(Part 2 of 3)
The following allegations were found on the Evil Bible.Com website. This particular website is managed by a dyed-in-the-wool atheist who, by taking Scripture out of context, attempts to mislead others into believing his own, skewed concepts of the Bible. This hate-mongering website and chatroom - which basically does nothing but spew venom at God, the Bible, and believers in Yeshua (Jesus) - is a perfect example of why the Bible warns: The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned (1 Corinthians 2:14).
Most people don't realize that websites such as Evil Bible are run by narrow-minded, bigoted people with a very limited and twisted understanding of God and the Bible. No amount of proof "gets through" to these people - who swarm like screeching vultures on anyone who tries to present Biblical Truth to them. The goal of The Refiner's Fire's is to be a beacon of light in this dark world of atheistic distortions - and to challenge their unfounded allegations.
Evil Bible Allegation: Genesis 19:23-25 God burns down a whole city (women and children included) simply because they were supposedly homosexual.
The Refiner's Fire Response:
This shows how dangerous it is to spread misinformed concepts about the Bible. IT NEEDS TO BE READ IN CONTEXT! God did NOT destroy Sodom and Gemorrah because their inhabitants were "supposedly homosexual". Rather, the cities were destroyed because the inhabitants were mean, nasty, depraved, and uncompromisingly greedy. Classical Jewish writings affirm that the primary crimes of the Sodomites were, among others, terrible and repeated economic crimes, both against each other and to outsiders. (To find out what caused God to destroy the city, read the entire chapters of Genesis 13, 14, and 18.)
Genesis 13:13 Now the men of Sodom were wicked and were sinning greatly against the LORD.
Genesis 18:20 Then the LORD said, "The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so grievous 21 that I will go down and see if what they have done is as bad as the outcry that has reached me. If not, I will know."
Genesis 19 explains that the men of the town wanted to have sex with the two angels who came to stay with Lot and his family:
1 The two angels arrived at Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gateway of the city. When he saw them, he got up to meet them and bowed down with his face to the ground. 2 "My lords," he said, "please turn aside to your servant's house. You can wash your feet and spend the night and then go on your way early in the morning."
"No," they answered, "we will spend the night in the square."
3 But he insisted so strongly that they did go with him and entered his house. He prepared a meal for them, baking bread without yeast, and they ate. 4 Before they had gone to bed, all the men from every part of the city of Sodom-both young and old-surrounded the house. 5 They called to Lot, "Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them."
6 Lot went outside to meet them and shut the door behind him 7 and said, "No, my friends. Don't do this wicked thing. 8 Look, I have two daughters who have never slept with a man. Let me bring them out to you, and you can do what you like with them. But don't do anything to these men, for they have come under the protection of my roof."
9 "Get out of our way," they replied. And they said, "This fellow came here as an alien, and now he wants to play the judge! We'll treat you worse than them." They kept bringing pressure on Lot and moved forward to break down the door.
10 But the men inside reached out and pulled Lot back into the house and shut the door. 11 Then they struck the men who were at the door of the house, young and old, with blindness so that they could not find the door.
12 The two men said to Lot, "Do you have anyone else here-sons-in-law, sons or daughters, or anyone else in the city who belongs to you? Get them out of here, 13 because we are going to destroy this place. The outcry to the LORD against its people is so great that he has sent us to destroy it."
14 So Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who were pledged to marry [a] his daughters. He said, "Hurry and get out of this place, because the LORD is about to destroy the city!" But his sons-in-law thought he was joking.
15 With the coming of dawn, the angels urged Lot, saying, "Hurry! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, or you will be swept away when the city is punished."
16 When he hesitated, the men grasped his hand and the hands of his wife and of his two daughters and led them safely out of the city, for the LORD was merciful to them. 17 As soon as they had brought them out, one of them said, "Flee for your lives! Don't look back, and don't stop anywhere in the plain! Flee to the mountains or you will be swept away!"
