Holding God to a Standard

Romans 3:23 – For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

Christians believe God is without sin.  They worship and adore him, and tell everyone of how great he is.  This is based upon bible scripture, like the above verse.  It is usually spoken to tell a sinner that he/she is a sinner (obviously the first part implies exactly that) but it also tells us that God is sinless (how can someone fall short of God’s glory for sinning if God also sins?)

Matthew 4:1-11 tells the story of Jesus in the wilderness getting tempted by Satan.  Satan tempts him 3 times and Jesus refutes him 3 times with bible scripture, each time pointing out that the action he’s being told to do is sinful and so he won’t do it.  Again, the implication is that God doesn’t sin, not because everything he does is above the law but because he chooses not to sin.

God resides in Heaven (Job 22:12), a place declared to be without sin (Revelation 21:4, 27), therefore he logically cannot commit a sin…  ever (according to scripture).

I know I’m beating a dead horse, but I want it to be clear before someone tries to refute me on this point – God is sinless.  And that’s not because everything he does is automatically above his own rules and laws.  It’s because he holds himself to a higher standard.  If, in fact, he told you to do what he himself doesn’t do, then he would be a hypocrite… and it’s obvious that God despises hypocrisy (but just for good measure check out Matthew 6:2, 5, 16; 7:5; 15:7; 22:18; 23:13, 15, 23, 25, 27, 29, and Matthew 24:51 says that there’s a place reserved for hypocrites, and it isn’t Heaven).

Exodus 23:13 makes it clear that you shall not murder.  It’s in the simplest of language, and couldn’t be any clearer – it literally says “You shall not murder.”  Taken out of context?  Exodus 23:12 says “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.”  Exodus 23:14 says “You shall not commit adultery.”  These are part of the 10 commandments, and the commandment against murder says simply that.  Numbers 35:16-18 defines several ways to murder (all of them obvious).

Now, while the bible also lists many sins which deserve a death sentence, killing someone simply for any random sin isn’t allowed.  You’re not allowed to kill someone for lying to you, or for stealing from you, or for insulting you.*  For all have sinned (Romans 3:23) so there’s no such thing as a murder victim if you can kill for just any sin.

Genesis 19 tells the story of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.  While the bible justifies the destruction of that city (it does, after all, say homosexual sex is worthy of a death sentence) it doesn’t justify Lot’s Wife being killed by God in verse 26.  She’s turned into a pillar of salt (which is obviously lethal) for looking back at the city.  Why?  For one thing, 2 angels were sent to Lot’s family and they commanded them to flee and “don’t look back”.  For another, many Christians nowadays justify it by saying she must have looked back in pity, and pitying the unjust was her crime.

But the commandment to avoid looking back was given without a warning of death.  God didn’t say (through his messengers, the angels) that it carried a death sentence, and even if it did it certainly could’ve been carried out by his servants (Lot’s family) as it so often was when someone broke biblical law.  Pity is never cited as a sin.  There was no “just” reason for God to commit this murder.

Another example is Genesis 38:6-10.  Judah’s firstborn was put to death by God for “wickedness” of an unknown quality, and then Judah’s son Onan had sex with his dead brother’s wife and he too was put to death.  In this case his death was for practice of birth control, which has never been declared as sinful in the bible.  Even if you take something out of context (such as ‘be fruitful and multiply”) to make it appear sinful,  you won’t find any scripture that says such a sin carries a death sentence.  It doesn’t, except when God is wrathful and kills despite his command not to murder.

In my last blog, I mentioned that touching the Ark of God carried a death sentence.  This was never stated in scripture as a deadly sin, simply that it had deadly results (1 Samuel 6 tells of 70 gentiles killed by God because they looked into the Ark of God and 2 Samuel 6 tells of a jew killed by God simply for touching the Ark because it was going to touch the ground, something that God said shouldn’t be allowed).  This, too, is murder without lawful backing.

What about murder by proxy?  Sure, God commanded Abraham to murder his son Isaac.  He took it back though, because allowing him to kill an innocent person in his name is sinful, isn’t it?  In Judges 11, Jephthah sacrificed his daughter because he swore to God that, if given victory, he’d sacrifice to God the first thing greeting him at his door…  and it happened to be his daughter.  Unlike with Isaac, God didn’t spare her just because she was innocent (or send something else to greet Jephthah!).  He let Jephthah cook her in his name.

