This exchange with troll-dog David is causing me to think about the whole “out of context” accusation. David isn’t the first person to accuse me of taking the bible out of context, and he won’t be the last.
Yesterday I posted that clip from Bill O’Reilly, in which he quotes a confusing parable as being superior to understanding Jesus over his direct words to sell all possessions and give it all to the poor. O’Reilly used that parable of the talents (or money) to mean that not investing money is an abomination to god and can result in hellfire. Therefore poor people should be investing their money so they too can be rich as he is. What a callous prick.
O’Reilly showed just how blissfully ignorant he is. First of all, the douchebag doesn’t believe in handouts. So he’s never going to give anyone any sum of money, wait for them to invest it and bring back the money doubled.
The poor don’t have enough money to stretch from paycheck to paycheck. Have you ever tried to live on minimum wage? It’s impossible.
Where do I invest my pocket lint?
The poor know little to nothing about investing anyway. Hell, I’m an idiot when it comes to investments. And the way this economy is, the investments I have made have zeroed out.
I’ve got money in low-interest bearing savings accounts, so it’s like burying my money. Only this way, I don’t lose money by sinking it into risky investments where I could lose all of it.
Even though I’m a hard worker, the economy has stolen what money I’ve invested. Who am I going to blame for this? God? Myself? Tradition and thought leaders told me I should invest. God told me I should invest. But I lose and I lost. Does this mean that regardless of whether I invested or not and even if I was a Christian, I would be in threat of hellfire?
My brother-in-law is a hard worker. He hasn’t drawn a paycheck from the business he runs in over three years. My taxes pay for part of his groceries through a welfare system. And I like that. When people around me in line at the grocery pay with their food stamp cards, I consider how great the infrastructure works. What if I were standing in line and the hungry guy in front of me is buying $30 of groceries, only to turn to me when the cashier asks for $30 with an expectant face and an open palm?
Sure there are lazy people in the system. I hate to break the bad news, but everybody’s lazy. Sure, sure, you have a job. You go every day. But do you REALLY work the entire time? Do you really do everything you can to make the world a better place? Do you really think you’re superior to the guy who is sick and tired of working for $4.25 an hour so he takes a 10-year sabbatical?
I’m worried about Tina’s and my welfare in 2011. I’m really worried about my brother-in-law’s welfare in 2011. Tina and I are officially joining forces in 2011. I’m excited, but I’ve also found out that I’m losing a couple accounts that I’ve had for eight years.
If I took the bible in context, no one would worry about a thing. God takes care of the birds of the air, right? If I needed something, I just have to ask a fellow Christian, and they’ll not only give me their jacket but their shirt too. Reading Jesus’ direct words and repeating them is out of context to people like David. Jesus didn’t really mean, give people the shirt of your back when he said give the shirt of your back. He was joking. It was a metaphor for give them a wet blanket of guilt and frustration when they are hungry or in need.
Spiritual food is much more valuable than physical food. Give them spiritual nourishment. Give them spiritual clothing. They’ll have a metaphorical belly full and a warm spiritual feeling that will get them all the way to a second from now.
Christians don’t want to be Christians anymore than the rest of us
Christians don’t want to be Christians anymore than I do. They say, Jesus is grace, and they don’t deserve his forgiveness and mercy, but thanks to the price he paid on the cross, they don’t have to follow the other stuff he said. They only have to believe in his death and resurrection.
This post took a turn from where I started. I told Tina this morning what I was going to write. I haven’t written that part yet.
I was going to present a hypothetical. You know this whole idea that believers say, “That part of the bible pertains to a certain time when people needed that understanding. They needed slavery in the bible, but we don’t need that anymore. So that part we can ignore.”
Or they say, “God needed women to not talk in public in biblical times, but things have changed and it’s okay if they talk now.”
What kind of bullshit is that? Were women idiots in the bible times? What was god saving his people from given his magical, all-knowing status?
In biblical times, slavery was necessary, because their economies wouldn’t have survived otherwise. And slave owners treated slaves better back then. Being owned by another person, not having individuality, not being free to have or not have a mortgage payment … that was part of god’s plan.
Christianity is built on taking the bible out of context.
Say bible culture still existed today, and somehow Sarah Palin were elected president. Say you’re brother was chosen as one of Sarah Palin’s cabinet members and he also acted as a security detail. The first day on the job, they bring your brother in a room and make him a eunuch. That’s to say, they cut off his balls. For Sarah Palin’s sexual protection, your brother would need to lose his sexuality all together.
Don’t you think you would be a person who would campaign to end castrating Sarah Palin’s male cabinet members (pun intended)?
If you lived in a day when slavery was accepted, do you think you’d go against the bible’s context and be for it, or do you think you’d campaign and rally against it?
You live in a time when people who love each other aren’t allowed to marry one another because they are the same sex. Why aren’t you campaigning to support them? Why aren’t you taking this part of the holy, less-than-perfect scriptures out of context?
The long and the short:
I argue that Christians aren’t followers of Christ. They do what’s convenient. The assimilate new cultural ideas when public perceptions force them to do so. They retire old thoughts and move forward with the rest of us … only when it becomes convenient.
After looking at things this way, I don’t think I’ll feel that alone this Christmas when I’m surrounded by the Yeshua Fog™.