I can have my cake because you ate it out of context.

Uhh…listen, Abe, I think you might be taking God out of context.

There is nothing stranger than watching the reaction of a verse-slinging Christian who defends a claim by pitching a verse, as if it were some form of experimental data or logical axiom, that is subsequently returned with a line-drive from the very same scriptural tradition that either refutes that verse or demonstrates that quoting the ‘good’ book is a suspect endeavor to begin with. Although there is a fair chance that they were completely oblivious to the particular verse that is returned to them, they do know ofsuch verses and are well prepared to mount a defense that is also contradictory. It usually starts out with a verse about some social norm – the common one these days is homosexuality. The anti-gay bigot is stuck defending the sanctity of marriage and brings out Lev 18:22, Lev 20:13, or as Paul condemned it in Romans.  But as soon as you point out that the Leviticus verses are sandwiched between a bunch of completely bizarre laws that we now laugh at and ignore or as soon as you point out that along with homosexuals Paul’s writings are none too friendly to women, the believer will enter into a hypnotic defense.

The bible literary means you have to “know” the bible. You will find who, what, when, why, and where your quote belongs when you look.

In other words, you pick the quote for the situation you are trying to distort and any verses that disagree are no longer relevant, out of cultural context, hyperbole, or are simply being misinterpreted. Another response that has been used previously in the discussion thread on this blog:

Cultural context must be considered and is paramount to understanding original intent. Without cultural context what would people 4,000 years from now think your ramblings mean. The bible is misunderstood because of a failure to appreciate the context of when it was written.

Conveniently, all the verses that support the believers position are ‘still’ relevant, while any that damage that position either directly or collaterally as a result of taking the bible literally, must be ignored.  As a result, we have something to the effect of:

  1. God hates ‘A’
  2. ‘B’ is an abomination to God
  3. God condemns homosexuality
  4. Those who do ‘D’ surely deserve to die.

But it follows – God doesn’t hate ‘A’ because Jesus established a new covenant. ‘B’ was an abomination with respect to a 4000-year-old society, but that doesn’t apply any longer. ‘D’ is completely metaphorical and doesn’t really mean you can’t do ‘D’ – real meaning was probably lost in the translation somewhere. But let’s stick to their guns on #3, “Oh yeah, he hates homosexuals. That much is clear, because when I pray and introspect – I hate homosexuals, in this way Jesus is telling me #3 is still valid.”

Elisha and God loved the youths, but of course they had to die.

Okay. Okay. Neither God nor Christians hate homosexuals-they hate homosexuality. Right. Right. (That’s kind of like saying, “No, no, I don’t hate comedians at all. I hate hilarity.”)  Love the sinner hate the sin. Listen, if you want to claim that it is possible to love someone even thought you disagree with them that is fine. Sure. But you cannot tell me that you love someone who you think deserves to burn in hell. That’s a weird, sadistic feeling of righteousness that should not be confused with love. The two homosexuals who say, “screw it, we know it doesn’t work in that messed up biblical way – we’ll love who we want to love” understand a little something more about love than the nutjob saying “I love you, you wonderful hell-bound sinner, I really love you. Too bad you’re gonna have to burn.”

So if there is a god who demands that a gay person deserves to burn in hell for living life as a gay person, then whatever that god feels for that person, it cannot be equated to love.  Because if there is one obvious thing about love, it is that when you love someone you tend not to believe they deserve to suffer eternally, particularly for stuff that doesn’t really affect anyone else negatively.

jk

5 Comments to “I can have my cake because you ate it out of context.”

  1. Kelly 20 October 2010 at 8:58 pm #

    The CROSS of Jesus Christ displays the justice and mercy of God. WE don’t decide what sin is or how it’s dealt with. God does and it’s His to deal with. Repent and believe, pretty simple, but sometimes people won’t come because they love the darkness more than the light, for the light would expose their evil deeds. God invites EVERY sinner to come, repent, and receive His mercy. He doesn’t turn anyone away.

    • Jon K 20 October 2010 at 11:27 pm #

      If you pick what to follow based on your biases (for example by ignoring anti-women directives) and using a ‘context’ excuse then you most certainly are deciding what sin is and how to deal with it. (Mostly out of necessity because if you followed the law as written you would not be permitted to participate in contemporary society.)

      Your god turns away every mind that chooses to think rather than simply blindly obey.

  2. LeeS 21 October 2010 at 7:16 am #

    OK, just to make sure I get your point Jon. This country that we live in, based on Christian values I am often told, would probably still not allow woman the right to vote, had we not have chose to ignore those passages in the good book.

    • Jon K 21 October 2010 at 8:40 am #

      Wouldn’t even go that far. I’m saying the very act of blowing off biblical law which we find as irrelevant IS deciding what sin is and how it’s dealt with. The bible says x, y, & z then one who says “well, not x & z but y because god says so” is the act of choosing what sin is, (and not stoning folks to death for y is choosing how it’s dealt with.) The excuse of “hey, I don’t determine god’s law” is the same as the Nazi death camp worker who throws up his hands and says I’m not the one who says we have to do this-just following orders.” This mentality leads to destructive behavior.

  3. Kelly 21 October 2010 at 3:24 pm #

    Jon, you obviously didn’t take a moment to check out what I sent you a few weeks back; this on why GOD says the Old Testament Law is no longer binding!

    http://www.gospelway.com/bible/old_testament_value.php

    Sin is still sin, according to God, but how HE chooses for it to be dealt with is different and established through the New Testament Law.

    God certainly wants you to think, Jon, yet your thinking regarding Him is seriously flawed and that is what totally keeps you from trusting that His heart IS good towards you. If you’re really honest, you might see that you don’t want to obey Him in anything, so you look for every reason not to. As you once suggested in a previous post that everything has a counter. The counter sucks, yet that’s where you continue to head. I’m praying for you.


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