The reason the Bible, in Mr. Rush’s eyes, “is not a good guide to ethical behavior” is that ethics is a word not known today. Lying, cheating, stealing, immorality, sodomy, and such evils are considered the norm today. We cover it over by saying things like “it’s just a white lie”, “no one got hurt”, or “it’s an alternate lifestyle”. The problem is that people reject that our sins are not against each other but against a thrice Holy God! Is the Bible unreliable as a guide because the ethics that God chooses are holy and the ethics we choose today are evil? Is God wrong because man wants to be right?
Mr. Rush has seen God’s judgment in the Old Testament but he has failed to see God’s love and His holiness. In His love, God gave moral laws meant to help man in their relationship with each other and with God. If man would follow these laws our society would be much better off. It is not that God’s Word is unreliable but that man’s desires are unreliable!
Mr. Rush has continually stated the faults of Christians, many falsely so called. As a Christian I know that I am not perfect and the sins of professing Christians have, in effect, “shot us in the foot”. I agree that people who profess to be a Christian should live up to God’s moral laws or stop calling themselves a Christian and defaming God’s Holy name. We are not perfect but are forgiven and should live like we are. But let us not forget that the greatest wrongs against humanity have been by non-Christians, whether atheist or religious. The crusades, religious people but totally un-Christian; The Holocaust, an atheist; Massacre of innocent Cambodians, an atheist; 911, religious but not Christian; Abortion, led by an atheist.
God has the right and the obligation to punish those that do not heed His laws. Knowing we could never live up entirely to those laws God sent His son, Jesus, to take our penalty on the cross so that we might be saved. God is a God of judgment but His love is greater! As a good parent will punish a child for wrong doing so that he will be better, God punishes His people to help us learn to be more like Him. Those who are not His children will one day be punished in the Lake of Fire but until then His cry is the same; “Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”