Question:

I stumbled across your web site and saw the drawing of the stoning of Achan. In the upper right it said something about pictures going with children's Bible stories. You don't really mean to teach children about stoning do you?

Answer:

You misunderstood. The pictures are from an old children's Bible story book. In this case it is from Treasures of the Bible by Henry Davenport Northrop, D.D. published by International Publishing Company, 1894.

Thank you. I hope that you are teaching all people to reject violence, even as the Bible is chock full of this type of ugliness.

Yes, sin is ugly. But I don't condemn justice. Achan and his family sinned. God ordered the punishment; thus it was right. His sin lead to other people dying in the battle at Ai. "Did not Achan the son of Zerah commit a trespass in the accursed thing, and wrath fell on all the congregation of Israel? And that man did not perish alone in his iniquity" (Joshua 22:20).

"So the LORD said to Joshua: "Get up! Why do you lie thus on your face? Israel has sinned, and they have also transgressed My covenant which I commanded them. For they have even taken some of the accursed things, and have both stolen and deceived; and they have also put it among their own stuff. Therefore the children of Israel could not stand before their enemies, but turned their backs before their enemies, because they have become doomed to destruction. Neither will I be with you anymore, unless you destroy the accursed from among you. Get up, sanctify the people, and say, 'Sanctify yourselves for tomorrow, because thus says the LORD God of Israel: "There is an accursed thing in your midst, O Israel; you cannot stand before your enemies until you take away the accursed thing from among you. In the morning therefore you shall be brought according to your tribes. And it shall be that the tribe which the LORD takes shall come according to families; and the family which the LORD takes shall come by households; and the household which the LORD takes shall come man by man. Then it shall be that he who is taken with the accursed thing shall be burned with fire, he and all that he has, because he has transgressed the covenant of the LORD, and because he has done a disgraceful thing in Israel.'" (Joshua 7:10-15)

Yes, we teach children and adults these events because all need to understand that God doesn't take disobedience lightly. "But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who "will render to each one according to his deeds": eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality; but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness--indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek" (Romans 2:5-9).

It appears you are attempting to bring judgment against the Judge of all the world. "Do not speak evil of one another, brethren. He who speaks evil of a brother and judges his brother, speaks evil of the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. There is one Lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy. Who are you to judge another?" (James 4:11-12). Do not condemn the righteous for obeying God.

That is exactly what I feared. "And God ordered the punishment. Thus it was right"

Women, children, animals who had nothing to do with Achan's "sin" being stoned to death at God's command?! This is the type of tribal mentallity that has Iraqis slaughtering each other, and has plagued man for generations. How can this be rationally justified? This is the kind of barbaric thinking that occurs when you abandon an independent, rationally based moral perspective. Why are people so afraid to say that something is wrong, when it is so obviously wrong, regardless of the authority that commands it.

I am truly saddened.

And thus you condemn yourself. I hope you repent before you have to explain yourself before the very same God.