The Christian God is Love?

I do not understand how anyone can read The Bible and conclude that the god described is a god of love. Can Christians help me understand why you think God is a loving god? We know from The Bible that God chose to do a lot of things that I, and I hope most humans, would consider quite cruel and unloving.

If someone asked you to describe a person or god based on these actions, would you say they are loving? Or does this sound more like a brutal, third world, sadistic dictator?
  • Marry Your Rapist: God said that if a man rapes a virgin then the victim has to marry the rapist (Deuteronomy 22:29-29)
  • Eat your Children: God said he would punish people by forcing them to eat the flesh of their own children (Leviticus 26:26-28)
  • Kill Children: God ordered his followers to kill all the women and children they conquered (Joshua 6:20, Deuteronomy 2:32, 1 Numbers: 31)
  • Take Virgins as Property: God orders his people to keep the virgin women of the people they conquer as prizes (1 Numbers 31)
  • Kill Everyone on Earth: God killed every living man, woman, and child on Earth by the slow, terrifying death of drowning (Genesis 7)
  • Human Sacrifice: God accepted human sacrifice to gain his favor (Judges 11:36)
  • Kill Teenagers for being Rebellious: God ordered the town to stone teenagers to death for disobedience (Deuteronomy 21)
  • Legitimize Slavery: God gave clear instructions on how to properly own people as property and never condemned it as a sin (Exodus 21:20–21, Colossians 3:22–24, Ephesians 6:5, 1 Peter 2:18)
  • Give People Disease: God gave Pharaoh and his household diseases because they believed the lie that Abram, God's chosen, told them (Genesis 12)
  • Offering your Daughters for Sex is Righteous: Lot offers his daughters to the angels for sex. God considers Lot to be a 'righteous man' (2 Peter 2)
  • Death Sentence for Simple Disobedience: Lot's wife disobeys her husband and looks over her shoulder - for this she is instantly killed and turned to salt (Genesis 19)
  • Order Parents to Kill their Children: God orders Isaac to kill his own child just to prove his love of God (Genesis 22)
There are more. I mean, if you did anything on that list you would be arrested and sent to prison. They are all felonies in the USA. How are these the actions of a loving god?

However, if you read about a god or world leader who did any of this what would you think? If a world leader said he believes that victims of rape should marry their rapist, slavery was ok as long as you follow certain rules. it is ok to take the virgins from your neighboring country by force and keep them as property, and had the death sentence for wives who disobey their husbands would you say he is a good, kind, and loving leader?

I do not understand how anyone can read The Bible and conclude that this is a god of love. But I am open to ideas :)
 
Because they have met Him and know of His love personally.
This is an apologetic forum. That means this is where Christians 'defend the faith.' Can you defend any of the actions I listed as moral, good, or loving?

If your best defense of God's commands to kill children, kidnap virgins, and force victims to marry their rapist is "I met God" then you have a religion that is devoid of ethics or morality.

The Bible is simply not defensible as a moral guide.
 

bigthinker

Active member
Because they have met Him and know of His love personally.
Ha! That's a good one. So sarcastic!

This makes a good point though. Believers don't really have reasons for their beliefs and none are needed. There are no standards, no criterion for beliefs, no method for measuring the truthfulness of one belief versus another etc.
Christians cite the bible when it suits their beliefs and ignore it and defer to personal experience when it doesn't support their beliefs.
That the two may contradict is never an issue because the two occupy separate compartments in the brain.
 
Ha! That's a good one. So sarcastic!

This makes a good point though. Believers don't really have reasons for their beliefs and none are needed. There are no standards, no criterion for beliefs, no method for measuring the truthfulness of one belief versus another etc.
Christians cite the bible when it suits their beliefs and ignore it and defer to personal experience when it doesn't support their beliefs.
That the two may contradict is never an issue because the two occupy separate compartments in the brain.
I get all that. But when the truth of The Bible is laid bare in front of Christians I at least hope for a little pause. Reflection. Maybe saying, "wow - that is all horrible and I agree that those are not loving acts."

Instead good people defend slavery and infanticide just to avoid confronting their faith. And that is dangerous.

There is no way the average American Christian thinks it is ok to kidnap virgins from other nations and bring them home as our sex slaves as God commanded in 1 Numbers. However, they will defend that as moral and good instead of honestly confronting their own faith.

This is not academic - it spills into the real world. This is how religion gets good people to do evil things like take crying children from their parents at the border with no empathy for the horror they are committing. This kind of thinking kills empathy in good people.

