“Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). NKJV
I suppose one of my biggest pet peeves is to see or hear someone quote scripture out of context or say that the Bible says something that it simply does not say.
Recently, for example, I read a Facebook post by a woman who was attempting to defend any woman’s so-called “right” to choose abortion.
In her attempt to defend the actions of other women, she wrote, “The Bible says, don’t judge.”
Actually, what the Word of God says in Matthew 7:1-2 is, “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.” NKJV
To say, “The Bible says, don’t judge,” is to make a false statement. However, when someone wants to excuse his or her sins or condone the sins of others, that is usually what he or she will say.
Using these verses as an example of one misquoting scripture, allow me to explain what the Lord meant when He spoke those words in Matthew 7:1-2.
Jesus was not saying that as His followers we are never to pass judgment on someone else. To the contrary, in several other places in scripture, including the very same chapter in which these verses are included, God’s Word makes clear that Jesus was not condemning all manner of judgment.
Thus while thinking of, often misquoting or taking verse 1 out of context, sometimes one presents an argument against all forms of judgment. But again, that is not at all what Jesus was saying.
In fact, a few verses later in this same chapter, Jesus, Himself, referred to some people as dogs (v. 6) and false prophets (v. 15). Then, He went on to say in verse 16, that you will know men by their fruits. Was He judging others when He made those statements? Of course He was! The apostle Paul was also incredibly bold in calling out the sinful actions of others, as was the apostle Peter.
In Matthew 7, Jesus was simply instructing His listeners not to make hasty and unfair judgments of others when they, themselves, were guilty of the same sin.
For example, when the woman who was caught in adultery was taken before Jesus, He said to her accusers, “...He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her” (John 8:7). NKJV
He made that statement to them because it was likely some of the woman’s accusers had been with the woman themselves or were guilty of the same sin of adultery.
So, be careful to know what you are talking about when you say, “The Bible says...,” because the fact of the matter might be that God’s Word doesn’t say that at all, at least not in the way you are using it to make your case.
~And there you have it—my sermon for the day.
Read 2 Peter 3:16, Revelation 22:18-19
Jerry Fulton's goal in life is to share the love of Jesus, so others might become followers of Christ.