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Intelligent Design, the best explanation of Origins

This is my personal virtual library, where i collect information, which leads in my view to Intelligent Design as the best explanation of the origin of the physical Universe, life, and biodiversity


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Intelligent Design, the best explanation of Origins » Bible / Christian faith / Apologetics » Evil: Why does God allow evil and suffering in the world?

Evil: Why does God allow evil and suffering in the world?

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Otangelo


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Evil: Why does God allow evil and suffering in the world?

There is an ultimate moral principle by which to measure good and evil. But in this case there is an ultimate moral standard. This standard emanates from Gods nature.

If God Is All-Powerful, Why Didn't He Create a World Without Suffering & Evil?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X3kIj0j9oJg

John MacArthur: Why Does God Allow So Much Suffering and Evil?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6LFzk1afiD8&fbclid=IwAR3m2Vq8v-ifqJXwG-TfCFqX3G8eAwj76HOjlZcS0lYsWJU19lnBI0dEbPA

Suffering and Evil: The Probability Version
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cxj8ag8Ntd4

Suffering and Evil: The Logical Problem
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k64YJYBUFLM

Does the Old Testament condone rape?
http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=11&article=5197

Claim: A god that requires never-ending fear AND compulsory love is not a good god. A god that sanctions slavery is not a good god. A god that aborts a whole planet because of his own mistakes is not a good god. A god that commands his followers to massacre entire settlements, including women and children is not a good god. A god that visits infinite sadistic punishment for finite crimes is not a good god. The god of the bible visits so much pain horror and death upon the world, it would only be right to hunt down this psychopathic god-monster and kill it.

“Whenever we read the obscene stories, the voluptuous debaucheries, the cruel and torturous executions, the unrelenting vindictiveness, with which more than half the Bible is filled, it would be more consistent that we called it the word of a demon than the word of God. It is a history of wickedness, that has served to corrupt and brutalize mankind; and, for my part, I sincerely detest it, as I detest everything that is cruel.”
― Thomas Paine, The Age of Philosophy and Reason

God, being maximally great, must have omniscience.
Omniscience demands an objective perspective because subjectivity is a result of partial knowledge and understanding.
Objective omniscience means that God will be able to discern what is good at all times in all possible scenarios. It doesn’t just allow for it, it logically demands it.
Humans with free will run the world. Free will is a necessary good because it is the only thing from which personhood can be made. So the real problem is mankind, not God, and what we do with our free will.

Every good parent takes risks in allowing their kids the freedom to learn and do new things. Your child will sometime fall when learning to walk and will face even greater risks as he grows and learns. God tells what is good and how to live, but we choose whether to do good or evil. God commands us to not do evil but he doesn't put us in restraints so that we can't do evil. He did give government to punish evil and cause evil people to constrain themselves. Ultimately God created us to be in a loving relationship, but all love is voluntary. It has to be so. To be able to choose love we also have to have the ability to choose to hate.

You're attempting to make a moral judgment against God as if permitting evil were "wrong". Where, as an atheist, could you ever obtain any standard by which you could declare any action to be morally wrong whether that action were performed by God or by man? In your world there's only the material realm and, according to atheism, the Universe is merely an accidentally produced petri dish containing organic and inorganic entities while lacking any moral law or ultimate purpose. If you're view is factually accurate, then disease, catastrophies, permitting any kind of suffering or evil might be a temporarily unpleasant experience for certain valueless organic units, but nothing, including the infliction of diseases upon innocent babies, could ever really be objectively, morally wrong. This is just one of the many grounding problems with atheism. It leaves you with no basis or standard that you can appeal to by which anything or any action can ever be condemned as wrong or evil. So if you really believe what you say you believe, why the whining outrage over diseases? You should be celebrating the brutality of bare nature. It's just the material, undesigned Universe, randomly thinning the herd, remember? Or did you forget? It sounds like you believe in God, but you just don't like Him.

You as a finite being consider yourself worthy to criticize God. The arrogance of such is monumental. Do you realize that? You with limited understanding AND perspective have considered yourself more than the equal of God your creator? Able to judge His actions and motives and the benefit they bring? Are you serious? Do you know how to create a simple cell? Do you know how to create life? Do you have the power to do EITHER? Do you know how to create a planet that supports life? Do you know how to create a climate and environment on such a planet? Do you know how to create a storm and have the power to make it rain? Do you have the power to make the seasons follow from summer, to fall....to winter..to spring? Do you know how to imprint animals with the instinct to reproduce and to take action to protect themselves from predators? Have you in your wisdom come up with the perfect system for justice among humans and consider yourself as an authority on what is BEST for all? Do you know the inner workings of the mind...and the heart and are able to act for the benefit of both in every endeavor? Do you know what your purpose is? Do you know why you have been given the days you have been? Assuming you have a wife...do you know always how to love her and treat her as you should? Do you do so? Assuming you have kids...did you know every moment exactly what was best and did it in raising them? Did you love them for their best..for their total success? Or were you wishing for an instruction manual to answer the awesome responsibility of child rearing? If on a single thing I have mentioned you have to answer honestly...I...don't ...know. Then you are incompetent to criticize God. The fact you do not understand...should encourage humility...not judgement. It should encourage asking for wisdom from God. His answer to you? Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction. And again: Proverbs 3:7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.. God's advice to you? Proverbs 2:6-7 6 Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you. 7 The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding. Ponder this: 1st Cor 1:25: 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength. And finally..are you on your own in the gaining of WISDOM? No. James 1:5 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. Just as Salvation for each person is present for the asking...so is the WISDOM to approach life rightly.

https://reasonandscience.catsboard.com/t1915-evil-why-does-god-allow-evil-and-suffering-in-the-world

If there is no God, there are no objective moral values, since they are prescribed " ought to be's".
If there is no God, then moral values are just a matter of personal opinion, and as such, no objectively or universally valid at all.
If that is the case, unbelievers have no moral standard to judge anything as morally good or bad.
Therefore, in order to criticize God, they need to borrow from the theistic worldview, and as such, their criticism is self-contradicting and invalid.
Even IF they could make a case to criticize God's choices, that would not refute his existence.

The argument from evil:

1. God, is said to be omniscient, omnipotent, benevolent, perfect and good.
2. If God is omniscient, he would have known in what world children would be born with physical deficiencies.
3. He would have known, and if completely good, avoided to create a world where children are born with physical deficiencies
4. Therefore, a perfect and good God probably doesn’t exist.

Darwin worried himself silly about the suffering brought on by the struggle for existence:
“I cannot persuade myself that a beneficent & omnipotent God would have designedly created the Ichneumonidæ with the express intention of their feeding within the living bodies of caterpillars, or that a cat should play with mice” (Darwin 1985–, 8: 224).

Response:
the atheist does not believe that God exists because of evil but does also not believe in God DESPITE the odds which favour the belief that God was rather involved in creating the universe and life, rather than not. 

So even if the believer in God has not a full understanding of why God created a world where there is suffering, but there can well be an acceptable explanation once the full picture is exposed. If God created the universe and life, then, upon what we do know, we can infer that God’s intelligence and mental power are unimaginably higher than ours, and that gives us good reasons to believe, that there is a bigger picture which we do not understand, but when we do, we will grant that Gods goodness is fully compatible with the broken world we live in. On the other hand, believing that the universe and life coming into existence by a freaky unlikely accident which is in the realm of the impossible, despite the extreme odds, is logical and rational?

Furthermore, there are some good reasons why God permits suffering in the world. Making love possible, means giving us free will, and the ability to make free choices. That entails the possibility to choose evil and to make bad choices. Freedom is wonderful, but it can be misused. God was willing to create free creatures, knowing the risks, but did go forward nonetheless. God can also permit pain and difficult times in peoples life that as outcome permit people to grow spiritually, or as human beings. Again: We have not a full understanding of why God chose to go forward, rather than not.  

God is a being than which none greater can be imagined (that is, the greatest possible being that can be imagined). There is a close connection between rationality and goodness: the most perfect being will always act according to the maximum of goodness which is characteristic of him. This necessarily also implies that God will create the best of all possible worlds because otherwise, he would either not be almighty, or not be absolutely good, or not be omniscient.

Gods goodness is expressed in his moral kingdom of grace. and it is the most exalted and the most divine of God’s works, and it is in this that God’s glory truly consists, since there would be no glory if his greatness and his goodness were not known and admired by minds. God’s glory has been thought to consist in his own perfect nature, and/or in his expression of that nature. But there is more to Gods glory than this; specifically, God’s glory also requires other beings to recognise his supreme qualities, since that if there were no such recognition then God would have no glory.

Hence it would be correct to say that God’s glory requires

(a) that God has a perfect nature,
(b) that he expresses that perfect nature, and
(c) that his perfect nature is recognised by other creatures.

Whilst God’s wisdom, intelligence and power are manifested in all parts of creation, his goodness is most apparent in his sense of justice, moral code, and plan of justification and grace expressed in Christs coming, death, and resurrection. If creation consisted merely in the amazing beauty and complexity of the universe and its mathematical structure, laws and fine-tuning, then God’s great wisdom and power would be evident, but not his goodness. In order to manifest his goodness, God created minds, rational and moral creatures upon which he can exercise justice, mercy, forgiveness, and so on.

When we deal with God, we deal with the highest being conceivable, also what regards goodness and justice. When we reject God and accuse him of immoral acts, as too often seen by atheists, they do judge from a human limited perspective, which is faulty and unreliable. Basically, they fool themselves. I cannot conceive greater foolishness than to reject God on such unreliable ground.

