J. Grant Swank, Jr.
In the Old Testament there is recorded the divine directive to kill. In Noah’s generation, God drowned all but eight righteous individuals.
Let God be God.
There is not only the loving, merciful component in the divine persona; there is also the wrathful, just component. Deal with it. Accept it. That’s God.
Since God created the sphere and all related to it, God has the right to set His own rules. One of them is that following God is to live; turning against God is to die.
Noah’s generation knowingly turned against God. Sodom and Gomorrah did the same. And so forth. When cultures rebel against the God of the universe, they die in one way or another.
The innocent children within those collections are taken to heaven via divine mercy, for “of such is the kingdom of God.”
Christ stated the same concerning obeying and disobeying God; therefore, the New and Old Testaments agree. Christ stated that those who turn against God spend eternity in hell. Those who obey God spend eternity in heaven.
Therefore, there is no violent, mad Old Testament God in contest with a sweet, caring New Testament God. God is the same God throughout the Bible.
Regarding the harsh punishments set forth in the Old Testament, read BIBLE HARSH PENALTIES & CHRIST’S ETHIC at http://truthinconviction.us/weblog.php?id=P3465
However, NazNet Moderator Scott Cundiff and others on that website staff do not like the Old Testament God’s actions when He destroys peoples. That is one conclusion that prods these staffers to discount the inerrancy of Scripture.
NazNet staffers in the main champion a Bible with errors in it. That opens up the following: pull one error thread and where does one stop? It’s all up to the reader, of which there are countless. The ultimate thread pull is to end up in the Unitarian-Universalist camp.
What mortal dares to discount the Word of God as totally reliable, eternally revealed truth that must not be added to or subtracted from? Yet on NazNet that exercise is championed. It is lauded. That is blasphemous.
Note this on NazNet as planted by Moderator Scott Cundiff:
“In a devotional I dealt with the command given by God to wipe out entire people groups as part of the occupation of Canaan. Writing from a devotional point of view my take away is that there's that about God, an ‘otherness’ that is beyond us and that passages like that are reminders of that fact.
“However, in the open letter (of Dr. C. S. Cowles of Point Loma Nazarene University), I find a solid Wesleyan perspective that helps me deal with the issue, not from a devotional point of view, but rather from a theological one. I appreciate this insight.
“And van de Beek is right. No matter how hard one tries, it is impossible to reconcile the many commands to kill enemies in the Old Testament with the commands to love our enemies in the New.
“Even more difficult is the portrait painted of God as a violent and genocidal child killer in the Old Testament (Noah's flood, the fiery destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, the slaughter of the Canaanites and Amalekites), and in Christ the lover of children in the New.
“Van de Beek admits as much. He confesses that ‘The more one wants to let all of Scripture speak for itself . . . the more unclear the Bible becomes. The more we believe that the whole Word is revelation, the less we know who God is.’”
Can one imagine that? The more one researches the Bible, the more the Word of God becomes “unclear.” That leads to unbelief; but that is permitted for there is no other choice. “The more we believe that the whole Word is revelation, the LESS WE KNOW WHO GOD IS.”
Consequently, a flippant knowledge of Scripture is best for the reader really does not get to know the God of the Book. However, when one spends a lifetime delving into the Bible’s minutia, the less one understands God. That’s what NazNet’s staffers declare by their support of Cowles and Van de Beek.
And with that, Cundiff applauds both men. Staffer Hans Deventer agrees, of course, for Deventer’s statements elsewhere on NazNet conclude him not to accept the total reliability of the Bible.
Where is NazNet Founder Dave McClung at this point? He is agreeing with the Cowles statement. Not only that, he agrees having it posted on his site that claims to be a “friend” of the Church of the Nazarene.
The denomination has never promoted disbelief in the Bible and thereby concluding one finds God unknowable.
FOOTNOTE: BIBLE HARSH PENALTIES & CHRIST’S ETHIC at http://truthinconviction.us/weblog.php?id=P3465