Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Sin and Forgiveness

"Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him. But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves." - Numbers 31:17-18

"And when the LORD thy God hath delivered it into thine hands, thou shalt smite every male thereof with the edge of the sword: But the women, and the little ones, and the cattle, and all that is in the city, even all the spoil thereof, shalt thou take unto thyself... But of the cities of these people, which the LORD thy God doth give thee for an inheritance, thou shalt save alive nothing that breatheth: But thou shalt utterly destroy them; namely, the Hittites, and the Amorites, the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites; as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee" - Deuteronomy 20:13-17


If a god can be forgiven for such heinous atrocities, what's a little Original Sin?

11 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

1) God is not governed by any rules

2) God works in mysterious ways and we should never second guess him.

3) The relative severity of different sins cannot be judged by other criteria but God's alone. So you may think Sin A is more serious than Sin B but it may not be true.

4) Apologists can always come up with lame excuses, failing which they will pout and accuse their detractors of being unreasonable and rude.

Thursday, December 01, 2005 12:39:00 PM  
Blogger Agagooga said...

As I expected, the usual objections came up. Worry not - future posts will address 1) and 2). 3) is a subset of 1). 4) is already self-evident ;)

Friday, December 02, 2005 12:22:00 AM  
Blogger jeffyen said...

anonymous, I think (2) is a very, very slippery slope. Very often, we claim to know God tells us, and do bad things accordingly.

The slippery slope can be seen in the mentality of the 9-11 hijackers. 'Don't look at me, God made me do it.' If we blindly give too much credit to this line of thinking, the fall of the twin towers was very much justified, as it's sanctioned by the Muslim God, which, incidently, is the same as the Christian one.

Monday, December 12, 2005 8:49:00 AM  
Blogger Agagooga said...

Looking at 4), I think anonymous was being sarcastic ;)

Monday, December 12, 2005 5:52:00 PM  
Anonymous searching said...

Hmm.. I think the post gives a misleading impression of the character of the God in question.

It is not fair to give a verse and juxtapose it against the title without giving the context of the verses quoted.

When I read about Numbers 31, the whole chapter, it was about God commanding the Israelites to take vengeance on the Midianites. And in verse 15 the reason for killing the women was given. It's because they were the means to turn the Israelites from their God. There's also something about a Balaam which also needs reference to previous chapters to get an idea of what he did. I think this also is helpful setting the background of the context

In v17, if we understand it as it is without knowing the culture and background that may give us some foreknowledge of what sets apart
virgins from the rest, it would seem cruel n unjustified that the rest be killed. so i think that there needs to be more context and background knowledge given and known first before using it as an irony to the title (which i take to imply an apparent contradiction between the standards of the god in question)

In Deuteronomy 20:13-17, as i was reading it, i read on to verse 18 and it says.
v18 Otherwise, they will teach you to follow all the detestable things they do in worshipping their gods and you will sin against the Lord your God.

And though it may seem very cruel in v13-17, when i came to v18, my attention was drawn to v18 and i'm forced to consider the 'otherwise' statement....

but anyway,..the thing is, i think given the title and the verses quoted, the apparent contradiction that is meant to be pointed out in this post is not brought out fairly because i think there needs to be sufficient attention to be paid in understanding the background and context of which the verses occur in.

Friday, December 23, 2005 1:25:00 AM  
Anonymous searching said...

i agree that 4) is totally uncalled for.

Friday, December 23, 2005 1:29:00 AM  
Blogger Agagooga said...

If they were such easily turned from their god, why not? A god which resorted to genocide to keep his people in line would be the embodiment of evil.

Friday, December 23, 2005 2:29:00 AM  
Anonymous searching said...

I think it is not right to only say that the easiness of their turning away from their god is evidence of their god being bad. because it is possible for men to turn away from pple who have been good to them even to the point of betraying them.

from what i understand and have read of what the Israelite's god have done for them from the bible (searching through the books before deut), how is it possible that an israilte living at his time rationalize that his god was bad ?

I mean sure the other nations would think him bad (for ordering their removal from their land) but as an israelite, for me (speaking as an israelite) to think that my god is so bad that i should turn away from him, i must experience an incident where he betrays my trust, then i would have reason to say that he is bad.

but from exodus to genesis, the incidents which record that the jews turn away (de worship of the golden calf, complaining that there was no meat in dessert, camplaint of the bitter incident, Korah's incident), it was always the isrealites that provoked their god to anger. and that's where the discipline came in.

and from what is recorded in the bible, this god saved them from slavery and brought them out of egypt through the red sea, called them his own and set them apart from the other peoples. He commands their worship becos that was what he saved them for.

And i think all the so called sufferings of the israelites in the dessert was not because their god intended it, it was the result of the consequences of them turning their backs on the god who had been good to them all along.

Rationalizing from an israelite point of view, it is not possible
to conclude that my god is such a bad god that i should turn away. He brought me from a land of slavery, provided me with food in the foodless dessert and he's taking me to a place flowing with 'milk and honey'. all i needed to do was obey him. i don't care if the other nations die in the process of me acquiring the land. As of now, all i can see is that this god is for me and not against me. so why should i turn away?

So yea, i think it is too sweeping a statement to assume that the israelites god was bad and they had the 'right' to turn away because of that reason. You're justifying the turning away of the israelites by superimposing your assumptions of a bad god on to them. This might not be the case. from the bible i cannot understand how is it possible that an israelite could think his god to be a bad god. from gen to deut, he was for them all the way from what i've looked through and searched. and i think that justifies the 'otherwise' mentioned in v18 in the previous post.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005 9:21:00 AM  
Blogger Agagooga said...

He's bad because he's willing to commit genocide to keep the attentions of his people, rather than with any merits of his own.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005 10:24:00 AM  
Blogger LifeTraveller said...

Sin is something that resonates with me. I am at the point in my life where I am trying to come to grips with my sin and the awful things I did through my life. How can I be forgiven for some truly ugly things. I read the Bible. I pray still these feelings of guilt and remorse haunt me. Jesus please forgive me.

Sunday, March 05, 2006 12:45:00 PM  
Blogger jeffyen said...

I think we are forgiven not by anything that we can do, but by what Christ has done for us.

I'm always struck by the 'straightforwardness' and non-judgemental words in John 8:11, 'Neither do I condemn you; go, and do not sin again.'

Sunday, March 05, 2006 11:07:00 PM  

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