Resolved: YHWH should not be worshipped
I am going to assume that everything in the Bible is true. That God is the creator of the whole universe and that we are here at his whim.
Given that, does it make sense to follow his will? does it make sense to love and worship that God?
As we are both Gentiles, this adds an extra layer to the debate.
Even if we are his creation, that does not mean that we should wish to obtain Heaven and oneness with God. In fact, I will argue that it is within us to, assuming there is a God, wish to remain out of his presence.
This does assume that Heaven is merely being with God (as I assume a person of the Bible believes Heaven is, as opposed to streets lined with Gold and towers of Ivory) and that Hell is "Sheol" and simply means "removed from God" until the second coming when we are cast into the Fire and possible Oblivion.
Otherwise, men might desire Heaven for materialistic things, but I would argue that is contrary to the Biblical version of Heaven.
But that is the true allure of following God, correct?
First, because He is our Creator
Second, He is the standard for morals (debatable, but whatever)
Third, He is our gateway to everlasting life and oneness with Him in Heaven.
Given these three things, along with all other examples of His "perfection" in the Bible (though, I'm not sure how turning water in to wine should mean we should worship a guy)... we should choose to Hell and Oblivion. We should Defy Him.
This all assumes as well that the God of Abraham and the God of the Trinity are one in the same. However, Jesus's sacrifice was not an apology to Gentiles as I argue for in this debate--- http://debate.org......
Therefore, any actions performed by God in the Old Testament can be used against him as to why we should not follow him. If we do believe that Jesus was an apology, we must then ponder over whether to accept that apology or demand a greater sacrifice before we sacrifice our own lives.
At no point will I be arguing that "this happened, therefore there is no God". I will always be taking the view point that God exists. I also will be taking that viewpoint that God has allowed us Free Will. Therefore, any actions of Man cannot be construed as the actions of God. HOWEVER, anything in the Bible that was COMMANDED by God will be considered as such. Even if the action itself was performed by Man, we can discuss that fact that such an act has been Commanded by God.
All of my arguments will consists solely on why GENTILES should not worship YHWH, the God of the Abraham, the God of Moses, the God of Jacob (Israel), God the Father Almighty, Maker of Heaven and Earth and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord; who was Conceived of the Holy Spirit, Born of the Virgin Mary, Suffered under Pontious Pilate, was Crucified, Dead, and Buried; who on the Third Day, rose from the Dead, ascended into Heaven to sit on the Right Hand of God, the Father Almighty, who from thence Judges the Quick and the Dead. I'm talking about the Holy Spirit, God of the Catholic Church, who forgives our Sins, will resurrect our bodies and give us life everlasting.
That is the God that I'm talking about... YHWH.
With all that said, I begin
My first argument: The atrocities commanded by God in the Old Testament.
During the course of the Old Testament, God commands the Tribes of Israel to do things that are against Gentiles.
Specifically, one of the things that I cannot condone as a Gentile, is the promise of the holy land. Following the Tribes of Israel's exodus from Egypt, God commands Joshua (Moses' successor) to commit Herem on all the people living in Canaan. However, God did not limit it only to the Canaanites. Before Joshua crossed the Jordan River, God commanded him also to commit Herem against other foes. A few of these are the Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. Also, of course, one of the greatest "foes" of YHWH (as he declares it himself) is Amelek. When Saul destroys the entirety of Amelekites, he leaves Agag (the King of Amelek) alive. Samuel (Prophet) himself hacks Agag to pieces.
Now, as Christians, we can view these people as barbarians and sinners. They were enemies of YHWH and hence needed to be destroyed. But in that, we must remember that in the eyes of Judaism, we are all the same... Gentiles.
So, because we are seen in the same way, (in context of the time), we must view these people as our brethren, else we fall into the "First they came..." scenario.
Just to clarify, that I've said all this... Herem means to destroy everything of that people. Every man, woman, child, and animal.
This type of atrocity was also committed against Jericho and Ai.
It should be noted that Amelekites WERE NOT located in the Promise Land. These were merely people who YHWH considered an enemy and thus needed total annihilation.
I really want to focus on this because I think it is very important to consider.
Can we overlook this act of madness against Gentiles?
Sure, this is the land given to the Tribes of Israel, but does that mean we have to be ok with it?
Do we want to seek Heaven where we will spend the rest of our eternity with a Charles Manson?
Now we can look to the good messages he would later say, but we cannot forget these acts of violence, as they were COMMANDED by God himself. As he is perfect, they were intentional.
I understand too, how, if you are a Child of Israel, how this would be OK for you. What do you care if your ancestors were commanded to kill Gentiles? But as Gentiles, we need to decide if this is ok with us. We need to decide if we will worship a God who in the past commanded the slaughter of who would have been considered brethren at the time.
I await my opponent's response in worshiping the God who commanded Genocide against our people.
I would first like to thank Con for such a wonderful debate topic.
As we see throughout the Old Testament there are many stories that trouble even the most faithful believer in our Lord Jesus Christ. I concede that there are something’s in the Old Testament that I don’t understand and that is not enough criteria for me to not follow the God of the Bible.
The problem with Con’s argument is his conclusions on the dealings of God with the Gentile people in Canaan do not line up with the narrative explanation of Scripture. As he claims that the motive of God was genocide in these situations, which is false. As we see in Joshua 5: 13-14 (1) the Commander of the Lord’s army shows up and Joshua asks Him are You for us or for our enemies and He says NO, which is part of the narrative explanation and the second half is found in Israel’s law in Duet. 9:1-6 (1). The story in the book of Joshua is clear that ethnicity has nothing to do with the conquest. In fact in an ancient context Joshua 5 makes a deliberate repudiation of a normal understanding of a tribal conflict. As we look at the law in Duet. 9 it makes it very clear that this has nothing to do with Jews going out and killing Gentiles for global conquest reasons, but in reality they are God’s instrument of judgment against an extremely wicked people. This has nothing to do with genocide or ethnic cleansing, but with the judgment of God according to the narrative explanation of Scripture. As we see later in Scripture God judges Israel just as harshly in multiple exiles and makes it clear that God is not just simply playing favorites.
Second, all the violence of the Old Testament must be read through the lense of the New Testament. Some of the rays of Old Testament light are refracted through the Christ event into the New Testament with little change for example the sexual ethics of the Old Testament. Some rays are intensified like love your neighbor turns to love your enemy. Lastly some things get refracted beyond recognition and among these concepts are holy war, theocracy, and temporal judgment. (Not to say that God does not still judge inside of time, but is no longer the default way of judgment as in the old covenant. Judgment is postponed until the Day of Judgment.) So as we see in all of the cases mentioned by Con it was they default way of God executing His judgment as the perfect Judge, not the false accusation of blind genocide. For me to go into details about all of the tribes mentioned and there atrocities committed against children, women, and others would be a waste of time. The people earned their judgment through their own murders, rapes, and child sacrifices and so on.
Lastly, a robust theory can still hold up with some perceived inconsistencies. I will be the first to admit there are some actions and ethics in the Old Testament that look inconsistent with the Jesus we see revealed in the New Testament. So if we have a robust theory whether in history or scientifically inconsistencies do not bring the whole thing down we can actually live in the tension. Therefore, because of these things we cannot conclude that because we or I or anyone does not understand how God works in the Old Testament that He has been definitively proved to be not worthy to follow. There are so many example s of these types of theories that we don’t just throw away because there are some perceived inconsistencies. First, here is a historical example the majority of historians believe that the Essenes wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls.(2) There is a very small minority who don’t believe it because of a few inconsistencies, for instance some of the writings of Dead Sea Scrolls contradict some of what Josephus wrote about the Essenes believing, yet that does not tear down the entire theory. A scientific example is obvious the Theory of Evolution has gaps and inconsistencies, yet we are supposed to take it as fact. Third we have Radiometric Dating and the troubles with Mount St. Helen's and the Creationists would argue if it does not work when we know when the material was formed how does it work when we don’t know when there material was formed.(3) Now I know I brought up some controversial topics and each of these could be debated, but the examples are of how a robust theory may seem to be inconsistent with other evidence doesn't mean we must give it up at least in the evolutionists eyes. So, what Con is saying is if some of the information in the Old Testament appears to contradict with the God of love revealed in the New Testament we should not follow this God until we can definitively figure out these confusing actions of the Old Testament. It would be like saying stop teaching my kids at school evolution because you CLEARLY can’t call it a law otherwise you would, or saying get rid of radiometric dating because it is inconsistent and in reality based on previous belief systems. So to make a long argument short saying YHWH shouldn't be followed based on the evidence Con has presented is non-sequitur.
In conclusion, though there are some things that honestly trouble me from the Old Testament, it is clearly not enough to deem YHWH not one to follow. If Con is looking for me to reconcile every event in the Old Testament before I can follow this God when there are so many other grounds that point to the “theory of the God of love who died for us all revealed in Jesus” it will not happen. There are enough indications on other grounds; philosophical, historical, and personal that the God of the Old Testament is the God of love revealed in Jesus and we can cling to that as a robust paradigm despite the fact there are some things that trouble us from the Old Testament.
Reason Number 2 for not worshipping YHWH:
Why should a God be worshipped?
Does YHWH fulfill that requirement?
The bible describes him as a jealous God. (Exodus 20:4-6 --- 10 commandments right there)
He does things to torment people for no other reason than to prove a point. (Job)
He puts himself first (Luke 9:60)
While things like these can seem like reasonable enough things for a God, we must wonder if we should feel the same wonder if he were but a man.
We must come to question then, why is it we worship him?
Is it solely because he is our creator or because of his righteousness?
Is it some other reason that I wouldn't suppose.
I think we have to look at these scenarios separately.
If we worship him solely because he is our creator, than so be it.
But if that is your response, then I would have to ask if we were to find out we were created by some other being... one that we would consider evil on every level.... would we still worship him?
If the being that brought us into existence desired us to kill, rape, pillage, cheat, lie and steal.
Would we do it? Would we worship this being?
(This is clearly hypothetical, but it is to understand why we worship our God)
I would answer, No. If our Creator desired us to act contrary to what we know is right. If our Creator desired me to betray all that I know and love and destroy it only for his amusement, I would not worship that being.
If you still worship that being, then this argument is probably lost to you, but I think you would need to understand the repercussions of what that entails (but, I'll only get to that latter if you still would worship an "evil" Creator)
If you would answer the same as I, than you must concede that you do not worship YHWH because he is our Creator.
So why DO we worship him?
I only imagine three other responses..... (1) he is to be revered for his WISDOM, his UNDERSTANDING, his MORALITY or (2) he is to be revered because of FEAR. If we do not do it, we will be punished. (3) Because he can benefit us
Now, I will not accept FEAR. Personally, if I were to ever concede to someone because I FEAR them, I would not be able to live with myself. To act contrary to my morals and nature out of FEAR... bah.. I would rather face the punishment of eternal damnation, fire and gnashing of teeth... OBLIVION! before I concede to FEAR. And why then would we want to spend eternity with someone in Heaven if the only reason we chose that path is FEAR of the alternative.
So, while.. I understand if someone would chose that path, it is cowardly and you should admit it. I do not choose that path.
It would make more sense to me as a civilization to be cast into oblivion as a whole than to suffer eternal FEAR of our Creator. If we were put here so that we might FEAR him, I think a just reaction is juxtaposed to that.
So, which is it now? Morality/Wisdom or because of the personal benefit to us.
If you're doing it for personal benefit, I don't see how this fits within HIS own justifications. According to his message, you should not seek personal benefit, but only care about him. Being poor and having nothing but the Lord is the way to be good in his eyes (Matthew 19:24) Really... the only benefit you are supposed to gain from following YHWH (according to the New Testament) is to be with him in the after life. Obviously, for the Old Testament, they were supposed to follow them because it was their destiny to struggle with Him (Israel, who Jacob was renamed and they.. being named the Children or Tribes of Israel.. Israel means to Struggle with God). Whatever reasons you want to give for the Jews to follow YHWH in the Old Testament are not relevant as we are Gentiles and abide by the Holy Bible as a whole that says our benefit of following him is to be one with Him when we go to Heaven.
So... it's not our personal benefit either.... what then? Why do we follow him?
It must be that he is the moral structure of the universe. He is the guide, the way, the Word.
By him all things are judged.
So, we must ask here if we can agree with his moral structure?
I, personally, find issue with his moral structure.
Job is a great example. While, the story makes clear that He is the originator of all things, and thus His Righteousness allows for Him to take all things away... that still doesn't suffice as to why.
We are here at His Whim... I understand that... but if He were to ask me to worship Him because He has given me stuff, as above.. I don't accept that.. if I am to fear them being taken away.. that too I reject... I can only judge by what He CAN give us and chooses to do so.
In this way, we CAN judge YHWH for not making our world better. Regardless of His plan, we can reject His greatness because of the outcome of his morality on us as individuals. (Mind you, Job.. once his health was taken away, his family and fortune obliterated... he did relent and curses the Day he was born and argues against His Righteousness)
Regardless of His Plan... we can be angry at him for the pain we feel.. for our rejection from Eden.... for everything that is wrong in the world.. because.. as Job clearly shows.. he has power over all... even Satan. He allows Satan to exist!
Even if we are blessed... can we not see the suffering he places on others? Even if "they deserve it" in his eyes, they are his creation (or worse if you're Calvinist)... He allowed their evil. And He allows it to persist. When even his slightest whim could eliminate it all!!
These are not the actions of a friend, a mentor, a God who should be worshipped.
These are actions of a jealous, impetuous, egotist.
Not a moral standard of the universe... at least.. not from where I'm sitting.
So, until this Great Plan makes any bit of sense... I can judge only on the world that I know... the one I am forced to believe He created. I am not impressed.
Thank you Pro for your speedy response.
As Pro has opted to not respond to my counter until the last round and then has gone back into the same form of arguments where we ignore the narrative explanation from Scripture for each of his arguments. I will show you how through basic hermeneutics, using the narrative explanation of the stories, and understanding manners and customs from Biblical times will put each of these stories in their proper perspective. The funny part is, at least on my end, the arguments Pro uses for not following God when looked at in context is the very thing that stirred the heart of Job, and stirs the hearts of millions to follow the God of the Bible.
As we see Pro’s uninformed argument for God being jealous let us look at what the word actually means in the original language. (1) As we have a closer look the word used for God’s Jealousy it means zeal or passion and He is deeply committed to His relationship with us. This is one of the biggest reasons any Christian follows YWHW because He sent His only Son to die for us. The Bible is clear when it says we love God because He first loved us. I would like to elaborate more, but as we can see Pro has given me one sentence arguments without any premises to go with them and has drawn false conclusions from partial data.
Next we will take a look at Job. As we can see again Pro has given me a conclusion without any weight behind it as well as has ignored the narrative explanation again. The book of Job does not end with a propositional answer it ends with an experiential one. It is the presence of God that He encountered that enable him to go beyond just what he knew to actually living it out from what he learned of who this great God is. He then was able to follow God on the bases of what did know for the things he didn't know. The actual conclusion of Job in context refutes your entire argument and the entire purpose of Job situation brought HIMSELF to place where he could follow God with some things being misunderstood as I clearly stated in R1 and you have chosen to not refute until later. There are four different clear revelations of who God is to Job in this book as God encountered him. For the sake of time I will not elaborate on all but here is a list of the four found in the book of Job.(2)
1. God is revealed as Creator Designer
2. He is the Revealer Comforter
3. He is the Mediator Savior
4. He is the Strengthen Restorer
I will Only focus on the Creator aspect as you have brought it up in other arguments in R2. God as Creator which you have so graciously given me without need of proof in the rules is such an amazing thing. I will look at one point and show you even as simply a Creator how marvelous and full of wonder and wisdom must this God be. If you take all of the constants and the contingencies of the early picoseconds of creation are so many and they demanded such precision and fine tuning that if you were to study them they would blow your mind. I will focus on one and show the power and majesty of our great God. When you look at the expansion and contraction forces in the early picoseconds of the formation of the universe they had to be so precise that it would be like taking aim at a one inch square from the other end of the know universe 20 billion light years away and hitting it bulls eye. The margin of error was so small, so minuscule what this God of infinite wisdom had done when He created the universe by merely speaking was so amazing o the majesty o the splendor of our God. We have lost the amazement with creation due to naturalist shoving lies down our throats. If God did nothing but create this universe He would be worth following for the mere sake of His wisdom. But that is not the case He sent His Son to die for us and is full of love and compassion towards us. Which Job proclaimed in his book that God is gracious and merciful to man.
As I said Job ends with and experience with God which many times is not preached in Church. I was a homeless, meth addict who had been to treatment 6 times, mental institute 6 times, in and out of jail, disowned by my family, lost and broken and about to commit suicide when I met the God of the Bible. I didn't grow up in the Church my family is mostly not just none Christians, but God haters. I met this God and the day I gave my life to Him I never used meth again, He has restored my relationships with my kids, my parents, I am married now , I have a house, a job, and a purpose in this world. So no amount of Scriptures out of context or empty philosophies will ever convince me that the God of the Bible is somehow evil when He died for me and set me free. No amount of hate or persecution from the supposed intellectuals making fun of my belief will ever stop my faith. The Bible says the message of the gospel is foolish to those who are perishing, but it is power to those who believe. The God of the Bible has changed my life for the better just like Job and I rejoice in my suffering and years of addiction because I found life everlasting in the presence of the God who died for me. The God who rose again and as Job said " I know my redeemer lives.(Job 19:25)
Now lets look at the God putting Himself first issue. God does put Himself first because He is a God of love and His decisions for you and I are the best. The problem with your argument is the verse Pro used and the assumptive language behind it. It appears Jesus does not want this man to help his family and that is not the case. This is where manners and customs of the Bible comes in. (3) As we see the Jews took Scriptural teachings and twisted it and the heart behind what Jesus said was to fix doctrinal error. The way it appears in Scripture this man’s father was already dead and the man was practicing the false second burial. The story also shows the danger of having halfway in and halfway out believers. As we see in our society lukewarm, Bible twisting religious folks are one of the biggest reasons people say they don’t want to follow God, and not because of anything God has done Himself.
In conclusion we see a God of passion and zeal for you and I. So full of love and grace that He will do whatever it takes to be in a relationship with us, even if it means dying on a cross for OUR sins. As many accuse God of evil when the most terrifying thing about Him is that He is good we are not which I will address later (4) so we must stop using other men’s faulty, out of context, biased arguments and look at that truth revealed in Scripture of this great God of love. As Jobs situation caused him to follow YHWH throughout his life, as the God who is jealous for you and I, as the One who puts Himself first because He only desires what is best for you calls to you answer Him and say here I am Lord use me.
I anxiously await your response.
I see that my arguments against his malice did not work, nor did my arguments against his personal effect on us.
In my third round, I will simply posture that, although God is real and all powerful, our creator... our lives are fine without worshiping him.
I give this in the example that millions (possibly billions?) of people have lived on Earth without worshiping God in their lives, many of them happy lives.
Now, as stated in R1, hell isn't a Lake of Fire (at least not yet). Hell would simply mean "removed from God"... or at worst, a "sleep". That isn't to say that when the last days come, those in Hell won't be cast into the Lake of Fire, but some groups (the Seventh-Day Adventists for one) believe that means to Oblivion... I guess that depends whether you believe that Hell is eternal suffering.
I posit though, that it is not.. and that is vital to my argument. There are those who live on Earth without worshipping God, they will die and exist in Sheol without worshipping God and will one day cease to exist (as I assume, they already believe they will cease to exist upon death, and have come to terms with that).
So, clearly then.. those who do not believe are comfortable in their afterlife or lack thereof and see no advantage to worshipping Him for that reason.
Maybe it would then be good to worship Him for the benefits we get on Earth? But that isn't true either, is it? There are many many people who exist on Earth that do just fine without worshipping YHWH. Their earthly lives are just as good comparatively as their Christian brothers (obviously Christians would argue against this, but their atheist brothers would not agree). So why worship Him here?
I do now realize your own personal experience has been quite different, but did you need YHWH to do it? Could you have not conjured that strength yourself as many of your atheist Brothers have?
No. no. no.... I say we should not worship YHWH because, frankly, it doesn't make a lick of difference in our Earthly lives if we do or not. It is just an extra expense with no benefit. And for our afterlives, if the only benefits are being with YHWH and Jesus and Eternal Life... I say... I don't need that... either of them. I feel no need to be with YHWH and Christ for eternity and I certainly don't want to live forever... isn't living forever usually portrayed as a curse? I can think of few exceptions.
For more on that subject, might wanna give some Isaac Asimov a read... http://www.thrivenotes.com...
Truly a wonderful short story how a perfectly rational person would come to the conclusion that not only should we not worship "god", but that our goal should be to destroy Him (as is His goal too actually).... very interesting
So, although I'm sure you will counter that you needed God in your life... the simply fact is that most people don't.. we just don't need Him in our lives... thanks for creating us and all.. and not killing us instantaneously upon us denouncing you... but just keep things how they are and so will we... thanks!
So, my third argument wraps up to: We shouldn't worship YHWH because we'll be just fine without worshiping Him.
Thanks again Pro for speedy response. I am excited for this conclusion in R4 that you have coming up.
As we did not set the criteria for when I must refute your definitions I believe now is the time as you have brought them into the debate as reasons to not follow God. I do not agree with the definition of Sheol or hell. Hell in Scripture is a place of eternal torment and suffering as Jesus Himself said where the worm never dies and the fire is not quenched. (1) The common misconception is hell is simply being separate from God is false according to Scripture. (Psalm 139) Hell is hell because God is there,Hell is this all-powerful God's wrath and anger being unleashed in a place upon those who have rejected the sacrifice of His Beloved Son. Some may say that is not fair because I didn't know, but that is also another misconception. According to John 16: 8-11 the Holy Spirit is at work on the earth convicting all men and women of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment. To go into details is not necessary right now for the sake of this debate, but this is how Romans 1:18-23 can state that all men are without excuse. The reason I bring this up is so we can get beyond the basics of the lie that God punishes us and sends us to hell without making Himself more obvious. That is the very reason Psalm 53:1 the fool has said in his heart there is no God. I know you are not disputing the existence of the God of the Bible, but that we should not follow Him and we are okay without Him and that is not the conclusion in Scripture or the Biblical definition of hell.
Next I will address your definition of heaven which I believe is also skewed from the Biblical definition. The only reason I did not refute your argument about this is because your conclusion was accurate and your premises to get to the conclusion were false. Meaning our motives for being in heaven are Him and not materialistic things, but Scripture is clear about some of the benefits in heaven along with His presence. Now to separate the benefits from the Benefit Giver would be wrong. Some things God promises in heaven are no more pain, sickness, death and so on.(Revelation 21:4) And if you read the entirety of Revelation 21 the reason for such things is because that is the kind of God we are following. Another promise is Jesus Himself going to prepare mansions for us in heaven.(John 14:2) Now I am not going to go through the entirety of Scripture to show you what heaven is like, but here are a few more benefits if you will God says in His presence is the fullness of joy(Psalm 16:11), and at His right Hand are pleasures forevermore found in the very same verse. So it appears we will have some benefits if we will be in a perpetual state of joy, peace , and true happiness. But as I said earlier I agree with you on what Scripture says about our motives, clearly our motives should be God Himself. This is a big problem with the way Christianity is presented and the video(3) is the best Biblical view of why we follow God. If you have the time listen to this sermon in its entirety. God is not a means, He is the end. He is the Beginning and the End, He is the First and the Last, He is the Alpha and the Omega. This is not about heaven or hell this is about the Living God who created all things, who loves us so much He sent His Son to die for us. So if you are looking for some humanistic reason for following this Great King you are asking me to go against the very grain of Scripture and go against the very truth of Biblical Christianity.
Lastly, I would like to conclude with your view of worship. Worship in the Hebrew and Greek language has nothing to do with singing songs and going to Church, it has to do with posture.(4) Philippians 2:5-11 (5) States that every knee will bow and every tongue WILL confess Jesus is Lord so it is not a matter of if you will worship Him it is a matter of when. You can choose now on the earth, which also has benefits in this life and in the age to come, or on Judgment Day, but every human, demon, and angel will bow before the King of Glory.
I would like to thank Pro for such an interesting debate. I have yet to see the B.O.P. which Pro has taken on give me any reason with actual evidence to back it up for not following YHWH. So I am pretty excited for your R4 conclusion.
1.http://bible.cc... Also read the commentaries at the bottom they all agree on the eternal element of suffering in hell.
"As he claims that the motive of God was genocide" Destruction of Amelek is Genocide, they were not even a people that lived on the land of Canaan. God specifically pointed that Amelek was to be entirely destroyed. (Exodus 17:14) "Then the LORD said to Moses... I will completely blot out the name of Amelek from under heaven"
Genocide doesn't entail a morality nor is it specific to ethnicity. Even if people are being immoral, or even starting war against you, genocide is "the deliberate and systematic destruction, in whole or in part, of an ethnic, racial, religious, or national group". Note: "national group", such as Canaanites. So, say what you want, but there can be no other definition for the complete annihilation of a group of people besides Genocide, and we, as a society, have deemed Genocide not morally acceptable. If you want to accept Genocide, that"s on you" but just know what you are promoting.
"it makes it very clear that this has nothing to do with Jews going out and killing Gentiles for global conquest reasons" not Global, but Land conquest reasons, the Conquest of Canaan. The reason for giving that land is quite absurd as well, because it doesn't have to do with righteousness, in Duet. 9, as you show it says multiple times "it is not because of your righteousness that the LORD your God is giving you this good land to possess" but "to accomplish what (the LORD) swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob". So, this isn't a case of someone morally right squashing that which is morally wrong, just a case of one group taking from another who are both wicked, but this group is descendant from Abraham and not Ham (who's descendants are eternally cursed because he saw Noah naked and drunk).
"Second, all the violence of the Old Testament must be read through the lens of the New Testament." So, he later fixes everything?... no those people still suffered.. the violence doesn't just get erased, if that's what you're meaning.
"atrocities committed against children, women, and others" so, the Jews KILL ALL the children, women and others? and He kills all the first-born in Egypt because the Jews are slaves. Even though, Jewish rules for the (Gentile) slaves they have are actually rather cruel as well. Not to mention the implications of when Moses kills the Egyptian because he's whipping a Jewish slave, whereas there are certainly no rules against Jews whipping their gentile slaves. As well as the often practice of taking your wives handmaidens to bed (Jacob in particular, but David takes the cake when he has a dude killed because he knocked up his friend's wife and doesn't want his buddy to find out). So, I'm not sure what wickedness you can really claim objectively. Sure, they are wicked in God's eyes because they are Gentiles living in the land given to His Children, but as Gentiles, we should be angry that he has decided that.
On a separate note - "A scientific example is obvious the Theory of Evolution has gaps and inconsistencies" - does it?
"we should not follow this God until we can definitively figure out these confusing actions of the Old Testament." That's not what I'm saying in my first argument, I'm making it very clear that God has wrong us and we should be angry about it... there is not "until". Plus, I thought we agreed that everything in the bible was true? So, it's not like we're gonna find out something later, we have to believe it as it is today.
To begin here, the difference between my R1 argument and R2 is that R1 was more focused on a Gentile v. Jew argument: what the Jews did to Gentiles by command of God. R2 is more focused on God v. Humanity, that regardless of your ancestors, you should still be pretty turned off by.
"As we see Pro's uninformed argument for God being jealous" Exodus 20:5 "You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me," I don't see how that can be interpreted as "zeal". It means he gets mad if you like anyone else!! Simple and clear.
So, besides to Prove a point "the Adversary", why did God kill all of Job's family and animals and make him terribly ill? To show his love? His power? His wisdom?
"If God did nothing but create this universe He would be worth following for the mere sake of His wisdom." With great power comes great... wisdom? I didn't know that was true. I never once doubted God's power" the bible makes it VERY clear that he is ALL powerful. He could quell Satan and all evil in an instant if he wanted to. I would never doubt that. His Wisdom on the other hand, is relative. If his Wisdom should be that which would bring the most people to love him, I would say he's done a rather poor job.
"my family is mostly not just [non-Christians], but God haters." According to the Old Testament (or the 10 commandments as stated above) you will be punished for their idolatry, and so will your kids. That sucks to hear, but that's the truth of His word. Take it as you will.
"No amount of hate or persecution from the supposed intellectuals making fun of my belief will ever stop my faith." This is a startling sentence, for multiple reasons. I think the world is full with hate from all sides, and while I do think that Jesus makes a lot of good arguments for Love, His connection to Judaism brings a lot of baggage with it that we need to reconcile, we can't just gloss over.
"God does put Himself first because He is a God of love and His decisions for you and I are the best." I don"t see how that is a "This therefore That" statement.
"Hell in Scripture is a place of eternal torment and suffering as Jesus Himself said where the worm never dies and the fire is not quenched." That place is called Gehenna (as it actually says, before translation). Commonly also known as the "Lake of Fire", which the people in Sheol (Hades) will be cast during the End of Days. And I pointed out seventh-day Adventist who are Annihilationist. There are other groups as well; Bible Students, Christadelphians and various Advent Christian churches, as well as the Church of England. These are backed by verses Matthew 10:28, John 3:16, John 6:51. (PS. Just because the worms don't die and the fire isn't quenched doesn't mean your soul will live there permanently, those two can be true and your soul can be annihilated.)
"Hell is hell because God is there" yes, God is everywhere. It is commonly understood though that being with God in Heaven and with God on earth are two different things, same goes for Sheol.
"God is not a means, He is the end." Interesting that you should say this because I think it applies back to R1. I was thinking of countering with a "ends justifies the means" argument, but thought it'd be too clich"'. That's what you would have to argue for right? That all the on-the-cover wickedness that we read is really justifying an end that only God knows (or was later revealed). Does it justify the means?
Philippians 2:5-11 - Interesting, I am not familiar with this verse. it looks rather robust and I must commend you. Taking this as truth would certainly lend me to profess to Christianity. I don't see a way around this fact. If I am to profess Christianity in the future, I might as well do it now.
So, a great debate, but I think you got me there on the Philippians. Within the construct of the debate, it's all yours. Congrats! So, I would recommend the votes go to Con for pointing that out.
That said, on a personal note, I just don't see that as possible... weird for the bible to say that really. I'd have to believe that some people, in their Free Will, will oppose YHWH. (contrary, if you destroy all those who oppose, you forfeit the hell argument). Very interesting...
Thanks for the great debate!
In regards to your R1 response the Lord used the Israelites to drive out the people because of their sin. I stated it was God's motive was not blind genocide, but it was clearly the judgment of God according to Scripture. My argument was clear that you are drawing conclusions about the facts of Scripture that do not line up with the narrative explanation Scripture gives. Israel was not righteous either, but God had made promises to their fathers about that land. So God used Israel as His tool for judgment as well as fulfilling His promise to give them that land. The motive was not the land it was just a bonus, the motive was the judgment of a righteous God. The trouble is God gets accused of evil because He doesn't prevent all evil, but when He decides to judge evil according to His word once again you call Him evil. Romans 6:23 states the wages of sin is death and the people He had wiped out all sinned according to Romans 3:23 all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Now the question that always comes up is what about the innocent people and the children while that answer is simple if you look at eternity. If anyone who was in a nation or people group that the judgment of God has come upon is righteous they will be saved and in heaven for eternity in a place filled with joy and peace. All these truths are in Scripture if people would take the time to look.(Revelation 5:9, 7:9) Even the Amalekites will be represented in heaven and those who have done wicked will have received their just punishment. If a judge on earth let murders and child killers live we would call the judge evil, but if he did what was right we would call him good. Just as the God of heaven judges with righteous( doing the right thing) judgment. ( John 7:24) You have no actual evidence of evil done by the God of the Bible. I stand firm in the fact that you ignored the narrative explanation and came up with your own conclusion and my argument was clear that there are too many other areas that point to the God of the Old Testament is the God of love revealed in Jesus. As the Scripture says Jesus was the express image of God the Father.(Hebrews 1:3) We can only conclude according to(1)Biblical Hermeneutics(How to interpret Scripture) that the acts done by God were righteous. So your reason to not follow God because He is evil is false. If God had committed any evil and Jesus only did what He saw His Father do( John 5:19) then He never would have rose from the dead, which He did when He conquered death for all who call upon Him.(1 Corinthians 15:57)
Next I will be brief about Job. The problem once again is you came to conclusions about the text that don't line up with the narrative explanation(See R2), you didn't use Biblical Hermeneutics to reach your conclusion, and last and I believe is most important the person(Job) who had the situation came to a totally different conclusion about God than you and he is the one who it happened to.(See R2) On a side note you blamed God for Jobs trouble when Satan is the one who came after him. The story shows a Biblical teaching about a thing called common grace.(2) God had a hedge of protection around Job that Job didn't earn because God chose to protect him from such troubles. Later He removed the hedge and Satan attacked. God has this grace on all mankind and if you read the resource God restrains you and I from the sin that is within us by common grace. You or I could be another Hitler or worse if it wasn't for God's common grace. Along with that God has a level of protection on all mankind and if He chose on any individual to remove it because of their sin and rebellion against Him Satan would have free reign just like He did with Job, I know you have the B.O.P., but this is a truth found in the Bible which we agreed is true and this is reason enough for all men and women to at least thank the God of the Bible.
In regards to hell we could debate all day long about what all the words mean and if the people will be utterly destroyed or will be tormented forever. Whether it is one way or the other I don't think it changes whether or not God should be followed or not. Complete annihilation verse eternal bliss is no comparison, and eternal torment doesn't even come close to being in heaven so those alternatives are not good either way. Here is a resource that supports eternal judgment in hell with many Scriptures if you think I am just side-stepping the argument. (3)
In conclusion no evidence has been presented beyond a shadow of a doubt that this God should be absolutely not followed as Pro has taken the B.O.P. I have to say God is still worthy to be followed. There may be some things we don't understand, but there are to many other signs that point to the God of the Old Testament being the God of love revealed in Jesus. If someone wants to follow YHWH because He has forever changed their life let them. If God says anyone who calls on My Son's name shall be saved let them come. (Romans 10:13) I would like to thank Pro for a most excellent debate.
|Agreed with before the debate:||-||-||0 points|
|Agreed with after the debate:||-||-||0 points|
|Who had better conduct:||-||-||1 point|
|Had better spelling and grammar:||-||-||1 point|
|Made more convincing arguments:||-||-||3 points|
|Used the most reliable sources:||-||-||2 points|
|Total points awarded:||3||0|
|Agreed with before the debate:||-||-||0 points|
|Agreed with after the debate:||-||-||0 points|
|Who had better conduct:||-||-||1 point|
|Had better spelling and grammar:||-||-||1 point|
|Made more convincing arguments:||-||-||3 points|
|Used the most reliable sources:||-||-||2 points|
|Total points awarded:||0||3|