Just find the right verse. Unless there isn’t one.

Many times when people take verses out of context they aren’t necessarily making untrue statements, but they are using the wrong verses to support them.  A classic example is Matthew 18:20 (For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them), which people use to promote the general importance and power of gathering together as believers.

But that isn’t what that verse means.  It is about church discipline.  If it meant what many people think it does then it would be teaching that Jesus isn’t with you when you are alone, but that He shows up when other believers come around – and then He leaves again when the others do.  Silly, right?

So if you want to teach the importance of gathering together, use something like this:

Hebrews 10:24–25 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

If you want to teach that Jesus is with us — and not just when we are around other Christians — use one  of these, or find one the many similar passages:

Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Hebrews 13:5–6 Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?”

Psalm 23:4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

Matthew 28:20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

That said, sometimes people are trying to prove something that isn’t in the verse they are using or in any other verses.  They should re-think their entire point.

For example, the wicked wolves of the “Christian” Left insist that life doesn’t really begin until the child takes her first breath*.  Therefore, they think Jesus approves of killing her for any reason up until that time.  But they get their proof-texts completely wrong.   Therefore, they should revisit their ghoulish conclusions.

Just read the Bible carefully and in context.  Read it a lot.  You’ll be surprised at how many self-corrections you make on misused passages.  It honors God when we seek to use his word properly.

2 Timothy 2:15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.

*From the “Christian” Left: “According to the bible, a fetus is not a living person with a soul until after drawing its first breath.”

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