21 June 2012

The Numbers 15:32-36 Challenge to Bible Believers

Here's what the Bible says in Numbers 15:32-36:
While the children of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man that gathered sticks upon the Sabbath day. And they … brought him unto Moses and Aaron ... because it was not declared what should be done to him. And the LORD said unto Moses, The man shall be surely put to death: all the congregation shall stone him with stones ... And all the congregation ... stoned him with stones, and he died; as the LORD commanded Moses.
And here is the NonStampCollector challenge:
Christian believers, you have a choice: either defend the story of this man's being killed by having an angry mob of barbarians pelt him with rocks as being the holy justice mandated by a fair and just god of perfect love,...
or join the rest of the world in rejecting any deity's involvement in the story as a piece of insane fiction dreamt up by savage people hoping to convince somebody that their barbaric cruelty was mandated by a holy and unquestionable moral authority. It wasn't: it was fucking sick, AND YOU KNOW IT.
The bible is bullshit. Look elsewhere for perfect love.
Is there a Bible Believer who is willing to take the Numbers 15:32-36 challenge?

If so, I'd like to hear about it. You can even do a guest post here if you like.


Incongruous Circumspection said...

Someone told me the other day to keep my heart soft and open because, after all, "God loves me." My counter to them is, "Not the God portrayed in the Bible." There isn't a remote chance in the world that a God that can do things like this (this is lame compared to many of his other Biblical atrocities) actually gives a crap for me, no matter how many pretzels one tries to twist their theology into.

joel said...

hello, my name is Joel, I'm a Christian and wanted to discuss this point, i just stumbled on this website from a youtube video, so i still need to look around here, but i can appreciate the very logical/reasonable approach to the Bible i'm seeing so far, so i think we can agree that has to be our common ground.

ok, i can start quoting a bunch of scriptures, but i'm just going to throw some "what if's" and try to get the mindset right, to try to explain this particular scripture

if the Bible claims are true, that we have a sinful nature that makes it natural to us, to reject God, then we would need some way for this True God to reveal Himself to us outside of ourselves because our heart/mind are defiled.

So through Gods finding some faithful men, Noah, Abraham, down to Moses, we find ourselves with this Scripture, where God needs to reveal what righteousness is... 10 Commandments along with civil, health, hygiene, ceremonial laws showing us how the savior would be revealed to us as Passover, Feast of First Fruits, Day of Atonement, through the sanctuary.. etc, ,defining principally of what right and wrong is, what makes life work etc... with the long time goal redeeming mankind through the cross, the only thing that could make God just and vindicating His Name and Character before all heavenly beings, and this world against the claims of the devil.

So if this is true, then the people coming out of Egypt needed to have a checklist of many things, to teach them and be held by the hand if you will, for the sake of God's name and again the goal all along redeeming mankind and giving us a way back from our fallen and lost state. God makes these laws, one being the sabbath, along with many others that, granted are harsh, along with others you well aware of, but was the only way the Plan of Salvation could be carried out with the time and the people, for the sake of preserving the truth and preserving the Plan of Redemption, (on a side note the Flood gives us another example of this, any longer God would have waited, with the wickedness that arose at the time, mankind would have collapsed on itself!)

in God's mercy these things had to be put in place and judged accordingly in that Theocracy where they could see the cloud by day, fire by night, they could see the mana miraculously in the morning everyday, along with other miracles they could see daily, and if someone still high handedly rebelled they would put themselves out of the mercy of God and condemn themselves!

i made many assumptions in the post, you seem very biblically knowledgeable, i tried to take a step back from looking so close at these scriptures, to see the bigger picture and then understand why they happened. I too was an atheist and have about 3 years as a Christian, in asking myself "What is Truth?" and deciding whatever that may be to follow it. if i'm wrong, then i want to find Truth if it's you, or hidden under a tree somewhere, then that's the ultimate goal and what i'm always striving for. Thx for this website and the time put in here to make us all question what we "think" we know.

gracias amigo

Steve Wells said...

Thanks for that, joel.

But what did any of it have to do with Numbers 15:32-36?

Did God tell the Israelites to stone to death the man who gathered sticks on the Sabbath day?

How about starting with a "Yes" or "No".

joel said...

ah, quick response, great....


along with many others things "if a child rebels against his father, he shall kill him" take you're pick right? we both know them well.

if God would have let anybody slide from not obeying even one of those commandments, i would liken it to slapping God in the face! imagine for a moment, to illustrate a point, you and i walking along a river, a lion is behind us, we hear a voice, the water parts and we're like Woa!! we're saved, we get hungry and miracle food appears every morning, we get thirsty water starts to gush from a rock, we get hot and a cloud covers us from the heat, in the night a fire leads us, then the voice says keep the sabbath holy, and you keep the day holy, you rest, worship, but i say, you know what, i'm going to watch a movie today, pick some sticks, and make some marshmallows!!!! nobody in their right mind would do that, and when it did happen, it was just and right for him to be judge as such.

In leading this people, God showed us the role of the Savior, the manner of His coming, and the fulfillment of the ceremonies, so people after the fact could not say it was an accident, if i may quote a scripture

Isaiah 46:9,10 "Remember the former things of old,
For I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is none like Me,
10 Declaring the end from the beginning,
And from ancient times things that are not yet done,
Saying, ‘My counsel shall stand,
And I will do all My pleasure"

only this could differentiate a True God, declaring the end from the beginning, what exactly was the role of the lamb being sacrificed what was the purpose of the passover? what was the point of the feast of first fruits, any of the Messianic prophecies including the prophecy of Jesus Daniel 9:24 pointing to the exact year of Jesus baptism if not the very day.