Lot so feared for the angels of God that he even offered to give the men his own daughters if they would just refrain from raping the angels! (Is it any wonder God spared him?) The above is evidence of the types of people who inhabited the city of Sodom. Sounds like many of our own cities today, doesn't it? The world is the same as it was in the days of Noah, and in the days of Sodom and Gomorrah....And judgment is coming again. The Bible tells us so.
But, since Evil Bible mentioned homosexuality, let's check and see what God said about it. Here are but a few Scriptures concerning this subject:
Leviticus 18: 22 "You are not to go to bed with a man as with a woman; it is an abomination."
Deuteronomy 22: 5 "A woman shall not wear man's clothing, nor shall a man put on a woman's clothing; for whoever does these things is an abomination to the LORD your God.
1 Corinthians 6: 9 "Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters, 10 nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.
1 Tim 1: 9 We are aware that Torah is not for a person who is righteous, but for those who are heedless of Torah and rebellious, ungodly and sinful, wicked and worldly, for people who kill their fathers and mothers, for murderers, 10 the sexually immoral - both heterosexual and homosexual - slave dealers, liars, perjurers, and anyone who acts contrary to the sound teaching 11 that accords with the Good News of the Glorious and blessed God.
Evil Bible Allegation: Er, Judah's firstborn, was wicked in the sight of the Lord; and that the Lord slew him. How was Er wicked? The Bible doesn't give us this bit of information, only that Er was wicked in the sight of the Lord. Genesis 38:7
The Refiner's Fire Response:
It doesn't matter what Er did; the Bible tells us that, according to God, he was wicked enough to deserve death; that's all we need to know. The power of life and death is not in OUR hands; it's in God's. He is the Creator. If you KNEW God, you would by now have realized that He doesn't do ANYTHING without reason....
Evil Bible Allegation: Genesis 38:10 - God murders Onan for refusing to commit incest with his sister in law.
The Refiner's Fire Response:
Again, Evil Bible is trying to lead people astray. Nobody "committed incest" in this scenario! Onan was not Tamar's blood relative; he was Er's. In those days, it was the custom (which still exists in Arab countries and in other countries of the Middle East) that when a man dies and leaves a widow, his next surviving brother is supposed to marry the widow and become her husband. Accordingly, Onan was obliged to marry Tamar, the widow of Er.
Onan didn't die for "refusing to commit incest" - as a matter of fact, to put it bluntly (if you will actually READ what these Scriptures say!), Onan "pulled out" at the last moment in order to keep his wife from getting pregnant, thus "spilling his seed on the ground". Onan didn't like the idea of his first child with Tamar being considered to be Er's child (as was the custom), and therefore refused to procreate with her. God, seeing this, became angry and slew him - which means that Onan was slain for disobeying God by refusing to procreate and multiply the line of Judah. (This also shows that sex is supposed to be between a man and a woman for the express purpose of procreating....)
Evil Bible Allegation: Exodus 12:29 God repeatedly tells Moses exactly what calamity he will next visit upon the Egyptians if the Pharaoh does not allow the Israelites to be set free from slavery. Then he tells Moses (also repeatedly) that he will harden Pharaoh's heart, so that he will refuse to allow the Israelites to go, thus bringing a calamity upon his own people, as well as showing him the awesome power of the Israelites' Lord. This occurs over and over, bringing calamity upon calamity upon the Egyptian people. What is troubling about this verse is that when god "hardens the pharaoh's heart" he is interfering with the Pharaoh's free will and ultimately bringing punishment on the Egyptians for something they are not responsible for. As a final punishment god decides to kill all the first born of Egypt. The lord reduced himself to murdering innocent kids when he could have simply freed the Israelites himself with his "omnipotent" power.
