“What always puzzles me is how Christian apologists talk about the Bible containing perfect morality given by ‘God’. They should read Numbers chapter 31 everyday for a month.
There are a number of aspects about Numbers 31 that make it especially worthy of consideration:
- – the action is specifically ordered by ‘God’ against a people, the Midianites who were living well outside the ‘promised land’;
- – the motive of ‘God’ is given in the text, it is revenge;
- – after the battle the Israelites were chastised for only killing the adult men, this was not enough for ‘Moses’ who said they should kill all the male children, all the adult women, the only people spread would be the females who were virgins. Moses said if they did not do this then ‘God’ would send a plague against the Israelites;
- – the virgin females would be kept by the Israelites as sex slaves, they are listed as booty in the text:
“The plunder remaining from the spoils that the soldiers took was 675,000 sheep, 72,000 cattle, 61,000 donkeys and 32,000 women who had never slept with a man.” [Numbers 31:32-35]
Listed right there after the donkeys. Yet Christians claim that people are special and way above the animals, apparently not if you are a Midianite.
– the Almighty ‘God’ blessed this slaughter by enabling the Israelites to slaughter the midianites without the loss of a single Israelite.
How is it that Christians can’t see this as appalling? This is right up there with ISIS in morality! Yet we are told this book is the source of all morality. That is beyond a joke. People who can’t see this surely are deluded.”
“Peter, they don’t see it as appalling because most of them don’t even know it’s in the bible! They feed on what’s issued from the pulpit and/or their church school, not the actual “Word” (unless, of course, it’s one of those “salvation” scriptures).”
I can relate to what both Peter and Nan said. The three of us are ex-Christians. It wasn’t until I started seriously studying the Bible that I had to ask myself some hard questions from an ethical and moral standpoint.
Several months ago, I was watching the news with my mother. Actually, it was a special on CNN about ISIS. Women, who had been taken captive by ISIS and escaped, where sharing their horror stories about how they had been treated, and witnessed their children and husbands being slaughtered. My mother, a believer in the Christian god, turned to me and said, “that is horrible — absolutely horrible what ISIS is doing.” I replied: “It certainly is, and it’s behavior that is condoned by the Judeo-Christian god in the Bible.”
She looked at me as if I were joking, and said, “no way.”
I pulled out the Bible and read from Numbers 31. She was stunned. I told her that this behavior is not isolated. It’s throughout the Bible.
I came across this video today; a letter from an anonymous ex-Muslim. It’s applicable to Bible-believing believers, too.
I understand the cultural pressures to conform to social norms, and the consequences if you don’t. I understand that Judeo-Christianity provides a sense of belonging–community. I understand that people find tools to help them cope with death anxiety. I also understand the power of indoctrination.
But, what I don’t understand is why believers, who are familiar with the contents of the Bible, make excuses, even justifications, regarding the behavior of the Patriarchs and the Father god they worship.
I don’t want the comments here to turn into a Christian bashing session. This question may seem counterproductive, but I sincerely want to understand why anyone would want to spend eternity with such a god.