Is the God of the Old Testament immoral, in commanding the death of all the Canaanites?
Atheist: I don’t believe in the God of the Bible because I believe He is immoral, they key example being the command to exterminate the Canaanites.
Answer: What do you mean by immoral? You as an atheiest don’t have a standard by which to make a judgment, its your subjective opinion and cannot truly be called a “moral” judgment.
Atheist or Agnostic Antagonist: Why does the God of the Old Testament do the things He did or commanded? The Canaanites for example, were exterminated from city to city?
Answer: If there is no God, why is any OT “atrocity” wrong? Is God arbitrary or does He give reasons for the judgments? The answer is God gave them 400 years and God in patience waited. For example the Canaanites would sacrifice its babies to the molten God of Molech putting their babies on the heated metal arms and watch the child sizzle. They were due for judgment.
Antagonist: Why does God not stop this evil if He is a good God?
Answer: Here’s an example (the Canaanites) of where God stopped the evil. So now you are complaining about God stopping the evil while at the same time complaining about a God who doesn’t stop evil.
Antangonist: Why doesn’t a good God stop evil in the first place?
Answer: There are a couple of answers. But let us preface it with the reality that.. if we think God must stop all evil from the get go, we are quickly extinct. But to answer in more detail: 1. Deuteronomy 7 says to wipe out the Canaanites, and then says after that “don’t intermarry with them.” How can you marry someone you wiped out? This is using what is called hyperbole, an exaggeration meaning “wipe them out” like we may see in a sporting event where the opponent was wiped out. No doubt many lives were wiped out, but not everyone.
Answer 2: An even better understanding is this: 2. Is God committing murder by ending life on earth? No. He is God, He alone gives life and He can take life. And besides, Christianity teaches that death isn’t the end of existence but a change of location. They go from this life to the next life. God has the right to usher people into the next life whether they are infants or aged. It is agreed that is is not “fair” for us to arbitrarily take innocent life, but God can do as He chooses.
Further Answer: An example of God being God is illustrated in the following interaction: Without exception –almost-, those who take the contrary position above, are pro-abortion. So we ask the reader, are you pro life or pro abortion? Many will say pro-abortion, as a kind of moral right for the individual woman to “decide”. Why is it that when God acts as God in the Old Testament, that when He chooses who lives and who dies, that He is deemed immoral… and then when we do the same thing (play god) and decide who lives and dies through abortion, that it is a right, even a moral right? Man can play god, but God cannot?
Genesis 15:15-16 and thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age. But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full.
Romans 3:4 yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That Thou mightest be justified in Thy sayings, and mightest overcome when Thou art judged.