Would you stone the man described in Numbers 15?

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Jagella
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Would you stone the man described in Numbers 15?

Post by Jagella »

Consider this story from Numbers 15:32-36(NRSV):
When the Israelites were in the wilderness, they found a man gathering sticks on the sabbath day. Those who found him gathering sticks brought him to Moses, Aaron, and to the whole congregation. They put him in custody, because it was not clear what should be done to him. Then the Lord said to Moses, “The man shall be put to death; all the congregation shall stone him outside the camp.� The whole congregation brought him outside the camp and stoned him to death, just as the Lord had commanded Moses.
Question for Debate: If you were there with these Israelites, would you stone this man in obedience to Moses and to Yahweh?

Keep in mind that this man may have been gathering sticks to build a fire to cook for for his family and to keep them warm. After the Bible god had him killed, any wife he had would be left a widow and any children he had would be left without a father to provide for them. They would be left cold, hungry, and facing poverty. Any friends he had among the Israelites would be obligated to kill their friend.

Despite these consequences of Yahweh's order to stone the man to death, all the Jews and by extension all Christians coming later must obey the Bible god. Any objections you have to this cruel act are nothing to Yahweh and may even result in a similar punishment for disobedience to him. You have a god you must believe in and obey without question and without reason.

I predict that few if any of the Christians here will answer this question honestly and sensibly. To post such an answer is to expose Christian beliefs for what they are.

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William
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Re: Would you stone the man described in Numbers 15?

Post by William »

[Replying to post 1 by Jagella]
Question for Debate: If you were there with these Israelites, would you stone this man in obedience to Moses and to Yahweh?
The problem I find with the question is that I exist in the present, and am affected by present day knowledge.

If I were to somehow time travel into the past to experience the scenario recorded in the OT bible, I might well protest the situation and offer well reasoned explanation as to why I make protest, based upon my aforementioned knowledge.

However, I would also understand that the likelihood that in doing so might cause me to also be stoned to death would be extremely high.

I would imagine that the Cult Leader Moses would simply go have a word with his GOD and report back to the adherents, that I was blaspheming and the GOD demanded I be stoned to death on account of that.

So, my best course of action would be based on the circumstance in relation to my surviving said circumstance. That might amount to not interfering with the situation by making my presence and knowledge known, and just observing.

The bible stories, true or fabricated as they each might be, act as that 'time machine' so I don't have to go back in time to observe a primitive culture and its Cult practices.

The bible does not occult the Cults practices.

On the contrary, it tends to glorify them as "Orders from a GOD".







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Re: Would you stone the man described in Numbers 15?

Post by Jagella »

[Replying to post 2 by William]

Yes, like you I would protest the stoning assuming I was brave enough to do so.

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Re: Would you stone the man described in Numbers 15?

Post by Jagella »

Jagella wrote:Question for Debate: If you were there with these Israelites, would you stone this man in obedience to Moses and to Yahweh?
No, of course not. As an atheist I can think about moral choices and don't need to blindly take the word of questionable characters like Moses that they speak for a god.

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Re: Would you stone the man described in Numbers 15?

Post by ttruscott »

Jagella wrote:Question for Debate: If you were there with these Israelites, would you stone this man in obedience to Moses and to Yahweh?
If you mean that I was an Israelite under the law...then: Yes. Of course. Why not?
PCE Theology as I see it...

We had an existence with a free will in Sheol before the creation of the physical universe. Here we chose to be able to become holy or to be eternally evil in YHWH's sight. Then the physical universe was created and all sinners were sent to earth.

This theology debunks the need to base Christianity upon the blasphemy of creating us in Adam's sin.

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Jagella
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Re: Would you stone the man described in Numbers 15?

Post by Jagella »

ttruscott wrote:
Jagella wrote:Question for Debate: If you were there with these Israelites, would you stone this man in obedience to Moses and to Yahweh?
If you mean that I was an Israelite under the law...then: Yes. Of course. Why not?
We see that your beliefs could result in your killing a man for gathering sticks on the "wrong" day of the week.

Why not, you ask? If you believe in the Bible god, then there is no reason not to kill an innocent man. That's my point.

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Post by Zzyzx »

.
In real life I have always been a Maverick – “Unbranded animal, not of the herd�. With those same personality traits projected backward two thousand years, I would not likely have always obeyed orders any better than I did during military service (which resulted in some difficulty at times).