Is God a despot ? 
https://reasonandscience.catsboard.com/t2812-despot-is-god-a-despot

Why does God allow evil and suffering in the world?
http://carm.org/why-does-god-allow-evil-and-suffering-world

Where is God When Bad Things Happen? Why Natural Evil Must Exist
http://www.godandscience.org/apologetics/natural_evil_theodicity.html

The Bible God: Cruel, Savage, Deranged, Evil, Barbaric, Intolerant, Insanely Jealous, Vengeful and Bloodthirsty?
https://reasonandscience.catsboard.com/t1648-the-bible-god-cruel-savage-deranged-evil-barbaric-intolerant-insanely-jealous-vengeful-and-bloodthirsty

Building a theistic Worldview: first principles and first truths - Dealing with the issue of good and evil
http://nicenesystheol.blogspot.com/2010/11/unit-2-gospel-on-mars-hill-foundations.html#u2_gdvsevl

Is the God of the Old Testament different than the God of the new testament?
https://reasonandscience.catsboard.com/t2784-is-the-god-of-the-old-testament-different-than-the-god-of-the-new-testament

The Myth that Religion is the #1 Cause of War
https://carm.org/religion-cause-war?fbclid=IwAR0Vk_M-dh4Chg8pOQCISVx0f-FLHfmM8szIl0Z8UwhMq6ifs1EbMVDiMXw






Argument from evil:

1. If God exists, then there is no pointless suffering.
2. There is probably some pointless suffering. Therefore,
3. God probably does not exist.

1. God is omnipotent, omniscient, holy and good)
2. There is evil and unspeakable horrors displayed in the world
3. This is logically incompatible

1. God, is said to be omniscient, omnipotent, perfect and good.
2. If God is omniscient, he would have known in what world children would be born with physical deficiencies.
3. He would have known, and if completely good, avoided to create a world where children are born with physical deficiencies
4. Therefore, a perfect and good God probably doesn’t exist.

Darwin worried himself silly about the suffering brought on by the struggle for existence:
“I cannot persuade myself that a beneficent & omnipotent God would have designedly created the Ichneumonidæ with the express intention of their feeding within the living bodies of caterpillars, or that a cat should play with mice” (Darwin 1985–, 8: 224).

Response:
The universe produced the number of electrons equivalent to the number of protons to an accuracy of one part in 10 to the 37th power. If it were not so, galaxies, stars, and planets would never form. That is as if cover America with coins in a column reaching to the moon (380,000 km or 236,000 miles away), then do the same for a billion other continents of the same size.  Paint one coin red and put it somewhere in one billion of the piles.  Blindfold a friend and ask her to pick the coin.  The odds of her picking it are 1 in 10^37

Here the atheist responds, “Yes, these things may be improbable, but I’m going to believe them anyway.” This is a clear inconsistency. He does not believe that God exists because of evil, but does also not believe in God DESPITE the odds which favour the belief that God was rather involved in creating the universe and life, rather than not. But above example of the proton/electron fine-tuning is just an example. I can list twenty different arguments, based on ontology, cosmology, teleology, philosophical and theological. He would have to dismiss the weight of all these in favour of just one, which apparently favours a worldview without God.  

So even if the believer in God has not a full understanding of why God created a world where there is suffering, but there can well be an acceptable explanation once the full picture is exposed. If God created the universe and life, then, upon what we do know, we can infer that God’s intelligence and mental power are unimaginably higher than ours, and that gives us good reasons to believe, that there is a bigger picture which we do not understand, but when we do, we will grant that Gods goodness is fully compatible with the broken world we live in. On the other hand, believing that the universe and life coming into existence by a freaky unlikely accident which is in the realm of the impossible, despite the extreme odds, is logical and rational?

Furthermore, there are some good reasons why God permits suffering in the world. Making love possible, means giving us free will, and the ability to make free choices. That entails the possibility to choose evil and to make bad choices. Freedom is wonderful, but it can be misused. God was willing to create free creatures, knowing the risks, but did go forward nonetheless. God can also permit pain and difficult times in peoples life that as outcome permit people to grow spiritually, or as human beings. Again: We have not a full understanding of why God chose to go forward, rather than not.   

 
God, being maximally great, must have omniscience.
Omniscience demands objective perspective because subjectivity is a result of partial knowledge and understanding.
Objective omniscience means that God will be able to discern what is good at all times in all possible scenarios. It doesn’t just allow for it, it logically demands it.
Humans with free will run the world. Free will is a necessary good because it is the only thing from which personhood can be made. So the real problem is mankind, not God, and what we do with our free will.

Every good parent takes risks in allowing their kids the freedom to learn and do new things. Your child will sometime fall when learning to walk and will face even greater risks as he grows and learns. God tells what is good and how to live, but we choose whether to do good or evil. God commands us to not do evil but he doesn't put us in restraints so that we can't do evil. He did give government to punish evil and cause evil people to constrain themselves. Ultimately God created us to be in a loving relationship, but all love is voluntary. It has to be so. To be able to choose love we also have to have the ability to choose to hate.

You're attempting to make a moral judgment against God as if permitting evil were "wrong". Where, as an atheist, could you ever obtain any standard by which you could declare any action to be morally wrong whether that action were performed by God or by man? In your world there's only the material realm and, according to atheism, the Universe is merely an accidentally produced petri dish containing organic and inorganic entities while lacking any moral law or ultimate purpose. If you're view is factually accurate, then disease, catastrophies, permitting any kind of suffering or evil might be a temporarily unpleasant experience for certain valueless organic units, but nothing, including the infliction of diseases upon innocent babies, could ever really be objectively, morally wrong. This is just one of the many grounding problems with atheism. It leaves you with no basis or standard that you can appeal to by which anything or any action can ever be condemned as wrong or evil. So if you really believe what you say you believe, why the whining outrage over diseases? You should be celebrating the brutality of bare nature. It's just the material, undesigned Universe, randomly thinning the herd, remember? Or did you forget? It sounds like you believe in God, but you just don't like Him.

You as a finite being consider yourself worthy to criticize God. The arrogance of such is monumental. Do you realize that? You with limited understanding AND perspective have considered yourself more than the equal of God your creator? Able to judge His actions and motives and the benefit they bring? Are you serious? Do you know how to create a simple cell? Do you know how to create life? Do you have the power to do EITHER? Do you know how to create a planet that supports life? Do you know how to create a climate and environment on such a planet? Do you know how to create a storm and have the power to make it rain? Do you have the power to make the seasons follow from summer, to fall....to winter..to spring? Do you know how to imprint animals with the instinct to reproduce and to take action to protect themselves from predators? Have you in your wisdom come up with the perfect system for justice among humans and consider yourself as an authority on what is BEST for all? Do you know the inner workings of the mind...and the heart and are able to act for the benefit of both in every endeavor? Do you know what your purpose is? Do you know why you have been given the days you have been? Assuming you have a wife...do you know always how to love her and treat her as you should? Do you do so? Assuming you have kids...did you know every moment exactly what was best and did it in raising them? Did you love them for their best..for their total success? Or were you wishing for an instruction manual to answer the awesome responsibility of child rearing? If on a single thing I have mentioned you have to answer honestly...I...don't ...know. Then you are incompetent to criticize God. The fact you do not understand...should encourage humility...not judgement. It should encourage asking for wisdom from God. His answer to you? Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction. And again: Proverbs 3:7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.. God's advice to you? Proverbs 2:6-7 6 Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you. 7 The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding. Ponder this: 1st Cor 1:25: 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength. And finally..are you on your own in the gaining of WISDOM? No. James 1:5 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. Just as Salvation for each person is present for the asking...so is the WISDOM to approach life rightly.

The Creator as being the Owner of the universe is the "Standard Setter" for all good in the universe. Saying God is good, therefore, is like saying God is God when good is defined/identified as being consistent with the Will and Nature of such Creator and Owner of the universe.

There are clearly many horrendous events which happen in the Old Testament... the question is, "does one understand these things in context?" "and does one understand these things in relation to the sinfulness and state of humankind's position before the Creator?"

This is the real key. If you don't understand humankind as being under judgment then you would never understand how God is fully justified by killing us all at any moment...and how this would NEVER be murder in any shape or form.

Understanding these things systematically are key. If you understand that God can order the annihilation of any group of people and have it be part of His logical and just judgment then you might also understand how when through the natural order (tsunamis, etc) that God is fully justified at sustaining such natural laws and their consequences as well.

Putting slavery in its proper context is equally important. Understanding what appears to be rape in its context is also important to fully explain. Understanding a solder discussing the end of a battle and what method the solder's used to kill the babies of their enemies (and how this signified the end of the battle and their descendents would not rise up against them in battle again) is also important to put these things in context.

Sparing virgins so that they could be married was seen as a type of mercy from one point of view, but in today's society we would never think this way because we do not live in the brutal culture that existed over seven centuries before Christ.

You have to understand things in context. Child sacrifice was never condoned, yet those who read an English bible wrongfully think that was.

All of these many difficulties place the OT in poor light but they still need to be understood within the context of their culture and within the context of their setting or their Sitz im Leben.

Atheists attempt to show how the Hebrew God is evil and the other side is trying to show that the Hebrew God doesn't approve of a lot that is recorded... and what this Hebrew God "does" is fully justified because humankind is judged already and God is the Holy Perfect God and humans are the real little monsters.

Ultimately, these quest is related to theodicy....as they logically should.

the Creator is fully justified in having this world inhabited by "little monsters" who need to be adopted and changed into holy children who can fellowship with this Creator.


Cancer supports the idea of Intelligent Design. why? gene regulation systems is so fine-tuned in the human body that it works normally. yet if these regulation systems and genes are interrupted, cells go abnormal activities. let's say for example proto-oncogenes code for proteins that stimulate normal cell growth. if it gets mutated, it will lead to cancer due to increase in its protein [product or intrinsic protein activity. also, tumor suppressor genes code for proteins that prevent uncontrolled cell growth. if it's mutated and causes it to decrease its product protein's activity, it will lead to cancer. That's how functional and are, fine-tuned. And that supports Intelligent Design. In a Biblical point of view, before the fall, there's no such thing as 'error', therefore there are no mutations. mutations accumulated after the fall, due to sin. this also somehow goes against large-scale mutational evolution, as mutations cause more harm than good.



The curious as well as the critics of Christianity ask this question. If God is all-powerful and all loving, then why does He permit evil and suffering in the world? Various answers have been given, but permanently settling the issue is impossible because so many of our answers raise further questions. Nevertheless, our lack of ability to answer the question perfectly does not mean that we cannot offer solutions. Of course, I do not assume to be able to answer these questions definitively, but I can offer some solutions.

First of all, it is possible that God has reasons for allowing evil to exist that we simply cannot understand. In this the Christian can have confidence in God knowing that His ways are above our ways (Isaiah 55:8-9). As the Bible says, the just shall live by faith (Hab. 2:4).


