Conserving Rebellion in Canaan

I think I’ve demonstrated (at least somewhat) how God’s command to Sacrifice of the Canaanites indeed is tied into Christ’s story and how we should approach it. The centrality of Christ to all of God’s plans should be obvious, but these are humans we are dealing with, and worse: conservative-minded ones like myself.

Stick with me through the upcoming juke in conversation because I’m going to make a third course change before this post is done.

It has been said that Democrats are the party of sex, and Republicans are the party of money. There’s some truth pointed to in that statement. I would say that some of that truth is that–from a spiritual perspective–liberals tend more to lust, and conservatives to miserlinessLiberals cannot resist whatever is before them (finders keepers); while Conservatives resist restoration (losers weepers). What they have in common is a penchant to distort reality; to let their desires obscure their vision.

Examples of this are conservative men who either explicitly support, or demure from denouncing, female suffrage. It is better to them to keep their reputations as enlightened romantics than to be seen as barbaric patriarchs; even in the face of the wholesale death, destruction, fraud, and whoring of Western Civilization that has occurred since. Very few conservative women will even countenance the idea. The more common response is: “What makes so you special? We should just do what you say because you’re a man? Pfft! NEVER!” Even if they say they believe that God ordained public leadership for men, and even if they aren’t demonstrating and vandalizing businesses like the original suffragettes: It’s theirs now, you see.

Going back to look at McGrew’s problem with the clear commandment to kill all the city-dwelling[1] Canaanites during the conquest of Canaan, we see this same error. To her credit, she does wisely insist that the command was meant literally, and that the Bible says the Israelites did indeed kill Canaanites, even infants.[2] She mentions no problem with the Lord drowning every human on Earth. The killing of the first-born of the Egyptians doesn’t bother her. Sodom’s destruction is acceptable. She says explicitly that if the Lord Himself does these things then it is acceptable…but if God gives commands of authority to men, then she will have no truck with it. It must be a mistake, a lie, or otherwise false.

In the final analysis, McGrew’s objection to God’s command for the conquest of Canaan is nothing short of conserving rebellion. Finders keepers, losers weepers.

She’s not the only one among those who say they fight liberalism; nor am I immune from the temptation. How one can be so liberal as to reject clear bits of God’s Word piecemeal and yet still claim to fight liberalism is not hard to understand. We are not called to head out and take on liberalism in the first place. We’re to submit ourselves and those under us to Christ, and proclaim Him to those around us; that they might repent and make peace with Him before He returns to claim His promised kingdom. We don’t have to understand all the nuances of liberalism, or all the faults of Islam and other pagan beliefs. We just have to recognize Christ as Lord of our lives; the instructions of which are in His Word, and the evidence of which is all around us if we have eyes to see. He’ll lead us to the peoples and cities (and churches) that need to repent, or be destroyed.

[1] Get thee to the sticks, unless otherwise directed.

[2] Far from running from this, Christ prophecies another total destruction  to come within a parable which I’ve talked about before.

25 Now great crowds accompanied him, and he turned and said to them, 26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. 27 Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. 28 For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? 29 Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, 30 saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ 31 Or what king, going out to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? 32 And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace. 33 So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.

It’s identical to the manner of the conquest of Canaan. Notice that Jesus doesn’t mention the attacking King proposing terms of peace to the defender. The responsibility is on the defender to see that doom approaches, and to go out and submit himself and his city to the King–to make it Christ’s city before it is made desolate. Every man has a conscience to guide him; the law of God is written on our hearts; etc. 

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42 thoughts on “Conserving Rebellion in Canaan

  1. Wow. Good stuff. On the women’s vote.

    Got a call from a lovely Christian friend on Tuesday morning. She wanted to know if I had yet voted, and to pick my brain about some of the local races. So I told her I hadn’t been following the races this year, and I wasn’t even sure I was going to vote.

    She responded that as a woman (and a black woman no less!) that people had bled and died for my right to vote. I groaned a little and she asked what was up. So I told her the whole women’s suffrage thing isn’t my deal. Leaves me cold and isn’t gonna send me to the polls. She grew quiet for a second then asked what on earth I was talking about.

    We’re new friends so I jokingly said to her, “When you love me enough that you won’t ditch me, I’ll buy you a cup of coffee and you can hear me out. But for the record, no one bled and died so women could get the vote.”

    And I told her if I vote at all, it’ll be when the husband got off so that I could be sure to vote exactly as he does, and only as he does.

    This should get interesting.

    But yeah, she’s a staunch conservative.

