//
you're reading...
Mythology/Religion

A Repulsive God

God_480w

I am always amazed to hear people talk about the goodness and the greatness of “God”. It is apparent that those who speak about “God” in such ways have NEVER read the Bible.

Here is a quick overview of the Old Testament for those who have yet to read it:

Consider first God’s moral character, as revealed in the Bible. He routinely punishes people for the sins of others. He punishes all mothers by condemning them to painful childbirth, for Eve’s sin. He punishes all human beings by condemning them to labor, for Adam’s sin (Gen. 3:16-18). He regrets His creation and in a fit of pique, commits genocide and ecocide by flooding the earth (Gen. 6:7). He demands fear from Abraham and to test him, asks that he kill his son (Gen. 22:12). He hardens Pharaoh’s heart against freeing the Israelites (Ex. 7:3), so as to provide the occasion for visiting plagues upon the Egyptians, who, as helpless subjects of a tyrant, had no part in Pharaoh’s decision. [So much for respecting free will – the standard justification for the existence of evil in the world?]

He kills all the firstborn sons, even of slave girls who had no part in oppressing the Is­raelites (Ex. 11:5). He punishes the children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great great-grandchildren of those who worship any other god (Ex. 20:3-5). He sets a plague upon the Israelites, killing 24,000, because some of them had sex with the Baal-worshiping Midianites (Num. 25:1-9). He orders David to take a census of his men, and then sends a plague on Israel, killing 70,000 for David’s sin in taking the census (2 Sam. 24:10-15).

He sends two bears out of the woods to tear forty-two children to pieces, because they called the prophet Elisha a bald head (2 Kings 2:23-24). He condemns the Samarians, telling them that their children will be “dashed to the ground, their pregnant women ripped open” (Hosea 13:16).

This is but a small sample of the evils celebrated in the Bible.

Look at what God commands humans to do. He commands us to put to death adulterers (Lev. 20:10), homosexuals (Lev. 20:13), and people who work on the Sabbath (Ex. 35:2). He commands us to cast into ex­ile people who eat blood (Lev. 7:27), who have skin diseases (Lev. 13:46), and who have sex with their wives while they are menstruating (Lev. 20:18). Blasphemers must be stoned (Lev. 24:16), and prostitutes whose fathers are priests must be burned to death (Lev. 21:9).

That’s just the tip of the iceberg.

God repeatedly directs the Israelites to commit ethnic cleansing (Ex. 34:11-14, Lev. 26:7-9) and genocide against numerous cities and tribes: the city of Hormah (Num. 21:2-3), the land of Bashan (Num. 21:33-35), the land of Heshbon (Deut. 2:26-35), the Canaanites, Hittites, Hivites, Perizzites, Girgashites, Amorites, and Jebusites (Josh. 1-12). He commands them to show their victims “no mercy” (Deut. 7:2), to “not leave alive anything that breathes” (Deut. 20:16). In order to ensure their complete extermination, he thwarts the free will of the victims by hardening their hearts (Deut. 2:30, Josh. 11:20) so that they do not sue for peace.

These genocides are, of course, instrumental to the wholesale theft of their land (Josh. 1:1-6) and the rest of their property (Deut. 20:14, Josh. 11:14). He helps Abijiah kill half a million Israelites (2 Chron. 13:15-20) and helps Asa kill a mil­lion Cushites, so his men can plunder all their property (2 Chron. 14:8-13).

Now, consider also what the Bible permits:

Slavery is allowed (Lev. 25:44-46, Eph. 6:5, Col. 3:22). Fathers may sell their daughters into slavery (Ex. 21:7). Slaves may be beaten, as long as they survive for two days after (Ex. 21:20—21, Luke 12:45-48). Female captives from a foreign war may be raped or seized as wives (Deut. 21:10-14). Disobedient children should be beaten with rods (Prov. 13:24, 23:13). In the Old Testament, men may take as many wives and concubines as they like because adultery for men consists only in having sex with a woman who is married (Lev. 18:20) or engaged to someone else (Deut. 22:23). Prisoners of war may be tossed off a cliff (2 Chron. 24:12). Children may be sacrificed to God in return for His aid in battle (2 Kings 3:26-27, Judg. n), or to persuade Him to end a famine (2 Sam. 21).

Pretty repulsive stuff isn’t it?

