Is God really “angry, sexist, and racist”? Biblical Seminary professor David Lamb says “yes and no“, and then proceeds to trip over his own two feet in trying to justify the “yes” part.
I think the biggest thing that God gets angry about is injustice: when poor people are being oppressed, when widows are not being cared for, when orphans are not being provided for. And those are really good things to get angry about. And let’s face it: When people are angry, it gets our attention.
Right. God gets angry about injustice. That’s why he killed the firstborn children of Egypt. You know how unjust kids can be.
Onto the charges of sexism:
The very first thing we learn in the Bible is that women are divine – they are God-like. Now, men are too, but I think most men think this already. The man and the woman, when God creates them in Genesis 1, they are made in his image. And there’s nothing more positive you could say.
Did you get that, ladies? There’s nothing more positive that can be said to you than, “you were made in the image of God”. Now, excuse me while I kick my menstruating wife out of the house for a week.
We need to go to Genesis 12, where we encounter God first talking to Abraham. He is calling the father of the nations. He wants to bless them, but he wants to bless them to be a blessing to all nations. God gets angry when foreigners are not being cared for. God wants his people to be concerned about people that are different from them.
God gets angry when foreigners are not being cared for? Terrific news! Let me go tell the Canaanites… oh, wait.
This, however, takes the cake:
I sent an email to Richard Dawkins and got no response, which is perhaps not surprising. I’ve had some great interactions with atheists, and they love to talk about this. Some of them feel very strongly about it, which I think has been fantastic.
A lot of Christians, we do the same thing that Dawkins is doing – Dawkins just focuses on the negative texts, and Christians just focus on the positive texts. And I think Dawkins needs to acknowledge the positive texts in the same way that Christians need to not ignore these negative texts.
Yes, it is intellectually dishonest for Christians to focus only on “positive” Biblical texts, but is this any less honest than trying to negate the litany of bad texts with a few good? Sure, Genesis 12 calls Abraham the “father of nations”, but a few chapters before God cursed Ham and all of his descendants to servitude and submission. A good action does not negate a bad. It doesn’t matter that God wants everyone to come to his party, cursing people for the sins of their fathers is a dick move. End of story.
Still, kudos to Prof. Lamb for not being a dick himself. A note to Christians looking for “civil” debate, this is more or less how you do it.