The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Don't worry. The Amalekites are fine.

When we read the bible, we run across things like this, and yes they do seem a bit strange. It doesn’t sound like the God we know as Jesus. When questioned, there are all sorts of different explanations. Some are plausible, some iffy, or it’s just said that we don’t understand. But,to me, if all the Old Testament is the infallible word of God, then why is there a New Testament?

But,to me, if all the Old Testament is the infallible word of God, then why is there a New Testament?LLC

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Because the OT said we would receive a New Covenant with God so that’s one reason.

I tend to see such OT judgments as God preventing flare-ups of the kind of wickedness which precipitated the flood, not as arbitrary wipe-out of folks because they were opposed to Israel (he left many opponents of Israel to test them, and at times to judge them as they had been used to judge others).

I see God shaping mankind as a corporate entity, teaching lessons to the entire human consciousness through the ages and the generations and the dispensations of law and the rising and falling of kingdoms and empires.

When it is written of Sodom, “The smoke of her torment rises forever”, I believe this is a testimony to the witness of God’s judgment of that level of sin smoking in the corporate consciousness of mankind as a continual witness to the divine nature and eternal power of God(as with the Flood). Likewise, I believe the cross of Christ is the ultimate testimony in the corporate consciousness of man- a testimony of that very same death in Sodom being swallowed up by immortality- “O death where is thy sting”.

Paul says of the OT in 1 Corinthians 10, “these things are written for our example that we should not fall after the same example of disobedience”.

I think in part, YHWH has done these things, not so much to teach us versions of who He is (as an awesome judge, loving Father, faithful Creator, patient Potter, etc.), but to teach us, as we grow into free inheritors of His estate, why absolute justice can only exist when absolute judgment is conquered by absolute mercy- to experience both, so that we can be in true fellowship with Him, not just as our Benefactor and Source, but as mature Sons and Daughters sharing ages of co-inherited world shaping with Him in one mind and accord. To cause us to “absorb” the divine nature, and become truly righteous, and truly merciful.

Acts 17:4 The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands; nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things; and** He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation, that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him,** though He is not far from each one of us; 28 for in Him we live and move and exist, as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we also are His children.’ Being then the children of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and thought of man. Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent, because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead.”

The OT is not infallible. Paul said it was fallible, and that was why it was replaced. It was a stage in the developement of the mature man of a new creation. But it was true, as it was within it’s limitations. It was not the product of myths, but a legitimate step out of chaos. Incomplete work, in the process of “an administration suitable to the fulness of times, the summing up of all things in Christ”. If the record were not true, Peter’s word’s are suspect, “Holy men moved of God”, and Paul’s “These things were written for our example”. Not written as law, but as lessons, witnesses pointing onwards to a new creation.

In Genesis we see the word spoken, “Let there be light”,and separation occurs, day from night. Later, the waters above separated from the waters below and the heavens are formed, this process continues for 7 days, each a step towards completion. The ages are similar in their creation, purpose and distribution -towards the ultimate goal, each incomplete, but not “untrue”.

I think God is working with a different methodology in creating an image of Himself in mankind through Christ, than most Christian theology allows, and that explains the mess, like a baby in a womb, at first impossible to see anything other than a blob of cells and a bunch of liquid.

Eph 4
And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ. As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.

So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind, being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart; and they, having become callous, have given themselves over to sensuality for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness. But you did not learn Christ in this way, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus, that, in reference to your former manner of life, you** lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth**

All this forming in us out of mercy, the corporate new man, and eventually forming in them out of mercy also. For God has shut up all in disobedience, that He might show mercy to all.

But how would we know mercy, if we had not known judgment, and how would we see the insufficiency of judgment, unless we judged, and were judged ourselves in the judging, and then were humbled and saw mercy first for ourselves, then ultimately for all. All of this we had to see in life, in the world, as all the children of Adam, not just taught in a book but lived in life and witnessed in blood and water and Spirit. Stamped indelibly upon our consciousness, forming the new man in the image of Christ.