The Refiner's Fire Response:
Read in context, you would see that God gave Pharoah NINE CHANCES to comply with His wishes to "let His people (the Israelites) go". NINE plagues to give Pharaoh a chance to see exactly WHO was in charge! Let's take a look what these "chances" were:
First Plague: The Nile waters Turn to Blood
The Nile, the river of Egypt, was the Egyptians' idol. The Nile's waters nourished the land and determined the welfare of all the people. The Egyptians thirsted after blood when they slaughtered the Hebrews' children, and now God gave them blood to drink. Now the source that brought the Egyptians life brought death instead (Exod. 7:14-25).
Second Plague: The frogs
The frogs represented the Egyptian fertility goddess, Isis, that was supposed to help women in childbirth. Frogs were everywhere: in their houses, in their beds, and at their tables. They could not eat, drink, or sleep without their precious god. The frog that symbolized life was left to be raked in heaps of rotting piles of death (Exod. 8:1-15).
Third Plague: The Lice
The lice which came up to live out of the dust of the earth represented the Egyptians' god of the earth, Seth. Matthew Henry notes that lice were small despicable, inconsiderable animals, and yet, by their vast numbers, they rendered a sore plague to the Egyptians. God could have plagued them with lions, or bears, or wolves, or with vultures or other birds of prey; but He chose to do it by these contemptible instruments (Exod. 8:16-19).
Fourth Plague: The Flies
The stinging, disease-carrying flies ruined the land. Beelzebub, the prince of the power of the air, has been glorified as the god of flies, the god of Ekron. The fly was always present at idolatry sacrifices. It seems that the god partook of those in this manner. This fourth plague came upon the Egyptians only. It made Israel a separate and Holy People (Exod. 8:20-32).
Fifth Plague: The Disease of Livestock
A great number of cattle died by a sort of pestilence. The Egyptians made the Hebrews poor and so God caused great loss to the Egyptians. This disease afflicted only the Egyptian livestock. The Egyptians believed animals were possessed by the spirits of gods. The bull was sacred in Egypt, identified in it markings to their god Apis. This pestilence, God's Word tells us, did not affect the Hebrew livestock (Exod. 9:1-7).
Sixth Plague: The Boils
Again God demonstrated His ability to control nature. When the death of their cattle didn't convince the Egyptians, God sent a plague that seized their own bodies. And they took ashes of the furnace, and stood before Pharaoh; and Moses sprinkled it up toward heaven; and it became a boil breaking forth with blains upon man, and upon beast (Exod. 9:10). Sores in the body were looked upon as punishment for sin, a means by which to call one to repentance. None of the Hebrews had any boils. This plague was a direct attack on the shamanism of the medico-mystical processes in Egypt (Exod. 9:8-12).
Seventh Plague: The Hailstorm
Moses gave the people a one-day warning before this plague. The notice was given because the sorcerers of Egypt were also agricultural shamans who supposedly controlled the weather. Those who feared the Lord went into shelter (showing us that God had mercy on some of the Egyptians). Those who did not believe God and took no shelter died in the fields (Ex. 9:21). There was ice and fire mingled with the hail, very grievous, such as there was none like it in all of the land of Egypt. The hail killed both men and cattle, and battered down the herbs, vegetable gardens, fruit trees, and other plants. God, in His judgment, caused it to rain or hail on the Egyptians and not on the Hebrews (Exod. 9:13-35).
Eighth Plague: The locusts
By this time, Pharaoh's people, his magicians, and advisors, began to rebel. Pharaoh stood alone against God. Moses stretched forth his rod over the land of Egypt, and the LORD brought an east wind upon the land all that day, and all that night; and when it was morning, the east wind brought the locusts. And the locusts went up over all the land of Egypt, and rested in all the coasts of Egypt: very grievous were they; before them there were no such locusts as they, neither after them shall be such. The plague was then sent which devastated the land and hence the power of the gods and shamans of agriculture. Pharaoh sent for Moses and pretended to repent. He asked Moses to pray to God to take the locusts away. And the LORD turned a mighty strong west wind, which took away the locusts, and cast them into the Red Sea; there remained not one locust in all the coasts of Egypt (Exod. 10:13-14, 19).