"With or without religion, good people can behave well and bad people can do evil; but for good people to do evil—that takes religion." -- Steven Weinberg
 

bigthinker

Active member
I get all that. But when the truth of The Bible is laid bare in front of Christians I at least hope for a little pause. Reflection. Maybe saying, "wow - that is all horrible and I agree that those are not loving acts."
They can't do it. Yes, we all hope for that but the compartmentalization is such that the connection doesn't exist.
Instead good people defend slavery and infanticide just to avoid confronting their faith. And that is dangerous.
Yes. And unfortunate.
There is no way the average American Christian thinks it is ok to kidnap virgins from other nations and bring them home as our sex slaves as God commanded in 1 Numbers. However, they will defend that as moral and good instead of honestly confronting their own faith.
The believer doesn't have the mental pathways to navigate that kind of thing. They are excellent cherry pickers who are able to "not rely on their own understanding" when confronted with contradictions or parts that don't make sense.
This is not academic - it spills into the real world. This is how religion gets good people to do evil things like take crying children from their parents at the border with no empathy for the horror they are committing. This kind of thinking kills empathy in good people.
Agreed. its the kind of thinking that elected Trump.
"With or without religion, good people can behave well and bad people can do evil; but for good people to do evil—that takes religion." -- Steven Weinberg
They are impervious to thoughtfulness.
 
This is an apologetic forum. That means this is where Christians 'defend the faith.' Can you defend any of the actions I listed as moral, good, or loving?

Yes.

If your best defense of God's commands to kill children, kidnap virgins, and force victims to marry their rapist is "I met God" then you have a religion that is devoid of ethics or morality.

He created everyone. He can do whatever He damn well pleases to prepare for the Kingdom.

The Bible is simply not defensible as a moral guide.

Correct. It's a revelation of Jesus Christ, not a "How to Be Moral" handbook.
 
Agreed. its the kind of thinking that elected Trump.
This is why I fight. No normal, moral, evidence-based person would support a con man like Trump in the US or Boris Johnson in the UK. But we stopped asking for evidence. We believe what we want now. We believe the wall is built without questions. We believe UK fishing rights will not change under Brexit without asking them to explain how.

We ignore the bad stuff like when Trump laughed about how fun it is to sexually assault women. We believe that Brexit will give England a bazillion dollars without asking Johnson to prove it.

This leads to unnecessary suffering. It is al connected. Belief without evidence leads to suffering and bad things.

Empirical evidence leads to truth, real solutions, and a better life for us all.

I just need to stop trying to drag the guy with the 75 foot Trump flag over the finish line - I need to leave him where he is. I need to let the guy on Obamacare vote to get rid of Obamacare. That's hard for me since I want nothing but happiness for everyone - but man, its exhausting :)
 

treeplanter

Active member
Yes.



He created everyone. He can do whatever He damn well pleases to prepare for the Kingdom.



Correct. It's a revelation of Jesus Christ, not a "How to Be Moral" handbook.
Yes, Stiggy, He can do "whatever He damn well pleases" and there is nothing any of us can do about it except to judge Him immoral when His actions warrant it

And His actions frequently warrant it!
 
OK - pick one and explain how it is loving.
He created everyone. He can do whatever He damn well pleases to prepare for the Kingdom.
I agree. I am not saying God cannot do these things. I am saying he chose to do evil things. Hitler could do whatever he damn well pleased with the Jews in Germany. I still think its wrong.
Correct. It's a revelation of Jesus Christ, not a "How to Be Moral" handbook.
Cool. How does the handbook explain how it is moral and loving to sell your daughter into sexual slavery? Did you sell your kids into sexual slavery in accordance with the handbook?

Are you going to defend god's actions or just bluster? If you just bluster then we know that even you realize these acts are not defensible - even by you. It is what I expected expected but I was hoping that you'd at least try to explain why god was loving to tell his followers to grab the virgins and bring them home as property.

I was looking forward to how that could be a a loving thing.

But if you cannot defend these acts of god as moral then apologetics fails. You cannot defend the faith. And we can all just move on to Jainism or one of the other religions that does not have a god that commits atrocity after atrocity against humanity.
 
They don't need ny

Correct. See where that gets you on Judgement Day.
Bluster. Threats. No way to explain that any of what I listed is loving. In fact, you are implying that God is going to inflict even more pain on us at judgement.

Christianity is clearly not a religion of peace and love. By your own post it is a religion of obedience or pain. And God dishes out the pain.
 

treeplanter

Active member
They don't need ny

Correct. See where that gets you on Judgement Day.
I know where it will get me {assuming, of course, that Christianity is correct} and I will gladly go to Hell knowing that I did the right thing and that I am morally superior to God

PS
Why don't they need ny?
I love New York!
 

SteveB

Well-known member
I do not understand how anyone can read The Bible and conclude that the god described is a god of love. Can Christians help me understand why you think God is a loving god? We know from The Bible that God chose to do a lot of things that I, and I hope most humans, would consider quite cruel and unloving.

