78 thoughts on “Context”

    1. Stop. Really if it makes your day that much to be the “first” poster you really need to get out more. Sad.

      1. Please tell me you’re joking. Being “first” is just a way of having a little fun. Relax.

        1. It is probably best that I was not actually first today then. I had a whole speech prepared. I planned to thank my parents, my personal trainer and my pet kangaroo, Skippy for their support (and occasional kicks to the head. Thanks MOM! 😕 ) while I sought the elusive first.

      2. Hey, you gotta be fast on the fingers if you want a butt cushion, one stuffed with real butt dust! 😛 they are so totally worth it.

        1. That is almost as bad news as when Ralphie got told by Santa that he’d shoot his eye out with a Red Rider.

        2. I’d put it right there when he found out the decoder ring was a commercial for Ovaltine. Son of a ….

      3. LarryG, if it bothers you that much, you should get out more. (for the record, I am not a fan of the first thing either, but I don’t bitch about it.)

      4. I was traveling yesterday so I missed this bruhaha.

        What’s worse, people claiming first? Or people complaining about people claiming first?

    1. You’re lucky you are not first today! You get excoriated for not getting out enough.

    2. Better luck next time. I’m looking forward to that aforementioned acceptance speech 😉

    3. How dare you claim first while being second. You need to get a life! (Figured you might need a little shot of excoriating yourself).

      1. I do need a life and I do need to get out more this is not the worst manifestation of my problems!

  1. Third!

    That said, the ‘out of context’ line is one of a number of standard, ‘thought-free’ responses to any criticism. The main thing is that I’m not accountable for anything.

    Christian Socialist

    1. Woops! Not third! You need ‘fast fingers’ to play this game!

      To the ‘thought-free’ remark, I might add ‘fact-free.’

      Christian Socialist

  2. In other news, the line “taken out of context” can only really be used when one or more of the following take palce;

    1. An opinion writer (normally a journalist) is allowed to extract very small portions of a communication, in isolation from the whole
    2. When a question is asked of the commenter, but when the comment is recycled,m the original question is removed.

    Here’s how it could happen that a pastor could refer to someone as a whote, but it to be taken out of context:

    Question: How do you think the woman might have been viewed in her day by the religious leaders.
    Answer: Well, she was a whore, un-clean and not worthy of their care. It’s clear from the text that this is how they viewed her.

    Taken out of context: “she was a whore, unclean and not worthy of their care”.

    So, I do have sympathy for the “taken out of context” defense, when appropriately applied. Every day there is a litany of this going on in the print media – where publishing entire speeches in full, or where providing the question as well as the answer seems to be illegal or something.

    1. Reproducing an entire speech in full is frequently impossible due to space limitations (in print) or time limitations (in broadcasting or live speeches), and besides, you would tend to lose much of your audience if the quotes go on too long.

      But it isn’t really hard to quote extracts that preserve the original sense of the statement.

      1. I’m not so forgiving of the print media, especially that now, even that their on the internet, many of them still refuse to provide links to their original source material. I’ve read news articles providing “opinion” on all manner of policy, reports and scientific findings without supplying any links to the very materiel they are commenting on.

        It would be easy for journo’s to supply reference links at the end of print article, or use embedded links in their online versions. Yet still too many don’t do this. The reason: they don’t want out-clicks.

    2. That sort of taking things out of context is why our political system is broken. I was too young to remember much before CNN Headline News, but I wonder how much they are to blame for the problem? If one watches news and debates from the 1960’s they were 100x more intelligent. Also, when I read transcripts of Jimmy Carter’s news conferences and compare them to more recent Presidents… wow. He was plain spoken and dealt directly with problems. The movie star who came after him, not so much (and I’m conservative).

      1. Carter’s openness and directness was largely a personal characteristic of his. He was more candid than the Presidents who came before or after him (especially his immediate successor, the Prince of Liars).

  3. There is such a thing as taking a comment out of context and thereby distorting the meaning, or even implying a meaning opposite to the original one.
    If I say “Today is a lovely day, unlike that terrible day we had last week,” and you quote me as saying “Today is a … terrible day,” you are quoting me out of context and doing me an injustice.

