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Misused Bible Quotations
At some point in time, everyone has had a piece of Scripture quoted to them. Whether a person be a believer or non-believer, there are some quotations that nearly everyone knows. Even though it is nice to know that the Bible is so popular that verses are known by people who have never even gone near the book, it does concern me that certain verses, preferred to others, are plucked up, sometimes out of context, to lay on people’s consciences for specific purposes. These are the verses that I believe are most used and, yes, abused by people today. They are spouted in order to clear the conscience and people go merrily on their way after hearing, comforted and ignorant.
"All Things Work together for good…."
I am sure you have heard this one. It is from the Book of Romans. Written by Paul, it is most assuredly taken out of context by believers to non- believers. Are you aware that the verse is not finished there? Here is the complete verse:
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.Romans 8:28 K.J.V.
I have heard this verse often used to comfort people who are suffering. They might be having a hard time financially. Perhaps they are facing a domestic problem or some tragedy has occurred. It might have to do with work or school; a problem with a bully perhaps. This verse is used for all those types of situations and rightly so. The only problem about that is that this verse, states the comforting fact in concern to only two types of people. That is: them that love God and them that are called to His purposes. So this is not just some verse to bandy about. It is a comfort to the brethren and a promise as well. It is to be taken seriously and not just rattled off for any small complication and hiccup. It seems to me that I hear it quoted for the slightest things like being late for work. And to people who do not seem to love God and who, to all appearances and purposes are not called to His will.
"Love one another as I have loved you."
I think everyone has quoted this verse to each other. When people say it to you, they get the most pious look in their eyes as it is quoted most when they mean to tell a person to be more tolerant.The verse is not taken out of context, as Jesus could not have been more straight forward. He did command that we should love one another. Why He did even say to love our enemies! But what starts to happen with this verse is it is misused. You people quote the verse and say, "Love one another," but what they really mean is , "Tolerate one another."
Love according to Webster: A feeling of strong attachment induced by that which delights or commands admiration; preeminent kindness or devotion to one another; affection; tenderness
Tolerance according to Webster: The power or capacity of enduring; the act of enduring; endurance.
People like to quote this verse I have found (both believers and non-believers alike) to put you in your place for being intolerant about something. They use it as a rebuke. Now it can be used as a rebuke when faced with hate but not intolerance. A parent who loves their child will not tolerate certain things concerning that child, because a good parent wants what is best for them. Why? Because they love them. See love and tolerance don't walk together hand in hand. They don't skip together, arms locked, like bosom buddies, yet people like to paint them as such. Have you ever started to talk about a relevant issue, like your neighbor throwing his garbage in your yard everyday and you are told , "Yes, but we must love one another." or, "Love your neighbor as yourself." Well honestly, if you did love your neighbor as yourself, you would be able to go over there and tell your neighbor just why you think it is wrong of them to do such a thing. Not angrily, just truthfully. If you don't, you don't love him. How can I say that? Let's go back to the parent thing again. A good, loving parent will always address a wrong-doing that they have done. Don't forget the Bible also says the Lord chastises those whom He loves. Chastisement and tolerance are definitely not friends, yet here it is in the same sentence with love.
A.W. Tozer - Beware of the Religious Word Game
"Judge not that ye be not judged."
This verse is always quoted alongside, "He who is without sin cast the first stone." People love to use this verse because they find it shuts you up when you are trying to say that something is wrong. They also like to use:
"And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?" Matthew 7:2-4 K.J.V.
But there is a second part to the verse about the beam and it is always, conveniently, left out. Christ said continuing His speech:
"Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye"Matthew 7:5 K.J.V.
Besides Jesus saying basically, that once you have dealt with your sin, you would be better enabled to help someone else out of it, you should notice to whom He is speaking. He was speaking to His disciples - the brethren. He was speaking specifically of judging the brethren when it came to sin. He was most certainly not saying to people to stop declaring sin as sin as most people like to peddle that word off to mean. I get the feeling that they feel because He let the adulterous woman go, He did not find it to be a great sin. But that could not be further from the truth. He was simply having mercy on her as He has mercy on us. He has that power you know, because He is the Judge. It is wrong to use this Scripture to prevent people from declaring sin when they see it. Declaring and acknowledging is not judging. Judging is passing a sentence on a person.
"For God so loved the world, that He give His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
John 3:16 is, perhaps ,the most popular verse in the entire Bible. In fact I have heard people say that on this verse hangs the entire Bible. All I know is, when Jesus said this verse, He was in the middle of a message. This was just part of it. Here is the rest:
For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.John 3:17-21 K.J.V.
Now why, pray tell, is that left out? It seems as though the verse reflects that Jesus believes and is saying that all is good in the world. He is not. He is stating the reason for His coming and He is also stating that there will be those who believe and those who don't believe. Believers and non-believers. He is frank. He says that non-believers don't believe and are condemned already because they loved darkness as their deeds were evil. I am not changing Jesus' words. That is what He said.
The above Scripture verses are some, not all, of the verses that are, in my view, misused. There is one in particular that is used a lot to reason out theories and the information concerning that verse needs an entire page to itself. The point is that the Scripture is a precious gift from God above and should be used carefully. When witnessing, it is also important to realize that God does the changing of heart and words that you may think may change a heart might not be the ones that God knows can change it. That is why prayer for discernment and wisdom when giving out the word of God is very important.