Imagine you and a friend Samuel and I are standing in a group. I say to Samuel that “You are my brother.” Then I tell you that “Samuel is my brother.” This is the explanation. The Father told the Son, “You are my beloved Son.” Then he told those at his baptism, “This is my beloved son.” The solution is so simple, it is hard to understand why an atheist bothered to claim a contradiction in this case.
The question of the killing of Canaanite children is a significantly harder one, I will have to say. Jesus said about children that “For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.” (Matthew 18:11). I believe that when young children die, they go to be with God, as they are not sinners and they are not accountable for their actions in the same way that accountable adults are.
Still, even though these children will be saved and will be with God for eternity, it is hard to accept that children were killed by the Jews in the Old Testament, and that God told them to do it. I have written an article about this, and will copy and paste some notes below.
You ask why, then, do I live an adult life with the risk of going to hell.
My response, is this: Do you wish you had died at eight years old? Do you wish you had not experienced the life of an adult–with the opportunity to love others, to marry, to have children, to make a difference in the world, and to have a real relationship with God? God created so that he could love us, that we could love him and that we could love one another. The fact that some reject God’s love is not evidence that it is bad that children become adults.
A few points on the subject of why God sanctioned warfare by the Jews in the Old Testament (in which children were killed) below:
1. If you are not bothered by this on some level, I am worried about you!
2. The argument assumes that physical death is bad/evil. This is a false assumption. Sin is evil but death is not. Death is a transition, hopefully, to something better.
3. This is the Creator talking here. Like the father said to his kid: I brought you into the world, and I can take you out! God has every right to do as he wills.
4. God has a perfect right to judge.
5. There is the issue of the religion of the Amelekites. Sacrificing of children, worshipping gods by having sex with a prostitute in the temple, etc.
6. The situation for the children in this situation was hopeless.
7. In the case of Amelek and other Canaanites, both God’s love and his justice demanded
that something be done.
8. Either God was going to create a nation or he was not. If God is going to have a “people,” then such people must have a physical land and must have an army.
a. God’s plan is to choose a man, then a nation, through whom to send a savior.
God’s plan to bless humanity through Jesus trumps all else.
b. It is sinful to take the life of another in anger, out of greed or selfishness, but it
is not necessarily sinful to take a life in war.
9. Everything God did to Israel as a nation was to limit their ability to wage war.
a. No authority to establish an empire.
b. No standing army.
c. No cruelty, no abuse, no rape