More likely, I would have been one who gathered firewood whenever I darn well felt like – and if real life is any indication, would not have been arrested.

Being disinclined to follow the herd is quite liberating
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If you stop claiming knowledge of invisible, undetectable unicorns, I will stop challenging your claim. Same goes for gods

ANY of the thousands of "gods" proposed, imagined, worshiped, loved, feared, and/or fought over by humans MAY exist -- awaiting verifiable evidence

For a quick tutorial on science vs. religion, compare modern internet weather radar to ancient religious beliefs and superstitions about weather

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Re: Would you stone the man described in Numbers 15?

Post by Zzyzx »

.
Jagella wrote:
ttruscott wrote:
Jagella wrote:Question for Debate: If you were there with these Israelites, would you stone this man in obedience to Moses and to Yahweh?
If you mean that I was an Israelite under the law...then: Yes. Of course. Why not?
We see that your beliefs could result in your killing a man for gathering sticks on the "wrong" day of the week.

Why not, you ask? If you believe in the Bible god, then there is no reason not to kill an innocent man. That's my point.

Excellent illustration of evil perpetrated in the name of religion; and the error of blind obedience to religious (or any) dogma.

An excellent illustration also of idiotic rules and laws set forth in the name of obedience to religion
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Non-Theist

If you stop claiming knowledge of invisible, undetectable unicorns, I will stop challenging your claim. Same goes for gods

ANY of the thousands of "gods" proposed, imagined, worshiped, loved, feared, and/or fought over by humans MAY exist -- awaiting verifiable evidence

For a quick tutorial on science vs. religion, compare modern internet weather radar to ancient religious beliefs and superstitions about weather

"Demand money with the threat of violence and you'll get arrested. Do it with the threat of eternal damnation and it's tax deductible"

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Re: Would you stone the man described in Numbers 15?

Post by PinSeeker »

Keeping the Sabbath (remembering it and keeping it holy -- set apart) was very important as one of God's commandments. So there were very strict laws given by the Lord for keeping it. Putting the man to death served to teach the Israelites a very important lesson; that was one of the basic reasons for the civil law.

But the civil law, since Jesus came, is no longer in effect:

"Now if perfection was through the Levitical priesthood (for on the basis of it the people received the Law), what further need was there for another priest (Jesus) to arise according to the order of Melchizedek ("King of Righteousness"), and not be designated according to the order of Aaron? For when the priesthood is changed, of necessity there takes place a change of law also.... if another priest arises according to the likeness of Melchizedek, who has become such not on the basis of a law of physical requirement, but according to the power of an indestructible life... For, on the one hand, there is a setting aside of a former commandment because of its weakness and uselessness (for the Law made nothing perfect), and on the other hand there is a bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God." (Hebrews 7)

It still is important, but in a different way now. But the lesson is the same for us, certainly not to stone somebody for not keeping the Sabbath, but just to remember how important it is for us to corporately and individually keep it.

Reminds me of Stuart Scott on ESPN SportsCenter when he was doing baseball highlights and some batter jacked one out of the park: "Can I get an amen from the congregation???"

Hey, you know, Jagella serves 'em up, and I'm more than happy to oblige. :)

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Re: Would you stone the man described in Numbers 15?

Post by Elijah John »

[Replying to post 1 by Jagella]

As Thomas Paine once put it, "...for what can be greater blasphemy than to ascribe the wickedness of man to the orders of the Almighty!"

I think "Moses" falsely attributed his own barbaric notions to the command of God, in this case.

I would not stone the man for picking up sticks. If I had the courage, I would question "Moses" and defend the man, or at the very least, whisk him away to safety. And I would not participate in the stone-throwing, and I doubt Jesus would either. After all, he is the one who said "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.
My theological positions:

-God created us in His image, not the other way around.
-The Bible is redeemed by it's good parts.
-Pure monotheism, simple repentance.
-YHVH is LORD
-The real Jesus is not God, the real YHVH is not a monster.
-Eternal life is a gift from the Living God.
-Keep the Commandments, keep your salvation.
-I have accepted YHVH as my Heavenly Father, LORD and Savior.

I am inspired by Jesus to worship none but YHVH, and to serve only Him.

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