Bigger picture and context of most of these scriptures is God revealing to man the way salvation would come, and things as stated that make life work, sabbath for example, i don't think anyone would say working 30 days straight, 8-10 hours a day would be healthy for anybody, not only physically but mentally and since we're on the topic, spiritually.

When we apply logic and reason to this scripture with the Biblical context, i don't think any Good God would or should have done anything different.

Steve Wells said...

So you believe God commanded the Israelites to stone to death a man for gathering sticks on the Sabbath, eh joel? And the Israelites did as God commanded, and they were right for doing so.

Should we stone to death a someone who mows his lawn on Saturday (or Sunday)?

Incongruous Circumspection said...

God was the one who designed the whole video game in the first place. He could have created a world without sin. But he didn't. He created it WITH sin and then, because he was so holy, he couldn't handle humans, who he had created, and killed or maimed them at will, because he was holy and couldn't handle sin.

You see, you can go in circles, trying to prove that God is love, but the fact of the matter is, if a person knew full well what they were doing and still put their son or daughter in harm's way, just so they could kill them, you would call them a monster.

If, in the case of the bloke that gathered wood sticks on the Sabbath, God surely didn't want him to gather the twigs, he could have made them magically appear in his house, lit on fire, cooking some magical food - like he did with mannah...like he did with the Red Sea...like he did with a female for Adam...like he did with the sheep for ole' Abe.

But, nooooooooooo. God had to prove a point that he was the shite! And who better to do it to than an old poor sap that nobody gave a damn about.

That god does not care about you. He cares only for himself.

Incongruous Circumspection said...

joel, this isn't meant as a personal attack, but more of a curious inquiry.

When I left Christianity, I did so because the same arguments you are using, I used to use, and a little bit of thought caused them to lose all their rationality.

As an agnostic and an atheist in practice, I cannot see myself ever going back to allowing my thinking mind to believe in something that is akin to African tribal gods - an otherworldly being that we must placate with hundreds and thousands of rules, or he/she/them will smite us.

The smiting, of course, is circumstantial at best due to the natural processes our world goes through. It simply feeds the narrative of those that do not think and those that DO think but realize the power of the message to keep their followers in line.

Sure, you can toss in the idea that Christ took away our need to placate the bible god. But that just adds another host of other issues. Like, why did god wait so many years before he sent Jesus? How many people did God kill who were anticipating Christ's imminent birth and salvation? Among many other questions.

In short, what caused you to leave a rational worldview for something so clearly irrational? Or, have you neatly compartmentalized your thinking so you simply don't recognize it now?

joel said...

'"""""""""i had to break this up? typing limit :-)"""""""""""""""""

ok, i got it, there's more people responding here, i thought i was speaking to 1 person, is this website either of your's? and the date stamp on the post was today, looks like i got on, in the beginning.. good stuff... i really enjoy these discussions, so i hope we can continue them, ok, very well let me do 2 responses and if you don't mind i'll put number 1 then 2 to identify them


Steve Wells on your question on stoning someone for mowing the lawn on sabbath (Sat or Sun) i would say no, we wouldn't do it today.

God is a God of principle first, not necessarily rules and regulations,even though our fallen nature demanded the rules, for us to understand, Galations 3:24 tells us the law was a tutor to bring us to Christ and see a need for a savior. the reason why we wouldn't stone someone today, is because of the different dispensation we entered when the Word become flesh in the person of Jesus we are told John 1:17 that the law came through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus. Colossians 2:11-17 tell us the ceremonies, festivals, handwriting of requirements were all pointing to Jesus, but when the grace arrived in the person of Jesus, they no longer were against us as evidence of our sin, so when the answers and promises to all the prophesies arrived, the very embodiment of what Truth is, there was no more need of keeping "man" in line because the answer came on the cross, the fulfillment of things spoken of.

an example of this is John 8:1-11 with the adulterous women and the people in the time asked Jesus this very question, and trying to have something against Jesus. His answer is clear, whoever is without sin, let him cast the first stone. Explaining that this religious people at the time thought they were righteous, thought they were obeying the whole law, searching the scriptures thinking they had eternal life, but knowing not God. obeying all the ceremonies perfectly but missing the Savior. let me expound on this point i think is crucial.

It all boils down to choice, on one occasion the people demanded a sign Luke 16:31 and Jesus tells them if they don't believe all the things that had been spoken of already, they won't believe even if one rises from the grave. the very thing that happened twice, Lazarus & Jesus, and they still wouldn't believe. Matthew chapters 5-7 in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus tries to make this clear, he explains it's a matter of your heart. it's not about just murdering, it's about hating... it's not about committing adultery, it's lusting... etc and He goes on. All of these laws, were preparing a people for the coming of Jesus, keeping a certain people separate and set apart to be used as a conduit of preserving God's Word for the whole world, the grace dispensation came in to all who believe would not perish but have everlasting life.

joel said...

"""""""""""""second part""""""""""" sorry for the essay

Now back to the God of Principle, Exodus 16 speaks of God teaching them about the sabbath, 6 days the bread appears, and on the 7th day no bread. Miraculously this happen before the 10 Commandments were given teaching them the Principle to prepare for God's holy day. Genesis 2:3 God blessed the 7th day and sanctified it. Isaiah 58:13 tells us not to do our own pleasures because it's God's holy day, a Memorial of creation and God's claim to being the True God. so principally mowing should have already been done before sabbath if we love God, we would keep his Commandments John 14:15. Psalms chapter 119, 1 John 5:3, and Mark 2:28 tell us sabbath was made for man, we are not slaves to it, but it's a blessing to spend with God, it's not burdensome, but is a delight to spend with God and fellowship etc.

