1. Gangster Land
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    07 Feb '08 20:253 edits
    In the thread "Atheism as religion" you stated that many atheists consider God evil or a "monster God" due to some sort of misunderstanding of the text and/or the nature of God. You also stated that all argumets attempting to portray God as mean or evil are "fatally flawed". You even suggested that you might be able to help some of us understand why, in spite of some horrific stories about him in the OT, God is not evil or a monster.

    I will do my best to check my preconceptions about the subject right here if you will attempt to explain to me why God, as portrayed in 1 Samuel 15, should be worshiped by me and/or not considered to be a monster.

    Obviously the whole chapter should be read but here is a selection:

    1 Samuel said to Saul, "I am the one the LORD sent to anoint you king over his people Israel; so listen now to the message from the LORD. 2 This is what the LORD Almighty says: 'I will punish the Amalekites for what they did to Israel when they waylaid them as they came up from Egypt. 3 Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy everything that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.' "

    I look forward to reading your explanation.
  2. The Fearful Sphere
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    08 Feb '08 00:39
    Originally posted by TheSkipper
    In the thread "Atheism as religion" you stated that many atheists consider God evil or a "monster God" due to some sort of misunderstanding of the text and/or the nature of God. You also stated that all argumets attempting to portray God as mean or evil are "fatally flawed". You even suggested that you might be able to help some of us understand why, in ...[text shortened]... ttle and sheep, camels and donkeys.' "

    I look forward to reading your explanation.
    God lawfully has the right to execute judgment upon anyone. The Bible says that all people have sinned against God and are under his righteous judgment. Therefore, their execution is not an arbitrary killing nor is it murder. Murder is the unlawful taking of life. Killing is the lawful taking of life. For example, we can lawfully take a life in defense of our selves, our families, our nations, etc.

    When God authorizes the nation of Israel to wipe out a people, it is a lawful execution due to their rebellion and sin against God. Furthermore, such an extermination can be seen to be merciful by delivering the young into the hands of the Lord and possibly saving their souls by not giving them time to become utterly sinful. Additionally, further generations that would have arisen from the perverse culture, are likewise prevented from coming into existence and spreading their sin.

    Finally, one of the reasons that the Lord is so strong in the Old Testament and orders the killing of people is to ensure that the future messianic line would remain intact. The enemy, Satan, began his attempt to destroy God's people in the Garden of Eden, by also trying to corrupt the world (which led to Noah's Flood), by trying to destroy Israel with attacking armies, and by encouraging Israel to fall into idolatry by exposure to other cultures as well as intermarrying women from those cultures. The result of both the idolatry and the interbreeding would have been the failure of the prophecies that foretold of the coming Messiah which specified which family line the Messiah would come through. The Messiah, Jesus, would be the one who would die for the sins of the world and without that death there would be no atonement. Without the atonement, all people would be lost. So, God was ensuring the arrival of the Messiah via the destruction of the ungodly.

    The Amalekites, who were descendents of Esau, had been longtime enemies of Israel. They were a constant threat. Therefore, God said to Moses in Exodus 17:14 “Write this in a book as a memorial, and recite it to Joshua, that I will utterly blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven.”

    Which would you prefer: a God who would allow a corrupt and idolatrous nation to derail His plan for salvation, or a God who will do whatever is necessary to ensure that you have the opportunity to be saved? Some people, like the Amalekites, are past the point of saving, by their own volition, but there are a great deal of others who would like to receive forgiveness and freedom from condemnation were it available. Should the former be able to steal that opportunity from the latter?
  3. Joined
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    08 Feb '08 00:53
    Originally posted by Jorge Borges
    God lawfully has the right to execute judgment upon anyone. The Bible says that all people have sinned against God and are under his righteous judgment. Therefore, their execution is not an arbitrary killing nor is it murder. Murder is the unlawful taking of life. Killing is the lawful taking of life. For example, we can lawfully take a life in defe ...[text shortened]... ation were it available. Should the former be able to steal that opportunity from the latter?
    You could have just said "If god did it then it must be ok" and maintained your meaning. 🙂
  4. Standard memberNemesio
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    08 Feb '08 00:572 edits
    Originally posted by Jorge Borges
    Which would you prefer: a God who would allow a corrupt and idolatrous nation to derail His plan for salvation, or a God who will do whatever is necessary to ensure that you have the opportunity to be saved? Some people, like the Amalekites, are past the point of saving, by their own volition...
    A people past the point of saving? So much for omnipotence.

