This is an archived copy of a post written by Conflict Of Justice ( Used with permission: Conflict Of Justice may not agree with any alterations made.

Did God Kill Egypt’s Children? “Exodus 12:12 : God kills all the firstborn children in Egypt except for those who put blood on their doors? What kind of a god is this? Like the flood, what kind of a loving god would kill innocent children for the actions of others?” (CES Letter)Kill Egypt’s Firstborn Children
Punish Rebellious Children
Working On The Sabbath
Brazen Serpent
Levite Dismembers Concubine
Jesus Was Cruel Jehovah?
The natural death of a child because of disease is different than the command to execute a criminal for breaking the law. The Israelites did not kill anyone by putting blood on their doors. While we make every effort to stop natural disasters from happening, people will always die of natural causes. The execution of a criminal is a purposeful act of killing, while the death of Egypt’s firstborn was a natural event. It is up to God to decide when people should die naturally, as God is the Creator. This is God’s responsibility because God created everything. He set the plan of existence in motion, and life and death are part of the plan. Everyone needs to die sometimes, and natural disasters sometimes kill people. This is simple reality. It is illogical to apply a human sense of justice to natural or divine events.

Consider also the context. Egypt’s Pharaoh was inflicting eugenics on the Hebrew people. His father ordered the killing of all Hebrew babies. This was a very serious crime against humanity. What if this plague had happened to Nazis? Don’t modern films frequently portray the mass slaughter of Nazis in a glorified way? I find it interesting that atheists get so upset about the natural death of Egyptian genocidists’ children, yet when is the last time they mentioned the bombing of Dresden? Didn’t many thousands of innocent children, who had nothing to do with Nazism, burn to death in the Allied fire-bombing of Dresden? Was that fair?

Mosiah said a wicked leader brings ruin upon his own people:

“For behold, how much iniquity doth one wicked king cause to be committed, yea, and what great destruction! Yea, remember king Noah, his wickedness and his abominations, and also the wickedness and abominations of his people. Behold what great destruction did come upon them; and also because of their iniquities they were brought into bondage. And were it not for the interposition of their all-wise Creator, and this because of their sincere repentance, they must unavoidably remain in bondage until now.” (Mosiah 29:17-19)

It is up to the wisdom of the Creator to figure out how deal with a wicked leader. What if God hadn’t sent the plagues? The Hebrews would have remained in bondage and likely would have been totally killed off by Pharaoh’s eugenics program.

So what would be CES Letter‘s alternative solution to divine justice? What is their plan? A world where we all die by “chance,” and where death is not part of an over-arching plan of exaltation for eternal happiness?

Punish Rebellious Children?

“Deuteronomy 21:1 8-21 : Got a rebellious kid who doesn’t listen? Take him to the elders and to the end of the gates and stone him to death!” (CES Letter)

Different times. Back in the day, people were punished for rebellion. This may come as quite a shock to today’s narcissistic generation, but in the time of the Law of Moses, civilization teetered on the brink of ruin and they couldn’t afford having rebellions. Well, and still today, isn’t treason a federal crime punishable by death? Of course, the question of what the Hebrews considered “rebellion” makes all the difference. CES Letter says there was a “death penalty for those who mix cotton with polyester.” Did Moses kill people for petty things like mixing cotton and polyester? No, of course not. The Hebrews didn’t even have either cotton or polyester. Polyester was invented in 1941.

Hebrews were prohibited from weaving together linen and wool because this was a unique trait of the Temple priestly clothing. To plagiarize temple clothing was a shocking affront, much like anti-Mormons who rub temple garments in the dirt as they protest front of General Conference. It was an act of sincere rebellion against the theocracy. But I don’t see anywhere that it was punishable by death. CES Letter made that up, as well.

The kind of rebellion that Deuteronomy 21 says should result in stoning is what we today would consider high treason. This was a very patriarchal society, and parents were considered legal authorities. In today’s society, we can afford to practice more individual choice and we can disrespect our elders without society immediately crumbling.

Working On The Sabbath

“Exodus 35:1-2 : God commands death penalty for those who work on the Sabbath trying to support their families.” (CES Letter)

Yes, people were expected to reverence the Sabbath. I don’t know what is so difficult about that. Again, different times.

CES Letter seems to think people would have worked on the Sabbath “trying to support their families,” but how is that possible? If all the stores were closed, how could one buy or sell things to support their family? Any commercial work would have been unproductive, so the only kind of work I could think of would be manufacturing or agricultural. It is accepted as human nature that we need a day of rest from such labor in order to be productive, so again, how did this law hinder people from supporting their families? Isn’t it still law that people get a day off from work each week?

It is interesting that instead of focusing on individual freedom, CES Letter would express outrage about economic loss. The implication here is that a certain class of people were hindered from producing economic output, which is coincidentally what the entire Marxist movement is based on. Workers rights! Well, maybe it is possible to be both economically productive and keep the commandments of God.

