The Christian Post recently had a post by John Piper, entitled: What Made It OK for God to Kill Women, Children in Old Testament?. Here’s a snippet:
It’s right for God to slaughter women and children anytime he pleases. God gives life and he takes life. Everybody who dies, dies because God wills that they die.
God is taking life every day. He will take 50,000 lives today. Life is in God’s hand. God decides when your last heartbeat will be, and whether it ends through cancer or a bullet wound. God governs.
So God is God! He rules and governs everything. And everything he does is just and right and good. God owes us nothing.
If you are troubled by Piper’s concept of God’s morality, you’re not alone! Bob Anderson from the Society of Evangelical Arminians has written up an excellent response. It can be found here. Anderson writes that:
What is at stake is the morality and righteousness of God with the random killing of individuals or groups. The deterministic paradigm, which reduces the very concept of the “good” is manifest in Piper’s statement below:
“It’s right for God to slaughter women and children anytime he
That is an appalling statement, because it contradicts the righteousness of God that we seek to affirm – the righteousness of the God who pleads with sinners to repent so as not to die. It certainly is an expression of sovereignty, but not righteous sovereignty. “In him was life, and the life was the light of all people” (John 1:4 NRS). By definition, Christians define God as the good and the good is for all. Evil, in and of itself cannot be the good. The good can only be derived when God labors within an evil situation to bring it about. Perhaps that is what we should see as the miracle of the transcendent God. God is not part of the evil that exists because of human sin. Rather he brings about good because he is not part of the sin.
Piper believes that God can do whatever he wants on the basis of power. That is wrong. There are certain things God won’t do because of his good character, even though he has the power to do so. God is moral and his morality is intrinsic to his character. He does not arbitrarily kill people.