The Gay Marriage Argument Based Upon Disputed Bible Verses

COPYRIGHT WARNING

Those who view gay marriage as a right, often misuse Bible verses for their assertions. The basis for their argument is that certain strange moral behaviors are endorsed by God and the Bible, therefore, no Christian should have any problem with gay marriage.

The following chart illustrates the lack of knowledge that many atheists, critics of the Bible and the LGBT community have, regarding what the Bible teaches:[1]

Gay Marriage Argument Graphic

This chart incorrectly describes certain scriptures from the Bible, out of context, and incomplete from their parallel verses. The author isolates these verses to suit his agenda, and gives the reader no background for the statements that are included in this graphic. When we examine the actual text of the Bible that are described in this chart, we see that the conclusions that this author makes, are not at all what the Bible teaches in these verses.

This article takes each of the above eight points and clarifies precisely what the Bible says concerning marriage.

See also, the article: “Contractions in the Bible, or lack of knowledge?”

1. Man + Woman (Nuclear Family)

Genesis 2:24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

-Wives subordinate to their husband
-Interfaith marriage forbidden
-Marriages, generally arranged, not based on love
-Bride who could not prove her virginity was stoned to death

Wives subordinate to their husband

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. —Ephesians 5:22

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. —Colossians 3:18

Notice that Paul instructs the wife to “submit,” herself to her husband, not that she is “subordinate” (lower ranking) as the chart asserts.

As we examine the New Testament guidelines for marriage, we see that the wife is equal to her husband. God does not designate a woman as lower ranking, nor less-than, any man. In fact, Biblical Christianity elevates a woman to equal status to that of a man. If we examine the majority of religions of the world, we see that the opposite is true; women are designated as subordinate to men.

And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ… There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus. —Galatians 3:28-29

In marriage, God has designated the husband as the spiritual leader of the home. It is his important task to care for and lead his wife and children with love, compassion, wisdom, and consideration. A man should always consider his wife’s concerns in all of his decisions. He should never rule over her as a tyrant or master, but tenderly, lovingly, and with gentleness.

Notice the Bible’s instructions to the husband:

For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. —Ephesians 5:23-29

The idea behind this scripture is that a man is appointed by God as the head of the family. A wife is to submit to his godly leadership: “As to the Lord.” In other words, as Jesus is kind, gracious, loving, and considerate, the husband is also to follow Jesus example in leading his wife. As a man is like Jesus in all his behavior, she is to submit herself to his godly leadership. In every area of life, there must be a leader. There cannot be two heads, otherwise there is confusion and disarray.

The Critic of these verses would have the reader believe that God is telling the wife to submit herself to a husband, regardless of the kind of leader that he is. This is not true, we understand that this is not true—by the rest of this verse: Ephesians says that a wife is to submit to her husband as she does “to the Lord.”

Those of us who know and love Jesus, submit ourselves to His leadership because He is so kind, considerate, loving, and gracious to us. We want to submit our lives to Him because we understand that He always has our best interests in mind. He was willing to give up His life in order to save us. Therefore, we can trust Him and we want to submit to His leadership.

Paul is instructing the Christian husband to love his wife in the same manner that Jesus loves His church: to lay down his life for his wife.

When a man loves his wife in this manner, any woman would want to submit to him as a godly leader of their family.

Just so there is no confusion over what is being said, Paul finishes this text with:

“So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church.”

It is our natural tendency to take care of ourselves before others. All a husband must remember is that he is to simply love his wife in the same way he loves himself; to nourish and cherish his wife, in the same way that Jesus loves all those who trust in Him.

Interfaith marriage forbidden

The contention in this second point, is that God instructed the descendants of Abraham to only marry those who are also, descendants of Abraham. A few of the Old and New Testament verse which describe this principle are listed here:

Old Testament

Then Isaac called Jacob and blessed him, and charged him, and said to him: “You shall not take a wife from the daughters of Canaan. Arise, go to Padan Aram, to the house of Bethuel your mother’s father; and take yourself a wife from there of the daughters of Laban your mother’s brother. —Genesis 28:1-2

Esau saw that Isaac had blessed Jacob and sent him away to Padan Aram to take himself a wife from there, and that as he blessed him he gave him a charge, saying, “You shall not take a wife from the daughters of Canaan,” —Genesis 28:6

Then his father and mother said to him, “Is there no woman among the daughters of your brethren, or among all my people, that you must go and get a wife from the uncircumcised. —Judges 14:3

New Testament

Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will dwell in them And walk among them. I will be their God, And they shall be My people.” Therefore “Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you.” “I will be a Father to you, And you shall be My sons and daughters, Says the LORD Almighty.” —2 Corinthians 6:14-118

In the days of the Old Testament, because God had called Abraham to depart the pagan nation that he had grown up in, He was leading Abraham into a new life, where he would be set apart for the Lord. In several generations, a future descendant of Abraham would be the Messiah. For this reason, God spoke to Abraham and led him away from the pagan religions of the world, and into a living and personal relationship with God.

If the descendants of Abraham were to permit their children to marry a man or woman who did not believe in the God of Abraham, their children would not have the benefit of knowing the God who called their ancestors into this new relationship.

