Here’s my top 3 most misused Scriptures.
1. To support how “biblical” American democracy is.
Galatians 5:1 For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.2. To quietly contemplate God’s being God.
Psalm 46:10a Be still, and know that I am God.3. To support the use of the mind and reason in Christian circles.
Isaiah 1:18a Come now, let us reason together, says the LORDSo, what’s the problem? Context. The larger context of these verses do not support the traditional popular interpretations. Galatians 5:1 is talking about spiritual freedom or freedom from bondage to sin, not national freedom or democratic freedoms. Psalm 46:10 is probably my favorite of these. The larger context is about God’s power and v. 10 is meant as a call to fearful awe in the face of that power, not quiet contemplation on God. Here’s Psa 46:6-10 for context. “Be still” is probably better translated with the idiomatic “Shut up.”
6 The nations rage, the kingdoms totter; he utters his voice, the earth melts.For Isaiah 1:18, I’ve heard it applied to support the use of reason in defending the faith, so I really wasn’t surprised to find an apologetics ministry using the phrase as its name or a book on logical thinking titled Come Let Us Reason. The problem is that I’m not convinced the Hebrew root יָכַח really carries the connotation of logic or reason in the usual Western post-Enlightenment sense. The typical Hebrew use is closer to “rebuke” or “correct” or “argue.” It might be close with the sense of “argue”. The verb is fairly rare in the Niphal stem (passive), but I’m pretty sure understanding it as “reason” in a modern philosophical sense is anachronistic.
7 The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah
8 Come, behold the works of the LORD, how he has brought desolations on the earth.
9 He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; he breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the chariots with fire.
10 “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”
There are many many other texts taken completely out of context and badly misused by preachers. This is just a small sample of three that consistently have bothered me over the years. For more bad exegesis, there’s plenty to peruse in Scott’s Youtube channel with crazy preachers like Steven Anderson, John Crowder, Paula White, Jack Van Impe, and more.