Samuel or God? Who Bears Responsibility for the Amalekite Genocide?

Off Topic

Hey Tom, you should provide your input here:

It’s Sean Pitman’s @seanpit site EDUCATE TRUTH. They are trying to destroy Bryan @bness after Spectrum publishes his article a few days ago. Instead of focusing on the subject, they are going after him personally, with punches below the belt of course (calling to question his employment). Just a vicious , un-Christian attitude!

I will try to EDUCATE them on the Nature x Nurture issue, though I suspect they already know it but choose to ignore it so that they can continue their little witch hunting. Should they ask for some Russian help? WDYT???
@elmer_cupino

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But…If we believe “I don’t see God’s instruction to wipe out the Amelikites as genocide as we define it, but rather a consequence of evil going beyond the point of no return.”, then why do we believe other religions can’t offer up the same explanation for their warfares on ‘unbelievers/infidels’? Because we have the only ‘true interpretation’ of the Bible? So, are to assume there have been no evil people/peoples since the OT who deserved to be wiped out? The world has improved, less evil? God is just not feeling comfortable with doing that anymore, made His point? Is that a God one should believe in? Sounds like a fear based belief system! My view of the Bible is that the OT writers view of God was no different than other nations Gods. They wrote/spoke as if God controlled everything in their world, both good and bad. There were no ‘natural’, none God, consequences for what happened in life or the natural world. God was in total control of their lives/environment. The list of rules they compiled were evidence of such, in my view. When Christ came, did he not say that their view of God was distorted and incorrect? When asked what God the Father was like, He said we are the same, see Me, see Him.

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We know the why they only had god to blame. The true character of God is revealed in Christ but we must also remember that even the NT writers did not know what we know and neither did EGW. I would bet when all is known even we don’t know everything. We must break cleanly with past ignorance or we like the Jews will have to be replaced too. Religion has so confused things that I believe it will have to go for the universal God to be revealed.

Amazingly, it seems like we actually agree on this particular topic. You wrote:

I do not condone homosexual practices. Never did, never will… They were born stuck with a very troubling nature. Yes, biblically [they] cannot have homosexual practices, I always agreed to this. So, what they do? They have to stay celibate.

How are you saying anything different here from what I’m saying? It seems to me that we are saying exactly the same thing. I agree with you that sin itself is “hard-wired” into our genes. We are “naturally” sinful from birth. It seems as though we both agree on this. In fact, I’m having trouble seeing where you actually disagree with anything I’ve said on this topic?

The problem, you see, is that this is not what Bryan Ness and other professors at PUC are saying. They are saying that because homosexuality is “naturally inherited”, that it was designed by God Himself and therefore it is perfectly Ok, from God’s perspective, to practice the homosexual lifestyle within the confines of a monogamous marriage-style relationship. That’s where we disagree. From your comments here, it would seem that you also disagree with Bryan’s position on this topic… or am I reading you wrong?

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We now know that there are more to it than just our DNA when it comes to sexuality. Sexuality is influenced by our genetics, environment, culture among many. Whatever the combinations might be, it can only be manifested if the instructions are within an acknowledged set of code as provided by God “in the beginning.” We now know that DNA can be blocked or influenced by what we eat, our experience, the kind of gut microbiome we have. All those combinations were designed and programmed by God “in the beginning.” Who are we to say otherwise?

Correction. You made a mistake in attributing what I said about laterality to our good friend Bryan @bness thus confirming that cataracts is third biggest cause of blindness. Religion and Politics remain first and second.

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I’m sorry, but God did not design or ever intend that humanity, to include our own individual genetics as well as the human gene pool as a whole, should undergo degenerative changes - eventually resulting in death. That was never intended by God. God certainly designed the potential for phenotypic variability, but not via random genetic mutations which are degenerative and harmful in nature.

As far as attributing your comment regarding right and left handedness to Bryan Ness, thank you for your correction, but Bryan also made the claim that left handedness evolved as the result of a genetic mutation. In any case, I’ve made the correction to my own article…

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This saddens me more than anything. When someone who knows nothing about how or what I teach in my classes assumes they know. It seems that the assumption is that I am indoctrinating students into a belief about LGBTQ+ individuals that runs counter to SDA teachings, when I am doing no such thing. I say very little about same-sex marriage to my students, but rather take the approach recommended by the NAD in it’s very fine booklet “Guiding Families” and approach the LGBTQ+ students I come in contact with in the fashion described here (which is from the booklet):

“While it is tempting to focus on causation, I want to resolve this question up front: the origins of sexual orientation and gender identity are highly complex, multi-factorial, and likely rooted in both nature and nurture. For any one person, it can be impossible to know the exact cause. For this reason, we propose that we shift our focus from causation to compassion .”

I also encourage non-LGBTQ+ students to relate to LGBTQ+ students in this fashion. I also encourage abstinence in the LGBTQ+ students I know just as much as I encourage it among non-LGBTQ+ students. I encourage a compassionate and loving attitude and open acceptance of all individuals regardless their sexual or gender orientation.

