Context

Everything has a before, during, and after. Everything has a context. People’s words have been taken out of context since people could communicate. Politicians words are made into soundbites for ease of taking out of context. The media blows things out of proportion. Articles are written to create sensationalism.

One thing people take out of context all the time are the words in the Bible. People apply verses to their situations that are very different from the original context. They may even use verses as some sort of spell to cast to get what they want. People find certain words and think just that one word or instance in the Bible can support their arguments. (And even one word or instance not in the Bible.) People come to the Bible with an argument already laid out and shove scripture in wherever. Some people see authority in the Bible and want to use it for their own gain. Some people want to discredit Christians and use Bible verses out of context to prove Christians ignorant and wrong.

The Bible is a book of books. Like any book we read, there is a context. Have you ever read memoirs? The original story would be lost if we were to cut and paste it together in a new way. People lose the original meaning when they delete, cut, and paste things from the Bible.

I hate it. Bad theology and bad arguments come from taking the Bible out of context. It promotes ignorance of the truth of what is actually in the Bible.

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3 thoughts on “Context

  1. I can’t believe you compared “quoting the Bible” to “casting spells!” I thought I was the only one who thought that way! I agree with you; they’re looking for authority, and what they want to do once they have it is to control others. I also agree with you that sometimes, this is for flat-out personal gain, whether that be financial, social, or emotional. Other times, I think that people are so wrapped up in trying to keep a lid on their internal fears, that they have to oppose their own sin when they see it in others – or maybe they have to squash all sin everywhere. What puzzles me most, though, is why a Christian would want to use to Bible to gain control over someone who is not a Christian. Why would you think that quoting the Bible to someone who doesn’t believe in the Bible would be effective? Or why would you want to model US law after the Bible, and force everyone who lives here to act like a Christian? Is that for other people’s benefit, because if they act like Christians, then God’ll be, like, Ok, good enough, you can come to heaven? Or it is really selfish on the part of Christians, because they would secretly like to rule the world?

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