Written By Thomas Perez. July 30, 2014, at 3:16AM. Copyright 2014. Updated August 21, 2016.
This article is an attempt to help us understand the “darker side” of the Scriptures – namely the OT and, as the Skeptic and anti-Christians call it, the “Killer God”
Not too long ago I was watching the National Geographic Channel as they were airing various documentaries concerning the Nazi Empire. And as I was watching the various atrocities inflicted by them upon Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals, children, the elderly, the sick and the undesirable (probably people of darker complexions) I became nauseated. They often suffered death in as little as two hours after their arrivals at different concentration camps. Upon arrival, all were systematically selected and divided into two groups. Those who were told to move to their right, lived. But they lived only for hard slave labor, with the ever-watchful eye of the taskmaster. Those that were told to move to their left, were put to death – a mass genocide.
But we don’t really need the NGC to inform us of these things. Today we have eyewitness accounts from various survivors and even from the Nazi regime itself – as some were permitted to live due to their indirect involvement in the direct ordering of mass genocides. We also have documentations from Nazi officials, diaries from perpetrators and victim-survivors alike. And of course, we have thousands of photographs, interviews, and history books all claiming its authenticity. We even have American POW’s (23,000 in all) who were actually taken to Camp Dargan, in Germany – a handful survived – about a 100 or so. These American former GI’s live to tell the tales of what they saw personally in reference to all the ethnic groups mentioned above and the tortures of endless slave labors, starvation, diseases, and death.
But the list goes on…
In history we have other genocides. For I.e., there’s…
The Al-Anfal Genocide of the 1980’s
The Rwandan Genocide of the early 1990’s
The Pygmy Genocide
The Native American Genocide in the late 1400’s
The Armenian Genocide in the early 1900’s
The Bosnian Genocide of 1990-1995
The Aboriginal Genocide 1909 and continuing into the 1970’s
The Irish Genocide – The Irish Potato Famine of 1846-1852
The Moriori Genocide of the 1800’s
And the list goes on.
All are guilty, especially the Abrahamic faiths: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Even Hinduism and Buddhisim is guilty to my surprise. This is not to say that the aforementioned offer nothing of value to Humanity. However, I have to admit, the Ba’ha faith is completely clean from bloodshed. “By their fruits you shall know them.”
But someone might say, not all of them are bad. We have real apples and bad apples. Ok, understood. But how can you explain the exclusivism with regard to the afterlife pertaining to the Abrahamic faiths and the reincarnations of the Hindu faith with regard to their oppressive caste systems? It’s always their way or the highway into annihilation, eternal tortures in Hell, or a caste system.
The sins of man are huge. A never-ending symphony of scum and villainy. A tale of subterfuge, covetousness, bigotry, pride and ego. But where else have we heard or read about these things before? These “things” are also written in Holy Books. Allow me to recall certain citations from various faiths…
Speaks of violence, killing and murder (including women and children) commanded by God and/or committed by his followers: Ex 32:27-29, Deut 2:32-34, 3:3-6, Josh 8:24-26, Jud 12:5-6, 1 Sam 15:3-8, I Kgs 20:28-30, II Kgs 2:23-24, II Chron 25:12, Hosea 13:16. But in opposition to this we have Biblical citations condemning violence, killing and murder also, but they are mainly found in the NT, with some exceptions in the OT.
The Manusmrti of the Indian Faith
Speaks of a caste system in the following Shaloks (verses) 2:30, 2:31, 2:36, 2:37, 2:38, 9:3, 9:17. But in other instances it speaks of equality 2/157, 2/28, 2/148, 2/146. Caste systems are considered to be a form of injustice. An injustice of bigotry.
The Qur’an of the Islamic Faith
Declares war on all of their enemies 9:14, 9:29, 9:30, 17:16, 61:4, 61:9, etc. And in another tradition (outside the Qur’an) found in Sunan Abu Dawud, 37:4310 – it is said that Allah (and Muslims) will destroy the cross. However, there is a variant of this oracle that does not include Christianity being wiped out in the Sahih Muslim 287. Even the “kufu” in Islam adds to the Qur’an and the Hadith, similar to the Indian caste system, and the Pharisee’s of Jesus’ day – having to do with social status,’ marriages, and occupations. the Oneness of God and of humanity becomes unacceptable to them. Other Surah’s teach contrary; 2:62, 5:69, 5:82, 61:14. While Surah 5:43-48 shows that the Qur’an is not claiming to abrogate (replace) the Gospel and Torah but is a parallel revelation to them.
They also forget that one of the most famous golden sayings of the Prophet Muhammad is the saying, “There is no difference between an Arab and a non-Arab.”
