As the gap between God, as revealed in the Bible, and the society grows, there will be an increasing pressure to show God as being immoral. When you take a close look at many parts of the scriptures, you can see that by human justice God would be considered a sinner. This fact is used by people to sat that the God of the Bible does things that aren't nice, and so he can't be true.
The “Immorality” of God
Based on popular modern standards, there is a long list of things that God has done wrong. He has:
- Condoned and regulated slavery
Lev 25:44.: 'And as for your male and female slaves whom you may have -- from the nations that are around you, from them you may buy male and female slaves. 45. 'Moreover you may buy the children of the strangers who dwell among you, and their families who are with you, which they beget in your land; and they shall become your property. NKJV
- Advocated discrimination against women
- Promoted roligious hatred and intolerance
- Enforced genocide
Comparisons can be made here with the actions of the Nazis in WW2.
Deut 7:1.: "When the LORD your God brings you into the land which you go to possess, and has cast out many nations before you, the Hittites and the Girgashites and the Amorites and the Canaanites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than you, 2. "and when the LORD your God delivers them over to you, you shall conquer them and utterly destroy them. You shall make no covenant with them nor show mercy to them. NKJV
- Killed people for fighting for democracy
These men could be considered fighters for democracy under the current code of standards from Hollywood. There then followed the confrontation, and God acted against them:
Numbers 16:1.: Now Korah the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, with Dathan and Abiram the sons of Eliab, and On the son of Peleth, sons of Reuben, took men; 2. and they rose up before Moses with some of the children of Israel, two hundred and fifty leaders of the congregation, representatives of the congregation, men of renown. 3. They gathered together against Moses and Aaron, and said to them, "You take too much upon yourselves, for all the congregation is holy, every one of them, and the LORD is among them. Why then do you exalt yourselves above the assembly of the LORD?" NKJV
Fighting for freedom and democracy is greatly espoused by sections of western society today, including the film and television industry. Under these conditions, this passage paints God as a bad leader.
Numbers 16:31.: Now it came to pass, as he finished speaking all these words, that the ground split apart under them, 32. and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up, with their households and all the men with Korah, with all their goods. NKJV
Many people from the Christian churches today think of these as “hard passages”. We can try to push these issues under the carpet and ignore them, but that can only be hiding from the truth. Instead of fearing that God is a bad person, we can examine the source of this incompatibility in moral standards.
Source of Human Morals
Firstly, one might ask “why is it bad to kill someone?”. In the Bible, people murdering others is generally prohibited. But in the absence of a God, there really isn't anything to say that murder is a bad thing at all. The current actions and ideas of our society aren't inherently good, just the product of standards from other societies coupled with some reasoning.
The big discrepancy comes in the fight for democracy and freedom. American pop morals claim that this is the ultimate thing to fight for. They can feel justified in attacking other countries based on the idea that they are bringing or maintaining freedom. It is true that a lack of freedom in the past has brought actions that would be reprehensible to the God of the Bible, but that doesn't condone “freedom” as the all-encompassing source of good.
The wisdom of this era has people seeing God in a similar light to human rulers. As such, the actions mentioned earlier are going to be considered morally bad. This is where the dialogue in the Biblical book of Job is relevant. One can try to condemn God, and justify the society, but in the analogy of Isaiah 45 this is like a clay pot usurping authority over it's manufacturer.
This world has a humanist moral code, and it can be easy to forget that this code doesn't have a fundamental basis. As it is just a collection of codes from past societies tied together with the duct tape of human reason, we need to be careful not reverence it too highly and so make it the fundamental by which we evaluate God.
Embrace and Extend Our society has taken the values from the Bible and other societies, and extended them. This is a process which has been known as “embrace and extend”. This process involves taking the respectability of the standard, and then changing it in such a way that it is no longer the same thing.
This has happened with the festival of Christmas. The very “Christ” in the name is part of the embracing of Christianity. From this it gains respectability. It also has the nominal connection with a celebration of the birth of Jesus. But from then it has been extended. There's a bit of sun-worship, a bit of tree-worship, some Santa-worship, and a big dose of consumerism to keep it going.
Just as some society morals contradict the Biblical viewpoint, so aspects of Christmas contradict it's supposed heritage. In Christmas, people scatter their ways in many different directions in celebration. Jeremiah spoke of this type of thing to the Jew prior to the captivity.
Jeremiah 3 13.: 13. "Only acknowledge your iniquity, That you have transgressed against the LORD your God And have scattered your favors to the strangers under every green tree, And you have not obeyed My voice,' declares the LORD. NASB
So by way of analogy, we can't trust the values of this world to be the values of God, any more than we can see Christmas as truly still marking the birth of Jesus. This is even though they have all the respectability that comes from their heritage.