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Defending the Faith discuss Why did God order the Israelites to kill children? in the Apologetics Forum forums; So if someone were to ask you "Why did God order the Israelites to kill children" how would you answer?...

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    Why did God order the Israelites to kill children?

    So if someone were to ask you "Why did God order the Israelites to kill children" how would you answer?
    Mark Maney
    Auckland Chinese Presbyterian Church
    Trinity Western University, ACTS Seminaries
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    Children are sinners deserving of death as much as any grown person, original sin is real and terrible. On judgement days countless millions of seemingly good people will be exposed for the sinners they are and be cast into hell.
    Mike
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    "Surely, we wish to be orthodox, but we must first learn what real orthodoxy is. Surely, we wish to be progressive, but we must first have a basis to progress from."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hippo View Post
    Children are sinners deserving of death as much as any grown person, original sin is real and terrible. On judgement days countless millions of seemingly good people will be exposed for the sinners they are and be cast into hell.
    If you were asked to point out a sin that a 3 month old child has committed what would you point out? Or have they not committed sin but rather the fact that they have a sin nature is what makes them deserving?
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    To get rid of that group of people which He didn't want on this earth anymore.
    sarah
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    Quote Originally Posted by tellville View Post
    If you were asked to point out a sin that a 3 month old child has committed what would you point out? Or have they not committed sin but rather the fact that they have a sin nature is what makes them deserving?
    The two are necessarily intertwined. We commit sins because we have a sin nature. The main difference between a three month old and a 30 year old is that the three month old has not matured to the same point physically in order to commit the same sins as the 30 year old. As soon as that child is physically able, he will begin to commit those sins (i.e., with his hands, feet, etc.).

    But we are not only condemned for the things we do with our hands and feet. We have hearts that are opposed to God. That 3 month old is born with a heart that is in opposition to God. Anyone who says "innocent child" does not have a true understanding of the nature of sin or the guilt of human beings or the need for the cross or the greatness of the Savior.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TranZ4MR View Post
    To get rid of that group of people which He didn't want on this earth anymore.
    The inhabitants of the ancient city of Carthage were descendants of the Canaanites. I once read that when the Romans finally made in to Carthage and sacked the city, they were appalled by the immorality they found there. Play that one again in your mind -- the Romans were grossed out by what these latter Canaanites were doing...
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    The Canaanites, Amorites, etc, were a particularly wicked people that God had been patient with (see Genesis 15:16).

    Instead of destroying them with a natural or other disaster, God decided to make an example of them in the judgement being inflicted on them by His people with the iron sword.

    This pointed forward typologically to the judgement and mercy that God's New Covenant people would inflict on the whole Earth by carrying out the Great Commission with the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.

    We all deserve death, having sinned in Adam or also by actual transgression. Another reason why God would have wanted the children to be killed was to show forth the completeness of the judgement and overthrow of these desperately wicked nations (pointing to the complete overthrow of the Earth by the spread of the Gospel) and so that Amorites, etc, growing up among the Israelites would not be a snare to God's people.

    Thankfully God's people in the New Covenant are not called upon to carry out such a task.

    Sadly young children and babies die in God's providence in this sinful and cursed world all the time, in various ways. I leave the ultimate destiny of particular babies and children with God.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marrow Man View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by TranZ4MR View Post
    To get rid of that group of people which He didn't want on this earth anymore.
    The inhabitants of the ancient city of Carthage were descendants of the Canaanites. I once read that when the Romans finally made in to Carthage and sacked the city, they were appalled by the immorality they found there. Play that one again in your mind -- the Romans were grossed out by what these latter Canaanites were doing...
    Really cannot imagine since the Romans were pretty immoral themselves.
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    The inhabitants of the ancient city of Carthage were descendants of the Canaanites.
    I think Sarah's got you there, Pastor. Carthage was a colony of the Phoenicians; Tyre in particular IIRC. They weren't Canaanites, and there are good things said about them in Scripture. One of the chief artists of the Temple had a parent from those people, Solomon had extensive treaties and trade agreements with them.