  2. Is Lydia McGrew holier than God?

    Implicit in this is the assumption that we have more of a reason to believe that the Scripture are accurately reporting that God ordered the destruction of an entire culture than the light of natural reason that mass slaughter of babies is wrong.

    I’m actually not on Lydia’s side in the thread, but I simply don’t think it’s as simple as saying “Yeah, the Bible says it, so God totally ordered it”. There are legitimate problems to wrestle with here. I’m content with saying that God’s ways are not my ways and I really don’t know how to explain those verses. But if I thought I heard the voice of God telling me to kill a baby, I’d immediately assume it was from the devil.

    Now, you can say that the Israelites KNEW it was from God for various reasons, but that still doesn’t explain away the fact that they killed babies. This is wrong, or it at least appears so. If there’s a reason it’s not wrong, some sort of piece of the moral puzzle I’m not seeing, that’s fine. It’s likely, actually. But I don’t think it’s as simple as saying “God ordered it, so it’s okay.”

  3. Yeah, King Saul had his problems with it, too.

    If King Saul had a problem with killing infants and non-combatants, some of whom probably surrendered, then he had a pretty damn good point.

    Straightforward question: If a voice claiming to be God told you to shoot an infant in the head, would you do it? Or would you assume it was from the devil?

  4. It was Samuel, the judge, whom Saul and the people and then David, and everyone since, accepted as God’s authoritative representative. It’s not some “voice claiming to be God”. Stop making infantile arguments.

  5. She says explicitly that if the Lord Himself does these things then it is acceptable…but if God gives commands of authority to men, then she will have no truck with it. It must be a mistake, a lie, or otherwise false.

    She is right to make the distinction though. God strictly speaking cannot commit murder, any more than He can make a rock He cannot lift; because murder is an irrevocable act and God has the power to resurrect, not to mention create ex nihilo in the first place. It is literally impossible for God to murder, unless you don’t mean God and murder when you type the words “God” and “murder”.

    But human beings following the orders of a prophet who precedes his commands with the formality “thus sayeth the Lord of Hosts” isn’t even really comparable to God acting, on any level.

  6. It was Samuel, the judge, whom Saul and the people and then David, and everyone since, accepted as God’s authoritative representative. It’s not some “voice claiming to be God”.

    Okay. Then if I was Samuel, I would think the messages that were supposedly from God were really from the devil.

    You can go back, but this is going to remain a problem.

    Stop making infantile arguments.

    Whatever. I’ll make arguments that I think might work, you’ll try and show me why they don’t and possibly come up with your own, which I’ll respond to. That’s how debate and discussion work.

    Telling me to “stop making infantile arguments” is basically telling me to “stop being wrong”. Well, I’m trying.

    And if you want my take on it, take a look at Zippy’s take: I don’t know how to explain those verses, but I know there’s an explanation, and I know that I very well might be wrong. I’m fine with that. I’m wrong all the time, as is everybody.

  7. @Malcolm

    If a voice claiming to be God told you to shoot an infant in the head, would you do it? Or would you assume it was from the devil?

    The hypothetical questions and discussions that don’t actually involve the text in question are not helpful; especially to eggheads. At What’s Wrong with the World, the combox got sidetracked into a discussion about whether or not God orders murder; without ever showing that the killing of the Canaanites was, in fact, murder. Poor Tony fell for it.

    @Zippy

    But human beings following the orders of a prophet who precedes his commands with the formality “thus sayeth the Lord of Hosts” isn’t even really comparable to God acting, on any level.

    That’s only true if, in fact, it is merely a formality. If it is more than a formality–if God really has said what command proceeds from the prophets mouth–then not only is it comparable to God acting, but It IS God acting through us. To Him be the glory.

  8. At What’s Wrong with the World, the combox got sidetracked into a discussion about whether or not God orders murder; without ever showing that the killing of the Canaanites was, in fact, murder. Poor Tony fell for it.

    Good point. But then a lot of the discussion turned into “No, no Donkey”*, as people tried various ways to solve the problem by interpretation and it was implied that even discussing the question was verboten.

    *A meme I heard on a baseball blog that was used to describe a conversation that devolved into “No, stop it, stop it, you’re wrong”.

  9. Cane:

    That’s only true if, in fact, it is merely a formality. If it is more than a formality–if God really has said what command proceeds from the prophets mouth–then not only is it comparable to God acting, but It IS God acting through us. To Him be the glory.