    But it does NOT follow from that that “taking words out of context” is a fair accusation any time less than 100% of someone’s words are quoted. In the above example, “Today is a lovely day …” is an equally short quotation, but it does not distort the original meaning.

    1. Yes.

      It get’s trickier when a question is removed, but a response is supplied. Sports journalists do this all the time, for example.

      Question: Many of the fans were angry with you today, and we chanting for your resignation, what’a your reaction to that?
      Answer: There will always be fans who are not happy with the coach. I can accept that, however they need to be careful that their anger does not negatively influence the players on the pitch. They need to be careful to target their anger when it’s appropriate.

      Published Comment:
      Fans anger inappropriate

      Coach X believes that the fans chanting their anger is appropriate . Coach X stated that there are “always fans” at the club who engage in angry chanting at the club and regretted that this chanting was a “negative influence”.

  4. Darrell,

    You really should stop making fundies look bad by posting videos of them saying stupid stuff and linking to their sites where they write stupid stuff. That is totally taking them out of context and you should be ashamed.

    1. If a fundy says something stupid and Darrell isn’t around to link it, does that make it unstupid?

  5. If we are referencing the “stop talking” diatribe in this section, I would posit the following statements: The context of the video would have been the sermon message itself. We did not see an out-of-context sermon clip. We see a clip of a man talking about cheese & in between, self-righteously pointing out the gall of someone talking during his “cheese business” story. This, to me, poignantly points out the lack of character of the speaker. Somehow he feels justified in being a jerk & looking down his nose at someone (even a teen) who dares to not hang on his every word. People talk in church. Get over it. As a preacher, be better at engaging your congregation in your sermon and maybe they will really want to listen.

    1. Or, they could try preaching the Bible instead of telling stories. Or preaching their own opinions. Or preaching their philosophy.

      1. Totally agree GR! Topical preaching has been a major flaw of fundie churches, esp. the Hyles’ IFBx churches. Jack Hyles so ardently pushed topical preaching as the only biblical kind, because I think he saw the ‘control’ factor possiblity in using it exclusively.

        I’m encouraged to hear of a resurgence of expository preaching from many young pastors who have left IFBdom. They study church history and have learned that even the Baptists were expositor’s of scripture before Finney came on the scene, in the 1800’s.

        The church in the U.S. needs an infusion of sound, contextual, expository preaching, not the MOG’s topic of the week, “this is what I believe you people need” kind of messages.

  6. It’s incredulous that those who take entire passages of scripture out of context and preach pretext are so whiney about anyone critiquing anything they say.

  7. This whole video was out of context, I mean, unless his entire serMAN happened to be specifically about listening to the preacher, he was speaking parenthetically, and it appears that Darrell’s snip of it even included that unecessary and uncomfortable tail end where he kept going on and on and on about it long after his purpose, however undignified, had been accomplished.

    I think besides the obvious that that is a standard boilerplate response to criticism, it seems that people are making an argument that if we heard the whole serMAN it would be so good that we would completely not even notice the asshattery.

    Uh, no.

  8. He said, “The rebukes of life are teaching us at FBC to humble ourselves before our critics.” I just had to giggle a bit. What little I’ve heard of FBC, they seem to always be self-aggrandizing, saying they’re the biggest and the best, and cheering on their pastors as if they were rock stars. A little humility is always in order because God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble.

  9. “Taken out of context” is the last resort of someone who knows they got caught with their hand in the cookie jar. Looking at that video, there is NO doubt what he intended with those comments…and any claim to the contrary is a bald-faced lie. FBCH deserves everything they get with regards to public ridicule.

  10. Ok, so I would do this in the forum, but I tend to get lost in there and have no idea how to use it at all. So I just read all the responses to my comment over on the other place over there and I almost cried because I honestly wasn’t sure if I would even be remembered at all. You guys ROCK!!! Ok, so I have had a few little things happen in my home life that have given me much less computer time, but I plan to prioritize and make this site FIRST from now on. I love you guys!!! (and I “get out” plenty, thankyouverymuch.)

