What is the difference between the old testament killings and the jihad

A frequent problem that atheists seem to have , and also the biggest reason they think spreading atheism is the right thing to do,is that they think the Church can always use their followers for crusades,holy wars,etc just like back in the past for their own coruptive reasons.
And they usually ask christians about morality in the old testament.
Like from the ways I have seen it justified so far, it seems to be a similliar reason the muslims have the jihad.
Particularly, both the old testament wars and jihad are wars against “unbelievers”. It seems that todays christianity is heavily against those types of wars, so I was thinking, how do we in a conversation with an atheist justify those ?
It also doesn’t seem like it was a hyperbole.
I am geniuinely curious how to answer this question when someone asks me it, I tried talking about it in the past but I always end up saying they were wicked etc.

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Not a lot in my opinion.
However, unlike some other religions, ours has continued to mature past an alleged “divine command” attitude to obligation and authority as it did re polytheism, idol worship, slavery, polygamy etc.

Of course such practises arent far under the surface even for Catholicism…wouldnt be hard to justify them again…its essentially what Bush did re axis of evil and his Crusader rhetoric US Christianity versus the Muslim hordes and all that.

Truly spiritual members are a minority in any religion. Perhaps that is the point in common for discussions…we are all maturing as individuals and as religious communities.





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In the Old Testament God guided and allowed the people of Israel to conquer heathen nations to show His Glory, that by only God’s grace do they conquer, by His will do they progress. Pax Christi!

Yeah but the problem is, those people still trick the people into thinking that it is God’s wish.
How did the people back then know it was God’s wish compared to now ?

Well, let’s test out this “maturing as individuals and as religious communities” perspective.

Are you counting yourself as more “mature” than, say, Abraham, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, David, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Elijah, Daniel, the Maccabees, John the Baptist, Mary, the Apostles, Paul, Jerome, Ignatius, Augustine, Ambrose, Aquinas, Duns Scotus, etc., etc., ?

Recall that Moses and Joshua were the two key figures in the conquest of the Promised Land (aka engaging in Old Testament killings.)

It isn’t clear to me that anyone alive today could hold a candle to any of those individuals going back three or four thousand years.

It isn’t clear to me either that religious communities today are any more mature or insightful than those of the past. In fact, modern societies seem less mature and developed given our penchant to kill our unborn, engage in all kinds of licentious and frivolous behaviour, and throw away any pursuit of profound spiritual truths and replace them with crass materialistic preoccupation.

You may want to investigate the heresy of modernism to get some insight into how our modern western culture has come to believe itself so advanced and mature in comparison to those from the “primitive” past.

Besides, your analysis seems to discount completely that it may have actually been God who issued those “divine commands.”

It appears, if that is true, that you are not only placing your ability to assess maturity, evil and the divine will above, say, Moses or Joshua, but you are also raising yourself to the level of critiquing God’s judgements themselves, if he indeed issued those commands. Are you certain of the correctness of your view?

You may want to think this one over just a bit.

No I don’t discount completely.
However I don’t make that my unquestioned starting point when I wonder if God really did formally request: the genocide of the Canaanites and the theft of their land; Abraham sacrificing his son; and so on.

There are other possible solutions to these alleged “divine command” conundrums given that acceptable modern Catholic exegesis is no longer tied down to the more literal interpretative constraints that our forebears felt they were under. Just as the Galileo affair, recently regretted by the Papacy, demonstrates.

For the rest if you closely reread my contribution you will find I largely agree with you.

Are you certain of the correctness of your view?

I am rarely certain of anything that I cannot clearly see with my own eyes.
You seem to be different.