    One point is that all the folks framing this as God’s commands versus the Christian moral tradition on murder are simply begging the question. It isn’t God’s commands which are being questioned. It is the worldview, interpretations, concepts of inerrancy, etc of some people versus millennia of Christian tradition and the Church of Christ.

    The other point is that the distinction between God acting Himself and someone doing something because he thinks God told him to are not comparable. Lydia is right about this particular distinction; you are wrong in criticizing her for making it.

    We should always do what God tells us, that is, we should always follow our consciences. But when we are under the impression that God is telling us to do something contrary to bedrock Christian doctrine, we know that there is something wrong with our perception of what we think God is telling us to do. Malcolm’s comment is perfectly sound and very much on point.

  10. Malcolm:

    …as people tried various ways to solve the problem by interpretation and it was implied that even discussing the question was verboten.

    One of modernity’s strategies is to keep talking things to death until it gets what it wants, and to refuse to bend the knee to authority unless a comprehensive accounting (a positivist theory) can be given of just why it should bend the knee to that authority – to convince modern individuals to consent to be governed.

    I think it is perfectly reasonable to discuss mysteries and puzzles, as long as it is agreed ahead of time that when the ‘output’ of an interpretive theory is contrary to doctrine, that falsifies the theory and method of interpretation not the doctrine. But in most cases as a practical matter the reason people want to haggle over interpretive theories is precisely because they don’t like the doctrinal answer.

  11. I think it is perfectly reasonable to discuss mysteries and puzzles, as long as it is agreed ahead of time that when the ‘output’ of an interpretive theory is contrary to doctrine, that falsifies the theory and method of interpretation not the doctrine. But in most cases as a practical matter the reason people want to haggle over interpretive theories is precisely because they don’t like the doctrinal answer.

    I don’t really disagree with you. The person I was mostly frustrated with is William Luse. William is much smarter than I am, but he was literally, admittedly, not interested in discussing the matter, on a thread dedicated to it. In fact, he stated several times that if you were trying to come up with a way to interpret the verses he thought you were repellant or foolish, and he was very dismissive of my perfectly polite comments to him then angry when I finally pointed out that he didn’t have to be there.

    This annoyed me. If he didn’t think the question was worth discussing, that’s fine. It’s perfectly reasonable to say “I don’t know”. But if he doesn’t want to discuss it, leave the people who do alone instead of insulting them or patronizing them!

    I was just frustrated.

  12. @Zippy

    The other point is that the distinction between God acting Himself and someone doing something because he thinks God told him to are not comparable.

    What is under discussion is whether direct acts of God are comparable to rightly-followed acts which are commanded by God. In other words if God’s word itself carries real force. (It does.) The measure is not whether Jew Bob thinks they are from God, but whether they are. And yes, we can know.

    We should always do what God tells us, that is, we should always follow our consciences. But when we are under the impression that God is telling us to do something contrary to bedrock Christian doctrine, we know that there is something wrong with our perception of what we think God is telling us to do.

    Or there is something wrong with our perception of bedrock Christian doctrine.

    You keep making the case that “bedrock Christian doctrine” is the measure, but then you substitute bedrock doctrine along the lines that the killing of innocents is always and intrinsically immoral; which is a statement of Zippy’s bedrock doctrine according to Zippy’s perception of the “natural law”.

    Actual bedrock Christian doctrine is:

    36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And [Jesus] said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”

    The truth is that we live and walk by faith, one day at a time, and by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. To the extent that the ancient Hebrews or anyone does not daily seek God’s will–even at their own expense of happiness, treasure, knowledge, doctrines, or life–then they are in error no matter what they do.

    Some killings of innocents are murder, and some killings are sacrifices. Some are both, but not all. We can know the difference even if both grieve us.

  13. Cane:

    The measure is not whether Jew Bob thinks they are from God, but whether they are. And yes, we can know.

    You can assert “yes, we can know” until you are blue in the face without making it true.

    We can have reasons for believing that a command comes from God — signs, miracles, burning bushes that speak; or, in this case, your personal spin on the OT. By pretending that your personal spin on the OT is God’s will you attempt to import gravitas into your particular human sacrifice narrative and the theological theory behind it that you pretend isn’t there. But that is just hubris on your part. Hubris of the highest sort, because you are claiming to speak for God.

    We have other reasons for believing that killing an infant is always wrong. Those reasons are stronger than Cane Caldo’s personal spin on the Old Testament.

    Could we be wrong about any or all of these things? Of course we could. We are fallible human beings. The travesty here is you pretending that you are not: pretending that your personal spin on things is the voice of God.

