PDA

View Full Version : Christianity: A Religion of Violence



03-24-2003, 06:29 PM
This is a lengthy article, just wanted to post it in response to the msg. regarding Islam as a religion of murderers...

Violence and the Biblical God

Introduction

Many Americans are worried about the widespread promotion of violence in society. Their concern is with numerous cultural messages that seem to encourage violent responses to problems.

Those messages come from television, movies, music, video games, the Internet and other sources. Instead of being a last resort used only in self-defense or the defense of others, violence is often portrayed as normal, favored and entertaining conduct.

It is understandable that people are apprehensive about the possible effects of violent entertainment. What is unclear is why so few are similarly troubled by the widespread promotion of violent Bible teachings. Violent religious ideas, presented as unquestionably true, are more likely to influence people to behave violently than entertainment that is obviously make-believe.

The potential of the Bible to instigate violence stems, in large part, from its claims that God committed or ordered violent and cruel acts, while at the same time the book describes him as perfect,[1] righteous,[2] just,[3] gracious,[4] merciful,[5] compassionate[6] and loving.[7]

Because of the belief that God possesses exemplary characteristics but still carries out or mandates extremely violent and destructive acts, there is a strong possibility that his followers will decide they can behave similarly and still be good people. They may even conclude that they have a religious duty to follow the violent example set by their God.

The American patriot Thomas Paine referred to the development of such attitudes when he said, "The belief in a cruel god makes a cruel man."[8]

Violent acts that the Bible attributes to this "perfect" and "loving" God are multitudinous and can be a veritable grab-bag of justifications for brutal actions by his followers.

Violence in Basic Doctrines

The biblical God's affinity for extreme violence is seen in some of the most fundamental and well-known teachings of the book.

The Old Testament claims that God damned the entire human race because of the acts of the first two people.[9] It also says he caused a worldwide Flood that drowned pregnant women and innocent children and animals.[10] It further reports that he killed Egyptian babies at the time of the Passover.[11]

The New Testament states that God required the torture and murder of his own son.[12] And it promises he will send to eternal torture all who do not accept Christianity.[13]

God looks no better when many of the Bible's lesser-known teachings are examined. The variety of his methods of tormenting and killing people, and his frequency of using those techniques, make him appear worse than any sadistic and sociopathic mass murderer of ancient or modern history.

War

The God of the Bible is guilty of wartime atrocities. After bringing the Israelites out of captivity in Egypt and having them wander in the wilderness a number of years, he ordered them to attack King Sihon of Heshbon and his subjects. As a result, they "put to death everyone in the cities, men, women, and dependents" and "left no survivor."[14]

Then God told them to do the same to King Og of Bashan and his people. Thus, the Israelites "slaughtered them and left no survivor."[15] The book of Psalms cites these specific massacres as proof that the Lord's "love endures for ever."[16]

At the Lord's command, the Israelites made war on Midian and slew all the men and burned their cities.[17] But Moses was angry because they had spared the women and children. So he ordered his soldiers to "kill every male dependent, and kill every woman who has had intercourse with a man, but spare for yourselves every woman among them who has not had intercourse."[18] Shortly thereafter, God gave Moses directions for distributing the captive virgins among the fighting men and the community.[19]

In resettling the Israelites after the Egyptian sojourn, God instructed them to steal the land of seven nations. In doing so, they were to "not leave any creature alive. You shall annihilate them. . . ."[20]

Consequently, the Israelites entirely wiped out various peoples, such as when Joshua's army attacked Jericho and "put everyone to the sword, men and women, young and old. . . ."[21] Later, the Lord told Joshua to do the same to the people of Ai.[22]

In obedience to the Lord's commands, Joshua's army did likewise to many other cities. The Israelites "put every living soul to the sword until they had destroyed every one; they did not leave alive any one that drew breath."[23] If the accounts given in the Bible are accepted, there were millions of men, women and children exterminated in this conquest of the Promised Land.[24]

Additional Old Testament stories relate divine acts that are just as ruthless. The prophet Samuel gave Saul these instructions from the Lord: "Go now and fall upon the Amalekites and destroy them. . . . Spare no one; put them all to death, men and women, children and babes in arms, herds and flocks, camels and asses."[25]

Isaiah says that on the day of the Lord's anger against Babylon: "All who are found will be stabbed, all who are taken will fall by the sword; their infants will be dashed to the ground before their eyes. . . ."[26]

Ezekiel states that God appointed men to punish Jerusalem for the "abominations" practiced there. The Lord told them to "kill without pity; spare no one. Kill and destroy them all, old men and young, girls, little children and women. . . ."[27]

II Chronicles relates another instance of the Lord's anger breaking out against Jerusalem. This time he "brought against them the king of the Chaldaeans, who put their young men to the sword . . . and spared neither young man nor maiden, neither the old nor the weak. . . ."[28]

Jeremiah denounces those who do not assist in carrying out killings desired by the Almighty. He says: "A curse on him who is slack in doing the Lord's work! A curse on him who withholds his sword from bloodshed!"[29]

Clearly, the Old Testament God supported ethnic cleansing, wars of extermination and indiscriminate slaughter of young and old alike as methods of dealing with problems. Any government leader or military commander who ordered such actions today would be guilty of war crimes and viewed as in the same league with Hitler, Stalin and Mao.

The New Testament's depiction of God is hardly more favorable. The book of Revelation states that in the end times, heavenly power and a sword will be given to a rider on a horse. He will be allowed to make men slaughter one another.[30]

Another rider will be granted similar divine authority, including power to kill with the sword over a quarter of the earth.[31] Later, four angels and their cavalry of two hundred million will go forth to slay a third of mankind.[32]

These conflicts are to culminate in Christ himself coming on a white horse, leading the armies of heaven. A sharp sword will extent from his mouth to smite the nations, whose armies will be killed by the sword.[33]

Christ's actions here are in accord with his teaching that he came "not . . . to bring peace, but a sword."[34] And they show that he, like his father, supports bloodshed and killing as solutions to problems.

Pestilence

Another punishment God frequently employs is to afflict people with disease. After the Exodus from Egypt, the Israelites complained about having no meat to eat while wandering in the wilderness. Then "the Lord's anger broke out against the people and he struck them with a deadly plague."[35]

Not having learned their lesson, the people later complained about the leadership of Moses and Aaron. So God sent a plague that killed 14,700 more of them.[36]

In another instance, Jehovah used a plague to kill 24,000 Israelites because they had worshiped the gods of the Midianites. This plague was stopped only when Phinehas, after seeing an Israelite man take a Midianite woman into the man's family, put his spear through both of them together.[37] God praised Phinehas and rewarded him for that act.[38]

Subsequent generations also did not get the message of these examples, causing God to repeat the punishment. He sent a pestilence that killed 70,000 men because King David took a census.[39]

Later, because King Uzziah of Judah offended the Lord by burning incense in the temple, God struck him with leprosy so that "he remained a leper till the day of his death. . . ."[40]

God forewarned his prophets of similar divine retribution. In his anger against Jerusalem, he revealed to Jeremiah his intent to "strike down those who live in this city, men and cattle alike; they shall die of a great pestilence."[41]

The prophet Ezekiel claims that inasmuch as Jerusalem had not followed God's ways, the city would be consumed "without pity" such that one third of the people "shall die by pestilence."[42]

Apparently, the Almighty's use of pestilence as a punishment was ineffective. Through the prophet Amos, the Lord complained to his people that though he had "sent plague upon you like the plagues of Egypt," they still did not come back to him.[43]

The New Testament shows that the Lord does not improve in regard to this behavior. The book of Revelation states that one of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse will be given power over a quarter of the earth, including power to kill by pestilence.[44] The same book says that part of the doom God announced for Rome is that the city will be struck with pestilence.[45]

Too bad God didn't realize from his experiences with the Jews that this type of punishment proved ineffective in bringing permanent changes in people's behavior. It would avoid a lot of unnecessary pain and death at the end of the world.