This basic principle is further explained in the New Testament, book of 2 Corinthians. Here we see that those who place their trust in the God of the Bible, are seen as people of “light.” This is in contrast to the world which does not know God, who are described as people living in “darkness.”

Because God promised to live inside those who place their trust in Him, He commanded that these persons should not marry an unbeliever. To do so would harm the relationship of the believer, and irritate the person who does not believe. The idea here is to continue the godly line of believers though the bond of marriage and the raising of children, to know God.

The unbeliever may not understand this principle, he may even object to it. Never-the-less, this is very important to God and to those who believe in Him. I can say from experience that some of the most heart wrenching experiences that Christians will go through in their life, is when they do not obey this principle and marry a person who does not believe in the God of the Bible.

People who marry, should be likeminded and in agreement over as many things as possible, particularly, spiritual matters.

Marriages, generally arranged, not based on love

As we examine the text of the Bible, we find that this allegation is not true. We see a clear example of this in the first book of the Bible where Abraham is instructing his servant; Eleazar to go and find a wife for his son Isaac. The basis for this search is that God will lead this servant to the right woman.

When Eleazar finds this woman, he asks the question: “what if the woman is not willing…”

Abraham tells Eleazar that if she is not willing, he is not to try an force her, he is released from his oath to find Isaac a wife.

Now Abraham was old, well advanced in age; and the LORD had blessed Abraham in all things. So Abraham said to the oldest servant of his house, who ruled over all that he had, “Please, put your hand under my thigh, and I will make you swear by the LORD, the God of heaven and the God of the earth, that you will not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell; but you shall go to my country and to my family, and take a wife for my son Isaac.” And the servant said to him, “Perhaps the woman will not be willing to follow me to this land. Must I take your son back to the land from which you came?” But Abraham said to him, “Beware that you do not take my son back there. The LORD God of heaven, who took me from my father’s house and from the land of my family, and who spoke to me and swore to me, saying, “To your descendants I give this land,’ He will send His angel before you, and you shall take a wife for my son from there. And if the woman is not willing to follow you, then you will be released from this oath; only do not take my son back there.” —Genesis 24:1-8

Although marriages were traditionally arranged by the father of the daughter in the days of the Old Testament Jews, this did not preclude the daughter from refusing to marry the man her father had chosen for her.

Contrary to today, where children often rebel against the leadership of parents, during this time; daughters trusted their father’s to choose a man for them that was truly in their best interest.

The Hebrew wedding consisted of two parts: betrothal and marriage. For one year before the couple were married, they were betrothed in marriage. If one person was unfaithful to the other, even though the marriage had not been consummated, this action was viewed as adultery.

This year long betrothal, allowed the couple time to get to know each other, fall in love, and then marry.

The premise of this objection is incorrect. It appears from the manner in which the objection is framed, that girls had no choice in who her father would choose for marriage. This is untrue and this verse from Genesis chapter 24 impeaches this assertion.

Bride who could not prove her virginity was stoned to death

The author of this graphic would have the reader believe that any woman who could not prove that she was a virgin before marriage, was stoned to death. When we examine the actual text of the Bible which describes this situation, we see that this is not true.

The basis of the text; concerning a man, a virgin, marriage, and a dispute over her virginity, is found in the book of Deuteronomy. During this period of history, men expected their bride to be a virgin. A woman would keep herself pure until marriage. On the wedding night, after the marriage was consummated, there would be blood evidence on the sheets of the bed, which proved that the woman was a virgin. A virgin who has not been penetrated by a man, has a covering of skin over her vagina, called a hymen. Upon the sexual union of husband and wife, this hymen would be perforated and bleed.

As we examine the text of Deuteronomy 23:13-15, we see a hypothetical situation in which a man discovers that his new bride was not a virgin after the wedding night. He lodges a complaint, and the matter comes before the elders of the village.

If any man takes a wife, and goes in to her, and detests her, and charges her with shameful conduct, and brings a bad name on her, and says, “I took this woman, and when I came to her I found she was not a virgin,’ then the father and mother of the young woman shall take and bring out the evidence of the young woman’s virginity to the elders of the city at the gate. —Deuteronomy 22:13-15

The evidence that should be presented, is the sheet which came from the wedding night. A virgin will bleed upon her first act of intimacy with her husband. Blood upon the sheet, was sufficient evidence that the young woman was a virgin on her wedding night.

But if the thing is true, and evidences of virginity are not found for the young woman, then they shall bring out the young woman to the door of her father’s house, and the men of her city shall stone her to death with stones, because she has done a disgraceful thing in Israel, to play the harlot in her father’s house. So you shall put away the evil from among you. —Deuteronomy 22:20-21

If after investigation, the elders discover that this woman had engaged in unfaithfulness to her husband, she would be stoned to death. The culture of this day, took very seriously, the vows of marriage. There was no allowance for unfaithfulness. In the one year betrothal period before the wedding, if a man or a woman had a sexual relationship with another person, they were considered an adulterer. The penalty for this violation of the law was death.

We notice by the context of this verse that this penalty was applicable only for the Jew; the decedents of Abraham. It is incorrect to try and apply this law, universally, for any situation, other than the life of the Jew.