Genocide or Not?
Genocides are often the “final solution” for an ideology. We see this pattern over and over again. The weak are made to serve the strong. If they can’t serve the strong, then they are usually annihilated depending upon the given social politic. Ideologies are always sprung from political and religious beliefs. Unfortunately, the two are always almost often linked together. And as we have seen, this concept known as “The Final Solution,” often arises from the ego’s constant need to feel superior. Superiority is then seen through its politic. “We have the better government,” “Our ideology is the best system to date.” The ego of superiority is also seen in different religions. “My faith is the correct belief system,” “My God is better than your God.” Even Universalists (or as I often coin the phrase for myself – Ultimate Reconcilationists) are guilty of such – claiming a better faith, one of love and harmony.
How quiet. As a UR believer, I often ask myself “what is love? – really, what is it?” I often ask myself, “Am I guilty of such a ploy on the invisible?”
But moving right along…
Some have contended that the argument skeptics, and anti-Christians make are erroneous with reference to a genocidal Judeo-Christian God. Skeptics and anti-Christians often contend on the side of love with reference to the Bible while claiming it to be also genocidal. Recently I read an article from thechristianthinktank.com that actually made some sense with reference to a rebuttal concerning such an argument. Or did they? To make a long story short, I read the entire article. To sum it up the author cited…
“I think it should be clear by now that this was neither a “slaughter” nor “wholesale!” It was a deportation, based upon a judgment that would have found consensus among world leaders of the day!
What started out as the “Unfair genocide of the Canaanites” ended up as the “Less-than-they-deserved punitive deportation from the land” – filled with patience and mercy and ‘second chances.’ It was nonetheless a judgment, and nonetheless involved death – as it later would be repeated to His people.
Far from being the “genocide of an innocent people for land-hungry Israelites,” it was instead the “firm, yet just – and even a little merciful to the masses – removal of a people from a tract of land, mostly through migration.”
“The punishment of the Amorites/Canaanites was thus one of ‘deportation’ – Not one of genocide. “
To reach this conclusion the author cited these Biblical citations…
Ex 24.34: “I will drive out nations before you and enlarge your territory,”
Num 33.52f: “drive out all the inhabitants of the land before you. Destroy all their carved images and their cast idols and demolish all their high places. 53 Take possession of the land and settle in it,”
Ex 23:28-30: “I will send the hornet ahead of you to drive the Hivites, Canaanites and Hittites out of your way…But I will not drive them out in a single year…Little by little I will drive them out before you”
Ex 23.31-33: “I will hand over to you the people who live in the land and you will drive them out before you. 32 Do not make a covenant with them or with their gods. 33 Do not let them live in your land,”
Ex 33.2: “I will send an angel before you and drive out the Canaanites…”
Lev 18.24: “Because this is how the nations that I am going to drive out before you became defiled. 25 Even the land was defiled; so, I punished it for its sin, and the land vomited out its inhabitants.”
Lev 20.23: “You must not live according to the customs of the nations I am going to drive out before you.”
Deut 4.38: “To drive out before you nations greater and stronger than you and to bring you into their land to give it to you for your inheritance, as it is today.”
Deut 9.3,4,5: “And you will drive them out and annihilate them quickly…After the LORD your God has driven them out before you… the LORD your God will drive them out before you”
Deut 11.23: “Then the LORD will drive out all these nations before you, and you will dispossess nations larger and stronger than you.”
Deut 18.12: “Because of these detestable practices the LORD your God will drive out those nations before you.”
Deut 33.27: “He will drive out your enemy before you, saying, “Destroy him!”
According to the passages, the author is correct – they were “dispossessed” and “deported,” it wasn’t a “genocide” per-SE. But it was certainly a “Segregation.” However, it must be understood that those who refused to leave were often outnumbered and put to death. In other … “if you don’t leave with the rest of your kind, then you will meet the sword.”
Moreover, the author makes little sense in deciphering the word “destroy.” In fact, he actually admits to the general idea of the word (the way we know it in English) as only being mentioned 1 to 3 – citing – quote “The “Dispossession” words outnumber the “Destruction” words by 3-to-1! And of course, to justify this 3 to 1 ratio, he uses the story of Noah, Sodom, Gomorrah, and the Ninevites as applicable judgment calls. But this reasoning is far from the truth as we have learned in previous articles -“Noah and the Flood?” “Similes of the Flood and the Fire: A Universal Spiritual Thought Process” and “Part 3. A Rebuttal Against “The Institutes of the Christian Religion” In Light of Ultimate Reconciliation” in reference to Nineveh.
