the Irony of Biblical Morality

I got a magazine in the mail titled “The voice of the Martyrs” with it contents leading me to their website www.persecution.com. And here is an excerpt of the mission statement of this organization:

” The Voice of the Martyrs is a non-profit, inter-denominational Christian organization dedicated to assisting the persecuted church worldwide. VOM was founded in 1967 by Pastor Richard Wurmbrand, who was imprisoned 14 years in Communist Romania for his faith in Christ. His wife, Sabina, was imprisoned for three years. In the 1960s, Richard, Sabina, and their son, Mihai, were ransomed out of Romania and came to the United States. Through their travels, the Wurmbrands spread the message of the atrocities that Christians face in restricted nation..”

The magazine contained stories of people who have been  tortured, died or presently in some horrible situation in an effort to defend the Christian faith. You might be interested in reading about that here. The question I ask is, why does God need this much defending; that question was too narrow. The more appropriate question is, why is religion the root of all evil?

While I seek to answer that question, I would read the bible and get some good moral lesson, or is there? In my reading of the “word of God”, I came across this strange story, let’s share (Amplified Bible, bold emphasis are mine):

Judges 19: 14-30

14So they passed on and went their way, and the sun went down on them near Gibeah, which belongs to Benjamin,

15And they turned aside there to go in and lodge at Gibeah. And the Levite went in and sat down in the open square of the city, for no man took them into his house to spend the night.

16And behold, an old man was coming from his work in the field at evening. He was from the hill country of Ephraim but was living temporarily in Gibeah, but the men of the place were Benjamites.

17And when he looked up, he saw the wayfarer in the city square, and the old man said, Where are you going? And from where did you come?

18The Levite replied, We are passing from Bethlehem of Judah to the rear side of the hill country of Ephraim; I am from there. I went to Bethlehem of Judah, but I am [now] going [home] to the house of the Lord [where I serve], and there is no man who receives me into his house.

19Yet we have both straw and provender for our donkeys and bread and wine also for me, your handmaid, and the young man who is with your servants; there is no lack of anything.

20And the old man said, Peace be to you, but leave all your wants to me; only do not lodge in the street.

21So he brought him into his house and gave provender to the donkeys. And the guests washed their feet and ate and drank.

22Now as they were making their hearts merry, behold, the men of the city, certain worthless fellows, beset the house round about, beat on the door, and said to the master of the house, the old man, Bring forth the man who came to your house, that we may have intercourse with him.

23And the man, the master of the house, went out and said to them, No, my kinsmen, I pray you, do not act so wickedly; seeing that this man is my guest, do not do this [wicked] folly.

24Behold, here are my virgin daughter and this man’s concubine; them I will bring out now; debase them and do with them what seems good to you, but to this man do not so vile a thing.

25But the men would not listen to him. So the man took his concubine and forced her forth to them, and they had intercourse with her and abused her all the night until morning. And when the dawn began to break, they let her go.

26At daybreak the woman came and fell down and lay at the door of the man’s house where her master was, till it was light.

27And her master rose up in the morning and opened the doors of the house and went out to go his way; and behold, his concubine had fallen down at the door of the house, and her hands were upon the threshold.

28And he said to her, Up, and let us be going. But there was no answer [for she was dead]. Then he put her [body] upon the donkey, and the man rose up and went home.

29And when he came into his house, he took a knife, and took hold of his dead concubine and divided her [body] limb by limb into twelve pieces and sent her [body] throughout all the territory of Israel.

30And all who saw it said, There was no such deed done or seen from the day that the Israelites came up out of the land of Egypt to this day; consider it, take counsel, and speak [your minds].

No, this is not from a horror novel, you are reading a book, believed by millions to be a guide for good morals — and this morals should be taken verbatim. I keep wondering, have Christians really read the bible enough or they are just been selective? Or maybe its just the block religion creates against questioning.

19 Comments

  1. Wat the hell?! Ewwwww! Its disturbing. Ugh I have no words to tell u how disgusted I am by this story. U put up like half of it before n that was insulting enough for women. But the ending is….I don’t have a word to describe it. Can’t believe something like this is supposed to teach ppl rite from wrong.

