Context is Everything

The following comment was just submitted on Takuan Seiyo’s post from earlier today. It’s a commonly used form of anti-Christian disinformation, and deserves more prominence than it could get in the comments section:

I am not sure we should be preaching the defeatism of Jeremiah. Nor am I sure we should be preaching the peacenik saying of Jesus.

I think instead we should preach the more assertive sayings of Jesus, like:

Bring those before me, who would not honour me as their king, and kill them in front of me. Luke 19:26 if I remember correctly.

Now that is more like it…

Actually, the verse number is 27, not 26.

One of the most frequent techniques used by people who don’t like Christians is to portray Jesus as warlike and violent. This purpose is best accomplished by quoting not the Christ Himself, but characters within His parables.

This is an interesting approach, since the criticism most often leveled at those who quote violent verses from the Koran is that “the verses are taken out of context”. Perhaps this is considered just desserts for us, to quote a character in a parable out of its context, as if the words were directly spoken by Jesus as an instruction to His disciples.

You brood of vipers!

The verse quoted by our commenter was spoken by the rich man in the parable of the minae. The complete text of the parable (Luke 19:11-27, in a different translation) is below:

Parable of Money Usage

11 While they were listening to these things, Jesus went on to tell a parable, because He was near Jerusalem, and they supposed that the kingdom of God was going to appear immediately. 12 So He said, “A nobleman went to a distant country to receive a kingdom for himself, and then return. 13 And he called ten of his slaves, and gave them ten minas and said to them, ‘Do business with this until I come back.’ 14 But his citizens hated him and sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘We do not want this man to reign over us.’ 15 When he returned, after receiving the kingdom, he ordered that these slaves, to whom he had given the money, be called to him so that he might know what business they had done. 16 The first appeared, saying, ‘Master, your mina has made ten minas more.’ 17 And he said to him, ‘Well done, good slave, because you have been faithful in a very little thing, you are to be in authority over ten cities.’ 18 The second came, saying, ‘Your mina, master, has made five minas.’ 19 And he said to him also, ‘And you are to be over five cities.’ 20 Another came, saying, ‘Master, here is your mina, which I kept put away in a handkerchief; 21 for I was afraid of you, because you are an exacting man; you take up what you did not lay down and reap what you did not sow.’ 22 He *said to him, ‘By your own words I will judge you, you worthless slave. Did you know that I am an exacting man, taking up what I did not lay down and reaping what I did not sow? 23 Then why did you not put my money in the bank, and having come, I would have collected it with interest?’ 24 Then he said to the bystanders, ‘Take the mina away from him and give it to the one who has the ten minas.’ 25 And they said to him, ‘Master, he has ten minas already.’ 26 I tell you that to everyone who has, more shall be given, but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away. 27 But these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slay them in my presence.”

I’ve seen this sly disinformation on blogs and forums a number of times in the past. It’s apparently very popular amongst those who want to discredit Christianity, or — a more likely motive — to make it appear that Mohammed was no more violent and bloodthirsty than Jesus.

Unfortunately, in the post-Christian West, most ordinary citizens are totally unfamiliar with the actual contents of the Bible, beyond a few standard popular quotes that appear occasionally in the media. When these taqiyya artists spread Luke 19:27 around the internet, they are relying on widespread Biblical illiteracy to do their evil work for them.

Therefore a working familiarity with the New Testament is highly recommended, even for agnostics and atheists.

8 thoughts on “Context is Everything

  1. C.S. Lewis said that we are all inoculated with such a mild version of Christianity that we’re immune to the real thing.

    That “immunity” Lewis observed has mutated to an irrational intolerance in otherwise normal people. I remember in particular one post in which the Baron discussed Christian beliefs. His words created a serious eruption in a friend of ours. This person doesn’t normally contact us but the email response was instant and the allergic episode lasted a while. At one point, in a group conversation this usually casual, happy-go-lucky person was still on it a week later.

    What I remember best was the earnestness of, “but Baron, you’re so intelligent. How could you really think…yaddah, yaddah…”

    These poor souls remind me of the mythological Englishwoman of the last century, visiting one of the colonies and attempting to speak with the natives. She was certain that if she spoke slowly enough and LOUDLY enough, the poor fuzzy wuzzy would understand what she was saying.

    So it is with aggressive atheists who praise tolerance for everything but Christers. We have become the 21st century’s fuzzy-wuzzies and they are playing the role of that apocryphal English woman. Ignorant Christers wait for the arrogant atheists to finish proselytizing. We’ve learned the futility of any attempt at a rejoinder.