    I would point out that the person with the objection is 100 percent right on. God doesn't allow kids to be killed. In OT law a son can't die for the sins of the father.

    The Canaanite genocide was a one time thing, where God said to do something that He normally didn't allow. Since He is God.

    I would point out that the Canaanite genocide was like the Prophet who went up to some random person and told the man to strike him. Normally you would be sinning if you wounded a man against whom you had no feud. The man refused to strike the Prophet, which was right and just under normal circumstances. But in THAT CASE, since it was God who ordered it (like telling Abraham to kill his son) it was imperative for the man to strike.

    Because He is God. Good and evil aren't absolutes. Something is good because God says it is good. Something is evil because God says it is evil.

    So, I would tell the person that his objection is well founded, and without a direct revelation from God, it would be evil to kill children.
    Tim Vaughan
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    Quote Originally Posted by tellville View Post
    So if someone were to ask you "Why did God order the Israelites to kill children" how would you answer?
    For me it would depend on who this "someone" was who asked the question.

    So, hypothetically, if it was an atheist i would simply ask, "do you believe that killing children is wrong?"...."why is it wrong?"...."So you are against abortion?"

    And take the conversation from there.
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    Quote Originally Posted by larryjf View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by tellville View Post
    So if someone were to ask you "Why did God order the Israelites to kill children" how would you answer?
    For me it would depend on who this "someone" was who asked the question.

    So, hypothetically, if it was an atheist i would simply ask, "do you believe that killing children is wrong?"...."why is it wrong?"...."So you are against abortion?"

    And take the conversation from there.
    What if they were a Christian? How would you respond?
    Mark Maney
    Auckland Chinese Presbyterian Church
    Trinity Western University, ACTS Seminaries
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    Quote Originally Posted by TimV View Post
    The inhabitants of the ancient city of Carthage were descendants of the Canaanites.
    I think Sarah's got you there, Pastor. Carthage was a colony of the Phoenicians; Tyre in particular IIRC. They weren't Canaanites, and there are good things said about them in Scripture.
    I believe the person I'm remembering (the one who pointed this out) is Gleason Archer. I'd be glad to check the source/quote and post it tomorrow.

    I also believe that Sarah was confirming what I said. The residents of Carthage were repulsive to even the Romans; since the Romans were immoral, what does that say about Carthage?
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    Quote Originally Posted by tellville View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by larryjf View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by tellville View Post
    So if someone were to ask you "Why did God order the Israelites to kill children" how would you answer?
    For me it would depend on who this "someone" was who asked the question.

    So, hypothetically, if it was an atheist i would simply ask, "do you believe that killing children is wrong?"...."why is it wrong?"...."So you are against abortion?"

    And take the conversation from there.
    What if they were a Christian? How would you respond?
    I would most likely come from a perspective that questioned if He was their God how could they sit in judgment on Him.
    Larry Bray
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Tallach View Post
    Instead of destroying them with a natural or other disaster, God decided to make an example of them in the judgement being inflicted on them by His people with the iron sword.
    This is a good point, one that I had not considered before. God had already wiped out most of the world with the flood, yet He promised not to do that anymore (not by that method -- Genesis 9:11). God Himself had already destroyed men, women, and children through the flood.

    But keep in mind that not all Canaanites were killed. Rahab was spared, for instance, along with her household.
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    I think sarah doesn't really know what's going on here since people think what she said was WOW! She gets lucky every once in awhile....even blonds have good days!
    sarah
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    I also believe that Sarah was confirming what I said. The residents of Carthage were repulsive to even the Romans; since the Romans were immoral, what does that say about Carthage?
    I'll wait for you to do the source thing. Although those living under the Cedar flag today (if any are reading this) are probably insulted by now ;-)

    And aren't you thinking of the Sack of Jerusalem? How the Romans were so disgusted by the Jews that the killed everyone rather than spare them?