These are the words which Moses spoke to all Israel on this side of the Jordan in the wilderness —Deuteronomy 1:1

Now, O Israel, listen to the statutes and the judgments which I teach you to observe, that you may live, and go in and possess the land which the LORD God of your fathers is giving you. You shall not add to the word which I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you. —Deuteronomy 4:1-2

And Moses called all Israel, and said to them: “Hear, O Israel, the statutes and judgments which I speak in your hearing today, that you may learn them and be careful to observe them. —Deuteronomy 5:1

This theme of certain laws, only applicable to the children of Israel, continues throughout the books of Deuteronomy and Leviticus:

Now the LORD called to Moses, and spoke to him from the tabernacle of meeting, saying, “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: —Leviticus 1:1-2

Now the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the children of Israel, saying: —Leviticus 4:1-2

Now the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying to them, “Speak to the children of Israel, saying: —Leviticus 11:1-2

Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the children of Israel, saying: —Leviticus 12:1-2

The argument could be made that since many of these Old Testament laws were only given to Israel, they are no applicable today. The way that we determine whether God intended that people today, should continue in observance of certain Old Testament laws, is by examination of the text from the New Testament.

In Acts, chapter 15, certain men had come from Judea, to teach the new Christians in Jerusalem that they must also keep the Old Testament laws of Moses in order to be saved. Paul and Barnabas arrive and clarified this issue:

And when they had come to Jerusalem, they were received by the church and the apostles and the elders; and they reported all things that God had done with them. But some of the sect of the Pharisees who believed rose up, saying, “It is necessary to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses.” —Acts 15:4-5

(Paul) Therefore I judge that we should not trouble those from among the Gentiles who are turning to God, but that we write to them to abstain from things polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from things strangled, and from blood. —Acts 15:19-20

The primary law for the new Christians in Jerusalem was love. For out of a hear of genuine love for Jesus, people do not require a law on tablets of stone. The laws of God are written on our hearts.

For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, who show the work of the law written in their hearts —Romans 2:14-15

Clearly you are an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart. 2 Corinthians 3:3

To this end, Paul and Barnabas only instructed the new believers to abstain from sexual immorality and to not eat the meat of animals before their blood had been drained.

The primary requirement from the Old Testament, that believers should continue to practice, is avoiding sexual immorality; fornication, adultery, homosexual and lesbian activities, and bestiality (1 Corinthians 6:9-11).

When we examine the words of Jesus, we find no instruction that we should stone anyone to death who commits adultery or any other sexual sin. When the woman caught in the act of adultery was brought to Jesus, in John 8:3, He told those who were in attendance who carried stones in their hands: if they were without sin, they could execute this woman. Every man standing in the presence of this woman, dropped their stones and walked away. Then Jesus turned to the woman and said: “go and sin no more.” In saying this, Jesus was exercising His authority over the Laws of Deuteronomy which demanded that a woman be stoned to death. It is Jesus desire to show mercy to those who seek forgiveness—while He demands that when we receive His forgiveness, we do not continue in our former sins.

Jesus said that all of the laws and instructions from the prophets, existed until John the Baptist—who is the last Old Testament prophet. Beginning with Jesus, all of the laws of God, and the prophetic words of the prophets, are fulfilled. Those who repent of their sins and receive Jesus as their Savior, also fulfill every the law of God.

The law and the prophets were until John. Since that time the kingdom of God has been preached, and everyone is pressing into it. And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one tittle of the law to fail. —Luke 16:16-17

For those who will apprehend the forgiveness of all their sins and eternal life, they must repent of those former sins and be willing to not sin any further. Those who are saved, must avoid all sexual sin. A person cannot claim the be a Christian and follower of Jesus and also continue to live as a homosexual, lesbian, fornicator, or adulterer. These are sexual sins that are condemned in both the Old and New Testaments and forbidden extensively in the New Testament scriptures. Those who continue to practice sexual sin, are not saved and they will not obtain eternal life.

Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God. —1 Corinthians 6:9-11

Notice that Paul writes that “some of you,” were practicing these sins, but now that you have repented and come to Jesus for the forgiveness of your sins, you are “washed, sanctified, and justified…”

Sidebar: Regarding the subject of this graphic which describes the stoning of a virgin for unfaithfulness; we learn from the entirety of the Bible, what the guidelines for this institution of Old Testament Law entailed. We cannot learn anything from the few words that are included in this graphic which asserts that the Bible is inconsistent in its application of the law.

Notice the context of this verse of contention: A man who marries a woman and later learns that she was not a virgin as she had claimed before marriage.

If the man, who makes this claim, is correct in his assertion that she was not a virgin, the father of the bride would bring the sheet from their wedding night, which would contain blood from her virginity, to prove that she was a virgin. If no evidence is presented, or if the evidence exhibits no blood, then the woman would be found guilty of adultery.

In the life of the Jew, faithfulness was an absolute requirement of marriage. God was calling a unique people to believe in Him and be obedient to His law.

This law of stoning for adultery, is no longer applicable to the Christian church, or those who are in the world, outside of the covenant which God made with Abraham. However, every person born on the earth, is required by God to repent of their sins and receive Jesus as their Savior.