On the Doctrine of the Modernists
Pope Pius X …

The Modernists have no hesitation in affirming generally that these books, and especially the Pentateuch and the first three Gospels, have been gradually formed from a primitive brief narration, by additions, by interpolations of theological or allegorical interpretations, or parts introduced only for the purpose of joining different passages together. This means, to put it briefly and clearly, that in the Sacred Books we must admit [according to the Modernists] a vital evolution, springing from and corresponding with the evolution of faith. The traces of this evolution, they tell us, are so visible in the books that one might almost write a history of it. Indeed, this history they actually do write, and with such an easy assurance that one might believe them to have seen with their own eyes the writers at work through the ages amplifying the Sacred Books. To aid them in this they call to their assistance that branch of criticism which they call textual, and labor to show that such a fact or such a phrase is not in its right place, adducing other arguments of the same kind. They seem, in fact, to have constructed for themselves certain types of narration and discourses, upon which they base their assured verdict as to whether a thing is or is not out of place. Let him who can judge how far they are qualified in this way to make such distinctions. To hear them descant of their works on the Sacred Books, in which they have been able to discover so much that is defective, one would imagine that before them nobody ever even turned over the pages of Scripture. The truth is that a whole multitude of Doctors, far superior to them in genius, in erudition, in sanctity, have sifted the Sacred Books in every way, and so far from finding in them anything blameworthy have thanked God more and more heartily the more deeply they have gone into them, for His divine bounty in having vouchsafed to speak thus to men. Unfortunately. these great Doctors did not enjoy the same aids to study that are possessed by the Modernists for they did not have for their rule and guide a philosophy borrowed from the negation of God, and a criterion which consists of themselves.
Source: http://www.papalencyclicals.net/pius10/p10pasce.htm

From a more clear perspective…

From Pius X, On the Doctrine of the Modernists: (Cited previously):

We begin, then, with the philosopher. Modernists place the foundation of religious philosophy in that doctrine which is commonly called Agnosticism. According to this teaching human reason is confined entirely within the field of phenomena, that is to say, to things that appear, and in the manner in which they appear: it has neither the right nor the power to overstep these limits. Hence it is incapable of lifting itself up to God, and of recognizing His existence, even by means of visible things.

We, in modern western societies, are so immersed in modernism and post-modernism that we don’t know which way is up.

Yet, there is an “up.”

I guess watching the Red Sea part in front of their eyes would give some pause regarding whether it was actually God or just a cheap magician tricking them.

A burning bush that didn’t turn to ash would be somewhat puzzling, don’t you think? I mean even if you were a primitive human without all the absolute convictions and certainties of your knowledge of science on your side.

Actually, I’d love to see an atheist scientist confounded by a burning bush or a parting sea in front of them. How would they respond? Likely more shocked and awed than the primitives, I would suppose.

I dont know whom you believe you are “dialoguing” with but it certainly isnt me. Perhaps it would be better to use the generic “reply” at page bottom…or just reply to yourself.

There is some history of atheists being presented with things that were thought to be miraculous. A few years ago in Mumbai, India there was a Catholic church with a statue of Jesus with water dripping from its feet. The parishoners thought it was miraculous and were collecting the water thinking it could have healing power. An atheist named Sanal Edamaruku investigated and saw that through capillary action that water from the restroom was going along the ceiling beams and down to the statue’s feet. It was toilet water. A recently retired magician and atheist named James Randi offered a million dollars to anyone who could demonstrate supernatural powers under a controlled test. All who applied failed.

So what would happen if an atheist observed a miracle like the ones described in the Bible. It would be analyzed and put the test as other claimed miracles have.

There is nothing less impressive than the list of what people claim are modern miracles. Let’s see a cremated body resurrected. Or a (human) limb regrow. Or someone without eyes enabled to see. Or a body miraculously preserved after two centuries in the warm ocean. Or hair to grow on a bald head. Or and extracted adult tooth to regrow. Or a sea to part, for that matter. All modern miracles are thins that happen naturally: spontaneous remission of cancer, relief of chronic pain etc.

I wasn’t speaking of “things that were thought to be miraculous,” I specifically listed two very spectacular, very confounding and unmistakably nature-defying events.