    I've never read that Scipio Africanus killed off the Carthaginians because they were immoral. It was more of a trade and geopolitical war.
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    Quote Originally Posted by larryjf View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by tellville View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by larryjf View Post

    For me it would depend on who this "someone" was who asked the question.

    So, hypothetically, if it was an atheist i would simply ask, "do you believe that killing children is wrong?"...."why is it wrong?"...."So you are against abortion?"

    And take the conversation from there.
    What if they were a Christian? How would you respond?
    I would most likely come from a perspective that questioned if He was their God how could they sit in judgment on Him.
    So by saying this are you saying they have no right to ask the question or rather they have no right to question the answer?
    Mark Maney
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    I would most likely come from a perspective that questioned if He was their God how could they sit in judgment on Him.
    Amen, Larry
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    Quote Originally Posted by TimV View Post
    Carthage was a colony of the Phoenicians .... They weren't Canaanites ...
    Here's part of the problem. Apparently Canaan and Phoenicia are used interchangeably (sort of) with one another. Here's the Wiki entry (using sources from the British Museum and Cambridge University Presses):

    The Levant region was inhabited by people who themselves referred to the land as 'ca-na-na-um' as early as the mid-third millennium BCE. There are a number of possible etymologies for the word.

    Some suggest the name comes from Hebrew "cana'ani" word meant merchant, for which, as Phoenicians, the Canaanites became justly famous.

    The Akkadian word "kinahhu", however, referred to the red-colored wool, dyed from the Murex molluscs of the coast, which was throughout history a key export of the region. When the Greeks later traded with the Canaanites, this meaning of the word seems to have predominated as they called the Canaanites the Phoenikes or "Phoenicians", which may derive from the Greek word "Phoenix" meaning crimson or purple, and again described the cloth for which the Greeks also traded. The Romans transcribed "phoenix" to "poenus", thus calling the descendants of the Canaanite settlers in Carthage "Punic".

    Thus while Phoenician and Canaanite refer to the same culture, archaeologists and historians commonly refer to the Bronze Age, pre-1200 BCE Levantines as Canaanites and their Iron Age descendants, particularly those living on the coast as Phoenicians. More recently, the term Canaanite has been used for the secondary Iron Age states of the interior, that were not ruled by Aramaean peoples, a separate and closely related ethnic group which included the Philistines and the states of Israel and Judah.
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    Here's part of the problem. Apparently Canaan and Phoenicia are used interchangeably (sort of) with one another.
    One problem is using Wikipedia as a source. Another is saying that Phoenicians are descended from Ham (dark skinned people) therefore they are necessarily immoral.

    Bad example, Tim. Assyrians and Jews are related. So should we....stereotype them in the same way?

    Saying Carthage was evil, so "Hey, who cares that all the babies were killed" is really reminiscent of the mostly baptist Christian Zionists who justified our latest war with Iraq using the same justification. "They're bad. They don't like Jews!! Lets kill them and justify ourselves by saying that they are worse than us).

    Well, no matter how bad a nation's fathers are, Biblical law doesn't allow killing their kids. It's a sin to kill a 9 month old baby because he comes from a sinful ethnic group. You all should be able to see this.

    So you don't have to exaggerate the sinfulness of those dozen different ethnic groups collectively known as "Canaanites". Their kids were sinful enough, just like ours are. But you can't kill them. Any more than it would be just for me to fly over there and kill your kids. It just isn't done in mature Christian influenced societies.

