genocide as commanded by God?

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by gekko, Feb 6, 2008.

  1. gekko

    gekko
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    coming from an atheist friend of mine.

    why does God command so many people to be killed?
    so many wars?
    wars over what the land of israel is now?

    why did God command at times for a whole nation - husbands, wives, children (babies, too), livestock - to be abolished?

    i'll ask the age old question (mainly cause i don't understand it myself):

    if God is such a loving God - why would he command to kill so many people in the O.T. and in essence those people go to hell?
    why would God do that?

    i'm not asking this from a Devil's Advocate point of view.
    i'm honestly asking this for information.
    need scripture and lots of it. heh.

    thank you.
    God bless.

    gek.
     
  2. Amy.G

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    Because He's God? Who are we to question His judgements?

    He is good and Holy and righteous. He alone can make such decisions.

    Rom 9:21 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?

    Quite honestly, there is no answer that will satisy an atheist.
     
    #2 Amy.G, Feb 6, 2008
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  3. Joseph M. Smith

    Joseph M. Smith
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    The question you raise assumes that those whose actions are reported in the Old Testament accurately heard and interpreted the will of God. Remember that any form of communication involves both the receiver and the speaker. Receivers, human ones, that is, often hear what they want to hear or what fits with their culture.

    The God of the Old Testament also said, in a far more definitive way, "Thou shalt not kill."

    Christians measure anything that purports to be a statement from or about God by comparing it with the definitive revelation in Jesus Christ. Can you envision Jesus ordering wholesale slaughter? If not, then ... draw your own conclusion.
     
  4. Amy.G

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    Are you saying that God did NOT order the killing of other nations? Are you saying the prophets just misunderstood or just made it up?
     
  5. DHK

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    God's ways may not always be made known to us. In fact in this day and age they rarely are. It was more obvious in the OT, when often he explaine to the Israelites and used the nation of Israel as an instrument of his judgment upon nations such as the Canaanites, who were judged for their idolatry.
    Read the Book of Judges. It goes through cycles. As long as Israel served Jehovah they lived in peace. Once Israel started serving Baal and other idols they were judged of God, and God sent another nation to take them into captivity and bondage. There they languished until they cried out to God in repentance. God sent them a deliverer, a judge who delivered them from that ungodly nation. Often that nation was devastated, many were killed. Israel then lived in peace until she went into idolatry again. Then the entire cycle would repeat itself again.

    The simple principle to understand is: God judges sin.
    He judges sin whether in this life or in the life to come.

    We cannot say for certain, but perhaps many of the natural disasters that happen today are judgments on sin. Indonesia has had its recent share of tsunamis, flooding, etc. Indonesia is also the largest Islamic nation in the world. Could there be a correlation between those natural disasters and the total rejection of Christianity? Quite possibly. I wouldh't be dogmatic on it.

    What about the epidemic on Aids? Many have postulated that that epidemic is a direct result of sin. It might be.

    But we can't attribute all natural disasters to sin. God has his sovereign purposes in all things. He said that in the endtimes that there would be famines, earthquakes, etc.
    In these days he judges sin as He sees fit, and we don't always know how and when. Leave things in God's hand and rest assured "that the Judge of all the earth shall do right."
     
  6. donnA

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    God's ways are not our ways, and we can only view any one thing from this side of eternity. Which means we can't see the whole picture. And we have no right to judge God's actions.
    Also we have no right to say whats in God inspired scripture isn't true, or is misleading or wrong. Such as
    My conclusion(?) is that all scripture is true, not just parts. If God's books says He ordered it, then He ordered it. Never does He have to explain to us, His creation.
    The answer to the athiest is, I don't know, but I trust God too.
     
  7. Amy.G

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    :thumbs:

    Also, the atheist already has his mind made up and will only argue with you and try to prove you wrong. God must open his heart to receive the truth. It's our job to tell the truth and God does the real work.
     
  8. donnA

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    Thank you Amy. After I posted I was thinking that God was in charge, and would have to open his heart and reveal truth to him, that whatever we might say isn't going to be good enough.
     
  9. BobRyan

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    Your questions are good ones -- and they are probably the hardest ones in all of scripture to resolve.

    Haven't seen much scripture on the thread so far - but there are a few -

    1. Malachi 3:6 -- God does not change.
    2. 1John 4:8 God is Love
    3. John 3:16 God so loved THE WORLD that "he GAVE" all -
    4. 2Peter 3:9 God is not willing for any to perish but for ALL to come to repentance

    Yet in that same section of 2Peter 3 "God DESTROYED the World" vs 5-6 through the flood -- not just a village or a tribal nation near Israel -- all people, all animals on the entire planet. It is interesting that Peter has this as the context for God "waiting" to destroy the world by fire and the statement that follows in vs 9 "not willing for ANY to perish".

    (This is another place where we all have to go with the Bible over the myths of evoutionism to get the full meaning of the text)

    Lev 18 gives a partial list of the gross sins of the nations around Israel - sins that God said he would not tolerate -- sins that now even the U.S is entering upon through our change in laws and political interest groups.

