The Baptist church I drive by going in and out of my neighborhood has a new sign up this week…it says:

"To enjoy the peace of God; know the God of peace"

My first thought was, what God are they talking about?  It can’t be the Christian God.  I mean, do they not read their own sacred book?  From this type of conjecture, I tend to think not.  The easiest reference to a vengeful God is Noah and the ark from the book of Genesis.  God basically killed EVERYONE on the Earth except Noah and his family.  How peaceful.  Well, at least after that incident, he promised not to do it again..whew, I feel better now.

But let’s not judge from one minor incident…surely there can’t be more things like this in the Bible.  Did I speak too soon? (all references are from the King James Version of the Bible)

God killing children and cattle (maybe he views them as one in the same). Exodus 12: 29-30

"And it came to pass, that at midnight the LORD smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharoah that sat on his throne unto the firstborn of the captive that was in the dungeon; and all the firstborn of cattle.  And Pharoah rose up in the night, he, and all his servants, and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt; for there was not a house where there was not one dead."

God ordering his followers to kill.  Ezekiel 9: 5-7

"And to the others he said in mine hearing, Go ye after him through the city, and smite:  let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity:  Slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women:  but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at my sanctuary.  Then they began at the ancient men which were before the house.  And he said unto them, Defile the house, and fill the courts with the slain:  go ye forth.  And they went forth, and slew the city."

God advocating slavery, raping and pillaging.  Deuteronomy 20: 10-14

"When thou comest nigh unto a city to fight against it, then proclaim peace unto it.  And it shall be, if it make thee answer of peace, and open unto thee, then it shall be, that all the people that is found therein shall be tributaries unto thee, and they shall server thee.  And if it will make no peace with thee, but will make war against thee, then thou shalt besiege it:  And when the LORD your God hath delivered it into thine hands, thou shalt smite every male thereof with the edge of the sword:  But the women, and the little ones, and the cattle, and all the spoil thereof, shalt thou take unto thyself; and thou shalt eat the spoil of thine enemies, which the LORD your God hath given thee."

You better listen to what God says, even if he asks you to commit murder.  1 Kings 20: 35-36

"And a certain man of the sons of the prophets said unto his neighbor in the word of the LORD, Smite me, I pray thee.  And the man refused to smite him.  Then said he unto him, Because thou hast not obeyed the voice of the LORD, behold, as soon as thou art departed from me, a lion shall slay thee.  And as soon as he was departed from him, a lion found him, and slew him."

God can be angry and self-centered.  Deuteronomy 7: 1-4

"When the LORD thy God shall bring thee into the land whither thou goest to possess it, and hath cast out many nations before thee, the Hittites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than thou; And when the LORD thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them:  Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; they daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son.  For they will turn away thy son from following me, that they may server other gods; so will the anger of the LORD be kindled against you, and destroy thee suddenly."

God destroys entire towns FOREVER.  Deuteronomy 13: 13-18

"Certain men, the children of Belial, are gone out from among you, and have withdrawn the inhabitants of their city, saying, Let us go and server other gods, which ye have not known; Then shalt thou inquire, and make search, and ask diligently; and behold, if it be truth, and the thing certain, that such abomination is wrought among you; Thou shalt surely smite the inhabitants of that city with the edge of the sword, destroying it utterly, and all that is therein, and the cattle thereof, with the edge of the sword.  And thou shalt gather all the spoil of it into the midst of the street thereof, and shalt burn with fire the city, and all the spoil thereof every whit, for the LORD thy God: and it shall be a heap for ever, it shall not be built again.  And there shall cleave nought of the cursed thing to thine hand: that the LORD may turn from the fierceness of his anger, and shew thee mercy, and multiply thee, as he hath sworn unto thy fathers; When thou shalt hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, to keep all his commandments which I command thee this day, to do that which is right in the eyes of the LORD they God."

There’s plenty more where these came from, just open the Bible and begin reading, it won’t take long to find a God that is jealous, spiteful, vengeful and just plain full of himself.  If this is the God of peace, I think I’ll pass.

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