    The Canaanite genocide was a one off deal. period.
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    OK, I drove over to the church study at 9:30 and got the book. I was mistaken about one thing; it was Walter Kaiser, not Gleason Archer. It appears in Hard Sayings of the Bible. (pp. 117-118). Here's the quote, in context, with emphasis added:

    Finally, it is a matter of historical record that the Canaanites were notoriously deviant in their sexual behavior. Almost everywhere the archeologist's spade has dug in that part of the world there have been fertility symbols accompanying texts explicit enough to make many a modern pornographic dealer seem a mere beginner in the trade of deviant sexuality. Sodom left its name for the vice these people practiced. Even the Romans, so depraved in their own practices, were shocked by the behavior of the Phoenicians at the colony of Carthage (the last vestige of the Canaanite race).
    FWIW, I think you are reading a lot of motives into what I posted above. My point was to counter the "innocent children" line. Judging by your last post, I believe we are agreed. But the Canaanites were an especially nasty people. More so than most. Which seems to speak to why God wanted them gone. That seems to be what most folks here are saying.

    I don't think anyone is saying we have the right outselves to make that call. Canaan was a one-shot deal -- I agree with that. We're all sinful, and that applies to our children; I agree. To paraphrase Jesus' words in Luke 13 might be appropriate here -- Do we suppose these were greater sinners than we? Unless we repent, we will all likewise perish.
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    Ok, I might be faaar off the mark with this one but I've always considered the extermination of such a wicked society as that of the Caananites to be an act geared to prevent the spreading of its evils to the children of Israel. This was a culture that engaged in horrific religious and sexual practices, an environment in which children were immersed from their earliest days. I believe that along with the abhorrant religious and sexual elements came diseases that were passed on to children at birth, hence, even the youngest of babies were unredeemably physically tainted and if allowed to live would pass their diseases to others.

    It would have to be a really debached culture for God to destroy it completely but He did it with the Flood and He did it in this case.

    Anyhoo, that's my take on this - hope it made sense!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marrow Man View Post
    Anyone who says "innocent child" does not have a true understanding of the nature of sin or the guilt of human beings or the need for the cross or the greatness of the Savior.


    Nailed it, dude! Say no more!
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    God ordered the children to be killed so the whole people would be wiped out.

    While we may not execute anyone for his father's sins or vice versa (Ezekiel 18:20), God can...you know, that whole imputation of sin through Adam and God visiting sins upon generation after generation and all.

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    An eschatological intrusion. A physical, historical representation of God's consuming judgement on all who are outside Christ.
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    It's really easy to say that children are sinners too, and this provides consistency for Biblical Christianity, but it doesn't really address the question. Obviously implicit in the question is the assumption that babies are basically innocent before God, so rather than just stating that the assumption, it would be helpful to explain why a little bit. And the best way to do that, in my opinion, is to tell them that babies only seem innocent (i.e. sinless) to us because we compare them with us rather than with God's standards. As soon as the law of Jehovah is applied to the child and one imagines how high the bar is for God, babies don't look too innocent anymore.

    ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by TimV View Post
    Because He is God. Good and evil aren't absolutes. Something is good because God says it is good. Something is evil because God says it is evil.

    So, I would tell the person that his objection is well founded, and without a direct revelation from God, it would be evil to kill children.
    This is just false. I don't know how to say it more graciously.

    First, that good and evil can only be perfectly known by humans from God's decree does not imply that God decides what good and evil are. If God decided that, then that would mean His nature is not inherently righteous and that good and evil are arbitrary labels. To say that God decides what is good and what is evil is to say that good and evil come into existence by virtue of God's decree rather than that they are already defined. God is good. He is the definition of good. He doesn't decide what is good. He can state perfectly how goodness is to be manifested on Earth, but that doesn't mean He is arbitrarily deciding which earthly actions are good.

    Second, there is no way good and evil are relative. Moral relativism is not Christian.

    Third, I am fairly certain these statements came from you only because of a misunderstanding that you had when you stated this earlier:

    Quote Originally Posted by TimV View Post
    The Canaanite genocide was a one time thing, where God said to do something that He normally didn't allow. Since He is God.
    Here you distinguish between (1) the permissibility of killing children and (2) the immorality of killing children. You imply that (2) is normally in place, but God can suspend this every once in a while because He's God and instead invoke (1). If you were right about this Tim, then it would indeed follow that good and evil are relative and arbitrarily decided by God.