Thanks for reading,

Notes:

  1. Anderson, Elizabeth, “If God is Dead, is Everything Permitted?,” in Louise Antony, ed., Philosophers without Gods (Oxford University Press, 2007)

About elpidiovaldes

Human, All Too Human.

Discussion

7 thoughts on “A Repulsive God

  1. Well yes, if you have no understanding of sin, representation of the human race, the context of the Old Testament, or biased understandings of things like slavery, then yes, it may seem like God is a repulsive God, but if you do understand what I have just said, then no, God is not a repulsive God. Yes, there are difficult things in the Bible to grasp, but that doesn’t mean that we should just back away from it and criticize it from afar. We should wrestle with the difficulties and understand what it actually means.

    Posted by King's Bro | June 3, 2010, 20:42
    • Congratulations, you have just submitted the most ignorant comment on this post.

      “No understanding of sin”…”God” defines it clearly for us, all one has to do is read “His” words. Nothing to think about, it’s there in black and white. Now, If people choose to dismiss “God’s” words, well then, it only demonstrates that “He” is no “God” at all.

      “representation of the human race, the context of the Old Testament”…It’s pretty obvious that human beings are nothing but cattle to your beloved “God”. If you actually read my post, you would have picked this up quickly.

      “biased understanding of slavery”…Are you retarded? Slavery is slavery…either you’re for it or against it. Again, the Bible is pretty clear that it’s all for it. It’s one of its greatest promoters. In fact, during the American civil war [aka: the American slave war], the south used the Bible as a case for slavery. Pick up a history book.

      There’s nothing diffucult to grasp in the Bible, only those that cannot read should have a hard time understanding it.

      I recommend giving the Bible another read and this time pay attention.

      Thanks,

      Posted by elpidiovaldes | June 4, 2010, 13:31
      • You have pretty much proved my point on all these points…

        God definitely defines sin, and if you understand it, you will know that you have sinned against God, and deserve punishment from God.

        the truth is that we are nothing compared to God. We are fallen wretched sinners compared to a perfect holy God. God could leave us on our alone and be just in doing so, but He doesn’t. Throughout the Bible, God is showing us His plan of redemption of rescuing us from our sin and our deserved punishment.

        Here it definitely shows your biased understanding of slavery. Your picture of slavery is of the slavery that was during the American civil war. Slavery back in the Old Testament times was much different. Men back then chose to become slaves to pay off their debt to a person. They were not forced into slavery, but rather chose to do so to get out of debt.

        It really isn’t hard to understand the Bible, but when we have our presuppositions that we place on the Bible, then is when we have a hard time understanding what God is truly revealing in the Bible.

        The Bible has 3 themes. Creation, Fall, and Redemption.

        God creates us. We fall into sin. God redeems us from our sin.

        Posted by King's Bro | June 6, 2010, 13:50
      • Mwhahahahahahaha…your comments just get dumber and dumber. You have truly proven to be a child of religious ignorance; your community must be very proud.

        Your comment: “Men back then chose to become slaves to pay off their debt…” is superbly ignorant and defies all logic. Good luck trying to explain that to anyone over the age of 2. It’s obvious that you have no concept of how debt is used to create slavery. Please read Understanding Money – Part 2: Making Slaves for brief summary.

        Next, no presuppositions are needed to see that YOUR “God” engages in murder, plunder, rape, and torture. “He” brutally punishes people for the wrongs of others or for blameless error, enslaves others, and loves the idea of ethnic cleansing and genocide. If you’ve actually read the Bible, you would see this instantly. I find it ironic that those who profess the word of “God” have never truly read any of “His” words. Don’t profess something of which you have no knowledge of, that is ignorant and honestly, quite embarrassing.

        Until you can answer why YOUR “God” sent two bears out of the woods to tear forty-two children to pieces, because they called the prophet Elisha a bald head (2 Kings 2:23-24), without resorting to the usual “God works in mysterious ways” argument, you don’t have anything to stand on.

        If you find a train of reasoning that leads to the conclusion that everything, or even just these things, is permitted, this is a good reason for anyone to reject the Bible.

