Cruelty In The Bible
Humanists Claim God Violates His Own Moral Principles
HUMANIST STATEMENT: Humanists also reject the Bible because it approves of outrageous cruelty and injustice. In civilized legal systems, a fundamental principle is that the suffering of the innocent is the essence of injustice. Yet the Bible teaches that God repeatedly violated this moral precept by harming innocent people.
The above statement introduces a section on the American Humanists web site that supposedly lists "instances of cruel and unjust behavior by the biblical God." We'll look at what they say item by item. However, we first must examine their introductory statement. It includes a fallicy that if left standing, biases everything that follows.
What is the problem?
Is there anyone who is innocent? Is there anyone in the past, out of everyone who has ever walked on the earth, who is innocent? Yes... just one... Jesus Christ. He was perfectly innocent. He never did anything wrong. He never disobeyed God in any way. But, he was the only one. No one else is innocent.
What about babies?
Aren't babies and little children innocent?
Anyone who has had children knows that a two-year old is a disobedient handful. They can be defiant terrors... which is why it is called the terrible twos. Kids most certainly are not perfectly obedient little "angels."
But what about babies? All they can do is eat, sleep, cry and poop. Certainly they are innocent. John MacArthur writes:
Scripture is clear that children and the unborn have original sin--including both the propensity to sin as well as the inherent guilt of original sin. But could it be that somehow Christ's atonement did pay for the guilt for these helpless ones throughout all time? Yes, and therefore it is a credible assumption that a child who dies at
an age too young to have made a conscious, willful rejection of Jesus Christ will be taken to be with the Lord. (click here for source).
This is a major topic and I refer you to John MacArthur's book, "Safely In The Arms of God." But the bottom line is that babies and little children are not innocent before God, but in His love God applies the work of Jesus Christ on the cross to them, and they do go to heaven.
What did we find out here? The opening statement the humanists make, implying there are those who are innocent, is a false statement. There are none who are innocent. All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. There are none who are righteous, not one.
The Humanists State There Is An Injustice. Is That True?
Who defines what is just or unjust? In other words, who gets to defines what is and isn't moral?
I think that before we look at specific examples we should look at the question of how morality is defined. Humanists are claiming that God is not moral. They are claiming God does things that are "the essence of injustice." On the other hand Christians say the God is just in all that He does. I think we have a major difference in how morality isdefined.
To understand morality we need to know the source of our moral values. I've created two web pages that may be helpful:
God... The Only Source of Moral Values
Do Humanists Have A Reasonable Source For Moral Values?
To summarize what you'll read using the above two links: God is the source of morality. God's character is what defines morality. The humanists have no reasonable source of morality. Their claim is that morality arises naturally from human needs... and so morality is not absolute, unchanging, nor even knowable. In other words, based on their rules, they get to define morality as whatever they want it to be, and change it whenever they want to change it. That is not a reasonable standard.
So let's take a look at the examples of God's supposed "cruelty" listed on the American Humanist web site provides. Here is the beginning of the list. As I have been doing, I'll be directly quoting what they say. In this case it takes several web pages to answer their accusations. If you wish to quickly look at a specific one accusation, each one has it's own link.
The humanists claim: Some of Gods acts that harmed the innocent are as follows.
He damned the whole human race and cursed the entire creation because of the acts of two people (Genesis 3:16-23; Romans 5:18); he drowned pregnant women and innocent children and animals at the time of the Flood (Genesis 7:20-23); he tormented the Egyptians and their animals with hail and disease because pharaoh refused to let the Israelites leave Egypt (Exodus 9:8-11,25); and he killed Egyptian babies at the time of the Passover (Exodus 12:29-30).
We'll take a look at these one by one. First is Genesis 3:16-23 and Romans 5:18.