  2. Wat the hell?! Ewwwww! Its disturbing. Ugh I have no words to tell u how disgusted I am by this story. U put up like half of it before n that was insulting enough for women. But the ending is….I don’t have a word to describe it. Can’t believe something like this is supposed to teach ppl rite from wrong.

  3. why does God need this much defending?

    God doesn’t need defending. Human belings who witness about Jesus will be persecuted. We are given instructions on what to do when this occurs.

    In Mark 13:9-10 Jesus says

    9 “You must be on guard. You will be handed over to the local councils and flogged in the synagogues.On account of me, you will stand before governors and kings as witnesses to them.

    10 And the gospel must first be preached to all nations. Whenever you are arrested and brought to trial, do not worry beforehand about what to say. Just say whatever is given you at the time, for it is not you speaking, but the Holy Spirit [New International Version]

    The purpose of Judges 19 is to show the Levite, a descendant of priests

    1) was not following the laws of Moses by having a concubine

    2) he takes on the conbuine as his wife (sitting with the father assuring him of his duty to her)

    3) he delivers his wife to a gang rape

    4) ritually sacrifices his wife [as if she were cattle See 1 Sam 11:7] by cuting her up and sent the remains as a message to assemble Israel

    Read Deuteronomy 13:13-15. The cut up body of the woman was sent as a message to Israel, about what the Benjamites were doing.

    Israel went to war with the Benjamites in Judges 20 then in Judges 21 cut them off as a tribe because they were not following the laws of Moses.

    The Benjamites had returned to the ways before the Exodus. MEaning the men in the town, Benjamites, had returned to sacred orgies and ritual sacrifice.

    The problem is that the people were creating their morals, issue by issue because there was no king so “everyone did as they saw fit” [Judges 21:25]

  4. why does God need this much defending?

    God doesn’t need defending. Human belings who witness about Jesus will be persecuted. We are given instructions on what to do when this occurs.

    In Mark 13:9-10 Jesus says

    9 “You must be on guard. You will be handed over to the local councils and flogged in the synagogues.On account of me, you will stand before governors and kings as witnesses to them.

    10 And the gospel must first be preached to all nations. Whenever you are arrested and brought to trial, do not worry beforehand about what to say. Just say whatever is given you at the time, for it is not you speaking, but the Holy Spirit [New International Version]

    The purpose of Judges 19 is to show the Levite, a descendant of priests

    1) was not following the laws of Moses by having a concubine

    2) he takes on the conbuine as his wife (sitting with the father assuring him of his duty to her)

    3) he delivers his wife to a gang rape

    4) ritually sacrifices his wife [as if she were cattle See 1 Sam 11:7] by cuting her up and sent the remains as a message to assemble Israel

    Read Deuteronomy 13:13-15. The cut up body of the woman was sent as a message to Israel, about what the Benjamites were doing.

    Israel went to war with the Benjamites in Judges 20 then in Judges 21 cut them off as a tribe because they were not following the laws of Moses.

    The Benjamites had returned to the ways before the Exodus. MEaning the men in the town, Benjamites, had returned to sacred orgies and ritual sacrifice.

    The problem is that the people were creating their morals, issue by issue because there was no king so “everyone did as they saw fit” [Judges 21:25]

  5. You reply reminds me of this passage:
    (1 Tim 4:1-3)
    “1I charge [you] in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, Who is to judge the living and the dead, and by (in the light of) His coming and His kingdom:
    2Herald and preach the Word! Keep your sense of urgency [stand by, be at hand and ready], whether the opportunity seems to be favorable or unfavorable. [Whether it is convenient or inconvenient, whether it is welcome or unwelcome, you as preacher of the Word are to show people in what way their lives are wrong.] And convince them, rebuking and correcting, warning and urging and encouraging them, being unflagging and inexhaustible in patience and teaching.

    3For the time is coming when [people] will not tolerate (endure) sound and wholesome instruction, but, having ears itching [for something pleasing and gratifying], they will gather to themselves one teacher after another to a considerable number, chosen to satisfy their own liking and to foster the errors they hold ….”

    Of course this will be true until we start to wonder the history of the bible, let me pause and ask: are you believing the bible verbatim? Irrespective your answer, I follow up, are you vast in Christian history?