Famine

God uses famine to torment and kill people. After David angered him by taking the census, he said that one of the punishments David could choose was three years of famine.[46] David instead chose pestilence, which he believed would be a milder form of punishment from God,[47] and thereby limited the Lord to causing the death of a mere 70,000 men.[48]

On other occasions, God's people did not get off so easy. Isaiah states that Jerusalem has "drunk from the Lord's hand the cup of his wrath," including "havoc and ruin, famine and the sword."[49]

Jeremiah relates that God promised to make an end of the people of Judah by "sword, with famine and pestilence."[50] And the Lord pledged to do the same to any nation that did not submit to his "servant" Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon.[51]

According to Ezekiel, God vowed to spend his anger on Israel by causing men to fall by sword, famine and pestilence.[52] A footnote in The New English Bible explains that those three methods are the traditional scourges by which God punishes his people.[53]

Ezekiel quotes the Lord as saying in regard to Jerusalem: "When I shoot the deadly arrows of famine against you, arrows of destruction, I will shoot to destroy you."[54]

The book of Lamentations shows that this was no idle threat. It describes the macabre effects of one of God's famines by saying that "children and infants faint in the streets . . . and cry to their mothers" We are also informed that "they faint like wounded things . . . gasping out their lives. . . ."[55]

Lamentations goes on to observe: "My virgins and my young men have fallen by sword and by famine; thou hast slain them in the day of thy anger, slaughtered them without pity."[56]

This form of punishment proved no more effective than pestilence in changing people's behavior. Amos informs us that God complained: "It was I who kept teeth idle in all your cities, who brought famine on all your settlements; yet you did not come back to me. This is the very word of the Lord."[57]

Nevertheless, the God of the New Testament intends to punish people with famine. The book of Revelation says that the third of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse will be given divine authority to cause famine on earth.[58]

Likewise, the forth rider will have power to inflict famine over a quarter of the world.[59] And near the end of the book, famine is said to be one of the punishments God has in store for Rome.[60]

Anyone who has seen the horrible effects of famine in the modern world knows that, in choosing this punishment for adults and children alike, God could hardly be crueler.

Fire

God has a fondness for burning people with fire. There is the story of him raining fire and brimstone on the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. By that means, he "destroyed all the Plain, with everything living there."[61]

Similar punishment was dealt to two of Aaron's sons, who presented "illicit fire" before the Lord. For that act, "Fire came out from before the Lord and destroyed them; and so they died in the presence of the Lord."[62]

After several Israelites led 250 men in rebellion against Moses' authority, "fire [went] out from the Lord and burnt up the two hundred and fifty men."[63]

At Elijah's request, fire came down from heaven and consumed two companies of the king of Samaria's men.[64] And the Lord promised to send fire as punishment for Jerusalem,[65] Babylon,[66] Egypt[67] and various other places.[68]

In regard to a king favored by the Lord, the book of Psalms states that God will use fire to consume the king's enemies and exterminate their offspring from the earth.[69] As for the wicked in general, the same book explains that the Almighty "shall rain down red-hot coals upon the wicked; brimstone and scorching winds shall be the cup they drink. For the Lord is just. . . ."[70]

God required humans to employ fire as punishment. The Law of Moses directs that if the daughter of a priest becomes a prostitute, she must be burnt to death.[71]

The New Testament also favors earthly incineration. According to the book of Luke, Jesus said that he came "to set fire to the earth."[72] And the book of Hebrews claims that "our God is a devouring fire."[73]

In describing the end times, the book of Revelation indicates how at least some of these divine pyrotechnics will be displayed. An angel will blow a trumpet and then fire mingled with blood to be cast upon the earth, resulting in a third of the earth being burnt.[74]

The same book goes on to state that other angels will lead 200 million mounted troops, whose horses will spew fire, smoke and sulfur from their mouths to kill a third of humankind.[75] Shortly thereafter, like power will be given to two of the Lord's witnesses, so that they can pour fire from their mouths to consume their enemies.[76]

The book of Revelation additionally says that an angel will pour one of the "bowls of God's wrath" on the sun, and the sun will then "burn men with its flames."[77] Near the end of that book, we are told that God will cause Rome to be burned.[78] Further, the book asserts that when Satan's followers do battle against the Lord, fire will come down from heaven and consume them.[79]

Medical personnel know that burns are some of the most painful injuries people can sustain. By choosing this form of punishment, the Almighty is again shown to rank among the cruelest of beings.

Torture

God carries his ruthlessness to infinite extremes in the New Testament by inflicting eternal torture on people. Being the firebug that he is, his favored method of torture is to burn them.

The book of Matthew says that when Jesus returns to earth, he will send his angels to gather people and cast them into a furnace of fire, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.[80] Also at that time, he will order persons to "go from my sight to the eternal fire that is ready for the devil and his angels."[81]

The book of Revelation tells us that this everlasting inferno is a place where people are tortured forever.[82] There, the "smoke of their torment will rise for ever and ever, and there will be no respite day or night. . . ."[83] In fact, the book of Jude says that Sodom, Gomorrah and the neighboring towns are already being punished in eternal fire as an example for all to see.[84]

This horrible state of affairs is illustrated in Jesus' story of the beggar Lazarus who went to heaven and the rich man who was consigned to Hades. Jesus described the rich man as suffering torment in the flames.[85] Elsewhere, he indicated that the same fate will befall everyone who does not accept his message.[86] This will include the vast majority of humanity.[87]

Jesus also spoke approvingly of torture in one of his parables. The story involves a king who forgave a servant's debt but later found the same servant treating harshly a debtor of the servant. The king became angry with the servant and "condemned the man to torture until he should pay the debt in full." Jesus went on to say that God will do the same to people who do not forgive others.[88]

Jesus' teachings make clear that God will actually be much more severe than the humans who employed torture in the parable. Unlike them, God will never stop the torture and his victims will never be able to "pay the debt in full."

Because eternal torture is the most horrible pain that can be conceived, God and Jesus have succeeded in reaching the very pinnacle of viciousness and mercilessness.

