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  #1  
Old 29th September 2008, 06:01 PM
Bible Apprentice Bible Apprentice is offline
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Default Violence in the OT

I have undertaken reading of the Bible cover to cover for the first time. I am making some headway, but having had previous familiarity only with the NT, I keep getting startled by all the violence. I guess I had created an image of God for myself that defined Him as a "hands off" kind of being. This allowed me to attribute violence in the world to the natural consequences of man's sinfulness -- not as the result of an explicit directive from God. I struggle with those parts of Scripture where God clearly instructs people to kill others, and at times destroy entire populations including children. It is literally painful for me to think about these passages. On the other hand, I dread the thought of being frightened of or conflicted about the God I have come to love so dearly.

Has anyone had a similar experience?

Peace.
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  #2  
Old 29th September 2008, 06:08 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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None of us have a completely correct understanding of God who is infinite. In one sense, He is knowable, to a limited extent and in a limited manner. But in another sense he is unknowable, beyond those limits.
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Old 29th September 2008, 07:04 PM
Brother Brother is offline
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God order to kill or destroy entire towns because they were very sinful.

It is very merciful of God to end those towns because their final destination could have been hell for all of them. By stopping their sin at some point before it gets worst, God actually may be saving some souls by sending them to Heaven thru Purgatory. "Truly, I say to you, it will be more bearable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah than for that town" (Matt 10:15). Therefore, this act of God (which is seen by some human comprehension as bad) is in reality merciful for He is actually saving many of them from eternal damnation. The problem is that many people tend to think that this earth, that this world is our final destination, but it is not. We must realize that there are two final destinations, we either go to Heaven or Hell.

A child who lives surrounded by an evil society and being influenced to do evil, it is more likely that this child may grow up and become evil as the rest of his surroundings and end up in Hell. To prevent this, God allowed the Israelite people to kill those evil towns including children, this way, preventing many of them from going to Hell. Don't be surprised if the son of the Paraoh is in Heaven now and for all eternity for God is merciful! Many of the children who were killed in those evil towns may very well be in Heaven. Thanks be to God!
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  #4  
Old 1st October 2008, 05:17 PM
js1975 js1975 is offline
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Brother, you took the words right out of my mouth!! well said.

I have struggled with the same thing and am currently resting on the fact that even in God's wrath exists mercy. While we do not understand it, we can see a glimpse of it. I think the coming times for us all are also very merciful acts while still periods of punishment.

-jay
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2cor 7:1 Therefore, having these promises, most beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of the flesh and of the spirit, perfecting sanctification in the fear of God.
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  #5  
Old 1st October 2008, 09:44 PM
Bible Apprentice Bible Apprentice is offline
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Thank you for your replies. Intellectually, I understand the points you make.

I guess I am just naive, but in my limited understanding of God, I always thought that God would not need to use one "child" to punish another. I can see how disease, natural disasters, etc... would be the result of man's sinfulness and God's wrath, but something in me continues to resist the idea of God using one human being to punish another.

I continue to pray for enlightenment in this area.
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  #6  
Old 18th October 2008, 01:58 PM
ExCelciuS ExCelciuS is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bible Apprentice View Post
Thank you for your replies. Intellectually, I understand the points you make.

I guess I am just naive, but in my limited understanding of God, I always thought that God would not need to use one "child" to punish another. I can see how disease, natural disasters, etc... would be the result of man's sinfulness and God's wrath, but something in me continues to resist the idea of God using one human being to punish another.

I continue to pray for enlightenment in this area.

Bible Apprentice,
I do resist the idea of God using one human being to punish (or to kill) another, it is said in:

Quote:
But I say to you, do not resist one who is evil, but if anyone will have struck you on your right cheek, offer to him the other also. (Mat 5:39)

Quote:
You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor, and you shall have hatred for your enemy.’ But I say to you: Love your enemies. Do good to those who hate you. And pray for those who persecute and slander you. Mat 5:43-44

and ultimately in Mat 22:36-40

Quote:
“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” Jesus said to him: “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God from all your heart, and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. But the second is similar to it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments the entire law depends, and also the prophets. (Mat 22:36-40)”

So, in my opinion only God can take someone life because only He can create life, just like in sodom and gomorah by using starfall to eliminate them. And by those verse I described above, I wonder, why there is violence in catholic(example: crusade, war in old testament which King David conquer by killing other people), does it counter those verse which Jesus Himself said above? (Mat 5:43-44)
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Old 18th October 2008, 05:52 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ExCelciuS View Post
So, in my opinion only God can take someone life because only He can create life, just like in sodom and gomorah by using starfall to eliminate them. And by those verse I described above, I wonder, why there is violence in catholic(example: crusade, war in old testament which King David conquer by killing other people), does it counter those verse which Jesus Himself said above? (Mat 5:43-44)

As Catholics, we may not hold any opinions that are contrary to Catholic teaching. The Church teaches that killing can be moral in self-defense, in defense of the community (e.g. by law enforcement officers), in capital punishment, and in just war. These points of moral teaching are required beliefs and not open questions.

When the Church has no particular teaching on a particular point, only then are Catholics are free to hold various opinions.
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  #8  
Old 18th October 2008, 05:54 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bible Apprentice View Post
Thank you for your replies. Intellectually, I understand the points you make.

I guess I am just naive, but in my limited understanding of God, I always thought that God would not need to use one "child" to punish another. I can see how disease, natural disasters, etc... would be the result of man's sinfulness and God's wrath, but something in me continues to resist the idea of God using one human being to punish another.