    Sins that included the slaughter of their (the pagan nations around Israel) own infants.

    God has a rule - a principle of "filling the cup of iniquity". When Abraham was sent by God to Caanan God told him that he would not be given any land because "the sins of the Amorite is not yet complete". God had 400 years more of mercy to pour out on those pagan people and part of that mercy involved Abraham going to Caanan as a witness for the One True God. Even delivering the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah from the capture of the 5 kings that came against them through the hand of Abraham.

    But in all this there is still a fiery hell that God says we are to fear in Matt 10 "do not fear those who kill the body but not the soul - but rather fear Him who can destroy BOTH body AND soul in fiery hell". Matt 10:28

    The message of the flood, the message of the real lake of fire at the end of the real 1000 years where real lost people are really burned - is a far more shocking "destruction" than even the overthrow of those tribal nations around Israel.

    Yet I know that I for one would not have been able to "go and slay" even one of their dogs or cats let alone a family member. How then can I imagine the destruction of those people "in a good way" or the destruction of the families at the flood "in a good way" or the destruction of that greater portion of humanity in the lake of fire 'in a good way'?? I can only view it with shock and amazement -- and when the time comes to see it first hand -- some trembling and sorrow, for I know that it is likely that some friend or loved one will be destroyed there.

    Yes God is coming again - coming for the saints, the redeemed, the saved, the "holy and blessed" ones of Rev 20:4-5. But after that 1000 years He is coming for the atheist, the agnostic, the pagan, the Christian that rejects the Gospel and they will each one be "judged according to their deeds" as Rev 20 says speaking of events after the 1000 years. This is the message for your friend - we are all on this boat together --and the boat is on fire - and it is also leaking. There is the way of salvation -- and for those who do not take it there is "no nice story to follow" as though a happy ending awaits them.

    In all the movies about the sinking of the Titanic - the choices get pretty stark as soon as the boat starts to take on water.

    in Christ,

    Bob
     
    #9 BobRyan, Feb 6, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 6, 2008
  10. Joe

    Joe
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    God works everything together for good. Some things we won't understand while in the flesh

    Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose
     
  11. gekko

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    well. this atheist friend of mine is actually very open.
    he says he would become a christian if it weren't for these things that seem to contradict. trust me. he's very open. and knowledgable.

    again - i'll ask the age old question -- if God is so good, holy and righteous. why does he send people to hell? why doesn't he do with them - as he did with paul? why does God command saul to kill so many people?

    i think bobryan, you had the best answer so far.

    these stereotypical sunday school answers of "God's plan is not ours" and any variation... are kinda out-dated.

    as for God commanding people to be killed...
    how are we to know if God really commanded them or not?

    i mean... there's been some recent genocides - people thinking God is telling them that they should go kill all these people.

    how are we to know if what's in the bible - isn't just the same thing? someone thinking that God told them to kill this lot of people.
     
  12. Rubato 1

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    Those w/o discerment tend to confuse personal commands with national commands. So, as it applies to your friend's life, the battles (with the Amalekites, for example)to extermination have no bearing on him. On the other hand, 'Thou shalt not kill' is obviously (through context and practice) a personal directive.

    He would not be the first one to question God's politics.
    1. God was looking out for the survival and well-being of the Jewish nation.
    2. The cultures in question were w/o exception Jehovah-haters, and in a way, getting what they had coming.
    3. The methods of warfare through history have included killing all who were not taken as slaves, who could pose a seious threat.
    4. Many times, God's directive to obliterate was in retaliation for what they had done to God's people (as in the cas of the Amalekites).
    Basically, the way to preserve a nation's influence is to eliminate a threat.

    Also, this is a picture of God's final war and victory, and final obliteration of his enemies.

    ...Maybe not your final answer, but food for thought.
     
  13. gekko

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    food for thought...i guess.

    i already know that.

    i'm going to name my friend as "Joe" on here.
    ----

    Joe has said "i'm not going to base my morals on the bible - God says in one part 'do not kill' - then he goes and kills anyone that doesn't follow him - how is that a loving God - why should i follow a God that's selfish and, in my point of view, morally unacceptable"

    not those exact words of course - but it's a summary of a couple things he's said.
     
  14. BobRyan

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    In the OT the specific command "to kill" was given under a Theocracy where God was king. Notice for example in Lev 18 God shows specific violations (gay rights agenda shows up there) for which HE will wipe out a pagan nation WITHOUT it having to be under a Theocracy. That is something HE takes it up on HIMSELF to do - not a function "of the church" and not a command to mythical vigilante executioners roaming the nation of Israel.

    Notice that in that list of Lev 18 pagan-nation-accountable offenses He did not include some death-penalty offenses for which there was the death penalty under a THEOCRACY - they do not even show up (Sabbath breaking, gluttony, adultery)

    So when a person today takes it upon himself to execute someone - they are not acting according to the laws of a Theocracy OR according to the laws of God - or any pagan nation. God never commanded that all individuals even in a Theocracy were to go around killing people if they felt them to be in violation of something. He always had the case presented to the judges of Israel for a decision.
     
