Christians please help my understand?

It is true that the Old Testament is filled with God ordering the deaths of infidels, God telling prophets how to treat their slaves, etc. (If you don't agree with this then don't answer, you haven't read your bible). These murders occur well after the Ten Commandment in Exodus. Some Christians say b/c it's written by man, the bible is flawed, others say that the stories are metaphors and can't be taken literally. My question is real so please don't respond with your holier than though nonsense.

How can a person believe in only portions of the bible? Or, how can you explain the complete change in character from the Old Testament God, to the the New Testament, Jesus?

Update:

Some of you always make assumptions about "asker." I wasn't an atheist when I read the bible... and to another... obviously I have read it. Why do you even answer with those stupid comments. They aren't answers, they are just rhetoric. I told you this question is real.

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    I really think that people who raise this objection are missing the point. If you'll permit me, I'll set the stage by talking about slavery, ancient and modern, because in our culture the issue is understandably charged with overtones that it didn't have in the ancient world. In his book "Race and Culture," African-American scholar Thomas Sowell points out that every major world culture until modern period, without exception, has had slavery. While it could be be tied to military conquest, usually slavery served an economic function. They didn't have bankruptcy laws, so if you got yourself into terrible hock, you sold yourself and/or your family into slavery. As it was discharging a debt, slavery was also providing work. It wasn't necessarily all bad; at least it was an option for survival.

    Please understand me: I'm not trying to romanticize slavery in any way. However, in Roman times there were menial laborers who were slaves, and there were also others who were the equivalent of distinguished Ph.D.'s who were teaching families. And there was no association of a particular race with slavery. In American slavery, though, all blacks and only blacks were slaves. That was one of the peculiar horrors of it, and it generated an unfair sense of black inferiority that many of us continue to fight to this day. Now let's look at the Bible. In Jewish society, under the Law everyone was to be freed every Jubilee. In other words, there was a slavery ban every seventh year. Whether or not things actually worked out that way, this was nevertheless what God said, and this was the framework in which Jesus was brought up.

    But you have to keep your eye on Jesus' mission. Essentially, he did not come to overturn the Roman economic system, which included slavery. He came to free men and women from their sins. And here's my point: What his message does is transform people so they begin to love God with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength and to love their neighbor as themselves. Naturally, that has an impact on the idea of slavery. Look at what the apostle Paul says in his letter to Philemon concerning a runaway slave named Onesimus. Paul doesn't say to overthrow slavery, because all that would do would be to get him executed. Instead he tells Philemon he'd better treat Onesimus as a brother in Christ, just as he would treat Paul himself. And then, to make matters perfectly clear, Paul emphasizes, "Remember, you owe your whole life to me because of the gospel."

    The overthrowing of slavery, then, is through the transformation of men and women by the gospel rather than through merely changing an economic system and impose a new order. The whole communist dream was to have a revolutionary man followed by the new man. Trouble is, they never found new man. The got rid of the oppressors of the peasants, but that didn't mean the peasants were suddenly free. They were just under a new regime of darkness. In the final analysis, if you want lasting change, you've got to transform the hearts of human beings. And that was Jesus' mission.

    It's also worth asking the question: How did slavery stop? The driving impetus for the abolition of slavery was the evangelical awakening in England. Christians rammed abolition through Parliament in the beginning of the nineteenth century and then eventually used British gunboats to stop the slave trade across the Atlantic. While there were about eleven million African who were shipped to America, and many didn't make it, there were about thirteen million Africans Africans shipped become slaves in the Arab world. Again it was the British, prompted by people whose hearts had been changed by Christ, who sent their gunboats to the Persian Gulf to oppose this.