Remembering the previous objection; that marriages for the Jew, has two parts: betrothal and then marriage, one year later; we see that an important principle that is established here. If, during the betrothal period, a young woman (who should be a virgin when she marries), is found on her wedding night, to have been with another man during the betrothal period; this was viewed as adultery and grounds for capital punishment.

God is very serious about what we do with our bodies. Today, we have lost our consciousness of what God requires. In our modern culture, people think nothing of sleeping with many partners before they marry. God did not call us to engage in this sort of behavior. Sexual intimacy is more than a physical action, it is a spiritual reality. This union is reserved as a special bond between a man and a woman, than occurs during marriage. In this act; two persons—spiritually, become one. They are no longer two people, but one. In this spiritual union, Jesus said that the true spiritual illustration of marriage is intended to emulate Jesus union with those who have placed their trust in Him. We become one, forever.

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. —Ephesians 5:25-32

This is the way that God views marriage and sexual intimacy; a picture of His union with us, as His bride.

2. Man + Brother’s widow (Levirite marriage)
Genesis 38:1-10

-Widow who has not born a son, required to marry her brother in-law
-Must submit sexually to her new husband

As previously mentioned above, in God calling Abraham to believe in Him, the Lord was going to call a line of descendants, through which, the Messiah would arrive. The continuation of these descendants was dependent upon the obedience of Judah.

After Eve fell into disobedience, the Lord promised her that a descendent from her Seed (Messiah), would destroy the works of the devil who had deceived her. In order for this to be possible, God would have to protect this line of descendants, while satan would do everything possible to ensure that the line was broken.

Abraham was a major link in the chain of descendants that would lead to the Messiah. The next link was Isaac, followed by Jacob. Then God chose Judah as the line from where the Messiah would come. Unfortunately, Judah’s approach to marriage was irresponsible. Even though the Lord had prohibited marriage from outside the descendants of Abraham, Judah left his brothers and took a Canaanite wife called “Shua.” This marriage produced three sons, one being; “Er,” who was married to Tamar. Er is described as a wicked man and was killed by the Lord. Judah reminded his other son Onan that in order to continue the line that God would use to bring the Messiah, he would have to marry his bother Er’s wife, Tamar. Onan refused to give Tamar a son and thereby jeopardized the entire line of descendants leading to the Messiah. As we examine the text of the Old Testament, we see that God does not record the lives of every person born on the earth, only those who lead to the arrival of the Savior that He promised the world.

The reason that God commanded Onan to marry his brother, Er’s wife, was to protect the Messianic Line. God always has a good reason for everything that He asks us to do. In allowing us to see the very bad behavior of Judah, Er, Onan, and later, Tamar, we are brought face to face with the reality that God often uses flawed people to accomplish His will. He does this so that afterwards, we might understand that it was because of the Lord’s great power that His will is accomplished, not by the efforts of men.

The Old Testament required that a woman who had lost her husband to death, should marry her husbands brother; in order to preserve her rights of inheritance. In This culture, the land and property belonged to the husband. If He should die, His wife and children would loose everything. By requiring that the brother of a man who was deceased, marry His widow, the wife and children were protected and provided for. We must remember that these were the practices of the Children of Israel, not the laws and requirements for those outside a covenant of salvation with God.

Contrary to the assertion made in this chart, this woman was not forced into a sexual relationship with her husbands brother—who married her. These women who had lost their husbands were very happy to have a good man who would love them and provide for their family. These women willingly gave themselves to their new husband, not by order or compulsion.

3. Man + Wives + Concubines
Abraham 2 concubines, Gideon 1, Nahor 1, Jacob 1, Eliphaz 1, Gideon 1, Caleb 2, Manasseh 1, Solomon 300, Belshazar 1

Some people assume that because we observe certain behaviors in the Bible, that God has condoned or ordered these actions. This is not true. In the case of marriage, God never intended that a man would have more than one wife, and he should never have a concubine. When we see this practice in the Bible, we should never assume that God has given His approval. The Bible is brutally honest with us, regarding the behavior of the persons that it describes. In God’s patience and forbearance with imperfect people, He changes their hearts over time and brings them into a new life of love and obedience.

This is what God says regarding marriage:

Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. —Genesis 2:24

Jesus repeated this fact in the New Testament:

And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ and said, “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.” They said to Him, “Why then did Moses command to give a certificate of divorce, and to put her away?” He said to them, “Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. —Matthew 19:4-8

Notice that Jesus takes His listeners back to the beginning, where God determined that one man and one woman should marry, and this union should last for their entire life.

The Pharisees asked Jesus why Moses allowed men to divorce their wives. Jesus responds that from the beginning, this was not allowed by God. Moses permitted this practice because of the “hardness” of men’s hearts.

We find that there are instances when Moses permitted men to conduct themselves in ways that God never intended, simply because men are so rebellious and stubborn that they will not conform themselves into God’s will. This permission came from Moses, not from God.

The Lord does not permit marriage between one man and many woman. He does not permit a married man to have concubines for sexual pleasure. The Lord does not permit two men or two women to marry.

In the case of Solomon, who had 700 wives and 300 concubines, he was well aware of the Lord’s instructions that he should not take more than one wife.

