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.
*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.