Moreover, the author did not perform the proper hermeneutic to the Bible, nor to his rebuttal he proposes. Similarly, he didn’t even mention the Biblical citations listed by me above. As for myself, I tried every possible angle of analyzing this scenario of Biblical horrors. I even tried to see if it was an allegorical recording of sorts. But no. It was not.
This is a classic case of “Might is Right” or “Might Over Right.” Perhaps it is the other way around, “Right Over Might?” Or as some would coin the phrase, “Right Triumphs Over Might.” But what is right? What is righteousness? These are philosophical questions just as much as they are religious. But when it comes to “deportations” due to “Might Over Right” or “Right Over Might” as the author himself admits, and as the Scriptures itself attest to – we have segregation – and segregation causes prejudice. And prejudice causes hate and hate causes violence. And this violence is often sprung from this never-ending symphony of Segregation, separation, division, and deportations. Deportations are always accompanied with people displaced right out of their land and homes in favor of its new occupants. They become homeless – and that is why we have famine today. That is why we have UNICEF and various other charitable organizations.
These charities would not exist if weren’t for the politics of government or the religious need for justice. Yes – you read that right “justice” More on this later.
Some deportations are political – I don’t deny that, but many are also religious. Deportations are seen today as something that is ethically wrong and unbalanced – unbalanced as in human equality. If deportations are ethically wrong, then certainly a genocidal act is morally wrong. Therefore, it behooves us to ask the question, “was Israel justified in causing deportations and annihilation’s (as we have shown did happen to those that did not leave the lands the Israelites conquered) because their “Right was Right” and therefore became the “Right Over Might?” I say, “no.”
Some might cite: “But Thomas, who are you to complain or go against divine Scripture. Don’t you believe that Scripture is inspired by God?”
My answer to that question is a simple – “Yes, I believe Scripture is inspired” (II Tim 3:16). But I believe it is so based upon the means of the one who is moved, stirred, and or enlightened. Inspirations usually take the form of a movement or revelation – normally taking place during a sociological and cultural revolution of spirit.
With that said, the righteous demand punishment. The just demand justice. When we are wronged, we usually always want justice or retribution in one form or another, whether it be in this life or in the life to come. And usually, punishment is manifested in vengeance. In other words, “you have the last laugh” – but that almost defeats the citation of our Lord when He said “the first shall be last and the last shall be first” but the Hebrews demanded justice, but so did the earlier Codes of Hammurabi.
Justice and Theocracy
Justice is a difficult concept. It is difficult to separate vengeance from her. For example, when we see atrocities, iniquities (rape, incest, molestation), social injustices, racial bigotry and the crimes based upon the aforementioned; naturally we cry “we want justice!” But justice is unknowing, yet ever present in its most basic abstract forms. She often appears in different ideologies. Timocracy, Oligarchy, Democracy, Capitalism, Tyranny, Socialism, Communism, and Theocracy; to name a few, all contain Justices and injustices of a sort – none are perfect, and that goes for Theocracy too. Therefore, one cannot fully understand its pure form. “Who is just in the eyes of God?” But for our intent and purposes (with reference to our Biblical study) we will concentrate on its Theocracy.
Before the coronation of their first king, Saul, the Israelites were a Theocratic people/culture. Using the justification of “Thus saith the Lord” to dispossess the nations they were supposedly told to conquer by God. To the Israelites, this was justice. It was “Might over Right.” For them, the Almighty was their “Right” to invade simply because they were told to do so. But this record of ancients must be considered as an historical record.
Some might argue that position, citing that since the Lord speaks within the recorded pages of the ancients; it then must be considered as inspired, and thusly justified in its deportations and genocides. Moreover, they may even cite; “That is why we have what is called the Apocrypha” (books that are considered historical, but not inspired). However, let that group of individuals remember, it is only considered as such because these books, and others like them, were considered esoteric, and therefore not included in the traditional Canon of Scripture.
I must also make the point here, that when Skeptics and anti-Christians alike cite that the Scriptures are evil because it contains what we have been discussing here, would, in all fairness, have to include any historical book, history book, and document as being evil because they too speak of atrocities and evils. Moreover, they would also have to include colleges, universities, and various internet sites that teach history – and its pages of ethical “no, no’s”
But again, some might counterattack me by citing; “O.K. Thomas, you may be correct in that aspect, but no history book, college, or university says; “Thus saith the Lord.” On this in-juncture I would have to concede. But, then again it will be my responsibility to tell the Skeptic and anti-Christian that, that is the way the ancients recorded their claims of superiority. Ancient cultures often invoked god’s and goddesses. Moreover, the name Jehovah or Yahweh (as in Yahwism) actually means, “god of war.” The name also entails other negative aspects. Aspects that are considered not appropriate, just, or ethical.
