Worst Bible Passages?

I was very interested to see Ship of Fools running a thread and poll of readers' least favourite Bible passages. This was taken up and published by the Daily Telegraph with the comment that the Bible (and therefore I presume, by extension, Christians who believe the Bible) approves of sexism, genocide and slavery. Here is the list of top 10 passages:

1. The ban on women teaching in church (1 Timothy 2:12)
2. Samuel’s instruction to ‘totally destroy’ the Amalekites (1 Samuel 15:3)
3. Moses’ command ‘Do not allow a sorceress to live.’ (Exodus 22:18)
4. The ending of Psalm 137 ‘Happy are those who seize your infants and dash them against the rocks’
5. The gang rape and murder of a concubine (Judges 19:25-28)
6. The condemnation of homosexuality (Romans 1:27)
7. Jephthah’s vow which led to his daughter being sacrificed (Judges 11)
8. God’s instruction to Abraham to sacrifice Isaac (Genesis 22:2)
9. The instruction that wives submit to their husbands (Ephesians 5:22)
10. The instruction that slaves submit to their masters (1 Peter 2:18)

Now clearly there are some things here that are very difficult, painful and sensitive for all people (albeit some of the passages are about things that the very passage it occurs in wholeheartedly condemns - no. 5 most notably), but that also present special difficulties for Christian believers who hold:

(a) the Bible is truthful and honest

(b) that the God who reveals himself in it is both loving and just

(c) that Christians have to exemplify the love of God in Jesus,

(d) that we neither approve any of sexism, genocide or slavery, but also don't write off either the Bible as wrong or wicked, or God as wrong or wicked

I don't doubt that some will read (d) and assume that all Christians who won't write off either God or the Bible implicitly condone sexism, genocide and slavery. But there will be others with more goodwill for whom texts like these really are a huge obstacle to believing that God is kind, loving and good and that the Bible is truthful and reliable. For the sake of those who really want good answers it behoves all those of us who agree with points A-D to think very hard about how we answer with depth and kindness, and to feel the real sense of pain, difficulty and ethical concern that can accompany such questions.

None of these issues is a theoretical plaything to be answered in the abstract. All are heart-wrenching and to be approached doing our best to feel the depths of struggle they can provoke in any thoughtful person looking for deep satisfying answers to some of life's (and the Bible's) most difficult questions. I have always thought the most difficult question I know is "how can God be more glorious by letting evil exist?" Its interesting to find folk in this poll who I suspect come from quite a different starting point to me clearly troubled by much the same question.