Brazen Serpent

“Number 21:5-9 : God doesn’t like to hear whining and ingratitude so he sends out a bunch of snakes to kill the people. When the people had enough of the snakes, they ask Moses to tell God to quit it. God decides Moses is persuasive and tells Moses to put a snake a pole and tell the people to look at the pole and they won’t die. So, the pole is built, the people look at it and they don’t die. The moral of the story? Don’t whine or God will send in the snakes.” (CES Letter)

No, that was not the point of the story. Nephi in the Book of Mormon explained:

“He sent fiery flying serpents among them; and after they were bitten he prepared a way that they might be healed; and the labor which they had to perform was to look; and because of the simpleness of the way, or the easiness of it, there were many who perished.” (1 Nephi 17:41)

God’s way is strait and simple, yet restrictive. People reject God’s way because they want a complicated yet unrestrictive way. Success in life takes self-control, and if you restrict yourself from harmful behavior, then you will be fine. The fiery serpents had nothing to do with whining or ingratitude, but teaching people this concept.

Again, the snakes were a natural event. There is a difference between death from natural causes and someone killing someone. Moses did not send the snakes. The remedy for snake bites also had nothing to do with Moses being “persuasive.” It was a compassionate miracle that the Lord delivered, and a symbol for how easy it is to accept Jesus as our Savior.

CES Letter‘s version of the story sounds rather narcissistic, as if God was some parent punishing a kid for staying out to late and not getting a job. It is rather telling that they would interpret a story about self-control as instead being about punishment for ingratitude.

Levite Dismembers Concubine

“Judges 19:22-29 : After picking up his concubine from his father-in-law’s house, a certain Levite settles in Gibeah for the night. The men of the city attempt to sodomize him, but end up raping the concubine until her death. As a response, the Levite dismembers his wife’s corpse and sends her body parts throughout the land of Israel. Who needs R or X-rated movies when you got scripture like this?” (CES Letter)

Um, so? Do you incorrectly think God in this story commanded or condoned the killing, raping, or dismembering? What is the point of talking about this scripture verse?

Rated R events happen in life. Maybe skeptics with their gentle sensibilities get emotional hearing about it, but the real-life stories in the scriptures are important history and teach important lessons. It is time to grow up and stop crying because you can’t handle hearing about violence. Is CES Letter saying violent stories from history should be censored?

Jesus Was Cruel As Jehovah?

“As a believing Mormon, I tried to rationalize some of the craziness by saying, ‘Oh, this is in the crazy Old Testament when the Law of Moses was in force. Christ came and fulfilled the Law of Moses.'” (CES Letter)

Correct, the Law of Moses was enforced in very different times. They were crazy times. It was a theocratic society with a strict set of rules because of the precarious circumstances. Commandments change under prophetic direction according to circumstances. We are blessed to live in times of peace and tranquility.

It is so easy for us today to sit in judgement of these ancient trailblazers, in our cushy office chairs, our convenience stores and air conditioned homes, and to laugh at people who cured snake bites by looking at a pole. But could one skeptic or anti-Mormon survive the exodus across the Middle East desert, start a civilization, and fight off frequent invasions? Of course, our civilization today is so much more sophisticated and advanced than those primitive ancients, but maybe, just maybe, they had a reason for their rules and practices.

CES Letter asks how the same Jesus who was compassionate in the New Testament could be behind the Law of Moses:

“The problem with this is that the crazy god of the Old Testament was Jehovah. Who’s Jehovah? The premortal Jesus Christ. So, Christ is the crazy god of the Old Testament. The Christ of the Old Testament and the Christ of the New Testament are light years different. Again, I’m asked to believe in not only a part-time racist god and a part-time polygamous god but a part-time psychopathic schizophrenic one as well.” (CES Letter)

CES Letter fails to provide a single example of how Jehovah was different than Jesus. No, Jesus was not “light years different” from Jehovah, and Jehovah was not a “crazy god,” no matter how many times CES Letter repeats this disrespectful slur. They were just different times.

Jesus had every bit as much a sense of justice. The rules of divine justice do not change. CES Letter was crying about the slaughter of the Midianites, but Jesus very clearly affirmed that Israel made the right decision. Jesus taught that mercy could not replace justice, and to try to do so is phony love. Ignoring a crime does not make it go away. The Law of Moses was good and appropriate for its time.

