“so you believe in the total god that tells us to stone our disrespectful children to death, dash babies against the rocks, etc?”
YES I believe in him! ALL of him, not just the part you talk about. Most of all, I believe in ALL the character of God which allows me to understand harsh laws in light of God’s perfect holiness and our evil choices. How can a perfect being allow any corruption to dwell with him? Those laws you talk of were a device to show the Israelites that NO ONE is “good” in the eyes of the Lord, and the smallest, most miniscule infraction against him (if there was no grace or mercy) should be met with death and separation from God forever. The law was given to illustrate that. It was our “teacher” to bring us to Jesus who took the punishment for the miniscule infractions that separated us. *It showed us that we cannot hope to reach God on our own by following laws.* It is by his mercy, love, and grace that we are saved through faith. And even that faith is not of ourselves. It is the gift of God. *No longer are we required to follow a list of do’s and don’ts which was never able to save us anyway.* Praise God that he provided a way!
So, go ahead and talk about stoning, it just illustrates the great gulf between you and God. Take the next step, and accept what God has done to bridge the gap.
You joyfully apply Old Testament laws to today’s society to show how ridiculous they are.
“If you worship other gods…then you get stoned to death.”
Does this apply to you? Do you fear stoning? No. These are obsiously not laws that apply to all times and all cultures. You have the same choice as any other man. God created man, gave him the ability to choose, and set a choice before him. “Of every tree in the garden you can freely eat, but of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat of it, for in the day that you eat of it, you shall surely die.” Adam chose and we still choose today. The Christian should allow the same choice for every man, but he should still cling to the truth he knows and expel and refute the lies around him. If the truth purges, that’s great. But force shoudn’t be used unless there is a threat of imminent harm to freedom.
I know why you bring up stoning and other harsh laws in the Old Testament, and leave out the rest of the Bible in your assessment of God. That harsh part of God that demands perfection is hard to reckon with and is easy to reject as unreasonable. You know, if that’s all there was, no man could have hope. I urge you, don’t ignore the merciful and gracious side of God either. He has provided a way to bring us to himself without requiring us to follow a list of do’s and dont’s. Jesus is that way. Without him, our imperfection could never be reconciled with his perfection.