  14. Inerrancy is a characteristic of Scripture. It isn’t a characteristic of Cane Caldo, his personal interpretations, and the theological theories that he pretends are not there and holds to as strongly as Catholicism holds to the natural law tradition that he thinks we should abandon in favor of his pet theories.

  15. @Zippy

    By pretending that your personal spin on the OT is God’s will you attempt to import gravitas into your particular human sacrifice narrative and the theological theory behind it that you pretend isn’t there.

    […]

    Inerrancy is a characteristic of Scripture. It isn’t a characteristic of Cane Caldo

    Very true.

    1. I have put forward what I see, and no one should take it as inerrant.

    2. I have not spoken against any other interpretation that has been forwarded (either here or elsewhere) except those that put forth one of the following:

    – God commanded murder
    – that it is wrong to follow God’s commands if it “feels really wrong”
    – that the Bible leads astray those who seek God and His will
    – that Scripture is errant
    – that there is no way to know what we should do except by thinking really hard about the natural law, or otherwise putting natural law ahead of revelation.

  16. Cane:

    – that the Bible leads astray those who seek God and His will

    It isn’t the Bible that leads them astray. They lead themselves astray, and appeal to their personal interpretations of the Bible to justify it. As you have here, appealing to the Bible as a way to reject natural law.

    -that there is no way to know what we should do except by thinking really hard about the natural law, or otherwise putting natural law ahead of revelation.

    There are always many possible ways to interpret Scripture. Scripture is always and necessarily interpreted by drawing on meaning that comes from outside of Scripture (as with all texts, most of the meaning comes from something other than the text in itself). You do this as much as papists, you just don’t admit that you are doing it. It isn’t putting natural law ‘ahead of’ Scripture, any more than putting knowledge of the meaning of words is putting the dictionary ‘ahead of’ Scripture.

  17. @Zippy

    It isn’t the Bible that leads them astray. They lead themselves astray, and appeal to their personal interpretations of the Bible to justify it.

    Agreed.

    As you have here, appealing to the Bible as a way to reject natural law.

    No. The trouble I’m pointing out is that pursuing the natural lawitself is off-target, and leads to many versions of idolatry.

    You do this as much as papists, you just don’t admit that you are doing it. It isn’t putting natural law ‘ahead of’ Scripture, any more than putting knowledge of the meaning of words is putting the dictionary ‘ahead of’ Scripture.

    No, it is different; as different as I am from those who say the KJV Bible is the only authoritative translation of the Bible, or those who say all we need to know of God can come from private study of the Bible. I believe you think I am one of those, but I am not.

  18. Cane:

    The trouble I’m pointing out is that pursuing the natural law itself is off-target, and leads to many versions of idolatry.

    Scripture cannot be interpreted apart from an understanding of morality. Pursuing natural law is like pursuing vocabulary and grammar: it is necessary in order to make any sense of Scripture at all, let alone to come to a true and correct interpretation of Scripture. Your polemic here is akin to suggesting that pursuing the capacity to speak and read is off-target.

  19. @Zippy

    Your polemic here is akin to suggesting that pursuing the capacity to speak and read is off-target.

    Haha! What an appropriate example.

    Communication is the goal; not achievement of perfect vocabulary and immaculate grammar, and as you have stated on your blog it is living.

    Scripture cannot be interpreted apart from an understanding of morality.

    Agreed. It is not me who said I reject natural law or morality; of which you should not accuse me.

    13 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.

    Right speech, right knowledge, and right actions are useless without love; which is God.

    McGrew started from her own stated position that Scripture is not inerrant, and with the goal of leading others away from believing what has been repeatedly attested by Scripture and the Church for thousands of years. To believe Samuel and David is to believe Moses. To believe Christ, the Son of God, is to believe the sent servants of that God, who attested of Christ and whoChrist upheld, and for which men killed both servants and Son.

    34 I will bless the Lord at all times;
    his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
    2 My soul makes its boast in the Lord;
    let the humble hear and be glad.
    3 Oh, magnify the Lord with me,
    and let us exalt his name together!

    4 I sought the Lord, and he answered me
    and delivered me from all my fears.
    5 Those who look to him are radiant,
    and their faces shall never be ashamed.
    6 This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him
    and saved him out of all his troubles.
    7 The angel of the Lord encamps
    around those who fear him, and delivers them.

    8 Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!
    Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!
    9 Oh, fear the Lord, you his saints,
    for those who fear him have no lack!
    10 The young lions suffer want and hunger;
    but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.

