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Tyler S.

Help! I have a moral conflict!

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Hello all. I am happy to say that I am a believing Christian and I’ve begun to feel called to study the history of the faith more as well as study the scriptures. In this pursuit I’ve stumbles across some worrying things that have, and I regrettably and humbly say this, question, not the existence of, but the nature and ways of our God. See, I read AND hear that our God is a god of justice, love, peace, righteousness, mercy, and grace. I do believe this. Thank GOD that he is because where would we be without his sacrifice if Jesus? But, in light of this, I sometimes wonder how Christians, in the past, have done some of the most HORRIBLE things imaginable and claimed wholeheartedly that God backed them on it. Do you think, for example, it really was the White Man’s “manifested destiny” to basically poach what amounted to over 90% of all Native Americans (peaceful ones or otherwise)? That doesn’t sound like peaceful conversion, loving thy neighbor, and not killing. And it made me think “there’s no way God wanted that! How is that justice? God love ALL his creations and surely he wanted them to come to the truth through peace and careful teaching” and then I read how God dealt with the Canaanites in the Old Testament....and my entire image of my loving, slow to anger, merciful, and most importantly JUST God....was turned on it’s head. I want to make it CLEAR that im still a believing Christian and I’m honestly just trying to understand this. Because, as a Christian today, I can’t imagine myself claiming that God told me to steal somebody else’s land and kill them...whether they’re a believer or not. Please help! Any advice is appreciated! Please keep it civil too as I know that this is a contentious issue. Bless!

  • Huh?  I don't get it. 1

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The answer is simple: God is perfect, Christianity is perfect, but Christians as people are far from perfect. Indeed, everything about our religion is perfect, but "all [Christians] have sinned and fallen short of God's glory" (Romans 3:23).

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7 minutes ago, ambc said:

The answer is simple: God is perfect, Christianity is perfect, but Christians as people are far from perfect. Indeed, everything about our religion is perfect, but "all [Christians] have sinned and fallen short of God's glory" (Romans 3:23).

But why, then, did God COMMAND the Israelites to genocide all of those unbelieving tribes? We’re those chidren of God in his image not worth salvation? I just don’t...can’t believe that God would command his people to literally slaughter entire races for “sinning” when saved Christians themselves sin as well. It seems like a double standard and God is not the father of confusion. So I’m really not understanding...

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Just now, Tyler S. said:

But why, then, did God COMMAND the Israelites to genocide all of those unbelieving tribes? We’re those chidren of God in his image not worth salvation? I just don’t...can’t believe that God would command his people to literally slaughter entire races for “sinning” when saved Christians themselves sin as well. It seems like a double standard and God is not the father of confusion. So I’m really not understanding...

The Israelites were Jews, not Christians. They were living in times of reactionary tribalism and barbarism when those scriptures were written. In those days, violence and conflict were a part of the texture of everyday life. The Old Testament verses where God supposedly commanded the Hebrews to commit genocide against rival nations were written by tribal elders. Which is to say, I don't think genocide was divinely inspired or a part of God's plan.

As Christians, we don't practice the Mosaic Law or read the general commands in the Old Testament as instructions for how to live our life. We're under a new covenant now (Hebrews 9:15), the covenant of Christ. Jesus never told his disciples to kill people or start wars. On the contrary, he preached love, forgiveness, and repentance. That is why he is sometimes referred to as "the Prince of Peace." Anyone who behaves in ways opposed to the teachings of our savior doesn't know God (1 John 4:8).

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2 minutes ago, ambc said:

The Israelites were Jews, not Christians. They were living in times of reactionary tribalism and barbarism when those scriptures were written. In those days, violence and conflict were a part of the texture of everyday life. The Old Testament verses where God supposedly commanded the Hebrews to commit genocide against rival nations were written by tribal elders. Which is to say, I don't think genocide was divinely inspired or a part of God's plan.