    What God would I prefer? I choose choice 'C:' A God which treasures the sacredness of life enough
    to do whatever was in His infinite power to compel a stubborn people to live the lives of compassion
    and virtue to which they are called.

    Nemesio
  5. The Fearful Sphere
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    08 Feb '08 01:04
    Originally posted by PsychoPawn
    You could have just said "If god did it then it must be ok" and maintained your meaning. 🙂
    Untrue. My explanation does not boil down to, "If God did it, then it must be OK." You are setting up a strawman argument in place of my post. I gave specific reasons why God ordered the destruction of the Amalekites. Please reread the post and address what is there rather than misrepresenting what I've said.
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    08 Feb '08 01:12
    Originally posted by Jorge Borges
    Untrue. My explanation does not boil down to, "If God did it, then it must be OK." You are setting up a strawman argument in place of my post. I gave specific reasons why God ordered the destruction of the Amalekites. Please reread the post and address what is there rather than misrepresenting what I've said.
    I am not misrepresenting anything. God ordered the murder of some because he was afraid of intermarriage and cultural influence (sounds pretty prejudicial actually - very 1940s Germany of him).

    Of course, god could have saved them, him being omnisscient and all, but preferred to have them killed.

    Of course, I could just be being a smartass 🙂
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    08 Feb '08 01:14
    Originally posted by Nemesio
    A people past the point of saving? So much for omnipotence.

    What God would I prefer? I choose choice 'C:' A God which treasures the sacredness of life enough
    to do whatever was in His infinite power to compel a stubborn people to live the lives of compassion
    and virtue to which they are called.

    Nemesio
    Agreed. God appeared to give up easily back then.
  8. The Fearful Sphere
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    08 Feb '08 02:05
    Originally posted by Nemesio
    A people past the point of saving? So much for omnipotence.

    What God would I prefer? I choose choice 'C:' A God which treasures the sacredness of life enough
    to do whatever was in His infinite power to compel a stubborn people to live the lives of compassion
    and virtue to which they are called.

    Nemesio
    Omnipotence will always be consistent with what God is, and not with what God is not. Omnipotence is not an entity in itself, but an attribute of God. For example, God may be all-powerful, but He cannot lie, nor could He make Himself cease to exist, etc.

    Likewise, God cannot violate the free will of His creatures. Violating free will is the way of despots and rapists, not a loving God. The Spirit of God has enlightened the conscience of men since the Fall (John 1:18), yet people nevertheless retain the God-given right to choose whether they will follow their consciences or not. God does whatever is in His infinite power to compel stubborn people to live righteous lives short of violating their free will.
  9. Subscriberno1marauder
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    08 Feb '08 02:27
    Originally posted by Jorge Borges
    Omnipotence will always be consistent with what God is, and not with what God is not. Omnipotence is not an entity in itself, but an attribute of God. For example, God may be all-powerful, but He cannot lie, nor could He make Himself cease to exist, etc.

    Likewise, God cannot violate the free will of His creatures. Violating free will is the ...[text shortened]... wer to compel stubborn people to live righteous lives short of violating their free will.
    Having people, including infants, mass murdered doesn't violate their "free will"?????🙄
  10. Standard memberDoctorScribbles
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    08 Feb '08 02:31
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    Having people, including infants, mass murdered doesn't violate their "free will"?????🙄
    Not if he knew that that's what they would have chosen. And he is defined to be omniscient, so he must have!
  11. Subscriberno1marauder
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    08 Feb '08 02:371 edit
    Originally posted by DoctorScribbles
    Not if he knew that that's what they would have chosen. And he is defined to be omniscient, so he must have!
    But they were "ungodly", so they obviously wouldn't have wanted God to "save" the Messianic line by massacring them down to the last "cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.' " (What did the cattle, sheep, camels and donkeys" do?)