    You still seem bent on the stories in the bible being used to as a guide to morality, i.e. learn from the example, and then, what lesson is there to be learned that can’t be learned otherwise?

  6. You reply reminds me of this passage:
    (1 Tim 4:1-3)
    “1I charge [you] in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, Who is to judge the living and the dead, and by (in the light of) His coming and His kingdom:
    2Herald and preach the Word! Keep your sense of urgency [stand by, be at hand and ready], whether the opportunity seems to be favorable or unfavorable. [Whether it is convenient or inconvenient, whether it is welcome or unwelcome, you as preacher of the Word are to show people in what way their lives are wrong.] And convince them, rebuking and correcting, warning and urging and encouraging them, being unflagging and inexhaustible in patience and teaching.

    3For the time is coming when [people] will not tolerate (endure) sound and wholesome instruction, but, having ears itching [for something pleasing and gratifying], they will gather to themselves one teacher after another to a considerable number, chosen to satisfy their own liking and to foster the errors they hold ….”

    Of course this will be true until we start to wonder the history of the bible, let me pause and ask: are you believing the bible verbatim? Irrespective your answer, I follow up, are you vast in Christian history?

    You still seem bent on the stories in the bible being used to as a guide to morality, i.e. learn from the example, and then, what lesson is there to be learned that can’t be learned otherwise?

  7. We are to test the spirits.

    The more I read your knowledge of scripture, the more I know that you know this.

    Unfortunately I don’t read Hebrew (nor Aramaic – does any1?). Therefore I have to rely on scholars who painstakingly translated the NIV from Hewbrew to translate the Bible. There some things lost in translation, for instance, men adding male pronouns to gender netural references. But much is retained.

    There is an entire book in the Bible for philosophers – Ecclesiates

    Are you referring to Calvinist persecutions as far as Christian history?

    When I read your posts, it doesn’t seem that you have issues with God as it is with people who say they come in the name of God. I’m the first to say there are many many people proclaiming to do work for God, that God did not call them to do. When judgement day arrives, they will have to attest to that.
    .-= vizionheiry´s last blog ..Read Your Books in a Canoe =-.

  8. We are to test the spirits.

    The more I read your knowledge of scripture, the more I know that you know this.

    Unfortunately I don’t read Hebrew (nor Aramaic – does any1?). Therefore I have to rely on scholars who painstakingly translated the NIV from Hewbrew to translate the Bible. There some things lost in translation, for instance, men adding male pronouns to gender netural references. But much is retained.

    There is an entire book in the Bible for philosophers – Ecclesiates

    Are you referring to Calvinist persecutions as far as Christian history?

    When I read your posts, it doesn’t seem that you have issues with God as it is with people who say they come in the name of God. I’m the first to say there are many many people proclaiming to do work for God, that God did not call them to do. When judgement day arrives, they will have to attest to that.
    .-= vizionheiry´s last blog ..Read Your Books in a Canoe =-.

  9. Very true, I don't have issues with God, he doesn't exist, why should I? That was a bit harsh, again, bare with me.

    Religion, through the ages has been a propagandist tool, a tool for oppression and an attack to rationality. I know have meet a lot of honest believers who confess in the safe haven that religion gives and I respond, it's hard to tell there are better havens when you haven't tried the alternatives. I compare it to a person who have been walking on his hands all his/her life, such would find bipeds weird.

    Ecclesiastes, Proverbs, Jeremiah, and Songs of Solomon, have read them all — I still think the bible for what it is: a pseudo-historical record of a race that once thought themselves superior (I think they still do, not sure).

  10. I have prove for what I believe, if you doubt me, you can look it up yourself — that's the beauty of science, it's an act of discovery.

    For all you might believe, I can't look it up, I have to base my acceptance on your personal experience, seems foul a bit.

  11. I have prove for what I believe, if you doubt me, you can look it up yourself — that's the beauty of science, it's an act of discovery.

    For all you might believe, I can't look it up, I have to base my acceptance on your personal experience, seems foul a bit.

  12. I have prove for what I believe, if you doubt me, you can look it up yourself — that's the beauty of science, it's an act of discovery.

    For all you might believe, I can't look it up, I have to base my acceptance on your personal experience, seems foul a bit.

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