As Christians, we don't practice the Mosaic Law or read the general commands in the Old Testament as instructions for how to live our life. We're under a new covenant now (Hebrews 9:15), the covenant of Christ. Jesus never told his disciples to kill people or start wars. On the contrary, he preached love, forgiveness, and repentance. That is why he is sometimes referred to as "the Prince of Peace." Anyone who behaves in ways opposed to the teachings of our savior doesn't know God (1 John 4:8).

I suppose...but then what about those people (the heathen nations)? They didn’t get to live in the age of peace and grace...so those human beings didn’t get the same shot at salvation as we get today. Doesn’t that seem unfair? 

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Just now, Tyler S. said:

I suppose...but then what about those people (the heathen nations)? They didn’t get to live in the age of peace and grace...so those human beings didn’t get the same shot at salvation as we get today. Doesn’t that seem unfair? 

If someone was born in ancient Greece before the arrival of Christianity and believed in gods like Zeus, Hermes, and Poseidon, he wouldn't make it to heaven because the gods he believed in aren't real. He never heard of the true and living God, and through no fault of his own he didn't get a shot at salvation in God's kingdom. Is it fair considering that he didn't have access to Christianity? It doesn't seem so fair, but no where in the Bible does it say life is fair.

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2 minutes ago, ambc said:

If someone was born in ancient Greece before the arrival of Christianity and believed in gods like Zeus, Hermes, and Poseidon, he wouldn't make it to heaven because the gods he believed in aren't real. He never heard of the true and living God, and through no fault of his own he didn't get a shot at salvation in God's kingdom. Is it fair considering that he didn't have access to Christianity? It doesn't seem so fair, but no where in the Bible does it say life is fair.

Life it’s fair...but the way God deals with all his children MUST be fair in order for us to truly be able to say that he’s a God of PERFECTION and JUSTICE. He MUST have a plan for those poor people right? Or else you must concede that some people are predestined to HELL which would spit in the face of the fact that Jesus said that Gods will is that NONE shall perish. 

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11 minutes ago, ambc said:

The Old Testament verses where God supposedly commanded the Hebrews to commit genocide against rival nations were written by tribal elders. Which is to say, I don't think genocide was divinely inspired or a part of God's plan.

So, ambc, you don't accept Paul's teaching as communicated to his young friend and student Timothy: 

2Ti 3:15-17
(15)  And that from a child you have known the holy scriptures, which are able to make you wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
(16)  All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
(17)  That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

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2 minutes ago, Tyler S. said:

Life it’s fair...but the way God deals with all his children MUST be fair in order for us to truly be able to say that he’s a God of PERFECTION and JUSTICE. He MUST have a plan for those poor people right? Or else you must concede that some people are predestined to HELL which would spit in the face of the fact that Jesus said that Gods will is that NONE shall perish. 

Ecclesiastes 10:6 says, "Fools are put in many high positions, while the rich occupy the low ones." In other words, life is unfair. Christ came to save humanity about 2,000 years ago. As for everyone born before that time (except the Hebrews), they unfortunately worshipped false gods and couldn't be saved. Yes, it's unfair, but it's life.

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Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, Michael37 said:

So, ambc, you don't accept Paul's teaching as communicated to his young friend and student Timothy: 

2Ti 3:15-17
(15)  And that from a child you have known the holy scriptures, which are able to make you wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
(16)  All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
(17)  That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

All scripture is divinely inspired by God? Including Old Testament verses like Deuteronomy 22:20-21, which instructs a husband to have his wife stoned to death if she tries to pass herself off as a virgin but isn't a real one? Here is what it says: "If, however, the charge is true and no proof of the young woman's virginity can be found, she shall be brought to her father's house and there the men of her town shall stone her to death. She has done an outrageous thing in Israel by being promiscuous while still in her father's house. You must purge the evil from among you." Please enlighten me and let me know how honor killings in the Old Testament are divinely inspired by God.

Edited by ambc

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