Q1: Hello FaithQuest Team! So yesterday I was approached by my Muslim colleague over lunch who showed an image posted on Facebook that in Exodus Ch22:20 it’s written “you must kill and destroy those who worship another God”.
So her point being that why is it that Muslims are only blamed for killing those of other faiths, which is nowhere even mentioned in the Quran but clearly mentioned in the Bible. Would be looking forward to your insight. Thank you! – by Ruthasha
Ruthasha, thank you for the question. And thank you for engaging your colleague in a conversation about the Christian GOD. Let me begin by saying I am not an expert on the Quran and cannot refute the claim your colleague makes about it. But I can bring clarity to the text in question
“Whoever sacrifices to any god, other than the Lord alone, shall be devoted to destruction.
The first thing that we have to understand is that context is king! Many of the worlds religion’s sacred scriptures have been taken out of context in order to justify all kinds of heinous and despicable acts. Unfortunately christianity is not excluded from the list. Humanity is broken and mankind is filled with sin.
This is the beauty of the Christian message. The whole truth of the gospel is that GOD has made a way for us to be forgiven and cleansed from our sin and restored to a right relationship with Him through faith in His son Jesus Christ. In the message itself is a message of ultimate peace and complete restoration for all creation.
It’s important to know that this text is in the context of social justice laws. This means that everything that was written here was written to preserve the dignity of mankind. It answered questions like how do you treat a sojourner? (someone from another place), how do you treat one another?, how do you treat created things like animals? The context of this passage is protecting GOD’s good design for His creation.
Two things that are mentioned here are sorcery and idol worship. Both of these practices at this time required live human sacrifice and both used babies in order to do it! At the very least bloodletting (cutting yourself to draw blood) was involved. Both of these things were detestable to GOD and damaging to human dignity. This law at the very surface level was to prevent previous crimes against humanity.
Secondly this law was not for outsiders. This does not say that those who are outside Israel are devoted to destruction it is saying that if there is an Israelite who sacrifices to any other GOD except YHWHY they shall be devoted to destruction.
This was not about advancing on the world this was about preserving the Worship of the one true GOD of all creation for the Israelites so that the future promises of GOD for the world could come to fruition.
Another and what I believe to be the most important truth in this text is How it illuminates the grace of GOD. We cannot take one passage and say “see GOD commands us to kill”. One of the primary purposes of the Law was to show us our need for a savior. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23 Although the law required penalty and that could be death — it also provides provision for forgiveness. The entire sacrificial system is based on the breaking of the moral law.
If the law was broken there was the ability to atone for that sin through sacrifice. It’s a picture of the GOSPEL. Jesus Christ was the final perfect sacrifice for our sin and although we deserve death (because we have all broken GOD’s law) We receive eternal life through faith in Jesus.
God was paving the way for us to know Him. He was moving His redemptive plan forward by preserving the very thing that shows us our need for Jesus. Our great rescuer!
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