Titus 1:2: “In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;”
The Breaker of Promises
This post is in response to the comment by metalpants on my “Be a Good Christian: Kill Your Children?“ article, which stated:
“You seemed to have forgotten to mention the fact that God kept all His promises given to His children, all the miracles, all the undeserving mercies, and just about every good thing that God has ever done for us… Including creating us just so that we could experience life and giving us the freedom to choose what we want to follow. He didn’t need us… At all. He can live along just fine without us. But He wanted to share the wonders of life with us just out of love. Perhaps you need some more studying to do cause you’re unable to explain how such an “evil” God is also capable of being so loving and merciful. When you look up stuff on Satan you’ll always find evil. Never good. Never love. Always selfishness and malice. But how can God be evil and good at the same time?”
Honestly, I think the sentiment is quite lovely…if only it were true. In reality, I’m not sure where to begin a discussion in relation to the innumerable broken promises in the Bible, the question of free will in relation to the God of the Bible, and the third point raised by metalpants that poses the argument (unless I’m reading it incorrectly) that God couldn’t possibly be evil and good at the same time.
So first; the slew of broken promises in the Bible: For undeniable evidence of how the God of the Bible didn’t keep all of his promises (or perhaps even most of them), one needs to look no further than the very beginning of the Bible for the first few critical examples. These examples, by the way, only scratch the surface in relation to the broken promises of the Bible as well, and don’t include prophecies that never came true, prophecies told after the fact, or outright lies the God of the bible spouted to his “chosen people” to get them to do what he wanted (a very human trait, by the way).
So, 3 examples, of many, from Genesis alone:
1. Genesis 2:15: “”You are free to eat from any tree in the garden, but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.”
That is as vivid as a promise gets. If you eat of the tree, I promise that you will die. Adam actually DID eat of the fruit later in Genesis, but not only lived; he managed to live another 930 years as well! Right from the start we’ve got a God who did not make good on an explicit promise.
2. Genesis 46:4: “I will go down to Egypt with you, and I will surely bring you back again.”
This was the God of the Bible speaking to Jacob, promising that he would bring him back from Egypt safely. But, in a few short verses later, we find that either the God of the Bible forgot his promise, (or in infinite wisdom that’s far beyond our understanding), or he changed his mind. Genesis 47:28 states; “Jacob lived in Egypt seventeen years, and the years of his life were a hundred and forty-seven.” Jacob died in Egypt, probably wondering why this explicit promise by the God of the Bible wasn’t kept.
3. Genesis 15:18: “In the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates.”
Wow; that’s quite an incredible promise! The land promised to the “chosen people” reached far beyond the modern-day borders of Israel, also encompassing the modern-day nations of Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, and Iraq! Defenders often argue that the promise was taken back when the God of the Bible’s chosen people worshiped other gods than him (although these words appear nowhere in the Bible I can find). It only takes looking to Deuteronomy 9:5 to rebuke the rebuttal by the defenders where it’s clearly stated and reiterated: “It is not because of your righteousness or your integrity that you are going in to take possession of their land; but on account of the wickedness of these nations, the LORD your God will drive them out before you, to accomplish what he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.”
And, as stated earlier; these few examples barely scratch the surface of broken promises. There are actually carefully-detailed lists elsewhere on the internet. One is an article an article called “Prophecies, Promises, and Misquotes in the Bible” and another is called “2000 Years Late“. Listed are innumerable examples of broken Bible promises are explained in detail. They all illustrate a basic point that, no matter what any of us choose to agree or disagree on in relation to this topic, adds up to an indisputable fact: The God of the Bible did NOT in fact deliver on ALL his promises, actually breaking many explicit promises that were made.
If anyone broke so many promises in my world, if they let me down on so many occasions, I might start to question if this was someone healthy to have as a part of world. In fact, choosing to fall back on the nonsensical argument that we need to have a proven liar who constantly lets us down dictate our life to us would land us in counseling so we could empower ourselves to stop the abuse and better our lives in any other situation.
And this brings me to the question of how defenders are capable of dismissing the “evil” part of the God of the Bible simply because he has allegedly performed so many “good” works. Again, when these kinds of arguments are presented, it’s difficult to know how to respond only because the basis of the argument itself is so comprehensively flawed.
There is no question that the God of the Bible not only lied to his people on a fairly regular basis, but also committed an enormous number of atrocities among many other amoral acts…that’s not the question, and the Bible itself clearly and in no uncertain terms, vividly outlines and supports this point. The question is how a Christian chooses to justify the atrocities, broken promises, historical inaccuracies, and flat out unfulfilled prophecies in the Bible while still retaining their faith.
