Not long ago a video popped up in the sidebar from youtube’s algorithm when I was looking up “god of war” (I was searching for the Exodus 15:3 reference). I clicked on the video out of curiosity because it was titled God is Actually a War God. I mean, why wouldn’t I click on that, right? Not to mention, the guy pictured in the thumbnail looked like a reject from the 1980’s movie, Lost Boys.
So, let’s dig into what “Morgue” had to say about the God of the Bible….
Introducing Morgue and his God of War
Apparently, this guy is some kind of emo rebel without a cause kind of character. A quick glance at his Youtube channel and he claims to be a philosopher, revolutionary, Hyperian (i.e. he wants to evolve into something higher than human).
Okay. These are some admirable objectives I suppose. I mean, better to be contemplating philosophy than watching the football game every Sunday like a blind monkey. But, revolutionary? Because you have a YouTube channel and you raided your mother’s makeup drawer? I doubt it.
Other Issues With the God of the Bible
But, let’s tackle some of the arguments Morgue (I like saying his name for some reason) brings up in the video.
One issue he brought up was the “other gods” in the Bible. Well, this is not actually as “unknown” in the Bible as Morgue contends. These lesser gods are well known in Christian academia and the passages Morgue refers to are commonly referred to in the Divine Council subject matter. You will find them all referenced in Michael Heiser’s book The Unseen Realm and in his dissertation and many other dissertations and journal articles published over the last 20+ years (such as Psalm 82:1). It is actually a well covered debate within Christian theology concerning who the “us” is and who the “other gods” are. We don’t have to make Israel into a pluralistic society, we just have to find out how first century Israelites interpreted these passages. These “gods” are the angels of the OT and NT, and basically Paul considered all gods to be demons or leaders of demons and under the sway of Satan.
Morgue is correct in his reference to God being more than an “all loving,” “all merciful” God. God is a jealous God. He is a wrathful God. And he is a vengeful God. Morgue is essentially correct (maybe by terminology alone) that God is a War God in that much of the supernatural realm (where God and the angels dwell) is war-like in arrangement. Paul describes the battle we fight on earth as spiritual and supernatural (rather than fleshly) and describes our weaponry to wage war as military armament (Eph 6:11-13). We see in 2 Kings 6:17 that when the Lord opens the eyes of the young man at Elisha’s side, we see the battle arrangement of the supernatural realm, “the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.”
Morgue also had a problem with the deaths God “caused.” God took the firstborn from Egypt during the last plague. He seems to take issue with God allowing or using magic (Ex 7:11-12) and the many sacrifices of animals on the altar.
I think Morgue (and many others) suffer from misapplying human ethical standards to God and this tends to cause conflicts and contradictions. Not because God is a contradiction or acts in a paradoxical way, but because human ethic and human logic is not God’s ethic or logic. God tells us himself, “my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways…for as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isa 55:9).
Logically, if the statement in the NT is true and humans fell from immortality in the Garden, then there is a gulf between us and God that can only be fixed by God himself. Every one of us who are living now are granted a single life to live (He 9:27) and then the judgment. But, never are we guaranteed a particular length or quality to that life, which gives rise to the axiom “one’s lot in life.”
Morgue also had a problem with the deaths God “caused.” Events like God taking the firstborn from Egypt during the last plague. He seems to also take issue with God allowing or using magic (Ex 7:11-12) and the myriad of sacrifices of animals on the altar (quite extensive if you add it up over several centuries).
Another issue Morgue had with God was the obscure account in the Book of Judges 11:34-40. To be completely honest, when he mentioned this one I couldn’t remember reading it 25+ years ago when I read through Judges last (unfortunately, not at the top of my list).
This is the story of Jephthah’s daughter and how Jephthah swore to God that if he were to win a victory over the Ammonites, he would sacrifice whoever walked through the front door of his house when he returned home. He grants her two months to go out and “weep for her virginity” (basically a regret that she would never grow into adulthood and marry, etc) and then after the two months it states, “did with her according to his vow that he had made” (Judges 11:39).
So, let’s take each one of these in turn, or mostly in turn.
The issue of killing the first born of Egypt. It is a hard pill to swallow, isn’t it? But, God expressly states why he’s doing this, “the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Ro 6:23) and “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Ro 3:23).
The events leading up to the 10 plagues cannot be whitewashed. Pharaoh did enslave (or keep enslaved) the Israelites. He did kill all the sons of the Israelites. It was the same Pharaoh also who said, “Who is the Lord, that I should obey his voice to let Israel go? I do not know the Lord, nor will I let Israel go” (Ex 5:2). God was also dealing with Egypt on account (at least in part) of the “groaning of the children of Israel whom the Egyptians keep in bondage” (Ex 6:5).
