Judging the judge: You cannot have it both ways
by Mark McIntyre
One of the objections raised against Christianity is that the God of the Bible is a vengeful deity who commanded Israel to practice genocide as they conquered the land of Canaan.
As a Christian, I would be the first to admit that some of what I read in the Old Testament (OT) makes me uncomfortable. There are things in the Bible that offend my 20th Century sensibilities. Yet we must look at the context of that command and understand it in its historical setting.
In the instances where Israel was commanded to wipe out an entire population, that command resulted from the evil that was being practiced by the soon to be conquered people. One of the most detestable practices was that of child sacrifice. God chose to eradicate the people to contain the evil.
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On the other hand, another argument against belief in God is based on God’s apparent inability to contain or eliminate evil. People struggle with seeing the love of God when bad things have happened in their own lives or in the lives of others. The question is framed something like this: “how do you expect me to believe in a God that would allow the Holocaust to take place?”
But we cannot have it both ways. We cannot on the one hand complain when God steps in to eliminate evil and then complain when he does not. We cannot be the final arbiter of determining the justice (or lack thereof) of God…
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