    It seems God lied anyway: "that I will utterly blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven.” Yet, here we are talking about Amalek!
  12. Subscriberno1marauder
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    08 Feb '08 02:43
    Originally posted by Jorge Borges
    God lawfully has the right to execute judgment upon anyone. The Bible says that all people have sinned against God and are under his righteous judgment. Therefore, their execution is not an arbitrary killing nor is it murder. Murder is the unlawful taking of life. Killing is the lawful taking of life. For example, we can lawfully take a life in defe ...[text shortened]... ation were it available. Should the former be able to steal that opportunity from the latter?
    JB: God who will do whatever is necessary to ensure that you have the opportunity to be saved

    Since your Monster God can do anything, it surely was not "necessary" to butcher every Amalekites to "save" the Messianic line.
  13. Donationrwingett
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    08 Feb '08 02:45
    Originally posted by Jorge Borges
    Omnipotence will always be consistent with what God is, and not with what God is not. Omnipotence is not an entity in itself, but an attribute of God. For example, God may be all-powerful, but He cannot lie, nor could He make Himself cease to exist, etc.

    Likewise, God cannot violate the free will of His creatures. Violating free will is the ...[text shortened]... wer to compel stubborn people to live righteous lives short of violating their free will.
    If god cannot violate the free will of his creatures, then why does it specifically say in the bible that god hardened pharaoh's heart? This seems to be an explicit example of god violating someone's free will. And the bible doesn't say just once that he hardened pharaoh's heart. It says it something like 19 times.
  14. Donationrwingett
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    08 Feb '08 02:57
    Originally posted by Jorge Borges
    Omnipotence will always be consistent with what God is, and not with what God is not. Omnipotence is not an entity in itself, but an attribute of God. For example, God may be all-powerful, but He cannot lie, nor could He make Himself cease to exist, etc.

    Likewise, God cannot violate the free will of His creatures. Violating free will is the ...[text shortened]... wer to compel stubborn people to live righteous lives short of violating their free will.
    Sorry, it only says it eleven times. Still enough to get across the point that god violated pharaoh's free will.

    Exodus 4:21
    And the LORD said unto Moses, When thou goest to return into Egypt, see that thou do all those wonders before Pharaoh, which I have put in thine hand: but I will harden his heart, that he shall not let the people go.

    Exodus 7:3
    And I will harden Pharaoh's heart, and multiply my signs and my wonders in the land of Egypt.

    Exodus 7:13
    And he hardened Pharaoh's heart, that he hearkened not unto them; as the LORD had said.

    Exodus 9:12
    And the LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh, and he hearkened not unto them; as the LORD had spoken unto Moses.

    Exodus 10:1
    And the LORD said unto Moses, Go in unto Pharaoh: for I have hardened his heart, and the heart of his servants, that I might shew these my signs before him:

    Exodus 10:20
    But the LORD hardened Pharaoh's heart, so that he would not let the children of Israel go.

    Exodus 10:27
    But the LORD hardened Pharaoh's heart, and he would not let them go.

    Exodus 11:10
    And Moses and Aaron did all these wonders before Pharaoh: and the LORD hardened Pharaoh's heart, so that he would not let the children of Israel go out of his land.

    Exodus 14:4
    And I will harden Pharaoh's heart, that he shall follow after them; and I will be honoured upon Pharaoh, and upon all his host; that the Egyptians may know that I am the LORD.

    Exodus 14:8
    And the LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and he pursued after the children of Israel

    Exodus 14:17
    I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians, and they shall follow them: and I will get me honour.
  15. Standard memberDoctorScribbles
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    08 Feb '08 03:061 edit
    Originally posted by rwingett
    If god cannot violate the free will of his creatures, then why does it specifically say in the bible that god hardened pharaoh's heart? This seems to be an explicit example of god violating someone's free will.
    Egyptians aren't real people.
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