But in Ex 7:3 we see something that is often overlooked (and a indication that Morgue really hasn’t done his homework). God is telling Moses what he’s going to do and how Moses and Aaron are going to tell Pharaoh to “let the people go.” But what does God then say? “I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and multiply my signs and my wonders in the land of Egypt. But Pharaoh will not heed you, so that I may lay my hand on Egypt and bring my….people out of the land of Egypt by great judgments.”
There is more going on here at this time than a simple killing of the firstborn. Morgue has fallen to the fate of many who have come before him who are in rebellion to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. So much so, Paul addresses it in Romans 9:14-23, “Is there unrighteousness with God? Certainly not! For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion.” So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy. For the Scripture says to the Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth.” Therefore He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens. You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who has resisted His will?” But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, “Why have you made me like this?” Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor?What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory…”
The issue, then, is not with God. The issue is with Morgue. But why would Morgue be arguing against the God of the Bible in the first place? Why the hostility? Paul makes it clear, we as fallen humans have no means to even bring an accusation against God, let alone claim that God is unethical or immoral. In reality, what Paul is saying, it doesn’t matter what God does to any of us – he is justified by simply being God (the creator of us). Morgue might want to deny that God created him, but that against is Morgue’s problem. God will do what he will do. He will have mercy on whom he wills, and whom he wills he hardens.
Second, Morgue seems to have an issue with the use of magic in Ex 7:11-12, most specifically, the turning of the staff into a snake (which the magicians in Egypt were also able to do). I also am actually quite intrigued by God’s use of what appears to be magic in the Bible. Besides this instance, Jesus also did a peculiar thing when he healed the man from Bethsaida. “He spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva; and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay. And he said, “Go wash in the pool of Siloam.”…he went and washed, and came back seeing” (John 9:6-7). Likewise, Jesus turned water into wine, exercised demons, and, after his resurrection, he could essentially walk through walls or materialize and dematerialize at will. At the ascension we see him defy gravity as he ascends out of their sight (Acts 1:9; Lu 24:51). Now, all of these things may seem like magic. But, in reality, they are just the manipulation of the physical laws that govern our physical reality in a way that seems unnatural (or not according to how the physical laws should be manipulated). But, why did Jesus choose to use the mixture of spit and dirt and make a clay to put on the blind man’s eyes? Why not just say, “You are healed” and then the man sees? Was it necessary? Was Jesus limited on what he could do? I doubt it, right? I mean, he turned water into wine just by basically thinking about it. He could read mens’ minds. He could predict the future. I doubt there was anything Jesus wasn’t capable of doing. He had a legion of angels at his beckon call! So why the mud on the eyes?
It’s not all that shocking to consider the Egyptian magicians could duplicate the staff into a snake when you realize that in the end the Antichrist will also do miracles to deceive people (or lead people away from Christ). What was once magic in the Middle Ages and witchcraft is now considered logical and repeatable, measurable science today. Putting a metal tube in my body to keep me alive might be considered magic by someone like Luther or Calvin, but two years ago the doctors did this when I had a heart attack. That little bit of “magic” allows me to extend my life further than 43 (which is when I was technically slated to die – if I had lived before medical advancements in the modern era – but then there is an argument to be made that I wouldn’t have had corroded arteries from the modern diet of salt and starches if I lived in the past). It may be magic to Morgue, but it is just technology to God. It is the consequence of existing in both dimensionalities – the physical and the supernatural realm. We will all experience this kind of reality at the resurrection when we are all transformed from mortal (fallen) to immortal.
I’m really not going to address the issue Morgue had with the sacrificial system of the Jewish Temple religion. The reason is the pagan religions all had the same kind of sacrificial systems in one form or another. They also had temple prostitutes and child sacrifices (Aztec, Roman, etc) so there is nothing new here at all and the Israelite ritual system seems a bit tame in comparison.
I did want to address, though, the account of Jephthah’s sacrifice of his only daughter after he made his hasty vow before going to war with the Ammonites. First, there is something a little harsh about the Jewish Bible (the Christian OT) that I find a little comforting. They do not gloss over the evils that the Israelites did throughout their history. The Old Testament is probably the closest account we have of what the records in heaven must be like. You know, the myriad of books we see being opened in Revelation 20:12b that record everything every person has ever done (and maybe everything we’ve ever thought and quite possibly all the things we could have done if we had made different choices).