I do not go out of my way to encourage same-sex marriage nor do I promote on our campus and so it baffles me that the headline of the article cited here says PUC is “encouraging Homosexual marriage,” whatever homosexual marriage is. Neither do I keep it a secret that I think same-sex marriage should be affirmed, which as far as I am aware is not a punishable offense in any setting. I know numerous pastors who believe the same way, some of whom will not say so openly because they fear the kind of judgmental and hateful backlash that an article like mine engenders in some people.

What seems to get repeatedly lost in these kinds of discussions and attacks is that people’s lives are at stake. Suicide among LGBTQ+ individuals runs several times higher than in the general population, and those that experience religious persecution around their sexual or gender orientation are especially seriously affected. If for no other reason than to show true compassion for such individuals, this kind of judgemental and angry discussion and attack should never happen. I think, as I repeat often, that we must take seriously Jesus’ words from Hosea, “I desire mercy, not sacrifice.” I fear that those who speak out so forcefully against our LGBTQ+ brothers and sisters are more willing to sacrifice these people than to try and understand and truly love them.

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Your assertion about what God intends reminds of the late 1800’s public issue of whether the women should be allowed to ride bicycles as their leg muscles were only meant for the sewing machine. If the resultant end point of death is what separates God’s purpose, why did Paul admonish men to stay single as he did in 1 Corinthians 7:7-8?

However I am in awe of anyone who can declare God’s intentions without reservations.

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Sean Pitman,

In my eighty four years I have observed numerous pastors / church administrators / SDA college professors, who when widowed, are remarried within one year of their spouses’ death .

Most are of the “ viagra age “ — so they are not getting remarried for the sex ! They are getting remarried because of their extreme loneliness and lack of companionship, following the demise of their spouse…

I do not wish widowhood on you —- but should you experience widowhood and that extreme loneliness , please recall that you casually dispensed LIFE LONG LONELINESS on those unfortunate five percent of the population , who through ZERO choice / input of their own are gay / lesbian.

Most married couples would agree that although sex is an important element of their marriage, it is far outweighed by the love, devotion, validation, caring, sharing, affirmation, companionship that a good marriage provides.

Marriage also provides economic stability — I know many couples both gay and straight, where one partner losing employment, would have been homeless, if not for the income of the other partner.

Two can live as cheaply as one, not forgetting the multiplicity of tax benefits, estate, and financial that a marriage certificate provides.

That is the main reason that same sex marriage has been now legalized in many countries — because the financial advantages of heterosexual married couples so far eclipsed that of equally tax paying couples “ living in sin “.

Inequality and disparity and discrimination are egregious and unfair.

To casually condemn MILLIONS to life long loneliness is cruel and sadistic and entirely unchristian.

And please provide the date, time and place when YOU made the conscious deliberate decision to be heterosexual — you were fortunate and blessed to be BORN with that predisposition.

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You just published a very public article expressing your position on this topic - a position that is in direct conflict with the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Have you not, therefore, as a paid representative of the SDA Church, taken a very public position that is in fact in conflict with the position of your employer? That’s a real problem as I see it. How do you see yourself around the conclusion that you are in fact actively undermining the clearly stated goals and ideals of your employer? How is this not an ethical problem for you? How do you not see it as a form of theft from your employer?

Beyond this, how is it being “loving” to our LGBTQ+ friends and family to say that the Bible says something that it just doesn’t say? I personally think the most loving thing to do, as a Christian, is to be honest about what the Bible has to say on this topic… even if I personally might not entirely understand exactly why the Bible says what it says.

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It’s not so difficult to just take the Bible as it reads. The Bible is quite clear that disease, decay, and death, were not part of this world until sin entered the world. It is only then that the degenerative effects of random genetic mutations and harmful environments were allowed to plague humanity. Such things are simply a natural result of stepping away from our Source of life and prosperity. When things are not constantly maintained, they tend toward chaos - toward falling apart and eventual non-function. This is very clearly explained by the Bible. And, it also happens to be right in line with the best scientific evidence that we have in hand. There’s no big mystery here…

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So, SDA employees have no right of a private life? This is not a science journal, but an independent Adventist one. At his job, Bryan is teaching according to SDA position, like he said. At his job, he publishes according to SDA positions, like he said.

Can’t he have a private opinion like we all do? Can’t he express it in his free-time like we all do? Is he 24/7 his job? Is he married to SDA opinions? And married to his employer? Are SDA opinions static? Haven’t they evolved and changed over time? Are they totally fixed in all details? Can no one ever say something new and contrary as an SDA employer? Is everyone allowed freedom of conscience, everyone except SDA employees?

Everyone has freedom of conscience. No one should be denied that, whoever is the employer.

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It’s one thing to live together as platonic friends. It’s another thing entirely to live passionately as a married couple. It is also a false assumption that the only unique thing that a heterosexual marriage offers (as compared to a homosexual marriage) has to do with the nature of sexual intercourse. That’s just not true. A marriage between a man and a woman offers a bond that simply cannot be achieved between a man and a man or between a woman and a woman - because God designed the marriage between one man and one woman to be complementary in a way that no other relationship can achieve.