Any man or women understands this right? if the opposite sex, someone you were interested in told you to meet them 1 day a week, the same day, if you were interested in them in the least, forget in love with them, i don't care if your friends call you that day, i don't care if you had a football game to go to, if the simpsons were on, any plans you had for that day or if you grass was a foot high... you would do everything possible to get it all done before that day came for your date! and this is speaking of a mere human.. the sabbath is with the Creator of the cosmos. a great blessing


Incongruous Circumspection, you made this comment

"God was the one who designed the whole video game in the first place"

i want to make sure we all understand that God didn't design this video game the way it is now, the way God designed it was the Garden of Eden, what we see today is a video game God designed perfect and satan implanted the sin virus if you will. God's video game was no death, no suffering, no sickness, no sin, but because we know that God is Love, love has to be given freely, love cannot be forced... another word for forced love would be "rape"

so initially God in heaven didn't make a defective angel,- lucifer, but God gave everyone the greatest gift, free will, which tells us if God took away our ability NOT to love, than that's not love at all! at that point we're mere automatons. nothing more than a robot saying "i love and worship God" which is meaningless to a perfect, good and just God. and was what we saw again in the Garden of Eden.

John 3:18 tells us the default state of fallen man is condemned, and what God is looking for is a few good men and women :-) people who have something inside telling us there is something more, there is something better, 70-80 years of even the "best" life here would still be a waste, if there wasn't a greater good, some hope, some divine revelation, and that's exactly what we have in the Bible and the Plan of Redemption. and because we are condemned already God is looking for people to see our deficiencies and shortcomings, rest in Him and allow Him to work through us perfecting our character, making us overcomers, so God needs co workers, co laborers to overcome and gain victory, which is why God won't do anything, that you and i can do, like gathering sticks on the sabbath, which in respect to God, in love toward God, we would have made preparations so that wouldn't have to be done on the sabbath, as explained with the dating analogy.

Incongruous Circumspection said...

Where you say "god is love" is where your rational mind moves into the irrational. Love is not proven by murderous acts for no other reason than someone doesn't like you. And if you call that love, I don't want your love, and I most definitely don't want your god.

Oh...and god created the whole video game, no matter how you twist Satan's or man's decisions into it.

Stephen said...

Blogger joel said...

"Steve Wells on your question on stoning someone for mowing the lawn on sabbath (Sat or Sun) i would say no, we wouldn't do it today."

You would say... meaning you are interpreting "scripture" by your own standards, not "god's".

"God is a God of principle first, not necessarily rules and regulations,even though our fallen nature demanded the rules, for us to understand, Galations 3:24 tells us the law was a tutor to bring us to Christ and see a need for a savior."

If, by "fallen nature", you mean the consequences of Adam eating the apple, you must square that with the abundant evidence that there was no "first" man or woman. If you are an evolution denier, then go stick your head back in whatever sand or orifice best prevents you from seeing the way the world works.

I see you're quoting the bible, chapter and verse, as if it's documentation for your opinions. The bible is no more the word of god, even if there *were* a god, than this blog... and if this blog were the word of a god I'd prefer that god to the god of the bible who is a thoroughly despicable (though imaginary) being.

Steve Weeks

Tony said...

So Joel must be fine with homosexuality, then. This is an old law and since Jesus died for our sins etc., gay people are cool with god. Just as god is now fine with gathering sticks.

No said...

Of all things that would suggest our ancestors were gullible and uneducated, the belief and trust they had in a book suppositely writen by the creator of this world, in my mind at least, has to be the most overwhelming evidence of all.

Mere cargo worshippers, just a tad more bloody, like this verse from Numbers shows.

"Homo homini lupus"

No said...

"Incongruous Circumspection said...

Where you say "god is love" is where your rational mind moves into the irrational. Love is not proven by murderous acts for no other reason than someone doesn't like you."

Well said Incongruous, your comments reminded me of the Stockholm syndrome. Christians are like hostages to their god who litteraly threat them with eternal hell and yet they are ready to find him convoluted excuses no matter what in order to secure their belief in him.

"In psychology, Stockholm syndrome is a psychological phenomenon in which hostages express empathy and have positive feelings towards their captors, sometimes to the point of defending them. These feelings are generally considered irrational in light of the danger or risk endured by the victims (...)"

- Wiki

Incongruous Circumspection said...

I still don't understand how someone goes from atheist to joel. joel said he used to be an atheist. Now he spouts Bible as if it's unfettered truth. I thought atheists were atheists because they think.

I'm seriously confused.

Then again, I'm not. Just as there are many kinds of Christians, there are also many kinds of atheists. (Don't confuse my "kinds" with Ken Ham's ubiquitous word for imaginary speciation).

joel. Become an atheist again. Seriously. And when you do, think through things, rather than re-entering Christianity based on the emotionalism spouted from a pulpit.

You'll look smarter. And no, the Apostle Paul or God or whomever you attribute the Bible's writing to, did NOT predict that I would say that the Bible is foolishness. They, as all religion creators do, knew that religion could not be proved and was completely asinine when brought up to the light of reason. Thus, they HAD to tell their followers that it was holy to be sneered at.

It's called duping.

joel said...

