Richard Dawkins offered critique of David Cameron’s speech which was given on Friday 16th December 2011 at Christ Church Oxford, that Britain needs to return to Christian ideals. Dawkins, as typical, lashed out with verbal hand grenades at this claim by saying the Bible is, “an appalling moral compass”.
Dawkins also said, “The Christian bible will help us with our literature,” and “It should therefore be taught in schools in literature classes, but it’s not going to help us with our morals, far from it.”
Dawkins also said; “The bible is a terrible moral compass, if you think about it. Of course, you can cherry pick the verses that you like, which means the verses that happen to coincide with our modern secular consensus, but then you need to have a rationale for leaving out the ones that say stone people to death if they break the Sabbath, or if they commit adultery. It’s an appalling moral compass.”
Dawkins is correct that people cherry pick the verses they like, but clearly he is more guilty of this than the average Christian. The problem with Dawkins is that he has a very poor Theological understanding and a surface level interpretation of the Biblical narrative. He seems to willfully ignore context and historical settings.
He seems to think that when the Law of Moses commands stoning for adultery, that that command is somehow absent of any abrogation.
Dawkins stated in his criticism; “you can cherry pick the verses that you like, which means the verses that happen to coincide with our modern secular consensus, but then you need to have a rationale for leaving out the ones that say stone people to death if they break the Sabbath, or if they commit adultery.”
How long must we put up with this credulous argument?
When Jesus stood before Pontius Pilate and Pilate spoke to the Jewish people, they wanted to crucify Jesus and Pilate said to them; “Take ye Him, and judge Him according to your law. The Jews therefore said unto him, It is not lawful for us to put any man to death” John 18: 31.
Clearly John 18: 31 states that the Jews in the time of Christ were subject to Roman law and not Mosaic law.
The question is why does Dawkins continue to claim that stoning people to death for breaking the Sabbath or for adultery is part of the Christian faith? Did Christ not say to those who wanted to stone the woman caught in adultery; “he who is without sin among you let him cast a first stone at her” John 8: 7
Who then is without sin?
What is clear to anyone who knows the Bible chronologically, is that the books which Dawkins likes to refer to are part of the Torah, the Pentateuch, being the first 5 books of Moses, which contain the ancient Law of Moses. This law which Dawkins often quotes was an ancient law given to the historical nation of Israel. It was not a law written or given to the Gentiles.
The historical Law of Moses was divided into three sections:
1) The Commandments
2) The ordainances
3) The judgement
The context of the Law suggests the following;
1) We must distinguish between the Ten Commandments and the Law of Moses. For the ‘moralia’ or ‘the 10 Commandments’ were not written by Moses but by God Himself. This means that the moral code of the Ten Commandments have not been abrogated.
2) The Law and ordainances were given to ancient Israel only. Exodus 19:3, Leviticus 26:46 and Romans 3:19, 9:4 clearly states this. Deuteronomy 4:8, Romans 2:12-14 clearly states that the Law of Moses was not given to the Gentiles but to Israel. Acts 15:5-24, Romans 6:14 and Galatians 2:19 likewise confirm this. This includes the ceremonies and rituals, of which is at no time are they imposed upon the Gentile Church (Acts 15:5 – 24).
3) Christ stated in Matttew 5: 17 that He fulfilled the Law, that is to take the punishment of it upon Himself. Paul confirms this when he states in Romans 10:4 that Christ is the end of the Law for righteousness. From this it is clear that the Bible states that righteousness does not come through the law but through Christ alone.
What is clear from correct study of the scriptures is that the judgement and penalties for breaking the Law of Moses was abolished in and through the life death and resurrection of Jesus. In other words, the wrath and harsh judgement of the Law was poured out upon Jesus.
The problem with atheists like Dawkins is that they are clearly ignorant of the Bible they freely critique.
Perhaps Mr Dawkins would care to give me an example of Christians who stone people to death? Or perhaps Mr Dawkins would care to join me in Biblical research or maybe he would care to read a book of Systematic Theology or evangelical Theology? Or better still, maybe Mr Dawkins would be better to leave the Theology to the Theologians and spend the next ten years in Biblical research and until then, cease from slandering a book he clearly does not understand.
It is clear to me that Dawkins has an agenda and his agenda is to slander Christianity and to abolish faith schools, because in reality, Dawkins appears to be a mere scientist, but inwardly he is a ferocious wolf who is part of a pack that seeks to spiritually devour Christ’s sheep and any lambs who may come to Him. But in reality, they cannot overcome the good Shepherd. For He cares for His sheep of which Richard Dawkins is not one of them (John 10: 25-29).
Simon Peter Sutherland
20th December 2011