        Now, let’s look at the history of those who continue to support the Bible, despite all the evils permitted by your beloved “God”. We know quite well how it goes: to holy war, the systematic extirpation of heretics, the Crusades, the Inquisition, the Thirty Years War, the English Civil War, witch-hunts, the cultural genocide of Mayan civilization, the brutal conquest of the Aztecs and the Inca, religious support for genocidal ethnic cleansing of Native Americans, slavery of Africans in the Americas, colonialist tyranny across the globe, confinement of the Jews to ghettos, and periodic pogroms against them, ultimately preparing the way for the Holocaust.

        In other words, it has led to centuries steeped in bloodshed, cruelty, and hatred without limit across continents.

        You only support a system of hate, as exemplified by your comment that I “deserved punishment from God”.

        Please read The Hypocrisy of the Clergy to see what those closest to “God” actually have to say about the Bible.

        Thanks,

        Posted by elpidiovaldes | June 9, 2010, 12:35
  2. In years past I would be tempted to debate each point you brought up, as they are all debatable. But I want to focus on your main point, that the God of the Bible is “a repulsive God”. I think there are at least two questions we all need to ask ourselves and each other from this:
    1.) What do all these things you mentioned in the bible tell us about God? (your answer is that it shows us he is immoral and therefore repulsive).
    2.) What is God? Here we need to identify our presuppositions of what God is for us and what he claims to be historically.

    Long story short: God is not bound by anything, thus making him God. Anything could be a code of ethics or natural laws etc. My understanding of this is just beginning and I would recommend you look into Paul Tillich, who is famous for saying “God does not exist” and being called an atheist for saying that. But his point is that to exist would be belittling God, who is far beyond mere existence.

    Posted by communiosanctorum | June 3, 2010, 21:32
    • 1.) All these things “I mention in the Bible”? Here is your first mistake: These are “Gods” words, not mine. So it would be wiser to ask: “What do all the things God says in the Bible tell us about Him?” A simple read should reveal the answer.

      2.) What is God?…We’ll here is your next mistake. First, there is an assumption that there is something called “God”. Notice that all religious arguments are based solely on assumptions that cannot be backed or proven. This is a terrible way of arguing [and honestly quite embarassing]. Essentially, all religious arguments are arguments of assumptions. You, my friend, are only following in their footsteps.

      I’m quite familiar with Paul Tillich, and sadly, he is just another Christian apologist who created his own ideas [much like the rest of them] because the traditional and historical arguments for your “God” just can’t hold up to logic and reason. Tillich basically rejects the God in the Bible and creates [or defines] a new one. Human beings are very good at creating Gods…just look at all the gods we’ve created in the last 5,000 years.

      I think it’s rather interesting that people read “God’s” words and then dismiss them. Think about it…how many of “God’s” ideas or comments has the world dismissed as barbaric or repulsive? Slavery, woman’s rights, ethnic cleansing, human sacrifice, etc.

      Now, if we dismiss “God’s” words, well then, “He” must surely be no “God” at all.

      Thanks,

      Posted by elpidiovaldes | June 4, 2010, 09:40
  3. Any so called “God” that demands or requires mortals do this dirty work for Him (killing, war, punish, ostracize) is not omnipotant(all powerful), omnicient(all knowing), or omnipresent(everywhere), and therefore forfeits any and all legitimacy to be considered the Supreme Being. If God wants me or anyone else dead, he can do it Himself just like He did in Egypt when He killed all the 1st born during the time of Moses (1st passover). I’m not hiding. How many Acts Of God can claim a life? Earthquakes, floods, tornadoes, lightning, meteors, sink holes, land slides, disease, heart attack, stroke, brain embolism, animal attacks, etc…

    Too many christians willingly give up the right to think for themselves regarding morality issues handed down to them from the preacher behind the pulpit. “You can’t question God’s authority!” If I’m created in God’s image, then I believe that I’m obligated to use my God given intellect to question the commands, laws & precepts handed down in scripture, from the church & clergy. I suspect someone lied & put words in God’s mouth to further their own agenda. Jesus himself refered to his followers as “sheep” on several occasions. Sheep are mild, docile, and among the DUMBEST critters on four legs. They will blindly follow whoever leads or is in front of them. Google sheepnado & watch the video to see it in action yourself. I refuse to be sheeple.

    Yeah, I believe in God, I believe He doesn’t like me. And if the 6 o’clock news is any indication, I’m not alone!

    Posted by Super-Dave | May 24, 2014, 12:06

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: