Friday, November 2, 2007

Ethnic cleansing in the Bible

Regarding the alleged kindness of the biblical (and thus christian) God:

Num 1 1 The LORD said to Moses, 2 "Take vengeance on the Midianites for the Israelites. After that, you will be gathered to your people."

3 So Moses said to the people, "Arm some of your men to go to war against the Midianites and to carry out the LORD's vengeance on them. 4 Send into battle a thousand men from each of the tribes of Israel." 5 So twelve thousand men armed for battle, a thousand from each tribe, were supplied from the clans of Israel. 6 Moses sent them into battle, a thousand from each tribe, along with Phinehas son of Eleazar, the priest, who took with him articles from the sanctuary and the trumpets for signaling.

7 They fought against Midian, as the LORD commanded Moses, and killed every man. 8 Among their victims were Evi, Rekem, Zur, Hur and Reba—the five kings of Midian. They also killed Balaam son of Beor with the sword. 9 The Israelites captured the Midianite women and children and took all the Midianite herds, flocks and goods as plunder. 10 They burned all the towns where the Midianites had settled, as well as all their camps. 11 They took all the plunder and spoils, including the people and animals, 12 and brought the captives, spoils and plunder to Moses and Eleazar the priest and the Israelite assembly at their camp on the plains of Moab, by the Jordan across from Jericho.

13 Moses, Eleazar the priest and all the leaders of the community went to meet them outside the camp. 14 Moses was angry with the officers of the army—the commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds—who returned from the battle.

15 "Have you allowed all the women to live?" he asked them. 16 "They were the ones who followed Balaam's advice and were the means of turning the Israelites away from the LORD in what happened at Peor, so that a plague struck the LORD's people. 17 Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, 18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

Now that must have been a scene to witness! The Israelites slaughtering the Midianites (ok, that's what people do in wars ...) but then taking the captured women and children back to the camp only to then massacre most of them. I'd be for turning this episode into a Bible movie too! But 'Passion of the Christ' like! Bloody, gory, violent! Show us the Israelites slitting the throats of the Medianite boys and women in close-up. Show us the butchers wading through the streams of blood. Show us the Israelites raping the Medianite virgins. Let us hear their crying and moaning! And all of this in the name of the LORD!

Play this movie at Sunday School!

Wait! I'm hearing objections? Why? It's only a Bible story turned into a movie. It's only words visualized. And since it's from the Good Book it can't be bad, right? So why not show everything that's actually in the Bible? And not just the fluffy peace'n'love stuff. Why hide parts of God's Word(tm)?

Ps. Please do also note that the biblical God wasn't a fan of the 'turn your second cheek' thing yet at the time ...


Carol said...

Before I get too involved on your site, I have to see if you're truly seeking answers or if you just want to slam Christianity.

But the short answer is God is not against war but murder on an individual basis, He is against. If there is a tribe (or nation of people) who will destroy the work God has done or will defile people (especially the Israelites because they were a holy, separate people) then the Lord will kill them to keep his holy people pure. He judges nations by using other nations. But individually - that is a different story and much more explanation is needed. God using nations in war does not contract "turning the other cheek" and many people misunderstand this.

You have to realize that despite what is taught today, God is not JUST a God of love. He is a God of vengeance, of wrath, and He is just. These may sound hateful to you but you have to understand WHY He has these attributes....because it is US who take it upon ourselves and sin against Him who is a Holy God! If someone wronged you somehow - say they cleaned out your bank account, wouldn't you be mad to put it mildly? Of course you would. And you would demand justice. Well so does God but on a much larger scale because he is the Author of His laws or rules or boundaries in which we transgress. So there were nations who were out to destroy His holy people and so God stopped them. It is through the Israelites that Christianity was born. They are the root of our faith. If they would have been destroyed back then, then we truly would have been a world without God, without a way out of eternal damnation, and without hope.

Wonders for Oyarsa said...

Hi ,

I discuss this warm fuzzy happy little passage in my post In Defense of Genocide.

Anonymous said...

Do you even hear what you're saying... Popes are responsible for more deaths than smallpox and Bubonic plague combined..

In 1095 Pope Urban told the crusaders in a speech their sins will be forgiven to each person who's involved in the crusade. What did they do... They butchered every living thing on the way to Jerusalem..

Lets not forget how the Church destroyed Europe from the 5th to the 17th century by closing all schools and making the persuit of knowledge against god's will. By 1750 95% of Europe were illeterate, the average adult couldnt read or write. Research your history before you try and justify how the church unleashed its wrathe upon the world for centuries

Anonymous said...

You do know that there are such things as corrupt churches right? Like everything else in this world there will always be corruption that tend to mask themselves with holiness which in fact they are far from it. I agree with Carol 100% on what she had said. Before you make accusations perhaps you should really read the whole bible rather than take excerpts from the Old testament and just assume that this event of war was unjust. It is impossible to understand the bible the way Christians do unless you open up your heart to God and let him lead you to truth. Whether you believe in him or not he is with you regardless. It is by choice and faith that will lead you to salvation. God bless you.

Anonymous said...

I do not agree with Carrol. The Devils favorite trick is to use the bible as war propaganda. Ethnic cleansing is TOTALLY unacceptable.
Just as in the counsel of Trent where some men got together and decided what went into the bible(You cant tell me that some, if not all of those guys had some degree of political beliefs that went into there decision making)Try and remember that Jesus on several occasions went against the old testament,eg turn the other cheek and he stopped them stoning that woman. So the State/Church back in the old testament day would also have become skewed with politics. Try not to let this affect your relationship with god though, because through seeking God on a personal level he will come to you(Because he is real) and so many issues we have with the bible will be resolved. And I personally found when I prayed about this honestly, God came to me in a powerful way.

Anonymous said...

who dares even attempt to justify the slaughtering of children

Anonymous said...

I just have a question, did you read the whole Bible before you wrote this, or did you just look up what does the Bible say about ethnic cleansing? I agree with what Carol said. Our God is also a jealous God who does not want other "things" or created beings to be placed over him. We are the creation, not the Creator.

Anonymous said...

Am so this isn't even in Numbers 1, it's in Numbers 31... So yeah, just thought you should know...

Anonymous said...

This article is spot-on. As a Christian (and I used to be one) you can argue all day about 'God says they are bad so they must die.'

I wonder, would you plea matter to ISIS as they cut your head off and rape your women and kill your children as the god of the Bible ordered?

Anonymous said...

I agree that these parts of the bible is hard to deal with. But its wierd that we condemn it too. Because without any kind of God, there are no good or evil. Why is genocide wrong? I know that we feel its wrong, but is any action of a human being evil if there are no meaning of life, if there are only chance. A true evolutionist can only see every action made by men as a battle of the fittest. When you start to condemn certain actions you are leaving true atheism and mixing it with Christian morals. So why do we feel that there are good and evil? Is it a cultural heritage or is there a god that created us?