When it comes to understanding the Bible, Bible Sniping is one of those things that I hate the most. When someone takes one verse from one chapter in one book (not even a full story, just the beginning) and uses it to declare their point valid, I call it Bible Sniping.
It’s like taking a story, reading the conflict, skipping the climax and the resolution, and declaring the story as terrible.
It’s like watching The Phantom Menace, (or the whole prequel series) seeing Jar Jar Binks, and declaring Star Wars as the stupidest culture phenomenon to ever exist in history.
The fact of the matter is, ANY book can be used to prove ANYTHING if taken out of context. And just like the image above, people use Bible sniping to declare the Bible as a hateful book, full of murder, intolerance, and the epitome of injustice.
But anyone who reads the whole story of the Bible finds out that the story of the Bible is not a story of hate and intolerance and killing those who disagree with you. It’s a story of redemption. But whoever Bible snipes immediately loses sight of the overall story of the Bible, that is, the Gospel.
The issues go farther than just those who use Bible sniping to portray the Bible as a terribly awful book. Bible sniping applies to Christians too, in just as many ways as it applies to those who create images like the one above. Westboro Baptist Church, self professed “Christians”, use singular Bible verses to declare that hate is a core part of Scripture. Muslims (not Christians, but another religious group) steal single verses at a time to say the Bible proves that Jesus was just a precursor to Mohammed. The early Catholic Church used it to justify everything from Purgatory to indulgences. From Christians to cults, Bible-readers ALL OVER the WORLD use it to justify their own set of beliefs, and that they are right, and that all others are wrong.
We as a society, atheists and Christians alike, need to do our best to ALWAYS put the Bible in context, and take our lessons from within the Story as a whole, as opposed to using one verse to totally dictate our faith and belief.
We’d all be much better off for it.