Wild Animals

The Lord injures and destroys people by having wild animals attack them. He warned the Israelites that if they disobey him, he will "send wild beasts among you; they shall tear your children from you, destroy your cattle and bring your numbers low. . . ."[89]

After the Israelites were disobedient, he vowed: "I will harry them with the fangs of wild beasts and the poison of creatures that crawl in the dust."[90] And this all-loving Heavenly Father "sent poisonous snakes among the people, and they bit the Israelites so that many of them died."[91]

He also caused a lion to kill a prophet who had been tricked by another prophet into disobeying a command of the Lord.[92] Moreover, in one of the most cruel and nonsensical stories in the Bible, God sent two bears that killed forty-two children because they were making fun of the prophet Elisha's bald head.[93]

Ezekiel quotes God as saying to the people of Jerusalem: "I will unleash famine and beasts of prey upon you, and they will leave you childless."[94] Jeremiah gives the following message from the Lord: "Beware, I am sending snakes against you, vipers, such as no man can charm, and they shall bite you. This is the very word of the Lord."[95]

His treatment of the non-Israelites was no better. Because an Assyrian king brought people into Samaria who did not pay homage to Jehovah, "the Lord sent lions among them, and the lions preyed upon them."[96]

The God of the New Testament also uses animals to devour people. The book of Revelation states that one of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse will be given power over a quarter of the earth to kill with wild beasts.[97]

That book also says that the Lord will cause locusts, having the power of scorpions, to come over the earth. For five months, the locusts will torment men who did not receive the seal of God on their foreheads. The torment will be like a scorpion's sting, and the pain will be so bad that the men will long for death but will not find it.[98]

Shortly thereafter, God will send the previously mentioned riders whose horses will kill a third of mankind with fire, smoke and sulfur coming from their mouths. The horses' tails will be like snakes, and will have heads that inflict injuries.[99]

By having wild beasts carry out his maiming and killing, God reveals his character to be on the same level as a wild beast.

Infanticide

Killing babies is another way that God expresses his anger. It has already been noted that he drowned babies at the time of the worldwide Flood,[100] that Egyptian babies were among the firstborn he killed at the Passover,[101] and that babies were killed as a result of the wars of extermination he ordered.[102]

This type of divine punishment was also used after King David successfully schemed to have a loyal Israeli soldier, Uriah, killed in battle. David selfishly took that action in order to steal Uriah's wife, Bathsheba.

Although David was the one who committed premeditated murder, the son that Bathsheba had born to him received the brunt of God's punishment. God, in his infinite wisdom and justice, punished David by killing the baby.[103]

Isaiah says that similar punishment would be used against the Babylonians. He quotes the Lord as vowing that "infants will be dashed to the ground before their eyes. . . . I will stir up against them the Medes, . . . who have no pity on little children and spare no mother's son. . . ."[104]

The book of Psalms indicates that those inflicting such punishment can take pleasure in doing so. In regard to the retribution to be taken against Babylon, the book states, "Happy is he who shall seize your children and dash them against the rock."[105]

Hosea prophesizes that Samaria will be punished in like manner. He reports: "Samaria will become desolate because she has rebelled against her God; her babes will fall by the sword and be dashed to the ground, her women with child shall be ripped up."[106]

Besides being a method of punishment, the Bible teaches that God is willing to test people by having their offspring slaughtered. The Lord allowed Satan to kill Job's sons and daughters in order to determine if Job would then curse God.[107]

The New Testament also contains a murderous attitude toward the young. The book of Hebrews attests to the Lord's horrible actions at the time of the Passover, and expresses no disapproval of them.[108]

And the book of Revelation indicates that Christ will behave likewise. In regard to a certain false prophetess who will lead his servants astray, the book quotes Jesus as promising to throw her on a bed of pain and strike dead her children.[109]

Jesus then explains the reasons for those actions: "This will teach all the churches that I am the searcher of men's hearts and thoughts, and that I will reward each one of you according to his deeds."[110] One would think he could find a humane way to convey these lessons.

It is said that, in prisons, child molesters are often despised by the rest of the prison population. As a serial baby killer, God is worse than child molesters and ranks below the meanest and lowest criminals. And his son is no better.

Cannibalism

The Lord causes cannibalism. According to the book of Leviticus, God says that if the Israelites disobey him: "I myself will punish you seven times over for your sins. Instead of meat you shall eat your sons and your daughters."[111]

The Lord was true to his word. Isaiah describes a punishment of Israel: "On the right, one man eats his fill but yet is hungry; on the left, another devours but is not satisfied; each feeds on his own children's flesh, and neither spares his own brother."[112]

Jeremiah reports that the Lord promised to punish Jerusalem by making it "a scene of horror and contempt. . . . I will compel men to eat the flesh of their sons and their daughters; they shall devour one another's flesh in the dire straits to which their enemies and those who would kill them will reduce them in the siege."[113]

Ezekiel quotes God as saying that because of Jerusalem's disobedience, "I will execute judgment in your midst for the nations to see. . . . Therefore, O Jerusalem, fathers will eat their children and children their fathers in your midst. . . ."[114]

The author of Lamentations mourns the results of the Lord's punishment by saying: "Those who died by the sword were more fortunate than those who died of hunger; these wasted away, deprived of the produce of the field. Tender-hearted women with their own hands boiled their own children; their children became their food in the day of my people's wounding. The Lord glutted his rage and poured forth his anger. . . ."[115]

In the New Testament, cannibalism is an integral part of Christian ritual. At the Last Supper, Jesus gave his disciples bread to eat and told them it was his body. And he said the wine they were to drink was his blood.[116] On another occasion, he explained: "Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood possesses eternal life. . . . Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood dwells continually in me and I dwell in him."[117]

The Catholic Church's doctrine of transubstantiation is that, when the Last Supper is commemorated during the Eucharist, the bread and wine ingested by the communicants is miraculously turned into the body and blood of Christ.

Many persons believe that the worst pain that parents can suffer is the death of a child. But the Lord was not satisfied with producing that degree of hurt, and added to it by forcing parents to cook and eat their children. Then he required Christians to eat his own son. It's all very sick.

Executions

God is a big proponent of capital punishment. He likes it so much that he prescribed it for situations where it was glaringly disproportionate to the seriousness of the offenses. To add to the horror of these killings, he directed that they be carried out in a brutal ways.

After the Israelites found a man gathering sticks on the Sabbath, the Lord said, "The man must be put to death; he must be stoned by all the community. . . ."[118] He also ordered the death penalty for anyone else who works on the Sabbath.[119]

People were not to spare even their children from these barbaric slayings. God required capital punishment for reviling one's father and mother.[120] And as for a son who is disobedient and out of control, he directed that "all the men of the town shall stone him to death, and you will thereby rid yourselves of this wickedness."[121]

Comparable instructions were given for dealing with a person's brother, son, daughter, wife or best friend who tries to have the person worship other gods. God's directions were that the person's "own hand shall be the first to be raised against him and then all the people shall follow. You shall stone him to death. . . ."[122]

God once rewarded the people of Judah for vowing to put to death all who would not seek the Lord, including "young and old, men and women alike."[123]

Among other acts for which the Law of Moses requires the death penalty are blasphemy,[124] adultery,[125] homosexuality,[126] worshipping other gods,[127] being a witch or[128] medium,[129] being a false prophet,[130] and not being a virgin on one's wedding night.[131]

Besides stoning, additional methods that the Lord approved for carrying out the death penalty include burning,[132] hanging people on a gibbet[133] or a tree,[134] and hurling persons off a mountain.[135]

Jesus supported the Old Testament's death-penalty provisions when he said he came not to abolish the Mosaic Law but to complete it.[136] He warned that anyone who sets aside even the least of the Law's demands, and teaches others to do so, will be lowest in the kingdom of heaven.[137]

According to the New Testament, Jesus was executed even though he was perfectly innocent. In failing to protest against capital punishment so that others would not be subject to similar injustice, Jesus and his followers were not being rational or compassionate.