“you shall surely set a king over you whom the Lord your God chooses; one from among your brethren you shall set as king over you; you may not set a foreigner over you, who is not your brother. But he shall not multiply horses for himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt to multiply horses, for the Lord has said to you, ‘You shall not return that way again. ’ Neither shall he multiply wives for himself, lest his heart turn away; nor shall he greatly multiply silver and gold for himself. —Deuteronomy 17:15-17

The three areas that all men must be wary of: Power (represented by horses), women, and money. These three can ruin a man if he allows any one of them; or all three, to dominate his life and his affections. In the case of Solomon, his many wives slowly caused him to fall away from the Lord.

And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines; and his wives turned away his heart. For it was so, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned his heart after other gods; and his heart was not loyal to the LORD his God, as was the heart of his father David. —1 Kings 11:3-4

4. Rapist + His Victim
Deuteronomy 22:28-29

If a man finds a young woman who is a virgin, who is not betrothed, and he seizes her and lies with her, and they are found out, then the man who lay with her shall give to the young woman’s father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife because he has humbled her; he shall not be permitted to divorce her all his days. —Deuteronomy 22:28-29

-Virgin who is raped must marry her rapist
-Rapist must pay victims father 50 shekels of silver for property loss

The difficulty that many have with this particular verse of scripture, is in understanding the culture of that day.

In our present world, women are more independent. They have careers, money of their own, and the ability to take care of themselves. During the time that Deuteronomy was written, a woman who had lost her virginity, either by her own fault or the fault of another, would never be able to find a husband.

A woman who had been violated by a man, and was not betrothed to the man who had intercourse with her, would be abandoned and alone. She would have no hope of marriage, for no other man—knowing that she was raped, would take her as his wife. This was not by order of God, but because of the unjust treatment of men towards other persons.

The man who forced himself upon a woman, must own up to his responsibility and marry the woman he violated. He must love her, care for her, and provide for her. He must pay a dowery of 50 shekels to her father as “alimony in advance,” which the father would hold and give to the girl, in the event that the man should leave the woman alone.

In today’s culture, to consider that a woman who has been raped, would have to marry her rapist, seems unfathomable. During the period of history in which this law was written, it would be much worse for the woman, if she should be left alone, with no ability to provide for herself. During this time, women did not have wage earning jobs. She would be unable to find work, feed herself, or provide housing. Moses instituted this law in an effort to show compassion for a woman who has already be violated once, so that she is not violated a second time by being homeless and hungry. Women during this time were not constrained to marry their rapist, they could refuse. Most women, however, wanted the man to marry her, so that she would not become destitute and alone.

We must remember that God’s law requires that a man not touch a woman before he marries her. A woman should not allow a man to sleep with her , before she is united in holy matrimony. People do not always do what God requires, so God has to make provisions in the law, to protect the victim and ensure their survival.

5. Man +Woman + Woman’s Property
Genesis 16

-Man could acquire his wife property, including her slaves

The assertion given here by the critic, is flawed in its basic premise.

In Genesis, chapter 16, Abraham and Sarah had a house servant by the name of Hagar. We must remember that poverty during this time of history was widespread and many men and women were homeless and hungry. Others had experienced financial catastrophe when loved one’s became sick and died. The expenses for their care and burial were often greater than the ability of those who were left with these costs. In an effort to pay back debts, or to survive, many persons sold themselves into servitude to wealthy families, like Abraham’s.

In most of these cases, the servants were treated so well by their masters, that at the end of the sixth year, when the Lord required that the debt be cancelled and the servant is set free, these indentured servants chose to remain in their masters homes, forever.

If you buy a Hebrew servant, he shall serve six years; and in the seventh he shall go out free and pay nothing. —Exodus 21:2

As a part of the culture of that day, it was permissible for a wealthy man who had a servant, and his wife—being unable to conceive—to take his wife’s servant girl and make her his wife, in order to have a son. In this particular case, Abraham had the consent of his wife Sarah, in fact, it was Sarah’s idea.

We should understand that God did not condone, nor approve of this act. In fact, God told Abraham and Sarah to wait. At the appropriate time, He would give them a son.

If we go back to the beginning of Abraham and Sarah’s story, we discover that God had promised this aging couple that they would be given a son, from their own bodies, in their old age. After waiting for many years, Abraham decided that he would help God and take Hagar as a wife and have a son by her.

Thirteen years later, God informed Abraham that Ishmael, the son of Hagar and Abraham, was not the son that God had promised, he was a work of Abraham’s flesh. The next year, Sarah conceived and gave birth to a son; Isaac. God rejected Ishmael as the son of His promise, because he was the result of Abraham’s efforts to achieve God’s promises, by himself. The son that would be given to Abraham and Sarah, would come by a supernatural event—taking place when Abraham was 100 years old, and Sarah, 90. When it was humanly impossible for Abraham and Sarah to have a son of their own, that is when God completed his promise in their life. God waited until it was humanly impossible, so that all who would read this story—later, would understand that with God, anything is possible. Secondly, we should understand that we cannot achieve the promises of God by our own efforts. Whatever we will receive; forgiveness, blessing, eternal life, all these must come from the Lord and not by our own efforts.

God was making a statement that He wanted every person to understand: Salvation is from the Lord’s hand, not by man’s attempts.

