Interpreting the Bible by Taking One Concept Out of Context

@devylan (695)
United States
August 19, 2008 1:35pm CST
In this case, I am taking something out of context and asking you to interpret it for me. If you are a Christian, or a member of any other faith or way of thinking that has a similar teaching to the one I am about to mention, answer me this one question. If you are supposed to love thine enemy, then why do enemies exist in the first place?
5 responses
@lrglara (1347)
• Philippines
19 Aug 08
this is from what i've understood... hope this is also not taken out of context... God gave us freewill... and man used this freewill to enhance his knowledge and other means of self-gratification... if man sees that there is someone else out there who is better than him, this insecurity turns into jealousy results into conflicts... there will always be conflicts between men... in conflicts, there are misunderstandings.. and if you're misunderstood, people tend to resent you and become your enemies... what you consider an enemy can be different but it usually roots from one thing "pride"... loving your enemies means being able to swallow your pride and admit when you're wrong and forgive your enemies... once you do, you'll feel a lot better and can work and at least be civil with them regardless of whether or not they forgive you.
2 people like this
@devylan (695)
• United States
19 Aug 08
Sure, I understand that, but let's just say we're dealing with semantics here. Let's even take the Bible and religion out of the equation for a moment. Now, reread the statement: Love thine enemy. If you love someone, they are by default not your enemy, so then the term enemy loses its meaning, and therefore, there's no use for it anymore, correct? Maybe I should have put this question in a philosophy post, rather than religion one. Sorry about that. I'm new to this. I do completely understand your interpretation, though, but it's still in the context of the Bible, and I'm trying to take it out of context. I know. You probably think I'm just being difficult, but I'm just having fun with it.
@lrglara (1347)
• Philippines
20 Aug 08
that's ok. :) happy posting!
1 person likes this
@devylan (695)
• United States
22 Aug 08
Thanks for understanding.
• United States
22 Aug 08
I am a Baha'i not a Christian so my views may be a little different but I will share my interpretation. Enemies do not actually exist. All people are one human family and all should love one another. The word enemy is a term we have created out of our own selfish desire to be dominant. An enemy is anyone who interfers with that. The reason the word enemy is used here is because it is a word we can understand. The phrase instructs us to love everyone by saying that we should even love those who appear to be against us. If everyone truly followed the Teachings of God there would not be any enemies in our mind or otherwise. Hope this helps! Good discussion question!
1 person likes this
@devylan (695)
• United States
22 Aug 08
Alright! Thank you so much. I don't think your views are any different from mine or any true Christian, to tell you the truth.
• United States
23 Aug 08
I am glad you feel that way. Some Christians become offended when I attempt to offer my interpretations because they do not consider me a Christian. But Baha'is do believe Jesus is the Son of God and strive to follow His Teachings in all that we do so in a way we are Christians.
@soooobored (1187)
• United States
19 Aug 08
I guess its roughly equivalent to: If Adam and Eve aren't supposed to eat the apple, then why give them the apple? I have no religious footing, I am spiritual but not religious, but I'm pretty sure that the lessons God teaches are only effective if in the context of a challenge. It's not an accomplishment to forgive if you have never been wronged. Great question!
1 person likes this
@devylan (695)
• United States
20 Aug 08
Hey, that's a good answer too! "It's not an accomplishment to forgive if you have never been wronged." I'm totally stealing this quote and putting it on my myspace profile! Lol.
• United States
20 Aug 08
You can just call me a never-ending source of wisdom! LOL
• Canada
19 Aug 08
Ok, I'm going to take a stab at this as I'm not very religious and I haven't had anyone decode the bible for me. I think this doesn't mean Love as in Love i think God is trying to say that we must learn to love having enemies because without enemies, there would be no learning! Having obsticles is what teaches us patients, hope, curage and many more things. So for us to learn how to love thine enemy means for us to realize that we wouldn't be if there wasn't any. That's just what I think, i'm not sure if i'm right or not and may i say what a great question. Hopefully someone will be able to really answer that for you.
@devylan (695)
• United States
19 Aug 08
Wow! What a great answer! Did you get an A in all your English/writing classes growing up? Lol. For someone who isn't very religious, I think you did a fabulous job of decoding this statement for me. I have become enlightened. Thank you.
@devylan (695)
• United States
19 Aug 08
And for that, I give you best response!
@dalip32 (100)
• United States
20 Aug 08
You can't really take this teaching out of a Biblical context and accurately interpret it. God demonstrated this concept by sending his Son to die for a world that contiually disobeyed him and hated him. Mankind has (and still does) a horrible job of following the commands that God has laid out for us and yet he still showers us with blessings every day - and not just to those who love him, but to all. even those who hate him. He simply asks us to follow his example - show love to everyone regardless of how they treat you.
1 person likes this
@devylan (695)
• United States
20 Aug 08
Well, I beg to have a difference of opinion, because I think almost everyone else who posted a response on here has done a fantastic job of accurately interpreting it without its Biblical context. I didn't post this question to be preached at. I know what the lesson is. I just wanted to see if anyone could play with semantics. Thanks for trying, though.