Mutilation

Another action God approves is the mutilation of humans. He ordered people to employ it in their legal system and sanctioned its use against a prisoner of war.

In the legal code that the Lord gave to the Israelites, he prescribed mutilation as punishment for a man who disfigures a fellow countryman. God directed that "it shall be done to him as he has done; fracture for fracture, eye for eye, tooth for tooth; the injury and disfigurement that he has inflicted upon another shall in turn be inflicted upon him."[138]

This lex talionis approach was to be applied without pity. The Lord specified that in administering it, "You shall show no mercy. . . ."[139]

He also required mutilation as the penalty for a woman who tries to stop a fight between her husband and another man by dragging her husband away. God said that if this peacemaking endeavor results in the wife grabbing the other man's genitals, "you shall cut off her hand and show her no mercy."[140]

For persons who might oppose these and other cruel and absurd commandments, God endorsed a type of mutilation that would silence them. The book of Proverbs says that "the subversive tongue will be rooted out."[141]

Support for mutilating prisoners of war is contained in the book of Judges. After the Israelites made war on the Canaanites and Perizzites, they captured one of their opponents' leaders and cut off his thumbs and great toes. God did not condemn that act, and the victim attributed his fate to the punishment of the Lord.[142]

All this disfiguring and crippling is both brutal and irrational. By maiming a person as punishment for inflicting injury on another, society can end up with two disabled people to support instead of one. It makes more sense to keep the wrongdoer healthy and require that person to work to provide restitution for the victim. Most societies eventually learn that, but not the biblical God.

In the New Testament, Jesus endorsed mutilation as a method of dealing with certain situations. To avoid lusting after women, he recommended that men pluck out their own eyes.[143] To prevent masturbation, he advocated that people cut off their hands.[144] And he endorsed castration for "the sake of the kingdom of Heaven," and said to let "those accept it who can."[145]

All this chopping up of body parts is worse than in many slasher movies that Christians denounce for violent content.

Beatings and Floggings

Beatings and floggings are other methods God supports for dealing with problems. And he directs that the pummeling be severe.

Under the Law of Moses, judges can sentence a wrongdoer to a flogging. The number of strokes corresponds to the gravity of the offense and can be as high as forty.[146]

In the book of Proverbs, advice is given to beat with rods one who is a "fool."[147] The book does not explain how physical assaults will impart wisdom to the victim.

Proverbs also instructs that the same treatment be given to children. It says, "Do not withhold discipline from a boy; take the stick to him, and save him from death."[148] The book further admonishes: "Folly is deep-rooted in the heart of a boy; a good beating will drive it right out of him."[149]

Proverbs advocates severe beatings of adults and children alike by stating, "A good beating purges the mind, and blows chasten the inmost being."[150] The book of Psalms relates that the Lord promised to set an example of this conduct by visiting his children with rod and lashes for their disobedience.[151]

The New Testament gives additional endorsement for having people battered. In a parable involving servants waiting for their lord to return from a wedding, Jesus taught that the servant who knew his lord's will but failed to do it "will be flogged severely." He also explained that the servant who did not know his lord's will but "earned a beating will be flogged less severely."[152]

Moreover, the New Testament asserts that the governing authorities (Romans or Jews) inflicted beatings on Jesus,[153] Paul,[154] Silas,[155] all the apostles,[156] and some of the other great persons of faith.[157] Jesus even predicted that his followers would be flogged in synagogues.[158] Indeed, Paul states that five times the Jews gave him the 39 lashes and three times beat him with rods.[159]

Despite numerous opportunities to denounce the wrongfulness of beatings and floggings, the New Testament does not. The clear implication is that these methods are acceptable if used against the right people.

The writers of the Bible obviously did not know, as modern science does, that beatings and floggings are counterproductive. Those barbaric methods teach the victims and persons witnessing the punishment to use violence as a means of dealing with problems. Other undesirable results are that the assaults instill in the victims a resentfulness and bitterness, an unwillingness to cooperate, and a desire for revenge.

Plundering

The Lord punishes people by having marauding bands loot them. Isaiah explains that God's anger against the Israelites led him to send the Assyrians to "march against a people who rouse my wrath, to spoil and plunder at will and trample them down like mud in the streets."[160]

II Kings says that because the Israelites disobeyed God's commandments and worshipped other gods, "the Lord rejected the whole race of Israel and punished them and gave them over to plunderers and finally flung them out of his sight."[161] Later in that book, God said in regard to Judah: "They shall be plundered and fall a prey to all their enemies; for they have done what is wrong in my eyes and provoked my anger. . . ."[162]

Jeremiah asserts that the Almighty will hand the people of Judah to the king of Babylon, who will take their wealth, deport them to Babylon, and put them to the sword.[163] The Lord gloats in that book that he "brought upon them a horde of raiders, to plunder. . . . I made the terror of invasion fall upon them all in a moment."[164]

Such actions by Jehovah led the Psalmist to complain: "Thou hast hurled us back before the enemy, and our foes plunder us as they will. Thou hast given us up to be butchered like sheep and hast scattered us among the nations."[165]

God was willing to have similar treatment meted out to other people. Jeremiah reports that the Lord ordered the Babylonians to "attack Kedar, despoil the Arabs of the east. Carry off their tents and their flocks, their tent-hangings and all their vessels, drive off their camels too, and a cry shall go up: 'Terror let loose!'"[166]

Additionally, Zephaniah avers that because Moab and Ammon insulted his people, God decreed that the "survivors of my people shall plunder them, the remnant of my nation shall possess their land."[167]

The New Testament vouches for divine approval of depredation and worse, when it states that Jesus spoke approvingly of David[168] and that God described David as "a man after my own heart."[169] The Old Testament tells us that while living in Philistine country to avoid King Saul, David raided various villages, slaughtered all the inhabitants, stole their property, and then lied to the Philistine king about what he had done.[170]

By supporting killing, stealing and lying, God and his son again show that they would qualify for the maximum-security units of any prison system.

Miscellaneous Violence

The Lord supports various other forms of violence. These include, but are not limited to, turning a woman into a pillar of salt, having a woman thrown out of a window to her death, tormenting and killing persons with hail, delivering his people into captivity, requiring human sacrifice, poisoning people, sending earthquakes to kill them, having the ground open and swallow them, and causing them to be sexually assaulted.