After Ismael is born, Sarah despises Hagar and Abraham casts her out of their house. When Hagar is all alone and helpless, the Angel of the Lord; a pre-incarnate Jesus, comes to Hagar to care for and encourage Hagar that He will help her.

6. Male Soldier +Prisoner of War
Numbers 31:1-18 Deuteronomy 21:1-34

And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: “Take vengeance on the Midianites for the children of Israel. Afterward you shall be gathered to your people.” So Moses spoke to the people, saying, “Arm some of yourselves for war, and let them go against the Midianites to take vengeance for the Lord on Midian. —Numbers 31

Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: “Harass the Midianites, and attack them; for they harassed you with their schemes by which they seduced you in the matter of Peor and in the matter of Cozbi, the daughter of a leader of Midian, their sister, who was killed in the day of the plague because of Peor. —Numbers 25:16-19

-Under Moses command, Israelites killed every Midianite man women and child, except for the virgin girls who are taken as the spoils of war
-Wives must submit to their new owners

Was God justified in wiping out entire nations in the Old Testament?

There are many critics of God, who do not understand His justice. Although He is a Great God of love, He is also a God of justice. If God did not judge evil and bring it to an end, good people would not be able to live in peace—anywhere in the world. A righteous judge will always punish evil men. Make no mistake, the Canaanites, which included the Midianites, were amongst the most evil people the earth has ever known.

The Midianites:

The Book of Numbers, Chapters 24 and 25, reveals the account of Balaam—who gave false information to the leaders of Israel, in a effort to deceive them into betraying God by the worship of idols.

The information that Balaam passed along to the Midianites eventually led to the downfall of Israel. Later in the New Testament, Balaam is listed among those who are described as false prophets and are condemned for their actions by God.[2]

They have forsaken the right way and gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Beor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness… —2 Peter 2:15

When Israel was going through a difficult time in their history, and God brought judgement to their nation, the Midianites took advantage of their weakness and attacked and plundered their villages. The Lord was very patient with the Midianites and gave them a very long period of time to repent of their sins and turn to God for salvation. After waiting for the Midianites to cease their oppression of God’s people, He visited them with judgement.

and the hand of Midian prevailed against Israel. Because of the Midianites, the children of Israel made for themselves the dens, the caves, and the strongholds which are in the mountains. So it was, whenever Israel had sown, Midianites would come up; also Amalekites and the people of the East would come up against them. Then they would encamp against them and destroy the produce of the earth as far as Gaza, and leave no sustenance for Israel, neither sheep nor ox nor donkey. For they would come up with their livestock and their tents, coming in as numerous as locusts; both they and their camels were without number; and they would enter the land to destroy it. So Israel was greatly impoverished because of the Midianites, and the children of Israel cried out to the LORD. —Judges 6:2-6

As the Lord is correcting His people and has brought them into judgement, on occasion, the surrounding nations have seen this chastening by the Lord and perceived this as an opportunity to take advantage of God’s people. When this occurs, the Lord will turn from the judgment of His people, and instead, visit judgement on the nations that persecute and attack His people.

Balak, the king of the Moab, wanted to destroy the people of Israel. Balak commanded Balaam to curse God’s people, and promised to make Balaam rich if he would accomplish this task. Balaam understood that God would not permit him to curse His people.[3] Instead, Balaam conceived of an indirect method to bring God’s curse upon Israel. Knowing that God is Holy and that He would not permit His people to turn from Him and worship false God’s; Balaam persuaded the woman of Moab to seduce the young men of Israel and commit sexual sin with them. After these young men had fallen in love with the women of Moab, they began to worship their god; Baal. As a result, God visited Israel with a chastening that was designed to correct their behavior and bring them to their senses. As any father will chasten his son, in an order to correct his behavior, God also uses difficulties in our life, to correct our behavior. The purpose of our trials is not to destroy us, but to correct us.[4]

Because of the deception of the Midianites and their harsh oppression of Israel during the time when God was correcting the nation, He determines to visit the Midianites with their destruction. As the Midianites had given no mercy to Israel; killing the weak, the children, the women, and the elderly, God also destroys their weak, children, women, and elderly. We should not be deceived, God will not be mocked. Whatever we sow in our life, we will reap.[5]

The Canaanite nations:

For almost 900 years, the Lord warned the brutal people of the Canaanite nations to cease their worship of demonic gods and the offering of their children to the fiery hot arms of their sadistic god, Molech. After nearly a millennia, these warnings bore consequences, as the Lord ordered the systematic destruction of all the nations of the Canaanites.

Because of the patience of God, He was willing to delay judgement for an extraordinary long period of time. The Lord loved the Canaanites and earnestly desired that they would not see judgment but would, instead, turn to Him in repentance and be saved. Before the Lord ordered their complete annihilation, He would demonstrate for us a very important principle in the Old Testament: God’s hatred of sin is rooted in His love for us.

Although God hates sin, His love for us is exceedingly greater. Although His law demands judgment for the sinner, His mercy offers us forgiveness. The consequences of sin is death, but the Grace of God offers us eternal life. Jesus was willing to bear all of God’s wrath for sin in His own body and die for all of our transgressions. Those who think God is willing to send sinners to hell should consider that His Son died so that this might never happen.