Ninth Plague: The Darkness
The Egyptians rebelled against the light of God's Word and they were justly punished with darkness. This thick darkness was over Egypt three days, but the people of Israel had light where they dwelt. What a picture of dark and light, of being lost and saved. The children of God walked in the light while Pharaoh and his people wandered in the darkness.
This plague was an attack on the power of the supreme deity of Egypt, the sun god Re or Amun-Re. The Egyptians could do nothing but stay in their homes and consider what they had experienced up to now, regarding the power of the God of the Israelites. Even then, Pharaoh refused to yield (Exod. 10:21-29).
Tenth Plague: The Death of the Firstborn
God said in Exodus 13:2, Sanctify unto me all the firstborn, whatsoever openeth the womb among the children of Israel, both of man and of beast: it is mine.
Nelson's Illustrated Bible Dictionary explains the importance of the firstborn: God placed a special claim on the firstborn of man and beast (Ex. 13:11-13). This meant that the nation of Israel attached unusual value to the eldest son and assigned special privileges and responsibilities to him. Because of God's claim on the first offspring, the firstborn sons of the Hebrews were presented to the Lord when they were a month old. Since the firstborn was regarded as God's property, it was necessary for the father to redeem, or buy back, the child from the priest. Early Hebrew laws also provided that the firstlings of beasts belonged to the Lord and were turned over to the sanctuary (Ex. 13:2; 34:19; Lev. 27:26). The firstborn's birthright was a double portion of the estate and leadership of the family. As head of the home after his father's death, the eldest son customarily cared for his mother until her death, and provided for his unmarried sisters until their marriages. He was the family's spiritual head and served as its priest. In figurative language, the term firstborn stands for that which is most excellent.
The significance of the death of every firstborn in Egypt, from the house of Pharaoh to the slaves and the livestock, was great. But Israel would be spared so that there would be an obvious distinction between those who belong to the YAWH and those who do not (Exod. 11:1-10).
How many chances SHOULD God haven given the Egyptians? If they couldn't understand that YHWH was in charge say, by the second or third plague, then that indicates that they probably wouldn't have listened to God after the thousandth plague!
Now, let's discuss "hardening of the heart". The following is an indepth explanation borrowed, in part, from The Christian Think Tank:
The bottom line is that God KNEW that Pharoah's heart was hardened, and so He allowed a struggle to happen: During the first 5 plagues, Pharaoh hardened his own heart without any help from God (Exodus 7:13,14,22; 8:15,19,32; 9:7). Then God does it (9:12); then Pharaoh and his officials do it together (9:34-35), then God does the rest.
The point of the hardening is given the following passages to show that God CAN perform these miracles/judgments:
Exodus 10: 1 Then the LORD said to Moses, "Go to Pharaoh, for I have hardened his heart and the hearts of his officials so that I may perform these miraculous signs of mine among them.
Exodus 11: 10 Moses and Aaron performed all these wonders before Pharaoh, but the LORD hardened Pharaoh's heart, and he would not let the Israelites go out of his country.
Exodus 14: 17 But take this staff in your hand so you can perform miraculous signs with it."
The miracles/signs/judgments themselves had an end-goal: so that the Egyptians would know that YHWH was God (and therefore come into a positive relationship with him - Exodus 14:4, 17); and so that the Israelites would know that YHWH had delivered them from their oppression with power, and was therefore a God they could depend on for their needs (Exodus 10.1), and so that the whole world would hear about God - 9:16. In other words, the end goal seems to be to wake everybody up concerning the true and living God.
From Lamentations 3 we know that God "sends hardness of heart" as a punishment: 59 You have seen, O LORD, the wrong done to me. Uphold my cause! 60 You have seen the depth of their vengeance, all their plots against me. 61 O LORD, you have heard their insults, all their plots against me- 62 what my enemies whisper and mutter against me all day long. 63 Look at them! Sitting or standing, they mock me in their songs. 64 Pay them back what they deserve, O LORD, for what their hands have done. 65 Put a veil over their hearts, and may your curse be on them! 66 Pursue them in anger and destroy them from under the heavens of the LORD.
