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Apostasy law in the Bible

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Christian critics of Islam often bring up the issue of Islam and apostasy, they argue that apostasy in Islam proves Islam is a violent, and barbaric faith and thus cannot be a true religion of God.

In this article we simply want to hold such Christian critics to their own standard, that 1) punishment for apostasy is wrong, 2) having such a law makes the faith violent, 3) and as a result of these two things, the faith cannot be true.

So what does the Bible have to say about the issue of apostasy, turning away from the true God, and joining another religion?

The Bible gives very clear instructions should such a thing occur, we read from Deuteronomy chapter 13:

If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which thou hast not known, thou, nor thy fathers; Namely, of the gods of the people which are round about you, nigh unto thee, or far off from thee, from the one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth; Thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto him; neither shall thine eye pity him, neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal him: But thou shalt surely kill him; thine hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people. And thou shalt stone him with stones, that he die; because he hath sought to thrust thee away from the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage. And all Israel shall hear, and fear, and shall do no more any such wickedness as this is among you. (6-11)

The above verses clearly show that the Bible calls for the death of apostates, as it says, if a family member or someone you know comes to you telling you to go and worship other gods, then you should kill that person.

Now we’re already aware of the response, the Christian critic will respond back by saying “well this is in the Old Testament, we no longer have to follow it”. For the sake of argument, let’s assume you no longer have to follow this law, that doesn’t change the fact that at one point in time, the Bible did have a law calling for the punishment of apostasy, so we ask the Christian critic a simple question, was the Bible wrong to have had such a law back in the day? After all, if Christians are against such a law, deeming it to be violent, and barbaric, then the law itself should’ve been wrong even if it was applicable only during Old Testament times, or do Christian critics say that it was okay back then, but not okay now?

Secondly, even if this law is not applicable for today, are Christian critics willing to condemn the Bible for at one stage, calling for the death of apostates? After all, they go on about how wrong it is, so are they willing to condemn their own Bible for at one stage, allowing, and calling for punishments for apostasy.

To put it simply, was the God of the Bible an intolerant, violent, and barbaric God back in the Old Testament days for putting forward a punishment for apostasy?

Now we already know the answers, the Christian critic who will argue against Islam and apostasy till they are blue in the face, will spare no effort to defend the apostasy laws in the Bible, and will not say a single word of condemnation against their Bible having a law that explicitly calls for the death of apostates.

To sum it up, Christian apologists are only against the punishment of apostasy, when it’s not in the Bible.

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