Atheist's Attacks

Answering Humanist's Accusations Against the Bible

Christian Resources

Cruelty In The Bible

Humanists Claim God Violates His Own Moral Principles

HUMANIST STATEMENT: Humanists also reject the Bible because it approves of outrageous cruelty and injustice. In civilized legal systems, a fundamental principle is that the suffering of the innocent is the essence of injustice. Yet the Bible teaches that God repeatedly violated this moral precept by harming innocent people.

Free Atheist's Answers Book

The above statement introduces a section on the American Humanists web site that lists supposed "instances of cruel and un-just behavior by the biblical God." We will continue to look at what they say item by item. However, we first must examine their introductory statement. It includes a fallacy that, if left standing, biases everything that follows.

What is the problem?

Is there anyone who is innocent? Is there anyone who has ever walked on the earth, who is innocent? Yes... just one... Jesus Christ. He was perfectly innocent. He never did anything wrong. He never disobeyed God. However, He is the only one. No one else is innocent.

What about babies?

Aren't babies and little children innocent?

Anyone who has had children knows that a two-year old is a disobedient handful. They can be defiant terrors... which is why it is called the terrible twos. Kids most certainly are not perfectly obedient little "angels."

However, what about babies? All they can do is eat, sleep, cry and poop. Certainly, they are innocent. John MacArthur writes:

Scripture is clear that children and the unborn have original sin--including both the propensity to sin as well as the inherent guilt of original sin. But could it be that somehow Christ's atonement did pay for the guilt for these helpless ones throughout all time? Yes, and therefore it is a credible assumption that a child who dies at an age too young to have made a conscious, willful rejection of Jesus Christ will be taken to be with the Lord. (click here for source).

This is a major topic and I refer you to John MacArthur's book, "Safely In The Arms of God." He takes a thorough look at the question of sin and whether babies go to heaven. For our discussion, what we need to know is that: ba-bies and little children are not innocent before God, but in His love, God applies the work of Jesus Christ on the cross to them, and they do go to heaven.

What did we just learn? The opening statement the humanists make, implying there are those who are innocent, is a false statement. There are none who are inno-cent. All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. There are none who are righteous, not one.

However, we are not done, there are more problems with the opening statement.

The Humanists State There Is An Injustice. Is That True?

The humanists claim that God is cruel and unjust. Who defines what is just or unjust? In other words, who gets to defines what is immoral? Who establishes the “moral precepts’ the humanists claim God violates?

The humanist’s claim is that God does things that are "the essence of injustice." On the other hand, Christians say the God is just in all that He does. Assuming we are both understanding God’s actions the same way, we have a major difference in how morality is defined.

To understand morality, we need to know the source of our moral values. This is a major topic that requires its own chapter(s). I cover this topic in two appendices:

God... The Only Source of Moral Values

Do Humanists Have A Reasonable Source For Moral Values?

To summarize what you'll read using the above two links: God is the source of morality. God's character is what defines morality. The humanists have no reasonable source of morality. Their claim is that morality arises naturally from human needs. That means morality is not absolute, unchanging, nor even knowable. In other words, based on their rules, they get to define morality as whatever they want it to be, and change it whenever they want to change it. That is not a reasonable standard.

There is a simple way to see if the humanist’s source of morality is realistic. They say that, if people in a certain culture agree on a moral standard, then that is a true standard of what is morally good and bad in that culture.

Question: if a majority of people in a certain location all agree that raping ten-year-old girls is morally right; does that make it mor-ally right? No? Why not? Humanist have no answer. The only valid answer is because raping ten-year-old girls is not part of God’s character. The character of God defines morality. We are created in the image of God, and we are to have the moral character of God. Nothing humanists can do or say will change that.

CONCLUSION: The humanists have based their premise on shifting sand. The have no firm foundation for claiming any form of behavior is moral or immoral. For example, based on humanity determining morality, what is immoral today, very well could have been moral 2000 years ago. In the humanist’s system, no one has the right to tell anyone else they have done something wrong. Do you see where this leads? The humanists are saying God has done some immoral things. However, based on their own standards they have no basis for that accusation.

Next humanists claim: Some of God’s acts that harmed the innocent are as follows.

He damned the whole human race and cursed the entire creation because of the acts of two people (Genesis 3:16-23; Romans 5:18); he drowned pregnant women and innocent children and animals at the time of the Flood (Genesis 7:20-23); he tormented the Egyptians and their animals with hail and disease because pharaoh refused to let the Israelites leave Egypt (Exodus 9:8-11,25); and he killed Egyptian babies at the time of the Passover (Exodus 12:29-30).

We'll take a look at these one by one. First is Genesis 3:16-23 and Romans 5:18.


The Good News

Before you get the good news, you need to know the bad news. It's about you. God says:

All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. - Romans 3:23

Sin means disobeying God, aka breaking God's law. God is perfect and perfection is required to enter heaven. It's a standard none of us can achieve. We all fall short. For example, compare yourself with just one of the Ten Commandments. Have you ever told a lie?

All liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death. - Revelation 21:8. Or what about:

Have you ever taken something that does not belong to you, no matter how small? Have you ever looked at another person with lust? In Matthew 5 Jesus said:

Everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.' Have you done that?

You have broken God's laws. You have sinned. There must be justice, and that means eternity in hell, the lake of fire, the second death. Unless...

Unless there was someone willing to pay that penalty on your behalf. Someone who will take on themselves the consequences you deserve. And there is. There is one person who can and will do that. That person is Jesus Christ. If you trust this is true (believe), and repent (turn away from disobeying God), Jesus' death is applied to your account and you are freed from the penalty of sin to be with God forever.