King David The Sinner
King David is the most famous and beloved king in Jewish history. He is a biblical icon, a hero.
According to the Bible, David (c. 1035 - 970 BCE) was the second king in the ancient United Kingdom of Israel who helped establish the throne of God. The youngest son of Jesse, David began his career as a shepherd then an aide at the court of Saul, Israel’s first king. He distinguished himself as a warrior against the Philistines, killing the giant Goliath. David was renowned for his passion for God, his touching psalms and musical abilities, his inspiring courage and expertise in warfare, his illicit relationship with Bathsheba, and his ancestral connections to Jesus of Nazareth in the New Testament.
According to the Bible, David did amazing and miraculous acts. He was a talented hymnodist, musician, military general, king and prophet. David was the father of King Solomon. He was so important that Jesus Christ himself is called the Son of David. Kingpin David must have lived a super virtuous, upright, upstanding, law-abiding, righteous life, right?
David was by most moral standards a homicidal criminal, cheater and all around asshole. His autobiographical scripture passages revealed his beliefs about himself. The Bible says that David summoned a married female subject to have sex with him, impregnating her. He then had her husband put to death to cover it up and then lied about it to the people of Israel. David killed many people and had multiple wives. You get a sense that David was living out his true beliefs of himself. This was a man who had full knowledge of God’s so-called miraculous ways and holy law. He was not an “ignorant” sinner. He was a believer. The Old Testament reads that David was a man after God’s own heart (1 Sam 13:13-14). Why does the Bible say that? Is it because he said he was sorry and repented?
The New Testament confirms that David was a man after God’s own heart (Act 13:22). You tell me, is there something strange with this picture? Jesus Christ condemned hypocrisy above all the sins of the religious Jews. What was David? Was he not an amazing, if not an infamous hypocrite? He was the king and then used that power to seduce, kill, maim, fornicate, and lie (just to name a few). And after all of that, the Bible still says he was a man after God’s own heart.
Biblically, this makes perfect sense to me. Remember what God said after Adam and Eve first sinned? Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil…” (Gen 3:22). Perhaps now you can understand why the biblical God(s) would do all the evil things listed in the Bible. The biblical gods are knowing good and evil. The Bible says God is knowing evil. It doesn't say he is evil. By biblical definition, God is never evil, though he knows evil. Make sense? It gets a little confusing here. The biblical word here translated “knowing” suggests an intimate knowledge (as if an omniscient God can know anything other than intimately!).
According to the Bible, evil is not the stuff on the “don't do” list. Evil is the thinking or doing of anything that God says not to do, REGARDLESS if it seems good or bad to people. (Stay with me, this is where many people get off the bus). If God, according to the Bible, does anything, I repeat ANYTHING, then it is right, good, holy, and just (even if he is killing or rewarding people for lying). The difference between our actions and God's actions is this: God decides when, where, and how to do it. Whether it is killing enemies or loving enemies, God reserves the right to make the call. Biblically, that is the ontological prerogative of the Supreme Being (remember, God is holy, people are sinners, according to the Bible). The right belongs to his might. We could save a sheep from falling into a pit on the Sabbath [but] if God says that is wrong, then it is wrong. Violent or peaceful, God calls the shots of when and how. Why? Because he is God. So we see that good and evil is a matter of authority, biblically speaking.
Where did evil come from? “I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.” -Isaiah 45:7, King James Version
The people of God usually attribute all of their acts of violence against their enemies to God’s Word. Killing, they say, was God's direct command. When we are sparing an enemy, then that is God's command. When we are sparing a child in the womb, that is God's command. When we are killing a convicted felon in the gas chamber, then that is God's command. God's command becomes conveniently present when the people of God decide to do the killing and the sparing. This, they say, is good judgment. Judgment it is.
Generally, the Judeo-Christian mind assumes that evil is in man’s nature and therefore man is evil. Many people are taught this from birth. People determine what evil is and where it comes from and then they act on those beliefs. In this very real sense, their conceived evil (like King David's) is experienced. People, indeed, prove their evil beliefs by their actions. Conveniently, many of these folks later say they’re sorry and try to change their “evil” ways. At that point, according to the repented saints, God is showing his forgiveness on them.
What happens to people when you teach them that they are depraved and evil? They act depraved and evil. Many argue that people will act evil regardless if you tell them they are evil. Have you ever heard the saying that you don’t have to teach a child to lie, that they will just naturally say untruths? Why do you really think people tell lies? Could it be that their parent/guardians have taught them to do just that? We teach children by our actions far more than with our words. Children create lies when they fear revealing the truth. What if parents didn’t fear the truth? Perhaps then their children would not fear the truth. Just a thought.
Is it possible that the universe is better off without a Christian God and devil?
“It is far better to have no heaven than to have heaven and hell; better to have no God than God and Devil. Better to rest in eternal sleep than to be an angel and know that the ones you love are suffering eternal pain; better to live a free and loving life - a life that ends forever at the grave - than to be an immortal slave.” -Robert Green Ingersoll, The Devil, 1899
If you take the devil from the scheme of salvation, atonement, and eternity, then the foundation for Christianity is gone. There is no Christianity without the devil, biblically speaking. If the devil doesn’t exist then the fall of man never happened. If the fall never happened then the cross is void of meaning.
I have noticed something very interesting about many people who follow the religions of the Bible. The more they believe in the biblical God and the biblical devil, the more they become like them. They become godly and devilish. One of the most striking characteristics that these believers manifest is their religious prerogative. Like their gods, they insist on their privilege to choose the doctrines of their faith. They choose whether to kill or spare other people. They choose whether or not (they think) other people are saved. They reserve the right to choose what is right and wrong for other people. They insist on having their own choice while very often denying others the right to choose. These characteristics are very much like the God of the Bible. Like King David, they are after God’s own heart.