For a deeper understanding of this see the article s “The Origin of the One God, and Other Gods, Deities, Aliens, and the Anunnaki Nephilim: Fact, Mythos, or Universal?” “Yahweh: The Two-Faced God? A Deeper Look into the Apocalypse Theater” and “To Be Born is to Die – Yahweh. To Die is to Be Born – EL.”
Moreover, the Skeptic and anti-Christian must understand and remember that these things, as in deportations and genocides, happened to the Israelites as well – curtsey of Assyria, Babylon, Rome (namely under Titus) and Nazism. However, the explanations for the Jewish deportations and captivities are always attributed to their disobedience to Yahweh. But if one were to carefully read between the fine print, the explanation for such is almost always given at hindsight.
What I mean by eye-side is that the fact that the Israelite prophetic utterance was fulfilled and seen as such after the fact – II Chron 34:27-28 and 36:14-21. Moreover, it should also be noted that the Chronicles of Israel were collected and penned in the 5th cent 458-420BCE, while the actual captivity was c. 605-586BCE-7th and 6th cent. But let us be fair to the Bible – the prophet Jeremiah actually predicted the Babylonian Captivity in (Jere 52:4-30) – and this is confirmed in II Chron 36:21. But after carefully scrutinizing the dates that these things were recorded, we can observe that the book of Jeremiah was written during the 4th year of Jehoiakim’s reign in 605BCE (Jere 36:1-2). The book was completed after the fall of Jerusalem in 586BCE. Other prophets like; Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Nahum, Daniel, Joel and Ezekiel all lived at the beginning and during the Babylonian Captivity. Other prophets like Hosea, Jonah, Amos, Micah, Isaiah, Zechariah, Haggai, Obadiah and Malachi lived before or after the Captivity. None of them that lived before the captivity predicted it.
Now this is not intended to create doubt in the prophets; Jeremiah, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Nahum, Daniel, Joel and Ezekiel; but it is interesting to say the least. Perhaps the prophets had what many would call during the Reformation period and today as, “The Historicist” point of view.
It is highly probable that since the culture saw Justice as meaning “Right” or “Law” they naturally attributed their deportations and genocides due to their disobedience to that “Law” – namely the laws of Yahweh through his agent Moses. This is “Historicism” at eye-side. This is probably the reason why the prophets yelled and proclaimed “Thus saith the Lord!” They were inspired to do so in the face of disobedience. In return, the people began to recognize their own short comings and thus acted accordingly.
The Oxford English Dictionary defines Justice as one who typically “does what is morally right” and is disposed to “giving everyone his or her due,” offering the word “fair” as a synonym. In Hebrew, the word means lawful, moral in a moral or forensic sense. Straight, upright. It is also used as a just weight, balances, and judicial.
We might observe that in this rights-based alternative, there is an attempt to interpret justice as requiring respect for the dignity of all persons as free and equal, rational moral agents. But there are so many connotations to the issue and philosophy of justice – beginning with the Bible, and other inspired texts – and right up to Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, the Greco-Roman Civilization, Western Philosophy, the Medieval Period, the Reformation, the Enlightenment era (and post era), the philosophers of that day, and straight up to our most modern thinkers today.
But none have been able to solve the riddle of justice…perhaps no one ever will. But anything that causes pain, sorrow, tears, anger, displacement, homelessness, segregation and untimely death through genocide or famine is not pleasurable to the human condition. It is not pleasurable to the human body nor to our emotions or spirit. And that is why my theology replaces this god, that supposedly afflicted different ethnic groups and even his own people to satisfy his conditional need to execute righteousness, with that of the True EL (Elohim).
But let us be fair…What if this was EL (Father God) all along, judging the wicked? What if they were really evil? So evil like ancient antiquities attest to, as to send their own kind (their babies and older children) into the fires to satisfy their gods and idols? This would be considered wrong today. As a matter of fact, it is wrong – wrong enough for us to say, “this is not right.” Wrong enough to warrant life in prison and/or the death penalty. Therefore, I say, shall not the judge of all the earth do right and reward the faithful and punish the wicked in this age and/or in the ages to come?
But be of good cheer – (EL) the Father – who is the Christ is Merciful, kind and understanding. For He is our Counselor – He will counsel those who have committed these atrocities, He will chastise, and rebuke – in order that He may purify and undo the works of this world upon every human individual. In order that He may undo the works of this god and restore all to His bosom.
For His Mercies Endure Forever.