Second, God may be letting evil run its course in order to prove that evil is malignant and that suffering, which is the unfortunate product of evil, is further proof that anything contrary to God’s will is bad, harmful, painful, and leads to death.

God gave Adam dominion over the world (Gen. 1:28). When he rebelled against God, he set in motion an entire series of events and changed the very nature of man and creation. Both were affected by sin. Creation was no longer a paradise but bore thorns and thistles (Gen. 3:17-18; Rom. 8:22). People became sinful (Rom. 5:12; Eph. 2:3), who were haters of God (Rom. 3:9-12), etc. The only conclusion to such a situation is death. Jesus said, "And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened" (Matt. 24:22).

Sin is rebellion against God and His created order, but God has not left us alone in this fallen world. He continued to enter this world--pointing us to Himself, to truth, to morality, purity, and love. He used the evil of the world (liars, perjurers, the envious, etc.,) to bring His Son to the cross so that we might have the opportunity to obtain eternal life. In this, God has not stepped away from fallen creation but has stepped into it by becoming Jesus. God works within the fallen world to effect change, and He uses fallen people to accomplish His will. In this, He is proving His sovereignty over evil, suffering, and rebellious people--proving that sin and evil are utterly futile and that He is worthy of honor and glory.

A third possible reason that God is letting evil occur is so that on the day of judgment, the condemned will have no right to say that their sentence is unjust. God is not stopping people from exercising their free will. Think about this: If someone said that God should stop evil and suffering, then should God then stop all evil and suffering? If God only stopped some of it, then we would still be asking the same question of why it exists.

So, if we want God to stop evil and suffering, then He must stop all of it. We have no problem with this when it means stopping a catastrophe or a murder or a rape. But what about when someone thinks of something evil? Evil is destructive whether it is acted out or not. Hatred and bigotry in someone’s heart is wrong. If it is wrong and if God is to stop all evil, then He must stop that person from thinking his own thoughts. To do that, God must remove his freedom of thought. Furthermore, which person on the earth has not thought something evil? God would be required, then, to stop all people from exercising their free will. This is something God has chosen not to do. Therefore, we could say that one of the reasons that God permits evil and suffering is that of man’s free will.

Fourth, it is quite possible that God uses the suffering to do good. In other words, He produces patience through tribulation (Rom. 5:3). Or He may desire to save someone through it. Take for example, the account of Joseph who was sold into slavery by His brothers. What they did was wrong, and Joseph suffered greatly for it. But, later, God raised up Joseph in Egypt to make provisions for the people of that land during the coming drought of seven years. Not only was Egypt saved but also his family and brothers who originally sold him into slavery. Joseph finally says to them, "You meant it for evil, but God meant it for good" (Gen. 50:15-21). Of course, the greatest example of God using evil for good is the death of Christ. Evil people brought him to the cross, but God used that cross as the means to save the world.

But then we must ask, if this is true, are we working against God by working against evil and suffering? No, we are not. God says he does not want us to sin and suffer. But it is simply true that God can use evil despite its apparent despicable nature.

God is in the world using the world and its failures for His glory and the benefit of those who listen to Him.

But then, what about those who seem to suffer innocently with no benefit resulting? What about the woman who is raped or the innocent bystander who is killed by a stray bullet. In both cases, the victims and families suffer nothing but pain and loss. What good can this possibly be?

I think that the answer is two-fold. One, ultimately, no one is innocent. All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23) and are by nature children of wrath (Eph. 2:3). There is none innocent. Though this is biblically accurate, it does not satisfy the question emotionally. Why do little babies suffer for things they have not done? I must acknowledge that I do not know. Ultimately, we must trust God who knows the beginning from the end and sees the grand picture. He will have the final word, and He will be vindicated.
Conclusion

Suffering is the result of human sin. The world is not the way that God created it; and because of that, all are vulnerable to the effects of sin in the world. Why does one person suffer and another does not? Why do catastrophes happen to some and not to others? It is because sin is in the world. But there will come a day when the Lord will return and cleanse this world of all sin and all suffering.

   "And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away." (Rev. 21:4).

I don't know why there is disequality on earth. Why I was born and raised in Switzerland, and others in Somalia. Why I had parents that took well care of me, while others are abandoned as newborns on the street. Why others don't even make it see the light of this world but are aborted, and their right to live taken by their parents. I don't know why I was born in the 20th century, while others in the 13th century, and died of the pest. I am fortunate that I did not be born in a place like the Caribbean, where people lost these days everything money can buy, or even their lives. Or in Hiroshima when the u.s. dropped their Atom bombs.  Why I have had access to medicine during all my life, while others didn't. I was born in a western world, without persecution to Christians. If I were born in North Korea, from Christian parents, most probably I would spend all my life in a prison camp with suffering and little food and easy death.

 In the lottery of life, I can consider myself a pretty fortunate fellow, when compared to many others. if I were born in u.s. in an Indian tribe before the white man came and brought the Gospel, I would probably worship manitu, and never know the God of the bible.   I could have been born in Afghanistan by fundamentalist Muslim parents, and be raised and indoctrinated in a Madrass into the Islamic faith. One of Jeffrey Dahmer's victims could maybe have converted in a later lifetime, and go to heaven, but is in hell, because his life was taken by Dahmer. But Dahmer, after committing many murders, converted shortly before he himself was murdered, and is now in heaven. How to explain? Is it just? Why is the chance to have a happy and successful life, or find the God of the Bible and access to know the gospel and salvation through Christ on earth not equal?

Some religions offer an explanation: In spiritism and eastern religions, it's by reincarnation. Upon their explanation, we pay for sins committed in previous lifes. There are questions which eventually one or the other can try and give a guessed answer. Truth is, I don't know why it is so. And I think nobody knows. And I have to live with that.

Isajah 45 cites the sovereign God :

9 Woe unto him that striveth with his Maker! {Let} the potsherd {strive} with the potsherds of the earth. Shall the clay say to him that fashioneth it, What makest thou? or thy work, He hath no hands?

Theodicy is the most difficult issue to deal with. But I trust that God knows what he is doing, and he is just. I humble myself to recognize the fact, that I do not know and understand the big picture. God does. And I trust that all HE does is just - amen.

Why does God allow evil and suffering in the world?
http://carm.org/why-does-god-allow-evil-and-suffering-world

Where is God When Bad Things Happen? Why Natural Evil Must Exist
http://www.godandscience.org/apologetics/natural_evil_theodicity.html

The Bible God: Cruel, Savage, Deranged, Evil, Barbaric, Intolerant, Insanely Jealous, Vengeful and Bloodthirsty?
https://reasonandscience.catsboard.com/t1648-the-bible-god-cruel-savage-deranged-evil-barbaric-intolerant-insanely-jealous-vengeful-and-bloodthirsty

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qzL8R5sIXuY&fbclid=IwAR3-RZVKE-iCembl0V7iGIFJTGsjJFpUwHL6Rlly8al40eHEyDQv7BW_2qE


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pso2FLvY_WQ&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR34jzbfoyWaPjxkxz2utwBlCoMG6q7FMMJtK9JnravAuEJSV6kYtLvem-Q



1. If God exists, then there is no pointless suffering.
2. There is probably some pointless suffering. Therefore,
3. God probably does not exist.

1. God is omnipotent, omniscient, holy and good)
2. There is evil and unspeakable horrors displayed in the world
3. This is logically incompatible

The Problem of Evil has an “Evil” Problem
http://michaelminkoff.com/god-evil-problem-evil-problem-evil/?fbclid=IwAR0egNZ0OurgbZR_fREyh4QBlEtoBIMyy7zwjIevGIgzXtiTRqEMy5oBts8



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2Evil: Why does God allow evil and suffering in the world? Empty On the Problem of Evil & Suffering on Fri Oct 16, 2015 8:43 pm

Otangelo


Admin
Why would an atheist care if God killed and tortured babies? That is not a true account of the Biblical view of the Christian God. God did wipe out entire pagan nations that practiced idolatry, ;human sacrifice (irrelevant to Jesus Christ who knew God would raise Him from the dead as our propitiation), sexual perversions, etc.. Yes, the children of pagan cultures tend to grow up to practice what they are taught by pagan parents. God has creator rights to do as He pleases with His creation and creatures. If there is no God, it is irrational for atheists to hold to morality except as a selfish reason to gain something for self. It is the religion of existentialism and Secular Humanism. From the atheist view, mankind is but matter in motion controlled by the mechanistic laws of chemistry, physics, and electrical impulses. How do you even know that one brain state logically follows another? Why not kill other humans, after all, isn't that Darwin's 'survival of the fittest'? That would leave more available resources for the atheist.

On the Problem of Evil & Suffering 1

Atheists often argue against the existence of God, and specifically an almighty and good God on the basis of the existence of evil and suffering in the universe.   The argument goes something like this:
God is all-powerful, loving, and perfect.
A perfect, good God would create a universe that was perfect (e.g., no evil and suffering).
The universe is not perfect but contains evil and suffering.
Therefore, God does not exist.
So in short, either God is not good, or not all-powerful or he does not exist, because if he did exist then surely he could stop all the suffering. The atheist then concludes that both the idea of a bad God and idea of a limited God makes no sense, therefore God must not exist. Variations on this ages old theme exist but that is the gist of it.
So how does one answer this type of objection?
Most apologists go into lengthy arguments concerning why a good and almighty God could and does allow evil & suffering in the world.  They will usually get into the biblical fall of Lucifer and of man to explain how such evils and sufferings came to be.
Forget all that for now. There is a much simpler way to demonstrate why this argument is utterly flawed.
First you must see that in a universe with no God, there cannot be any absolute moral values. Most atheists admit this. For example:



“Naturalistic evolution has clear consequences that Charles Darwin understood perfectly. 1) No gods worth having exist; 2) no life after death exists; 3)no ultimate foundation for ethics exists; 4) no ultimate meaning in life exists; and 5) human free will is nonexistent.” -William B. Provine, atheist professor of biology at Cornell University

“In a universe of blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, and other people are going to get lucky; and you won’t find any rhyme or reason to it, nor any justice. The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is at the bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good. Nothing but blind pitiless indifference. DNA neither knows nor cares. DNA just is, and we dance to its music.”Richard Dawkins, –Out of Eden, page 133
“If there is no God, everything is permitted.” – Jean Paul Sartre on Ivan Karamazov – Fyodor Dostoevski’s character
“Morality is no more … than an adaptation, and as such has the same status as such things as teeth and eyes and noses. . . . [M]orality is a creation of the genes”. – Michael Ruse
“Nature has no concern for good or bad, right or wrong. . . . We cannot get behind ethics.” – Naturalist Simon Blackburn

Evolutionary biologist E. O. Wilson said that morality is just a survival mechanism. Ethics, he claims,

“is an illusion fobbed off on us by our genes to get us to cooperate,” and “the way our biology enforces its ends is by making us think that there is an objective higher code to which we are all subject.”

