There are many false teachings sweeping the church today. Although not exactly a false teaching people often seem to misquote certain verses in the Bible to defend or justify unethical or illegal behavior. The number of references misinterpreted this way is countless but the five verses given below are my top picks known as being the most misquoted verses (I have provided the correct interpretation and the context for each verse mentioned below). Feel free to share this blog post for the edification of the body. Feel free to check my post titled “20 Bibles verses to help You through Tough Times” also.
The Believing and Unbelieving Spouses
Should a believer marry a non-believer is a very commonly argued position in the Christian circles and sometimes 1 Corinthians 7:14 is used to say the New Testament allows a believer to marry an unbeliever. It’s wrong. This verse is found in Paul’s first letter to the church in Corinth. Corinth was a pagan city until Paul visited it in A.D 50 and began preaching the good news. His ministry won many converts and the majority of these believers were already married at the point of their conversion to Christianity. However, there were some believers whose spouses did not convert and there was a question of whether they should continue to share the bed with their unbelieving spouses?
Paul is addressing these believers. Paul is saying if, at all possible, they should remain together, unless the unbelieving partner, whether man or woman wants to leave. This teaching is still valid for couples that converted after marriage but it does not permit someone that is single and a believer to marry an unbeliever. The sanctification process Paul mentions here relates to the unbelieving spouse’s standing and status with the local church body. Not salvation. (Salvation is not hereditary – nor it is automatically passed onto one’s spouse & children when they get saved.)
The miracle of turning Water into Wine
John 2:7-11 is often used to justify drunkenness because Jesus did the same by converting water into wine but it’s wrong. The Jewish tradition demanded the bridegroom and his party to provide everything needed for the wedding banquet and that included wine. The banquet itself usually lasted up to one week. In the case of the wedding at Cana, the bridegroom’s party feared running short of wine before the banquet was over. This would have been embarrassing if the guests found out they were out of wine. Thus when Jesus turned water into wine he was actually saving the Bridegroom’s honor.
The point is creating a substance that can be abused does not make one responsible when another person foolishly chooses to abuse it. (Jesus did not promote gluttony when he fed the 5000) Creating alcoholic wine was in no sense encouraging drunkenness. Truth be told there are other verses in the Bible that discuss the consumption of wine in positive terms, (Ecclesiastes 9:7; Psalm 104:14-15; Amos 9:14) But there are also verses that condemn the abuse of wine, (Ephesians 5:18; Proverbs 23:29-35; 1 Corinthians 6:12; 2 Peter 2:9).
The Miracle of feeding five thousand Men
Matthew 14:13-20 (Repeated in Mark 6:31-44; Luke 9:10-17; John 6:5-15) is often used wrongly to argue that the Bible approves software, film, and music piracy. They even say Jesus invented piracy. Piracy is a crime because of the rights to those intellectual properties owned by someone. The bread and fish industries did not own the rights to those particular bread and fish that Jesus used. The boy he obtained them from did and he willingly shared with them without a fee.
Besides even today we share our food with others and it’s not considered food piracy. Food can be shared and is meant to be shared. There’s no law against it. There are many other material assets such as stationary, clothes, and furniture which we keep in common. Software, Music, and Films on the other hand are not like that. The man-made law makes sharing them illegal activity while the law of God makes it a sin.
The Bible affirms the abuse of Children
Child abuse by parents is a widespread problem around the world today. By child abuse, in this context, I mean exercising corporal punishment to the extent of damaging a child physically and causing emotional scars. Several states in the US have seen more than a few court cases where the defendants were misquoted Proverbs 19:18 to justify their abusive behavior. Thankfully the courts did not buy these excuses.
The above-mentioned verse does do not permit any form of child abuse let alone physical and emotional abuse. In fact, the Bible does not approve of any evil behavior against children for that matter. Note that the verse also says “…but do not set your heart on causing his death…” meaning corporal punishment is necessary but parents should not discipline their children for wrong reasons and discipline must be motivated by love.
The Bible affirms sinning under Grace
Romans 5:20 is often used to say one can continue to sin deliberately and willfully even after he becomes a born-again Christian because now he is under (hyper) grace. This is also wrong and contradicts Romans 6:1-2 and John 15:2; 6 in the remote context. Paul is actually saying that global sin is progressive. So is the grace of God. He is not saying his grace shall increase an individual Christian sins increasingly. Of course, all of us are sinners saved by the grace of God but He will judge those who deliberately indulge in sinful behavior.
Let me explain this further. In the book of Genesis chapter 6 verses, 5 through 6 we read the wickedness of the human race on earth had increased and God was sorry that He created mankind. In verse 7 He decides to destroy the world. Today we are living at a time much worse than the time of Noah. The global sin keeps increasing but God is not stretching his hand against the earth because His grace also has increased. In other words, He is patiently waiting for the human race to turn back from the sinful ways and return to Him.
People frequently misquote the above-mentioned Bible verses above to rationalize or justify their bad behavior. There are many other verses that people misquote this way, (ex: The book of Acts in chapters 2-5 teaches socialism) but I have chosen to share only six with you since they are the verses that are being taken out of context and misinterpreted the most. Please feel free to share this blog post for the benefit of the Church. It’s vital that we know the bible by heart, and understand it with our minds lest people will mislead and misguide us. I sincerely hope and pray this blog post will help you do just that.
If this content was helpful to you, please consider leaving your feedback in the comments section at the bottom, and sharing it with friends and family via email and social media, or both. It would be a great encouragement to me and a contribution to the edification of the Church. I seek to foster thoughtful and respectful dialogue. Toward that end, I request you use your full name when commenting. Also, any comments with profanity, name-calling, and/or a nasty tone will be deleted.