We have seen a massive upsurge in serious charges being leveled against the God of the Bible in recent times. Mainly because people like Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens and others are writing books that claim the God of the Bible is in their view totally psychotic. These charges on the surface seem very well reasoned and point out that the God of the Bible can been seen as an extremely vengeful, erratic, unjust, and often an outright murderous God at times depending on the particular verses being discussed as evidence towards this belief. Those who level these charges are often very knowledgeable about passages in the Bible that show God as having directly commanded the taking of slaves, the killing of woman and children, the genocide of entire cultures, and even the murdering of his own people the Israelites. The reason these passages are increasingly being used by secular humanists is because they honestly can’t see how a moral code of any sort can be reconciled in the passages of the Bible when the supposed author of this book, God is responsible for so much death and barbarism. These writers and atheist thinkers often claim that people who place their faith in the Bible are suffering from a severe case of cognitive dissonance when they say that the God of the Bible is a loving God, when in fact they feel they can show otherwise. As a result of this belief many go one step further and claim that people who place their faith in the Bible are dangerously irrational and genocidal themselves. They reason much of the war and suffering on the planet is directly attributed to religious people because they simply can’t separate reality from the fantasies they find in the Bible and other holy books, and act out on their superstitions.
The success of these arguments in terms of numbers cannot be over looked, many, many religious people upon being confronted with these verses in the Bible often have a crisis of faith as a result. They go to their pastors who should have answers but are unsatisfied with what they find there and they then begin the journey of ridding themselves of anything having to do with their religious heritage and thinking. This is exactly what writers like Dawkins and Hitchens want, they want you the average Christian to experience a crisis of faith, give up your religion and then join them in their quest to purge the world of religious thought. So are they right? Is the God of the Bible unjust and tyrannically oppressive?
Contrary to Atheist Opinion, Faith is Not an Irrational Belief
The fact that most pastors have no answers for these people, and can only give them platitudes about “faith” says much about the sorry state of our churches. The church has failed to address this culture war, and has ceased to be intellectual, reasoned and articulate in the defense of the Bible and God. Christian thinking used to be filled with intellectual, scientific and philosophical giants, great Christian men who pioneered every scientific discipline and laid the foundation of western culture. Instead pastors and congregates alike have no answers for some of the deep philosophical questions of our times, choosing instead to fill their halls of worship and sermons with emotional fluff. It is little wonder the western church is dwindling in numbers, support, influence and prestige. We have failed to do what the Apostle Peter charged us to do, which is to be ready to give an accounting for our faith in God.
“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:” 1 Peter 3:15
Atheists especially often charge that placing your “faith” in an unseen God is unreasonable, much-less placing it in the God of the Bible who is categorically psychotic in his dealings. Claiming that faith is just wishful thinking and a play at adult make believe. This is absolutely wrong, we don’t just place our “faith” in unseen, unlawful forces, that would indeed be asinine. No, we first place or “faith” on the Natural Law principles we find throughout nature, principles that are as timeless as any scientific truth because those scientific truths are divined from what we see in nature, and what we find in natural is a resplendent order of all things. Therefore we know the beginnings of our faith is in the knowledge that God is a God of order, because that is what we see in creation.
“For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:” Colosians 1:17
We then see God’s Law in our own hearts, without question our own hearts tell us what is right and wrong. We don’t need anyone to give us commandments or laws, we simply know that if we take something from someone they are justified to beat us and take it back, or if we hurt someone, people will incarcerate you or even kill you to prevent you from hurting more people unjustly. These too are moral or natural spiritual laws that we know to be true and we can place our “faith” with confidence in these facts of life. These truths can easily be reasonably articulated and argued as moral and a un-mistakable part of human nature. This law that is in our heart is what sets our society in order. We demand justice in our dealings, this demand for justice is something God too demands seeing He is the creator of these laws be they natural or spiritual. King David recognized this moral “heart law” and proclaimed it as a self-evident fact pointing to God as its author.
“I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart” Psalms 40:8
On top of this we find that our “faith” is also in the Bible itself. Why? Because the Bible itself when studied in context agrees and reinforces what we find in nature, indicating that yes indeed that the very author of creation is the author of the Bible also. When we see that all of nature is organized along predefined laws, we too seek to organize our governments, society, churches and families in similar fashion, that is our nature. We also see that because the majority of people seek and rely on these organizations, we demand justice when someone or some institution thwarts these laws creating chaos.
God loves order, God loves justice and so does his people, in fact that is a defining characteristic of both God and human kind. It is this love of order and law that is what converts our souls towards the knowledge of God.
“The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.” Psalms 19:7
This is why it is so ironic for people who are so pro-science to be so adamantly opposed to God. In this verse when it refers to the simple, it means those without the knowledge of God. If these supposed atheist intellectuals can’t recognize that order denotes intelligence, and therefore the magnitude of order in the universe denotes a majestic super intelligence then truly, it is they that are the ignorant ones.
So with this being said how do we determine that what God does in the Bible in the way of mass killing and laying down horrific commandments is in line with what we know to be just in our heart of hearts? Isn’t that what we must know to truly place our faith in the God of the Bible?
