I don’t typically go out of my way to talk to people about things concerning my faith because it is a very personal subject for me. But I’m tired of people going “Oh, look, silly bible quotes that make God look terrible because I gave no context! Silly Christians!”
I would like to say that these are all seriously taken out of context. So I went through and tried to give a better understanding of what’s going on in each.
Please do me the favor of at least glancing at what I have to say. Even if you don’t believe in the Bible (or whatever), this isn’t really a case of theology. That’s not why I wrote it. This is a case of people jumping to conclusions without actually knowing what they’re talking about.
-In this psalm a prisoner has asked his captives to sing him a “Song of Zion.” The men sitting around become distressed because they have forgotten this song which should be dear to them. They start feeling terrible about it and begin talking about themselves in a sarcastic and mocking way. “Blessed is the one who grabs your little children and smashes them against a rock” is something they are saying about themselves. That the Lord is still good to them even though they continue to take what he has given them for granted, which they are comparing to smashing little children into rocks.
1 Timothy 2:12
For this one, the cultural roles of men and women should be taken into consideration at the time. Then, it was a man’s place to teach, not a woman’s. Most everything in the New Testament (Which the 1 and 2 Timothy are) are all just letters written to the churches from the apostles and so of course there are going to be cultural values put into what was taught then.
Alright, there’s a little more back story to this one but I won’t make it long. At this time, the tribes of Israel were wandering around doing whatever they wanted because they were out in the middle of the desert with no King and no law. God saw it and so began to lay some things down. Now, getting into the actual message itself, again, we need to keep in mind cultural views at the time. Women were a lot of times used as collateral and ‘bargaining chips’ when it came to marriage. In exchange for a wife, men or the man’s family would trade goods/money/etc… to the father. However, if a woman was not a virgin, the deal was pretty much off and she could forget about ever getting married. If a woman lost her virginity to rape, not only did that man take steal an emotional part of her away, he also took her future. This law was set in place so that if a woman did lose her virginity due to rape, that man would have to compensate her and her family because she was now worth very little to any potential husband. So again, cultural values are what is being discussed here, not values set by the Lord.
This is another verse that pertains to society at the time but I took the time to look it up to. In all three (different) versions of the bible I looked through, this verse is very different from what’s on the billboard. All it says in the three I looked at is something to the effect of you can buy slaves from foreign lands but you can’t force your own people into slavery. It’s a message you wouldn’t understand, though, if you only read that verse and not the ones before it. Again, this is a law set down simply to regulate the people of the time based on what they thought was okay. It’s not a direct commandment from God and in fact there are a few occasions where God has said in the bible that he does not like slavery. The point of these laws is that God knew people were going to do what they wanted regardless of what God had to say so the best he could do was regulate it.
The whole book of Ezekiel is about visions that Ezekiel saw. In this particular one God had shown him a city and temple full of evil people who practiced “abominable” things and allowed demons and other monsters to “crawl about.” He is then commanded to wipe all of this out. Women were in on these practices as well as men and the children were taught to do the same to the point where there was probably no changing their up-bringing. It was an end all solution, but then again, it was only a vision or a ‘metaphor’ if you will for things that were to come later. It’s figurative, not literal.
Another cultural thing. The message on the build board makes it sound like girls would never be released while the men would. This isn’t the case. When men were slaves, they had to work for seven years and then be released, but if a woman was a slave the man who bought her had to release her immediately and give the money back to whoever sold her if she wasn’t what he wanted her to be. He also had no right to re-sell her if he wanted to. It is explained later in these verses that this law was set in place in order to keep a guy from buying a woman slave, having his way with her once, and then selling her off to someone else or giving her back saying “Oh, she wasn’t what I wanted” because this is deceitful.
God is speaking about a corrupt king who has committed many evil deeds and caused his children (the Israelites and such) much pain and sorrow. This is basically a war cry against an evil man who he plans to take down.
Here, God is speaking about a few Israelites who started to commit sins against the Israelites and the Moab women of the surround region. They also started forming their own cults and such. Because he knows it is not everyone’s fault, just that of the groups who decided to do it, God is saying to Moses that he needs to take these criminals and put them out in the sun, away from everyone else so that his anger will only be turned against them and not everyone else around them too.
Yes. Without context these look pretty terrible… but if you actually took the time to see if that’s what was actually said, you’d find there’s a whole back story that you don’t know about which gives these verses entirely different meanings.
I am not trying to preach to you guys, I’m not trying to convince you of anything faith related, and I am by no means a biblical scholar. But I do know how to pick up a book and read what it actually has to say instead of picking out a few sentences and deciding that’s what the whole thing is about.
Please, don’t judge things (That goes for anything, not just this) until you actually know the full story.