It isn’t clear why you would categorize a statue with discoloured liquid dripping from it as the same class of miracle as those in the Bible. Kitschy attempt at sardonic humour, perhaps?

Doubtful. They’d have to pick their jaws off the ground first. And likely change their underwear while fumbling to remove their shoes.

It certainly isn’t clear how they would begin an analysis after the fact, in any case. Except, perhaps, to engage in drawn-out psychotherapy sessions to explain away – via some long-repressed neurosis – what they witnessed.

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Alleged events. You wouldn’t say Muhammed flying across the desert on a burqa (a kind of flying donkey) just because it was written in a holy book. As I noted, atheists and other skeptics have been presented with events that supposedly couldn’t be explained and then explained them.

FiveLinden notes rightly above that essentially the bar for what is considered a miracle or possible miracle is embarrassingly low. We have all sorts of bleeding and weeping statues and paintings. When Mother Teresa was beatified the Church accepted a miracle of a tumor cured by a locket containing her picture, despite the fact that the woman who was cured was also undergoing strong medical care.

Regarding this particular miracle that Sanal Edamaruku debunked, after he was invited to investigate the matter and demonstrated that people were clamoring to drink sewerage dripping off a statue there was an angry mob demanding he be arrested. Sanal is currently in exile for fear of what might be done to him after speaking the truth. This doesn’t sound like this statue matter was inconsequential. You compared it to the miracles listed in the Bible, but again they are alleged, no different than Hercules rerouting a river to clean the Aegean Stables.

Your claims of atheists soling themselves when theoretically being presented with alleged miracles like the ones in the Bible, are not based on fact or inference. Also. it’s not a coincidence that the number of miracles claimed through history is inversely proportional to things like our recordkeeping as well as our scientific understanding.

The wars in the Bible are simply events in history for a specific group of people in a specific time and area, and they served their purpose in the grand scheme of things. God no where commands us as a duty to go out and make war on others, but many Jihadist interpret the Qur’an as making that a duty for every Muslim. The only duty we as Christians have is to spread the Gospel and bring people into the Church (Matthew 28:19).

We must also keep in mind that the events described in the Bible may be exaggerated. For example, in 1 Samuel 15 God tells Saul,

“Now go and attack Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and do not spare them. But kill both man and woman, infant and nursing child, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.” - 1 Samuel 15:3

Yet 12 chapters later the Amalekites make a return,

“And David and his men went up and raided the Geshurites, the Girzites, and the Amalekites. For those nations were the inhabitants of the land from of old, as you go to Shur, even as far as the land of Egypt.” - 1 Samuel 27:8

Whatever the nature of these events were, they are not for us today, and even then they were only to be carried out on the special command/inspiration of God for some special purpose as a means to an end for a grander universal history. They are nothing to us now but events in history, and should be treated as such.

All your commentary notwithstanding, there seems a bit of hesitation on your part to engage in just a little bit of imaginative speculation regardless as to whether the events actually happened or were merely alleged to have.

My original comment was…

The point being that scientists today would be even more confounded by miraculous events than primitives were precisely because scientists assume they have the workings of the cosmos more or less completely figured out. Thus, anomalies of the type presented in the Bible would not be met as nonchalantly as you suppose by those scientists who have a committment to materialism as their metaphysic.

Imagine you are standing along the shores of the Metedeconk River when an old geezer with long white hair and beard comes along and smashes his staff on the water. Immediately, the waters of the river foam and boil then rise up on the two sides of the man like gigantic white cliffs. The man then saunters across the dry riverbed. Are you telling me your first response would be: “Hmmm. I wonder which law of geophysics or which principles of fluvial morphology that old guy has accessed to accomplish that little, otherwise, naturally occurring phenomenon?” Uh-huh.

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Less abortions were happening over 2000 years ago

Or not, and the victors justified their immoral genocide and greed to posterity by such self serving rationalisations. No doubt all part of Gods plan, as is all sin, but not necessarily of His making.

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