19 For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven. And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach— if indeed you continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel that you have heard, which was proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, was made a minister.

We are to remain steadfast not because of arbitrary righteousness(law), but as the first-fruits of the new creation, to embrace our inheritance, in a priesthood working towards the further perfection to come, when all are reconciled. “Behold I am making all things new!”

17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. Now all these things are from God, who 1)reconciled us to Himself through Christ and 2)gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and 3)He has committed to us the word of reconciliation.

Old things pass away. The law a shadow of Christ, a veil over fading glory. The ecclesia a reflection of Christ, a first-fruits harvest and “many sons unto glory” and a kingdom of priests. Eventually “All things become new”- a process from imperfection towards ultimate perfection, being the ultimate freedom of universal love and harmony, God is ALL IN ALL.

But what a mess along the way! WHY? :laughing:

There is one thing Jesus said, that God granted divorces because of the hardness of their hearts. Makes me wonder if that process may have applied for any other things.steve7150
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As i mentioned above, God hated divorce yet he allowed it in the OT “because of the hardness of your hearts.” He hated divorce but he allowed it as some kind of accommodation because of their heart hardness?
Could this be some kind of justification for allowing other things that God didn’t actually want, maybe some things that God also hated, like killing innocents?

I think so. I don’t really get it exactly, but I think that is a part of what we don’t understand, having Christ in us, which they did not. I think separation, light from darkness, which is(imo) love from hate, and giving of self instead of taking for self as a way of life, is a part of the ongoing creation of the new heavens and the new earth, in which dwells righteousness, that Peter spoke of. Age to age in leaps and bounds, but through the generations of each age, perhaps a slow process.

“It is like the yeast a woman used in making bread. Even though she put only a little yeast in three measures of flour, it permeated every part of the dough.” Luke 13:21

When the word of the Lord covers the earth as the water covers the sea, things ought to be even more better still :slight_smile:


  1. We can believe that some of the authors of the Old Testament were mistaken in their portrayal of God,
    and accept rather the way in which Jesus portrayed Him, as One who is kind both to ungrateful and evil people.

Paidion, why would we want to believe that the fault lies with the Old Testament authors rather than with our own selves? Consider how most people misinterpret the New Testament to say that some people will suffer unending torments in Hell. We are a minority in recognizing the falseness of this common interpretation.

Similarly, when confronted by the common understanding of the Old Testament (i. e., that it portrays a mean and violent God), can we not recognize the parallel? That once again the common understanding of the Bible slanders both God and the Bible, and that the Bible teaches neither that God damns to Hell nor commands the slaughter of innocents?

Genesis 1:3 Then God said, “Let there be light”.
From my understanding, this is where God establishes the laws of the universe, including the laws for man(God’s word), and puts things in order according to these laws.

Genesis 2:7 God breathes into man the breath of life.
This is when God gives His word(everything that Jesus revealed to us) to man.

John 5:26-27 For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself, and has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man.
God gives His word to man so that we know what to do and how to live accordingly.

John 5:22 For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son.
God does not judge us here on Earth. He has given this world to man. We either follow his words and rule in righteousness, which is the proper order of things, or we sin and unrighteousness takes over. By this we will learn that God’s word is true, and that He gives it to us out of love and concern for our well-being. Some will live and learn, some won’t. But in the end, when we depart from this world, we must all meet God face to face. He is the Ultimate Authority and He will have the last word.

Matthew 26-14 Put your sword in it’s place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword.
If the authors of the bible believed that God commanded them to slaughter others, then I suppose they were misunderstanding. God’s word does not change. It is everlasting. Man changes the word in various ways and for various reasons. This is why a New Testament was given, because the first one had apparently become lost on mankind.

Look at Jewish literature of the last few centuries. It is characterized by subtlety, irony, and multiple layers of significance. Surely the authors of the Old Testament were, at the very least, Jews! All too many people in our society seem to regard the authors of the Old Testament as semi-moronic, thoroughly savage simpletons. Au contraire! They were writers of extreme subtlety, artistry, and skill. Where we think to catch them napping, it is actually ourselves asleep on the job.

