Cults are famous for taking Scripture out of context to “prove” their claims, and Christians rightly challenge them on it. But Christians have also been known to take Scripture out of context to “prove” their claims. At times, cult members may know this is the case (as with Christians’ use of Rev. 22:18-19 against them) and cry “foul.”
Usually Christians abuse Scripture more for “feel good” reasons, but some also abuse it for legalistic reasons. Either way, they are wrong. If we expect the cults to be held accountable for misuse of Scripture, then we should make sure our own houses are clean - so to speak.
Aside from the article I wrote about Revelation 22:18-19 (linked above), I have also written about the abuse of the following passages:
And the BIG one for our current political times, 2 Chronicles 7:14.
I can’t think of any more at this time (other than Psalm 46:10), but I’m sure there are plenty. If you know of one, I’d appreciate it if you’d send it my way so I can write about it!
Some of the problems come from the false doctrine known as “replacement theology” - the claim that the Church has replaced Israel and so all the promises, blessings and curses for Israel are now the Church’s. This is, quite frankly, total nonsense. One has to spiritualize a great part of the Old Testament to come to such conclusions. This teaching pretty much had its origin in Augustine, who is responsible for much false teaching which helped to lead the Roman Catholic Church into its apostate condition.
One thing we can do with some of the passages which are abused, is to put them with other passages about the same or similar subject so as to show a principle (as I discuss in my article about Rev.22:18-19). Of course that would mean you couldn’t just make one-verse a banner!
Now, there are some out there who will attack me as being “legalistic,” “overly literal,” etc, but we need to properly interpret Scripture for what it says, rather than promoting a particular belief. If we expect the cults to properly use Scripture, then we’d better get the log out of our own eye!