CES Letter Logical Fallacies

EtymologyCES Letter uses present tense to describe the bible story to make these events sound more recent and important to modern day.
Red HerringRacism and polygamy have nothing to do with this discussion. Commandments change as needed to fit circumstances in history.
FalsehoodWhining and ingratitude have nothing to do with the brazen serpent. It was a teaching moment, that the correct path for survival is simple but restrictive. The Law of Moses did not ban the mixing of cotton and polyester. It is an anachronism to claim the Hebrews had either one of these products. This law did not ban wearing two different clothings of different products, but of weaving them (they only had linen and wool at the time) together to mimic priestly robes of the temple. The law did not specify the death penalty for this infraction. CES Letter tells several lies here to incorrectly make it look like “rebellion” was defined in arbitrary and petty terms.
Appeal To EmotionThe story of death and rape in Judges 19:22-29 is shocking, but what does it have to do with this discussion?
Ad HominemCES Letter calls God and scripture “crazy” four times. They call God a racist and psychotic schizophrenic. CES Letter justifies their heresy by arguing that rebellion shouldn’t be punishable.
RepetitionCES Letter repeats their Ad Hominem attacks on God several times.
Appeal To IgnoranceCES Letter misrepresents these scriptures and ignores historical context.
Non SequitureThe Hebrews couldn’t have commercially worked on the Sabbath to support their families, as commerce did not run on the Sabbath, and people naturally need a day off from work to be productive anyway.
HistoricityCES Letter applies Deuteronomy 21 to “a rebellious kid” today, but the circumstances were completely different in those days, as is what they considered “rebellion.”
AnachronismThe Hebrews did not have cotton or polyester. CES Letter compares Judges 19 to an R-Rated movie.
Appeal To RidiculeThe entire last two paragraphs consist of snotty ridicule for God and the scriptures.

CES Letter equates natural disasters with divine commandments to punish lawbreakers. This is very dangerous to equate these two issues, and to do so has often led to genocide. Suddenly, it is God’s responsibility when someone murders? Or it is a Mormon’s fault when someone dies of cancer? It is dangerous and dehumanizing for anyone to push this kind of narrative.

CES Letter attacks the character of the Mormon God with appeals to emotion, whipping up a sense of danger. Mormons are liable to kill their rebellious children because of what we read in the Old Testament? This dangerous narrative is important because it gives anti-Mormons a reason to hate Mormons. If the Book of Mormon was made up and Joseph Smith was a conman–so what? Even if he were a fraud, aren’t Mormons still nice people who do nice things and make the world a better place? Why not just let them be? The powerful thing with these arguments is that CES Letter tells you why Mormonism is evil: it victimizes people. This is easy rhetoric for them to push, as the internet is filled with all kinds of false rumors about Mormon polygamy and because the fake news media labels modern-day polygamist cultists as “Mormon”.

Suddenly it’s not just about crazy bible stories. Now, all Mormons are dangerous! They use God as an excuse to kill and take sexual slaves.Of course, this illogical, dehumanizing argument ignores clear Mormon doctrine that opposes such behavior, and clear reality about what the scriptures actually say.

This narrative pushes the Big Lie that CES Letter introduced with their polygamy arguments. In the polygamy arguments, CES Letter approaches marriage from our modern society’s definition, ignore all historical context, and perpetuate the big lie that eternal sealings in the temple were the same as a civil marriage with a physical relationship. If Joseph Smith was a prophet, why did he violate women’s rights? Well, he didn’t! CES Letter is equating different circumstances. But people are much more likely to believe CES Letter‘s string of illogic because they connected the dots out on their own, subconsciously. They are also more likely to believe the evidences for that deduction, which in this case are falsehoods. One lie leads to another.

Appeal To Class WarfareCES lettertakes offense with people being barred from working on the Sabbath to feed their families. Why? Marxism is all about economic production. People should be “free” to work in the factories seven days a week, like they do in Communist China and they did in the Soviet Union. Why is CES Letter offended by a religious belief that they think hinders economic production? Why do they see this as a highly moral injustice? Why do they talk about it in the same discussion as killing children?

With each of these issues, as yourself “what is their alternative solution?” For polygamy, the alternative solution was government-controlled marriage, where for the first time everyone was forced to register their personal relationships with the federal government. Today, the solution to the Mormon concept of chastity and modesty seems to be zero fidelity in relationships. For CES Letter‘s outrage over Israel killing the Midianites, what would be their alternative solution to self-defense? Perhaps no national defense whatsoever, and no regard for law? For their outrage over punishing rebellious “kids,” what would be their solution? Well for Marxists, rebellious kids are preferred.

Kids are easily manipulated by politics and government. In Marxist states like Mao’s China, rebellious kids ratted out their “counter-revolutionary” parents to the authorities. What would be the alternative to the Sabbath policy? No days off from work. More economic production. What would be the alternative to graphically violent stories in the bible? Censorship. A government body that erases all undesirable content from books, perhaps?

Victimization Culture – The association of Mormons with the emotional complaint, “God lets children die,” reinforces the victimization culture among anti-Mormons and ex-Mormons, where everything bad in life is the fault of Mormons and the LDS church. If Mormon parents discipline a rebellious child, then that means Mormons are stoning them like the witch-burners of old. Suddenly, disagreement with anything an anti-Mormon says is an act of aggression and intolerance. Maybe it is Mormons’ fault when a child dies of cancer, because we believe in divine justice.

This is where we get today’s popular cultural appeal to accept degeneracy, apostasy, and relative truth in the name of “tolerance” and “equality.” It is really just intolerance of Mormon beliefs. This argument is dangerous because not only does it make Mormons automatically intolerant if they don’t agree with everything a skeptic says, it makes them dangerous and liable to “blood atone” people. All those nice Mormons riding around on bikes handing out Books of Mormon? Watch out!

Categories: Apologetics