    But there are actually four distinctions: (a) the permissibility of killing children by humans, (b) the immorality of killing children by humans, (c) the permissibility of killing children by God, and (d) the immorality of killing children by God. Here, when God commanded the Canaanite genocide, He was not affirming (1) and denying (2); rather, He was affirming (c) and ordaining Israel as His instrument. He denied no principles that were already standing. Positive law never denies moral law.

    Therefore, God never suspended any moral principle. It was not the case that there was some moral principle which He "normally" enforced but arbitrarily suspended here. Rather, It is always immoral for humans to kill children, and it is always permissible for God to kill children. Both these principles were upheld in the Canaanite genocide.
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    God never ordered the Phoenicians to be exterminated, and as I said, they were at more than one point centuries after the Canaanite genocide Israel's main ally. For instance during the Philistine war we read

    2Sa 5:11 And Hiram king of Tyre sent messengers to David, and cedar trees, also carpenters and masons who built David a house
    and

    1Ki 5:1 Now Hiram king of Tyre sent his servants to Solomon when he heard that they had anointed him king in place of his father, for Hiram always loved David.

    And the the last vestige of the Canaanite (sic) race is alive and well in Malta BTW.

    So, I would tell the person that his objection is well founded, and without a direct revelation from God, it would be evil to kill children.
    This is just false. I don't know how to say it more graciously.
    Well, that wasn't too ungracious. But it is evil to kill babies. Except when God countermands His own law. Specifically when God tells you to kill a baby, or sacrifice your son, or marry your sister, or stab a man with whom you have no feud, punish a son for the deeds of his father or marry a whore, you need to do those things which are in any other circumstances evil. You can spin it however you wish.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TimV View Post
    God never ordered the Phoenicians to be exterminated ...
    OK ... but I don't see how that's not a non sequitur.

    God ordered the destruction of the Canaanites (including children). We both agree.

    I mentioned a comment I once read about Carthage as an example of a civilization, many centuries later, who descended from the Canaanites, who were wicked people, so much so that even the immoral Romans were repulsed by them. You denied that Carthage descended from the Canaanites, calling them Phoenicians instead.

    I believe I have not only produced the quotation I mentioned, but have shown that the Phoenicians are generally considered to be descendants of Canaanites. I'm not sure what else I can be say. At this point I don't seem any thing profitable in continuing to quibble about it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by caoclan View Post
    An eschatological intrusion. A physical, historical representation of God's consuming judgement on all who are outside Christ.
    Also an anticipation of the evangelisation of the whole Earth under Christ, who is our Moses and Joshua.

    God promises to be with Joshua and the people in their task:-

    Be strong and of good courage; for thou shalt cause this people to inherit the land which I sware unto their fathers to give them. Only be strong and very courageous, to observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest have good success whithersoever thou goest. This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth, but thou shalt meditate thereon day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of good courage; be not affrighted, neither be thou dismayed: for Jehovah thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest. Joshua 1:6-9 (ASV)

    Jesus promises to be with His people in their task:-

    And Jesus came to them and spake unto them, saying, All authority hath been given unto me in heaven and on earth. Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I commanded you: and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Matthew 28:18-20 (ASV)
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  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by TimV View Post
    Well, that wasn't too ungracious. But it is evil to kill babies. Except when God countermands His own law. Specifically when God tells you to kill a baby, or sacrifice your son, or marry your sister, or stab a man with whom you have no feud, punish a son for the deeds of his father or marry a whore, you need to do those things which are in any other circumstances evil. You can spin it however you wish.
    I'm not "spinning it"; I'm making crucial distinctions so as to protect Christianity from moral relativism and to protect morality from being based on arbitrary fiat rather than God's eternally holy nature.

    If you don't want to address what I wrote above, fine, but please don't brush it aside as just spinning the issue.
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    I'm not "spinning it"; I'm making crucial distinctions so as to protect Christianity from moral relativism and to protect morality from being based on arbitrary fiat rather than God's eternally holy nature.
    I thought I did address it.

