Fundamentalist Baptist Pastor Bill, a childhood family friend, sends a follow-up comment regarding this post in which I discuss the Old Testament passage where Moses orders the slaughter of thousands of Midianite mothers and their little boys:
I will add my comments in red.
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.”
Pastor Bill’s response:
Gary…. I preceive we need to start over with a couple of simple truths. It hurt to read the things you wrote about the God Who loved me enough to give His only begotten Son to die in my place. I can only imagine how all the peoples in heaven must have gasped as they understood what you put on paper.
We don’t have a complete understanding of the order given by the Lord to Moses. There are a couple of things we do know:
01. I know that the Midianite people were begun by Midian who was a son of Abraham and his wife Keturah after the death of Sarah. If his descendants didn’t know the truth about God’s hatred of sin it’s Midian’s fault and every daddy between him and the time of Numbers 31. It’s Midian’s fault that Moses’ butchered thousands of Midianite mothers and their little boys??? I don’t think so! NO sin of a parent or ancestor merits the targeted slaughter of little children (and their mothers), Pastor Bill. Your holy book (the Bible) has warped your morality.
I know that you are a good man, Pastor Bill. I know that you are a moral man. I know that you are a man of compassion. And because I know how good a man you are, I will bet my car’s pink slip that if YOU, Pastor Bill, had been there that day, and Moses had ordered YOU to hack women and terrified, screaming little boys to pieces…you would have refused!
If you tell me that I am wrong; if you tell me that, yes, you would have chopped the little arms and legs off of those little boys and run their little bellies through with your sword, then you are not the man I think you are, Pastor Bill!
02. I know that someOne has to be in charge and the Lord decided a long time ago it was going to be Him. Us not liking His choice will only cause us trouble both now and especially in the future. If he exists, you are correct, Pastor Bill. But as I said in the previous post, if your god exists, we should tremble before him on our knees, but telling us to call him “loving”, “just”, “merciful”, or “good” is an outrageous farce. The problem is, Pastor Bill, that you have not proven that your God, Yahweh/Jesus Christ exists. I have asked you for proof of the existence of your god and all you have given me is list of prophecies that I have shown you are false. So until you can prove to me that your god is more than just a figment of your imagination, telling me that he is “in charge” goes in one ear and out the other. You might as well be telling me that Zeus is in charge and that I must worship and obey him! Neither Zeus nor Yahweh/the Triune Christian god are real entities. They are make believe!
03. I don’t know, nor does anyone else know the extent the Lord went through trying to teach and reach these peoples during the 400 years Israel was in bondage in Egypt (because of sin), Archeologists have come to the conclusion that the overwhelming archeological evidence indicates that the biblical stories of a mass Hebrew Slavery in Egypt, the Forty Years in the Sinai, the Conquest of Canaan, and the great kingdoms of David and Solomon are fiction. They are ancient tall tales. They never happened.
I do know;
2 Peter 3:9 (KJV)
9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us‑ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
04. I know this was not the last time the order was to do very much the same thing;
Deuteronomy 3:6 (KJV)
6 And we utterly destroyed them, as we did unto Sihon king of Heshbon, utterly destroying the men, women, and children, of every city. Vile. Shameful. Evil. Wicked. Immoral.
05. I know that in the death of these “little ones”, though I don’t understand it, I am willing to trust, He Who cannot sin and cannot lie, and He owes noone an apology for what happened. Us not understanding everything God does is not reason to say He’s wrong….He’s never made a mistake. Us playing God would be and is a GIANT mistake!. Pastor Bill: You would never accept this rationalization from a human being. If a mass murderer of little children today told you that his killing was really an act of kindness and mercy to the children, you would tell him that he is a sick monster and that he deserves the death penalty. But your god tells you the same thing, and you believe him!
He’s lying to you, Pastor Bill. He is a baby-slaughtering monster…or…he doesn’t exist! He cannot be good. He cannot be just. He cannot be moral if he slaughters little children! It is ALWAYS wrong and immoral to target little children for killing! Always! Don’t ever let anyone, including a god, tell you otherwise!
05. I know the nature of God is to give opportunity after opportunity to people so that noone will ever be in a position to rightly, correctly or accurately accuse Him of being a butcher or a monster. Ordering soldiers to hack screaming, terrified little children to pieces, along with their mothers’ is the behavior of a butcher and a monster, Pastor Bill. You cannot rationalize this evil behavior as in any way justifiable any more than ISIS can rationalize their barbaric behavior by appeals to “but it was God’s will”.
