So anyway, as I was saying in my last post...
Beth, my little agnostic, has a big problem with the OT. Heck, as recently as a few years ago, I had a huge problem with the OT. How many people have rejected God simply because of what they see him depicted as in the OT? Go to any of the skeptic sites on the internet, that dissect and criticize and defame God because of how they see him depicted there.
We'll skip any and all digression about Beth...and get back to the OT and the God we see depicted there? I wrote the following a year or so ago...
I've come to believe that there are two voices of God in the OT. One is the true God, the other is the voice of the god of this world...Satan, the carnal man....whatever you want to call him/it. Part of our spiritual journey is to learn to identify which god is which...and discerning this in the pages of the OT is one of the biggest challenges.
I think it is evidence that we are the offspring of God...and that the holy spirit is working within to give us discernment when we are repulsed by the stories of the atrocities in the OT....the seemingly schizoid behavior of God....loving and compassionate one minute....ready to smite and punish and reject the next.
So when the children of Israel "heard God" tell them to wipe out the Amalekites, or the Canaanites...or when Abraham "heard God" tell him to sacrifice Isaac, it was not THE God, it was the voice of the impostor (however you see him...Satan, the carnal man....whatever you want to call him/it) Even the ten commandments warn us about other gods.
My "rule of thumb" has become to filter everything through the image of the invisible God we see in Jesus. There are four gospels in the Bible. Four times, the same story, with little discrepancy is told, and retold. Four chances for us to see it and get it right. THIS is the picture of the invisible God....the face of God is the face of Jesus. If what I read in the OT does not line up with that....out it goes.
I know the stories are there for a purpose....perhaps to instigate this rising up within us that cries out that it does not jive with who we know God to be. The beginning of the journey to discernment that leads us to the true God of light and love....just may begin in the OT when we begin to see that something is amiss. The pieces to the puzzle just do not fit.
And later in the thread:
About the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil having two fruits. Does the text say that? I think that it is one and the same fruit whether we are eating from the good side of the tree (church going, God fearing, legalistic Christian) or the bad side of the tree. We are not supposed to eat from the Tree of Knowledge at all...but rather from the Tree of Life!!!
I think strict adherence to doctrine of the total, complete, inerrancy of the Bible comes from the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge. We exalt the Bible to the point of blocking out the voice of Life which is living in each and every one of us...the Holy Spirit...the Spirit of the Risen Christ....which tells all of us that something is not right in the party line view of God in the OT.
Some people react to that belief by becoming atheists....wanting no part of that God. Others react by simply ignoring the OT and become New Testament Christians...Red Letter Christians. Others react by trying to make sense of the atrocities in the OT by claiming that His ways are above our ways and that all God's judgments are good no matter how they appear to us or how heinous and unfair they seem. God's acts in the OT are often referred to as atrocities because the ARE!!!!
Others strain their ears and try to listen to the voice of the Living God... ....the Voice of the Good Shepherd.... THE VOICE....and accept what He is whispering to their heart. I believe that it is only with His help that we can truly discern the truth in the scriptures. We tend to cling to the Tree of Knowledge....which is, I think, the root of the inerrancy view of the Bible. Just write it down and tell me what to believe.
Perhaps I am wrong...but if so I am confident that the Holy Spirit (whom Jesus promised would lead us into all truth) can right my course and show me the truth. I am trying to learn to put my faith in what HE is telling me...and not simply the words on a page.
Like I said, that was written a year or so ago...and I still see things pretty much the same. A related post here on Mercy you might want to check out HERE.