If someone asked you to describe a person or god based on these actions, would you say they are loving? Or does this sound more like a brutal, third world, sadistic dictator?
  • Marry Your Rapist: God said that if a man rapes a virgin then the victim has to marry the rapist (Deuteronomy 22:29-29)
Irritating, isn't it!
What's truly sad is that in that day, women had no rights. So, perhaps in light of our views today, this is indeed a problem.

28 “If a man finds a young woman who is a virgin, who is not betrothed, and he seizes her and lies with her, and they are found out, 29 then the man who lay with her shall give to the young woman’s father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife because he has humbled her; he shall not be permitted to divorce her all his days.

From what I see..... it looks like this is more about the man's stupidity, and God's protection of the woman's interests.


  • Eat your Children: God said he would punish people by forcing them to eat the flesh of their own children (Leviticus 26:26-28)

hmm.... I wish you guys would do a better job of reading.
This entire chapter appears to be the consequences of what'll take place if the people turn their backs on God.
What's genuinely sad is that there's an incident of this actually taking place.
2 Kings 6:24 through the end of chapter 7.
There was a famine, and things got so bad that the people had done some pretty gruesome things to survive.
One of which was a mother agreeing with another mother to eat their children.

there are real consequences to sin.

Here's a question for you, since you seem so uppity about this.
Aren't there cannibals in Hinduism?
I found quite a treasure trove of this.... and I find myself curious why you're so bothered when your own heritage thinks this is a good thing.

I get that you don't believe in the 30 million plus gods of hindiusm, but you keep bringing it up as though it's supposed to be a good comparison.




  • Kill Children: God ordered his followers to kill all the women and children they conquered (Joshua 6:20, Deuteronomy 2:32, 1 Numbers: 31)

This is what happens when God gives people over 400 years to turn from their sin, and they refuse.
I have a novel idea for you.....
If you don't want to suffer the same fate, then I'd say you'd do well to turn from your sin, and place your trust in Jesus.



  • Take Virgins as Property: God orders his people to keep the virgin women of the people they conquer as prizes (1 Numbers 31)
wait. I'm confused.... I thought you resented women being killed. Now you're complaining that God is sparing their lives?
Make up your mind. Which is it?



  • Kill Everyone on Earth: God killed every living man, woman, and child on Earth by the slow, terrifying death of drowning (Genesis 7)
Scary! Isn't it!!!!
What's sad is that you deliberately do not read why.

Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

I have a question for you.....
Would you rather humans destroy themselves because of their evil, or would you prefer that God saves at least a few, to give the human race a chance?

Jesus made a rather curious statement that I think is important here.

Jesus tells us--- as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be in the days of the coming of the Son of Man.

He also warns us---

“And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.

Thus, I get the sense that things will be so bad in the future that unless God were to deliberately intervene, humanity would utterly destroy itself.
Is that what you want? For God to let you do this? Or would you prefer he intervenes to save at least some?




  • Human Sacrifice: God accepted human sacrifice to gain his favor (Judges 11:36)
Do you grasp the concept of descriptive versus prescriptive?
This is one of those stories which has always been a problem for all of us who follow Jesus, because the Law is quite clear that no human sacrifice is allowed.
Thus, what we've gotten out of this is that after a couple of hundred or more years of self-rule, where people have conflated, obfuscated, confused, and twisted much of what God has said, this guy has promised to offer to God as a sacrifice whatever comes out of the door of his house.
We've speculated that their allowing animals to live under the same roof or perhaps it's a matter of on the same property, and he was referring to coming out the gate--- they were known to have walled properties.
And we even read that he bemoaned his daughter's appearance.
Just because history describes what took place does not mean that the manner in which its described is as detailed as you want.
We never read that he actually offered her up as a sacrifice. We do read that she said to honor his vow, and she went up in the mountains for 2 months to "bewail her virginity."
That's it. End of story.

34 When Jephthah came to his house at Mizpah, there was his daughter, coming out to meet him with timbrels and dancing; and she was his only child. Besides her he had neither son nor daughter. 35 And it came to pass, when he saw her, that he tore his clothes, and said, “Alas, my daughter! You have brought me very low! You are among those who trouble me! For I have given my word to the LORD, and I cannot go back on it.”​
36 So she said to him, “My father, if you have given your word to the LORD, do to me according to what has gone out of your mouth, because the LORD has avenged you of your enemies, the people of Ammon.” 37 Then she said to her father, “Let this thing be done for me: let me alone for two months, that I may go and wander on the mountains and bewail my virginity, my friends and I.”​
38 So he said, “Go.” And he sent her away for two months; and she went with her friends, and bewailed her virginity on the mountains. 39 And it was so at the end of two months that she returned to her father, and he carried out his vow with her which he had vowed. She knew no man.​
And it became a custom in Israel 40 that the daughters of Israel went four days each year to lament the daughter of Jephthah the Gileadite.​

It's a description of the narratives which took place. So, if you're going to use this as justification for your rejection of what took place in ancient Israel, you should look to your own religious household of modern day cannibalism.