-------did it again :-( part 1-------

wow, many comments... ok first off, it's very difficult to answer everyone in one post, and be sufficient for everyone because we are discussing many different topics that need individual answers. i'm trying to juggle 4 balls with 1 hand!, so bear with me guys...plus anyone of us are not on trial here, as individuals, not personal stories, why he's this or he's that.,would be good if this discussion stayed on topic as the title states, Numbers 15:32-36, which i think would serve everyone better or start another thread for different points.. for example the first question

------Stephen says "I see you're quoting the bible, chapter and verse, as if it's documentation for your opinions."

ok stephen let's be fair, this was the question posed, i found this link on youtube, asking a Biblical question from the Bible of course, i took the challenge, being a Bible Believer giving the Biblical evidence, for support, and explanation, nothing more. The question was not "is the Bible the inspired Word of God" but even this i believe has ample evidence supporting, within and without the scriptures themselves. Without this there is no reason to have made the challenge in the first place. Just a friendly discussion on differing opinions.

-------Incongruous Circumspection said...
Where you say "god is love"

i think this is the least understood statement in the Bible and i think is at the root of every question and doubt of God or the Bible... on this point, i have to reemphasize my first statement on the robots, let's really think about this, if a true God of Love really exists who by definition would be completely righteous, He would have to give His creation free will, to have a choice to love, and also having a choice not to love. any less would be uncivilized (commercial anyone? :-) picture a God would leave no choice for all creation to hate, all the "can" do is love, i would again liken that to any of us having a spouse that is a robot? or a child that's a robot? that all they can, and are able to do is what they have been told & programmed to do ... that could never be love and God would receive no less

compared to eternity, the original video game that once was, will be restored in all it's perfection, this hiccup of the video game we live in now is little to nothing relative to eternity. We have to really understand, it's not just every soul Jesus came to save, but to clear satins charges against God before the then existing creation. 1/3 of angels fell, God could not just have flushed the toilet with the devil and the other angels. would be contrary to love and leave on obedience through fear and a lot of doubt, so , God let's sin play out, to it's climax of the devil, and mankind and the cross, the ultimate depiction of love and of what sins consequences are displayed to the whole world. Most are going to destruction, few will find the truth, my question, how shall we escape if we neglect such great of a salvation?

Ultimatley this will be everyone's individual choice, ultimately God has to do nothing when someone rejects light, only darkness is left. When someone rejects life, only option is death. Nobody is getting into heaven for no other reason than love for Jesus. not fear of death , hell and the grave, because once in heaven there would be no other reason to be there.

joel said...

--------Part 2--------

Tony said...
So Joel must be fine with homosexuality,

so here is another topic that needs a thread :-) a simple search on the different laws of the Bible will explain this (Ceremonial, Civil, Moral Laws) there are many instructions for health, and hygiene aswell, and another thread for old and new covenants Heb 8 and Jeremiah 31 for staters, to explain that further, but homosexuality is a sin, just like fornication, lying, lusting, pride, jealousy or eating to much.. so yes homosexuality is still a sin and we are all in the same boat together, no different, the same, needing help to rid ourselves of whatever our sins maybe, but i have another question to ask,

Why does God hate sin? He hates sin because it's contrary to righteousness, goodness, perfection, love and who God is! and mainly because sin separates each one of us from Him. He has a place for us, He paid the ultimate price on the cross for us, doesn't matter what we've done in the past, doesn't matter what we are seeing on our computer screens, nothing in our lives is separating us from Him if we are willing, unbiased, open minded, sincerely searching, without blinding ourselves, myself included, to seek and ultimately to find! Bible says it's natural to not believe in God, it's natural to love sin, it's natural, so each one of us in any walk of life, has to step outside of ourselves and make an intelligent decision in our own jury of 1, each of us will have to make.

you guys are good guys, i know you are good intelligent people, not sure who the ex christian was on the posts, but clearly there are still ties there, and a drawing, so whatever we discuss, let's not demean or insult, because we're not forced to post here. good discussion so far, looks like a healthy discussion, oh one more thing, a good book, that started my walk towards God from non believer was CS Lewis "mere Christianity" oldie but goodie, if you've read, let me know what you thought, if not, i definitely thinks it's worth everyone's time, not doctrinal, no scriptures, back to principles, logic, reason, just mere Christianity. i didn't proof read, gotta go, i'll get back on to finish some of the other questions.

Stephen said...

joel said...

"...but homosexuality is a sin, just like fornication, lying, lusting, pride, jealousy or eating to (sic) much.. so yes homosexuality is still a sin..."

Yet we now know that homosexuality is not a choice, but a condition which is caused by developmental influences. So those who are gay are "created" this way. How do you rationalize a "loving" god who creates an individual is a state of "sin" then recommends punishment for what is *not* under that individual's control?

If C.S. Lewis started you on the road back to religion, I recommend you read Richard Dawkins's book "The God Delusion"; it might turn you around... there may still be time! :-)
Steve Weeks

No said...

Hi I'm God, Jesus and the Holy Sidekick, the Alpha Male and the Omega3man, the All in One Enchilada in the Sky, pre Steve Hawkins's big bang Ka-bang and pre post Walmart Fukushima's nuclear trash botox Chuck Norris and McDonald's Big Mac foam wraps from the '70's, life expectancy talking that is.

The Big Bang that was me scratching my balls... well... just one (said He looking at his Fingernails... creating black holes when switching Hands... engulfing civilisations we might never know...)

I can't remember how I was created myself though... but anyway I created the Universe the hundred billion galaxies and suns, the crawling swimming flying creatures with only one thing in mind: to have a SPECIAL kind of relationship with monkeys like you. Yes ! I got a soft spot for your kind ! Aren't you glad ?!!

I'm sure you've notice me when your singing at church. Oh you did ? Beloved when you sing for Me I'm there I'm listening ! What's that ? Amazing Grace is your favorite number ? Well it's mine too how's that ! Dear beloved do you like it best with bass and drum rythm section too ?