Now how does one refute the atheist argument against God based on evil & suffering?
Easy, without God, there is no good or evil. The atheist high priests, quoted above say so.
The atheist thus shoots himself in the head again with such arguing against God based on “there is so much evil”.  For such an argument becomes too obviously wrong given that “no God = no evil”, (as most atheist philosophers themselves state).
Suffering becomes a mere amoral, purposeless event in a cold uncaring cosmos. Or as Dawkins put it, a blind, pitiless, indifferent universe. Suffering but without God suffering is neither evil nor good nor “bad”. Thus we see how the atheist in using the existence of evil and suffering to refute the existence of God is unwittingly assuming the existence of God in the very argument itself!
Therefore, how can one claim God doesn’t exist while admitting the existence of evil? If there is no God how does one define evil?  Indeed, how does one claim that suffering is “wrong” in a universe without God?
One might even state,

“Evil exists.  Therefore God exists.”

The fact that all men everywhere and at all times have recognized the existence of evil, demonstrates the existence of a transcendent moral law, else, evil does not exist. Things simply are what they are – neither right nor wrong; neither evil or good.
Without an absolute law giver, there can be no such thing as evil or good and since atheists, as shown above, really do admit that without God there is no real good or evil, how can they then contradict themselves by claiming God doesn’t exist based on it?!
Thus the atheists show a rather amazing lack of perception, as always.  But in this case it is a lack of perception of their own arguments logical implications and flaws! To argue against God based on the existence of evil is to argue for God based on the existence of moral right and wrong! So when atheists use the old “problem of pain and evil” argument they are unwittingly admitting of a transcendent Law that defines evil by the existence of absolute good – which is the ONLY way evil can be defined!
C.S. Lewis wrote,

“Truth and falsehood are opposed; but truth is the norm not of truth only but of falsehood also.”
–The Allegory of Love

Indeed, without God (ultimate truth) there is no reason to call anything at all “evil”.
Thus the whole “evil and suffering” based argument falls apart under its own underlying assumptions! Thus, this argument actually does more to uphold the existence of God than it can ever do to refute it!
Sadly, atheists do not and will not see this, such is the hardness of their hearts (and heads).


1) https://borne.wordpress.com/2012/07/04/on-the-problem-of-evil-suffering/

http://questions.truth-is-life.org/IsGodEvil.html



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Did God Create An Imperfect World? 1

The evidence seems overwhelming. The world is anything but perfect. This has led some to believe that a God of perfect love could not have been the author of such a flawed plan. But if we contemplate this notion a bit, we will see that to do otherwise would rule out God’s having to create a world of time and space.

God created the earth with a finite size, taking up a finite space. Was this a mistake? The imperfection of this finite design is that everything that will ever live cannot possibly occupy this limited space at the same time. So life forms come and go. They die but they reproduce to keep things going.

The only way to change this apparent “wasteful” situation would be to allow everything to live forever, and on a planet that kept getting bigger and bigger. This would also mean that one life form could never eat another.

But this would throw all organic process out the window – since the main function of internal organs is to process food and make it available to every cell in the body. Cells would no longer have to process anything for the body, either. (We certainly would not need an immune system in a world of perfect health.)

So, it would be no sense keeping our internal organs unless they were allowed to remain inside our bodies in order to “pantomime” the functions of life. Is it not within God’s Infinite power to keep us alive even with hollow bodies?

Why stop there? Plants would no longer have to turn the energy of the sun into starches. Earthworms would not have to labor to keep the soil fertile, etc., etc.

So what would everything be alive for in a perfect world if what they were designed to do became irrelevant? Idealists might respond by saying that everything in a perfect world would be alive to share the world in peaceful coexistence and happiness – people, bugs and bacteria.

But could a worm find happiness in not being a human? Therefore, in a perfect world, there would be no hierarchy. Evolution (and species extinction) would not be necessary if God simply created only humans – right off the bat.

But that would not make things perfect unless all humans were created as loving angels.

Furthermore, we would all have to look equally beautiful or handsome, and be equally intelligent, in order for the world to be a place of true equality and justice.

Unfortunately, in such a perfect cookie-cutter world, how would we maintain our unique personalities without enjoying first-person phenomenal experience? How would we be interesting to others?

I believe a true God of love would give us the capacity to choose what we love, good or bad, because this is the drive belt of who we are.

Think about that. Human free will and human disposition is founded on love itself. God protects this freedom of the human spirit above everything else. Heaven is a choice. And there is nothing that could prevent us from making that choice but ourselves.

The physical world of time and space was created in such a way as to offer us a full spectrum of influences so that we could prepare ourselves for a non-material afterlife. In God’s eternal, spiritual realm, we will find ourselves in a non-physical environment whose topological features, flora and fauna, reflect the qualities of our heart and mind.

What could be more perfect than a world tailor-made for each of us, and our personal proclivities?

1. https://thegodguy.wordpress.com/2008/07/26/did-god-create-an-imperfect-world/

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Sometimes I think and wish God would immediately do something to stop for example the Chinese Government to put people in prison unjustly to suffer horrendous torments and tortures. But it's not only the Chinese. It happens in many places. Recently, I knew, it is happening in Turkey as well. Followers of the Gulen movement have been arrested, and there is evidence they are being tortured in prison as well. I know that is more an emotional impulse without putting too much thought into it. I am aware of the consequences. Either free will is total, or there would be no free will.

Sadly, many misuse their freedom to do evil. If God would intervene in a particular case, the question would be, why not in all? Then he would have to eradicate all evil on earth. It would be a world where only good things can happen. But no love. God values love and the possibility of expression of love so much, that he permits evil. He values it so much, that he, HIMSELF, came here on earth, suffered more than anyone else, to express his love for all of us, and gave his life. If Gods creative power is incomprehensible, how much more his character, goodness, love, and moral perfection?

Some, like you and me, were born in countries, and an age, where probably religious persecution will not occur, and we will be able to live a peaceful life and be able to express what we believe in freedom and no fear to be arrested and put in jail. But many other brothers and sisters in Christ will suffer because of it. Right now. Never, persecution of Christ's body has been more widespread, than today. But why has someone this fate, and someone else has not? Some religions, like spiritualism, try to take profit of this lack of explanation and fill the gap with Kharma. But we know, that's not true. We are set to live once, die, and then comes judgement. Some are saved and go up, and others down. God created all this diversity, as creator, he has this right. Nevertheless, it is at least to me, above my comprehension.

If he permits evil, we sometimes cannot comprehend, why. But he, which is far above us in every sense, he who incorporates the only holy perfect sinless life, knows everything, and we can trust him and know. What he does, is good. Even if we do not understand it.

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Imagine a world in which God created beings who are free to choose good over evil. Such a world would certainly be more valuable for God to create than a world filled with determined beings. Nonetheless, given that these beings are free, God cannot determine that these beings always choose good over evil, for then they would cease to be free. Thus, in creating beings that are capable of freely choosing good, He has also created beings that are capable of freely choosing evil. If this is the case, an all-powerful and all-good God finds it perfectly reasonable to allow evil to exist, for this evil is a potential consequence of the actions of free beings. If a being is truly free, it must be able to freely choose between two genuinely opposing options, in this case, good and evil. It is always possible for any free being to choose evil over good in any given circumstance, just by virtue of being free. Hence, the objection asks God to do the impossible, namely to create a truly free being and also to prevent that being from choosing evil.

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https://www.crunchyroll.com/forumtopic-532240/is-god-evil

Top 10 Evil Bible Stories

1. God drowns the whole earth: In Genesis 7:21-23, God drowns the entire population of the earth: men, women, children, fetuses, and perhaps unicorns. Only a single family survives. In Matthew 24:37-42, gentle Jesus approves of this genocide and plans to repeat it when he returns.

2. God kills half a million people: In 2 Chronicles 13:15-18, God helps the men of Judah kill 500,000 of their fellow Israelites.

3. God slaughters all Egyptian firstborn: In Exodus 12:29, God the baby-killer slaughters all Egyptian firstborn children and cattle because their king was stubborn.

4. God kills 14,000 people for complaining that God keeps killing them: In Numbers 16:41-49, the Israelites complain that God is killing too many of them. So, God sends a plague that kills 14,000 more of them.

5. Genocide after genocide after genocide: In Joshua 6:20-21, God helps the Israelites destroy Jericho, killing men and women, young and old, cattle, sheep and donkeys. In Deuteronomy 2:32-35, God has the Israelites kill everyone in Heshbon, including children. In Deuteronomy 3:3-7, God has the Israelites do the same to the people of Bashan. In Numbers 31:7-18, the Israelites kill all the Midianites except for the virgins, whom they take as spoils of war. In 1 Samuel 15:1-9, God tells the Israelites to kill all the Amalekites men, women, children, infants, and their cattle for something the Amalekites ancestors had done 400 years earlier.

6. God kills 50,000 people for curiosity: In 1 Samuel 6:19, God kills 50,000 men for peeking into the ark of the covenant. (Newer cosmetic translations count only 70 deaths, but their text notes admit that the best and earliest manuscripts put the number at 50,070.)

7. 3,000 Israelites killed for inventing a god: In Exodus 32, Moses has climbed Mount Sinai to get the Ten Commandments. The Israelites are bored, so they invent a golden calf god. Moses comes back and God commands him: Each man strap a sword to his side. Go back and forth through the camp from one end to the other, each killing his brother and friend and neighbor. About 3,000 people died.

