How can we suggest others consider a relationship with a Creator that possibly advocates ethnic cleansing in the Old Testament? Some justify their actions because they think the Bible supports certain beliefs. Others suggest God can do whatever the heck He wants since the Creator of the Universe. I disagree. We are made in God’s image and actions wrong for human beings are wrong for God. Contrary to belief God never forces one to worship Him, unlike other gods, much less advocate ethnic cleansing because of differing beliefs.
See here where I have written previously how God did not advocate genocide in the OT. Ethnic cleansing typically means the killing of people, including women and children, because of their nationality or religious beliefs. Hitler sought to destroy every Jewish man, woman, and child. God is accused of ordering the Israelites to do the same of those in the land of Canaan. I consider such behaviors different than when God or leaders of a nation must engage in war to either protect themselves from an attacker or possible to even prevent attackers from eventually invading their land. Such wars cannot always prevent innocent people from dying.
God always desires peaceful alternatives. God ordered attacking a nation because of their wicked actions inspired by their gods and not their religious beliefs. Nations in the OT were involved in practices such as bestiality, incest, and child sacrifice to their gods (Lev. 18:21). God desired the Israelites be able to live in safety around their enemies. Evil though seldom chooses to live together without imposing their beliefs. Unfortunately, innocent lives cannot be spared to protect one from surrounding nations. Does it matter that at least Israel’s God can make good on His promise to provide a better place after death for non-survivors than continuing to be subjected to the practices of adult evildoers? Driving the Canaanites out of their land and into neighboring nations where they would be the minority could also force them to change their evil practices.
It is often assumed that God is opposed to freedom of religion. Is God really any different than those who suggest infidels must be killed because of their religion? Does God do the same either in this life or in the life to come? God’s anger or judgments are not because of a refusal to worship Him but because people are involved in despicable immoral acts. God is no different than most who believe in freedom of choice except when choices violate the innate rights of others. God does not demand you worship or believe in Him.
God allows choices in this life and you will not burn in Hell after death for such a choice. Hell, not a translation but a substitution for certain Hebrew and Greek words, is an invention over the centuries to scare people into submission and obedience. Sheol and Gehenna, words translated into the word Hell in the Bible, are not a place of sadistic torturing after death for those who do not choose to worship God during their life on earth. The Bible doesn’t say exactly what happens to those who don’t follow God during their time on earth. The God I know though will invite all after death to join Him. I doubt any reading this or their loved ones will not accept such an invitation.
Differences between the Israelites’ God and the Canaanites’ and extremist Islamists’ God is obvious. God has been a respecter of freedom of beliefs from the beginning. God knows freedom is necessary for authentic relationships. Not even God can force genuine love. I am convinced that God only wants who we desire to be deep down but unable to achieve on our own. God never advocates torture or murder of infidels. Recently, extreme Islamists executed children for not fasting. Blasphemers are put to death. Warriors are promised a lustful afterlife at the expense of women. You can blaspheme or not believe in God but how you treat others has consequences.