Is God a Psychotic Mass Murderer who Drowns Babies?

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Bill Maher is back at it…

Bill Maher

Late night comedian Bill Maher told his HBO “Real Time” audience on Friday that God was a “psychotic mass murderer.” He made the comments during a conversation on the biblical story of Noah and the upcoming Hollywood version of it that’s about to hit the big screen.

“But the thing that’s really disturbing about Noah isn’t that it’s silly, it’s that it’s immoral. It’s about a psychotic mass murderer who gets away with it, and his name is God,” Mr. Maher said, adding, “What kind of tyrant punishes everyone just to get back at the few he’s mad at? I mean, besides Chris Christie.”

Mr. Maher continued: “Hey God, you know you’re kind of a [expletive] when you’re in a movie with Russell Crowe and you’re the one with anger issues. … Conservatives are always going on about how Americans are losing their values and their morality, well maybe it’s because you worship a guy who drowns babies.” [Source]

This is exactly why I am trying to write my book on the violence of God in the Bible. Christians have never had a good answer to the sorts of criticisms raised by Bill Maher.

It is NOT good enough to say, “Well, you don’t understand how evil the people were …” or “We may not understand why God did it, but we know that since God is just and righteous, even things that appear evil are actually good.”

I was recently talking with someone about the violence of God in the Bible and I pointed out that we Christians have no problem condemning the violence that Allah commands Muslims to carry out in his name … why is it okay for God to tell His people to carry out that same sort of violence?

God drowns babiesHere is how he answered: “Because our God is the one true God. The Muslims carry out their violence because they want to, and then they attach Allah’s name to their violence to justify their behavior. It’s different for people in the Bible because God truly commanded them to do what they did.”

I didn’t say it then, but this is what I thought: “If that is so, the Muslims are more righteous than we are. Which is worse? To blame a false god for the evil in your heart, or to actually worship and follow the evil instructions of God and call it good?”

Please do not misunderstand! I am NOT saying God is evil! No! Far from it!

I am saying God is good. Perfectly good. God is holy, loving, merciful, and kind.

I am saying that God looks like Jesus, and the God that Jesus reveals to us would NEVER drown babies or command people to slaughter women and children.

I am saying that Christians have never had a good answer to the sort of accusation the Bill Maher levels against Christianity. And no, this is not just Bill Maher vying for attention. Bill Maher puts into words (as only Bill Maher can) what countless millions of people actually think: They may say that they don’t want to be a Christian because they don’t want to follow all the rules, or have been burned by the church, or it would ruin all their “fun.” But these are all lame excuses.

The deep truth, the hidden secret, the thing that most people are too kind to say out loud, is that many people don’t want to become Christians because they do not want to worship the Christian God. Why not? Because according to Scripture (and according to the teaching of many who bear His name), God is the greatest villain in the universe and the only reason He gets away with it is because He is also the most powerful being in the universe.

If God did the things Scripture says He did, but as a mere human, He would be the most hated person in all of history. Are we going to give Him a pass simply because He’s “God”?

Bill Maher says “No.” God doesn’t get a pass.

I agree with Maher.

But I don’t follow Maher in condemning God. No, there is another way of seeing God in the light of Jesus which helps us read the violent depictions of God in a whole new light.

I have been studying and thinking about this subject for fifteen years so far, and have been working on a book for over a year which explains my proposal, but I am facing problems with putting it into words.

Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that more is coming … and soon …

Comments

  1. Vinny Oliveira says

    WOW ! Jeremy Myers very provocative ! I have a friend that says that God is the type of person that will steal a married woman,knock up the C@#$ and won’t even marry her. Point. peoples paradigm strongly colors their perception, especially “Christians” that have a limited anemic gospel that lacks life(HIM) Our modern religious gospel has answers that are insufficient but it seem truth is not found just in our answers but revealed to those that are honestly and genuinely seeking Him ! :-D

    • logicpoints says

      *cough*

      “…this is not just Bill Maher vying for attention. Bill Maher puts into words (as only Bill Maher can) what countless millions of people actually think: They may say that they don’t want to be a Christian because they don’t want to follow all the rules, or have been burned by the church, or it would ruin all their “fun.” But these are all lame excuses.