Consider the exegesis engaged in by Christ and His Apostles. According to them, the Old Testament is chock-a-block full of prophecies of Christ. When I read the Old Testament, I don’t see this. Does that mean that Christ and His Apostles were mistaken? Heaven forbid. It means that I am stupid and sinful. If the Old Testament isn’t about Christ, then it’s about nothing at all. Thank God that this truth is not affected by my own inability to see and to understand.

When we think that God as revealed in the Old Testament is un-Christian, we are seeing our own inadequacies rather than the holiness of the prophets who wrote the texts. These ancient men of God participated in the uncreated energies of the Holy Trinity, and they wrote out of that experience. Alas that the English language is inadequate to fully translate all the nuances of the Hebrew text. Alas that we approach the text in the assumed position of judges rather than of disciples. Alas that our societal tradition misinforms us that the Old Testament writers were rude, ignorant, and barbaric.

When we see the Old Testament presenting God as bloodthirsty and unreasoning, we are misapprehending in the same sort of way as those who see the New Testament as presenting God as the Great Damner of Souls. In both cases it is hardness of heart and softness of brain.

Even if I didn’t believe that God inspired the Old Testament texts, I would blush to high-handedly and condescendingly treat them in the way customary in our society. I wouldn’t treat the Iliad that way, much less the writings of the great prophet Moses.

Please forgive me for any offense. I am sure that at least most of those who disagree with me are better men than I am, which is unspeakably more important than factual correctness. But even a loser can be right sometimes. :slight_smile:


You can be sure I am taking no offense and enjoying our exchange. I hope I offend no one as well, as I write rhetorically and off the cuff sometimes, purposely stretching the parameters of even my own accepted ideas.

My main point is that there must be something we do not understand about what God is doing and how He is doing it, through the ages. Like flowers opening within flowers, the revelation of God is changing the world- each flower more beautiful and complex- yet also purer and more accessible, than the one before it.

Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, the Prophets, Jesus, the ecclesia…with every change of covenant a thinner veil between man and the glory of heaven, as “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven”- surely means a world of love, peace, joy, justice, equity and hope- as all the prophets bear witness.

I do not believe the scriptures are in error, however. We are created in the image of God, after His likeness, and His dealings with us, while faithful, seem harsh at times- but we are harsh to one another, and as it is wrtten- with the froward God shows himself froward.

I believe it is how He educates and reforms the corporate man, from chaos(Alpha) to perfection(Omega)- from futility(Alpha) to glorious liberty(Omega)- there is something at play, in this life and death school for petulant children, that requires the harshness that is in it- OR IT COULD NOT BE SO. Because God is not frivolous, impotent, or indifferent.

He is either God or not. Who am I to imply that He has a responsibility to those who He created to protect and preserve them? Yet, I do believe He does, and I charge Him with that responsibility- but He won’t listen to me, and I mean that- I am not speaking rhetorically concerning my consternation at His seeming irresponsibility.

So, I have to assume that beyond what I can understand, since the beginning of the world He has set in motion principles that involve a level of freedom we are not willing to believe we have- and at the same time a level of accountabilty we are not willing to bear.

That is why we stand by while incredible violence and injustice occurs and feel no responsibility to act and no faith that our actions matter- until God pushes our limits by allowing an overflow of chaos that our indifference releases upon us and the world around us.

I think we are learning in a very difficult school of responsibility that most are trying to explain away either theologically or philosophically with their heads buried in digital sand.

So far be it from me to come off as any kind of expert on where the lines are drawn in the great paradoxes of faith and knowledge.

But I believe the Jews were the Jews, to a great extent, for the purpose of producing the oracles of God- and I don’t think those oracles were, or are in error. I think we just don’t see ourselves clearly enough to understand why it should take such VOLCANIC forces to move us towards harmony.

