Approximately nine months before my deconversion, I attended a Sunday worship service at the church that sponsored my children’s Christian school. The auditorium was packed with all the cute little children who gave a singing performance prior to the pastor’s sermon. Guess what his sermon was about: The Slaughter of the Amalekites!
He began his sermon by reading the passage in the Bible regarding this story.
Samuel said to Saul, “The Lord sent me to anoint you king over his people Israel; now therefore listen to the words of the Lord. 2 Thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘I will punish the Amalekites for what they did in opposing the Israelites when they came up out of Egypt. 3 Now go and attack Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have; do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.’”
When he had finished reading the entire story, he closed his Bible, and said, “Now, today this seems really terrible to us to slaughter all these people, especially the little children, but those days were a different time, and therefore it was ok.”
As I sat there looking at all those cute little kids up on the stage, I thought to myself, “Is it ever moral to chase down little children and chop their little bodies into pieces??” I squirmed in my pew. The thought made me really uncomfortable. A terrible, forbidden thought entered my mind: “Maybe God (Yahweh) isn’t just and good after all. Maybe He is really vindictive, sadistic, and downright evil.”
“That just can’t be true,” I said to myself. “The Bible says that God (Yahweh) is just, merciful, and good. He can’t be sadistic and evil. I must trust his judgment.”
A few weeks later, I and my two young children were driving in my car listening to children’s Bible stories on CD, as was our usual custom. The story on the CD that day was about Noah and the Flood. When the narrator started describing the rain and flooding, my seven year old asked me, “Daddy. Did God drown all the little children too?”
“Yes.” I said. “God drowned them because they were evil.”
My son replied, “So its ok with God to drown children who are bad?”
“Well, well…” I stammered. “It was different in those days. God wouldn’t do that today.” (…or would he, I thought to myself).
…Rational thinking was beginning to seep into my indoctrinated brain.
Little children should NEVER be drowned or chopped to pieces for being ‘bad’ even if an invisible god tells you to do it!