5 Great Examples of Missing the Point

Posted: February 27, 2013 in Bible, God, Modern Life
Tags: , , , , ,


Biblical principles are a foundational part of Western culture, regardless of how much revisionist historians try to say otherwise.  Statements drawn directly from the Bible have always been, and remain, part of the fabric of our conversations. But it’s interesting to me how often our culture completely misunderstands the very principles it so loves to quote.

Case in point:  CNN recently posted an editorial on Pope Benedict, which included this quote: “One of the Bible’s paradoxical statements comes from St. Paul’s Epistle to the Galatians: ‘Power is made perfect in infirmity.’ The poetic statement proclaims that when we are weak, we are strong.” (CNN.com)

Ok, first, that verse isn’t from Galatians, it’s from 2 Corinthians 12:9 (how ’bout a little accuracy in reporting, CNN?).  Second, the verse doesn’t say that simply being weak makes us strong.  It says that when we acknowledge our weakness and trust in God instead of ourselves, His strength flows into us unobstructed, making us strong in ways we could never be on our own.

I’m not sure if this particular verse tops my list of most-quoted, least understood verses, but it’s definately in my top 5. Here are the other four:

1. Thou shalt not kill (Exodus 20:13) – This doesn’t mean that all killing is wrong (war and capital punishment are not prohibited) but rather that murder (taking of a life for malicious, personal reasons) is wrong.

2. Do not judge or you too will be judged (Matthew 7:1) – Doesn’t mean that no moral judgements are to be made about anyone or anything, but that rash, baseless and uncharitable judgments are to be replaced by evaluations that are based on careful consideration of God’s Law and such judgments, when carefully formed, are to be expressed with charity and righteous intent.

3. Money is the root of all evil (1 Timothy 6:10) – Actually, it says that the love of money is the root of all evil.  Jesus said essentially the same thing in Matthew 6:24.

4. Spare the rod and spoil the child (Proverbs 13:24) – Actually, it says “He who spares the rod hates his child, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him.”  The point isn’t that not spanking kids spoils them, it’s that those parents who love their children will discipline them because of that love.

Bonus:  Cleanliness is next to godliness (??) – Can’t be found anywhere in the Bible.  Sorry, Mom.





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