      The deep truth, the hidden secret, the thing that most people are too kind to say out loud, is that many people don’t want to become Christians because they do not want to worship the Christian God. Why not? Because according to Scripture (and according to the teaching of many who bear His name), God is the greatest villain in the universe and the only reason He gets away with it is because He is also the most powerful being in the universe…”

      • says

        Yep! So many people THINK what Bill Maher is saying, but are afraid to say it, especially to Christians. Even then, if they think God exists, they are triply afraid to say it because such thoughts might get them in trouble with the Man upstairs who carries the big stick.

  2. Shawn says

    Did God destroy the earth with water? Yes. Is He going to destroy it with fire?Yes. Is he going to be merciful to anyone that cares to receive it? Yes. Am I okay with this. No. Do I accept it? Yes. Do I at some level understand why? Yes. But only because I know I am evil in my flesh and deserve to be killed. But God in His mercy is going to spare me. Why? Because I believe His promise. I have been redeemed. Anyone who repents and believes will be saved.

  3. Mark Brown says

    Jeremy,
    As you’ve stated many times re: many other “questions”… there is usually a fairly simple solution.
    Also, it helps to frame (or re-phrase) the question to perhaps address what we all are really asking.

    “Why does/would an all powerful God allow ANY pain, suffering and death to happen? …whether it is to babies, toddlers, young children, youths, or adults?”

    The mention of “babies” above is used for the shock factor of it. We know of many who have lost a child, or almost worse have seen them suffer greatly (sometimes for the rest of their lives).
    The first question is almost always, “Why?”.

    You say that to simply say, “Because God is allowing it,” is not sufficient… I agree. I believe there is so much more. It is what all of our hearts cry out against re: the judgement/consequences of this sin cursed “universe”. Is this life (and the suffering/death that accompanies it) all there is (when it comes to the Love/Glory of God)?
    The Bill Mahers of the world would say so.
    Even many “bible believing Christians” …say so with their “final judgement/eternal torment” doctrines.

    Whoops! Now we’re getting to it. Isn’t that the real question?
    Bill Maher is framing his accusation against God with this assumption (held by those “Christians” in his life): that all “the wicked” judged by God in the flood, will also (and so much worse) spend the remainder of their eternal souls in ETERNAL punishment.

    Consider this: perhaps in all the violence God allows/permits (and even commands to be carried out), it is truly an act of mercy and love to release those in bondage (of their own making, or even “innocently”) to the next stage of Judgement/Life. Death is always the path to Life.

    As it is, most conservative/fundamental/reformed/evangelical “Christians” are open to this doctrine of God’s mercy when it comes to the infant child and/or the mentally affected.
    Why do we limit our theology to certain invdividuals?
    Oh, I know, we can commence quoting scripture verses again! ;)

    Love to all (and I really mean that! Ha, ha),
    M.

  4. Michelle C. says

    I’ve found myself wondering, too – if EITHER the writers of the OT Scriptures misinterpreted who/what was the source of those “evil” appearing acts OR if all those deaths were really anymore “evil” than all the deaths that have happened since then. I believe that all will be restored as we’re told in Acts 3:21. I believe that as in Adam we all die; so as in Christ all will be made alive.

    • Mark Brown says

      Well put Michelle.
      As with many concluding phrases in the Word, you were succinct and to the point (unlike my thinking, writing/talking).
      However, much is still seen dimly, as in a mirror, eh?
      M.

  5. says

    Michael E. Bauman said (see http://theburkean.blogspot.de/2013/01/the-theology-of-invective.html),

    “We Christians rightly recognize Christ as the very embodiment of love. But Christ was no bleeding heart, and He was no invertebrate. The “gentle Jesus meek and mild” never existed. He is a nineteenth and twentieth century fiction. The historical Jesus was another matter altogether.”

    And so it is with our very God. God never changes.

    If we try to argue the righteous wrath of God towards sinners away (as this world does), what remains is a ridiculously distorted picture of the true awesome and almighty God, who is loving and just, caring and chastening, redeeming and – one day – a condemning judge for those who refused to believe in His righteous judgment of human sin executed on the Cross.

