Something to Think About

"I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love."
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

Friday, December 21, 2012

The Nature of the Christian God - Loving or Vengeful?

Someone I follow on Goggle+ posted a link to an article describing a video game called Left Behind: Eternal Forces. If you've never heard of them, Left Behind was originally a book series for young adults that was based on the Christian idea of the end times and the lives of the people "left behind" after the rapture.  There are now movies and, it appears, a video game based on the series.

The character you play in the video game is supposed to be a member of a Christian gang and you roam around looking for atheists or believers of other faiths.  You then try to convert them.  If that fails, you can kill them.  Yep!  You heard that right.  You get to kill people who don't believe in your god.  How... pleasant.

The person who posted the link thought the premise of the game is distasteful and wondered what the reaction would be to a video game if the roles were reversed and the atheists were killing the Christians. In response, another Google+ member commented that she also thought it was horrible but stated that "No God would stand for this".

Oh, really?

This is one of those statements that drives me up the wall! Is she seriously talking about the biblical god? 

You know, the same one who people believe caused a great flood that drowned every living thing on the earth with the exception of those on Noah's ark? (Genesis 6-9)  That's right:  Men, women and children along with the animals who were not lucky enough to be chosen to be on board all drowned. What a terrific story for children that is!

In Numbers 31:7-18 we see God ordering his chosen people to kill the Mideanites. They slaughtered all the men, burned their towns and camps and took the women (and presumably the children) hostage. Moses was angry that they allowed some of the people to live and ordered them to kill all the boys and the women who were not virgins.  They were allowed to keep the remaining women and girls for themselves.  I'll let you contemplate what they would do with those girls keeping mind that women were property at that time and men had multiple wives and sometimes concubines.

That same god is the one who ordered the destruction of the city of Jericho along with every man, woman and child - with the exception of the family of the prostitute who helped the spies. (Joshua 5:13-6:27) (And people let their children sing songs about the walls of Jericho tumbling down while completely ignoring the slaughter that took place after those walls came down. That's just plain disturbing.)

In fact, Moses and the chosen people went all over the place slaughtering people as commanded by Yahweh.  Just read through the Old Testament of the Bible for more examples.  Don't overlook the plagues and famines that God caused as punishment to people.

Now don't try to tell me that he somehow mellowed over time into a peaceful god that we see in the New Testament! In Matthew 10:34 Jesus says that he has not come to bring peace but a sword and the destruction of a third of the earth's population by god's angels is mentioned in Revelation 9:15.

No, I would argue that the god described in the Bible is exactly the kind of god who would approve of the actions of the main character in the video game. Killing non-believers is behavior that the Christian deity would approve of and no amount of sugar-coating is going to change that.

Go on and believe what you want to believe but if you want to call yourself a Christian I request that you actually read the Bible:  The whole Bible, not just the select verses that people like to quote. And please try to read it objectively.  If ,when you are finished, you still believe in God and want to be a Christian, then so be it.  Just don't go on deluding yourself and telling me things that are clearly not accurate about the nature of that particular deity that is outlined in your holy book.

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