Here’s another one from Julian Haydon which is of interest as it is something I brought up in my last book, The Nativity: A Critical Examination (available from the sidebar):
O BEAUTIFUL STAR OF BETHLEHEM?
IT CAUSED THE SLAUGHTER OF EVERY MALE BABY UNDER TWO IN BETHLEHEM AND VICINITY
Surely both, that the star appeared and the wise men knew to follow it to find the baby Jesus, was a miracle. Can there be any doubt?So why did it lead them to Jerusalem, the wrong town — and much worse — to Herod, who only became aware of His rival after the wise men inquired about the new born King of the Jews? It was then that Herod resolved to kill Jesus.
Herod told the wise men in effect, “Go to Bethlehem, find Jesus, and then return to me so I can go and worship him too.” This time the star took the wise men unerringly, not just to Bethlehem, but to the very house of Mary and Jesus! There, they were warned in a dream not to go back to Herod.
Herod, furious that he was not obeyed, then decreed that every boy in Bethlehem and its immediate vicinity, age two and under, be put to death.Why didn’t the “miracle” of the star lead the wise men to baby Jesus in the first place so there would never have been a slaughter of the innocents?
Was it God’s intention that they be slaughtered? He surely knew they would be. In fact, Christians claim it was so prophesied in scripture:
“Then was fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Jeremiah: ‘A voice was heard in Ramah, wailing and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be consoled, because they were no more.” (Matthew 2:17)
It is not possible that a loving, just and merciful God, who is all-powerful and knows everything that has ever happened or will ever happen, could do such a thing.
It is yet more proof-positive that the whole Christian story is a man-made farrago of impossibilities, contradictions, some good advice, much barbaric advice and the absolute nadir of evil: eternal punishment forever for most of all humanity, by a God who is very definition of justice, love, mercy and forgiveness!