Saturday, February 18, 2012

In Defense of the Old Testament

        Before we get started, remember that the people who say the Bible encourages rape, slavery, genocide, etc, etc, are the same ones who remind you that the Bible says "Love thy neighbor" when they need to justify their sinful lifestyles.

        Convenient, eh? Anyway....

        Seems like one of the "free spins" Atheists and Jesus-haters get to use against Christians in debates is that of bringing up certain verses from the Old Testament as proof that the God of the Bible is too brutal to be real. For example, when a Christian points out that the Old Testament condemns homosexuality, an Atheist points to Old Testament verses that allegedly condone rape, animal cruelty and slaughtering entire cultures for no reason, etc, etc. If you investigate these indictments, however, you'll find that every single one misconstrues the meaning of the cited verses in some way, most often by leaving out surrounding verses or pertinent information that puts the verses in context. I saw a picture on the internet once that demonstrated how perspective propaganda works by showing a picture that had been cropped to look like someone was being wrestled to the ground at gun point. When the whole picture was shown, however, you could see that it was a couple military men giving a drink of water to a wounded man. Here, take a look. Click on the picture to make it larger:

        See how easy it is to change the evidence to match the accusation? It all depends on what you HOPE for. In Romans 8:24 Paul says that we are saved by HOPE. Likewise, we are CONDEMNED by hope, because denial is just another form of hope. If we hope that God is real, we'll see his mysterious economy in everything around us. If we hope he ISN'T real, we'll only see him when we need to accuse him of something. Like Jesus said in Luke 16:31, if someone hopes against God they won't believe in him even if they see someone raised from the dead. Thus, when someone who hates the Bible begins to read it, all common sense, all basic discernment, all knowledge of linguistics, cultures and geography suddenly disappears and all that is left is cynical, pessimistic emotionalism. So they change the evidence to match the accusation, or just leave it out altogether if it's too well-known to distort. The Old Testament is filled with accounts of people willfully committing crimes against others and being punished by God for it, but you'll never hear an Atheist bring up any of THOSE verses. Instead they just pick out a few, single verses and gather them into a deceptive diatribe that appeals to those who are swayed by the shallow prejudice of popular atheism without reading the Bible for themselves.

        Of course, today's average, lukewarm, Laodicean Christian doesn't know a whole lot (if anything) about the Bible, either, so they get stumped when faced with even the slightest audit of these Old Testament verses. They walk away from the inquisition safely cocooned in their own untouchable faith, but remain unable to change the heart of any unbeliever that might have been listening in on the exchange. And that's bad, seeing as how Old Testament bashing has almost become a sport among Atheists these days.

        So, in no particular order, I'm just going to list some of the Old Testament passages that get indicted a lot by those who are looking for any excuse not to believe in God, and show you how the verses have been misconstrued. There are probably some that I'm not aware of, but I'll add them as I hear about them and have a chance to investigate them. So far, however, the record isn't looking good for anyone hoping to convict God.

        There are two last things I'd like to point out real quick: First, notice that a lot of these verses start out with "when" and "if," which shows that God was offering instructions for what should happen WHEN and IF the infractions occurred, NOT condoning them. Second, I use a King James Version Bible, and I've noticed that ALL of the numerous diatribes Atheists and others have written against the Old Testament (and the whole Bible, for that matter), not only use the newer perversions of the Bible, such as the NIV, NAB and the NLT, but they mix and match verses from these perversions to come up with some patchwork Franken-passage that says whatever they want it to say, which is EXACTLY why Satan inspired those newer perversions of the Bible in the first place. It's the same reasoning he used to come up with Roman Catholicism: "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em."

        Here we go...

        I want to start with genocide - those times when God told Israel to go wipe out entire tribes and cities - because this is the topic that most strongly puts things into the right perspective when the omitted information is brought back into the picture.

        The first thing we have to establish when addressing this particular accusation against God is that the land of Israel belongs to God. (And it's actually a lot bigger than you may think. Its boundaries actually stretch from the Nile River to the Euphrates River. Israel will eventually acquire all of that land, but that's a different article). So, let's see who God gave this land to:

Genesis 15:18-21
18. In the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram [Abraham], saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates:
19. The Kenites, and the Kenizzites, and the Kadmonites,
20. And the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Rephaims,
21. And the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.

        Now, Bible-haters will read this and say, "Aw, well, how convenient." But we can prove that God governed this land. God said that when his people were on the land it would flourish, and when they weren't, it would turn to desert. Indeed, the land did flourish under Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and his descendants, and when they left for Egypt it became desolate. When they came back from Egypt the land began to flourish once more and when God scattered them all over the world for their sins and disobedience it became desolate again.

Zechariah 7:14
But I scattered them with a whirlwind among all the nations whom they knew not. Thus, the land was desolate after them, that no man passed through nor returned: for they laid the pleasant land desolate.

