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May 30, 2011

Don’t believe in my God? Then die!

by juju2112

From a post by Dr. Ray Pritchard on the American Family Association Blog:

This morning while reading Deuteronomy 17, I came across a paragraph about how to deal with idolators in the midst of the people of God. Because God ordered that they must be stoned to death (v. 5), he also ordered a key safeguard put in place:

On the testimony of two or three witnesses a person is to be put to death, but no one is to be put to death on the testimony of only one witness (v. 6).

This protects the innocent from false accusations by those who may hold a grudge against them. And the witness making the accusation must cast the first stone (v. 7), forcing him to have a personal stake in the outcome.

Could a group of troublemakers “game” the system by conspiring together to bring false witness against their neighbor? Yes, but the requirement of multiple witnesses (who themselves would be examined by the town elders) provided a hedge against such collusion. Presumably, wise judges would spot the conspiracy and bring it to light.

For the moment, let’s just take one truth and ponder it. Don’t assume the worst about a friend based on just one phone call or one email or one piece of overheard gossip.

Before you believe a bad report, ask some questions. Seek the truth. Don’t pass along bad news just because you “heard it from a friend.”

Evil must be dealt with (v. 7). But do it God’s way. Wait for all the facts to come out. Don’t be quick to believe the worst.

Wow, God is so clever! That whole witness thing is a great idea. This way, we can kill people from other religions while having peace-of-mind! Seriously, how can you make a whole blog entry about this verse without bringing up the fact that it’s immoral to kill people just because they believe in another God? Doesn’t this violate one of those commandments about not killing? Isn’t it still immoral, even if it doesn’t?

Dr. Pritchard has actually managed to interpret a passage which says “kill people who don’t believe the way you do” so that it actually means “investigate claims critically before passing judgement”. That takes some serious mental gymnastics.

And what does this passage say about the morality of God? Why does he care about being worshipped so much? Does he have an ego problem? Doesn’t God have enough self-confidence without people telling him how great he is all the time? Is he really so sensitive that he feels the need to kill people from other religions?

Link to the passage:

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Deuteronomy%2017&version=MSG

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