Now about my Best Seller, which is the purpose of this post, what is it that you don't catch in the wording of the law ? It's clear.

It is... isn't it ?

Likando Maboshe said...

to joel
i was a christian just like you.You have mentioned the 10 commandments well in the 10 commandments your god says thou shall not kill but goes on to order numerous killings e.g After capturing all the Midianite women and children, God commands Moses to kill the women and the male children and to "keep the virgin girls alive for yourselves." Moses then proceeds to offer 32 of the 32,000 virgin girls to God as a "tribute." We know from Leviticus 27:29 that these 32 girls would not be allowed to stay alive but were offered as a heave offering (burnt on the sacrificial altar) to the Lord. - Numbers 31:17-18,40-41. this is a paradox can you explain that looks to me that your god is blatantly breaking his own commandents

Shawn said...

Hey all,

Why does God hate sin? He hates sin because it's contrary to righteousness, goodness, perfection, love and who God is! and mainly because sin separates each one of us from Him.

But God is the alpha and omega, according to Christianity, right? If he created everything, then he created sin, he created the serpent and satan and he put them all together with fallible humans. If he is omnipotent, then he knew it was all going to play out the way it did. That's what omnipotent means - knowing everything. When that happens in the real world, they call it entrapment...

How about this - I can show you evidence of evolution, as demonstrated by the fossil record - where is your evidence of anything happening as described in the bible? You say that Eden was the way the world was meant to be - where is Eden located? How about evidence of a flood, or Noah's ark? Or if Moses parted the Red Sea and drowned the armies of Egypt, where is it mentioned in the history of that country? How can you continue to live in ignorance of how the world truly works?

Tracy said...

I agree with Shawn's post. If the god of the bible was Omnipotent, Omniscient, and Omnipresent like he is sold (in his own book, which is called the word of god) to be... then exactly how did he not know that the world would turn out this way before he created it? If he did not know all this would happen, then he is not god. Was he supprised that all this happened this way? If he was, he is not much of a god.

One more thing I would like to ask. If he "knew us before we were born", we probably were relatively free of sin... I mean, we had not hit the flesh yet, right? Just a soul. So, then he puts us into a body, we are born, sin, do not fall into his mold and are thrown into a lake of fire. Why would your god of love do that? He just murdered you before you became flesh. He KNEW you would burn before you were born, yet he sentances you to death anyway.

What a loving god he truly is. I have used all the analytical powers he gave to me (chuckle) and ran his numbers.... he does not add up. So, I made the logical decision to figure it out on my own and am very happy with how life has turned out.

Andy tyler said...

Good posts everyone. Joel, I like your analogy to automatons and real love. Your explanation is definitely very understandable in humanistic terms. If we accept that explanation (which I am), it seems we are taken into heaven as automatons after proving we can resist biology (biology understood as demonology to ancients, imho). Do you view this as a contradiction? Taken a bit further, as Tracy points out, we were taken from a happy automaton state in the first place, only this time, with a chance and a probability of being tortured forever. I would prefer remaining an automaton. :) Why does God prefer it otherwise?

Andy tyler said...


In regard to your "date" with God comment, I have a similar analogy. I recently found out that my oldest daughter listed her mother's boyfriend as her father on her Facebook page. My initial reaction was, "What is going on in her life that she denies her father?" No pun intended. :) My response was concern, and we talked about it. You seem to view God's jealousy as more justified because of his power compared to a human 'date". It seems obvious to you, which is understandable, because jealousy is observed all the time. However, I see it as more petty for the exact same reason. In other words, the idea that everyone would interpret ignoring the Sabbath the same way as God did, would be short-sighted for an Omni God. There are plenty of "God loves you no matter what" passages as well. So, if we have a choice between the two, why shouldn't we just figure it out for ourselves without the Bible?

Tom VonOxford said...


Oh My God... are you serious?

Original Sin?

How were Adam and Eve supposed to know that a talking snake who appeared before them wasn't God - especially since God didn't want them to know anything?

Mercy rules said...

For just a minute think about who you are talking about.This is about belief in God.The 2 verses before 32 tells us that we are to chose whether we believe in god or not it's our choice. And it's still our choice to believe or not but the results are still the same.

Mercy rules said...

I would hope that you would consider my comment as one who has recieved mercy and I know that God wants that for us all

Likando Maboshe said...

to mercy and bible believers:
this is a part of the story of adam and eve this was after they had eaten the 'forbidden fruit':-
they[adam and eve] heard God's voice approaching (God was taking a stroll in the garden during the cool of the day...interesting behavior for something without a body) and they hid from God in the bushes. God looks around and can't find Adam so he calls out "Hey, Adam! Where are you?" Now Adam, comes out and tells God that he was afraid of God because NOW he knew that he was naked and had disobeyed God's instructions. God realized that the only way Adam could know that he had been naked and done wrong was if someone told him he was naked or if Adam had eaten of that fruit which gave man the knowledge of good and evil. Rather than take responsibility for his actions, the first man points the finger of blame at the woman saying, "That woman that you made for me gave me the fruit and I ate it." When God turns to the woman she says, "It wasn't my fault, the serpent tempted me." So does God in his infinite wisdom and perfect justice blame himself for putting the tree in the grasp of man? No. Does he blame himself for leaving man to the wiles of more intelligent creatures? No. Does he blame himself for expecting man to be able to choose the right and obey when he has kept that knowledge from him? No. God punishes the serpent, the woman, the man, and condemns all of man's future offspring to be "fallen" and "sinners."
i will leave you with a quote from Thomas Paine one which i totally agree with ''I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Turkish church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of. My own mind is my own church.All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian, or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.''