I continue to pray for enlightenment in this area.
The OT is filled with examples of God using one person to punish another, or using one nation to punish another. Therefore, you should accept this idea, and set aside your own idea that God would not do so because he would not need to do so. God does things in the most fitting way possible, and it is clear from Divine Revelation that using one person to punish another is the will of God.
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  #9  
Old 19th October 2008, 01:00 PM
ExCelciuS ExCelciuS is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Conte View Post
As Catholics, we may not hold any opinions that are contrary to Catholic teaching. The Church teaches that killing can be moral in self-defense, in defense of the community (e.g. by law enforcement officers), in capital punishment, and in just war. These points of moral teaching are required beliefs and not open questions.

When the Church has no particular teaching on a particular point, only then are Catholics are free to hold various opinions.

Hmm, how about Jesus Himself? Does He ever do any violence act(such us killing)? And how about the apostles? Does they ever do any violence act to defend, not only the community even their faith? Does the saints ever do any violence act? And how about the martyr? Does they do any violence act? I think this virtues people never kill another to even defend something, instead of killing other people, they sacrifice themselves to enlighten them just like what Jesus do, His crucifixion is the perfect examples of 'love your enemies', and His Life figure is the perfect example of man. No violence found in Jesus life, no violence found in the Apostle's life after pentakosta, no violence found in the Saint's life, and no violence found in martyr's life.

I remember when Peter swung his sword to defend Jesus in Getsemane, that cut the soldier's ear, but instead of agree, Jesus don't agree with Peter act, and then warn Peter to not do that and heal the soldier's ear.

Quote:
Then those who were around him, realizing what was about to happen, said to him: “Lord, shall we strike with the sword?” And one of them struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his right ear. But in response, Jesus said, “Permit even this.” And when he had touched his ear, he healed him. (Luke 22:49-51)
Quote:
And behold, one of those who were with Jesus, extending his hand, drew his sword and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear.
Then Jesus said to him: “Put your sword back in its place. For all who take up the sword shall perish by the sword. (Mat 26:51-52)
Quote:
Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it, and he struck the servant of the high priest, and he cut off his right ear. Now the name of the servant was Malchus. Therefore, Jesus said to Peter: “Set your sword into the scabbard. Should I not drink the chalice which my father has given to me?” (John 18:10-11)
And what about the fifth command of the ten commandment from God, that forbid us to killing another?
Quote:
You shall not murder.(Exodus 20:13)
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  #10  
Old 19th October 2008, 01:25 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ExCelciuS View Post
Hmm, how about Jesus Himself? Does He ever do any violence act(such us killing)? And how about the apostles? Does they ever do any violence act to defend, not only the community even their faith? Does the saints ever do any violence act? And how about the martyr? Does they do any violence act? I think this virtues people never kill another to even defend something, instead of killing other people, they sacrifice themselves to enlighten them just like what Jesus do, His crucifixion is the perfect examples of 'love your enemies', and His Life figure is the perfect example of man. No violence found in Jesus life, no violence found in the Apostle's life after pentakosta, no violence found in the Saint's life, and no violence found in martyr's life.
Catholics are free to take the position of Catholic pacifism, where they resolve never to use violence, even to defend themselves or their country, instead using prayer and self-denial and works of mercy to obtain help from God. However, it would be heresy to claim that use of violence is always immoral.

As for Jesus, He told this parable about himself as King:

[Luke]
{19:12} Therefore, he said: “A certain man of nobility traveled to a far away region, to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return.
{19:13} And calling his ten servants, he gave them ten pounds, and he said to them: ‘Do business until I return.’
{19:14} But his citizens hated him. And so they sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘We do not want this one to reign over us.’
{19:15} And it happened that he returned, having received the kingdom. And he ordered the servants, to whom he had given the money, to be called so that he would know how much each one had earned by doing business.
{19:16} Now the first approached, saying: ‘Lord, your one pound has earned ten pounds.’
{19:17} And he said to him: ‘Well done, good servant. Since you have been faithful in a small matter, you will hold authority over ten cities.’
{19:18} And the second came, saying: ‘Lord, your one pound has earned five pounds.’
{19:19} And he said to him, ‘And so, you shall be over five cities.’
{19:20} And another approached, saying: ‘Lord, behold your one pound, which I kept stored in a cloth.
{19:21} For I feared you, because you are an austere man. You take up what you did not lay down, and you reap what you did not sow.’
{19:22} He said to him: ‘By your own mouth, do I judge you, O wicked servant. You knew that I am an austere man, taking up what I did not lay down, and reaping what I did not sow.
{19:23} And so, why did you not give my money to the bank, so that, upon my return, I might have withdrawn it with interest?’
{19:24} And he said to the bystanders, ‘Take the pound away from him, and give it to him who has ten pounds.’
{19:25} And they said to him, ‘Lord, he has ten pounds.’
{19:26} So then, I say to you, that to all who have, it shall be given, and he will have in abundance. And from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.
{19:27} ‘Yet truly, as for those enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here, and put them to death before me.’ ”

When Jesus returns, He will put very many persons to death for being unrepentant from serious sin.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ExCelciuS View Post
I remember when Peter swung his sword to defend Jesus in Getsemane, that cut the soldier's ear, but instead of agree, Jesus don't agree with Peter act, and then warn Peter to not do that and heal the soldier's ear.

And what about the fifth command of the ten commandment from God, that forbid us to killing another?

The fifth commandment forbids murder. Other commands from God in the OT require the Israelites to put guilty persons to death. At times, when God ordered the Israelites to kill certain persons, and they did not do so, God punished the Israelites for not killing them.

It is required belief that killing is not always wrong. To believe that all killing is immoral is a heresy.

St. Thomas Aquinas taught that even priests can use deadly force in self-defense.
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