I don’t think the OT represents God as anything other than just, upon the exercise of the greatest possible patience and tolerance, providing appeal after appeal before acting, sometimes with a severity that could only be avoided if God voids the will of man totally and just sovereignly changes us from self centered to Christ-like- in which case, everything from the garden to the Great White Throne would have been a joke- a trick of unimaginable proportions- a spending of suffering and loss exacted for no good reason over one long many aged cartoon show.

We think we needed a Savior, and we did- but not as an icon or an idea. Jesus saved us by living that life of love and punctuating it upon the corporate conscience of all mankind by forgiving them for murdering Him as He died on the cross. That’s how real that was anyway. But I think it is all real and always was, good and bad.

Excellent topic.

The Old Testament chronicles events, and it seems that it was a common belief among the Jews that God commanded some military action. We have to recall that the current best scholarship attributes the actual writing down of those stories to about 800BC if i recall correctly. it’s even possible Jeremiah had a lot to do with even Genesis, but there are signs of multiple authorship (sections that are pro-royalty, and sections that are not, again, if i recall correctly, it’s been a little while since i’ve read up on this). It was at a time when the Jews faced large, powerful nations on their borders that threatened them, and there was an attempt at creating a national identity for them to rally behind. So they used the language of sagas to tell stories of their heroes, heroes who were somewhat unique in that they were depicted as flawed and broken…

normally, heroes of that time, and even up til recently, were nearly superhuman. they were paragons of strength and virtue who rose up to meet any crisis. Not so the Biblical heroes…no, they were cowards, cheats, drunkards, adulterers, murderers…but they faced their flaws, repented and trusted in God. This God was the real hero, the one they could rely on to deliver them when they were attacked. And this subtle difference between their sagas and the grandstanding sagas of their neighbours is part of the evidence for their God being somewhat different, despite some shared characteristics (like a propensity to devour the worshiping nation’s foes with fire or war)…but these sagas should not be seen from today’s standards as condoning genocide or the slaughter of innocents. these are sagas from a time when morality was rather different: eg, one didn’t just kill one’s enemy - one removed even their seed from the earth.

It’s very important to talk about these difficult passages, because if we don’t, radicals will rise up, name some group their “Amalekites”, and slaughter them with enthusiasm. We’ve seen it among the American Indians, among the Protestants and Catholics, and i expect now among the Muslims in some quarters, just as examples.

I strongly recommend reading a book called Laying Down the Sword by Phillip Jenkins. It’s about this very topic.

I’m grateful to Geoffrey for posting this, it’s strong evidence that we shouldn’t take all the stories in the Bible as literal, factual accounts. That’s not how they were written, and we have to shed some of our modern views to understand that.

A note in passing: if a comparison with other apparently-genocided groups in the OT is apt, God didn’t simply leave a handful of Amelekites to reproduce. Only a minority were slain, and those were the military soldiers in their forts. (Jericho, to give the most famous first example, only had an area at the time of about an acre, according to archaeological studies. That’s like the size of the yard around my house!)

The Hebrews were expected to fight according to strict rules of engagement (which could be set aside tactically only if the immediate target was a military hardpoint), announcing their intentions and giving civilians a chance to move out of the area – and to choose whether or not to try to take refuge in the target announced for the attack. Which was often too small to give much refuge anyway: that wasn’t the purpose of such places, but to give soldiers (who were basically the thugs of the local warlord) a place to gather and launch raids from.

If the Bible itself indicates the genocidal language didn’t describe genocide after all, then it’s okay not to regard the genocide as being “accurate” in description. :wink:

I also suspect the apparent killing of civilians where narrated (instead of generally described) could be symbolic counting coup: stab the ground, announce “you’re dead and no longer a member of the X tribe”. How that would synch with orders to kill certain kinds of civilian (especially non-virgin women even where pregnant) but bring others back as loot, I don’t quite see yet, though I do notice those brought back were supposed to be treated as family afterward not as slaves or as concubines.