    If we wonder why God commanded His people (i.e., the Jews after the flesh in the Old Covenant) to kill their enemies who had sinned against Him – we should also ask whether similar things will happen in the future again. Regarding the New Covenantal spiritual Jews, that is, those who endured a painful circumcision of the heart (Rom 2:28-29), just in case they forgot what one of their future offices would be, Paul reminded the Corinthians,

    “Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases? Do you not know that we are to judge angels? How much more, then, matters pertaining to this life!” (1 Cor 6:2-3 ESV)

    This has not been a new thing to the Jews since Enoch prophesied the very same judgment as Jude confirmed,

    “It was also about these that Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of his holy ones, to execute judgment on all and to convict all the ungodly of all their deeds of ungodliness that they have committed in such an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things that ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” (Jude 14-15 ESV)

    We, too, should try to be careful what kind of words we choose and whose words we quote, always remembering what Jesus said about that sensitive topic,

    “I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” (Mt 12:36-37 ESV)

    One might argue here, “Wait a moment! I believe in Jesus, I am in Christ, and therefore there is now no condemnation for me anymore.” This is true, basically, but “if anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless.” (Js 1:26 ESV)

    If I did not believe in Christ, I would admit that – at first sight and from the outside – Allah and the God of the OT appear to be similar. However, if we observe the way God cared for His people and, then, by rebuking them, again and again, through His prophets, and if we realize how often (almost) all refused to obey God, we could also wonder why He didn’t judge them earlier and more often. Even the non-believing Pharaoh had been warned since God never punishes sin without announcing the things that shall come to pass before. But the Pharaoh proved to be a liar, again and again, and therefore God hardened his heart.

    In fact, we have a wonderful, gracious, and merciful God whose patience is sooooo much greater than ours. Furthermore, since Jesus came we have been living in the age, or rather, “year of the Lord’s favor” before “the day of vengeance of our God” (Is 61:1-2 ESV). Reading these verses in the synagogue, Jesus dropped “the day of vengeance”, which will be later, because He came to save sinners.

    “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” (Jn 3:16-17 ESV)

    • Lisa says

      The righteous wrath of God toward sinners was poured out on His Son at Calvary.
      He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. (1 John 2:2)

      • says

        So true, Lisa, if we believe. For it is written,

        “Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.” (Jn 3:18 ESV)

        And it is true if we repent in order to be reconciled with God who has already been reconciled with the whole world through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross.

        “To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.” (2 Cor 5:19-20 KJV)

  6. Lucki Candoff says

    Phil wasn’t there, in that day and time to know how vile and corrupt the people were, and why a righteous God would see the need to apply Judgement.

    If Phil was surrounded by evilness, and the likes of men like Hitler and Sadaam, people who are vile, corrupt, all manners of deviant sexual behavior, warring all the time, attacking those who wish to live righteously, …………….I think Phil would be singing a different tune, he’d be calling on God, to destroy these people.

    • says

      Maybe. I know I wish for the death of certain individuals. But is this what God wishes? I wonder if our desire for people to die matches God’s desire for them.

  7. Shifera says

    I think I would so agree with you :) and by the way, people seems to neglect the time God wait for them to repent … was it 450 years?( the time when God told Noah to build the ark until the flood….) am I wrong?

    isn’t He long suffering God? would we suffer to see our children choosing the wrong path? knowing very well that they will suffer at the end?

  8. says

    Maher and other atheists do have a bit of a double standard here. Most atheists I know are happy about abortion and there are atheists professors who I know who believe that “abortion” is valid even after the baby is born (if that baby is mentally ill and other factors). In short, I still think that violence in the OT is a problem but guys like Maher have just found it to be a nice excuse for what’s really going on in their hearts. They purposefully ignore all the chapters on love and highlight these “violent” chapters which do have many explanations in context but these are never “good enough” or even worth thinking about, according to them. Which I find dishonest on their behalf.

    As to interpretations around violence in the OT, still interested in your book Jeremy :)

    • says

      Yes, there is a bit of a double standard. Also, both Word War 1 and World War 2 were “instigated” by atheistic/socialistic governments.

      I doubt my book will be satisfactory to most, but I hope it will lead to further conversations about this topic.

