[quote="EphelDuath, post:9, topic:313314"]
I think doing evil is the worst thing that can happen, and the Israelites clearly did that. How can you condemn abortionists for killing the unborn if you don't think there's anything wrong with an army putting thousands of women and children to the sword for the sins of their fathers?
Yes, I acknowledge that God is the arbiter of human life. I don't condemn Him for natural disasters or plagues or famines. But I cannot see any reconciliation with the orthodox Catholic faith that God ordered a mass killing of women and children.
I stand to be corrected by any theologian that knows better than I, or any pastoral authority that orders me retract my comments.
Firstly by proclamation of the Magisterium. Secondly by the opinions of the Church Fathers, bishops, and accredited theologians. Thirdly by context and reasoning.
Again, I am aware of genre and assertion. I have not seen any writings from Church Fathers that dismiss these difficult passages as pure symbolism. And it seems to me that the author is not writing in terms of pure symbolism.
Also, you seem to be failing to distinguish between justice ordered by God, and murder with no justification. Perhaps the command of God was exaggerated. Maybe they only killed the men and enslaved the women and children. I have no idea. But it does seem as though the author wishes is to know that the Israelites conquered the Promised Land by command of God. It indeed is also symbolic of the purging of sin, and the damnation of those who reject God. But I have not seen any orthodox apologists here or elsewhere suggest that this slaughter was wrong, and that God didn't order it and the Scripture writer made it up for justification. I would rather accept that than taking these as somewhat historical (it would be much easier to defend), but I am not aware of any Church Fathers or orthodox apologists refuting these by claiming pure symbolism. I would like that very much, though. Could you please provide me some references to reading material?