What did they say?

I originally posted this on my facebook page in November 2012.

I still feel the same way, possibly even more strongly now.

I have warned my children several times to never start a sentence with “you said.” More times than I can count, they have gone into another room and said “mom said”
This is a very dangerous practice, to quote someone directly, but falsely. It is such a serious offense it is against the law. If done enough, and in a public enough manner, you can be made to pay hefty fines, or even spend time in jail.
You may wonder why I even bring this topic up.
During election season, direct quotes are a hot topic. One word out of place can change the entire meaning of a sentence, and one sentence taken out of context can change the entire meaning of a statement.
To go to a very good friend of mines house, I drive past a church. For months this church had signs in front of their building that said “What did you do with the vote I gave you? –God”
I am not a theologian. I don’t profess to be.
But I do know this. Never once in the Bible does God say this. It is a direct misquote.
But it is more than that. It is a breaking of a commandment. Exodus 20:7 says “You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.”
We commonly refer to this as not swearing. That is true too, but it goes deeper than that. To misuse the name of the Lord is to also misquote him, to make up things that are not said in scripture.
There is a huge difference between knowing what the intent of the Bible is, and how a certain topic fits into the overarching theme and trying to say that you know something that somehow others are not privy to.
We can rest securely on the promises that are in the Bible. God’s word is true. We can dig deep and glean tons from it. But we do not have to add to it. God does not need our help. He does not need us to shove our beliefs down someone else’s throat or to pass judgment on someone who does not hold those same beliefs. If you truly are concerned for someone, pray for them, spend time getting to know them, and show God’s love to them. Don’t judge. Don’t blame.
And most certainly, remember that God reaches and convicts everyone at different points in their spiritual journey.
That, my dears, is what grace is about.

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