Christians making Excuses for their God’s Immoral Behavior

Balaam and the Donkey

Excerpt from this Christian website:  Apologetics Alliance


“And Moses was angry with the officers of the army…[and] said to them, ‘Have you let all the women live? Behold, these, on Balaam’s advice, caused the people of Israel to act treacherously against the Lord in the incident of Peor, and so the plague came among the congregation of the Lord. Now therefore, kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman who has known man by lying with him. But all the young girls who have not known man by lying with him keep alive for yourselves.’” —Numbers 31:13-18
This is one of the most difficult passages in the entire Old Testament to reconcile with the God of love. I will never be satisfied with it. I will never be happy with it. I will always find it abhorrent. But after researching the cultural context, I do recognize that it is an execution not genocide, and that the blame rests on the parents of the orphaned boys, not on God or Moses. However, to appreciate such a conclusion, one must understand the events that led up to this passage.

Through literary apologetics, this four-part series examines the backstory involving Balaam’s advice, the actual incident of Peor, and the repercussions seen in the passage above. It is not my intent to treat this subject matter lightly, or even make you like this passage. My only hope is for others who struggle with this passage to see God’s mercy in the situation.

My comment left on above Christian blog:

Regardless of the “background”, here are the facts presented in this passage of the Bible:

1. The Midianite men have been killed in battle.
2. The Midianite women, teenage girls, and children have been captured and brought back to Moses.
3. Moses orders the slaughter of ALL the women and ALL the little boys.
4. Moses then orders that all the virgin females be spared so that the Hebrew soldiers’ may use them for their desired purposes (to be their maids, house keepers, and/or brides, of course).

Christians need ask themselves only ONE question about this passage of the Bible to determine if the acts committed in this alleged historical event were moral or immoral. Reviewing the “context” and “background” (excuses/justifications) is irrelevant to the morality of the act:

Is there ever ANY justification for the targeted slaughter of little children?

This situation is very different from what happens to children as “collateral damage” in modern warfare. We would not hold a pilot morally responsible for killing young children who happened to be playing (unbeknownst to him) next to an ammunition dump upon which the pilot was dropping his bomb load from high up in the sky. We WOULD hold the same pilot morally responsible if he landed his plane, got out his knife, and chased after the little children, grabbing each one by the arm or leg to slit his or her throat.

The first situation would not be considered immoral, the second situation, most definitely would be considered immoral. In fact, it would be considered MURDER.

Moses committed murder in this passage, and because he was killing people of one specific ethnicity, because of their ethnicity, Moses committed genocide. What is most appalling, is that the Jewish/Christian God did absolutely nothing to stop this act; there is no mention in the Bible that the Jewish/Christian God ever punished Moses for this act; and, there is every reason to suspect that the Jewish/Christian God ordered and condoned this act of brutal, immoral, barbarism.


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