good and evil get the notion that an act of God is good *or* bad? how convenient to appeal to some moral standard they deny exists when the subject is God

What better way to deny him, than to catch him in violation of his own rulebook?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 16 by forgiven, posted 12-27-2002 9:10 PM forgiven has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
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Mr. Davies
Inactive Member


Message 23 of 65 (28062)
12-29-2002 11:15 AM
Reply to: Message 22 by Gzus
12-29-2002 10:08 AM


Yeah, the true believers seem to be very quiet on this subject.

Catch theeir god in a lie, then the answer is "You can't judge my god by the laws of man" and then turn around and ask just where do you think laws came from in the first place.

Ah, the mental gymnastics needed.

------------------
When all else fails, check the manual


This message is a reply to:
 Message 22 by Gzus, posted 12-29-2002 10:08 AM Gzus has not yet responded

  
Coragyps
Member
Posts: 5375
From: Snyder, Texas, USA
Joined: 11-12-2002


Message 24 of 65 (28064)
12-29-2002 1:46 PM
Reply to: Message 18 by forgiven
12-27-2002 11:04 PM


quote:
you write the above as if you care, as if you have some standard against which you are measuring the supposed atrocities found in the bible... do you? where does it come from? or is it mere preference on your part?

I do care! I have to live in this world, as do my children and grandchild. Thing just plain go more pleasantly if folks aren't munching on other folks' livers! Any animal that lives in a "society" has rules to regulate that society, at least at the local level: a pack of wolves treat each other with "courtesy", mutually care for the pups, and share the work and defense of the pack. A pride of lions babysit each others' cubs and hunt cooperatively. Even bluejays will quickly learn to cooperate with each other when a future, shared reward is larger than an immediate, selfish one.
These examples, admittedly, draw the line at the family or "tribal" unit. I like to think that we as humans have enough cognitive ability to extend our "tribes" a little beyond the family, and learn that cooperation makes life more pleasant for all of us (though we have done a pretty crappy job, historically, of learning that lesson.)

Mammy Yokum of the comic strip "Lil' Abner" really stated it very well: "Good is better than evil because it's nicer."


This message is a reply to:
 Message 18 by forgiven, posted 12-27-2002 11:04 PM forgiven has responded

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forgiven
Inactive Member


Message 25 of 65 (28071)
12-29-2002 4:07 PM
Reply to: Message 24 by Coragyps
12-29-2002 1:46 PM


quote:
Originally posted by Coragyps:
I do care! I have to live in this world, as do my children and grandchild. Thing just plain go more pleasantly if folks aren't munching on other folks' livers! Any animal that lives in a "society" has rules to regulate that society, at least at the local level: a pack of wolves treat each other with "courtesy", mutually care for the pups, and share the work and defense of the pack. A pride of lions babysit each others' cubs and hunt cooperatively. Even bluejays will quickly learn to cooperate with each other when a future, shared reward is larger than an immediate, selfish one.
These examples, admittedly, draw the line at the family or "tribal" unit. I like to think that we as humans have enough cognitive ability to extend our "tribes" a little beyond the family, and learn that cooperation makes life more pleasant for all of us (though we have done a pretty crappy job, historically, of learning that lesson.)

Mammy Yokum of the comic strip "Lil' Abner" really stated it very well: "Good is better than evil because it's nicer."


ok... my point was, for anyone (even mammy yokum) to make any statement concerning good and evil is to grant that both exist... it's to grant that there's some standard to judge by... that's all


This message is a reply to:
 Message 24 by Coragyps, posted 12-29-2002 1:46 PM Coragyps has not yet responded

  
Karl
Inactive Member


Message 26 of 65 (28093)
12-30-2002 6:26 AM


The problem with the "God defines what's good and evil and so anything He does is by definition good" argument is that it means that religious genocide is not wrong, because God does it.

So. Would a military campaign, wiping out the muslim population of the middle east and replacing them with Christian settlers, be justified? If not, why not? God did it.

Insistence on reading accounts written by people whose conception of God was extremely primitive and above all tribal as literal accounts of the nature of God is a sure-fire way of getting the wrong end of the stick. It is exactly what Jesus' disciples did - "Master! Shall we call down fire on them like Elijah did?". I note Jesus' response was "You do not no what kind of Spirit you belong to". The understanding of God evolved through the OT - it was written over hundreds of years. These atrocities are part of an early tribal conception of God and give a totally disordered picture of Him taken literally and in isolation. To put it bluntly, I, and many other Christians, do not believe that God ordered the genocides recorded in the OT.


Replies to this message:
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funkmasterfreaky
Inactive Member


Message 27 of 65 (28097)
12-30-2002 7:34 AM
Reply to: Message 26 by Karl
12-30-2002 6:26 AM


Okay going back to where John and I started here with this thread, I've noticed that slavery in the OT seems to be considered one of the major attrocities.

First off, the culture MUST be taken into consideration. The Israelites when they recieved the law had just come out of slavery themselves. Slavery at the time seems to be a globally accepted practice. We know from recent history that it is impossible to make drastic changes to culture/systems in a short span of time. Any such attempts seem to be too much of a shock to a society/culture, and generally don't work.

Having said this I don't believe that God condoned slavery, however due to the fact that it was ingrained into society at the time, he gave his people laws to help govern this practice, and somewhat protect those who were enslaved.

Maybe God's aim was to rid humanity of slavery, but until such time, laws were needed to ease the suffering of those who found themselves victims of slavery.