         And, finally, when God gathered the Jews back to Israel for the last time in 1948, yep, you guessed it, the land started to prosper again. "Prove it," the Bible-hater says. Well, thanks to the modern technology of satellite imagery, we can. Read the following verses carefully and then look at the satellite images beneath them to see how Israel has started to flourish once again now that God has given the land of Israel back to his people like he said he would:

Ezekiel 36:9-11 & 30
9. For, behold, I am for you, and I will turn unto you, and ye shall be tilled and sown:
10. And I will multiply men upon you, all the house of Israel, even all of it: and the cities shall be inhabited, and the wastes shall be builded:
11. And I will multiply upon you man and beast; and they shall increase and bring fruit: and I will settle you after your old estates, and will do better unto you than at your beginnings: and ye shall know that I am the Lord.
30. And I will multiply the fruit of the tree, and the increase of the field, that ye shall receive no more reproach of famine among the heathen.

        Now that that's settled...

        Notice all the tribes and peoples listed in Genesis 15:19-21 above. Those were the heathen tribes already in the land when God gave it to Abraham, and the only quarrels Abraham and his kin had with these people, really, were over water wells and pasture boundaries and such. No big deal. A lot of them even came around to a knowledge of God when they finally understood that the God that watched over the Israelites was not only powerful, but just and fair (Genesis 26:26-31).

        Now, let's fast forward a bit. Abraham has a son named Isaac, Isaac has a son named Jacob and Jacob has twelve sons, one of whom is named Joseph. Joseph is sold by his brothers into Egypt as a slave, where he works his way up to second in command to the Pharoah by preparing Egypt for an upcoming famine. Joseph brings his fellow Israelites over to Egypt when the famine strikes and all of Egypt prospers because of them. 400 years later, a new, wicked Pharoah arises that resents the resourceful Israelites and makes them slaves to the Egyptians. God sends Moses to retrieve the Israelites out of Egypt and they leave Egypt and begin the journey back to their homeland of Israel.

        Now, remember those heathen tribes that had stayed behind in Abraham's land when the Israelites left? Well, they were still there when the Israelites came back, only NOW they were a lot different. See, Satan had four hundred years to corrupt and twist these people in anticipation of Israel's return and you wouldn't believe HOW he corrupted them:

        Do you know what the flood in Genesis was REALLY all about? In Genesis 6:4 we read that the fallen angels had mated with women and created a whole new race of giant creatures:

Genesis 6:4
There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God [fallen angels] came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.

        This was intentional. Know what they were doing? They were carrying out Satan's plan to mutate man into something besides the image of God so that the redeemer (Jesus) prophesied in Genesis 3:15 couldn't be born. See, Jesus had to be born as a man purely in GOD'S image in order to be able to represent man before him:

Hebrews 2:14-16
14. Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;
15. And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
16. For verily he took NOT on him the nature of ANGELS; but he took on him the seed of Abraham.

        Satan almost succeeded. All but Noah, his wife, his three sons and their wives were contaminated with this angelic, giant DNA. That's what Genesis 6:9 meant when it said that Noah was perfect in his generations:

Genesis 6:9
These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.

        So God sent the flood to wipe all of this giant DNA off the earth. Now, look at Genesis 6:4 again and notice something:

Genesis 6:4
There were giants in the earth in those days; AND ALSO AFTER THAT, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.

        Notice that it says, 'and also after that.' In other words, it happened again. And can you guess when and where it happened again? Yep, in all those heathen tribes that stayed behind in Abraham's land when the Israelites left for Egypt and were held there for four hundred years. When the Israelites came back to their homeland the heathen tribes had turned into giants:

Numbers 13:33
And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our sight as grasshoppers [by comparison], and so we were in their sight.

Deuteronomy 2:10-11
10. The Emims dwelt therein in times past, a people great, and many, and tall, as the Anakims; 
11. Which also were accounted giants, as the Anakims; but the Moabites called them Emims.

Deuteronomy 2:20-21
20. That also was accounted a land of giants: giants dwelt therein in old time; and the Ammonites called them Zamzummims;
21. A people great, and many, and tall, as the Anakims; but the Lord destroyed them before them; and they succeeded them, and dwelt in their stead.

        See, Satan was hoping that these contaminated tribes would mingle and mate with Israel and mutate their bloodlines into being unable to give birth to the Redeemer. THAT is why God told Israel to kill them all off, even their children:

Deuteronomy 2:34
34. And we took all his cities at that time, and utterly destroyed the men, and the women, and the little ones, of every city, we left none to remain.

Deuteronomy 3:11
For only Og king of Bashan remained of the remnant of giants [after the Israelites wiped them all out]; behold his bedstead was a bedstead of iron; is it not in Rabbath of the children of Ammon? nine cubits was the length thereof, and four cubits the breadth of it, after the cubit of a man.

