I was recently on Facebook and this video clip “Young Sheldon” scrolled across my feed. I’ve seen all the promos for this show that run on TV, but this was the first actual clip I had seen. Take a watch.
In the scene, Sheldon’s mom, the classic southern-raise, Bible Belt mother, is upset when she finds explicit things in the comic books he has been reading. Like any reasonable mother, she decides to take them away. As she stacks the comic books from his room into a box, Sheldon, using his quick whit, retorts with a passive aggressive comment saying, “There’s one more book that belongs in the box. [It’s] filled with adultery, genocide, and even human sacrifice.” He then places a Bible on the bed.
That’s an interesting thought by Mr. Sheldon but that got me thinking: “How many people who saw this episode started second guessing the Bible they thought they knew?” I can only imagine the number of people that started asking questions like, “Does the Bible really talk about that stuff?” “Is that what it supports?” Let’s take each of Sheldon’s claims one at a time!
“There’s no way this could actually be in the Bible, right?” Well… Wrong actually. David. Sampson, kinda. Abraham. These are examples of people committing some sort of adulterous action over the course of their time mentioned in the Bible. David was considered to be a man after God’s own heart. Abraham was the father to the nation of Israel and was revered for his faith in the Lord. Some atheists may say this evidence proves that the Bible is a lie since all these things are in it.
Not really. The Bible teaches that man kind is sinful and broken. No matter how close we think we are to God, we will still mess up simply because we’re human. Every time some form of adultery occurs in the Bible, it’s NEVER celebrated! Often, it’s looked at as the example of “what not to do” or how even the strongest followers of God can mess up. The Bible doesn’t teach how to become the perfect version of yourself, but it does teach about Jesus being the Atonement for all our sins. So, Sheldon, the Bible is showing us imperfect people? That’s okay, because no where is it written that Christians are perfect. You don’t have to look far to find that.
There are roughly 17,000 distinctly unique people groups around the world. Many times throughout history people have tried to wipe out entire groups of people: it’s called genocide. Examples include the Holocaust, Cambodia, and Armenian Genocide. Groups likes the Amalekites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites don’t exist today. According to Biblical accounts, that’s because God commanded the Israelites to slaughter them all. That doesn’t sound too just or loving. Why would God command that then?
How are we even supposed to begin processing that? We must first understand that the Canaanites were doing things that most any civilized society in the world would have condoned—incest, infant sacrifice, ritual prostitution, bestiality. It’s not like they were completely innocent before God or even man when God brought on their judgement. Moreover, God waited over 400 years before He commanded that they be “driven out” and utterly destroyed once they reached rock bottom. At this point in history, God was using war as a means to judging the nations. His judgement was just because of all the sins they were committing.
You betcha! This is in the Bible. There’s Abraham laying his son Issac on an altar, where he intended on sacrificing him as a burnt offering. Then, there’s Jephthah. He made a covenant with God saying that he would sacrifice the very next thing that came through his gates. Unfortunately, that happened to be his daughter; he followed through with his covenant.
Both of these instances, which are among the most common cited when talking about human sacrifice in the Bible, deal with obedience to God. Ultimately, Abraham and Isaac was meant to be a picture of the coming King. Isaac was spared because God provided a ram for Abraham. Abraham knew God had never failed him yet and that He wouldn’t start then. Obeying God was the best thing he could have done! In regards to Jephthah, he found himself in a covenant that he made with the Lord about sacrificing the next thing to walk through the gates. Covenants were not meant to be broken and to do so would have resulted in severe punishment. These things seem odd at first but when put into the larger scheme of the Bible they fit together nicely, just like a puzzle piece.
These challenges may come up in a conversation and they can see rather troubling at first, but before you panic, ask these people if they can name any examples of those three: adultery, genocide, and human sacrifice or whatever they challenge you on. Once you’ve done that, you’ll probably find that they couldn’t give any detailed examples of those things. If that’s the case, refer them to some of the explanations given in this article. Then, see where the conversation leads from there! Remember, it’s okay to tell a person that you’re not sure about a claim, and you want to research it so you can better answer their questions.