Wednesday, November 28, 2012

All We Need Is A Little Context

Pose a question of biblical consistency you'll find the apologetic Christian’s chambered response often deals with context. This is a valid response...if it is indeed valid. Taking a thing, anything, out of context to elevate, degrade, or otherwise warp it’s meaning is universally unfair--but please know that just because a dirty, rotten atheist quoted your holy book doesn’t mean it was taken out of context. An explanation as to why context is relevent and how it was misused is always necassary. For clarity, I’ll provide an example.

Let’s take a passage beloved by all Christians, John 3:16.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
If I knew nothing about Christianity, I might read this passage thinking that God’s child saved his supporters from some impending doom. I might even fill in the blanks with a heroic story like that of Zeus sending Hercules to resuce loyal Greeks from the intensions of Hades. Overall, a positive depiction of the biblical God that merits eyeliner advertising on quarterbacks nationwide. Unfortunately, this is not the case.

In context, this passage refers to Jehovah, a god who’s son, Jesus, was born to be sadistically murdered in order to overturn a rule that Jehovah himself created that condemned every man, woman and child to hell because an ancient decenant of humanity was tricked by a snake that (again) Jehovah himself created.

In context, God’s “love” is too little, too late. A more honest passage might read something like this:
For God so needed validation that he sacrifed his one and only son, that whoever worships him shall not be condemned to death.
So, theists, please, if I’m ever out of context, enlighten me. I’ll do the same.


  1. Ah. I knew you couldn't stay away from blogging for very long. It's strangely addictive, no?

    Great point. It's funny, but I usually find that it is the Christians themselves who are the farthest out of context. Maybe on the inside they know that, so claiming atheists are out of context is just a case of projection? Kapooooow!

  2. I know when I was a christian, I just used "out of context" as a shield. I didn't even necessarily have an idea of what I thought the context was, I pretty much just assumed that if I didn't like something someone was saying, it must be out of context. The bible is perfect after all, even if I can't see why something is good, I'm sure smarter people than me have figured it out.

  3. God saves us from himself. I never thought about it like that before. Excellent.