        Now, right here is where the Bible-hater will try to say that not all the cities and tribes were contaminated with non-human DNA, so God definitely committed unwarranted genocide against THOSE cities. Wrong again. God commanded Israel to give THOSE cities a chance to make peace when Israel arrived at their city gates:

Deuteronomy 20:10-11
10. When thou comest nigh unto a city to fight against it, then proclaim peace unto it.
11. And it shall be, if it make thee answer of peace, and open unto thee, then it shall be, that all the people that is found therein shall be tributaries unto thee, and they shall serve thee.

        Now, you're no doubt wondering why these people had to serve Israel even if they accepted their peace offer. Well, these people, although not contaminated with monstrous, hybrid DNA, had a LOT of heinous sins to atone for because of how disgustingly they had been living (emphasis on verse 27):

Leviticus 18:21-27
21. And thou shalt not let any of thy seed [children] pass through the fire to Molech, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I am the Lord.
22. Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.
23. Neither shalt thou lie with any beast to defile thyself therewith: neither shall any woman stand before a beast to lie down thereto: it is confusion.
24. Defile not ye yourselves in any of these things: for in all these the nations are defiled which I cast out before you:
25. And the land is defiled: therefore I do visit the iniquity thereof upon it, and the land itself vomiteth out her inhabitants.
26. Ye shall therefore keep my statutes and my judgments, and shall not commit any of these abominations; neither any of your own nation, nor any stranger that sojourneth among you:
27. (For all these abominations have the men of the land done, which were before you, and the land is defiled;)

        If Satan wasn't corrupting the heathen tribes genetically, he was corrupting them spiritually and behaviorally. I mean, not only were these manimals (my word) engaging in homosexuality, incest and bestiality and introducing all kinds of diseases into the land, in verse 21 we see that they were throwing their living children on open fires as sacrifices to pagan gods. This is referenced in other places in the Bible, as well:

Jeremiah 19:5
They have built also the high places of Baal, to burn their sons with fire for burnt offerings unto Baal, which I commanded not, nor spake it, neither came it into my mind:

Jeremiah 32:35
And they built the high places of Baal, which are in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire unto Molech; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.

        If you ask me, those people actually got off pretty light with merely being made to serve people that had (and still have) a knack for making land prosper and flourish. If an ISRAELITE did this - and some did, as you can see in Jeremiah 32:35 above - they were put to DEATH. No chance for a lesser punishment.

        But here's the thing I really want to point out the most, and I want you to tell this to any Bible-hater that could read all of that and STILL strain out some reason to accuse God of heartless genocide: If God HADN'T told Israel to straighten those beastly people out, either with death or servitude, the Bible-haters would complain about THAT! They'd be saying, "What kind of loving God would let such monstrous people go on acting like that!" It's always the same situation for God: He's danged if he does, and danged if he doesn't.

        And lastly, there were cases when God would show mercy on a tribe or nation if they changed their ways, and then leave them to themselves, afterwards, so long as they stayed on the righteous path:

Jeremiah 18:8
If that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them.

        A grand example of this is the case of Ninevah, the wicked city in the book of Jonah that repented of its ways and was shown mercy by God:

Jonah 3:4-5 & 10
4. And Jonah began to enter into the city a day's journey, and he cried, and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown.
5. So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them.
10. And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.

        Can't you just hear the Atheist that's reading this going, "Yeah, but, that's not, I mean, you can't - none of this is, I mean, it's all so..." See, all an Atheist is going to gather from any of this is that God just might be legitimate and, thus, real. And, of course, THAT means that they don't get to have their sin without consequences, which is what Atheism is really all about. Go read the article, "Atheism contradicts itself," for proof of that.

Moving on to slavery...

        First, let's see if Jews were ever allowed to make slaves of each other...

Leviticus 25:35-43
35. And if thy brother be waxen poor, and fallen in decay with thee; then thou shalt relieve him: yea, though he be a stranger, or a sojourner; that he may live with thee.
36. Take thou no usury of him, or increase: but fear thy God; that thy brother may live with thee.
37. Thou shalt not give him thy money upon usury, nor lend him thy victuals for increase.
38. I am the Lord your God, which brought you forth out of the land of Egypt, to give you the land of Canaan, and to be your God.
39. And if thy brother that dwelleth by thee be waxen poor, and be sold unto thee; thou shalt not compel him to serve as a bondservant:
40. But as an hired servant, and as a sojourner, he shall be with thee, and shall serve thee unto the year of jubile.
41. And then shall he depart from thee, both he and his children with him, and shall return unto his own family, and unto the possession of his fathers shall he return.
42. For they are my servants, which I brought forth out of the land of Egypt: they shall not be sold as bondmen.
43. Thou shalt not rule over him with rigour; but shalt fear thy God.