Because two angels had warned Lot that God was going to destroy Sodom, he and his family fled the city. But contrary to the instructions given by the angels, Lot's wife looked back while the Lord was raining fire and brimstone on Sodom and Gomorrah. For that act, she was turned into a pillar of salt.[171]

To enable Jehu to become king of Israel in place of Ahab's son Jehoram, the Lord had Jehu kill Ahab's entire family.[172] This included having Ahab's widow, Jezebel, dispatched by throwing her out of a window.[173]

As part of his way of convincing Pharaoh to let the Israelites leave Egypt, God tormented the Egyptians and their animals by raining down hail more heavily than the country had ever experienced.[174] And when Joshua and his army were pursing and slaughtering the Amorites, "the Lord hurled great hailstones at them out of the sky," so that "more died from the hailstones than the Israelites slew by the sword."[175]

The New Testament promises that God will be hurling more hailstones. The book of Revelation reveals that part of God's judgment on the wicked will be that "hail and fire mingled with blood" will be cast upon the earth.[176] Later, the book says that God's wrath will include dropping huge hailstones, weighing perhaps a hundred pounds, on men.[177]

Deuteronomy asserts that if the Lord's people disobey him, one of their punishments will be that their children will go into captivity.[178] II Kings relates that because of the Israelites' disobedience, God sent them into captivity in Assyria.[179]

Similarly, Jeremiah indicates that the Lord banished his people from his presence and assigned some of them to captivity.[180] II Chronicles reports that because God's anger fell upon Judah and Jerusalem, "our fathers have fallen by the sword, our sons and daughters and our wives are in captivity."[181]

In the Old Testament, God promised to poison certain evil prophets.[182] And the book of Revelation reports that the Lord will still be poisoning people at the end of the world. After an angel blows a trumpet, a third of the earth's rivers and springs will be turned to wormwood, and many persons will die from the poisoned water.[183]

God showed his support for human sacrifice when he commended Abraham for being willing to sacrifice his son Isaac. Fortunately for Isaac, an angel stayed Abraham's knife-wielding hand at the last second.[184]

The daughter of Jephthah was not so fortunate, inasmuch as her father sacrificed her to fulfil a vow he had made to the Lord.[185] In the New Testament, Jephthah is listed as one of the great men of faith.[186] The New Testament God also revealed support for human sacrifice by having it done to his son.[187]

Earthquakes are another means the Lord uses to kill people. Isaiah says that God's punishment against the city of Ariel (i.e., Jerusalem) will come with an earthquake.[188] In regard to the last days, the book of Revelation states that God will cause an earthquake that will kill seven thousand people.[189] Later, the Almighty will cause the most violent earthquake in history, splitting the city of Rome into three parts and making other cities fall in ruin.[190]

The Lord is also willing to have the earth open and consume people. The Old Testament tells us that after some men had rebelled against Moses' authority, God caused the earth to open and swallow them and their families.[191]

Finally, the Heavenly Father is not above causing sexual assaults. Isaiah quotes God as promising to send the Medes to attack the Chaldaeans and have "their houses rifled and their wives ravished."[192]

Thus, besides all his other violent traits, the Lord reveals himself to be on the same level as a murderer/rapist.

Violent Protagonists

In addition to the previously discussed violence committed by the biblical God's favorites, his servants were responsible for other mayhem. Moses murdered an Egyptian who had struck a Hebrew.[193] The murderer Moses is described in the Bible as "the man of God"[194] and "the servant of the Lord."[195]

After King David's death, his son Solomon had several antagonists executed in order to secure his royal power.[196] Shortly thereafter, we are told that Solomon loved the Lord and conformed to all the precepts laid down by David.[197]

When the spirit of the Lord came upon Samson, he slaughtered a thousand men with the jawbone of an ass.[198] And the prophet Elijah slaughtered 450 prophets of Baal.[199]

After the cities of Succoth and Penuel refused Gideon's request for food for his men, Gideon took the elders of Succoth and "disciplined those men of Succoth with desert thorns and briars." He also pulled down the castle of Penuel and put the men of that city to death.[200] Anyone who has examined a hotel Bible knows that Gideon has an international Bible society named after him.

The New Testament sanctions all these actions by speaking approvingly of Moses,[201] Solomon,[202] Samson,[203] Elijah[204] and Gideon.[205]

There should be much more concern about the influence that the murderous example set by so-called "men of God" can have on impressionable youth.

Conclusion

These violent, brutal and heartless acts of the biblical God and his followers should completely discredit the Bible as a moral guide in the modern world. Many other instances of cruelty can be found in the book to prove the same point.

No wonder Thomas Paine said: "To read the Bible without horror, we must undo everything that is tender, sympathizing and benevolent in the heart of man."[206]

Because the biblical God's despicable behavior has been wrongly considered a paradigm of holiness and justice, innumerable Bible-believers throughout history have followed his example and teachings by committing horrendous violence - and felt good about themselves after doing so.

Many of those actions led Sir James Paget to state in the nineteenth century: "I know of no book which has been a source of brutality and sadistic conduct, both public and private, that can compare with the Bible."[207] We can expect such conduct to continue as long as a vicious and merciless monster is worshipped as being the quintessence of divine love.

Civilized societies adhere to a much higher ethical standard than does the biblical God. They know that violence does not prove who is right, but only who is stronger.

They also recognize that the validity of an argument depends on the quality of the evidence and logic that supports it - and not at all on the amount of violence that proponents of the argument can inflict. In fact, a resort to violence usually means the proponents know they cannot win with arguments.

Moreover, enlightened societies realize that gratuitous violence by society's leaders and other role models can, by dint of example, promote more violence in the rest of society. And they understand that people can become desensitized to the sight of violence and thus come to use and tolerate ever-greater amounts of it.

As a result, civilized societies permit violence solely for self-defense or the defense of others, and only in amounts necessary to accomplish those purposes. In all other cases, problems are to be resolved by nonviolent methods.

Americans can take a huge step toward discouraging violence by labeling the God of the Bible as a product of barbaric and ignorant times, and by replacing his example and teachings with the best ideas that have been propounded by human reason, experience and compassion.

Footnotes:

[1] Psalm. 18:30
[2] Jeremiah 9:24
[3] Isaiah 30:18
[4] Nehemiah 9:17
[5] Deuteronomy 4:31
[6] Psalm 86:15
[7] I John 4:9,16
[8] Ingersoll, Robert G., "Vindication of Thomas Paine," The Works of Ingersoll,
Vol. V, (New York: Dresden, 1901) p. 483
[9] Genesis 3:16-23; Romans 5:18
[10] Genesis 7:20-23
[11] Exodus 12:29-30
[12] Romans 3:24-25
[13] Revelation 21:8
[14] Deuteronomy 2:31-34
[15] Deuteronomy 3:1-7
[16] Psalms 136:17-21
[17] Numbers 31:7-12
[18] Numbers 31:14-18
[19] Numbers 31:25-47
[20] Deuteronomy 7:1-6;20:16-17
[21] Joshua 6:20-21
[22] Joshua 8:1-2
[23] Joshua 11:14
[24] Mattill, Jr., A.J, The Seven Mighty Blows to Traditional Beliefs, (Gordo, Alabama: The Flatwoods Free Press, 1995) p. 141
[25] I Samuel 15:1-3
[26] Isaiah 13:13-20
[27] Ezekiel 9:1-7
[28] II Chronicles 36:16-17
[29] Jeremiah 48:10
[30] Revelation 6:3-4
[31] Revelation 6:7-8
[32] Revelation 9:14-16
[33] Revelation 19:11-21
[34] Matthew 10:34
[35] Numbers 11:4-6,33-34
[36] Numbers 16:41-50
[37] Numbers 25:1-9
[38] Numbers 25:10-15
[39] I Chronicles 21:1,7-15
[40] II Chronicles 26:16-21
[41] Jeremiah 21:3-7
[42] Ezekiel 5:11-12
[43] Amos 4:10
[44] Revelation 6:8
[45] Revelation 18:8 (Rome is called "Babylon" here and elsewhere in the book of Revelation.)
[46] I Chronicles 21:7-12
[47] I Chronicles 21:13
[48] I Chronicles 21:14-15
[49] Isaiah 51:17-19
[50] Jeremiah 14:12
[51] Jeremiah 27:6-8
[52] Ezekiel 6:11-12
[53] The New English Bible with the Apocrypha, Oxford Study Edition, (New York: Oxford University Press, 1972) p. 891, fn. 11.
[54] Ezekiel 5:16
[55] Lamentations 2:11-12
[56] Lamentations 2:21
[57] Amos 4:6
[58] Revelation 6:5-6
[59] Revelation 6:7-8
[60] Revelation 18:8
[61] Genesis 19:24-25
[62] Leviticus 10:1-2
[63] Numbers 16:1-2, 31-35
[64] II Kings 1:9-12
[65] Jeremiah 17:27
[66] Jeremiah 50:31-32
[67] Ezekiel 30:8
[68] Amos 1:3-15;2:1-5
[69] Psalms 21:7-10
[70] Psalms 11:5-7
[71] Leviticus 21:9
[72] Luke 12:49
[73] Hebrews 12:29
[74] Revelation 8:7
[75] Revelation 9:15-18
[76] Revelation 11:3-5
[77] Revelation 16:1,8-9
[78] Revelation 18:8
[79] Revelation 20:7-9
[80] Matthew 13:41-42
[81] Matthew 25:41
[82] Revelation 20:10-15
[83] Revelation 14:11
[84] Jude .7
[85] Luke 16:19-31
[86] Mark 16:16; Revelation 21:8
[87] Matthew 7:13-14
[88] Matthew 18:23-35
[89] Leviticus 26:21-22
[90] Deuteronomy 32:24
[91] Numbers 21:6
[92] I Kings 13:13-26
[93] II Kings 2:23-24
[94] Ezekiel 5:17
[95] Jeremiah 8:17
[96] II Kings 17:24-25
[97] Revelation 6:8
[98] Revelation 9:3-6
[99] Revelation 9:15-19
[100] Genesis 7:20-23
[101] Exodus 12:29-30
[102] E.g., Joshua 11:14
[103] II Samuel 12:7-18
[104] Isaiah 13:15-18
[105] Psalm 137:8-9
[106] Hosea 13:16
[107] Job 1:8-19
[108] Hebrews 11:28
[109] Revelation 2:20-23
[110] Revelation 2:23
[111] Leviticus 26:27-29
[112] Isaiah 9:20
[113] Jeremiah 19:8-9
[114] Ezekiel 5:8-10
[115] Lamentations 4:9-11
[116] Matthew 26:26-29; Mark 14:22-25
[117] John 6:53-57
[118] Numbers 15:32-36
[119] Exodus 31:14-15
[120] Leviticus 20:9
[121] Deuteronomy 21:18-21
[122] Deuteronomy 13:6-11
[123] II Chronicles 15:12-15
[124] Leviticus 24:11-16
[125] Leviticus 20:10
[126] Leviticus 20:13
[127] Deuteronomy 17:2-5
[128] Exodus 22:18
[129] Leviticus 20:27
[130] Deuteronomy 18:20; Zechariah 13:3
[131] Deuteronomy 22:20-21
[132] Joshua 7:15; Leviticus 21:9
[133] Deuteronomy 21:22-23
[134] Joshua 8:29
[135] II Samuel 21:1-14
[136] Matthew 5:17
[137] Matthew 5:18-19
[138] Leviticus 24:19-20
[139] Deuteronomy 19:21
[140] Deuteronomy 25:11-12
[141] Proverbs 10:31
[142] Judges 1:1-7
[143] Matthew 5:28-29
[144] Matthew 5:30
[145] Matthew 19:12
[146] Deuteronomy 25:1-3
[147] Proverbs 10:13;26:3
[148] Proverbs 23:13-14 (Also see Proverbs 13:24.)
[149] Proverbs 22:15
[150] Proverbs 20:30
[151] Psalm 89:30-32
[152] Luke 12: 47-48
[153] Mark 15:15; Matthew 27:26; John 19:1
[154] Acts 16:22-23; II Corinthians 11:23-25
[155] Acts 16:22-23
[156] Acts 5:40
[157] Hebrews 11:36
[158] Mark 13:9
[159] II Corinthians 11:23-25
[160] Isaiah 10:5-6
[161] II Kings 17:19-20
[162] II Kings 21:14-15
[163] Jeremiah 20:4-5
[164] Jeremiah 15:8-9
[165] Psalms 44:10-11
[166] Jeremiah 49:28-29
[167] Zephaniah 2:8-9
[168] E.g., Matthew 12:3-4; Mark 12:36
[169] Acts 13:22
[170] I Samuel 27:7-12
[171] Genesis 19:15-26
[172] II Kings 9:6-9; 10:10-11
[173] II Kings 9:6-10, 33-37
[174] Exodus 9:23-26
[175] Joshua 10:3-12
[176] Revelation 8:7
[177] Revelation 16:21
[178] Deuteronomy 28:41
[179] II Kings 17:18-23
[180] Jeremiah 15:1-2
[181] II Chronicles 29:8-9
[182] Jeremiah 23:15
[183] Revelation 8:10-11
[184] Genesis 22:10-12
[185] Judges 11:29-40
[186] Hebrews 11:32
[187] Romans 3:24-25
[188] Isaiah 29:6-7
[189] Revelation 11:13
[190] Revelation 16:18-19
[191] Numbers 16:28-34
[192] Isaiah 13:15-19
[193] Exodus 2:11-14; Acts 7:23-29
[194] E.g., Deuteronomy 33:1; I Chronicles 23:14
[195] E.g., Joshua 11:12; II Kings 18:12; Revelation 15:3
[196] I Kings 2:22-46
[197] I Kings 3:3
[198] Judges 15:14-15
[199] I Kings 18:40
[200] Judges 8:4-17
[201] John 5:45-46; Hebrews 3:2-5;11:24-29
[202] Matthew 12:42
[203] Hebrews 11:32
[204] Matthew 17:1-5
[205] Hebrews 11:32
[206] Ingersoll, Robert G., "Vindication of Thomas Paine," The Works of Ingersoll, Vol. V, (New York: Dresden, 1901) p. 482
[207] Haught, James A., 2000 Years of Disbelief, (Amherst, New York: Prometheus, 1996) p. 181

snipershot
03-24-2003, 06:31 PM
NO s*** it's a lengthy article /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

03-24-2003, 06:39 PM
[ QUOTE ]
NO s*** it's a lengthy article <hr /></blockquote>

Yeah, I just wanted to make the point that you can find scripture in the majority of religions and pick out instances that seem to promote violence, etc... This is specifically in response to the assertation that muslims are violent or potentally violent because of their religion.

03-24-2003, 07:18 PM
This is not going to look good on your record come judgement day...HAHAHAHA!

Jesus Christ

eg8r
03-24-2003, 09:18 PM
Yup there is killing everywhere. I did not read that whole thing, but did you find any passages where Jesus was commanding his followers to go and kill non believers. I am not talking about during a war or takeover that happened in the Bible. I am talking about his teachings to his people. I am sure you will not find any. There was a lot of bloodshed back in the Bible days, but followers to this day now are not instructed to do the same (evidenced in the 10 commandments). This a stark difference between Christianity and Islam. I do not read the Koran, so maybe those passages that were quoted in the other thread were not to be taken word for word verbatim, I am not sure.