No said...

"Mercy rules said...

I would hope that you would consider my comment as one who has recieved mercy and I know that God wants that for us all"

With more than one billion people not eating enough each day on Earth, with more than 10 million children dying of famine this year alone even though their parents are praying God constantly for their children to be spared... when the rubber meets the road of reality a loving and mercyfull God is something unlikely to be found not to mention that a God that would have the power to irradicate hunger in the world but doesn't bother is not worthy of devotion.

Joshua Perry said...

Honestly, I would just end this fight as it is. Anyone who does not believe in God will easily find a way to beat whatever Joel points out. Moments later, Joel (and maybe someone else) will easily defend his original statement, and debunk the statement that originally debunked his statement. Then someone will be a total prick and bash Joel, which he will ignore, and this discussion will continue; as it has for thousands of years.

Joel: Nothing you say will change how they see things, as a Christian, you feel compelled to defend your beliefs which is admirable in an overwhelming situation such as this. If I were you, I would make a simple final statement and wipe the dust from my feet. Also, you've done well to keep a positive tone, don't blow it now.

NOT Joel: Nothing you say would ever make Joel, or strong Christians sway. You feel you know the truth and are so annoyed by people not realizing it because you care enough to wish people not to waste time. It's a nice thought. I suggest you make any final statement you think should be said, please don't bash.

NO: Shut it unless you actually felt like bringing something useful to this. You should make a final statement too, I hope it is either pleasant or hilarious, the previous statements have been neither (and since there isn't anything funny about what you've been saying, you're making a crappy troll).

I'm a Christian. Many of my friends are Atheist. I ask both parties for help in one thing.

Let's get rid of the middle people, the people "neither hot nor cold."

You know them, the Atheist who says, "well God could exist, but why trouble trying to find out?" The Christian who believes in whatever piece of The Bible that suits him. My most disliked, The Christian with that bullshit smile and that attitude, "WOW GOLLY GEE, AIN'T TODAY JUST SPECIAL Y'KNOW?" yeah, they don't believe in jack, they just do what the "evangelist" tells them to.

Let's work on getting those people back into uncertainty, this way they choose one or the other, it's more people for both sides right?

Steve Wells said...

Thanks for the lecture, Joshua.

But the post was about Numbers 15:32-36. Have you read that passage? If so, how do you justify it?

Andre Vatke said...

I've enjoyed reading this debate yet one thing that Joel wrote hasn't been adequately addressed:

"...if a true God of Love really exists who by definition would be completely righteous, He would have to give His creation free will, to have a choice to love, and also having a choice not to love.

Now, I don't know about you, but I was not given free will to choose my parents, my economic or educational upbringing or many of the other things that directly shaped and continue to shape my psychology. The fact is that we are shaped by our society and we know that certain situation are better than others. We are also much different for being alive in 2012 in the USA than we would be in 1600 in Britain.

The very fact that we react to our surroundings - like gather firewood because we are cold and our kids are hungry - is evidence that free will is not quite what you think it is.

No said...

"Let's get rid of the middle people, the people "neither hot nor cold."

Interesting request here, are you on a mission from God Joshua ?

Incongruous Circumspection said...

So much jargon in Joshua's comment, I don't even know where to begin. It totally confuses anyone of the thinking persuasion when you don't use plain English and instead resort to speaking meaningless religious platitudes and nothingisms.

At least I understood joel.

No said...

" The Christian who believes in whatever piece of The Bible that suits him."

Joshua, your words suggests that you do not take parts of the Bible that suit you, which means you take the whole Bible not just parts of it.

Now if you are serious about your claim valiant knight, which I beleive you are not, you better start stacking rocks as your God requested in Number 15:32-36 because you literaly have the whole world to stone, not to mention that walking your talk will only land you in jail before you are able to accomplish your God's will.

Tracy said...

" The Christian who believes in whatever piece of The Bible that suits him."

I call that "Jigsaw Puzzle Christianity".

Tracy said...


As an Atheist, I really don't care if anyone "sways" or not. We do not get a cash bonus, or a promotion to "Atheist First Class", or a sparkly star on our chart, and we don't win favor with a deity. We don't care if you believe or not as we do not prosthelytize for the sake of conversion.

Let's remember how we got here ("here" as in this conversation point, not "here" as in creation and whatnot), Joel decided to come to an Atheist Blog Site because he saw something on Youtube. Joel started to engage in a discussion. Joel, I assume, is a big boy and can probably figure out if he is beating a dead god... I mean horse.

You, however, seem awfully butthurt right out of the gate. Does someone need a hug?

Sir Ryan the Great said...

I will partake in the challenge and defend/explain the passage in your post.

Honestly, there are a lot of parts in the Old Testament that leave me scratching my head, wondering why God did or said what He did at that particular moment. Besides the Numbers passage above, another case in point is Leviticus 10 where God consumes Aaron's sons with holy fire seemingly because they burned the wrong kind of fire at the wrong time (the very passage that caused me to stumble onto your blog in the first place).

I defend a loving and completely just God because He is perfectly loving AND perfectly just. These things are not mutually exclusive.

I will try and paint a picture here... say you stole something and you were caught and arrested for it. Would you say stealing is wrong? Would you say that there are consequences that go along with your actions? Let's say you go to court for a hearing and the judge is presented with the facts of your case - you were caught red handed, it's an open and shut case. In the country and society we live in you have a penalty to pay - we'll say $5,000 in this case. Now the judge, being completely just, sentences you to pay $5,000 for your actions. It's what you deserve. You broke the law. After the sentencing though, the judge steps up off the bench and walks down the steps, shedding his robes and reaches into his back pocket. He brings out his wallet and hands you $5,000 - effectively paying your rightly deserved penalty. Why? Because the judge is completely loving.

