Quoting the Bible IN Context


Question:

It seems that whenever anyone quotes from the Bible it is automatically out of context, or that whatever the Bible says, Christians just believe the opposite.  For example, It says homosexuality is wrong - Christians don't. It says that women shouldn't speak in church - Christians don't believe this either.

Have I now found the right context, should I just believe the opposite of whatever the Bible says.

My Reply:
I think one of the biggest issues we have in Christianity today is that so many "Christians" are biblically illiterate and very liberal in their theology. So they don't know what the Bible says, and even when they do, they pick and choose what they want to believe, usually based on feelings, friends’ experiences, or cultures outside the Church.

Actually, I'm glad you mentioned the 1 Corinthians text in your question. For, in response to it, if you put it into the correct context, you'll see that believing that women shouldn't speak at all in church is in fact taking that little paragraph out of context.  

1 Corinthians is a reply letter from Paul to the Corinthians. Part of it is what was reported to Paul from members of Chloe's house-church, part of it was in response to a previous letter written to him asking about certain issues.  In 1 Corinthians 14:34-35, Paul is addressing the need for order during the worship service.

In the context of this passage, the girls didn't understand everything being preached...it was over their heads. But instead of asking their OWN husbands, they were asking other men and other women's husbands, thus disrupting the worship, and disturbing the men they were asking, who really wanted to listen. Notice IN CONTEXT, Paul tells them that they should shut up and wait until after they're home, where they should ask their OWN husbands for understanding.  Paul says it's disgraceful for them to speak in church because the focus is supposed to be fully on the Lord...their disturbances are preventing this (it's in sync with Paul's talk about the head coverings).  If you have doubt of this, then notice that women were not the only ones Paul tells to shut up in service, but also prophets who were speaking out of turn, and those speaking in tongues without interpreters, something you'll notice if you keep this paragraph in the context.
So you see, Paul wasn't saying that women (in general) shouldn't speak in church, but that these particular women need to shut their mouths during worship so as to stop disrupting the focus from Christ.

As for homosexuality, you're right, it is wrong. I think though that so many people attack gays with the Bible that people's compassions cause them to see scripture incorrectly, thus judging it or counting it wrong. Then they start believing whatever they want (or feel is right) instead of what the Bible actually says. I think that if they were to focus on 1 Corinthians 6:11 ("And that's what some of you WERE. But you were washed, sanctified, and justified..."), instead of the verses before it, they'll see that it's not a means of tearing gays down, but helping them to understand that such is not the behavior of those within the Body of Christ...there's supposed to be a transformation by the Holy Spirit that takes place...a cleansing, sanctification, justification, and transformation. Those behaviors mentioned in this chapter are those of the culture outside the Church, and thus unacceptable as ones of those called to be Holy, as God is Holy.

How's that for quoting scripture IN context?



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