  9. Joseph McGinniss says

    Bill Maher is just another worldly man who refuses to accept God, and his end is written in the bible.
    Modern Christianity teachings are responsible for many misunderstandings. If we look at the story of the flood in Genesis 6, we find mention of mixing of different types of beings, angels and humans, and a total perversion of the natural order. God prohibited the same and so his wrath was poured out. Also after the flood we see God’s wrath poured out on GIANT nations, which are a remnant of the same perversion. Read Genesis 6 carefully and it becomes clear. prudishness and disbelief in Christian doctrine over the last 200 years has left many people bewildered, even most Christ believers. God Bless all of you, READ YOUR BIBLES ( preferably an accurate one ).
    ps read THE BOOK OF ENOCH ( apochryphal ) for more info on this subject.

    • says

      I do think there was something going on with the Nephilim and “Sons of God” in Genesis 6 which led to the flood, but this does not explain many of the other violent portrayals of God in the Bible.

      • Joseph McGinniss says

        In Genesis 6 God’s word states that the Nephilim were also on the earth after the flood. We have no other reference as to how they came to be again. There are many many references to Giants in the old testament, especially when the tribes of Israel were conquering the promised land. This for me is speaking of God acting to “clean up” the genetic damage that the fallen angels were responsible for. A giant with six fingers and six toes is definitely not “normal”. Apart from that God’s word tells all that they are sinners and would not pass “quality control”, therefore God as creator is entitled to erradicate as he sees fit. Praise God that we can escape being erradicated thanks to redemption through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Bless all of you who study your Bibles.

  10. Velile andrew says

    An interesting question indeed but who are we to question G-d! I am sure G-d would make provision for the guiltless in that generation including the babies in question here! Rember what G-d says in he punishes from generation to generations for the sins of the fathers

    • says

      I think that God invites us to question and challenge Him. He loves to be in open and honest communication with us about what we think and feel regarding His actions. It is there, in the honesty, that He can show us Who he really is.

  11. Mark Brown says

    Lucki,
    Do you mean Bill? ;)
    Also, your concluding phrase, “he’d be calling on God, to destroy these people.” That sounds familiar, where have I seen that before… Oh yeah, Jonah felt the same re: the people of Ninevah, eh?
    We should all be very careful whenever we feel the urge to say God should judge… whomever. Unless it’s ourselves we’re thinking of!
    Otherwise, we’ll quickly be like the men who dragged the prostitute to Jesus… thinking he would be bound to judge according to the same law that they already had.

    Food for thought, eh?
    M.

  12. Elder E.B. Olatunji says

    Maher is a comedian who for what he want condemed his creator, a king said so and leave his throne for 7 years, Paul persecute Christain he later became one of the disciple of Christ, Bill is one of these, can mod or pots said porter did wrong God was 100 percent right.

  13. Tony Papilli says

    I have been meticulously looking at this question for some time also. Stll having a difficult time trying to reconcile the passages in Judges 20 where Israel is fighting with their brothers the Benjamites. God’s many “yes” answers to the Israelites and the many times they failed in battle with the catatroohic casualties that ensued. If ultimately God wanted a sacrifice on their previous requests, why didn’t He just ask?

    • says

      I don’t think he wanted a sacrifice on their previous requests. I think the lack of sacrifice is how the people explained their catastrophic casualties. I will try to explain more in future posts on this topic.

  14. says

    For some ppl, Bill Maher being one of them it would not matter how you explained it – they don’t want to understand they want to hate so that’s what they do. They’re unhappy ppl and they don’t want you and I to be happy. They have no joy and are confounded by ours and seek to take it away. Sad, really.

    • says

      True. He doesn’t care how it is explained. I understand. My attempted explanation is more for believers who struggle with the issue, and should help some (I think) with Christian ethics.

  15. Lutek says

    God is probably the most misunderstood being in all of history – perhaps second only to Yeshua bar Yosef.

  16. rob riggs says

    Maybe we shouldn’t look at it as violence/ evil, but as justice and mercy being served by a just and merciful God. I know this would never satisfy people like Maher or others but the book of Romans tells the story pretty well

    • says

      Yes, I considered this. I just have trouble making sense of how some of the violent portrayals of God in the OT can be either just OR merciful. Of course, I fully admit I don’t know all the details of those situations.

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