        Did you catch that servants were to be made out of people that were POOR and didn't have any other way to support themselves or shelter themselves? And did you catch that that went for Jew and sojourner (outsider), alike? The altruistic Bible-hater will then say that the poor people should have been provided for for free, but it's SO easy to be generous with someone ELSE'S money and assets, isn't it? Besides, the Bible is clear, if you can work, you should work, and if you can work and refuse to, you shouldn't eat ( 2nd Thessalonians 3:10). Also, not only was the Jew not to make a bondman or bondwoman out of his fellow Jew or treat him or her harshly (you know, like a slave), but he was also not to send him away empty-handed:

Deuteronomy 15:11-14
11. For the poor shall never cease out of the land: therefore I command thee, saying, Thou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy brother, to thy poor, and to thy needy, in thy land.
12. And if thy brother, an Hebrew man, or an Hebrew woman, be sold unto thee, and serve thee six years; then in the seventh year thou shalt let him go free from thee.
13. And when thou sendest him out free from thee, thou shalt not let him go away empty:
14. Thou shalt furnish him liberally out of thy flock, and out of thy floor, and out of thy winepress: of that wherewith the Lord thy God hath blessed thee thou shalt give unto him.

        Now, right here is where the Bible-hater will yank you back up to the Leviticus passage just before and show you the verses that come after it:

Leviticus 25:44-46
44. Both thy bondmen, and thy bondmaids, which thou shalt have, shall be of the heathen that are round about you; of them shall ye buy bondmen and bondmaids.
45. Moreover of the children of the strangers that do sojourn among you, of them shall ye buy, and of their families that are with you, which they begat in your land: and they shall be your possession.
46. And ye shall take them as an inheritance for your children after you, to inherit them for a possession; they shall be your bondmen for ever: but over your brethren the children of Israel, ye shall not rule one over another with rigour.

        "Aha! See that?! The Jew could keep other Jews and outsiders for servants FOREVER!" the Bible-hater squeals. But as we read above in Leviticus 25:40, the servant was only required to serve until the Jubile year, and a lot of times servant contracts were only made for seven years: When verse 46 says "forever" it means that if the servant chooses to stay with that master afterward their obligation is up, they can stay with that family forever without fear of being sold or bought by another family:

Exodus 21:2-6
2. If thou buy an Hebrew servant, six years he shall serve: and in the seventh he shall go out free for nothing.
3. If he came in by himself, he shall go out by himself: if he were married, then his wife shall go out with him.
4. If his master have given him a wife, and she have born him sons or daughters; the wife and her children shall be her master's, and he shall go out by himself.
5. And if the servant shall plainly say, I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free:
6. Then his master shall bring him unto the judges; he shall also bring him to the door, or unto the door post; and his master shall bore his ear through with an aul; and he shall serve him for ever.

        See that last word "forever" in verse 6? That's what Leviticus 25:46 is talking about. If a servant WANTED TO, they could stay with a master forever. Otherwise, they could leave after seven years. In fact, the reason God sent Israel into captivity at the hands of the Babylonians was because they were not letting their servants go at the end of seven years, as God's instructions required:

Jeremiah 34:13-17 & 20-21
13. Thus saith the Lord, the God of Israel; I made a covenant with your fathers in the day that I brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondmen, saying,
14. At the end of seven years let ye go every man his brother an Hebrew, which hath been sold unto thee; and when he hath served thee six years, thou shalt let him go free from thee: but your fathers hearkened not unto me, neither inclined their ear.
15. And ye were now turned, and had done right in my sight, in proclaiming liberty every man to his neighbour; and ye had made a covenant before me in the house which is called by my name:
16. But ye turned and polluted my name, and caused every man his servant, and every man his handmaid, whom he had set at liberty at their pleasure, to return, and brought them into subjection, to be unto you for servants and for handmaids.
17. Therefore thus saith the Lord; Ye have not hearkened unto me, in proclaiming liberty, every one to his brother, and every man to his neighbour: behold, I proclaim a liberty for you, saith the Lord, to the sword, to the pestilence, and to the famine; and I will make you to be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth.
20. I will even give them into the hand of their enemies, and into the hand of them that seek their life: and their dead bodies shall be for meat unto the fowls of the heaven, and to the beasts of the earth.
21. And Zedekiah king of Judah and his princes will I give into the hand of their enemies, and into the hand of them that seek their life, and into the hand of the king of Babylon's army, which are gone up from you.

        See that? God let Babylon defeat and capture Israel because the Israelites weren't letting their servants go after seven years. So much for God supporting slavery, huh? Bible-haters aren't going to show you THOSE verses, though. They're simply going to put a small frame around a verse or two and take it out of context.