  11. One time “Bro. Hyles” made a college student get up and go stand in the back because he was falling asleep. It was so uncomfortable to watch and I felt SO SORRY for the guy because he had probably been up all night working and then on a bus route in the cold all morning and then finally got to sit down in the warmth and… I just really really felt bad for him. (And also terrified that I might ever doze off.)

    1. Getting called out in church is the worst, because you know that no one will speak up for you. 😕

  12. The video clip is damning. I haven’t seen that much ego in a 1 minute clip since I watched the animated Barbie films. 😉

  13. I’m very confused about the youtube commenter. Who on earth do they think they are fooling?

    That video can’t be more definitive that he was yelling at a specific person, pointing directly at them, and continued to berate until he got some kind of acknowledgement. I obv can’t ascertain if (or more likely (how many of) the audience were able to figured out the “trouble maker”, but that is not a valid argument that he was calling out a section and not a specific person.

  14. BTW, I still totally love the stick fundies! And I see Stick Jr hasn’t learned his lesson about back sassin’ his pappy!

  15. Actually saw the, “but what’s the context’ argument on facebook today. Really.

    “Oh no, people are saying that my heroes said nasty things that are inexcusable! What will I do! Oh, claim it was taken out of context. That’ll work. Phew.”

    1. Strangely, no one ever encouraged anyone to consider the context of a lowly church member’s words or behavior. For example, we couldn’t go to movies just in case someone might think we were going to watch an evil one. No one was told to consider the context: that we loved Jesus and could be trusted to be following the Spirit.

      1. Well said, PW. And, regardless of context, “the servant of The Lord must not strive, but be gentle, apt to teach; in MEEKNESS instructing they that oppose themselves…”

        Hey, nobody’s perfect, and a preacher can get frustrated and throw a temper tantrum, but his position behind the pulpit doesn’t exonerate him from confessing and asking forgiveness for ‘losing it’… Just as the people in the pews are expected to do when they lose their temper.

        I was astounded by some of the comments on YouTube that supported this ‘preacher’s’ behavior. (My own comment is under the username “eight kiddos”). Is it ok to be arrogant, bullying, imprecatory, and insincere because of “context”?

        I can’t imagine ANY context that would excuse (and even DEFEND) a preacher abusing his platform the way this man did.

        1. A preacher can get frustrated, but…I’ve never seen a grown adult behave like that before. It was narcissistic, childish, and mean. It was the kind of temper tantrum I’d expect from a five year old or maybe a Hollywood diva.

  16. I am at once flabbergasted by and ashamed of the comments on that video defending that pastor.

    I’m ashamed because I might have said things like that not so long ago. Because I didn’t understand that someone smiling while smacking you indicated sociopathy, not love. I thought being tough and toeing a (sometimes unattainable) line was what Christianity was all about.

    I was so very wrong.

    I’m flabbergasted now at how people can defend that. First of all, so what if someone is talking? What if he is, as someone else mentioned, going to be ill, or needs some help with something? And even if he wasn’t, there’s no need to call him out. I’ve taught a lot of classes and given a lot of lectures, and it hardly even registered when someone was talking. That was their problem, not mine.

    So there’s no reason to call him out. And if he had stopped after the first confrontation, I would almost excuse it… even though the yelling is still so very childish. But the fact that he came back to it and loaded on guilt trip after guilt trip… that’s just bullying, right there. That’s not love, I don’t care how many smiles and statements of affection through clenched teeth he gives.

    Love would have ignored in the first place and certainly would not have loaded a Titanic’s worth of shame on a toy boat’s worth of offense had it noticed.

    If you think that is love, then I pity you greatly.

    1. {sigh} It’s call having an ego you couldn’t cram into Lambeau Field. I’m amazed there was room on the platform for it, him and anyone else.

    2. There could, possibly, be a set of circumstances in which the speaker was correct for calling out that young man, but it seems unlikely.

      I was in a church once where the speaker asked everyone to bow their head and close their eyes. One young man disliked the speaker and arrogantly ignored the request. The speaker repeated the request; he still glared defiantly at the speaker. The speaker then reacted a bit like the man in the video in that he “got onto” young man; he told him to either do as he was asked for the sake of others or leave, but that his actions spoke of a rebellious heart.

      It could be, I suppose, that the person had been talking and disrupting the area for a long time before he broke out like this, but the recorded tirade seems just that without more evidence.