But, we find in the book of the Judges the record of the deeds of Israel between the conquest of Canaan and the initiation of the monarchy first with Saul and then with David. The accounts illustrate the cycle of rebellion and judgment that the nation went through. During this time they devolve into worshiping the Baals and adopting other customs from the local region.
Let’s not stop with just Jephthah, though. There are a few sacrifices of children in the Bible. 2 Kings 3:27 has the Moab king sacrificing his son to Chemosh and there is no apparent disapproval cited by the author of the text. Additionally, we have the intended sacrifice of Isaac in Genesis 22. Then there is the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross by God himself. It appears as if Morgue has a pretty good case for a terrible God who does terrible things, right?
Note that the “spirit of the Lord” went through the region and empowered them to defeat the Ammonites. But, this was given BEFORE the vow was made and there is no reply concerning the vow by God. In fact, JFB provides some background, “There he made his celebrated vow, in accordance with an ancient custom for generals at the outbreak of a war, or on the eve of a battle, to promise the god of their worship a costly oblation, or dedication of some valuable booty, in the event of victory. Vows were in common practice also among the Israelites. They were encouraged by the divine approval as emanating from a spirit of piety and gratitude; and rules were laid down in the law for regulating the performance. But it is difficult to bring Jephthah’s vow within the legitimate range.”
Additionally, Jephthah also lived a great distance from the tabernacle, “Bred up as he had been, beyond the Jordan, where the Israelite tribes, far from the tabernacle, were looser in their religious sentiments, and living latterly on the borders of a heathen country where such sacrifices were common, it is not improbable that he may have been so ignorant as to imagine that a similar immolation would be acceptable to God” (JFB). Of course, we can recognize Jephthah had no intention of sacrificing his daughter. It was a hasty vow, maybe done in in the anxious anticipation of battle or maybe customary. Either way, he had certainly enough concern for the Law to fulfill the vow that he made in the end, even though it was not as he maybe had intended when he made it.
The fact is, though, Jephthah, despite being part Jew, he was also part Syrian and had been exiled to Syria for a good part of his life, where human sacrifice was frequent. We also cannot forget that this man was the head of a band of outlaws, so being in-line with God’s will or keeping the Torah wasn’t necessarily high on his list.
The church, of course, has condemned this account outright. Josephus said, neither “conformably to the law, nor acceptably to God” and most of the early Jewish commentators and all the Christian Fathers for ten or eleven centuries (Origen, Chrysostom, Theodoret, Jerome, Augustine, &c.) held to the same. Additionally, though, there appears to be some textual issues potentially at play. In the commentaries, there is some discussion of the interpretation of the Hebrew, that quite possibly Jephthah never intended to sacrifice a human as a burnt offering to God, but instead to vow them to the Lord for the duration of their life. It might seem far fetched given the English rendering, but if one looks to the LXX we find this exact interpretation in verse 39, “and he kept his vow to her that he vowed. And she did not know a man.” This would be the reason why his daughter went about for two months bewailing her virginity, since she had been promised as a virgin to the Lord for the remainder of her life.
This, of course, does not explain the vow very well, since his response at seeing his daughter at the door when he returned was utter dismay. Maybe he had intended on his wife being the first to the door. Maybe in mother-in-law. We know from the text he had no other children.
Whatever the circumstances though, the LXX translators (150 years before Christ) certainly did not consider his vow to be one of human sacrifice.
Morgue’s True Agenda Quickly Comes to the Surface
But, of course, there is a more sinister motivation at work in Morgue’s mind, prompting him to make this video in the first place. It’s not really about whether or not the God of the Bible is a War God or if he uses or condones the use of magic (in certain instances) or that he approved (or maybe only seemingly approved) the sacrifice of children. Toward the end of the video, Morgue reveals the real reason he’s angry at the Christian God and the God Yahweh of the Bible.
The God of the Bible does not condone homosexuality.
Morgue goes off on a tangent about how he’s fine with Christians worshiping a War God or that God condones human sacrifice, but what he’s not fine with (and this is the whole point) is teaching children to hate (which is code for not compromising on what the Bible actually says).
It’s not shocking to me to see someone who is certainly in rebellion against Christ and God to be against what the Bible teaches. That’s fine, at least it’s fine with me. As we already covered with Paul, there are certain people who are created in this world that God has created as “vessels of mercy” and then there are those he created who are “vessels of wrath.” Now, it’s not my wrath they were created for. They were likewise not created for the wrath of the Church (which is at best misplaced and at worse heresy). Rather, they were created specifically and purposefully for God’s wrath.
Paul explains it best, “What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory” (Ro 9:22-23).