        Buying servants was a cultural matter for those times back then and God was simply giving instructions for dealing with fellow human beings in a humane manner. It might interest you to know that some of those strangers and sojourners that surrounded Israel bought the Jews for servants. When this happened, God didn't tell the other Jews to go destroy their owners. If possible, they were to buy them back at the price that was paid for them. It was honored both ways:

Leviticus 25:47-49
47. And if a sojourner or stranger wax rich by thee, and thy brother that dwelleth by him wax poor, and sell himself unto the stranger or sojourner by thee, or to the stock of the stranger's family:
48. After that he is sold he may be redeemed again; one of his brethren may redeem him:
49. Either his uncle, or his uncle's son, may redeem him, or any that is nigh of kin unto him of his family may redeem him; or if he be able, he may redeem himself.

        And it should be pointed out that God forbade treating ANY servant badly, whether they were Jew or heathen:

Deuteronomy 24:14-15
14. Thou shalt not oppress an hired servant that is poor and needy, whether he be of thy brethren, or of thy strangers that are in thy land within thy gates:
15. At his day thou shalt give him his hire, neither shall the sun go down upon it; for he is poor, and setteth his heart upon it: lest he cry against thee unto the Lord, and it be sin unto thee.

        If you want to know more about this particular subject, here's an outstanding video by the folks at the Acts17Apologetics channel on youtube:

Moving on to animal cruelty...

        The Bible-haters say that Leviticus chapter 1 proves that God loves nothing better than some good ole animal cruelty by way of sacrificing them on an open fire.

        Of course, no Bible-hater is going to point out that vengeful cruelty to animals was forbidden in the Old Testament:

Proverbs 12:10
A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.

Proverbs 27:23
Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds.

Deuteronomy 25:4
Thou shalt not muzzle the ox when he treadeth out the corn. [Keep it from eating]

Exodus 23:5
If thou see the ass [donkey] of him that hateth thee lying under his burden, and wouldest forbear to help him, thou shalt surely help with him.

        "Yeah, but what about sacrifices?" The Bible-hater asks.

        When the sheep, goats and bulls were sacrificed, they were killed before they were burned, cut across the throat with a knife with such a strict requirement of sharpness that even a little nick would rend it unfit. The animal was unconscious from loss of blood flow to the brain within a few seconds. It was much less inhumane than, say, throwing your own living children on the fire, as the heathen tribes did.

        And Bible-haters certainly aren't going to point out that this offering was entirely VOLUNTARY:

Leviticus 1:3
If his offering be a burnt sacrifice of the herd, let him offer a male without blemish: he shall offer it of his own VOLUNTARY will at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation before the LORD.

        And they DEFINITELY aren't going to point out that God would have rather had a song of praise, instead:

Psalm 69:30-31
30. I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving.
31. This also shall please the Lord better than an ox or bullock that hath horns and hoofs.

Psalms 40:6
Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required.

        God said very clearly he would rather just have his people obey his commands instead of having to offer sacrifices all the time:

1st Samuel 15:22
22 And Samuel said, Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.

Hosea 6:6
For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.

Hebrews 10:6
In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure.

Isaiah 1:11
To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the Lord: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats.

Moving on to cannibalism...

        Bible-haters claim that in Leviticus 26:29, God CLEARLY mandates cannibalism, so let's take a look: 

Leviticus 26:29
And ye shall eat the flesh of your sons, and the flesh of your daughters shall ye eat.

        Bible-haters would LOVE to stop right there, put a frame around that one verse, and have you think that God just got really bored one day and decided that some cannibalism would be fun to watch. In Leviticus 26:1-39 God is telling the Israelites about the blessings that awaited them if they followed his statutes and the travesties awaited them if they followed after the statutes of the primitive gods of the heathen tribes around them. Quite simply, if the Israelites kept throwing their living children on the fire to worship Molech and the gang (Leviticus 18:21, Jeremiah 19:5, etc), God was going to give them a reason to. In this case, they would be invaded by those same heathen tribes and robbed and plundered to the point of having to resort to cannibalism to survive. And, really, all God was doing was warning his people that if they kept choosing their sins, God was going to choose them too and turn them over to the consequences completely:

Isaiah 66:4
I also will choose their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them; because when I called, none did answer; when I spake, they did not hear: but they did evil before mine eyes, and chose that in which I delighted not.

        I have to point out that, once again, this is a case where God is danged if he does and danged if he doesn't. If he HADN'T subjected Israel to such brutal punishments when they sinned in such horrid ways, God-haters today would be looking up Israel's past and finding out about all these atrocities and saying, "Ah! See? It's wrong for the heathens, but okay for Israel." It's also interesting that the people that have a problem with this verse are the same people that HATE Israel. You would think they'd LOVE this verse, right?

        By the way, this isn't the only place in the Bible that God warned the Jews of being reduced to cannibalism if they followed after the heathen practices. He also warned them in Deuteronomy 28:53-57, Jeremiah 19:9, Lamentations 2:20 & 4:10, and Ezekiel 5:10. It's the same case in all of them: Israel will be invaded by the heathen tribes whose devilish ways they are following after and will be plundered into poverty to the point of having to resort to cannibalism.