Moreover, I notice that there’s a strong theme in the OT of God calling or assigning such duties to the worst kinds of evildoers, who by agreeing to do it bring condemnation upon themselves! One of the prophets has God calling the Assyrians or somesuch in to whomp Israel with the strongest possible language, and then a few chapters later the same people are under God’s condemnation to be treated the same way because “they went too far”! – they didn’t treat Israel with mercy! This has strong connections to exegetical conclusions in the NT that most (if not all?) of the harsh punishment language used by Christ (and some of the apostles after Him) is aimed at servants of His who not only expect but insist that God will punish people as radically as the language suggests.

The parable of the unforgiving servant, aimed at the apostles and specifically at Simon Peter, in Matt 18, is a case which in cultural context illustrates the connection. The king tells the embezzler a horrible punishment is coming not only to him but to his family who presumably were innocent of his crime. But in ancient Near Middle Eastern culture, while that threat should still be considered real (disdaining it is a bad idea!), the king clearly didn’t mean it “literally”: he was giving a normal start to a bargaining position in such circumstances. The audience wouldn’t have been confused at all that the king didn’t immediately carry out this judgment, nor would they be confused that when the punishment does come down after all the wife and kids are not sold into slavery after all nor thrown into prison to be tormented, only the guilty man. What they would have been surprised about is the radical generosity of the king in simply accepting the man’s plea that he had no way of paying back the debt and then releasing the man from all of it! – the king had all the moral and even legal advantages here! What normally would have happened is that the embezzler would offer ways to begin paying back the debt and the king would negotiate. At worst the king (who after all would normally want to recover at least some of the lost money) would have been expected to act from his initial bargaining position to impose repayment conditions on the man who, frankly, had been a bit insulting by not even trying to offer some repayment when that must have been within his means. In other words, if the man begs off as being unable to pay the debt at all (an obvious falsity under the circumstances), the king could graciously decide to overlook this insult for the sake of the man’s family, but would then have said something like, “You wicked slave, I know very well you have the ability to start trying to pay back the debt, and even to recover most of it, so if you want to pretend otherwise fine, have it your way: I’ll set the terms of the payback, and if you think you want to complain about it remember that I am doing this rather than selling you and your family into slavery!”

Instead the king FORGIVES THE WHOLE THING! That’s ludicrous.

Which makes what the embezzler does next even worse. He doesn’t have to pay back that debt at all, there’s no reason for him to go out and put the screws on his own debtors now – unless he doesn’t trust the king’s forgiveness and wants to start paying it back after all, but doesn’t want to discipline himself in paying it back. At any rate he starts behaving toward other people the way he didn’t want the king to behave toward him. So the king punishes him with the punishment the embezzler insisted on rather than having mercy on his own debtors.

(And of course what the man owes isn’t the debt which was forgiven already, though in a pro forma way that might still be lodged against him now. What he owes is forgiveness and mercy to other people, the lack of which was the reason he was thrown in prison to be tormented after all.)

Great post, Jason! :ugeek:

Yet God stands by and allows 6 million Jews to be slaughtered by Hitler. Over 30 million Russians by Stalin. 2 million Cambodians by Pol Pot. 800,000 Hutus killed by Tutsis. Just because these werent in the Bible, nevertheless, it speaks to the issue of how God is operating among men in the ages. This planet is dripping in human blood in every age and in every generation.

Back to the Bible, “Why the first-born of Egypt?” However many thousands of innocent babies who just happened to be unlucky enough to be born first to an Egyptian. Murdered in their beds directly by God.

And since we were discussing the severity of God, and wether it is displayed in the OT or merely interpreted into the OT. Jesus and Peter both referred to the flood. Peter specifically referencing 8 souls saved. Jesus refers to Sodom and Gomorah, where it appears from the OT narrative that only Lot’s house was warned of impending doom.

Also, Jason…doesnt it seem a little odd that 1-2 million Hebrews marched 7 times around an acre? Okay -take out women and children and only fighting Israelites march, say, 200,000 men. How much area does 200,000 men in marching order take up? 45 -50 acres. They could not be marched “around” an acre, even at a distance and besides, the idea of needing a miracle to bring down the walls of a one acre city, capable of holding what would probably be less than 10,000 men makes God out to be a real bully, and the victory meaningless.