  • Kill Teenagers for being Rebellious: God ordered the town to stone teenagers to death for disobedience (Deuteronomy 21)
Yeah, this is one that I'm not bothered by. It's the way things were done 3500 years ago.
I'm grateful that I survived my teens. I was definitely on the list. While we have psyche hospitals, recovery programs, outdoor training programs, etc.... to place teens in today, they did not back then.
This should be a warning to you about going too far with your sin.
God is giving you the opportunity to turn to him, from your sin, and place your trust in Jesus.

  • Legitimize Slavery: God gave clear instructions on how to properly own people as property and never condemned it as a sin (Exodus 21:20–21, Colossians 3:22–24, Ephesians 6:5, 1 Peter 2:18)
But your okay with modern day slavery, right?
I'm curious why it is that atheists pay no attention to what's taking place here.
Ok.... how would you prefer debt to be handled?
Should the people who lent money to help others out just forget about their money?
Or, should the people who borrowed the money be allowed a means by which they can guarantee it'll be paid back?
 

The Pixie

Active member
Correct. See where that gets you on Judgement Day.
Great point. We should all pretend God is all-loving, and go through the motions of worshiping him, so we when he judges us, we will not make God angry when he judges us.

It is, however, a curious argument for God actually being love, but I guess it is the best Christianity has to offer.
 

SteveB

Well-known member
  • Give People Disease: God gave Pharaoh and his household diseases because they believed the lie that Abram, God's chosen, told them (Genesis 12)
And?


  • Offering your Daughters for Sex is Righteous: Lot offers his daughters to the angels for sex. God considers Lot to be a 'righteous man' (2 Peter 2)
Irritating, isn't it!
Men back before the Law of Moses, in the days before the laws of man existed, in a society which was unrighteous, did stupid things.



  • Death Sentence for Simple Disobedience: Lot's wife disobeys her husband and looks over her shoulder - for this she is instantly killed and turned to salt (Genesis 19)
She was warned.

  • Order Parents to Kill their Children: God orders Isaac to kill his own child just to prove his love of God (Genesis 22)
It wasn't Isaac who was commanded to kill his son.
I've heard some interesting takes on this, but it's pretty clear that you're feeling pretty justified by providing a 3000 year old list to justify your unbelief in Jesus.


There are more. I mean, if you did anything on that list you would be arrested and sent to prison. They are all felonies in the USA. How are these the actions of a loving god?

However, if you read about a god or world leader who did any of this what would you think? If a world leader said he believes that victims of rape should marry their rapist, slavery was ok as long as you follow certain rules. it is ok to take the virgins from your neighboring country by force and keep them as property, and had the death sentence for wives who disobey their husbands would you say he is a good, kind, and loving leader?

I do not understand how anyone can read The Bible and conclude that this is a god of love. But I am open to ideas :)

God gives us warnings of the consequences of our sin. HE commands us to live in agreement with his laws, and tells us that if we refuse, we will die.
Thankfully, he's not willing to lose us to our sin, and will work extensively with us to call us back from destruction.
In the end, if after extensive warnings, we refuse, we will perish.

I'd say that's VERY loving. He could've destroyed Adam right off, but he did not.
He could've destroyed the pre-flood world without any warning. But he gave them 120 years of warnings.
He could've destroyed the Canaanites/Amorites/etc... without warning, but he gave them over 400 years of warnings.
He could've destroyed Israel in Egypt, but he didn't.
He didn't destroy Pharaoh/Egypt outright either. HE could've, but he chose to give them warning, after warning, after warning, after warning. 10 times he warned them.
He didn't even kill Pharaoh right off. He let the man hang himself.
1500 years of warnings to Israel regarding their sin.
2000 years so far for the human race, following the gospel, and resurrection of Jesus.

But we still see they'd rather destroy themselves, and complain that they should be allowed to do so, in spite of being fully cognizant of the consequences of their choices--- death.

I'd say that's VERY LOVING.

He continues to give us our freedom, while warning us of what's to come. He sends messengers, ambassadors, representatives, to give his message to you, offering you clemency, embassage, pleading with you to turn to him, from your sin, before it's too late.

As he says--- all day long I have held my hands out to you, pleading with you--- turn and live. Why will you die?

I call heaven and earth as witness against you. I have set before your life and death.
Choose life.


So, I too plead with you--- choose life. Turn to Jesus.
 
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