    11 Come, O children, listen to me;
    I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
    12 What man is there who desires life
    and loves many days, that he may see good?
    13 Keep your tongue from evil
    and your lips from speaking deceit.
    14 Turn away from evil and do good;
    seek peace and pursue it.

    15 The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous
    and his ears toward their cry.
    16 The face of the Lord is against those who do evil,
    to cut off the memory of them from the earth.
    17 When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears
    and delivers them out of all their troubles.
    18 The Lord is near to the brokenhearted
    and saves the crushed in spirit.

    19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
    but the Lord delivers him out of them all.
    20 He keeps all his bones;
    not one of them is broken.
    21 Affliction will slay the wicked,
    and those who hate the righteous will be condemned.
    22 The Lord redeems the life of his servants;
    none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned.

  20. Cane:

    It is not me who said I reject natural law or morality; of which you should not accuse me.

    You do reject it though, by posing a false opposition between natural law morality and obedience of God. That’s why you have affirmed the morality of human sacrifice and murder – murder performed by human beings and offered to God as a ‘sacrifice’. It is certainly possible for you to interpret Scripture differently, in a way which is consonant with natural law morality, and which does not require you to give up Biblical inerrancy. But you don’t.

    The problem isn’t with Biblical inerrancy or with natural law morality. The problem is with you.

    McGrew started from her own stated position that Scripture is not inerrant,…

    As it happens, that isn’t what she actually said. As with many words people interpret the word ‘inerrant’ in a multiplicity of ways, and she suggested (probably correctly, depending on what she meant by it, but on that you’d have to ask her) that a ‘strict inerrantist’ would have the greatest problem.

    I am an inerrantist myself, by which I mean that true and correct interpretations of Scripture exist. By ‘strict inerrantist’ I think she means something along the lines of ‘someone who is convinced that his own personal interpretations are all true and correct’ — that is certainly what it means in practice.

    But I didn’t comment here to defend her or everything she said. I commented because you were wrong to criticize the distinction she made between God doing something and God commanding something, for a whole variety of reasons; but the main one I covered in my first comment in this thread. You’ve said some additional wrong things, some of which I pointed out in subsequent comments.

  21. @Zippy

    You do reject it though, by posing a false opposition between natural law morality and obedience of God.

    This is another untrue statement. I pose a true opposition between others perception and use of natural law morality, and obedience to God.

    That’s why you have affirmed the morality of human sacrifice and murder – murder performed by human beings and offered to God as a ‘sacrifice’.

    And again you slip in murder when that is not the case…unless you want to ascribe to Moses, Samuel, (and a good bit of the other prophets) as liars–not just in general, but specifically giving false prophecy, and unjustly punishing the Hewbrews, Saul and many kings of the Old Testament. These same prophets Jesus holds up as righteous servants.

  22. These same prophets Jesus holds up as righteous servants.

    This means little. Moses was a righteous servant who was also banned from the Promised Land for calling upon God like a Pagan. Abraham was a righteous servant who used a concubine because he did not trust the Lord’s promises to bare him a child. Saul, well, he had his own issues.

  23. Cane:

    I pose a true opposition between others perception and use of natural law morality, and obedience to God.

    You are assuming that you personally know what obedience to God entails, based on your personal interpretation of the OT, and using that to undermine thousands of years of Christian understanding of the natural law when it comes to murder and human sacrifice.

    …unless you want to ascribe to Moses, Samuel, (and a good bit of the other prophets) as liars…

    Not liars. Just not God, and not perfect in their own understanding of the natural law.

    Biblical inerrancy doesn’t – can’t – require that every person (some limited set of persons?) in the Old Testament always said and did everything exactly right, without error. Inerrancy implies a true (corresponds with reality) and correct (its meaning correspond’s to the Author’s intended meaning) account of God’s encounter with and revelation to human beings. True and correct interpretations exist. The Bible’s inerrancy doesn’t imply that Moses and Samuel and Saul and the like never made any errors. Quite the contrary: Scripture tells us explicitly about many of their imperfections. And it doesn’t imply that your personal interpretation and spin is inerrant, as we’ve already agreed.

    Inerrancy means (at least in part) that the Bible, properly interpreted, gives a true and correct account of what actually happened. That doesn’t grant you a license to extrapolate from “Samuel ordered X” or “Moses commanded Y” to the conclusion that it is impossible for X and Y to be intrinsically immoral. That is what you’ve done here, to reach the conclusion that human sacrifice isn’t intrinsically immoral.