What this means is that the judgments of God were not because of the later hardenings, but that the later hardenings were judgments themselves. (This motif also shows up in Joshua, where the kings who were being evicted from the land for atrocious crimes were "hardened" so they would fight Israel. (Jos 11:19.)
Evil Bible Allegation: God punishes children for the sins of their fathers, unto the third and fourth generations. Punishing a child for the sins of their ancestors is not very just. (Exodus 20:5 and 34:7)
The Refiner's Fire Response:
God is God and He can do whatever He wants. It's not up to humans (His CREATION) to decide....
Evil Bible Allegation: God endorses slavery. He even set up laws as to how slavery was to be carried out, and goes as far as Okaying beating them. Exodus 21:2-6
The Refiner's Fire Response:
MAN set up the idea of slavery; not God. One has to remember: to conclude that the Bible condones slavery implies something very different today than in ancient times. Why God never gave a command against slavery is unknown, but perhaps it's because there were many good sides to slavery, including selling one's self into slavery in order to get out of debt, which is what many people did. This may not seem just, but in most societies, little extra money or resources existed for social programs, and few poor workers could be tolerated. Historically, slaves were usually prisoners of war that were sold after one side lost-an act that often saved their life because many would have been executed if they were not worth money as slaves God did not command slavery, but told people how to treat their slaves.
According to Got Questions.Org: The Bible does not specifically condemn the practice of slavery. It gives instructions on how slaves should be treated (Deu 15:12-15; Eph 6:9; Col 4:1), but does not outlaw the practice altogether. Many see this as the Bible condoning all forms of slavery. What many people don't understand is that slavery in the Bible times is completely different from the slavery that was practiced in the United States in the 1700's and 1800's. The slavery in the Bible was not based on race at all. People were not enslaved because of their nationality or the color of their skin. In Bible times, slavery was more of a social status. People sold themselves as slaves when they could not pay their debts or provide for their family. In New Testament times, sometimes doctors, lawyers, even politicians were slaves of someone else for one reason or another. Some people actually chose to be slaves so as to have all their needs provided for by their master.
The slavery of the 1700's and 1800's was based on skin color. Black people were considered slaves because of their nationality ??? most slave owners truly believed black people to be "inferior human beings" to white people. This is similar to the slavery the Jews experienced when they were in Egypt. The Jews were slaves, not by choice, but because they were Jews (Exo 13:14). The plagues God poured out on Egypt demonstrate how God feels about racial slavery (Exo 7-11). So, yes, the Bible does condone slavery. However, the slavery the Bible allowed for in no way resembled the racial slavery that plagued our world in the past few centuries.
...One has also to remember that God tolerated many of man's transgressions and, eventually He sent Yeshua/Jesus to be the final sin Sacrifice because it was the ONLY way man could obtain eternal life....
Evil Bible Allegation: God sanctioned the selling of ones daughter. How can any being tell another to literally sell their child into slavery? Disgusting! Exodus 21:7
The Refiner's Fire Response:
See the response above.
Evil Bible Allegation: Exodus 22:18 God orders the death of witches, sorceresses and anyone who practices magic. Sadly enough, this verse was justification for the Inquisition.
The Refiner's Fire Response:
What man does that is bad for mankind is his OWN fault. Man is his own worst enemy because he has a limited human mindset. God has tried, from the beginning, to steer man in the RIGHT direction, showing man what is and isn't good for him. From the beginning, God told us that He hates witchcraft, magic, card reading and anything else that dupes people into believing in "other gods".
Leviticus 20:6 says God will separate himself from those who go after mediums and familiar spirits.
Deuteronomy 18:10-12 says that practicing witchcraft, sorcery, soothsaying, interpreting omens, making spells, and being a medium or spiritist, are all terrible sins to God.
Deuteronomy 18:9-11 "Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft..."