Now change the judge to God and apply the story to your life. This is what God did for you with your actions (John 3:16-17). This is what the Bible is all about - it's a massive love letter to you and me. And that's why it is important to not just take out certain clips and bytes of the story and have that be your complete and permanent picture of God because it would be like you seeing a puddle and saying you now know everything about and completely understand the ocean. You're missing out on a lot. (Continued)

Sir Ryan the Great said...


So it is passages like the one here in Numbers and the aforementioned passage in Leviticus that we read by themselves and are like, "Huh?! This is what a loving and merciful God looks like?!" But we'd be wrong because we're not understanding the whole picture.

And this is some of the big picture - there was an old covenant (the old testament) and a new covenant (the new testament) between God and man. The old covenant declared that God was holy and that He chose the Israelites to be His special people. God is perfectly holy and so cannot stand to be anywhere near sin, thus requiring the Israelites to offer certain kinds of sacrifices to cleanse themselves in God's sight. God laid everything out for the Israelites (Exodus 20, practically all of Leviticus), giving them step by step instructions on how to live life. But a lot of times they were stubborn and chose to go their own ways and do things how they wanted to do things.

This is what happened here in Numbers and what also happened in the passage from Leviticus. We must remember that we "judge by outward appearance, but God looks at the heart" (1 Samuel 16:7) and so he knew what the motives were behind these people's actions. God is perfectly holy and there is punishment for sin. God said we must not work on the Sabbath and must keep it holy (Exodus 20:8, Leviticus 16) yet the guy in Numbers did the opposite. God also laid out explicitly what the priests were to do and how they were to do it (first 9 chapters of Leviticus and elsewhere in Exodus) and yet Aaron's sons chose to ignore it.

But insert the beauty of the new testament. Since God is holy and and we are sinful and our actions require payment - God sent His one and only son to die for us as the perfect sacrifice for you and for me so that we might be called children of God. Heirs to his Kingdom and heirs to Christ's glory (Romans 8:17). It did away with the old and brought in the new - yet God is the same throughout it all. When He looks at you, and you have accepted Jesus and what He has done for you, He sees not you and your actions, but Jesus and His sacrifice instead.

No said...

Yet how come God, the proclaimed Creator of the Universe, ask the congregation to stone someone to death for gathering a little wood and yet manage to keep his "loving" attribute in some people's mind ?

Tracy said...


I am pretty sure that the judge, which you can 100% validate to be real, would lose his gavel over that action. It may not be on the books as being "illegal" to do, but it is improper and would be seen as wrong. People would question his integrity in other areas and might even be dis-barred. I am not a legal expert by any means, and it may be perfect right for him to do.

He appears to say that, it is ok for you to break the law because I will pay your fine. Which would lead people to wonder what else he "supports" people to do. Like murdering women and children by the thousands, but telling the audience that you shall not kill.

Using a tangible parable to authenticate something that has ZERO physical proof may not be the best idea. The judge, the laws, the crime... That is a situation that we can debate and analyze and even attend the even and discuss it with the judge... but god and his "perfect love"?

Pretty sure the first born sons, and their families who may or may not have had anything to do with the administration in Egypt, that he murdered would disagree that his love was perfect.

Incongruous Circumspection said...

Um...Ryan. No. Stretch the analogy to the whole era covered by the Bible. Sure, in the last few years of the Bible, god might do what you say. But in the majority of the former years, you got the eternal axe for doing stupid stuff like squatting on god's people's land that you rightfully owned.

There is so much more that is wrong with that analogy. Like, the judge didn't create you and know you would steal, like god does. Also, a five thousand dollar fine is not akin to eternal death.

Try again.

No said...

3:36 "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him."

This verse from St-John makes the horror from Numbers look pale in comparaison when you look at it.

Take a moment to measure the impact of these words in the real world around you if St-John has any value to you.

On a lighter note I wonder why God desperately needs a bunch of apes to believe in him... isn't there more interesting things to do when you are All Powerfull ?

Likando Maboshe said...

to Sir Ryan the Great
what exactly is your point that your god is as you have put it ''perfectly loving and just'' in Numbers 15:32-36 if that is so then your sense of justice is as sick,horrible and twisted like the ''God'' you serve.Come on be reasonable.

Likando Maboshe said...

to Sir Ryan the Great

On top of thatI have to point out that the last book of the Old Testament says that God never changes (Malachi 3:6). If God did those things to humans once, he will do them again and again. But what about Jesus? Jesus is supposed to be loving and peaceful, the kind of god that wouldn't hurt a fly. Let's see what the Bible says about this.