    1Ki 20:35 And a certain man of the sons of the prophets said to his fellow at the command of the LORD, "Strike me, please." But the man refused to strike him.
    1Ki 20:36 Then he said to him, "Because you have not obeyed the voice of the LORD, behold, as soon as you have gone from me, a lion shall strike you down." And as soon as he had departed from him, a lion met him and struck him down.
    At any other time in history the man would have been sinning in stabbing the prophet. But that time, it was just the opposite. It was a sin not to. And there isn't any moral relativism or arbitrariness involved.

    Just like killing babies. You could go down to Compton or up to SanFran and find a crack house with the same sorts of people or worse than were in Canaan, and it would be a sin to kill their babies. The degree of sin involved has nothing to do with the law against killing babies. God forbids it, just like he forbids marrying a whore

    Hos 1:2 When the LORD first spoke through Hosea, the LORD said to Hosea, "Go, take to yourself a wife of whoredom and have children of whoredom, for the land commits great whoredom by forsaking the LORD."
    or anything else He says to do. If God says to do something, by it's very nature the action isn't sinful, and not arbitrary or morally relative.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TimV View Post
    At any other time in history the man would have been sinning in stabbing the prophet. But that time, it was just the opposite. It was a sin not to. And there isn't any moral relativism or arbitrariness involved.
    If you think that the exact same scenario was seen as good at one point and bad at another, then relativism follows. You even said yourself that good and evil are relative earlier!

    Anyway, the key to understanding how this doesn't make good and evil contingent on God's decree (but rather on His nature) is to understand that it is always wrong to kill a man who has not committed a capital crime when God has not ordered it, but it is always right to do so when God has ordered it. Because in the latter case, one would be acting in God's stead, and God obviously has the right to take life.
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  33. #33
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    I think God commanded the Isrealites to kill the Canaanites along with their women and children because of the political and cultural circumstances of the time. All the cultures in those days were racist, including the Israelites themselves who would not have been very willing to take care of those children and mothers, but at best to use them as slaves. If they had exiled them, then some other clan would have used them as slaves too, not solving the problem. Moreover, the children could have strongly resented the slaughter of their parents and been a danger to the Israelites themselves as they grew older. Hence, God commanded to destroy them along with the parents to alleviate their sufferings and ensure that the Canaanite culture would be annihilated as a whole. Besides, it would have probably been more painful for the children to stay alive and be turned into slaves after seeing all surroundings being destroyed. That God commanded it, however, does not imply that he took delight in infanticides, but rather that he chose to work within and along the political and cultural setting of the Israelites.
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  34. #34
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    The Canaanites were exterminated as an act of divine judgment for their wickedness. God specifically set apart the Israelites to be his instruments of judgment. Yes, there is typology at work as well. But God does not violate his own law just to make a theological point. It's contrary to his righteous nature to violate his law. It is similar to the case of the civil magistrate bearing the sword of justice. Man cannot take justice into his own hands. God has put in place the standards and rules. He does not countermand his own law in order to enact the death penalty. He simply grants to the guilty party what he deserves, rather than granting mercy. In the case of the Canaanites, the entire people were executed justly for their sin, the same judgement we all deserve, even our children. The question you must ask, and what the Israelites should have been asking is, why am I still here? Why have I not recieved the same punishment when I deserve the same judgment as the Canaanites? Why has God spared me? It is God who shows justice or mercy as he sees fit. Either he grants us the justice we deserve, or he lays what we deserve on Christ. He is perfect just and righteous with either option.
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    I certainly don't believe that God sanctions or engages in moral relativism (thus making Him sinful) or encourages people to do what is in itself sinful. What He does and commands is always in line with His Own Holy Character.

    God had good moral reasons for commanding the Israelites to exterminate the Canaanites, including children, just as He has had for sending the multitudinous natural and non-natural disasters that have befallen Mankind. We may only understand these reasons imperfectly but the judge of all the Earth always does what is right.

