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How often are quoted bible texts just pretexts out of context?

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How often are quoted bible texts just pretexts out of context?
How often have you seen restful pictures of sunsets, shady glades with streams or wildflower meadows, with the text 'Be still and know that I am God', implying that the whole passage containing this verse in Bible suggests 'relaxing, believing in God, placidly accepting fate and all will be well with the world' ?

What does the text ACTUALLY suggest?

God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed,
and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled,
though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.

There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God,
the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High.
God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved:
God shall help her, and that right early.
The heathen raged, the kingdoms were moved:
he uttered his voice, the earth melted.
The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.

Come, behold the works of the Lord,
what desolations he hath made in the earth.
He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth;
he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder;
he burneth the chariot in the fire.

Be still, and know that I am God:

I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.
The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.

In context this verse actually suggests that God will bring an end to war by divine INTERVENTION. God is speaking directly to the violent. Warring nations will be rendered impotent and unable to resist the will of The Almighty. The violent, in their final destruction will 'BE STILLED', i.e. 'Be dead' and God will be supreme victor over them all. God's word to the violent is 'He who lives by the sword shall die by the sword' (literally: for all who did take the sword, by the sword shall perish). Matt. 26:52. 'For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it'. Mat. 16:15, Mark 8:35, Luke 9:24, Luke 17:33.

'Be still and at peace with your neighbour, or BE DEAD'.

Not much about 'Relaxing, (being still), in the presence of God' in this particularly misquoted text, is there!

How many other spectacularly misquoted bible texts can you think of?

Regards Chris.
Love covers a multitude of sins. 1 Pet.4:8b.

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rdrcofe: Sep 23, 2017, 1:28 AM
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Re: [rdrcofe] How often are quoted bible texts just pretexts out of context? In reply to
Hi Chris.

This is a beautiful poem and magnificent in its portrayal of God's wrath upon the violent and presumably wicked.

The idea of "being still" and hopefully "knowing" ...something, is one that I find important and that I at times convey to my children. It is not an idea of "relaxing before a sunset" but of allowing the busy-ness of the world and daily life to fall away from you, from the sense of self as it relates to that busy world.

I like the phrase "learn to be still" for it is something worth learning and is not a matter of meditating to chants, etc. but is simply quieting yourself and paying attention to how your life is connected to the rhythm of all life in its basic and natural condition. Being still allows thoughts of meaning to come to your past and present, which helps your future...as in the next hours or day, not in your next 20 years.

Yes, I understand the meaning that you have ended with in your post, but I do not think the interpretation of the other is worthless.

Do you think the text was taken out of context deliberately? And...then to what purpose? Was it just ignorance or an attempt to portray belief in God as New Age, etc. This was in the OT? Do you think those who lifted the text were interested in smoothing over the "God-as-vengence at the end of the world" portrayal?

Here is an interesting article (I was searching) from the Christian Courier:

https://www.christiancourier.com/articles/1245-be-still-and-know-that-i-am-god

and a bit:

<<Here is the irony in this term “be still.” While we must take the initiative to fulfill our responsibilities and live our lives, the uncertainties of living in a world of sin and woe will continually challenge us. Personal initiative is no substitute for reliance upon God (cf. James 4:13-17).

This command—“be still”—forces us to think on two things: that we are finite, and that God is infinite.

That being the case, we need to drop our hands, go limp, relax, and “chill out.” Christian people ought to “come, behold the works of Jehovah,” (v. 8) that we may enjoy a calm confidence in him who gave us his Son.>>

Hmmm...

I will get back to you.

-Jeanne
"The Ox is slow, but the Earth is patient."
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Re: [jeanne53] How often are quoted bible texts just pretexts out of context? In reply to
Hi Chris.

I was thinking about the quote and the article that I read and it reminded me of a popular bumper sticker "Let Go And Let God." I guess now the hashtag stuff has become the new bumper sticker of this age.

Bumper stickers are a way of condensing a philosophy into few words and the "Be Still And Know God" is of that category. But, Chris, it seems that religious leaders prefer the the condensed philosophy of "being still" to the actual text.