God’s Role is to Judge Nations
In the very beginning when people groups were scattered and highly unorganized, justice was hard to come by. It often meant that when someone or some group took advantage of another, then it was up to the victimized person or group to extract justice and retribution from the offender by their own might and power. Justice in these cases didn’t exist, because those that would harm another almost always goes after those weaker than themselves knowing that a stronger can easily gain an advantage if they were not careful, resulting in their untimely demise. This is a natural law also, the wicked prey on the weak. You see it with lions going after a water buffalo calf, or a thief sticking up an elderly couple. That is what wicked people do, they prey on the weak. This is why God said to Noah upon exiting the ark after the flood that man will demand the blood of a wicked man, God demands justice as do we.
“Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.” Genesis 9:6
This is also why it is a Godly thing for people to organize, create laws, governments and nations. This organization reflects our very core, created nature, because God in heaven has organized his Kingdom in that way emphasizing order, justice, and law throughout. God recognized that we are often too weak to extract justice by ourselves and that we would need the help of other good people that recognize injustice to aid us when the evidence points to wrong doing.
The problem is what happens when nations become so corrupt that the leaders legislate evil, that the churches worship the sacrifice of children, or the military of nations are co-opted for the sole purpose of unjustly stealing the resources of other nations and people. No one person or group of people can extract justice from someone who has the power and authority of an entire nation. These people are seemingly invincible. Their lies, hubris and appetites for power know nothing of fear considering there is nothing that can contend with their power, and therefore nothing on the globe can stop them. So if no human authority can right a nation and wrest power from the hands of wicked men in control then what are we to do? The answer is we pray to God. It is God who is set above all authority as creator of the universe. It is Him and only Him who can rightly discern not only the hearts and intents of those in power, but can judge them and destroy them preventing them from unleashing untold amounts of evil on the earth. Listen to Daniel the prophet of God, one of the only people who the Bible records as having never done anything wrong which is remarkable considering the Bible is infinitely harsh on everyone even the favored of God like King David or Moses. Daniel said,
“He changes times and seasons; he deposes kings and raises up others. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning.” Daniel 2:21
So one of God’s many roles is to judge the nations seeing it is Him and only Him that can do exactly that. If no one can contend with the power of wicked authority set over a wicked corrupt government then who better than God himself to bring these wicked punks to their knees and untimely deaths.
“He shall judge among the heathen, he shall fill the places with the dead bodies; he shall wound the heads over many countries.” Psalms 110:6
So when atheists moan, slander, and defame the character of almighty God for destroying people and nations, what they don’t know is that they being finite in their wisdom and intelligence is this; if those cultures continued to this day just think about how much more death, destruction and brutality would exist in our present time. They simply can’t even comprehend to what extent past, evil cultures were capable of, and why God chose to use good nations to put down other nations.
Almost every verse that atheists use without question, can be placed in the larger context of the targeted nation being divinely judged by God, meaning people were going to die, rulers were going to die, and nations would fall which inevitably will change the entire course, and even future direction of humanity. This concept is so beyond the scope and vision of these would be scientific tyrants and pseudo-intellectuals that it is laughable.
An analogy they maybe can grasp is this, if they walked into a room and saw a pedophile sodomizing a child would they not destroy that person with every once of their strength and being? Of course they would, well God seeing all, has witnessed nations who literally made it a religious sacrament to sodomize and even burn children alive rise up. Those were just some of the evils these cultures were guilty of that were targeted and destroyed by God. Yet atheists defend these cultures in their attempts to defame God when isolating verses in scripture out of context.
We have to think about what God does among the nations as very similar to what a gardener does. God prunes and grooms the orchard of nations towards His purposes. The nations are the vineyard and the fruit only exists because the gardener took the time to pull the weeds, spray the pests, and to prune back the unfruitful branches. This is a natural law, simpleton farmers understand this truth, but it seems to allude high-minded, religiously bigoted intellectuals at every turn. Their hatred for God, blinds them to the obvious truth that if God wasn’t judging the nations, then countries like America as it is right this moment would never cease in their blood lust and empire building.
So may this be a lesson to those in power, especially here in America, judgment is neigh, that is a natural law. The unjustness of our wars is a blight on creation in the eyes of God. God does not just willy nilly kill and maim, all of His judgments are in accordance with the laws of what is good and what is evil, and always conform to his just purposes and vision for creation. That is what we have faith in, that is what we place our trust in and that is what we will fight for no matter how militaristic the new atheists become. They too will know God’s justice, just like Hitler, Pol Pot or Stalin did if they persist in their persecution. The laws of nature and God demand it.
So I am thankful God is a just God that can see into the hearts of man and that He has no problem judging the nations before they unleash unfathomable evil onto the earth. If God left mankind to our own devices then we would have destroyed ourselves long ago. Good people don’t want power, and bad people lust over it and can never handle it. The only thing that holds us back is God’s divine hand, and our pursuit of His righteous law. Nothing in the way of atheistic intellectualism has stayed the hand of evil nations and men. These men are fools for denying God, but they are infinitely more foolish for thinking they can better the world by eradicating good, moral, law abiding, God fearing men and women.
“I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give to each man according to his ways, According to the results of his deeds.” Jeremiah 17:10