LewRockwell has an interesting article basically asking “Who would Jesus bomb?” I never understood those who used that phrase as a rhetorical device. Of course they believe the answer should be “no one”, but this is ignoring basic Christian doctrine.
Christianity claims that Jesus is God. Paul states that the fullness of God was in Jesus (Col 2:9). So if Jesus is God, and God destroyed various peoples, cities, and individuals in the Old and New Testament, then we can populate a brief list of people Jesus would bomb.
Sodom and Gomorrah
The rebellious Israelites at Mount Sinai
Ananias and Sapphira
The list goes on (for a more complete list, see “How many has God killed?”). But the striking thing about this list is that some of the instances are flat out land grabs. God commanded Israel into war to take land. And God coupled this with a command to take no prisoners:
Deu 20:16 “But of the cities of these peoples which the LORD your God gives you as an inheritance, you shall let nothing that breathes remain alive,
This leads to an interesting incident in which wise pagan princes, to spare their people, deceive the Israelites into taking the princes’ people as indentured servants. How does the Bible report this event? With hostility! Israel failed their duty to clear the land.
Jos 9:3 But when the inhabitants of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done to Jericho and Ai,
Jos 9:4 they worked craftily…
Jos 9:6 And they went to Joshua, to the camp at Gilgal, and said to him and to the men of Israel, “We have come from a far country; now therefore, make a covenant with us.”…
Jos 9:8 But they said to Joshua, “We are your servants.” And Joshua said to them, “Who are you, and where do you come from?”
Jos 9:9 So they said to him: “From a very far country your servants have come, because of the name of the LORD your God; for we have heard of His fame, and all that He did in Egypt…
Jos 9:14 Then the men of Israel took some of their provisions; but they did not ask counsel of the LORD.
Jos 9:15 So Joshua made peace with them, and made a covenant with them to let them live; and the rulers of the congregation swore to them.
Jos 9:16 And it happened at the end of three days, after they had made a covenant with them, that they heard that they were their neighbors who dwelt near them…
Jos 9:18 But the children of Israel did not attack them, because the rulers of the congregation had sworn to them by the LORD God of Israel. And all the congregation complained against the rulers.
Jos 9:19 Then all the rulers said to all the congregation, “We have sworn to them by the LORD God of Israel; now therefore, we may not touch them.
Jos 9:20 This we will do to them: We will let them live, lest wrath be upon us because of the oath which we swore to them.”
It is clear that God tasked Israel to clear the land, a scorched earth policy. It is also telling that once Israel made the truce, they did not renege on their end although the oath was made under false pretenses. Begrudgingly, Israel accepted willing servants rather than kill them all. This is not the picture LewRockwell.com would have us believe.
In short, there are plenty of people whom Jesus would bomb. Total War was not invented by Sherman or Creative Assembly, but by God. When Jesus says “turn the other cheek”, he is not setting government policy. He is not saying for the government to let murderers kill again or for thieves to steal double. He is talking to individuals.
That being said, the LewRockwell article is directed towards Syria, and I don’t believe Jesus would bomb Syria. But that does not mean he would never bomb anyone.
Clearly you endorse Yahweh’s “scorched earth policy.” But then, yours is a blog “meant for entertainment purposes.” Ha. What a madcap, puckish homicide you are!
So, you have written for LewRockwell.com. You tell us: is the article I critique correct or incorrect (by the author’s own standards of being a Christian)? Then, if the Bible is true, is Total War ever justified?
If the Bible is true, then according to Deuteronomy 13:10 you should have stoned to death a number of unbelievers by now. If the Bible is true, then according to Deuteronomy 2:34, Joshua 6:21, Samuel 15:2-3, and many other verses, total war would be the norm. If the Bible is true, then every Christian would read “Drunk with Blood: God’s Killings in the Bible,” by Steve Wells, not with horror, but delight.
The “consistent” Christians gave us the American War Between the States, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the fire-bombing of Dresden. Far better to cherry-pick the Bible, using a moral standard external to this murderous tome: That of your own humanity.
Gen 6:14 Make yourself an ark of gopherwood; make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and outside with pitch.
Sir, I am not building myself an ark currently. Am I violating the Bible? You seriously need to examine your reading skills. I expect you use one set of reading skills reading normal books and an entirely different one reading the Bible. Statements must be examined in the context of to whom they are said, when they are said, why they are said, and to whom they apply. Failure to do so will make a reader unable to understand any book. For the record, God said he has switched from a national covenant with Israel to the gentiles. Symbolic laws do not apply under the dispensation of Grace.
Clearly you are cherry-picking Matthew 5:18.
But the dilemma is clear: Either your deontology derives exclusively from Scripture, or it derives from an external set of values. In the first case you are stuck with an archaic hodge-podge of contradictory commands, which are in continual need of contorted logic, as you’ve just demonstrated; in the latter case, you place a separate moral system in judgment of Scripture, which decides what is to be cherry-picked.
It should be manifest that my good will is with the cherry-pickers. :-)
Perhaps you would take the word of Atheist Scholar Bart Ehrman. He understands that in the Bible, different laws (and commands) apply differently to different people. Here he is in Peter Paul and Mary M:
“How can Paul have it both ways, thinking that the law should be kept (and is able to be kept by those who have God’s Spirit) and thinking that the law must not be kept?
… In my view, the easiest way to solve the problem is to say that Paul somehow imagines that there are two basic kinds of laws given in the Jewish Scriptures. There are some laws that are meant for Jews to show that they are members of God’s covenantal community, including the laws mentioned above, of circumcision, kosher diet, Sabbath observance, and so on. These are laws that make Jews Jewish. But salvation in Christ, for Paul, is not for Jews only; it is for Jews and Gentiles. Gentiles are not expected to become Jews in order to be right with God. If they had to do anything of the sort, it would show that the death of Jesus itself was not sufficient for a right standing before God. But it is the death of Jesus alone that makes a person right with God. Gentiles who think they have to become Jews (for example, by being circumcised) have completely misunderstood the gospel.
There is, however, the other kind of law found in Scripture. This is the kind of law that applies to all people—for example, not to murder, not to commit adultery, not to bear false witness, and to love your neighbor as yourself. Everyone, Jew and Gentile, needs to keep these laws.”