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I guess you’ve never worked for a large company or the military, for instance. As a paid representative of the army, for instance, you are always on duty - 24/7 (I know since I was in the US Army for 10 years, including 4 active duty years). The same is true for a Church pastor or teacher (I know this too since my father is a retired pastor and teacher). Everything you say and do reflects on your position as a church employee. You simply are not “off duty” when you go home at the end of the day. Everything reflects on your job and your ability to successfully represent your employer at work.

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I know very well what it’s like to be involved in leadership positions within the church and within academia. My own father is a retired pastor and teacher. It’s one thing to publicly present and even promote various opinions that do not directly undermine the church or school one is working for. However, it is another thing entirely to directly attack the fundamental positions of the church while being a paid representative of the church. Such activity is not at all encouraged and is, in fact, unethical - a form of theft from your employer. Sure, there are many pastors and teachers who think to do such things anyway. That doesn’t make such activities morally right. It’s still wrong to do what you are doing.

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Let’s say that everything you say about the professor is correct. Let’s just say… So where is the right place to challenge young adults position EVEN IF it goes against the offical position of the SDA’s?

When they become a church elder, decon, music leader, or other church offical? Higher Education is exactly the right place to challenge a position held by those in leadership. Countries that surpress free speech are sometimes given the name of Communists or Fascist. I don’t know any good professor who fears challenging her students. It’s important to give all sides of a position. And we shouldn’t get butt hurt over getting push back.

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Nothing truer can be said about how we ought to then approach determining what is right and wrong Christian behavior. Just look at Jesus’ ministry; was it more a work of mercy or more a work of judgment? I would hope it is obvious to anyone who has immersed themselves in the Gospels. His was primarily a ministry of mercy, and when the claims of mercy and judgement came into conflict, He consistently went with mercy, even to the point of directly violating or overlooking violations of Levitical laws for the sake of mercy. Where He did exercise judgment in His ministry, notice who is the focal point of those cases; the leaders of the people, and He went after them in judgment because they persistently neglected mercy.

So many issues in the church would be easier to resolve if we took Jesus’s approach and exercised mercy most of the time and judgment only when necessary to prevent harm to others, harms most often perpetrated on weaker members by the leaders of the church. Jesus’ cleansing of the Temple and His woes on the Pharisees are perfect examples of this approach.

Can anyone possibly argue that Jesus would be in the forefront of those insisting that women cannot be ordained as pastors, or that LGBTQ+ individuals are to be excluded from fellowship if they choose to marry one another? The Jesus I know would be ordaining women and he would be having dinner at the homes of a gay couples. He desires mercy, not sacrifice, as so many of His actions repeatedly demonstrated.

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Everyone is bound to God at the end, not to an institution. Everyone is bound to his own conscience and the Spirit at the end, not to an institution. This is what the pioneers lived out. This is what we have forgotten once we became a static church. There is an “off duty” because SDA institution is not God! We are always representatives of God. But SDA church is not to be equated with God!

Just because church reality looks differently in some parts of the world, doesn’t mean, this is a role model for everywhere.

And btw your guess about me is wrong.

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Actually, the Amalekites bear responsibility for what happened here. From the time the Isrealites left Egypt the Amalekites were a constant nemesis. During the time of Saul and Samuel the Amalekites were frequent to raid Isrealite encampments, kill the males, steal and enslave the women and children, the goats, the sheep, and everything else. Not only did they attack the Isrealites but the other surrounding tribes and nations too.

Just like all the other surrounding nations knew what had happened to Egypt because of the plagues and had observed the power of God and and his obvious favor toward the Isrealites . . .His miraculous presence among them with the cloudy piller etc, . . . despite this, the Amalekites were the first to attacked the Isrealites on their journeys and did so by sneaking up from the rear where the women, children, and slower elderly and weaker animals lagged along. Courageous and brave souls these Amalekites! Real examples to all mankind! Don’t we all wish we had more like them!

Many years later, because Saul failed to destroy all the Amalekites as God had instructed through Samuel, it was Esther who had to arrange to have supper with Darius to inform him of the genocide “Haman the Amalekite” had planned for the Hebrews in Persia.

“Because the God Jesus introduces us to in the New Testament would never do this, . . .” you say. Isn’t this the very thing that is to happen at the world’s end. Aren’t all the “Amalekites” of this world to be destroyed including all the women, children, goats, sheep, the entire Earth in fact, and isn’t it going to be God that is responsible for thIs act. This ultimate “scorched earth” policy will be enforced by God himself, not a Saul or a Samuel . . . if I understand the details of the story correctly.

This story has confused many. I sit in a Sabbath School where some people refuse to continue to believe in the Old testament because of this and similar stories. It pays to read.the stories, before and after, and give God a little credit, to get a correct picture and also, when puzzled, to give God the benefit of the doubt knowing if one keeps searching for the answers they will eventually find them because they are there. There are no secrets about such things as these. Or at least so thinks me.

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That’s the Jesus I know as well! However, Jesus would not leave those living the homosexual lifestyle as He found them. He would help them overcome something that He did not design, something that is fallen and broken, in favor of something that is much better for them. God does not want to leave us fallen and broken. He wants to fix us and lift us up and give us a New Birth into a new and much much better life.

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