How do we respond when people misuse the bible to justify their own wrongdoings, justify negative thinking in regards to others, treat scripture as an an escape route when they want out of a family relationship, etc. Is there anything we can do or say to entreat someone to be open to the conviction of scripture vs. using scripture to his own ends?
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When Satan tempted Jesus (Matthew 4:5-7; Luke 4:9-12), he, too, quoted Scripture (Psalm 91:11-12) to justify what he was doing. Jesus responded by quoting other Scripture (Deuteronomy 6:16) that addressed Satan's underlying motive, and showed that what he was doing was wrong, despite his pretense at piety, because his actions violated another overriding command of God. The question does not specify the exact situation being referred to. However, my first reaction would be to use knowledge of the Bible to call to the other person's attention the manner in which that person is misapplying, overlooking, or "cherry-picking" passages to justify his actions, and to point out other verses or texts that contradict or override the person's position, and that the person should follow if wanting to obey God is truly his primary concern (which, I would say, would then be revealed by his reaction).
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