Here are a couple links I've found if you want to check them out.

http://www.vineyardfm.org/highalert/_disc1/0000001e.htm

http://www.gospelcom.net/rbc/ds/q1109/point3.html

This is the area I have chosen to put some study into for now, I hope to establish the fact, that the laws regarding slavery were put into place not to condone slavery, rather, to regulate a flawed cultural practice.

------------------
Saved by an incredible Grace.

[This message has been edited by funkmasterfreaky, 12-30-2002]


This message is a reply to:
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Mr. Davies
Inactive Member


Message 28 of 65 (28103)
12-30-2002 9:05 AM
Reply to: Message 27 by funkmasterfreaky
12-30-2002 7:34 AM


Intersting take on what God condones or just wants to regulate.

So God wanted to regulate slavery as it was spread throughout the time of the OT. That's fine but let's look at what else God did back then, according to the Bible.

1: He flooded the world because men were so wicked. Now this makes things even more interesting as if Noah and his family were the only ones left standing, he should have been able to lay down the law and tell them firmly "NO SLAVES".

2: A prophet set forth wild animals to kill children who had the audacity to tease his bald head.

3: Killed the first born in Egypt to "Let His people go".

4: Destroyed Sodom as it was so evil and wicked.

5: Forced his people to wander the desert for 40 years because they had a golden calf. It seems that this God is far more concerned on how it is worshipped than how people, His children, treat each other.

6: The 10 Commandments say nothing about slavery.

So why did God do all of these other things to correct the wickedness or lapses in worshipping Him but not say to his chosen, especially when the 10 Commandments were handed to them?

------------------
When all else fails, check the manual


This message is a reply to:
 Message 27 by funkmasterfreaky, posted 12-30-2002 7:34 AM funkmasterfreaky has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 30 by Kolyahu, posted 12-30-2002 9:56 AM Mr. Davies has responded

  
Coragyps
Member
Posts: 5375
From: Snyder, Texas, USA
Joined: 11-12-2002


Message 29 of 65 (28104)
12-30-2002 9:21 AM
Reply to: Message 27 by funkmasterfreaky
12-30-2002 7:34 AM


quote:
We know from recent history that it is impossible to make drastic changes to culture/systems in a short span of time. Any such attempts seem to be too much of a shock to a society/culture, and generally don't work.

So ending slavery in the US South by instant decree, or introducing the automobile to replace the horse, are things that didn't work?

I think Karl has it nailed: much of the OT is the chronicle of a violent, (at least wannabe violent) brutal, Bronze Age tribe trying to assert their dominance over several almost identical tribes by whatever means possible, using the stories of their particular deity to justify whatever they did. All these little tribes kept slaves and treated women poorly: they just used differently-named gods to justify their actions.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 27 by funkmasterfreaky, posted 12-30-2002 7:34 AM funkmasterfreaky has not yet responded

    
Kolyahu
Inactive Member


Message 30 of 65 (28111)
12-30-2002 9:56 AM
Reply to: Message 28 by Mr. Davies
12-30-2002 9:05 AM


B"H
The very first post on this thread gave an erroneous supposition at the onset. It was that the oldest copy of Torah is in Greek. That is no longer true. There were several Hebrew texts found in the caves at Qumran, to include Devarim (Deuteronomy). And there were two of other portions in Hebrew found in Egypt. To base one's opinions on the received text without ever translating it back to its' original tongue, the meanings were something not altogether clear at several points. The laws of war, the laws of captives, the laws of servants all were practices within almost all cultures in those times. But, aren't they still in force today in the Muslim world? Did you know that the Taliban govt was obeying the literal interpretation of the Torah law? Did you know that not one single Taliban, and not one single Afghani was on those planes that hit the WTC? So, why are we destroying them? The ones who were involved (Al Qeda) are being taken prisoner, while those not involved in WTC are being hunted down like animals, without remorse. Is that possibly the reason? This whole conversation had very negative attitude toward the laws of the Torah. It was begun with an uninformed base. The law is perfectly sensible in the context of the 19th-20th centuries BCE.
Maybe the reason for the negativity, is the fact that the church has preached LAWLESSNESS for 16+ centuries. The saying,"We are no longer under law but by grace we are saved." This has lead to the abandonment of the laws which Yahshua of Nazareth lived and died for. He loved the Word of G-d. In fact he taught AS IF HE WERE THE TORAH. So, when I read that some one was judging the laws of Torah, I say to you that you have become a judge. It is not the perfect royal law that is imperfect, it is we who are sold unto sin. Now, tell me does your version of salvation think that once you believe in the Nazarene, you can do anything you want and not consider it to be sin? I think not, therefore you who judge the Laws of G-d, need to come back to reality. There is a time for peace, and a time for war, stop believing in LAWLESSNESS, and idolatry and you will find the truth of those laws, they are spirit, pure spirit look at them in that light and you may see the intent accurately. The Jews said,"We have a law that ought to die ( referring to Yahshua/Jesus), but we have no authority to put him to death." The Torah was not being obeyed by the Jews. You don't see it? Jesus was killed because, of the laws of Rome, and not because of Torah law. They found him guilty, as is everyone before the Torah law, and could not put him to death. The Roman law found him innocent, yet had him killed anyway. Which law had the true Mercy? In His awesome name, we speak...I am Shalom Alechem
This message is a reply to:
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