8. The Amorites destroyed by sword and by Gods rocks: In Joshua 10:10-11, God helps the Israelites slaughter the Amorites by sword, then finishes them off with rocks from the sky.

9. God burns two cities to death: In Genesis 19:24, God kills everyone in Sodom and Gomorrah with fire from the sky. Then God kills Lots wife for looking back at her burning home.

10. God has 42 children mauled by bears: In 2 Kings 2:23-24, some kids tease the prophet Elisha, and God sends bears to dismember them. (Newer cosmetic translations say the bears maul the children, but the original Hebrew, baqa, means to tear apart.)

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THESE 11 BIBLE VERSES ARE SAID TO TURN BELIEVERS INTO ATHEISTS

https://www.worldreligionnews.com/religion-news/christianity/these-11-bible-verses-are-said-to-turn-believers-into-atheists?fbclid=IwAR3wr4jYZKn3E54EBAlhEOH3nw6lxCX0jOqXIimwWOL0-fBW_BR8S4MkhWE

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CAN THE PRESENCE OF EVIL BE RECONCILED WITH THE EXISTENCE OF AN ALL-POWERFUL, ALL-LOVING CREATOR?

The vast majority of attributes and activities we value and revere require free agency. Love requires freedom; no true expression of love has ever been coerced. Rationality also requires freedom; we cannot evaluate evidence and reason through an argument unless we have the freedom to choose between explanations. Even those who deny the existence of a Divine Creator must first have the personal freedom to do so. Freedom is a high value for all
of us, because, without it, we would be enslaved robots unable to love, hate, reason, or rebel. If the Divine Creator of the universe respects freedom as much as we do, we should expect a beautiful universe in which love and reason are possible, even though hate and irrationality must also be tolerated and allowed (at least in this mortal portion of our existence). Freedom, in all its beauty, does not come without associated dangers. Some forms of perceived evil may be the necessary consequence of free agency.

EVIL CAN BE RECONCILED IF WE HOLD AN APPROPRIATE DEFINITION OF LOVE
We typically view evil as the antithesis of love. But our definition of love has been deeply compromised by the way it is portrayed in contemporary novels and movies. Love is far more than sentimentality, romance, or affection. Parents know this better than anyone else. There are times when the deepest, truest expression of love is some form of discipline or correction. Hardship is a necessary part of life, especially if our Creator loves us enough to give us the free agency required to love, reason, and interact with one another. The existence of evil is incompatible with a loving Divine Creator only if our definition of love is restricted to a simple, unrealistic caricature.

EVIL CAN BE RECONCILED IF WE UNDERSTAND ITS ROLE IN CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT
Loving parents are usually more concerned with their children’s character than their comfort, and character is developed more through adversity than advantage. Hard times can bring out the best in all of us, providing us with opportunities to help those in need, rise to the occasion, and come to the rescue. Valor is seldom displayed in times of fortune, good health, or success. Some forms of perceived evil may simply be an effort on the part of a Divine Creator to develop the character of His children with eternity in mind.

EVIL CAN BE RECONCILED IF WE RECOGNIZE ITS POWER TO DRAW US
In desperate situations, many people consider life beyond the material universe for the very first time. Tragedy has a way of redirecting our thoughts and pointing us to a life beyond the limits of our present experience “inside the room.” If there is a loving, Divine Creator who has designed us for an existence beyond the grave, it might not be unreasonable for this Creator to use hardship to refocus those of us who haven’t been paying attention. When we come to the end of ourselves, we often start looking for something (and someone) “outside the room.” Some forms of perceived evil may simply be evidence of a loving effort to point us in the right direction.

EVIL CAN BE RECONCILED IF WE ACCEPT ITS EXISTENCE AS A CONSEQUENCE
Sometimes our suffering is simply the result of bad choices on our part, and it’s not always easy to see how our prior choices eventually cause such suffering. There are times when choices we made years earlier eventually catch up with us. In my line of work, poor choices often lead to the intervention of the criminal justice system. My arrestees ultimately end up paying for their prior bad decisions.

EVIL CAN BE RECONCILED IF WE ACKNOWLEDGE OUR LIMITED UNDERSTANDING
But even with these prior explanations in mind, there are times when suffering seems entirely inexplicable. I’ve seen this repeatedly in the cases I’ve worked. Why do bad things happen to good people? Why do people sometimes get away with murder? I’ve never investigated a case in which I was able to answer every possible question a juror might ask. In fact, the majority of my cases have been successfully prosecuted in spite of a number of unanswered questions. If there is a vastly superior Divine Creator, we shouldn’t expect to understand every motive, every thought, or every set of concerns in the Creator’s mind. One thing is certain, however: the answers will involve the entire complex web of causal factors and relevant issues we’ve described so far in this chapter. Consequently, some forms of perceived evil may have to be patiently endured, given our limited perspective and the complexity of the issues involved.

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How Could God Command Genocide in the Old Testament?
https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justin-taylor/how-could-god-command-genocide-in-the-old-testament-2/

As the maker of all things and the ruler of all people, God has absolute rights of ownership over all people and places.
God is not only the ultimate maker, ruler, and owner, but he is just and righteous in all that he does.
All of us deserve God’s justice; none of us deserve God’s mercy.
The Canaanites were enemies of God who deserved to be punished.
God’s actions were not an example of ethnic cleansing.
God’s people and failure to remove the unrepentant from the land meant that the entire nation would be pulled down with the rebellious, resulting in idolatry, injustice, and evil which sadly proved to be the case all too often under the old covenant.
There was salvation for those who converted to faith in God. Rahab the prostitute (whose story is told in Joshua 2) she was saved from destruction and included in the nation of Israel. She even became an ancestor of king David and, eventually, Jesus Christ!

What Exactly Did God Command?
https://www.bethinking.org/bible/old-testament-mass-killings


The command to annihilate was limited only to inhabitants of Canaan. God gave the Israelites strict rules about proper conduct in war against other enemies who did not live in Canaan.
The judgement was intended to be expulsion from the land rather than genocide  God’s judgement was primarily that the Canaanites would lose the land because of their detestable religious practices and in order to preserve the purity of Israel’s worship of Him.  
God is not ‘racist’ – he later judged Israel by removing them from the land As already mentioned, when the Israelites adopted the religious practices of the Canaanites, God judged them just as He had done the Canaanites.

Why Did God Command the Mass Killing of the Canaanites?

https://www.bethinking.org/bible/old-testament-mass-killings
God’s judgement on a culture that was utterly pervaded by detestable religious practices. The wrath of God against sin and His righteous judgement of sinners are important biblical principles. Without understanding that God must judge sin we cannot understand the wonder of God’s forgiveness and grace or the amazing truth of the cross, where Christ endured the wrath of God for our sin.
God’s desire to preserve Israel from the religions of the Canaanites. Deuteronomy 20:16-18  “Otherwise they will teach you to follow all the detestable things they do in worshipping their gods, and you will sin against the LORD your God”.  
God was patient with the Canaanites.  In Genesis 15:13-16, God tells Abraham that his descendants will be slaves in a foreign country for 400 years but that they will return to the land of Canaan after “four generations”. The reason given for this delay is because “the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its full measure”.
What About the Innocent Canaanites? In particular, the thought of young children being killed is troubling. One thing we must remember is that death is not the end. In fact, the judgement faced after death (Hebrews 9:27) is much more serious than any judgement resulting in physical death because it determines the eternal destiny of the person. We can trust God to deal fairly with the innocent children who died in the invasion of Canaan, who could not be held responsible for the sin of their culture or religion.

Why Are We Troubled?
Rebellion against God – for others, the struggle arises from a fundamental objection to the very idea that God can or should judge sinful people. According to Scripture, all sin must be judged and every person deserves death and eternal punishment.

https://www.crunchyroll.com/forumtopic-532240/is-god-evil

Top 10 Evil Bible Stories


1. God drowns the whole earth: In Genesis 7:21-23, God drowns the entire population of the earth: men, women, children, fetuses, and perhaps unicorns. Only a single family survives. In Matthew 24:37-42, gentle Jesus approves of this genocide and plans to repeat it when he returns.

Noah and the flood: Was God evil?
https://www.christiantoday.com/article/noah-and-the-flood-was-god-evil/36278.htm
Argument: Mr Maher's assertion is a common one - that God's actions in the flood, killing everyone on earth except Noah and his extended family, are in fact evil and could even be called genocidal.
Response: In terms of what actually happened, people have to read the whole story in context. Remember, everyone dies. Everyone in our day is going to die, everyone in Noah's day was going to die. If there is an almighty God, and he has ultimate control over who lives and who dies, then it's not like a human being who goes out and commits genocide. God doesn't commit genocide. People are going to die anyway, so would there be a reason for God to allow such a spectacular event to happen at that time? An event which would prevent the human race from going down the path it was going down. I think there was. The whole world was destroying itself. Humanity was killing both itself and God's world. What if the best option was to start again? I would say that most people when they ask the question about whether the flood was somehow evil, they're thinking 'what about all these innocent people and this wonderful word? How could God come along and just arbitrarily remove them?' But what if it wasn't arbitrary. What if it was actual justice? Are we in a position to say that it wasn't? The truth is, we're not in a position to judge God. I think that as a Christian I accept that what God does is right and just and fair, and I look at the account of Noah and I say 'Wow, was the world in that much of a mess?' Sometimes I look at the world today and I can see how it was.

2. God kills half a million people: In 2 Chronicles 13:15-18, God helps the men of Judah kill 500,000 of their fellow Israelites.

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Dennis Prager, The rational Bible, page 232
Non-theistic ethic is found in Thucydides’ fifth-century BCE History of the Peloponnesian War. As Thucydides recounts, Athens and Sparta were at war, and the Athenians were pressuring the residents of the island of Melos to support
their war effort and to pay them tribute. The Melians wished to remain neutral, insisting they had done and would do Athens no harm, and simply wished to be left alone. The Athenians countered that this was an unacceptable option, that Athens would appear weak to other nations if it let Melos remain neutral, and threatened the island with destruction. “Is that your idea of fair play?” the Melians asked the Athenian delegates. “So far as right and wrong are concerned,” the Athenians answered, “there is no difference between the two.” Rather, “the strong do what they have the power to do and the weak accept what they have to accept.”