God’s judgment is always preceded by a long interval of time.

Before the Lord would order the destruction of the Amalekites, He would provide their nation with an extended period of time in which they might change their minds and come to Him for salvation. Before it is too late for each one of us, God allows an entire lifetime in order that we might decide to obey Him and receive His salvation. The Lord is always very patient, kind, and long-suffering towards us. Although each one of the Amalekites would face their own separate judgment at the conclusion of their life, the Lord would allow nearly 900 years before His judgment would fall on the entire nation.

What we find in the example of the Amalekites is that God is not angry and spiteful, instead He is extraordinarily kind and patient. Although the Lord warned these nation to cease their evil, He relented from destroying them for a very long time. The Lord always gives us as much time as possible, with the hope that we will see how much He loves us and that His ways are far better than those we have chosen for ourselves.

Delayed judgment creates a problem

The obvious downside in a delay of judgement is that people develop the false idea that God really does not want to judge sin, or that He doesn’t care how they live their lives. I have often heard the spiritually naive make statements, such as: “My god loves me, and He will not judge me for my sin.” Although the Lord is very patient in dealing with human frailty, He will hold each of us accountable at the end of our life for everything that we have said and done.

 (Jesus) But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. —Matthew 12:36

The Amalekites each died and faced individual judgment for their sins. After nearly 900 years, the entire nation faced God’s judgment; and today, there is not a single Amalekite on the earth. Had the individual members of the Amalekites turned to God—no matter how evil their actions were—they would have been forgiven and granted a full pardon for all their sins.

In the same way, each one of us has a decision to make. Either we agree with God that we are sinners, which is self-evident, and then accept His offer of forgiveness through Jesus’ sacrifice for us; or we will refuse. The wonderful promise of God is that—because Jesus has paid for our sins on the cross, all our sins have already been dealt with and judged. Every wrongful action and word that we have done throughout our life has been fully paid by Jesus’ death for us.

 ... the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanses us from all sin. —1 John 1: 7 (UKJV)

Those who come to God in sincere repentance (willingness to stop sinning) and request that God would forgive all their sins according to Jesus’ death and resurrection—have the promise of God that they are forgiven and have as their present possession—eternal life.

God has demonstrated His patience:

The Book of Exodus Chapter 34 describes how God will withhold judgment for an extended period of time, but He will eventually bring it upon a future generation.

And the LORD passed before him and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, 7 keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, will by no means clear the guilty, but will punish the sins of the fathers upon the generation of their children and the children’s children to the third and the fourth generation.” —Exodus 34:6 (RCR)

This is a staggering revelation. What we do, as a people, has profound consequences for future generations. We might think that our sins are a private matter; this assumption would be wrong. Just as the love and honor for God by America’s founders—allowed all of us to enjoy a great nation of peace and prosperity, so also will our present disobedience and dishonor of God—cause great peril and suffering upon future generations.

Paul wrote in the Book of Romans that one of the purposes for God’s long delay in judgement is to display His grace and mercy. The Lord endured the terrible evil of the Amalekites for such a long time, so that in this delay, we might understand that God would much rather show us His mercy than His judgement.

What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, 23 and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory, 24 even us whom He called... —Romans 9:22-24

Those who think that God will not judge their sins today—because Jesus has not returned—have forgotten that in former times, God has waited for many, many years before finally bringing judgment and destruction on the unrepentant.

How many of us would be willing to patiently wait for over 900 years for a murderer to repent, who had killed our son or daughter? Most of us cannot wait a few days for someone to apologize, who has hurt or offended us. Imagine the patience of the Lord in withholding judgment for 900 years against a brutal people who murdered their newborn babies as sacrifices to their god (sounds strangely familiar to the U.S. Today).

The dual nature of God

In the Old Testament, we see two important elements of God’s nature that is reflected in His Love—as well as His absolute desire for justice. Although God loves human beings so much that He was willing to give His only Son to die for us, He will not allow those who continue in their wrongful actions to remain without judgment forever.

The New Testament is a wonderful commentary on this patience of God that has been displayed for all of us to see. We observe both the love of God and the justice of God being demonstrated by His allowance of Jesus to die for the sins of the world.

In this the love of God was demonstrated for us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. This is love, not that we loved God first, but that He first loved us and sent His Son to be the payment for our sins.[6] —1 John 4:9-10

God loves people so much that He allowed His only Son to come to earth and die for us.

God hates sin so much that He poured out His wrath on His Son, who bore all our sins.

God will grant each one of us a full pardon for every wrong thought, word, and deed which we have committed, throughout our life—if we will only come to Him in sincere repentance and turn to Jesus as the payment for our sins.

God is also a righteous judge

Although He waits patiently for us to repent, He has promised a day certain when His patience will run out; and He will judge all sin. We long for the Love of God; but we recoil in offense at His justice when He carries out the sentences that He warned us would come—if there was no repentance for sins committed.

The Canaanites are an example of God’s patience

Regarding the saving of the young women of Midian; this was viewed by Israel as an act of mercy. By all rights, every citizen of the Midianites could have been destroyed for their deception, violence, and destruction of the people of Israel. Instead, the soldiers spared their lives in mercy, not as an attempt to gain sexual pleasure. It was for their errors of sexual promiscuity that Israel suffered in the first place. They were not about to repeat their error a second time.