Distinction Between Biblical and Cultural Christianity
I do want to make a distinction concerning the possible audience Morgue might have been targeting with this video. To be honest, it may not have been me at all (though, it most likely was directed indiscriminately at anyone who professes Christ). But, I want to be clear, there is a distinct difference between biblical Christianity and the cultural Christianity that is popular today, and especially so in the US. Cultural Christianity has very little to do with the Bible anymore (if it ever did in the first place) and has much more to do with a particular subset of the culture and with capitalism. It is found in most denominations and especially in evangelicalism. It is also found in most non-denominational churches that try to popularize themselves by diluting their theology enough that it is palatable for just about everyone. You know what they say about trying to help everyone, you end up helping no one. Trying to court the world is a recipe for disaster.
But it might be cultural Christianity that Morgue is directing his video at. I wonder this because he seems to think that Christians only view their God as a wish maker, some kind of God of love only and not one of wrath and vengeance. I can attest, this is not the case in the commentaries I consult (though I do have an eclectic collection – maybe the more popular commentaries say something different). I also can’t imagine this is the case in Christian academia, though I have experienced first hand a kind of blindness in academic circles that are overtly Christian or who are associated closely with the modern local churches. For many of them, denominational doctrine trumps biblical accuracy.
It is true that many Christians and Christian pulpits focus only on the love of God and rarely if ever mention the anger coming on the world in the future. In fact, so venomous and ferocious and terrible will be God’s wrath, the people panic and say, “to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?” (Re 6:16-17).
The Wrath of the Lamb. I can only imagine how terrifying that will be for them (and for me if I’m in error about my own salvation – Phil 2:12; 2 Pe 1:10). Many, I think, from the culture of Christianity will experience this, when their folk theology and their good deeds and their wealth and status and professional clergy fail to save them.
For me, I am not blind to the actual God of the Bible. He is a perplexing and complex and fascinating supernatural being that I hope to spend an eternity learning about. Hopefully, if I am fortunate enough (and it is his plan), I will be allowed to be a research librarian wherever it is they maintain the myriad of books we see in Rev 20:12b and Daniel 7:10. I hope to be able to spend my days (apparently there will be no more nights in the afterlife – Re 22:5) scouring through these books (and any other records God sees fit to maintain) to explore and uncover all the mysteries of God that were ever put to paper (if they are written on paper). Preferably, I would like this position to be a solitary one, maybe on a remote planet in the cosmos (if indeed there is a cosmos, or other planets, or even a physical universe).
Then again, this is just a happy suggestion and would rather take whatever position in the Kingdom God sees fit to assign me, since I hold on desperately to what Paul quoted, “But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him” (1 Co 2:9).
Jumping too Quickly to Gnostic Heresies was Morgue’s Mistake
I do want to caution Morgue in his tendency (at least in this video) to quickly jump to the Gnostics in defense of his idea that the God of the OT (Yahweh) is actually an evil God among many gods of the day.
Unfortunately, this is a tendency of many skeptics or critics of the Bible who still want to remain religious in some way but reject the idea of submitting to the only living God (Isa 45:5). This is a mistake. But, as I stated, it is a common one. Unfortunately, there is no way to counter this tendency other than to warn people of their error. Turn back, Morgue! Avoid shipwrecking your faith (1 Ti 1:19) – that is, if you have any faith at all. God judges the heart.
It was interesting, stumbling onto this video. It reminded me of my own mindset as a Satanist in the 7th grade, going through the Bible and underlining every place where I thought God had lied. I wanted to illustrate the point that God was no better than his lowly creations. That he had no right to judge me for the things I do when he does the same things. I get it. There is an instinct within me that wants to rage against the machine (whatever machine happens to be in front of me on any given Sunday). But after the supernatural experience that later ripped from me my karmic worldview and replaced it with a desire, a thirst to study his Word, I could for the first time recognize who God actually was. He wasn’t the poor image of the father figure I had in my head. He wasn’t the brutal dictator I conjured up to rail against. God is a God of love and peace and mercy. And, yes, he is also a God of vengeance and wrath and anger and fire. And, yes again, he is certainly a God of judgment against the wickedness of this world. And God help you if you “fall into the hands of the living God” (He 10:31).
But, there is still time on this earth to repent. It is true, no one can come to the Christ unless the Father draws him (Jo 6:44). But, if that be the case, you can accept what God has done on your behalf and be saved, as Paul emphatically states, “if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Ro 10:9).