There are countless examples then, and more today.  While many Christians take offense at “Act of God” referring to a natural disaster, doesn’t God control these things?  Didn’t he create a world that constantly kills the innocent?  Doesn’t he allow the murder of babies, killed before they can commit their first sin?  You may say that he can’t save all the innocent (Matthew 5:45 – [He] sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous) but that’s just ignoring cases like Noah or Lot where the innocent were spared before God poured out wrath.

And there’s the ethnic cleansing issue again.  Jews (His chosen people) were slaughtered in masses, and God didn’t intervene.  Was it because they were sinful and deserving of death?  Is it because God wasn’t powerful enough to stop it?  Stop apologizing for God.  He’s directly killed many people who didn’t deserve an earthly death, and indirectly killed billions more.  Have you done that?  Would you have done that?  I believe that you don’t fall short of the “glory of God” any more than I do.

-S Nova

*Look up the phrase “put to death” on an online bible lookup (my personal favorite is BibleGateway.com).  You’ll see many, many examples of God putting people to death, and ordering it done.  In compiling this short list of sins not deserving of death, I actually had a tough time coming up with sins that didn’t earn it.

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About starcrashx

I love statistics. They drive my poker playing, my reasoning, and my research. As Penn Gillete said "Luck is probability taken personally". There's no such thing as luck... but I wish you positive chance. View all posts by starcrashx

3 responses to “Holding God to a Standard

  • Nathan

    “Didn’t he create a world that constantly kills the innocent?”

    Constantly? No. Once? Yes. That was Jesus.

  • Micah

    Having a standard.

    Yes God, the Creater of the universe, sets the standards. I know this may come as a shock, but who better to come up with the rules… you? Of course I joke this, but most people would like to think they can declare their own set of commandments and abide by them as they choose. Truth is, those who believe this can’t even follow their own propriety.

    Romans 3:23 is absolutely true to the letter. But if you’d just read a little
    farther, you’d be able to answer your own question. Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin [is] death.” He didn’t specify which sin because he meant ALL sin. God also made this clear to Adam in the garden (Gen 2:17).

    It is God’s, and God’s alone, to choose when and how to apply justice. He is just, so justice must be served. However, He gave us a way out. Romans 6:23 finishs by saying, “but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” This is quite a gift indeed.

    It is wrong, and just plain futile, to act as God’s judge. 1John 4:10 “Herein is
    love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son [to be] the propitiation for our sins.” How is it you think you’re more loving then God? What you are implying is that you know better and would act more responsibly then the creater God who cares about every part of his creation (Luke 12:24). This, of course, is absurd and should give cause for you to reconsider your own morality.

  • starcrashx

    It doesn’t come as a shock to me that you believe God sets the standards. But I’m arguing that He doesn’t even follow the standard that He himself set.

    You aren’t arguing that he is not a murderer, but rather he is above above justice in suggesting that we can’t act as God’s judge. But you yourself have judged and do judge God. Don’t you believe him to be holy, honorable, and good? By what standard do you judge God to be good?

    If you believe God is good because he defined it, then I can logically write my own book that defines goodness and live by it and call myself good. What difference is it if I do it or if God does it? Indeed, you believe this has happened in reference to Muslims, who wrote the Q’uran and then condemn Christians by it, calling them evil. They are using the same measure that you’re using against them, but just substituting books.

    It seems absurd to call myself more loving than God, but don’t you find yourself to be more loving than Allah? In Muslim countries, people are regularly killed for apostasy and heresy on the basis of their religion. These are countries that follow their dogma religiously, and they have the full support of their governments. Allah seems rather ruthless himself, but only because he doesn’t exist and his followers use the basis of his words to carry out their own ruthlessness.

    In the same context, you are aware (aren’t you?) that heresy used to be a capital crime in all of Europe under the guidance of the Christian church. Christians did the same thing as Muslims do now, back when the church had the power to carry out such punishments. They were simply following the old testament law which commanded Christians to kill non-Christians (Deuteronomy 13:6, 8-15).

    Just because the bible says that God is loving doesn’t mean that He is. By objective standards, he is a barbarian that loves to kill people. Even now we have earthquakes, hurricanes, and famine, all of these under the watchful eye of a God who claims to have the power to control them but chooses not to do so. Rationalize this how you wish, but that doesn’t change the fact that if you or I had such power, we wouldn’t allow such suffering.

    I appreciate your attempt at debating this point, but you’ve done it with scripture. I quote the bible because you believe in it. I don’t. It sounds to me the same way that the words of the Q’uran do to you, utterly meaningless. I would have to be convinced that your book held any truth at all to care what it had to say on any subject. I merely use it to point out its own errancy.

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