The Melians refused to pay tribute, and Athens besieged Melos. Once the Melians surrendered, the Athenians murdered the men and sold the women and children into slavery. Some twenty-four hundred years later, Friedrich Nietzsche, the nineteenth century’s most famous atheist (“God is dead”) wrote with great contempt of those who sympathized with the Melians’ moral appeals. It is precisely this belief of both the Athenians and Nietzsche—“the strong do what they have the power to do and the weak accept what they have to accept”—ethical monotheism came to combat.

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The Argument from Innocent Suffering.

Why he still created humankind with the knowledge that humanity would bring sin into the world we are not told. We are only told that he has done it this way. Since God has not explained his motives it would be fruitless for us to speculate. No one knows the answer because God has not revealed it to us.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts
(Isaiah 55:8,9).

Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and his ways past finding out!
(Romans 11:33).

Contrary to some theists who contend that this is the best of all possible worlds, it seems to be an undeniable fact of life that this world can be improved. For example, not every evil is deserved; cruelty, cancer, and genocide sometimes strike innocent victims. But an all-wise, all-powerful, and all-good God would not allow any innocent suffering. Even one injustice in the world—and surely there are many—argues against God being all-just. Theists sometimes object to this argument on the grounds that it is logically possible that there are unknown reasons for all apparently innocent suffering. Atheists, however, have countered with the objection that unless a theist can supply a plausible reason for the innocent suffering, the theistic position is practically, if not logically, impossible.

It is possible that all suffering is deserved as a result of Adam’s sin and that it is God’s mercy that saves humans from more suffering, which they do deserve. Many Christian theists believe this is what the Bible is saying in Genesis 3 and Romans 5, 8. Second, simply because we do not see a good purpose for some suffering does not mean that there is no purpose for it. Our lack of knowledge does not prove God’s lack of goodness. Since we are finite, we can expect that there are many things we do not know. And if God is omniscient, then we can be assured that there is nothing God does not know—including a good purpose for all suffering.

We do know a good purpose for much suffering, and given the nature of an all-good, all-knowing, and all-powerful God, we can be assured that God knows a good purpose for permitting the rest of the suffering, for which we—in our finitude—do not know the purpose. Fourth, not every particular occurrence of suffering needs a purpose. There may be random or gratuitous evil in the world. But God may have a good purpose for permitting it as a by-product of his good purposes or as collateral damage in his necessary and good war on evil. 

What needs to be proved by the atheist is not that there is innocent suffering but that there is some unredeemable or unjustifiable suffering. The theist may argue that some “innocent” suffering is good and that this world is not the final chapter in the story of human suffering. Second, the theist may argue that this is not the best of all possible worlds, but that it is the best of all possible ways to obtain the best possible world, which world is yet to come. The theist may contend that suffering in general is a necessary precondition for achieving the greatest good, even if not every particular suffering yields a great good.

Some evil is a by-product of a good process that has a good end. So-called gratuitous evil (which as such appears to be unjustified) may fit into this category. An amputation to save a life and unavoidable collateral damage in a just war are examples.

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Otangelo


Admin
Jesus Christ is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully, is what Richard Dawkins never said.

But, indirectly, he did. Jesus said:

John 10:30
I and the Father are one.

Evidently, Dawkins has NO CLUE about Gods character, and the context of certain events that are described in the Old Testament.

The Canaanites were warned to stop their evil practices, like offering and burn their children to Moloch, their God. God gave them 400 years to repent, but they didn't.

The Bible mentions Molech or at least references him about ten times. Here are a couple examples:

“Any Israelite or any foreigner residing in Israel who sacrifices any of his children to Molech is to be put to death. The members of the community are to stone him.” — Leviticus 20:2

“They built high places for Baal in the Valley of Ben Hinnom to sacrifice their sons and daughters to Molech, though I never commanded — nor did it enter my mind — that they should do such a detestable thing and so make Judah sin.” — Jeremiah 32:35

https://www.clayjones.net/2015/04/canaanite-children/

Molech was a Canaanite underworld deity represented as an upright, bull-headed idol with human body in whose belly a fire was stoked and in whose outstretched arms a child was placed to be burned to death.5 Plutarch reports that during the Phoenician (Canaanite)6 sacrifices, “the whole area before the statue was filled with a loud noise of flutes and drums so that the cries of the wailing should not reach the ears of the people.”7 And it wasn’t just infants; we know that children at least as old as four were sacrificed.

Kleitarchos says the Phoenicians and especially the Carthaginians who honoured Kronos, whenever they wished to succeed in any great enterprise, would vow by one of their children if they achieved the things they longed for, to sacrifice him to a god. A bronze image of Kronos was set up among them, stretching out its cupped hands above a bronze cauldron, which would burn the child. As the flame burning the child surrounded the body, the limbs would shrivel up and the mouth would appear to grin as if laughing, until it was shrunk enough to slip into the cauldron.

Oxford professor John Day wrote: “In fact, we have independent evidence that child sacrifice was practiced in the Canaanite (Carthaginian and Phoenician) world from many classical sources, Punic inscriptions and archaeological evidence, as well as Egyptian depictions of the ritual occurring in Syria-Palestine, and from a recently discovered Phoenician inscription in Turkey. There is therefore no reason to doubt the biblical testimony to Canaanite child sacrifice.”

Throughout the Old Testament, God is declared to be a “compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness,”

Ezekiel 18:23
Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked? declares the Sovereign LORD. Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live?

Isaiah 1:18
"Come now, let us reason together," says the LORD. "Though your sins are like scarlet, they will be as white as snow; though they are as red as crimson, they will become like wool.

Isaiah 44:22
I have blotted out your transgressions like a cloud, and your sins like a mist. Return to Me, for I have redeemed you.

Isaiah 55:7
Let the wicked man forsake his own way and the unrighteous man his own thoughts; let him return to the LORD, that He may have compassion, and to our God, for He will freely pardon.

Exodus 34:6
The Lord passed before him and proclaimed, d“The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness

Nehemiah 9:17
They refused to obey and were not mindful of the wonders that you performed among them, but they stiffened their neck and appointed a leader to return to their slavery in Egypt.3 But you are a God ready to forgive, gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and did not forsake them.

Psalm 86:5
For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon you.

Joel 2:13
and rend your hearts and not your garments.” Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love; nand he relents over disaster.

Job 37:23
The Almighty is beyond our reach; He is exalted in power! In His justice and great righteousness, He does not oppress.

Micah 7:18
Who is a God like You, who pardons iniquity and passes over the transgression of the remnant of His inheritance--who does not retain His anger forever, because He delights in loving devotion?

Exodus 15:11
Who among the gods is like You, O LORD? Who is like You--majestic in holiness, revered with praises, performing wonders?

2 Chronicles 30:9
For if you return to the LORD, your brothers and sons will receive mercy in the presence of their captors and will return to this land. For the LORD your God is gracious and merciful; He will not turn His face away from you if you return to Him."

Isaiah 43:25
I, yes I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake and remembers your sins no more.

Jeremiah 9:24
But let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the LORD, who exercises loving devotion, justice and righteousness on the earth--for I delight in these things," declares the LORD.

Jeremiah 33:8
And I will cleanse them from all the iniquity they have committed against Me and forgive all the wrongs they have committed by rebelling against Me.

Hosea 14:2
Bring your confessions and return to the LORD. Say to Him: "Take away all our iniquity and receive us graciously, that we may present the fruit of our lips.

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Otangelo


Admin
Claim: A god that requires never-ending fear AND compulsory love is not a good god. A god that sanctions slavery is not a good god. A god that aborts a whole planet because of his own mistakes is not a good god. A god that commands his followers to massacre entire settlements, including women and children is not a good god. A god that visits infinite sadistic punishment for finite crimes is not a good god. The god of the bible visits so much pain horror and death upon the world, it would only be right to hunt down this psychopathic god-monster and kill it.

“Whenever we read the obscene stories, the voluptuous debaucheries, the cruel and torturous executions, the unrelenting vindictiveness, with which more than half the Bible is filled, it would be more consistent that we called it the word of a demon than the word of God. It is a history of wickedness, that has served to corrupt and brutalize mankind; and, for my part, I sincerely detest it, as I detest everything that is cruel.”
― Thomas Paine, The Age of Philosophy and Reason

Answer: Most of these are based on false assumptions, for example, it takes a simple contrary statement to say God does not require compulsory love. These are frequent statements that are a misrepresentation of what is written in the Bible. For example, we could argue that there are different types of slavery in the Bible and that there are provisions to free slaves especially for those who are his people. This does raise another point about how different nations are treated compared to Israel. But it does make this issue more complex rather than simply making broad-brush statements. On the issue of infinite punishment Vs finite crime, there are several points that need to be addressed here. 1. There are varying degrees of punishment 2. Some Christians believe in conditional immortality 3. Understanding of suffering and pain that we cause to other human beings and OUR direct rebel against God condemns us to be separated from God. What this means, in reality, is yet to be found, most of the imagery is pictorial/descriptive. Seeking to kill God does not make such a person better but makes him the arbiter of justice which he would deny others because after all, he would deny other people this justice if the evil we commit against God and his creation would never be allowed to happen.

