Thursday, October 8, 2009

Divine Brutality

Last week, while writing a blog on Christianity's stance on violence, I pondered many of the examples of violence and brutality in the Bible. Quite frankly, the Bible has numerous exciting stories and wondrous tales. Not only are there countless examples of heroic men and valiant fighters, but God Himself is responsible for countless killings. One thing that I personally found fascinating is that God kills people in various assorted ways. He rarely uses the same method more than once or twice. Quentin Tarantino is renowned as a movie director because of his creative scenes of violence. As creative as he is, God's violent creativity far surpasses anything Tarantino has ever done. Here are several brutal tales of divine slaughter:

-Massive global flood, killing nearly all of the world's population (Genesis 6-8)

-Fire and brimstone rain from the skies and annihilate two cities (Genesis 19)

-Angel of death kills all the firstborns in Egypt (Exodus 11)

-Watery deathtrap, as the parted Red Sea drowns an entire army (Exodus 14)

-The earth split apart and swallowed Israelite rebels whole (Numbers 16)

-Raging fire from heaven selectively consumes over 200 men (Numbers 16)

-Wild, venomous serpents kill numerous whiny Israelites (Numbers 21)

-Diseased rats are sent to spread tumors, decimating the Philistines (1 Samuel 5)

-A deadly assassin angel kills 185,000 Assyrian soldiers in one night (2 Kings 18-19)

-King Herod was struck by worms and devoured instantly (Acts 12)

While God loves it when people live righteously and honor Him with their lives, He's perfectly prepared to deliver justice in the most vivid, deadly and powerful ways possible to those who reject God's way of living by embracing rebellion and wickedness. As someone who doesn't especially relish the idea of being buried alive, drowned, bitten by a viper, consumed by fire, eaten by worms, nor slain by an assassin angel, I try to live my life in accordance with God's moral law and honor Him with my words and actions. However, we live in a world where all people have freewill. If you think that you can mock God, deny His existence and remain completely unafraid of God's wrath as you try to sleep at night, then go ahead. Richard Dawkins is trying out that strategy. Personally, my money's on the most creative and brutal instigator of violence in the universe.

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