Why would an omnipotent God kill the innocent among the guilty?
Topics covered: Episode 0813, Genocide
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I think it is a beautiful thing that you are doing going and speaking in universities about spirituality and trying to make sense of God and the Bible with generation Y. There were a few questions that this video brought up and I as a Christian would merely like to provide another perspective. The first question that was asked, why did God order the Israelites to kill the Canaanites? lets look at Joshua as an example you will actually find that he didn’t… WHAAAT? (no really read the story) Joshua 3:9-10 NIV 9 ‘Joshua said to the Israelites, “Come here and listen to the words of the LORD your God. 10 “This is how you will know that the living God is among you and that he will certainly drive out before you the Canaanites, Hittites, Hivites, Perizzites, Girgashites, Amorites and Jebusites.”‘ We see that God did not order these various cultural groups to be killed. What words did he use? “drive out” if you look at the Hebrew root word for this it is bequeath, this can mean give inherit have authority. Even though this word does imply authority it says nothing about killing. The Israelites made this decision themselves. let’s read on, the Israelites cross the Jordan we come to Jericho and what is really interesting is that if you read it God doesn’t actually give the kill order in any of these chapters. What he says is to march around the city with armed men but doesn’t say destroy everything that breathes. If you read the story again you will find that it is the Israelites that make this decision because they see this as ” devoting” the city to God. I wonder how many other times the Israelites interpreted what God said violently? I wonder how many times they have tried to do God’s job for him? I wonder how many times we have read the stories incorrectly in the Old testament? So yes I don’t believe that our God of love and diversity is a God of genocide. Look at all for the signs and wonders God did to deliver the Israelites from the Egyptians. I think if the Israelites left it to God to drive out the people of Jericho He could have with out the whole total massacare … thing.I believe in what you are doing. I encourage you to read the story of Joshua again as a study. May it bring up questions for you about people being violent in the name of God against other cultures. May you find that the God we serve does not ask this of his children in the name of Holiness or righteous anger.
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