God’s justice in destroying the Midianites, the Amorites, and the entire Canaanite nation, was necessary to eliminate the plague of evil that had encompassed the entire area of Palestine. As the people of the Canaanite nations had oppressed and destroyed God’s people, eventually they met the same fate themselves.

7. Man + Woman + Woman + Woman
(Polygamy)

–Lamech had 2 wives, Esau 3, Jacob 2, Asher, 2, Gideon Many, Elkanah, 2, David, 700, Rehoboam and other…

This objection is fully answered in item 3. God has never commanded any man to take more than one wife. When we observe this practice in the Bible, we should not assume that God has approved of such actions. The commandments of God are clear: one man, one woman, for life.

Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. —Genesis 2:24

8. Male Slave + Female Slave
Exodus 21:4

Now these are the judgments which you shall set before them: If you buy a Hebrew servant, he shall serve six years; and in the seventh he shall go out free and pay nothing. If he comes in by himself, he shall go out by himself; if he comes in married, then his wife shall go out with him. If his master has given him a wife, and she has borne him sons or daughters, the wife and her children shall be her master’s, and he shall go out by himself. But if the servant plainly says, “I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free,’ then his master shall bring him to the judges. He shall also bring him to the door, or to the doorpost, and his master shall pierce his ear with an awl; and he shall serve him forever. —Exodus 21:1-6

-Slave owner could assign female slaves to his male slaves
-Female slaves must submit sexually to their new husbands

The reader should notice that in these instances when critics of God and the Bible, claim contradictions or difficulties with certain scriptures, that they seldom quote those verses in their objections.

This particular chart makes references to certain scriptures, and always takes them out of context with the intended point of the verse. When any intelligent person actually looks at the verses in question, and reads the entire context of the story, it is really quite easy to see what the true intent of the verse is.

These “slaves,” are in fact, people who have made themselves the servants of another—voluntarily, in an attempt to survive or pay debts that they had no ability to repay. By reading the above text from Exodus 21:6, we see that God did not command the practice of slavery, but He did provide rules for those who placed themselves into the service of others for various reasons.

First, the term of the debt repayment was only six years. Upon the seventh year, the servant would be set free, owing nothing. If, during this period of six years, a man would have taken a wife, when his six year term had expired, he would be released, along with his wife and children.

In many of these cases, during the time of service, these men would be treated so well by their masters that they felt more like a son than a slave. At the end of six years, we notice that the servant may chose, of his own free will, to remain with his master—forever. These men are referred to in the New Testament as “Doulos,” a bondservant. This is a term that was used by Paul to describe those who come into a new relationship with God, by Jesus Christ, and choose to remain with Him forever. Paul often referred to himself as “a bondservant” of Jesus.

 Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ… —Romans 1:1

Summary:

In examining the graphic chart that is provided for us by an atheist, we find that this chart is a gross misrepresentation of the actual facts of the Bible. To the average reader, these objections appear as valid reasons for questioning the validity of the Bible or the God who is the object of its text.

When we actually read the text that is given in these objections, we see that they all make sense and are valid indeed. We observe that all of the objections of the critic, the atheist, and the skeptic, are simply misunderstandings.

Those who are not trained, nor qualified to make commentary on the Bible, should not hold themselves out to the public as experts. This is a common error that is repeated often. In examining the claimed errors and contradictions of the Bible by skeptics, I have never seen a single claim that was valid—once the text is correctly read and understood.

For more information regarding this subject, see the article:

Contradictions in the Bible–or Lack of Knowledge?


NOTES:
[1] The author or creator of this chart is unknown. I could not find its source on the Internet, though it has been copied and redistributed many times. If the creator of this graphic is known by any reader, please provide the name of the author so that I might give proper credit here.
[2] Numbers 25:1 So Balaam rose and departed and returned to his place; Balak also went his way. Now Israel remained in Acacia Grove, and the people began to commit harlotry with the women of Moab. They invited the people to the sacrifices of their gods, and the people ate and bowed down to their gods. So Israel was joined to Baal of Peor, and the anger of the Lord was aroused against Israel. Then the Lord said to Moses, “Take all the leaders of the people and hang the offenders before the Lord, out in the sun, that the fierce anger of the Lord may turn away from Israel.” So Moses said to the judges of Israel, “Every one of you kill his men who were joined to Baal of Peor.” And indeed, one of the children of Israel came and presented to his brethren a Midianite woman in the sight of Moses and in the sight of all the congregation of the children of Israel, who were weeping at the door of the tabernacle of meeting.
[3] Numbers 22:12 And God said to Balaam, “You shall not go with them; you shall not curse the people, for they are blessed.”
[4] Hebrews 12:5 And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: “My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD, Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; For whom the LORD loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives.” If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons.
[5] Galatians 6:7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.
[6] Authors Translation



Categories: Atheists, Atheists uneducated observations, Atheists, Agnostics and Skeptics, Common errors of Atheists, Common objections by Atheists, Contradictions in the Bible, Destruction of the Canaanites, Gay marriage, Polygamy and Concubines, Reliability of the Bible, The gay lifestyle

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s