Morgue, if you happen to be reading this, I implore you to stop railing against the God of the Bible. Stop what you’re doing and turn, listen to what God may be trying to tell you. I recognize if you are not predestined to believe you never will and there would be nothing I could say to convince you. But we have no idea who God has called or by what means an individual might be reconciled to his or her creator. I will pray for you, Morgue. I will pray that God opens your eyes and that you will take just a moment to stop fighting against him and look at the Bible as a letter addressed personally to you. What is he saying to you? God brought me to my knees late one night just by reading 2 Peter 2. I was so far from God before I read that chapter and yet, by the time I finished reading, God had transformed me from the inside out.
Maybe he wants to a similar work in you….
Please consider supporting my writing, my unschooled studies, and my hermitic lifestyle by purchasing one or more of my books. I’m not supported by academia or have a lucrative corporate job – I’m just a mystical modern-day hermit trying to live out the life I believe God has called me to. So, any support you choose to provide is GREATLY appreciated.
Excerpt from Our Daughter:
“Okay, mom,” Randy said.
“You behave yourself and be nice. You’re lucky to have company while you wait for the doctors.”
The woman turned and started back the way she came.
“The nurse said it would be twenty or thirty more minutes, so we’ll eat quick and be back up here before they take you in, okay?”
“Sorry for him,” the woman said to Katie as she walked by.
As the woman left, Katie noticed the boy moving around again on the bed. Before she realized what was happening, the tiny lump disappeared and she could hear the faint sound of bare hands and feet on the tile floor.
He was low crawling under the beds toward her.
A moment later, Randy popped his head out from under the nearest hospital bed, craning his neck around to look up at her.
“Hello, there,” Katie said.
Randy disappeared back under the bed, the bed sheet draping down almost to the floor. Katie could still see three little fingers pressed to the tile.
“What are you here for?” Katie asked, readjusting her seat in the chair, trying to get the ache in her chest to lessen.
For whatever reason, the wheelchair was really uncomfortable.
“Why are – ”
Randy’s voice trailed off for a moment as he looked around.
“Why are you here?”
“I’m getting my leg fixed,” Katie said. “See?”
Randy poked his head back out from under the bed and looked at the leg she was pointing to.
“What’s wrong with it?”
“The doctor said it’s broken,” Katie said. “Shattered.”
“Can you feel it?” Randy asked, able to stay out from his hiding place.
“I can feel it, but it’s not too bad,” Katie said, then tapped the IV in her arm. “This thing is giving me medicine of some kind for the pain. At least that’s what the nurses said.”
“Why are you – ”
Randy stopped mid-sentence.
He scooted out from under the bed entirely and slowly crept over to her on all fours.
“What are you, some kind of spider?” Katie asked, giggling a little.
“What are you?” Randy echoed.
He was now only about a foot away from her chair and sat there, his legs folded up under him, gawking up at her.
“What are you staring at me for?”
“I’ve never – ”
Randy put out a hesitant hand and ever so gently touched her arm.
“Are you some kind of ghost?”
He looked around again.
“Are you – ”
He leaned in, talking in a whisper.
“Are you dead?”
A nurse came around the corner and stopped abruptly, spotting the empty bed in the far corner where Randy should have been.
“Randy Andrews,” the nurse said, her hands now on her hips. “You get right back into the bed and you stop playing around, please. They are ready for you in surgery.”
Katie watched as Randy scrambled on all fours under the beds and back up onto his, pulling the sheet back over top of himself again.
She started to ask him about his question, but couldn’t get the words out before his parents appeared at the door.
Katie sat there quietly, watching Randy stare back at her from under his sheet. She glanced over at his parents and the nurse, noticed Randy’s dad had no hair on the top of his head.
Are you dead?
What kind of question was that?
The snap of the wheel locks being disengaged on Randy’s hospital bed jarred Katie out of the confusion she was in.
The doctor she’d first seen was now at the door, waiting for Randy.
He was his surgeon.
They wheeled Randy out of the room, his parents following right behind, disappearing to the left, heading for his operating room.
The pre-op room was empty again.
Are you dead?
What kind of crazy question was that?
The nurse came back through the double doors.
“It won’t be long now,” she said.
Katie tried not to think about the dull ache growing just behind her sternum.
The nurse disappeared around the corner as Katie watched the double doors to the operating rooms slowly shut.
Buy my book Our Daughter and begin the adventure of a lifetime, as you uncover the mysteries behind Katie Cadora’s new life after the horrible accident that stole her mother away from her. Will she find sure footing again? Will the pain ever stop? Will she discover the secrets her new foster family are keeping from her? Is the boy’s question right? Is Katie Cadora actually dead?
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