Moving on to servant abuse...

        Atheists claim that Exodus 21:20-21 suggests that Jewish masters should beat up on their servants regularly, so let's take a look at it:

Exodus 21:20-21
20. And if a man smite his servant, or his maid, with a rod, and he die under his hand; he shall be surely punished.
21. Notwithstanding, if he continue a day or two, he shall not be punished: for he is his money.

        Atheists claim that, according to these verses, a master was allowed to use a servant again and again as a walking punching bag, so long as the servant healed up in a day or two. But if we consider the WHOLE passage these verses come from (are you noticing a pattern of convenient exclusion here, by the way?) we see that it's talking about when people strive against each other, which means to FIGHT, and it happened sometimes between master and servant, which is the case that verses 20-21 handle. God simply gave instructions for what should happen when the servant lost the fight. So, here, let's take a look at the whole passage:

Exodus 21:18-27

18. And if men strive together, and one smite another with a stone, or with his fist, and he die not, but keepeth his bed:
19. If he rise again, and walk abroad upon his staff, then shall he that smote him be quit: only he shall pay for the loss of his time, and shall cause him to be thoroughly healed.
20. And if a man smite his servant, or his maid, with a rod, and he die under his hand; he shall be surely punished.
21. Notwithstanding, if he continue a day or two, he shall not be punished: for he is his money.
22. If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished, according as the woman's husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine.
23. And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life,
24. Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot,
25. Burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.
26. And if a man smite the eye of his servant, or the eye of his maid, that it perish; he shall let him go free for his eye's sake.
27. And if he smite out his manservant's tooth, or his maidservant's tooth; he shall let him go free for his tooth's sake.

        Somehow, some people read this and perceive a God that doesn't care about people's health. Do you know what would have happened in any of the heathen cities or tribes surrounding Israel if a master and servant would have gotten into a fight? The servant would have been killed and dumped into the nearest ditch, with no punishment coming to the master at all.

        And we need to point out again that God forbade treating ANY servant badly, whether they were Jew or heathen:

Deuteronomy 24:14-15
14. Thou shalt not oppress an hired servant that is poor and needy, whether he be of thy brethren, or of thy strangers that are in thy land within thy gates:
15. At his day thou shalt give him his hire, neither shall the sun go down upon it; for he is poor, and setteth his heart upon it: lest he cry against thee unto the Lord, and it be sin unto thee.

Moving on to rape...

        Bible-haters claim that Deuteronomy 21:10-14 condones rape, so let's take a look at it:

Deuteronomy 21:10-14
10. When thou goest forth to war against thine enemies, and the Lord thy God hath delivered them into thine hands, and thou hast taken them captive,
11. And seest among the captives a beautiful woman, and hast a desire unto her, that thou wouldest have her to thy wife;
12. Then thou shalt bring her home to thine house, and she shall shave her head, and pare her nails;
13. And she shall put the raiment of her captivity from off her, and shall remain in thine house, and bewail her father and her mother a full month: and after that thou shalt go in unto her, and be her husband, and she shall be thy wife.
14. And it shall be, if thou have no delight in her, then thou shalt let her go whither she will; but thou shalt not sell her at all for money, thou shalt not make merchandise of her, because thou hast humbled her.

        The passage is talking about sparing the life of a foreign woman from a tribe or city that was warring with Israel, and taking her as a WIFE not a "rape victim." And if it became clear that they just weren't going to get along, the man had to let her go. It even makes sure to say that he wasn't allowed to sell or give her to someone else, or keep her as a slave, but that he had to simply let her go. Nowhere in that passage is the word "rape" found. Besides, Deuteronomy 22:23-27 clearly condemns rape, and even addresses how the Jews were to handle both urban and rural cases of it.

Deuteronomy 22:23-27

23. If a damsel that is a virgin be betrothed unto an husband, and a man find her in the city, and lie with her;
24. Then ye shall bring them both out unto the gate of that city, and ye shall stone them with stones that they die; the damsel, because she cried not, being in the city; and the man, because he hath humbled his neighbour's wife: so thou shalt put away evil from among you.

25. But if a man find a betrothed damsel in the field, and the man force her, and lie with her: then the man only that lay with her shall die.
26. But unto the damsel thou shalt do nothing; there is in the damsel no sin worthy of death: for as when a man riseth against his neighbour, and slayeth him, even so is this matter:
27. For he found her in the field, and the betrothed damsel cried, and there was none to save her.

        If a man forced himself on a woman he would be killed. The only way the woman would be guilty is if she liked it and didn't even have a mind to resist, as it says in verses 23-24. And no, that doesn't mean they could get away with raping a mute woman or catching a woman when there's no one around to help her, either, as shown in verse 27.