Like you said, you can pick out instances to show violence in all religions. I think the only difference would be of story telling and commanding.

eg8r

03-24-2003, 11:54 PM
[ QUOTE ]
I did not read that whole thing, but did you find any passages where Jesus was commanding his followers to go and kill non believers. <hr /></blockquote>

There are several refrences in the article to Jesus and violence . And this is only one article of many, I had a hard time trying to decide which one to post. Here are a few of the jesus refrences in this particular article. There are a few more... but I don't feel like searching the whole article again for them. I have no interest in discrediting Christianity, just wanted to make the point that their are just as many violent references in the bible as there is the koran.

Jesus also spoke approvingly of torture in one of his parables. The story involves a king who forgave a servant's debt but later found the same servant treating harshly a debtor of the servant. The king became angry with the servant and "condemned the man to torture until he should pay the debt in full." Jesus went on to say that God will do the same to people who do not forgive others.[88]

Jesus' teachings make clear that God will actually be much more severe than the humans who employed torture in the parable. Unlike them, God will never stop the torture and his victims will never be able to "pay the debt in full."

And the book of Revelation indicates that Christ will behave likewise. In regard to a certain false prophetess who will lead his servants astray, the book quotes Jesus as promising to throw her on a bed of pain and strike dead her children.[109]

Jesus then explains the reasons for those actions: "This will teach all the churches that I am the searcher of men's hearts and thoughts, and that I will reward each one of you according to his deeds."[110] One would think he could find a humane way to convey these lessons.

The New Testament vouches for divine approval of depredation and worse, when it states that Jesus spoke approvingly of David[168] and that God described David as "a man after my own heart."[169] The Old Testament tells us that while living in Philistine country to avoid King Saul, David raided various villages, slaughtered all the inhabitants, stole their property, and then lied to the Philistine king about what he had done.[170]

rackmup
03-24-2003, 11:58 PM
I love these guys who want to pick apart the bible to fit their own twisted interpretations.

I prayed today...for our soldiers, their families, our leaders and all of those who are hurt, disturbed and scared because of what's going on in Iraq.

I also prayed for the Iraqi people, their families, and their military.

And yes, I prayed for Sadaam. I prayed that the forgiving and loving God that I worship would touch his heart in some way. To show him that while he lives in palaces, his people starve. To show him that dictatorship is no place for anyone to live beneath.

To show him that his beliefs are wrong...every bit as wrong as the person who started this thread.

Yes...there was death in the bible.

And yes, there will be death among us.

But those who seek God's grace will know only eternity.

I'll put my soap box away now.

God bless,

Ken

03-25-2003, 12:21 AM
[ QUOTE ]

I love these guys who want to pick apart the bible to fit their own twisted interpretations. <hr /></blockquote>

Just as I love those who pick apart the koran for their own twisted interpretations.

[ QUOTE ]
To show him that his beliefs are wrong...every bit as wrong as the person who started this thread.
<hr /></blockquote>

I am by no means picking on Christianity, as I have stated before. I was simply responding to the "Islam: Religion of Murderers" thread. As you can see, any religion can be picked on and labeled as violent.

I think it is extremely dangerous when we start associating our problems as being a result of ethnic groups or religous groups.
For example:
[ QUOTE ]
when the final apocalyptic clash that will destroy all humanity comes it will be because the s.o.b. Muslims started it. (Take that to the bank.)
<hr /></blockquote>

I find this statement extremely offensive, and I am not one of muslim faith.

bluewolf
03-25-2003, 09:31 AM
AAMEN!!!!

If you read the Bible looking for a certain thing or theme, you will find it.

If you read the Bible looking for God and God's grace, you will find that.

What you will find there will depend of the condition of your soul and on your motivations for reading it.

Laura

bluewolf
03-25-2003, 09:35 AM
I have been a student of the a Bible and of christianity for 30 years. I am always ready to share with those with a sincere desire to learn and to seek God.

For those who already have their minds made up and have used the words to justify their disbelief, I have nothing to share.

It would just be a bantaring and a waste of my time.

Enuff said

Laura

Ken
03-25-2003, 12:26 PM
You mention "Christianity" in your heading and then you give many examples of things done by and to the jews long before Christ. Yes there was lots of violence in those days but it didn't involve christians. They did their share later. The fact is that the moslems are doing it today and that's the big difference. They have not advanced beyond the middle ages. Life has no value to them unless it's their own or their pals.

Try to differentiate between ancient history and recent history. Christians gave up on holy wars a long time ago. Now they are more likely to be fighting each other. Your long list of atrocities has no relevance to the modern era.
KenCT

bluewolf
03-25-2003, 01:12 PM
"For those without faith, no proof is possible,
For those with faith, no proof is necessary."

Laura

Ludba
03-25-2003, 08:03 PM
Bluewolf,
You and rackmup are missing johnnypanic's point. He's saying that the reader can mistake the teachings of the Bible or the Koran in the same ways, but that says more about the reader than it does about the religion itself. Johnny wasn't saying that the christian God is evil; he was saying that if you view it from the outside looking in, you can make a valid but inaccurate assessment.

I think eg8r had it right, though, in pointing out that the bible doesn't come right out and say that Christians have an obligation to kill all non-believers, as the Koran does. I'm not knowledgeable enough about Islam to disprove it.

There have been some pretty atrocious acts committed in the name of Christianity, Islam, Buddhism... The Spanish Inquisition, the killing of Christians by Buddhists in 16th century Japan, 9-11. How then do we establish a causal relationship between the religion and the act? By the number of violent acts? The intensity of the act? By what the sacred writings say? Each type of proof has problems of interpretation and perspective. This isn't to say that islam IS good or bad, just that it's very difficult to say with any degree of certainty.

More importantly, even if we come to a reasonably secure conclusion, what do we do about it? Do we say, since Islam is a bad religion, it should be done away with? Should we convince people that they shouldn't be Muslims because it's a violent religion? I'm not suggesting that this was ever the argument; I'm saying what's the point of pursuing the argument? What do we gain from it? Is it just academic?

03-25-2003, 08:23 PM
[ QUOTE ]

You mention "Christianity" in your heading and then you give many examples of things done by and to the jews long before Christ. Yes there was lots of violence in those days but it didn't involve christians. They did their share later. The fact is that the moslems are doing it today and that's the big difference. They have not advanced beyond the middle ages. Life has no value to them unless it's their own or their pals. <hr /></blockquote>

How many times do I have to repeat myself? I am NOT criticizing Christianity. I am criticizing those who generalize ALL Muslims as being "bad," "evil," or "violent." I am trying to stop people from generalizing and stereotyping individuals based on their religion. My only point is that one can read any religious text and find passages that would seem to condone violence. This is true for the Koran, and the Bible. I would wager to guess one could read the Analects of Confucius and find passages that condone violence. Just because there is violent scripture in a religous text, that does not mean the practitioners of the religion are violent.

And to be the Devil's advocate there are many radical Christian groups that are just as violent as fanatical Muslims. Do some research on Ariel Sharon from the early 80's. He allowed Phalange militias(fanatical christian militants) to massacre hundreds of Palestinians in refugee camps.

http://www.hrw.org/press/2001/06/isr0622.htm

And we can't forget about the good ol' KKK which claims to be a Christian organization:

www.kukluxklan.org (http://www.kukluxklan.org)
www.kkk.com (http://www.kkk.com)

Of course, most Christian groups don't massacre hundreds
of innocent people. This is also true for Muslims; the VAST majority of Muslims are peaceful people. When we begin to stereotype Muslims as violent, not only is it an injustice to Muslims... but it also allows all religions to be stereotyped including Christianity.

