Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States
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1. In the Old Testament, they used to offer animal sacrifice to God. This was not good enough. Is that why Jesus was sacrificed? If so, does God then accept human sacrifice?

2. In the Old Testament, the Jews use to conquer cities, take them over like God commanded them, so they can clean them from idols and unbelievers. He actually commanded them to kill people. So how come in the Ten Commandments, it says do not kill?

3. If that is how God wanted to clean the cities from idols, then is that the same concept that some people use today to kill Christians (whom they call unbelievers)?

  1. Animal sacrifices were symbolic of the acceptable true Sacrifice—the Lamb of God, whom the faithful Israelites anticipated His incarnation to save the world and carry their sins. In his letter to the Hebrews, St. Paul compares the inferiority of the Old Testament sacrifices and the high priesthood of the Old Testament to Christ the Messiah and King, the superior Sacrifice and High Priest.

  2. The Commandments forbid murder of innocent persons. However, death was allowed in self-defense and as a penalty for certain crimes.

  3. There is no comparison of any of the wars mentioned in the Old Testament to the modern atrocities witnessed in today's media. The Israelites engaged in wars between many unlawful and indecent nations that promoted widespread corruption, promiscuity, and violence throughout the land. Actually, God could have easily wiped them out in a second, but His patience and desire for their repentance was revealed. Several centuries had passed before Moses confronted the Egyptians. Not even did ten plagues with warnings persuade Pharaoh to let the Israelites leave Egypt. The Ninevites quickly ordered a fast and repented at the preaching of Jonah. The believers, then and now, were never told to use inhumane brutality. Nowhere in the Holy Scripture were any forced through economic suffocation or by threats of mutilation or death to believe. There is no comparison or justification to the barbaric murders used by other religions as a form of religious cleansing.

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