The loving Jesus introduces a new form of cruelty to mankind: the concept of an eternal barbecue called, "HELL" where there will be weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth. Now, God gets to enjoy the smell of burning humans for all eternity. Thank you JESUS! - Matthew 3:12, 8:12, 10:21, 13:30, 42, 22:13, 24:51, 25:30, Luke 13:28, John 5:24
Jesus tells a parable about himself and reveals his true nature by saying, "But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me. - Luke 19:27
While telling his disciples what they can expect in the near future, Jesus throws in that brothers will turn in each other to be killed, fathers will have their children put to death and children will cause their parents to be killed. - Matthew 10:21
Jesus also showed his love and kindness by predicting that pregnant women, infants and children would suffer greatly in the coming "days of vengeance." The fact that he wasn't appalled with the injustice of the idea shows that his heart was just as cruel as his evil Father/God. - Luke 21:22-23
Did Jesus come to bring peace on earth? Let's see what Jesus says about that: "Do not think that I have come to bring peace on earth: I did not come to bring peace, I came to bring a sword. I have come to turn a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a man's enemies will be the members of his own family. He who loves his father or mother or son or daughter more than he loves me is not worthy of me." - Matthew 10:34-37
Jesus taught that to follow him you had to first hate your family. - Luke 14:26
Jesus commanded his followers to purchase swords. - Luke 22:36
Jesus didn't only use his magic powers to heal the sick. He also used them to curse a fig tree (Mark 11:12-14) and he cursed the inhabitants of three cities which didn't repent after he performed miracles for them. He condemned the people of these cities to hell and said that their punishment would be worse than the fiery destruction of Sodom. He finishes up by thanking God that the truth has been hidden from the wise men who could most benefit from its saving power. - Matthew 11:20-25
Jesus supposedly had the power to transform water into wine. At his last supper he turned the wine into his own blood and commanded his disciples to drink it (Mark 14:22-24) in violation of God's commandment to not drink blood (Genesis 9:4-5). This bloody, cannibalistic cocktail is recreated in churches across the world every week. Catholic believers are told that they must believe that the wine has actually transformed into the physical blood of Jesus. Jesus himself taught that the way to gain eternal life was to drink his blood. The vampiric traits of his father (God) must have been hereditary. - John 6:53-54

Incongruous Circumspection said...

Wait. Were we just having a logical discussion and ended up getting Jesus juked? Damn...

Sir Ryan...

Spare me the gospel message. God's little video game he set up for us to get it just right is appalling to say the least.

Let's contrast the Old and New Testament:

Old - you follow all of god's commandments and...you still die because David f*cked up and counted armies.

New - you do everything right on this earth, helping the poor (not railing on them to pull themselves up by their bootstraps like is popular in Christianity these days) and you burn in hell because you didn't say the magic prayer.

Seriously dude, if god is so powerful that he can kill himself and raise himself for yours and my sins, he's powerful enough to make this stupid game NOT a stupid game. He set the cards up (made the rules), forced man to break the rules, then made new rules, forced man to break those rules, then made new rules, forced man to accept those rules or die forever in burning hell, and then gets to celebrate his victories over those stupid robots in heaven for eternity with the members of Westboro Baptist Church et al because they know the right answer.

How do they know the right answers? Well, they translated the freaking riddle the most correct way. Everyone else be damned since they messed up on a jot or a tiddle or even added a few things. Forget the fact that they aren't reading from the original manuscripts, because, if they were, hell, we'd have all the riddles answered for us.

Oh yeah? Show me the bloody manuscripts and we'll have that discussion.

It's all a big joke and your parroting stupidisms that make no sense. Read through your crap, apply logic, and then take some melatonin. It might clear your muddled head out and see how asinine these beliefs are.

havocwing said...

The biblical god is a genocidal narcissistic lunatic.

No said...

I'm sure there's a special place for North Korea in Yahweh heart !

Carlos Bosque said...

Who ever created the Sabbath law, was serious about having the weekend off and if anyone gave the idea that maybe you can do some work, that person must be stone to death. How can anyone disrespect god by making fire that day, assuming that was guys intention, to keep warm or cook or what ever reasons. This is not part of the free will gods deal, obviously. In memory of must follow ridiculous laws by god, god gives a new fashion after the killing incident (numbers 15:37-40) This sound more like a gang from the hood to me then a divine message and what do we learn? Gods free will its just a mirage created by humans so anyone out there comes and joint the gang. Oh don't you dare get out of the gang because your loving god will burn you for eternity... Now isn't that ironic?

in.his.love. said...

the man's sin wasn't just that he broke the sabbath, he committed a "presumptuous sin" ( numbers 15:30) . his sin was a deliberate defiance of God, an outward expression of his contempt for The Word of God. In his choosing to publicly dishonor God he showed that he "despised the word" and "thought himself too great, too good, and too wise to be ruled by it" ( matthew henry's commentary). the presumptuous sin is an especially serious one, in fact, it is the only kind of sin God did not provide an atonement for in jewish law (the spurgeon archive- presumptuous sin sermon)
we are so blessed that now we live in a time of ultimate freedom. a time where Jesus Christ has already payed the price for our sins, no matter how serious they are! thank you God for having a plan to bring us back to You and for all the steps that had to be taken to achieve our salvation, even in the face of all of our sins <3

Carlos Bosque said...

Funny, I witness my daughter several times where she would do things just to show me that she can do what ever please her to do, sometimes even laugh at my face but never cross my mind to stone her to death. The powerful god its suppose to have more patience and love then any human on earth and he couldn't show it with this guy because he despised the word of god? don't know if god was giving an excellent example to the world on how to love and be patience or maybe god was showing off his powers

knight17prince said...

God is perfect in all his ways... "when he said everyone who disobey his laws must be put to death" he mean it! Actually killing or stoning people who disobey his sabbath is not a commandment. In fact one of his commandments is thou shall not kill. Just like what he said. Everyone who disobey his command shall be put to death. This is the reason why he killed the man. This is to prove that he is really true to all his words. In short. It was God who killed the man not the people...

knight17prince said...

God is perfect in all his ways... "when he said everyone who disobey his laws must be put to death" he mean it! Actually killing or stoning people who disobey his sabbath is not a commandment. In fact one of his commandments is thou shall not kill. Just like what he said. Everyone who disobey his command shall be put to death. This is the reason why he killed the man. This is to prove that he is really true to all his words. In short. It was God who killed the man not the people...