I guess their thinking is that bumper sticker philosophy is better than none. Yet with "be still" one would think a corollary would be study your Bible to know exactly what is meant.

This is not an age of people who read for comprehension after they get out of high school or sadly even before for some. Sound bites and hashtags make up much of the news of the day. People get their news from FaceBook, Twitter, Instagram, Comedy Central shows such as "The Daily Show" and "The Colbert Report" rather than through articles of any length as to make up a page or two in a news magazine or newspaper. It is like reading the headlines only of news articles or maybe the first paragraph and thinking they have a full account of events or information. And...a lot of people do just that.

A willing desire to be ignorant of current affairs. Ignorance is bliss and what I believe satisfies my need to be comfortable.

Now, I know full well that many believers think this is what I have chosen. Well...whatever... They may think what they want, but atheists usually do not fall into this category when the matter of their non-belief is a concern. Although, I cannot vouch for any atheists who came of age in a circumstance wherein they were not ever exposed to proselytizing or challenged about their non-belief.

What do you think is the reason behind the taking out of context?

-Jeanne
"The Ox is slow, but the Earth is patient."
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Re: [jeanne53] How often are quoted bible texts just pretexts out of context? In reply to
jeanne53: Hi.

But, Chris, it seems that religious leaders prefer the condensed philosophy of "being still" to the actual text.

I think it is likely that most religious leaders agree that God may be found through 'stilling' oneself and quiet contemplation. They then light on this text 'Be still and know that I am God' and then quote it in support of their mistaken conviction that quiet contemplation is what the text is actually recommending.

I am not in disagreement with their notion that quiet contemplation is a valuable exercise when communicating with our maker, but unfortunately the text they choose to illustrate the principle just happens to be contextually inappropriate. They clearly have never read the whole passage to properly ascertain its original meaning.

Thus they blithely go on believing the text means what they think it means, rather than finding out what it actually does mean.

This is a fault not only of many 'believers' though. Many who declare themselves to be 'unbelievers' have also based their 'unbelief' on ill founded assumptions of the meaning of texts they have never actually properly themselves researched. They have merely disagreed with what they think is the generally held view of 'believers' without actually checking out the reasoning for themselves.

What do you think is the reason behind the taking out of context?

Simply believing what we just want to believe, rather than checking the actual sources and reasons for believing it.

Regards Chris.
Love covers a multitude of sins. 1 Pet.4:8b.

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rdrcofe: Sep 26, 2017, 12:31 AM
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Re: [rdrcofe] How often are quoted bible texts just pretexts out of context? In reply to
Aha...human nature, then. Smile

And, alas, we are all of us human. But...some of us are more human than others...

I have no idea about what I am writing! Laugh
"The Ox is slow, but the Earth is patient."
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Re: [jeanne53] How often are quoted bible texts just pretexts out of context? In reply to
Hi, all,
I am reminded of an experience in my life... I think I was 41(2?)...

I had recently become a Christian... and had returned to my home town. Someone called me on the phone, said that she had heard I had become a Christian, said she would like to talk with me as long as I didn't try to *proselytize* her! I suppose that is a common response. Unfortunately, I had never come across that word before and didn't know what it meant! LOL

I just mention that because I think it is a common reaction to make assumptions without knowing what others mean by what they say. She made a couple of bad assumptions. First, she assumed that because of the change in my life, I was going to try to convince her that she also needed the change. Secondly, she had "no idea" of where I was at in my life or what difference the changes had made, if any!

When you start doing things like this with the Bible, it not only applies to whether things are quoted in or out of text, it also depends on which version of the Bible you are using. As people, we always think our statements and ideas and conclusions are always right. Oh well!
Blessings ~ Sarah
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Re: [praizeop2] How often are quoted bible texts just pretexts out of context? In reply to
Hi Sarah.

You are soooo right! A great fault of humans is making assumptions. Laugh

In your friends defense, however, she probably knows that people who are brand new in something they are wowed about, often attempt to persuade others that what they have discovered is the best thing ever and they would just love it if everybody could experience this new thing and be wowed as well.

There is a lot of "human nature" that seems to work against human relationships. Heavy sigh...

-Jeanne
"The Ox is slow, but the Earth is patient."