1. A god that requires never ending fear AND compulsory love is not a good god.
(Me) According to what standard? Where does he get his definition of "good"?
2. A god that sanctions slavery is not a good god.
(Me) God does not sanction slavery. Exodus 21:16 And he that stealeth a man, and selleth him, or if he be found in his hand, he shall surely be put to death.
3. A god that aborts a whole planet because of his own mistakes is not a good god.
(Me) What mistakes? Who sinned, man or God? Who did the abominable acts, man or God?
4. A god that commands his followers to massacre entire settlements, including women and children is not a good god.
(Me) This is God's world, God's creation. He gets to dictate righteousness. Everything that God says and does is righteous by definition. If God commanded Saul to kill all of the Amelakites, it would've been a sin NOT to do it, for God COMMANDED it. As a matter of fact, Saul did disobey part of the commandment and was punished.
5. A god that visits infinite sadistic punishment for finite crimes is not a good god.
(Me) Here, Mr. Paine again arbitrarily defines right and wrong according to his own subjective and relative standard, which is really not a standard, since relativity is flexible and biased. In addition, some views state that God does not punish infinitely for finite sin. And even if He does, so what? Again, it's His world and His laws and His ways.
6. The god of the bible visits so much pain horror and death upon the world, it would only be right to hunt down this psychopathic god-monster and kill it.
(Me) Ah. Now Mr. Paine is revealed. Now he believes in killing. He even calls it "right". Why? How? He also arbitrarily labels God things according to his own relative standard. You see, Mr. Paine gets to define right and wrong, and then gets to judge God according to it.
7. “Whenever we read the obscene stories, the voluptuous debaucheries, the cruel and torturous executions, the unrelenting vindictiveness, with which more than half the Bible is filled, it would be more consistent that we called it the word of a demon, than the word of God. It is a history of wickedness, that has served to corrupt and brutalize mankind; and, for my part, I sincerely detest it, as I detest everything that is cruel.”
― Thomas Paine, The Age of Philosophy and Reason
(Me) Here he describes the actions of men and attributes them to God, as if God DID them. The stories are not for the promotion of evil acts, but are warnings of the consequences of these acts, including disobedience. Mr. Paine fails to mention to the reader the great patience and mercy and forgiveness of the Lord. God gave them commandments and warnings of the consequences of disobedience. He would even be faithful to them even when they were not. I say, Mr. Paine, that MEN are the problem, not God. And where is Satan in all his rantings? Where is the blame for him? Lastly, I would say, go ahead and detest it. That's your choice. Because in the end, things will not be the same as they are under this sun. Detest it, and find yourself on the end of his staff of wrath. You've been warned too, Mr. Paine. Therefore, choose you this day whom you will serve. But beware - all choices have consequences, whether they be of man's laws or God's.

"Compulsory love" is illogical. True love must be a freewill choice.
"Aborts a whole planet because of his own mistakes" is the same old blaming God for people's mistakes.
"Massacre entire settlements" presumes unjust death.
"A god that visits infinite sadistic punishment for finite crimes is not a good god." By this reasoning, it is unjust for anyone to make a mistake serious enough that they die, because that is a finite mistake with a permanent, ie., infinite consequence.
"The god of the bible visits so much pain horror and death upon the world" is yet another example of blaming God for peoples' choices.

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Otangelo


Admin
How could a good God command the killing of men, women, and children?

Many who have read the Old Testament are led to ask: “How can a good God command the killing of men, women and children?

Indeed, there are several places where it appears that God commands that all men, women, and children be put to death among certain groups of people.    In Deuteronomy 7:2: “…thou shall smite them, and utterly destroy them”…, Deut: 20:16-17a:” But of the cities of these people, which the Lord thy God doth give thee for an inheritance, thou shall save alive nothing that breatheth, but you shall utterly destroy them…”, Joshua 6:21: “And they utterly destroyed all that was in the city, both man and woman, young and old, and ox, and sheep, and ass, with the edge of the sword.”, Numbers  31:17 “Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him”  1 Samuel 15: “Now go and smite Amalek,  and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not, but slay man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.”

These are difficult verses, especially from our modern perspective.  How can these commands and deeds be reconciled with a loving God?

There are several factors that need to be examined closely to deal with these passages.  One is that we need to know the cultural context, and the language of the day.  We also need to know the circumstantial context, what was going on.  We need to decide whether this was the norm or were these special situations, and if so, what reasons there might have been for so drastic a judgment in these cases. And finally, we need to see why God may have dealt differently with people in the Old Testament versus the New Testament.

The Cultural Context: What was the language style of that day?

There are some who think it is possible that we are misreading some of the texts.  I will present this view first because it is widely held even among some conservative scholars, and makes some valid points.  However, it has its dangers and I believe it falls short of being the best answer to our difficulties with the texts.

These scholars are telling us that while it sounds to us like everyone was killed in these passages such as those quoted above, in fact it is known from the surrounding cultures of the ancient near east that exaggerated language and hyperbole were used when talking about battle victories. Kind of like saying, “our football team destroyed the opponent” when in fact the opposing team was back playing another game the following week.

Scriptural examples are put forth:

For example, Joshua spoke of the Anakim being “utterly destroyed” in Josh 11:21-22, yet later on in Joshua 14:12 Caleb asked permission to drive these same Anakim out who apparently still remained in the land.  In Joshua 10:20a it is said that Israel slayed the Amorites until they were destroyed, but then in the very same verse 20b it speaks of survivors that entered into fortified cities.  Joshua speaks of the war with the Canaanites in chapters 10-11 as having “left none remaining”  and“utterly destroyed all that breathed”, in specific places such as Hebron ((10:36), Debir (10:38) or the “country of the hills” (10:40.  Yet in Judges it says that they couldn’t drive all the inhabitants out, but there were still Canaanites in the hill country (1:9, in Debir (1:11) and in Hebron (1:10.)    In 1 Samuel 15:8 it is said that Saul “utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword” (excluding King Agag), yet the Amalekites must have had survivors, for they show up again in 1 Samuel 27:8-9, and 30:1, 17.

These examples alert us that we need to carefully examine the conclusions we reach about what the text says actually happened.  The writers were definitely not trying to confuse later readers and were not trying to be deceptive, but they may have simply been speaking of a specific group that they were warring with rather than every person of that nationality.  It is also possible that they were inspired to speak in terms and in a style that the people of that time would best understand.   It is true that there are many examples from the surrounding cultures that this style of writing accounts of wars was common.  For example, Pharaoh Merneptah in the Merneptah Stela, in recounting a battle with Israel, said “Israel is laid waste, his seed is not”, yet Israel obviously survived this conflict. Many other examples from Ancient Near East cultures could be given (1).

Furthermore, there are many passages which seem to indicate that the main goal was not to kill everyone, but rather to “drive them out” of the land that the Israelites were given by God.  We also see that they are commanded to break down altars and shrines and destroy the remnants of the Canaanite religion, which was a dire spiritual stumbling block to Israel, as is later seen.  Some examples of this “driving out” and “breaking down their altars” language:

Joshua 3:10: “He will without fail drive out from before you the Canaanites…”, Joshua 13:6:”them I will drive out before the children of Israel”…, Judges 1:21 “…And the children of Benjamin did not drive out the Jebusites that inhabited Jerusalem; but the Jebusites dwell with the children of Benjamin in Jerusalem unto this day. “, Judges 2: 2: “And you shall make no league with the inhabitants of this land; you shall throw down their altars.”  This is just a sample of many such verses that seem to speak of driving their opponents out as the main goal.

Therefore, this view concludes that it may be that the “utterly destroy” language did not necessarily entail killing all the people, mainly just driving them out and destroying their religion, otherwise, why the mention of not intermarrying or making treaties with those who are left? (see Deut. 7:3, 5, 16) Some scholars even think that the expression “men and women” was a catch-all expression of the day meaning everyone, even if women and children weren’t present. In fact, these women and kids likely would have fled or been in hiding by battle time, instead of waiting around to get killed, and outposts such as at Jericho may have been mainly military installations with soldiers and kings as the leaders. (2)

However, there are some problems with this view.  We must be careful not to read into the passage more than is there, to make it palatable with our modern concerns.  It is dangerous to try to change the clear meaning of a passage because of outside considerations, without adequate confirmation that the text was intended to be hyperbolic.

I think the above analysis shows that even though the text says “utterly destroyed”, they may have been referring to only the people that had not fled away.  In other words, they killed all they encountered, without necessarily hunting down every person hiding in the woods or caves.  But as we shall see in the Bible itself, there is a definite, clear distinction made between wars where only male combatants were to be killed, and special, drastic situations where it was also commanded that they kill women and in some cases children.  This distinction is not solved by the hyperbolic theory.  The danger of the hyperbolic view is that it is saying that God didn’t really mean what He said in these situations, and later cultures would mis-interpret that men and women and children were killed when they actually were not.  The killing of even one non-combatant woman or child cannot be explained away by saying it was just the language of the day.

But, as we shall see below, there were only a few times in Israel’s warfare where God commanded Israel to kill anyone other than male combatants.

While the scholars that hold this hyperbolic view make some interesting and valid points, I believe the ultimate solution lies in understanding God’s justice and also the plan of God regarding Israel as His people by whom the Messiah would come.

What if the language isn’t hyperbole after all? This means we need to look at what happens if we go with the premise that women and children were actually killed in these passages, even if they were only the ones who were not able to escape.      Even if we take the passages absolutely at face value and not as hyperbolic language of the day, we need not conclude that God couldn’t have decreed such things.  Rather, we need to examine the circumstantial context.

The Circumstantial Context:  Was this the norm, or were these special, occasional situations?

First, we have to realize that in the ancient near east, war was very common and people were hardened to it.  Nations were warring just to survive as nations, not necessarily because they were greedy for land and power.  Jesus noted the spiritual condition of those days when he talked about men’s hearts being hard (Mark 10:5). (Remember, this was before the cross and the indwelling Holy Spirit, which we will discuss below) Yet even then we find evidence in the Bible that the commands to kill women and children were not the norm.

In Deuteronomy chapter 20, it spells out the difference between normal wartime procedures and the unusual occasions above.  They were first to make an offer of peace to their enemies (Deut. 20:10-11), but if the enemy refused, they were only to kill combatants: “And when the Lord thy God hath delivered it into thy hands, thou shalt smite every male thereof with the edge of the sword.  But the women, and the little ones, and the cattle, and all that is in the city…shalt thou take unto thyself…” (v 13-14).   But the cities such as those of the Canaanites and Amorites were a special, unusual case: “But of the cities of these people, which the Lord thy God doth give thee for an inheritance, thou shalt save alive nothing that breatheth, but thou shalt utterly destroy them, namely the Hittites, and the Amorites, the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, as the Lord thy God has commanded thee. “(v 16-17) Then a reason why is given: “That they teach you not to do after all their abominations, which they have done unto their gods, so should ye sin against the Lord your God.” (v 18).

These societies had not only become immoral beyond measure, with all kinds of perversion and bloodshed, even infant sacrifice, but they were also a big threat to lead Israel astray into the same kinds of practices, and to try to derail God’s plan to provide the Messiah through Israel.

