Bad Arguments Used By Atheists
This is by no means a sweeping statement about all atheists. I've many several who can have a reasonable, logical, and honest conversation. But there are significant examples, such as "United Atheists of America" who are decidedly "Anti-theists" who promote lies to justify their positions.
It's these sort of lies that get to me. (And I'm an easy-going guy, so not many things get to me like this.) I've spoken with many atheists who I disagree with, and while we often get to a point where we agree to disagree, there are others who through ignorance or ill-intent, lie to justify their beliefs. This is intellectually dishonest. For the ignorant, they should be willing to fact check a point to see if it's really a valid point. The ill-intent, are usually angry about something (this goes into the psychology of atheism) and take it out on God/Christians.
Regardless, I usually let these things slide. It's part of the apologist experience, I suppose. But something happened yesterday that I want to respond to on here. But first, I want to warn you that this is an unsettling passage. It's one of the most disturbing passages in the Bible. But it's in the Bible, so we need to be able to address it. Here goes:
22 While they were celebrating, behold, the men of the city, certain worthless fellows, surrounded the house, pounding the door; and they spoke to the owner of the house, the old man, saying, “Bring out the man who came into your house that we may have relations with him.” 23 Then the man, the owner of the house, went out to them and said to them, “No, my fellows, please do not act so wickedly; since this man has come into my house, do not commit this act of folly. 24 Here is my virgin daughter and his concubine. Please let me bring them out that you may ravish them and do to them whatever you wish. But do not commit such an act of folly against this man.” 25 But the men would not listen to him. So the man seized his concubine and brought her out to them; and they raped her and abused her all night until morning, then let her go at the approach of dawn. 26 As the day began to dawn, the woman came and fell down at the doorway of the man’s house where her master was, until full daylight.
27 When her master arose in the morning and opened the doors of the house and went out to go on his way, then behold, his concubine was lying at the doorway of the house with her hands on the threshold. 28 He said to her, “Get up and let us go,” but there was no answer. Then he placed her on the donkey; and the man arose and went to his home. 29 When he entered his house, he took a knife and laid hold of his concubine and cut her in twelve pieces, limb by limb, and sent her throughout the territory of Israel. 30 All who saw it said, “Nothing like this has ever happened or been seen from the day when the sons of Israel came up from the land of Egypt to this day. Consider it, take counsel and speak up!”
22: Homosexual men surround a house and demand to have sex with a man in a house.
23: The host comes outside to negotiate with the men.
24: The host offers his daughter and concubine to the men instead of his guest.
25: The men refused the offer of women, so the host pushed his concubine outside; she was raped all night.
26: The concubine tried to go home, collapsing at the front door of a neighbor.
27-28: That morning, the host found her dead at the doorstep, picked her up, put her on a donkey and took her home.
29: The host cut her up into twelve pieces and had a part sent to each of the twelve tribes.
As stated before, this is one of the most disturbing and disgusting passages in the Bible.
Let's see how the image above contrasts in its portrayal:
It ignores that the men outside were homosexual and wanted to rape the guest. (I'm not targeting gays here, I'm just pointing out this important omission)
It implies the girl was killed by the host when she was cut up.
It also ignores that the next section (chapter 20) shows the outrage of the nation against the evil done by these men. I don't understand why the girl was cut up into 12 pieces, but it was used to tell the rest of the country about the evil done against her by the men. In response, they go to war against the tribe that this occurred in.
I'd like to raise a point now that many people think that the Bible endorses everything it states. That because it's "God's Word," that everything is caused and approved by God. That's simply not so.
The book of Judges mostly describes what happened during those years. It's not prescribing or commanding. It's actually showing what the people did when they were left to themselves, not to worshipping and obeying God.
So anyone that brings up these chapters has to recognize this isn't an endorsement of what's being described. In fact, I had a conversation a year ago where someone used 21:8-18 to say that God commanded the murder of women and children in Jabesh-gilead (v10) and the marriage-rape of the women (the-23), but he completely ignored the context of the chapter showing that it was a decision of the leaders of the nation, not God, who commanded these things. He also ignored that final verse that said the people did what they thought was right in their own eyes.
These types of distinctions are important, and to ignore them is lazy and intellectually-dishonest. Any passage needs to be considered in it's literary, cultural, and historical context. What I find time and time again is many atheists completely ignore context to make their points, and as in the example of Caitlin above, are misled to distrust the Bible.
Finally, at the end of this episode, chapter 21 ends with "In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes." This explicitly shows that it's describing the events, not endorsing them. In fact, this is a way it shows the nature of mankind and that God doesn't necessarily approve of these actions.
So as objections are raised, we need to be ready to pick apart arguments like this and show that it's not as clear cut as some would want us to believe. If we're not discerning, we may be lied to and have unwarranted doubt, like Caitlyn.
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