"Good- Good is that which agrees and is in accordance with the person and character of God.
Evil- Evil is that which is not in accordance with the person and character of God.
Evil can also be synonymous with sin: sin is doing what God forbids." [quoting Iona]
These arguments always bring forth a reference to God ordering the genocide of the Amalekites at some point. This appears to be the right one. So was murdering them all except the prepubertal girls good, or bad?
In the words of John Bunyan, "Therefore thought I, what God says is best, is best, though all the men in the world are against it. Seeing then that God prefers his Religion;
seeing God prefers a tender Conscience;
seeing they that make themselves Fools for the Kingdom of Heaven are wisest;
and that the poor man that loveth Christ is richer than the greatest man in the world that hates him;
Shame depart, thou art an enemy to my Salvation: shall I entertain thee against my Sovereign Lord?
How then shall I look him in the face at his coming? Should I now be ashamed of his ways and Servants,
how can I expect the blessing?" (From Pilgrim's Progress, 1678)
The deed of which you speak is righteous, because God commanded it. He gave way for mercy--if the besieged city will surrender, they are spared. But if they refuse to surrender, it proves them to be a people against the Lord and they will be extinguished justly as the Lord's punishment. Indeed, God's ways are higher than our ways. We may not understand fully how they are good. But we know that they are good, because a good God has commanded it.
If God says that something is good, or if God commands something, it is good. For me to say otherwise, or to try to compromise and say 'well, that was for the Israelites' would be for me to be ashamed of the Bible. And if I were ashamed of the Bible, I would be ashamed of the God who created me. The God of the Old Testament is the same God as the God of the New Testament, and for a Christian to be ashamed of that fact is for a Christian to be ashamed of the gospel. Shame on them. If the God of the NT is different than He was in the NT, then that means that He changed, therefore He is a sinner because He had to repent. It's absurd. "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever" (Hebrews 13:6) "But the Lord shall endure for ever: He hath prepared His throne for judgment" (Psalm 9:7) "Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever." (Psalm 119:160)
If God is perfect, as the Bible says He is, and if we are sinners who fall short of His glory, as the Bible says we do, it follows that if the NT God is good and the OT God is bad, then God is a sinner because he used to fall short of His own glory. It's absurd. God doesn't change. He is perfect, He is the very definition of goodness and love. "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning." (James 1:17 emphasis added)
"God is love" (1 John 14:16). The whole of the gospels depends on the old Testament. Without the OT the NT makes little sense. Some Christians want to avoid the hard questions and try to accept both the Bible and naturalism. But if evolution were true, then there would have been death long before Adam 'evolved' and sinned, and that makes null the worth of Christ's life and death. If death came before sin, then death is not a result of sin as the Bible says. "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned" (Romans 5:12)
If death is normal, and was happening millions of years before man even existed, then it is not a curse, nor an enemy (which the Bible also says). If this is true, then Jesus' torturous death on the cross meant nothing. The millions of years theory takes away the worth of Christ Jesus and his death on the cross for sinners!
"Yet the children of thy people say, The way of the Lord is not equal [in some translations, 'fair'] : but as for them, their way is not equal.
When the righteous turneth from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, he shall even die thereby.
But if the wicked turn from his wickedness, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall live thereby.
Yet ye say, The way of the Lord is not equal. O ye house of Israel, I will judge you every one after his ways." (Ezekiel 33:17-20)
That verse says it right there. WE are the wicked ones, not God. WE deserve death for our sins, WE have sinned against the all-holy Lord God, and no matter how many good things we do we can't earn heaven. All of the goodness in the world couldn't get you to heaven because YOU have sinned, you deserve to die, and so do I. I say "YOU" because I don't believe that words can be minced in this issue. If you're heading for @#!*% , I'm not going to break it to you gently. "The cross does not give us a minor shift or two with regard to a few or our ethical and moral and religious values. The cross radically disrupts the very center and citadel of your life from self to Christ. And if the cross has not done that, you're not a Christian!" (Albert Martin) You're hopeless without Christ. Do you hear? Hopeless! Do you know why? It's because God is perfect. God is holy. And you're not. Know how I know that? Because I can guarantee that you haven't spent 100% of your life and breath loving God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. And that's what God requires. He requires perfection and nothing less than perfection, because He himself is perfect. We run from God, we hate Him because we love our sin. We love our lives and we refuse to submit to His laws and His word. We refuse to acknowledge Him as our authority, because if we did then we'd have to abide by His rules and we refuse to do that. We hate Jesus and we spit on his face and trample His blood underfoot by our wicked lifestyles. "But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away" (Isaiah 64:6)Hopeless! Oh, there is no more damnable word than that. Hopeless. In @#!*% the damned shall be consumed with that thought. Hopeless, forever! NOW is the time for salvation, because if we surrender to Christ, He is ready and willing to save us. We can't save ourselves, no matter how much we cry or weep or do 'good' things. Christ alone can save because He alone lived a perfect life and then died in our place. If we surrender to Him, He WILL save you. He has put his own word at stake.
You all accuse the Biblical God of being evil. According to whom is He evil? What standard are you using to judge Him? Your own personal opinion? What makes you feel good? What exactly is evil? You see, I have a standard of Good and Evil, and that's the Character of the God of heaven. But athiests don't. They can't account for morality, good and evil, laws of logic, mathematics, and science, except some weak explanation that man evolved it somehow. But I can. Because I start on the simple premises that God is who He says He is, and that simple presupposition enables me to work through any situation or problem logically and reasonably.
Y'all can stick to your ad hominem attacks against Christianis, but that's just avoiding the question. It's not about whether the proponents of Christianity, those who call themselves Christians, actually adhere to the doctrines of that Book, the real issue is whether the actual philosophy of the Bible is true or not. Christians are still sinners, and those who call themselves by the name of Christ have done and still do some pretty bad things. The difference is that true Christians are people who belong to Christ. They are His children, and since He is the perfect Father, He can't let his children go astray for very long without punishing them and bringing them into repentance.
Let's get back to the core issue. Atheists have no basis for judging God's word as good or evil, since according to you (or, according to many of you), laws are relative. Morality is relative. Therefore you can't judge my morality. If I believe that stoning adulterers is righteous and good, who are you to judge it? Obviously my ethics are different than yours. Are laws universal? By laws I mean, laws of logic, laws of mathematics, laws of morality. If you say no, you are undermining your own argument because here you are trying to impose on me your standards that the Bible is evil. But if you say yes, you have to give an account for why laws are universal, who defines them, and what they consist of.
"It is absurd for the Evolutionist to complain that it is unthinkable for an admittedly unthinkable God to make everything out of nothing, and then pretend that it is more thinkable that nothing should turn itself into everything."
"Let God be true, though every man a liar!" (Romans 3:4)