I was unable to do so, but I do believe that Jesus Christ was a revolutionary in ways that has been twisted into what has become a mockery of what he originally stood for. So, I’m all ears when it comes to at least acknowledging the fact that the God of the Bible was a murderer and liar; that at least gives us a place to begin a debate. But, when the Bible itself is rife with so many indisputable facts that reveal the God of the Bible for the amoral being he was (within the pages of the Bible as most know it, at least), and there are so many who still deny there is nothing that the God of the Bible did that might be construed as “evil,” then there’s no way to open a discussion.
And that is why I often look to moderate Christians to try to arm them with practical ideas that will empower them to take back the religion that was taken from them by extremists who have, as they have throughout history, twisted, transformed, lied about, and outright rewrote whatever parts of the Bible they needed to fit their particular agenda.
The Good & Evil God
With that in mind, let’s venture back to the question of how the God of the Bible could be evil when he’s done so much good, such as giving us these amazing lives to experience and share. Let me use an analogy: The disturbing tradition (in more than a few cultures) is to throw newborn female babies off of cliffs, since male babies are preferred. With the above line of thinking, as long as the mom or dad who threw their female baby to her death raise their male baby well, that makes it all perfectly fine and acceptable.
The problem is, is that raising one child while murdering the other doesn’t erase the fact that a murder was committed. Anyone who would try to justify this type of activity, even if it were (and was) committed by their God, as a means of supporting their belief in their religion is most-likely too deeply in denial to see this simple truth. And it’s that kind of denial in relation to the majority of Christians that terrifies me and makes it (as history clearly shows) the most dangerous religion on the planet, at laeast as of this writing.
The other popular argument that attempts to exonerate the God of the Bible in relation to the countless amoral actions contained within the pages of the Bible, goes something like this: “Evil is not a physically created thing and therefore doesn’t fall within the realm of something created by God. Evil is nothing more than something that is allowed by God humans get to choose between good and evil on their own.”
It’s also often presented like this as well; “God created man out of love. It is not God’s fault that man, using his gift of free will, chose to abuse that gift.”
The fact that anyone feels that all of the evil of the world can be explained away in this manner troubles me more deeply than I could ever hope to explain. First, the statement itself is completely untrue from the start: The God of the Bible was actually personally responsible for the deaths of millions of people, many completely innocent children, in addition to countless other indisputable acts that few would call anything other than “evil.” The fact that defenders of the Bible choose to overlook that fact in order to peddle a defense for their god is almost unconscionable. I like to cling to the hope that we are far smarter and more evolved than this.
I always try to look for some sort of common ground to at least open a discussion on some of these core issues, so I offer this: Knowing the God of the Bible has undeniably perpetrated so many evil acts upon his own chosen people, can we at least agree that the pages of the Bible, so rife with violence and sheer evil, might possibly have been mistranslated by us humans?
Debating this question in the way it’s typically debated is nothing more than another way to not have to address the true issue. Instead of debating how the God of the Bible could have reasons for allowing a child being slowly tortured and raped until they die a slow painful death is truly not the point. The point is whether or not the God of the Bible is an accurate depiction of the being that may be responsible for our existence.
I can never figure out why the defenders of the Bible don’t come from a standpoint of acknowledging that the God of the Bible is an evil, lying tyrant, and that those who arbitrarily wrote, assembled, translated, re-translated, fabricated, edited, modified, added to, deleted pages of this book may be personally responsible for hijacking the words of a true mystic and revolutionary known as Jesus Christ.
It doesn’t take that much research to find out that the Bible is an excruciatingly inaccurate and outdated series of amalgamations that has been mutilated by such a degree that’s been used as a weapon to justify more evil than any other weapon invented by humans or by gods. No matter our personal beliefs, if we can at least start to agree that something isn’t quite right about the Bible, and that it’s not simply a matter of us all being too stupid to understand the vast goodness contained within its pages, then we can finally start to take back what could have been one of the greatest gifts humans have been given.
What the revolutionary known as Jesus Christ stood for is not at all what is described within the pages of any Bible I’ve read, and I’m shocked at how many people defend a book they’ve never read and a God they purport to live their lives by.
As usual, I’m extremely interested in debate, even if it’s threatening and/or mean-spirited. If anyone reading this is tempted to write an angry comment in response to any of my articles here, all I ask is that first, (since you’re here), perhaps you can take a few minutes more to read a short article that is a general response to the angry comments I often get here on my blog. It’s called “If Only I Knew the Love of God” and perhaps it will only incite more anger, but I can always hope that it won’t.
NOTE: Please be respectful of the immense effort and research that goes into writing my articles. Do not re-print or re-post any of my work without receiving explicit and express permission from me first. Feel free to link to my articles whenever you wish, and I am always available for interviews or comments.