        Bible-haters then move down to verses 28-29 and say that the Bible essentially encourages prostitution by putting a price of fifty shekels of silver on rape if the victim is a virgin:

Deuteronomy 22:28-29
28. If a man find a damsel that is a virgin, which is not betrothed, and lay hold on her, and lie with her, and they be found;
29. Then the man that lay with her shall give unto the damsel's father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife; because he hath humbled her, he may not put her away all his days.

        Why can't the guy that rapes a virgin be put to death like the guy that rapes a betrothed woman? Because he had to help the woman support herself and possibly raise a baby, if she got pregnant. The guy can't help the woman if he's dead. Here's the thing with all of that: Rape still happens today, everywhere, and the guy isn't required to give the woman or her father a dime. In fact, he goes to jail, which the father is probably paying for with his tax dollars. The Jews were not perfect people and they committed their share of sins. The difference between them and other nations was that they served a God that punished disobedience, and prescribed ways that crimes and sins should be atoned for and righted.

        Atheists claim that Isaiah 13:16 condones rape too, so let's take a look at it:

Isaiah 13:16
Their children also shall be dashed to pieces before their eyes; their houses shall be spoiled, and their wives ravished.

        This is not God telling the Jews to slaughter children and rape women. Isaiah chapter 13 is called the Burden of Babylon, and it prophesies the destruction of a restored, futuristic Babylon, which will come when God delivers the city into the hands of the Persians (Iranians), who will be even more barbaric and violent than they. They will be muslims, of course, and it won't bother them at all to dash children against stones and rape women. Remember in John 26:52 when Jesus told Peter that he who kills by the sword will die by the sword? Well, this is a case in point. This Babylon, the Great Whore of Revelation chapters 17 and 18, is given a taste of her own medicine half way through the Tribulation. You're probably asking what happened to "Doing unto others as you'd have them do unto you." Well, this will be in the Tribulation, and the Dispensation of Grace will have long since been over. Anyway, let's look at more of the passage to prove all of this:

Isaiah 13:1, 14-20
1. The burden of Babylon, which Isaiah the son of Amoz did see.
14. And it shall be as the chased roe, and as a sheep that no man taketh up: they shall every man turn to his own people, and flee every one into his own land.
15. Every one that is found shall be thrust through; and every one that is joined unto them shall fall by the sword.
16. Their children also shall be dashed to pieces before their eyes; their houses shall be spoiled, and their wives ravished.
17. Behold, I will stir up the Medes (Iranians) against them, which shall not regard silver; and as for gold, they shall not delight in it.
18. Their bows also shall dash the young men to pieces; and they shall have no pity on the fruit of the womb; their eyes shall not spare children.
19. And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees' excellency, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah.
20. It shall never be inhabited, neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation: neither shall the Arabian pitch tent there; neither shall the shepherds make their fold there.

You can tell that this is a future event because of verse 20, which says that after this onslaught Babylon will never be inhabited by people again. Babylon was located in modern day Iraq, and the territory is very much inhabited today. Its desolation is yet to come.

        And speaking of dashing children against stones, this same event is prophesied in yet another passage from which Bible-haters - yet again - extract a single verse to misconstrue the meaning:

Psalm 137:9
Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones.

        They never show this verse with the verse that comes before it:

Psalm 137:8-9
8. O daughter of Babylon, who art to be destroyed; happy shall he be (the Medes and Persians), that rewardeth thee as thou hast served us.
9. Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones.

        Remember, this is in the Tribulation, when the Dispensation of Grace is over. Those times are going to be brutal and you don't want to be there.

Moving on to violating the Sabbath...

        Atheists reason that because a lot of Christians work on the Sabbath, which was expressly forbidden in the Old Testament, that everything else that was forbidden in the Old Testament is okay now too. But they don't understand what the Sabbath is. God used the Sabbath as a sign to the JEWS, who require a sign to have faith:

1st Corinthians 1:22
For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom.

Exodus 31:13
Speak thou also unto the children of ISRAEL, saying, Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a SIGN between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you.

        This is a covenant that God made with the Jews, and he said that it will be kept forever more (Exodus 31:15-16). But Jesus has BECOME the sabbath. For the body of Christ (those who will accept Jesus in the Church Age) JESUS is the Sabbath and the rest:

Matthew 11:28
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

        When the Pharisees accused Jesus' disciples of gathering corn (and therefore doing work) on the Sabbath, he reminded them that HE was the Lord of the Sabbath and that needful things were okay on the sabbath:

Matthew 12:1-8
1. At that time Jesus went on the sabbath day throughout the corn; and his disciples were an hungered, and began topluck the ears of corn and to eat.
2. But when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto him, Behold, thy disciples do that which is not lawful to do upon the sabbath day.
3. But he said unto them, Have ye not read what David did, when he was an hungered, and they that were with him;
4. How he entered into the house of God, and did eat the shewbread, which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for them which were with him, but only for the priests?
5. Or have ye not read in the law, how that on the sabbath days the priests in the temple profane the sabbath, and are blameless?
6. But I say unto you, That in this place is one greater than the temple.
7. But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless.
8. For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day.

