Christianity Thomas on 24 May 2012 12:56 am
Shouldn’t a person who writes an article like this become an intelligent, rational atheist?
Take this as an example:
Not only are acts such as the above held out as examples of ruthlessness by those disapproving of God’s behavior, they also incredulously point to what they consider extremely barbaric and harsh penalties instituted by God. For example, a case in point is the punishment for a disobedient son: “If any man has a stubborn and rebellious son who will not obey his father or his mother, and when they chastise him, he will not even listen to them, then his father and mother shall seize him, and bring him out to the elders of his city at the gateway of his hometown. They shall say to the elders of his city, ‘This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey us, he is a glutton and a drunkard.’ Then all the men of his city shall stone him to death; so you shall remove the evil from your midst” (Deut. 21:18-21, emphasis added).
Another example often cited is the killing of a man for violating the Sabbath as recorded in the book of Numbers: “Now while the sons of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man gathering wood on the Sabbath day. Those who found him gathering wood brought him to Moses and Aaron and to all the congregation; and they put him in custody because it had not been declared what should be done to him. Then the Lord said to Moses, “The man shall surely be put to death; all the congregation shall stone him with stones outside the camp.” So all the congregation brought him outside the camp and stoned him to death with stones, just as the Lord had commanded Moses” (Num. 15:32-36, emphasis added). As can be seen, the verse ends with the endorsement of God being on the Sabbath breaker’s execution. Such examples cause atheist like George Smith to comment: “The Old Testament God garnered an impressive list of atrocities. Jehovah himself was fond of directly exterminating large numbers of people, usually through pestilence or famine, and often for rather unusual offenses.”
How could any intelligent person read these sections of the Bible, process them and then remain a Christian?