Sid_Vicious
03-25-2003, 08:33 PM
You can not ignore all those passages of God's instructions to slaughter even babies and women. The Bible gets used for defensive arguements concerning individual religious sects and their supposed "better than all others." Scriptrures have been surfacing even here on the CCB over time attempting to defend one's person. IF those who do tweak those scriptures about good and compassion, then to not acknowledge these types of messages inside the original post about this topic, is hypocritical in my opinion. These types of contradictions about God's demeanor are some of the reason I'm not a full practicing Christian. I claim to be Christian, my relationship isn't built around scripture though...it's personal and perfect for me.

Man! I guess that I really didn't realize that there was THAT much written in the Bible about it though.

03-25-2003, 09:07 PM
[ QUOTE ]
Life has no value to them unless it's their own or their pals. <hr /></blockquote>

Here is a good article concerning Islam.

The Pacifism of Islam:

http://www.islamdenouncesterrorism.com/the_pacifism_of_islam.html

bluewolf
03-25-2003, 09:11 PM
I think I get your point. People use religion to justify acting out their character defects..

I certainly do not think that the actions of the people that espouse the religions have anything to do with the religions or jesus or mohamed for that matter. Unfortunately, if we say we belong to a certain religion and then act like an a**, then others generalize that that is what christians, for ex, are really like and do not get involved in a relationship with God.

When I was first a christian, I heard this song by the then christian group, the imperials. I remember this one line:'you are the only Bible that some people will ever read'. Pretty heavy responsibility . It is often like one false move, one act of intolerance, one judgemental act, and the religion gets blamed.Shoot, seems like you cant even be human without your religion getting blamed.

One reason I do not talk about christianity too much. I know that I am often not a sterling example of the teachings of christ.

While I believe the teachings of christ, I dont have anything against the muslims. I think their behaviors have more to do with culture than religion. To be honest, I did not read that thread. i figured it was slamming muslims or the religion and I just wasnt interested in reading that.

Laura

eg8r
03-25-2003, 09:56 PM
[ QUOTE ]
I claim to be Christian, my relationship isn't built around scripture though...it's personal and perfect for me. <hr /></blockquote> Hello Sid, Christianity is a relationship you share with your God, personal and perfect is the only way.
[ QUOTE ]
You can not ignore all those passages of God's instructions to slaughter even babies and women. <hr /></blockquote> Since you brought this up, I was wondering if you could quote the scripture, share the context it was given, note the time it was given.

These are all relevant and help to explain a lot. In short, the Old Testament and the stories within talk about making a sacrifice to your God. During this time it was normal and expected if you desired a cleansing of your soul. Abram was even commanded to sacrifice his first born son. As you all know Abram was spared this ultimate sacrifice and is since known as Abraham. As you continue to read through the Bible you will make your way to the New Testament. This is the point in which Christians believe/know that Jesus gave the ultimate sacrifice and offered himself for the sins of all mankind. After this point, sacrifices were not done. Jesus made the final sacrifice.

Sure there are mentions of killing and what not throughout the Bible however the idea to kill is not what is being taught in the Bible to Christians. From what was posted on the Koran, the opposite is taught. However, once again, the verses from the Koran could just as easily been taken out of context. I have never read it and have no interest in reading the Koran or even understand the Koran. I have my Bible and that is what I have faith in and believe to be true. No reason to investigate other religions.

eg8r

03-27-2003, 07:34 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote rackmup:</font><hr> I love these guys who want to pick apart the bible to fit their own twisted interpretations.

I prayed today...for our soldiers, their families, our leaders and all of those who are hurt, disturbed and scared because of what's going on in Iraq.

I also prayed for the Iraqi people, their families, and their military.

And yes, I prayed for Sadaam. I prayed that the forgiving and loving God that I worship would touch his heart in some way. To show him that while he lives in palaces, his people starve. To show him that dictatorship is no place for anyone to live beneath.

To show him that his beliefs are wrong...every bit as wrong as the person who started this thread.

Yes...there was death in the bible.

And yes, there will be death among us.

But those who seek God's grace will know only eternity.

I'll put my soap box away now.

God bless,

Ken <hr /></blockquote>
I've been away from the board for awhile and came across your response and just wanted to say, "Very nicely put!"
Tigger

03-27-2003, 08:31 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote eg8r:</font><hr> &lt;/font&gt;&lt;blockquote&gt;&lt;font class="small"&gt;Quote:&lt;/font&gt;&lt;hr /&gt;
I claim to be Christian, my relationship isn't built around scripture though...it's personal and perfect for me. <hr /></blockquote> Hello Sid, Christianity is a relationship you share with your God, personal and perfect is the only way.
&lt;/font&gt;&lt;blockquote&gt;&lt;font class="small"&gt;Quote:&lt;/font&gt;&lt;hr /&gt;
You can not ignore all those passages of God's instructions to slaughter even babies and women. <hr /></blockquote> Since you brought this up, I was wondering if you could quote the scripture, share the context it was given, note the time it was given.

These are all relevant and help to explain a lot. In short, the Old Testament and the stories within talk about making a sacrifice to your God. During this time it was normal and expected if you desired a cleansing of your soul. Abram was even commanded to sacrifice his first born son. As you all know Abram was spared this ultimate sacrifice and is since known as Abraham. As you continue to read through the Bible you will make your way to the New Testament. This is the point in which Christians believe/know that Jesus gave the ultimate sacrifice and offered himself for the sins of all mankind. After this point, sacrifices were not done. Jesus made the final sacrifice.

<font color="blue"> This is exactly right. Sacrifices were not required once Jesus gave his life for our sins because he was the "ultimate" sacrifice. John 3:16-17 says, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved." </font color>

Sure there are mentions of killing and what not throughout the Bible however the idea to kill is not what is being taught in the Bible to Christians.

<font color="blue"> Just like you said earlier, the Bible does NOT teach christians to murder others as evidenced by the giving of the ten commandments in Exodus. There have been cases of where someone uses God by saying that they did something in his name-that God told them to(such as killing doctors that perform abortions-I believe abortion is wrong, but it's also wrong to kill the doctors), but those people are only trying to rationalize and make an excuse for their actions because the Bible does not teach those things. </font color>

From what was posted on the Koran, the opposite is taught. However, once again, the verses from the Koran could just as easily been taken out of context. I have never read it and have no interest in reading the Koran or even understand the Koran. I have my Bible and that is what I have faith in and believe to be true. No reason to investigate other religions.

eg8r <hr /></blockquote>
Just wanted to add my two cents.
Tigger

TomBrooklyn
03-28-2003, 01:24 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote rackmup:</font><hr> I love these guys who want to pick apart the bible to fit their own twisted interpretations.<hr /></blockquote>It seems to me that considerable interpretation would be required to show that the Christian God is not violent. Reading the words plain and simple indicates much violence.

A couple of the time honored principles of conducting warfare prescibe a swift and violent attack for success. Which of the two Gods, Moslem or Christian, are more proficient at it?

And will either one or both of them interceed on behalf of the Armies currently warring in the Middle East?

Ken
03-28-2003, 07:03 PM
I thought they worship the same god. Am I missing something?
KenCT