        And he makes it clear in the gospel of Mark that the Sabbath was made for man, not the other way around.

Mark 2:23-28
23. And it came to pass, that he went through the corn fields on the sabbath day; and his disciples began, as they went, to pluck the ears of corn.
24. And the Pharisees said unto him, Behold, why do they on the sabbath day that which is not lawful?
25. And he said unto them, Have ye never read what David did, when he had need, and was an hungred, he, and they that were with him?
26. How he went into the house of God in the days of Abiathar the high priest, and did eat the shewbread, which is not lawful to eat but for the priests, and gave also to them which were with him?
27. And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath:
28. Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.

        That's why Paul said:

Colossians 2:16
Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days.

        And when Jesus ushers in his Millenial Kingdom the Sabbath Days will resume and be followed by everyone (Isaiah 66:23).

Moving on to shell-fish and homosexuality...

        Bible-haters point out that both homosexuality and eating shell-fish were called an abomination in Leviticus 18:22 and Leviticus 11:10, respectively, and then say that because people eat shell-fish today that homosexuality is fine and dandy too.

        The unclean animals and creatures were those which would eat all sorts of refuse: bacteria, carrion, vomit, even their own feces, and these animals were a type and sort of the heathen (non-Jews), who wallowed in their sin:

Exodus 11:7
But against any of the children of Israel shall not a dog move his tongue, against man or beast: that ye may know how that the Lord doth put a difference between the Egyptians and Israel.

Proverbs 26:11
As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly.

2nd Peter 2:22
But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.

        Dogs and pigs were just two of the unclean animals banned from the menu.

        Israel were set apart to be a holy people, separated from the ways of the world unto God, and they were to keep themselves as clean as possible to bring about the savior, who was to be offered as an umblemished sacrifice for sin (1st Peter 1:19). And although Israel certainly fell into sin, and even to the point of making the heathens around them look decent by comparison (2nd Chronicles 33:9), there was always a faithful remnant of Jews who followed God as closely as possible (Romans 11:2-5).

        After Jesus finished his atonement for man's sin on the cross, the whole world - Jew and Gentile - was reconciled to God once more and from that point on, Jew and Gentile were the same in Jesus. This was shown to Peter, when he had the dream of animals previously deemed unclean coming down on a blanket and God telling him to arise and eat. He resisted at first, but then got the point that they represented the Gentiles (heathen) being reconciled to God through Jesus:

Acts 10:9-15
9. On the morrow, as they went on their journey, and drew nigh unto the city, Peter went up upon the housetop to pray about the sixth hour:
10. And he became very hungry, and would have eaten: but while they made ready, he fell into a trance,
11. And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending upon him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth:
12. Wherein were all manner of fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air.
13. And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat.
14. But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean.
15. And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.

        Skipping ahead to verses 26-28...

26. But Peter took him up, saying, Stand up; I myself also am a man.
27. And as he talked with him, he went in, and found many that were come together.
28. And he said unto them, Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath shewed me that I should not call any man common or unclean.

        From that time forward, it was no longer a sin to eat previously unclean meats. In fact, it was a sin to tell people that they couldn't eat certain meats and the only people that taught such doctrines were devils:

1st Timothy 4:1-5
1. Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
2. Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;
3. Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.
4. For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving:
5. For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.

Colossians 2:16
Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:

        When the atheists see this, they say, "So, if those unclean animals are now okay, then homosexuality is okay too, right?" No, it isn't. There is a reason that homosexuality is still condemned in the New Testament (Romans chapter 1, 1st Corinthians 6:9, 1st Timothy 1:8-10). What people fail to realize is that God doesn't just bark arbitrary commands to hear himself barking commands. A lot of times his commandments give helpful ADVICE. Thus, when he tells you to stay away from something like homosexuality and bestiality, you'd best believe it's because you're rolling the dice with disaster if you stay in it. Someone might argue that modern medicine has made diseases like AIDS a thing of the past, but if you'll read the article 'End Time Predictions in the Bible,' you'll see that many viruses and diseases thought to be under control have recently mutated into drug-resistant new strains, and are now spreading rampantly again, just as (Matthew 24:7) predicted. Sorry, folks, you can choose your sin, but not your consequences. If God said to stay away from it, you'd better stay away from it. Your sin WILL find you (Numbers 32:23). We have to remember that these sinful urges of ours are destructive tenets made attractive by Satan's murderous, lying power of illusion (John 8:44 and 2nd Corinthians 4:3-4).

        That's it for now. Like I said, as I come across other accusations and get a chance to investigate them, I'll print them here.