I mentioned prior that the fault must lie where it truly belongs and that is with the Daddy’s of that time. No civilized people on the planet today justifies chopping the arms and legs off of little children because of the crimes (sins), no matter how terrible, of their fathers. No one. To justify the torture and murder of children as punishment for the behavior of their parents is the height of barbarism and immoral behavior. Had the Dad’s done their job this never would have happened and we can agree with the simplicity of this or face God in eternity about it. Or we can face the fact that your god is evil incarnate, or, much more likely, your god doesn’t exist; he is simply the invention of Bronze-Age middle-eastern nomads and goat herders. Our choice…. the Lord will force noone to be saved or to serve Him….He will however make all those who wilfully choice incorrectly regret that wrong choice some day. Yes, he will again behave in a brutal, barbaric fashion, by burning people alive…for ever…for thought crimes. It is a preposterous and immoral concept. NO ONE deserves to be eternally punished. If your god is just then he would act justly. The punishment should always fit the crime. There is no crime so horrible as to merit burning someone alive without termination. It is worse than the behavior of Hitler and Stalin. At least Hitler and Stalin let their victims eventually die. Jesus isn’t satisfied with that. Jesus wants to watch his victims writhe in torment for billions upon billions upon billions of years…and then, its still not enough. Jesus wants to watch them burn even more. What a sick, sick, belief system. Laughing and scoffing won’t change that, it only proves we’re in the last days mentioned by so many in the Bible. Where is Hell, Pastor Bill? If you say it is in the center of the earth, scientists, based on mathematical calculations, have proven that Hell reached maximum capacity a long time ago. We should see souls sticking up out of the earth! If you say that Hell is in another dimension, there is no such statement in the Bible. Hell does not exist except in your mind. It is that simple.
Daddy’s have an extreme position in the family and in God’s order of things. Daddy’s have a tremendous position of power and authority. To be allowed of God to direct our families is an awesome thing. To be able to have a part in preparing the hearts of our “little ones” to make correct and proper decisions is an impressive place…..BUT!!! It is also a place of scary responsibility too. If our children make wrong choices in the matter of the Lord and eternity we will be the first to answer. We can’t blame the bible, the preacher, the police, schools or anything else and here is a real truth; Yes. I get it. My two children are going to burn in Hell if I refuse to get down on my knees and beg forgiveness from your ancient Hebrew god. I knew our conversation would eventually get to this point. When all the “Jesus, so kind and merciful, loves you, Gary” doesn’t work, then its time to switch to the ultimate Christian method of persuasion. And this method of Christian persuasion is no different than those of a cult: using guilt and fear to maintain control.
Sorry, Pastor Bill. It won’t work with me.
Hell isn’t real, Pastor Bill. Your god isn’t real. It is an ancient superstition. I challenge you to prove me wrong with evidence instead of continuing to preach at me by quoting from an ancient holy book as if it is absolute truth, but which I believe is just a book, written by scientifically ignorant, superstitious men in the ancient past.
Proverbs 22:6 (KJV)
6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. I was trained in this superstitious belief system as a child and teenage, and I have departed from it…thank goodness.
Psalm 92:13‑15 (KJV)
13 Those that be planted in the house of the LORD shall flourish in the courts of our God.
14 They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing;
15 To shew that the LORD is upright: he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.
This is our job and we won’t be able to blame the Lord in eternity for the job we failed at.
While we’re looking at things hard to be understood. Consider the many people in the world who will throw rocks, innuendoes and slanders at the “Giver of Life” and then champion abortions in the most “Monster-ous” and “Murder-ous” ways. The word “butcher” was used prior…Wow, that surely fits here. How many million babies have been thrown in trash cans and garbage buckets by people who would scream that the Lord is cruel without even looking into the whys of the situation. In MANY cases even doctors and health officials who will not do such things themselves will work along side those that will and do. I won’t go into the hideous ways babies are tortured and then killed in hospitals and clinics all over America but we all know it happens. Try these facts on;
40 years ago America passed the Roe vs Wade decision. Since that time there have been approximately 55,772,015 “legal” abortions performed in the USA. Each of these destroyed the life of an unborn child. Just so we’re clear it was no typo error, that number is 55,772,015 I’m suspecting money had much to do with that number. And we complain that the Lord for reasons known largely only to Himself makes decisions we don’t understand….the real heartache is most of the time people just plain don’t want to understand.
I believe that the intentional killing of any child is immoral and unjustifiable. For this reason I oppose aborting any fetus who has a beating heart and can sense pain. I am therefore consistent. I condemn immoral abortion doctors for killing children and I condemn your immoral god for killing children.
Now, Pastor Bill, can you demonstrate that you are consistent by condemning the immoral murder of millions of children by your immoral, ancient, middle-eastern god?
Sorry Gary, You know the truth and you’re wrong, dead wrong!! And you, Pastor Bill, are not only wrong but obviously brainwashed: The evidence is that you believe that murdering children in some situations is moral, and in other situations, immoral. I challenge you to accept the truth: the targeted killing (murder) of children is ALWAYS immoral!
Dear Pastor Bill: Please use the same level of skepticism to examine your own religious beliefs and assumptions as you do examining the beliefs and assumptions of every other religion on the planet. If you do, you will see that the moral inconsistency discussed above is just the beginning of the massive number of moral failures in the behavior of your god.