    Source(s): It is true that the Old Testament is filled with God ordering the deaths of infidels? Yes. Let's start with the Amalekites. They were far from innocent. Far from it. These were not nice people. In fact, they were utterly and totally depraved. Their mission was to destroy Israel. In other words, to commit genocide. As if that weren't evil enough, think what was hanging in balance. The Israelites were the chosen people through whom God would bring salvation to the entire world through Jesus Christ. The destruction of their nation was necessitated by the gravity of their sin. Had some hardcore remnant survived, they might have resumed their aggression against the Israelites and God's plan. These were persistent and vicious and warring people. To show you how reprehensible they were, they had been following the Israelites and had been cowardly slaughtering the most vulnerable among them. The weak, elderly, and disabled who were lagging behind. They wanted to wipe out everyone of the Israelites off the face of the earth. God could have dealt with them through a natural disaster like a flood, but instead he used Israel as his instrument of judgment. He took action for the sake of everyone through history whose salvation would be provided by the Messiah who was born among them. Let's keep in mind that technically nobody was innocent. The Bible says in Psalms 51 that we're all born in sin; that is, with the propensity to rebel and commit wrongdoing. Also, we need to keep in mind God's sovereignty over life. An atheist once brought up this issue in a debate, and I responded by saying, "God created life and he has the right to take it. If you create life, then you can take it. But if you can't create it, you don't have that right." People assume what's wrong for us is wrong for God. However, it's wrong for me to take your life, because I didn't make it and I don't own it. For example, it's wrong for me to go into your yard and pull up your bushes, cut them down, kill them, transplant them, move them around. I can do that in my yard, because I own the bushes in my yard. Well, God is sovereign over all of life and he has the right to take it if he wishes. In fact, we tend to forget that God takes life of every human being. It's called death. The only question is when and how, which we have to leave up to him. Socially and physically, the fate of the children throughout history has always been with their parents, whether that's for good or ill. But you need to understand the situation among the Amalekites. In that thoroughly evil and violent and depraved culture, there was no hope for these children. This nation was so polluted that it was like gangrene that was sticking over a person's leg, and God had to amputate the leg or the gangrene would spread and there wouldn't be anything left. In a sense, God's action was an act of mercy. How? According to the Bible, every child who dies before age of accountability goes to heaven to spend eternity in the presence of God. Now, if they had continued to lived that horrible society, past the age of accountability, they undoubtedly would have become corrupted and thereby lost forever. Isaiah 7:16 talks about an age before a child is morally accountable, before the child knows enough to reject the wrong and choose the right. King David spoke of going to be his son who died at birth. Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these," which indicates they will go to heaven. There's a considerable amount of other scriptural support for this position as well. Whoever has repented, God has been willing to save. Think about it: When the firstborn in Egypt died, any family that followed God's directions about marking their homes were spared. God provided a way out. When Joshua attacked the city of Jericho, Rahab and her family escaped because they wanted to join the people of God. Hundreds of years before Joshua's time, God told Abraham that he'd have to wait for his claim on the land of Canaan, because God was unwilling to destroy the people living there at that time. He gave them centuries to change their violet and depraved lifestyle. The corrupt city of Nineveh repented and God saved the whole bunch. Other details about warfare in those days help me understand God's mercy a little better. For instance, most of the time, women and children had fled before the actual fighting began. Whenever the Israelites went into an enemy city, they were first to make an offer of peace. If the people accepted it, they wouldn't be killed. The pattern is consistent: Whoever has wanted to be saved, God has saved.
  • 1 decade ago

    I definitely do not take the bible literally, though I consider myself a Christian. I do believe that God's message is translated through, but it was written by man. Stories illustrate the principals God wants us to understand and live by. Because of this, the bible can be interpreted in different ways, and a lot of Christians may not agree with certain interpretations, but we all have to take out of it what God intends for us to take. I don't think that Eve necessarily literally ate a piece of fruit that was forbidden....but I think the story gives God's message just as clearly as if it were literal. So in the end, noone can really know, but I don't think that it matters. I read the bible about 1 once a month.

    Source(s): newbie557183
  • Gary P
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    There is not a complete change in character, you only come to that conclusion by not studying God's word. It is possible to be LOVE and to be a Judge and execute Judgment.

    It is true that God commanded the nation of Israel to conquer certain peoples, and in some cases kill everything, cattle, kids, etc. Complete extermination. Was this because God is cruel, or does He know a little more than us? You must understand first that those days are not like today. Demon possession may have been rampant and like a cancer, it has to be completely eradicated (this is a theory) Another theory is that the Nephilim were had come back even after the Flood and had bred their seed with humanity again. Whatever reason, God has His reasons and He is going to Judge all of mankind again, face to face. I suggest that now is a good day to turn to Him in faith.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    There is no change in God from the Old Testament to the New. God does not tolerate sin, period. The Old Testament shows us God is just in His judgment of sin by the taking of the lives of the wicked. In the New Testament He shows us His mercy by sending Jesus Christ. So God is just and merciful.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    The bible has been written by many people then rewritten by others who add and subtract what they don't like. Find out which is true and which is false. It's said that there is some 200 different versions. You tell me which one is right.

  • 1 decade ago

    Because even though they claim to live by the bible they seem to change their beliefs to fit in with modern secular society and then say to atheists how can you have morals if you don't believe in god.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    That's why there's the last authentic revelation from God, that is the Holy Quran, and God has put a challenge to Mankind in the Holy Quran, if they can produce anything like that in the Quran.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    They cannot admit that their religion has changed over time from one which was far more radical and brutal - and possibly involved ritual human sacrifice - into the far meeker belief system they have. So they simply deny it is true.

  • 1 decade ago

    To paraphrase a verse in the Old Testament: Different principles apply to different circumstances. Likewise what is true for yesterday is not necessarily true for today.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    What you need to do is read for yourself,the Old testament,then the New.

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