However, these societies took a while to deteriorate far enough for the Lord to take such drastic measures.  God would not allow this judgement on them earlier than when He did, because, as He said in Genesis 15:16: “the wickedness of the Amorites is not yet full” Their society had become depraved, but had not yet reached the point of no return, which point only God could know.

If the women and children were all killed, this was a drastic measure that was not the normal situation. As mentioned above, this is probably the worst-case scenario. The women could have been guilty even though they were non-combatants, such as the Midianite women who helped to lead the Israelites into fornication in Number 25 and were later judged as we see in Numbers 31. Rahab, however, was an example of a woman who being repentant, was spared.

But how about if children were killed? In those few instances where the text may be read as God commanding the children be killed, it may be that this was the most merciful fate left for them in the depraved Caananite, Amalekite, or Midianite societies. What do I mean here? These nations were practicing every kind of vile sin that can be imagined. They had become so evil and demonic, that any child that escaped being sacrificed by being burnt to death in a superheated metal idol’s arms would have no chance of being able to find the true God and escape eternal condemnation in hell. Instead of surviving into adulthood and being certain of going to hell, they would die young and innocent but enter into eternity with God.

And God takes all life anyway, which only He has a right to do, since He alone gave it, so who is to say that the children have to live a certain number of years on earth for it to be “fair” in our eyes? Simply put, God may have in these extreme cases spared the children a worse fate. Eternal death is far worse than physical death, as Jesus warned us (Matt. 10:28)

These societies had become like a cancer that needed removal so as not to infect the people around them.  Does a surgeon want to leave any part of a cancerous tumor intact? And it was not God’s fault that these cultures had become so depraved, He gave them many chances to repent, over many centuries.
That’s a lot to say, when we are so far removed from the situation and culture that existed then that it may be hard for us to understand what God had to, but did not enjoy, doing. Knowing who God is and His character, we can be sure that He was totally just and merciful. “Shall not the judge of all the earth do right?”  (Genesis 18:25b)

Sometimes there are rare situations when innocent people must die to accomplish a greater good.  For example, what if a plane is hijacked and aimed at a building full of thousands of people?  That plane may have to be shot down to prevent it from hitting the building, even if innocent passengers, including infants on board would die.

The wars Israel fought were mostly defensive, such as against the Amalekites, who attacked the Israelites as they traveled, and picked on the old, sick and weak.  The Midianites, whose judgement is written about in the passage in Numbers 31 above, after they had failed in their deliberate attempts to have a curse pronounced on Israel, (see Numbers ch. 22-25) were trying to lead Israel away from God and into sexual immorality.  The world may not think this is a serious thing these days, but Midian was trying to commit the spiritual murder of God’s people from whom the promised Messiah would come.   We therefore can see why the women who had slept with men to lead them astray were judged along with the men.

As for the very unusual command Moses gave to “kill all the males among the little ones, we have no direct explanation in the passage, but this does not mean there wasn’t one.    We were not on the scene, but are thousands of years removed.  Some possibilities: the young boys would probably want to know about the culture they came from and potentially would become the next enemy army against Israel.  They would have been bound by their culture to avenge their father’s deaths and keep the depraved Midianite culture alive.   But if they were killed before the age of accountability, they would be safe in Christ, not having consciously sinned, and their original inborn fallen nature redeemed by the sacrifice of Christ. The young girls were not a threat to become an enemy army and could have been more easily assimilated as servants.

These and other reasons only God may have known about could have been why God took such severe and specific measures.  Moses command was most likely to prevent any future threat from the Midianites to destroy the spiritual integrity and very existence of Israel.  The result of this command would have been extermination of the Midianites.  This seems harsh to our modern ears, but these and other similar nations had been given centuries to repent, but instead they just became more and more evil, and were killing their own children both spiritually and physically.  They had reached the point of no rehabilitation, so all that was left was a judgment of extermination.  Only God could make the judgement as to when they reached this point.  Again, “shall not the judge of all the earth do right?”

God’s dealings with people in the Old versus the New Covenant:

So why all the killing anyway?  Was God warlike in the Old Testament but not in the New Testament. I think it was not a different God but it was different time periods, before and after the cross, before and after the indwelling Holy Spirit. This is a very important factor in this whole discussion.

It seems that in the Old Testament, God dealt with people in a more remote, external fashion, through prophets and other messengers. Sin and wickedness definitely needed to be punished by a just God. Many Scriptures support that principle. Sin is serious and God demonstrated that to be true by the death penalty for sin.   Not something that God enjoyed doing however. Conviction was primarily from the outside. But repentance was still honored with life.

After Jesus came and took the punishment/death penalty on the cross for present and past sins, paying the ransom (Matt: 20:28) (Romans 3:25-26), it seems as though God now convicts and deals with people more directly, personally and internally, by the indwelling Holy Spirit, who was not available in the same way before the cross (John 16:7-11)  In the Old Testament God’s people Israel had to be protected by physically removing the nations that would otherwise lead them away from God, but after the giving of the indwelling Holy Spirit after the cross, the protection and conviction was more internal than external. We see this in the lives of the New Testament saints, who having the indwelling Spirit did not fall into sins such as the Old Testament saints David or Abraham did.  We don’t see Paul or Peter committing adultery or murder or having a child by a servant girl or taking multiple wives.

I think Jeremiah 31:33-34 also supports this idea. Just as physical death as a consequence for sin warned of the eternal consequences of sin, so now the Holy Spirit convicts the soul to warn of those same dire eternal consequences, and leads one to repentance and faith in Jesus and His work on the cross.

When the disciples wanted to call down fire in Luke 9:55-56, Jesus said that they ” knew not what manner of spirit you are of”. That may mean that they not only were presuming God’s judgement without really asking, but that they also were not in tune with God’s coming post-cross way of convicting people by the Holy Spirit and showing them the seriousness and eternal consequences of sin that way and also bringing them to repentance, to “save life”, as Jesus put it. It’s not that the Holy Spirit wasn’t operating before, but it seems that He was not operating in quite the same way to each individual before the cross.

Not because God changed, but because our hearts were hard and so had to be led along gradually. This is also a consequence of our freedom. God seems to have had a trajectory He has led us on toward a deeper personal relationship. The veil to the Holy place is now torn open since the cross.

Even in the Old Testament, there is never a feeling that God enjoyed punishing people, but that His desire was for their repentance so that He could spare them. It tears His heart out today when people are still unrepentant and reject His substitutionary death for them on the cross. The punishment He took when He became sin was on the same level in one sense as the punishment dished out in the Old Testament because of sin. Sin against God is barbaric, and so is the penalty.
But Jesus also took it to a new level from the Old Testament, because no other person had their soul “made an offering for sin” (Isaiah 53:10), even though He was totally innocent. What a supreme act of love and justice!

But, as I mentioned previously, assuming that God did command wars and killings as judgments, He did not desire to have to command them, in fact it grieved Him, and He would rather that people repented (Ezekiel 18:23,31-32, Lamentations 3:32-33). He doesn’t like to judge, but he must judge because that is as much a part of His nature as His love. I think God finds sin, and its judgment, more repulsive than we do. The fact that He took that judgment on the cross despite that, is again the supreme act of love. And the whole Old Testament system of sacrifices foreshadows that.

But some nations, including Israel at times, were very wicked, unrepentant, and hard-hearted beyond what we may be used to today, shaking their fist and mocking God, sacrificing even their own children to false gods, and therefore God’s justice required bringing back their own violence and wickedness back upon their own heads. Also, as mentioned above, God alone has the right to take a life because He alone gave it. What this means is that in a sense God “kills” us all by allowing us to die. We, however, do not have the same right that God does to take a life whenever we will to. But we should rejoice when God’s justice is done, even though we are sad that some must be lost.

I think God does seem to take direct action to judge sin, such as when He would send plagues or deliver Israel up to their enemies. At the same time, it is a consequence of sin, and so they are also bringing these things on themselves. Our freedom has consequences that God allows. Yet God knew when He created us that He would Himself have to experience suffering and death to rescue us from our predicament. Not only is God’s justice satisfied (Rom. 3:25-26) but we also die with Him (2 Corinthians 5:14-15), and are thereby born to new life. God’s remedy for sin was always the sacrifice of Christ, but I think people have a whole new access to God and interaction on a more internal level since the cross. So our responsibility is even greater.

I think that Jesus of the New Testament and the God of the Old Testament reveal the same God, of course. But when Jesus came the first time, His whole mission was reconciliation and redemption, not dispensing divine judgement. But what about His return? There is a reason why when he read from the scroll of Isaiah chapter 61 He left out “the day of vengeance of our God” (Lk 4:18-21, crf Isaiah 61:1-2). I believe He left it out because it is yet future. I think this day is alluded to by Paul in 2 Thess 1:6-9. In His first coming, he took the divine judgment for sin Himself for those who repent and trust Him as Savior. In His second coming, He will deal with the wicked and violent who have rejected Him.

What is found in the New Testament about those who don’t repent and continue mocking God and committing violence and other crimes against their neighbor? Jesus said Himself, “unless you repent, you shall likewise perish” (Lk 13:5) This same Jesus said to fear God and eternal death more than those who cause only physical death (Matt. 10:28). Now after the cross the Holy Spirit is present in an indwelling way and convicts people of the seriousness of sin and the consequences of eternal death, which are much worse than physical death.

But there are some cases where physical judgment was brought on people even in the New Testament. King Herod was struck down in Acts 12:23 just after his people proclaimed him a god, but he didn’t give the real God glory. I think you mentioned in a previous post Ananias and Sapphira who died on the spot after lying to God (Acts 5:4-5).  In Revelation Jesus talks about punishment of the unrepentant (Rev. 2:20-23) and defeats His enemies at His second coming. Paul mentions that the powers in the land are there to punish evil with the sword and that they are “ministers of God ” (Rom. 13:3-4).

So there seems to be a justice as well as love and compassion aspect to Jesus as well as to the Old Testament God. It involves either the violence that He took for us on the cross, or that He brings back onto the heads of those who reject Him and His remedy on the cross.

(1)  Copan, Paul, Is God a Moral Monster?,   Baker Books, Grand Rapids, Michigan, pp. 170-172
(2) Ibid, p. 175-177.

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