Fundamentalist Baptist Pastor Bill, a childhood family friend, responds to my post yesterday regarding Moses’ order to slaughter all the Midianite mothers and little boys:
I will add my comments in red.
03 June 15
Here is a quote from the article you sent me on 02 June 2015….
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.”
Pastor Bill’s response: Why are Christians suppose to be limited to “only ONE question…” The back ground is very relevant to the morality of any act. When law enforcement is pursuing someone and they evade that pursuit, is the purpose of the pursuit “irrelevant”? When an officer shoots someone it is very relevant why he fired that shot. Background is essential if we’re going to be fair and honest.
Please allow me to say that, in part of this, you are absolutely correct. The Lord God of Heaven and Earth did in fact, order the death of everyone Moses took the life of in Numbers 31.
01. God is God and therefore He is immutable (not capable of change)
02. God is God and has shown His love, mercy and grace in many places…
Exodus 34:6‑7 (KJV)
6 And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth,
7 Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.
03. God is God and owes no one any explanation for His actions…
04. The situation with the text of Numbers 31 did not begin there. The nation of Israel had committed whoredom with the people of Moab. As a result the Lord ordered the slaying of every man that had been joined to Baalpeor.
Numbers 25:5 (KJV)
5 And Moses said unto the judges of Israel, Slay ye every one his men that were joined unto Baalpeor.
As a result of this sin God brought judgement upon His own people, for God begins with His people, expecting more of us than those who don’t know Him;
1 Peter 4:17 (KJV)
17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?
As a result of their immorality 24,000 men of Israel died (Num 25:9), 23,000 in 1 day (I Cor 10:8)….These lost their lives because the Lord loved them too much for them to continue in sin thereby infecting others and bring further shame upon His name….. God will not, rather CANNOT lie… Sin MUST be judged….all sin, your’s and mine also….all sin.
Hebrews 12:6‑7 (KJV)
6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?
8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.
Sin, not dealt with, will always grow and become more and more wicked before God. Note in our text;
Numbers 25:6 (KJV)
6 And, behold, one of the children of Israel came and brought unto his brethren a Midianitish woman in the sight of Moses, and in the sight of all the congregation of the children of Israel, who were weeping before the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.
Not only was there sin but there was a flaunting of that sin and the same attitude Pharaoh had;
Exodus 5:2 (KJV)
2 And Pharaoh said, Who is the LORD, that I should obey his voice to let Israel go? I know not the LORD, neither will I let Israel go.
A total disregard for the Lord, His word or any proper testimony before others, will always bring judgement.
Because the law of God was that in the case of adultery both parties were to die, not only were the men of Israel destine to die but the women they had been with also.
“…the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death…”
Moses was actually angry with the officers for having brought the women back because they were adulteresses and were to be put to death not brought back;
Numbers 31:16 (KJV)
16 Behold, these caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to commit trespass against the LORD in the matter of Peor, and there was a plague among the congregation of the LORD.
Because of the sin of these people, there was a plague upon the nation of Israel and innocent people were dying…….God hates sin….
The women who had not been with a man were saved alive and were taken by Israel and because God is God, it was right….. God hates sin…
The male children were killed. Seems harsh but that was not the first time nor the last time that this happened because Dad thought the Lord was just blowing smoke when He said;
Exodus 20:5 (KJV)
5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
And to be sure people knew He was serious about it He repeated it;
Deuteronomy 5:9 (KJV)
9 Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me,
God was more than fair in His treatment of these people even to and including the salvation of all those little ones who could not yet understand sin…right and wrong…. All such are alive today in a place called heaven because God is God.
People try to make God like us and it never was that way….it never will be. In the beginning God made man in His image but never was man equal to God. When Jesus died on the cross, the shedding of His sinless blood paid the sin debt for everyone and anyone who will come to Him seeking mercy and grace. By admitting we are sinners and worthy of hell we can find forgiveness and peace in the “Prince of Peace” the Lord Jesus Christ.
Ecclesiastes 8:11 (KJV)
11 Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.
But make no mistake, because God is God, all sin will be paid for either by the one committing that sin or on his behalf by the Lord Jesus Christ upon that person’s acceptance of Him as their own personal Saviour
God issues many strong warnings of this;
Proverbs 29:1 (KJV)
1 He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.
Gary: So what you are saying, Pastor Bill, is that because (the Christian) God is our Creator and is all-powerful, he can do as he pleases. Therefore, God is good solely because he says he is good, not because he is good, by an objective, unchanging moral standard.
Sorry, dear Pastor and friend, but I find your view of what is good and what is evil, repulsive and highly immoral. I believe that it is always, and in every situation, immoral and evil to target little children for slaughter. There is never a justification for such a heartless, vicious, immoral act. The reasoning you have just used is the same reasoning used by ISIS. I’m sure you would condemn the brutal behavior of these Muslim fundamentalists so why then do you condone this same behavior in your Faith?
Your god is immoral, Pastor Bill. He is a butcher of children. If he exists we should tremble in fear before him on our knees. But call him “good”, “merciful”, “just”, “righteous”, “loving”??
—absolutely not. He should be called what he is…a Monster.