  15. gekko

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    still not helping...

    let's try to be unbiased. well. more unbiased than biased anyways.
    can't really be either/or these days.

    how can a God - that is "not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." (2 peter 3) - command that so many people be killed. looking back at the flood - soddom and gommorah - amalekites. etc etc.

    looking also at the other verses in that chapter.
    another similar question arises. why would a God like this - create hell? (lake of fire, hades - whatever you want to call it)

    why, if God hates to see us fall away, would He make it possible for us to make the choice to fall away? why would He let us fall away? why, if his will is for none to perish but all to come to repentance, would he not make that happen?
     
  16. Ivon Denosovich

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    In a previous part of my life, I stopped believing in the Bible because of the genocide issue. I've now reconciled my faith w/ natural law (the theory that man should be unmolested unless molesting others).

    The fact is, God doesn't have the moral right to tell anyone to kill an innocent person anymore than he has a right to tell you to commit adultery with your neighbor's wife. In other words, He's obligated to obligate you to the moral obligations He created. The only time violence is moral is in self defense, so I conclude that God in his foreknowledge knew the children He ordered killed in genocide would have grown up hating the Jews and have attempted to avenge their parents deaths. I think of it as a preemptive strike (which is not in conflict with natural law) and that seems plausible as generational hatred was the name of the game back then. Heck, it's still the name of the game in the modern Middle East.

    ETA: God's ability to predict the future has to be taken into consideration. If we believe that shedding innocent blood is wrong (and the Bible says it is) then these kids weren't going to be innocent so it was self defense.
     
    #16 Ivon Denosovich, Feb 8, 2008
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  17. Ivon Denosovich

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    How is a national command anything other than a compilation of personal commands?

    Also, this still doesn't address the right/wrong issue. If the command to commit genocide was morally wrong it doesn't matter who God gave it to.
     
  18. trustitl

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    You sound like you don't like being created in the image of God.

    God could not have created us in his image without a free will.

    You are blaming God for man's choices.

    God is the judge and deals out penalties perfectly in accordance with perfect justice. You are unwilling to accept his decisions and design.

    Sodom cooked their own goose. Don't blame God. Just because God executed them here on earth does not mean they all went to hell.

    Uzzah broke a specific command and was dealt the due penalty here on earth. He could very likely be living eternally in the presence of God.
     
  19. DHK

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    Are you God telling Him what he has the right to do and not to do? When did you assume that position? Lucifer got kicked out of heaven for that reason.

    God has the moral right to send everyone of us to Hell for all eternity right now. We all are guilty sinners, and none of us deserve to live. It is only by his grace and mercy that we have life. There is no one on this earth that is innocent. There is no one on this earth that can stand before a holy God and declare himself to be innocent and holy--just as holy as God.

    What would you answer if you were to stand before God right now, and He were to ask you: Why should I allow you to enter into my heaven? What answer could you give Him?
    Apart from the blood of Jesus Christ, we have no answer. We all are found guilty. No man is innocent. All have sinned and have come short of the glory of God.
     
  20. BobRyan

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    All good questions Gekko -- not very many easy answers -- but there are "some answers" if you are willing to accept them.
    The answers may not be popular but they are available.

    Let's not forget the Lake of Fire in Rev 20 where ALL the wicked of ALL time are all burned at one time.

    Very different from the flood or from Rev 19 where you just have all the wicked that happen to be alive at one point in time are destroyed.

    People make choices - God warns of the consequences and then when they say "Hey I am going to reject salvation anyway" then the "end" comes as God predicted.


    It was created to punish the wicked -- justice demands specific punishment for specific sins.

    But God also died for the accumulated debt of torment-punishment owed by the sins of ALL - paid the price for ALL and offers as a free gift - His gospel solution to ALL.

    No one need go to hell.

    Yet many simply choose to reject God anyway -

    God already has "lots of rocks" they do just what he wants them to do.

    He also has lots of mice, and birds etc.

    God will not be raising any mice or birds in Rev 20 to roast them in the lake of fire.

    But God is also the God of "free will" and so Lucifer was ALLOWED to make his choice - he was not "created evil".

    Adam and Eve were "allowed to make their choice" -

    Cain and Abel were "allowed to make their choice".

    Jacob and Esau were "allowed to make their choice".

    God so "whosoever will let them come".

    God "CONVICTS the WORLD of sin and righteousness and judgment" John 16.

    "IF ANYONE hears my voice AND OPENS THE DOOR I will come in and fellowship with them" Rev 3.

    Matt 11 "COME unto Me ALL who are weary and heaven laden and I will give you rest".

    The invitation goes out to ALL "He is the light that coming into the world enlightens EVERY one of mankind" John 1:5-11

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
    #20 BobRyan, Feb 9, 2008
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