As I said once before, I have more respect for just calling the OT the mythical cannon of the Jews, than I do for trivializing the narrative. If I can’t receive the narrative in the tone of import with which it was originally communicated, then it is mythical or just hyperbole and for me does not qualify as the word of God- and that is a possibility of course- but it yields problems for Paul and Peter and Jesus and the New Testament testimony about the OT. Enough so to bring questions against the integrity and veracity of the NT itself. Mythical or Miraculous?

Its a slippery slope my friends LOL

There is no way to eliminate the severity of God’s judgments in the earth and among His people without eviscerating the scriptures, and denying the blood that is being shed in bucketloads all over the world. If God is sovereign(I know He is), and has not limited His sovereignty in the affairs of man(I believe He has), He is cruel and indifferent both in and out of the Bible.

If God is dealing with mankind as an communal entity with a parameter of freedom(like say, stewardship over the earth and stewardship over its own community of man) then for me, personally, some of this horror show actually makes sense.Because man is so powerful in relationship to himself and the earth, and so indifferent to his own voraciousness and the consequences of his consumption and demand for ego gratification(“what is the source of the wars among you? You lust and you have not so you steal and kill”. James)- that God is using the magnitude of man’s crimes against himself to teach him futility, and must at times act severely to restrain man’s madness, which if left unchecked, would destroy him completely. The innocents in this case, and the children of God, are a minority, being sifted out of the maelstrom as witnesses to both the madness of man and the goodness of God- prepared for ages to come, flowers yet to open in which they will minister the conversion of all mankind, past, present, future.

In any case, if death is as offensive to God as it is to us, He is pretty impotent, or just doesnt care much about it, because He doesnt seem t do much about it.

I strongly disagree with this statement. Remember, we Christian universalists are a small minority of Christians, most of whom say, “There is no way to eliminate God damning people to everlasting Hell without eviscerating the scriptures.”

I believe everything happened in the Bible just the way it says. I don’t doubt anything in the Bible for a minute. What I do doubt is our interpretative abilities. I look at how blind to the scriptures I was when I believed in Hell, and I don’t doubt the same thing applies in other respects.

Hell is not in the Bible. It is a tradition of men that contradicts the Bible. (“But what about the verse that says…?” Answer: You have a mistranslation and/or a misunderstanding.)

God commanding his servants to slaughter innocents is not in the Bible. It is a tradition of men that contradicts the Bible. (“But what about the verse that says…?” Answer: You have a mistranslation and/or a misunderstanding.)

Simply because some of the ways in which the OT authors depict God is not consistent with the way in which Christ depicted Him. I am a Christian, and so I subscribe to the way in which Christ depicted Him. Of course, if you insist on the inerrancy of the OT writers, then you must accept a schizophrenic God. I cannot do so. I believe God is pure, unadulterated LOVE (1 John 4:8,16)

God had nothing to do with those atrocities or any other atrocities! Do you think that when a little girl is tortured, raped, and killed, that God was the author of that evil? Did He have some deeper purpose in “allowing” it? He didn’t allow it, in the sense that He gave permission to the one who committed the crime. It’s true that He did nothing to prevent it. But as I see it, this has everything to do with the fact that He created man with free will like Himself, and usually will never interfere with that free will. Knowing God, I say that far from “standing by” and doing nothing, His great Heart is broken every time suffering occurs. He longs for people to repent and submit to His will, so that all human suffering at the hands of other people will be entirely abolished.

Bob Pierce, found of World Vision, a Christian humanitarian organization that ministers to the needs of suffering people throughout the world, especially children, expressed the following desire for his fellow workers, and those who support WV, “May our hearts be broken with the things that break the Heart of God!”

Paidion, do you think it is possible that the Old Testament in fact depicts God with 100% consistency to the way in which Christ depicts Him? Is it possible that the Old Testament depicts God as pure, unadulterated love? Is it possible that on this point you have simply misunderstood the Old Testament? And if so, wouldn’t that be a matter for rejoicing? :slight_smile: