My Answer: "AlterNet: One More Reason Religion Is So Messed Up: Respected Theologian Defends Genocide and Infanticide"

Oh dear, dear, dear, going after William Lane Craig is going after a straw man rather than going after Jesus. Jesus's mind, not William Lane Craig's, is the mind of Christianity.

I am answering the following linked blog post: AlterNet: One More Reason Religion Is So Messed Up: Respected Theologian Defends Genocide and Infanticide.

Look, first of all, there is a faulty premise upon which that whole blog post is based. It's that all the faithful must cherry pick to avoid defending God committing genocide of the type humans have committed. Nowhere in Jesus's words does Jesus state that God does commit or has committed genocide of the type humans have committed, of the type Greta Christina is referring to (understandably referring to from her limited knowledge of the Gospel of Jesus).

The first rule of understanding Jesus is to hold Jesus to his own standard that hypocrisy is critical to avoid. Jesus has to avoid it, and Jesus's Father God has to avoid it in order to be perfectly good. You can start raising questions about whether or not God is all powerful if God can't do evil, but that's a different theological issue and is loaded with semantical requirements (semantical understanding) to answer. It can be done.

The biggest hurdle for people in my view is coming to grips with that Jesus held up Mosaic Law as being hypocritical. He didn't blame Moses but rather the hard-heartedness of those who couldn't grasp, accept, and live in accordance with the non-hypocritical understanding Jesus does teach and did live.

Contrary to the cherry-picking idea, there is a full-context reading of the whole of the Bible where one comes to realize that Jesus came and enhanced the understanding of the law and the prophets beyond anything any of the prior prophets received or imparted. Therefore, Jesus was not defending the Yahweh of the pre-enhanced understanding but rather the Yahweh Jesus knew and knows.

The Yahweh of Jesus did not and does not command any people to commit genocide. Mixed up, more hard-hearted people get the signals wrong and commit genocide and think God ordered it.

Does this mean then that one is to throw out the whole Old Testament? Well, what understanding would be gained by that? Would one be able to understand Jesus's enhancement that way? No, one would not. It would be a move backwards in understanding.

Is one to disbelieve everything on account of any human less-than-perfection aspect showing through in the Bible? Of course not. One is to use the words and deeds of Jesus to look back upon the Old Testament and to look upon the time Jesus walked the Earth and all the intervening time to the present and into the future to come to better discern the true nature of God and God's relationship to humans collectively and individually.

Here's what I know about God from Jesus. God is not Satan. It is Satan who is the destroyer. It is Satan who is the spirit of wrath. It is Satan who tempts people do commit child sacrifice and even eat the burned flesh of one's own offspring to please Satan and then turns around and points the finger saying, "See, I told you they (humans) are wicked. Look how they fall so easily to temptations to do utter evil. They should be wiped out."

I also have learned that, that spirit of Satan is the spirit of the "God" of this world — the wrong God — not the God of Jesus.

This has a ring of Gnosticism to it, but I assure you it is not Gnosticism. Gnosticism masks humanism apart from the God of Jesus, apart from ultimate, objective, absolute righteousness that does transcend the flesh and certainly doesn't have a place for atheism in the highest Heaven.

Listen to Greta Christina's foul mouth. She throws out the nearly obligatory f-word, as if there's no harm in it but rather a release from bondage under evil. What a lack of understanding she shows doing that even while she claims moral superiority or at least the equal of Jesus Christ. Greta's position, as Ayn Rand's, is who needs Jesus to learn or know what's good and right? Well Greta, you know what's good and right up to the limited point you do for the same reason that you have air to breathe and that's God.

God is the creator. Satan is the polluter. God is the light of truth. Satan is the darkness descending upon the minds and hearts of human beings pushing and pulling them away from the spirit who is the God of Jesus.

In William Lane Craig's partial defense, I will say that he is right that innocent souls do not go the way of the flesh. Men and women may kill the flesh, but the souls of the innocent are not "killed" in Hell. Where William goes wrong is in ever imagining that God is the spirit that orders any men or women to take the life of the innocent in flesh or spirit. A full-context, non-cherry-picking reading of the Bible makes that clear. Greta Christina has it exactly wrong. She hedged a bit but took it away in the rest of her post.

Greta is wrong that atheists feel the love of the type and degree Jesus has. It's not possible. Greta is speaking out of ignorance about that love. In the absence of belief in God the Father of Jesus, there is no understanding even the beginning of that love Jesus showed going to the cross. It can't be done. It's like a colorblind person claiming to appreciate the color red every bit as much as someone who can actually see the color. Of course there are "proofs" for the colorblind that red exists. Try explaining to the atheist that God can instantly heal the colorblind though. What God? Try explaining the nature of testing versus God and Jesus's revelation, etc., and watch the mental eyes gloss over.

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  • Tom Usher

    About Tom Usher

    Employment: 2008 - present, website developer and writer. 2015 - present, insurance broker. Education: Arizona State University, Bachelor of Science in Political Science. City University of Seattle, graduate studies in Public Administration. Volunteerism: 2007 - present, president of the Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project.
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