    You can put that template on the True Believing Liberals who find out you’re a conservative…wash, rinse ad infinitum, ad nauseam.

  2. Besides, the poster didn’t get my point at all. We are not preaching the defeatism of Jeremiah any more than we are preaching the call to arms of Churchill — the latter also adduced in my piece. It’s not about what they said but about their prescience in foreseeing a bad future and being able to counsel their people how to act to prevent the coming disaster.

    In the same manner, writers/thinkers on our side of the cultural divide foresee the consequences of the West’s Islamization and colonization by the Third World, or the consequences of America’s and EU’s endless money printing, bailin’ ‘n stimulatin’. These consequences are already here, they are unfolding before our eyes — and that’s just the beginning. And the leftoid idiots still shoot the messengers instead of paying attention to the message — seeing that it has become flesh and it’s time for them to change course or else inflict disasters on their peoples and be judged harshly by history.

    As to Jesus, far too many people think that reading his words in their Standard Edition of this or that is a simple matter. But Jesus spoke 2000 years ago in a specific time and place –the knowledge of that time and place and geopolitical order being absolutely essential to understanding the words. Not only that: the Judean prophet (which he was, among others) spoke Aramaic. His life and words were reported — in Greek– 35-90 years after his death. All that was copied and recopied -by hand — by copyists who made errors (of 5300 or so old handwritten Bibles we have, not even two have an identical text). One or a few of those copies served as a basis for a translation into Latin hundreds of years later. That was translated 1000 years later yet into English or German. And the people who are such Jesus experts don’t read even that, but some simplified New Edition.

    It’s far from warranted to opine flippantly about Jesus without having a modicum of necessary related knowledge. Not to speak of private agendas that cherrypick from the content, treat the many metaphors, metonymies and similes as if they were literal utterances, and so on.
    Takuan Seiyo

  3. My first reaction to the comment is that Jesus himself never spoke of himself as if he were an outstanding person. Neither did he talk about “my Father” etc. In other words, the clear Christian understanding should be that it was the diciples, and later on, the higher clerics who put such words in his mouth.

  4. Jesus said
    “My kingdom is not of this world”
    John 18:36

    In other words, he did not consider himself a king, on earth.

  5. The Bible recognizes war as a consequence of not following instructions. Sometimes ordered by God as a punishment to the side which is defeated.

    The Koran recognizes war as necessary in order to follow instructions. Specifically ordered by Allah to glorify the side that wins.

    So, yeah, the Bible sometimes embraces war but not in the same way the Koran does.

    Deceivers like to equivocate the two in building argumentative excuse, tempting us to embrace their collectivist ideologies, but in the end it is all a basic lie that serves no benefit to anybody.

    Same argument goes for any manner of straw-man argument created to discredit the truth of an opposing view. Problem in our culture now a days is that people are so uneducated they can’t tell when they are being conned by these tactics. In religion, politics, business, or even in personal relationships.

  6. I know the poster was sarcastic and trying to portray Christianity as violent, but sometimes I just read stuff like this and really did wish we reacted to our dispossession the way he suggested.

    “In a chilling parallel to the scandal sweeping Britain’s towns and cities, where a multitude of girls have been lured into sex-for-sale rings run by gangs, the Dutch pimps search out girls at school gates and in cafes, posing as ‘boyfriends’ promising romance, fast car rides and restaurant meals.

    The men ply their victims with vodka and drugs. They tell them lies: that they love them and their families don’t care for them. Then, the trap set, they rape them with other gang members, often taking photos of the attack to blackmail the girl into submission.

    Befuddled, frightened, and too ashamed to tell parents or teachers, the girls are cynically isolated from their old lives and swept into prostitution”

    It’s the Daily Mail, so of course to liberals, this means none of this is actually happening. This is beyond infuriating and really, it is long past time to make the leftist traitors and the raping invaders pay for their crimes.

  7. My thanks to you for answering that taqiya. I too am very exasperated at ubiquitous ignorance over Christianity and the flippant twisting of it’s pure and Holy message.
    ‘Peacenik Jesus’, a book could be written on it’s ridiculousness.
    Defeatism of Jeremiah? So obeying the Lord God on High is relegated to defeatism? See my opening statement above on ignorance.

  8. After making my comment above and then reading the other comments, my original thoughts are confirmed yet again !
    Specifically by Anon,4:08
    Quick answer to abject ignorance.
    So Jesus didn’t claim to be special, eh? Just claimed to be the Son of God eternally existent, and the ‘I am’ of Exodus that’s all!!!!

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