    Again, it isn’t necessary for you to interpret the way you do, asserting a falsification of bedrock Christian doctrine on murder, in order to preserve inerrancy.

    So you must interpret the way you do for other reasons.

  24. Cane:
    Since you are the sort who both gives and receives candor – which I appreciate – I’ll be candid.

    If you had even the faintest idea what God commands, you would stop distracting yourself with interpretation mud wrestling over the Old Testament and natural law. This discussion makes no demands on you personally, which ought to tell you something in itself. It isn’t as if you are about to be asked by God to sacrifice your children.

    If you really knew what He commands, you would set aside all of your personal objections and stumbling blocks and enter into full communion with the Church founded by Christ: the Church descended directly from the Apostles. Like Abraham you would set aside all of your objections and do what you should, however much it pains you to do it.

  25. If the death of Jesus was not a human sacrifice, what was it? Is it unholy? Is it Satanic? God does not ask or command His people to be moral. The Islamic Jihadists are moral. No, not your morality! The Father requires you to be holy, as He is holy. That means that you give up deciding for yourself what is good and what is evil, and allow God to decide. What the Hebrews did in Canaan cannot be separated from their unique covenant that they made with God at Sinai. I am sure that no one here entered into that same Sinai covenant with God. God would not allow it. The new contract (relationship) with God is thru His Son Jesus Christ; The Father’s sacrifice for us sinners that we might be reconciled to Him. It is unlikely that Christians who are commanded to preach the message of God’s love thru the death and resurrection to ALL people will be ask by God to kill those same people.

  26. Bobbye:

    If the death of Jesus was not a human sacrifice, what was it?

    That is the wrong question. The right question is, “did Judas and Pilate do moral good or moral evil”.

  27. @Zippy: “morality is the active aspect of holiness ” http://www.catholic.org/encyclopedia/view.php?id=8179 ; http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/morality-definition/; http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/morality;
    None of these sources have your definition of morality. I personally do not think that I have the right to make my own definitions and then impose them on others. Did you really blow off the death of Jesus as only being incidental to something else ‘really important’?

  28. Bobbye:

    Did you really blow off the death of Jesus as only being incidental to something else ‘really important’?

    No. I asked you if you thought Judas and Pilate were good people to emulate.

  29. @Zippy: Jesus, complying with the express will of the Father, even unto death, is an act of holiness. Doing what God says is holiness, but it may not be moral. Abraham was told to take his son Issac and to go where God leads and there to offer Issac as a sacrifice on an altar. Abraham did not tell anyone where he was going or what he intended to do because he knew nobody, least of all Issac, would consider the intended act moral. Holiness and morality are not the same thing. God is not moral; God is holy. God cannot ever chose to do what is wrong; that is ; God cannot sin. Jesus, the Lamb of God, came and layed down His life, and took it up again so that those who came to the Father thru the Son would be holy, as God is holy. Those who sought to, and did kill Jesus were very moral people, but they were not holy. Pharisees and the Sadducees, scribes and layers, Roman elite and soldiers. All very moral, but not having a clue what God desired. God wants His people to have a clue.

  30. @Zippy: “But should Christians emulate Judas and Pilate, or not?” Christians should emulate Jesus, and no other human being, either living or dead.

  31. Bobbye:

    Christians should emulate Jesus, and no other human being, either living or dead.

    So you are rejecting the idea that Christians should emulate, say, Abraham?

  32. @Zippy: “So you are rejecting the idea that Christians should emulate, say, Abraham”
    Absolutely! Are you suggesting that Jesus is inadequate as a role model? That, perhaps there are better people to emulate? Christ-ian, means little Christs or Christ like. If Jesus Christ is not good enough to be your role model/standard then why pretend to be a Christian?

  33. Bobbye:

    Are you suggesting that Jesus is inadequate as a role model?

    That depends on what you mean by ‘inadequate’. There are all sorts of things we are left to figure out for ourselves in this world. How to fix a car, for example. In general how much Christ ‘holds our hand’ and how much He leaves us to figure out for ourselves is up to Him, not us.

    But in any case, back on the issue of morality (good and evil in human choices), if you are saying that nobody should follow the word and example of Abraham, Moses, Samuel, et al then you might want to take that up with your protestant co-religionists; because you’ve taken an even more radical position against their use of the Old Testament than I have.

    Thanks for the discussion.

  34. @Zippy: You are welcome, although I do not feel as if we really had a discussion. You have assumptions about things and I have assumptions about things, and I do not think we were ever discussing the same thing. However, this is how things start.

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