Thursday, February 11, 2010

Letter to Matt Friedeman

Matt Friedeman has a radio program on American Family Radio. Recently, he was talking about how he believed that some people claim that God told them to do thus and so as a means of justifying what they want to do. I sent the following Email to him in response.


On your radio program this morning I was glad to hear you talk about the supposed calling of God in many people's lives, especially how it mostly seems that preachers are called to move to a bigger church with a higher salary rather than into a poverty stricken area with low pay. I have noticed that also and expressed that same sentiment myself. I also found it interesting that you said that you have gotten to the point of just telling people that God did not say that when it conflicts with the nature of the Biblical God.

For these same reasons, I have concluded that much of what the Bible says that God told Moses was not really God speaking, but rather simply what Moses "thought" God was saying or what the Biblical writers "thought" God was saying. I base this on the following:

1. God does not change. (Numbers 23:19, Malachi 3:6)
2. God is love. (I John 4:8)
3. We should love our enemies. (Matt 5:43-48)
4. What love entails. (1 Cor 13:4-7)

If these four things are true then I find it impossible to believe that God ordered the destruction of entire nations, including all the children. If we think abortion is bad, what must we think about the Israelite soldier, serving under Moses, who took a sword to the pregnant woman's belly, killing both the woman and her unborn child?

Our conclusion should be that either: 1) God DOES change (meaning he was bad to begin with but has improved with age), 2) God is NOT love, 3) we should NOT love our enemies, but rather destroy them, 4) the definition of love that the Apostle Paul gave us was NOT accurate (meaning that it IS possible to love an innocent person while murdering them), or 5) God did NOT order the murders of all those children and other innocents in the nations they attacked.

I believe that Moses was like many of the leaders of other nations. They tell their people that the killing they are going to be doing has been sanctioned by God in order to assuage their consciences. It is a difficult thing for good people to kill other people. But if people can be convinced that the creator of all things is commanding the killing, they can better swallow it. As you may recall, sometimes the Israelites still had problems following Moses' commands. In Numbers 31:7-18, we see that Moses became angry when his soldiers had mercy on the Midianite women and children and ordered them to kill all the boys, but keep the virgin women for themselves. I dare say that if a general in the US Army acted in such a way, Christians would be calling for an immediate court martial.

What do you think?