Ok, fine, yes, I admit it. I take things out of context.
But so should you!
This phrase, "taking things out of context", has been the battle cry of conservative and fundamental churches for a long time---but what are they really saying? In most cases, they're saying, "you're presenting that scripture in a way that doesn't suit my understanding; therefore, I reject your truth and substitute my own." (Shout out to Adam Savage…)
In many cases, yes, people are being subjected to a warped truth steeped in centuries of misunderstandings and misrepresentations of who Jesus is and what He came to do. Much of scripture has been taken out of context to make it more palatable to whatever superpower pulls the strings at the time.
However, there's another side that I'm beginning to see the more I devote my time to sharing truth at any cost. Seasoned Bible believers and long-time church goers are beginning to have truth revealed to them with scripture to back it up and it's scaring the pants right off them. I made a commitment long ago not to share scriptural things without actually sharing the scripture to back up what I'm saying. As people begin to have their eyes opened, straight from Scripture, to what the church has (mostly unintentionally) been suppressing, they don't know how to handle it and cry, "out of context" while really meaning, "out of my comfort zone!"
When I tell people that God's instructions found in Torah (first five books of your very own Bible) are for today and that we should be studying the Bible knowing that we are Israel, I AM taking things out of context! I'm taking them OUT of the context of what Christianity has been pushing for centuries and putting them BACK into the context of what the Bible and history and God Himself actually says! Taking things out of context is good if they're stagnating in the wrong context to begin with.
Many times long-time believers share motivations with unbelievers when it comes to having their eyes opened to Bible truth: change is scary and hard and uncomfortable and sometimes lonely. It's sometimes easier to stay where we are than to fathom such a huge change to everything we know and do. I can tell you from personal experience that my Torah pursuant walk has been more of a next step in my faith, rather than a complete revolution of it. "Let go and let God" really applies here! I just follow Him one step at a time as He directly leads me---without all the stuff and noise of pastors and pulpits trying to interpret everything for me.
And since I'm taking things out of context, let me completely warp the purpose of this Anaïs Nin quote because it applies here so well:
“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”
This is a time of year when many people make commitments to fresh starts. Let this be the year you pursue His perfect truth, dedicating your study time to hearing straight from the Father. Ask Him to show you what He wants you to know about Him and ask Him to show it to you in a way that you will clearly understand.
"Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith." Hebrews 12:1-2
Yes, I take things out of context. And so should you!