    Quote from Puritan Sailor
    Yes, there is typology at work as well. But God does not violate his own law just to make a theological point. It's contrary to his righteous nature to violate his law.

    I wasn't necessarily saying that the evident typology of the destruction of the 7 nations of Canaan gave God's moral justification for killing them. Evidently from what the Lord says to Abraham in Genesis 15, one reason was that their wickedness had reached a certain level by the time the Israelites arrived, and God's longsuffering had come to an end. They were given at least another forty years because of the Israelites unbelief. Also the conquest wasn't going to be overnight - just as the Church's conquest of the Earth hasn't been an overnight success.

    The LORD your God will clear away these nations before you little by little; you will not be able to put an end to them quickly, for the wild beasts would grow too numerous for you. Deuteronomy 7:22 (NASB)
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  36. #36
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    This is an interesting area because in answering these questions you can really highlight potential theological inconsistencies.

    I disagree with the notion that:

    Good and evil aren't absolutes. Something is good because God says it is good. Something is evil because God says it is evil.

    So, I would tell the person that his objection is well founded, and without a direct revelation from God, it would be evil to kill children.
    Something is not good becasue God says it is, it is good because it is absoultely. The key point is that God acts according to his nature and this nature is the definition of good, God will not act against this nature therefore he cannot make an act that would be evil good by saying it is good.

    The reason why killing children is wrong for us is that we would do so out of evil motives, when God kills childresn, or command us to kill children he does so out of purely good motives (i.e. to pucish sin and glorify himself).

    This is the same reason that God is not the author of sin (as explained to me by James White in one of his recent programmes, I never claim to be original) when he decress a creature to commit evil (i.e. to kill a child), in making the decree God has pure motives but the creature in carrying out that decree according to his sinfull will has evil motives and is the author of the sin.

    God commanding the killing of canaanite babies is no different to a modern baby dying of cot death, both occur according to the will of God. The two scenarios cannot be seperated under a Reformed world view.

    The "pure" question really boils down to why do babies die and the answer is because it glorifys God in a way that we will understand one day, all we can do now is to have faith in the nature of God and be thankful that all this pain does have a purpose.
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  37. #37
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    First of all I agree with what some had already said about infants or children being sinners. Like us all they have been affected by Adam curse as we all have and share in that guilt. Infants do not have it in them to love God with all their heart, mind soul , and strength, with maybe the exception being John the Baptist (am excluding Jesus here). It is true that it was God’s judgment against the people group that God had ordered to kill because of their sin. He wanted the nation blotted out as an example of what is to come by sin.

    There may have been a more practical example however for this practice in the wisdom of God and that is the delay of revenge. We have all read in 1 Samuel that Saul was ordered to destroy the Amalekites and their king Agag. However Saul did not kill the king. Which may be why Haman in Persia wanted to kill the Jews, revenge. So it could have been God means to save future lives of his people as long as they obeyed him. And thus giving an example on how God meant it for good.
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  38. #38
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    Quote from Grimmson
    First of all I agree with what some had already said about infants or children being sinners. Like us all they have been affected by Adam curse as we all have and share in that guilt. Infants do not have it in them to love God with all their heart, mind soul , and strength, with maybe the exception being John the Baptist

    I don't want to get into an argument about the salvation of infants, but we have no way of knowing if a baby is regenerate until it grows up a bit and indicates one way or the other. This ties in with baptism of infants. The Baptists may say that the Presbyterians are baptising unbelievers; the example of John the Baptist shows that we do not know - if at all - if the child is regenerate before baptism, at baptism or after baptism, until later on. The normal evidences, one way or the other, are lacking.
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  39. #39
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    LOTS of children and infants died in the flood. How come we don't seem to have these same questions about that event?
    Brad

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  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brad View Post
    LOTS of children and infants died in the flood. How come we don't seem to have these same questions about that event?
    Because children were not explicitly commanded to be killed. It's not as if there's really a categorical difference between the two, just that one is more explicit.
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