      1. I think if I’d been in that speaker’s position (which I would never be allowed to be!), I would have changed my invitation. I could have said, “Now at this point I would usually ask you to raise your hand so I could pray for you, but there is someone here who is choosing to look around and I don’t want to violate your privacy by asking you to do that thinking no one is looking when someone is.” I could’ve had an open-eyed invitation in which people KNOW that everyone is looking and are willingly participating or I could have asked them to use the cards in the pews in front of them and write their decision on it and turn it in as they left the building.

        Of course, doing so would mean that I wouldn’t be able to tell amazing stories of the dozens of souls who came to the altar that night.

  17. In the last couple of years of my being a fundy, I had decided to try to “prove” the doctrines we taught and took for granted.

    Oh yes, I had been taught “Doctrines” at BJU. But in looking at the standard way doctrines were taught, it was a spider’s web consisting of a verse here connected to a phrase there, with a passage from somewhere else that had no connection other than an English word (or maybe an occasional Greed word) that was the same as somewhere else.

    In other words, most of the doctrines I found to be flimsy, no better than houses of cards. It made so much more sense to read the Scriptures in context, their context and to try to glean the central message rather than tease out every subplot.

    The cry that their statements are taken “out of context” is pretty pathetic, seeing the way they take the Scriptures and everything else out of context.

    1. The seminary my husband attended taught him to exegete Scripture passages in a way that they themselves violated when it came to music. It’s ironic that, as he studied what the Bible had to say about music, he rejected the seminary’s traditional IFB position based on methods of Bible study that the seminary itself taught him. It was so clear to him that they were not holding to those beliefs about music based on what the Bible actually taught but based on preferences, tradition, and fear of what supporting churches might do if they didn’t hold the line against CCM.

        1. doctor like all the rest, or actual doctor? Remember – we’re talking about if you were still in fundyland.

      1. What music defense was that?

        The “God’s people shouldn’t use the world’s music and I’m professionally qualified [no other criteria needed] to know precisely the line between worldly music and sacred music.”

        Or was it the “SINCE we’re tripartite, SINCE obviously even without looking at the Bible we know that the three elements of music, Melody-Harmony-Rhythm, correspond to Intellect-Emotion-Body in that strict order [so obviously biblical we don’t even need a proof-text], and SINCE these truths are self-evident, then unbiblical music would be that in which one of these musical elements is `out of balance` (ESPECIALLY evil Rhythm), and FURTHERMORE I am the arbiter of precisely what music is `out of balance` and what is `biblically balanced` [other criteria need not apply].” That was the best excuse for a biblical reason when I was there.

        I’m finding by its disuse that some in the anti-CCM group are realizing the Tripartite Music Theory is embarrassing, but I haven’t seen them produce anything any more substantial. Their most-used argument still seems to be “No, I can’t cite any objective criteria, much less any biblical support, but I know bad music when I hear it and that’s enough.”

        1. The whole debate is silly.
          Music is music.
          The Bible tells us to sing praises to God, and to glorify the Lord with instruments.
          Good music, in any genre, glorifies the creator of the universe. Period.

        2. It irks me when a sermon or an illustration starts out with the premise of the trichotomy of man. Usually it follows with an arbitrary assignment of our intangibles (mind, will, emotion, heart, etc) to either soul or spirit. The dichotomous view has just as much biblical support, but I wouldn’t want to build a systematic theology on either one. If you’re going to try and prove a principle, don’t start with a questionable foundation.

        3. I completely agree with you. My capslock was my sarcasm indicator, in this case meaning “unfounded assumption”.

      2. And FURTHERMORE, we’ve had a Rhema that gives us a Get Out Of Exegesis Free Card which we’ve decided to apply thusly:

        Be it ex cathedra declared that any biblical reference to percussion instruments, clapping hands in praise, dancing or anything implying any sort of rhythm, does not in fact mean what you think it means. They didn’t really mean that when they wrote it (though the KJV translators were still correct–the true essential meaning is mystically present in the opposite-sounding words). As such the literal grammatical historical hermeneutic in this special case does not apply. It was obviously meant to be allegorical.

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