What's most abused religious quote?

What in your opinion is the most often abused religious quote? By abused, I mean taken out of context, used inappropriately, or just seems to have a negative impact more than its positive one. It may contain some truth.

Here’s my nomination:
“Preach constantly. When necessary, use words”.
This is attributed to St. Francis of Assisi, but apparently surfaced a few centuries after his death. It’s frustrating this quote gets quoted far more than ones far more likely to be genuine.

I get the idea. Actions speak louder than words. But for several decades there has been hostility to communicating any kind of doctrine, and this quote gets slipped into the conversation to support that status quo. Perhaps this is one of those quotes helpful in some seasons but not in others.


“Who am I to judge?”

The number of people who have used this to not judge actions vs knowing you can’t judge a person’s soul is annoying to me.


“Just not, lest ye be judged”. It seems to be the only Bible verse a lot of people know.


Some may already be familiar with this one:

"All this will be yours, if you worship me.” (Luke 4:7)

Jesus … didn’t say this.


Most misused religious quote is a made up one - “God will never give you more than you can handle”.

Bad (and good) things don’t necessarily come from God. We are all creatures exercising free will. Sometimes the exercise of free will causes pain. Sometimes it causes joy. But God did not :“give it to you”, it just happened because of free will.

Life has a certain randomness that makes many people uncomfortable.


Except for the verses about how the Israelites are to conquer Canaan.

Every anti theist has that memorized by heart LOL


I think that’s a corruption from a verse about not being tempted beyond ones strength.
However, people really can and do have nervous breakdowns in the face of extreme evil or sorrow. It doesn’t, however, mean they have sinned :pensive:


Psalm 14:1 " The fool hath said in his heart , There is no God…"

I don;t think this is conducive for discourse. Not only is it just name-calling, but it’s ineffective. Imagine if someone from another faith was talking about their god and threw out a quote from their holy book saying those who don’t believe in their deity are big, stupid crybabies. People outside of that faith wouldn’t be impressed.

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I’m torn between

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. – Romans 10:9


For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. – John 3:16

Let there be light.

How many times do people (usually atheists in my world) switch a light on and say this?


A fool and his money are soon parted

Some saints like Francis of Assisi parted w/ his moneyON PURPOSE by the leading of the Holy Spirit!

I don’t know if abused is the correct term, but certainly misunderstood to be sure by far too many scholars and theologians.

Mark 6:3

Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joseph, and Jude, and Simon? are not also his sisters here with us?

Suggesting to many Christian denominations that the Virgin had other children. An insult to our Mary!

What drives me nuts are when people make up stories or phrases and attribute them to Jesus, but they aren’t anything He ever actually said, and done in a way I find banal and cheesy. Primary example:

“I didn’t say it would be easy, I said it would be worth it.”

It’s not that there isn’t an element of truth in the summary – Jesus did speak of hardship, and also promised heavenly paradise for those who are able to follow on the difficult path. But He never said that quote, and the way people put it in corny script with airbrushed graphics, it reminds me of something a fitness instructor would say. Though apparently the original quote is also attributed to Mae West, which makes the whole attribution to Jesus even more odd.

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“Believe and do not research”. It is actually a paraphrase of a mixture of John 20-29, Matthew 21-21, Jacob 1, 5-7, Solomon 3, 5-7, Romans 14, 22-23, 1 Cor 1, 19-23.
I find it the most used quote against Christianity, against the Bible, and people usually take it as it is even if it is only a paraphrase, the phrase itself is not in the Bible, and it is exclusively used, out of context, to imply religion means without a doubt ignorance.
So being used out of context and even out of the original quotes from the Bible, I find it biggest abused “quote” from the Bible.

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May I add…
Cleanliness is next to Godliness…
Nowhere in the Bible and the bane of every messy person! :rofl::rofl::rofl:


‘All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.’ - 2 Timothy 3:16 has to be the most misused verse to support Sola Scriptura.

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“An eye for an eye…” is often taken out of context.

God helps those who help themselves.


A favorite passage I hear often, and it sometimes seems to be all some people know about Jesus, has to do with his angrily throwing the thieving money-changers out of the temple. This justifies, for them, every outrageous and intolerant act they care to indulge in.


Not the most abused religious quote, but it is one frequently co-opted by those who wish to bolster a false narrative:

“[F]rom some fissure the smoke of Satan has entered the temple of God.”

This quote is apparently taken from of a homily given by Pope Paul VI in 1972. The source for the quote is not even a verbatim copy of the homily itself but a “rendering” of it. We cannot know for certain what it is Pope Paul VI had said or the precise context, but, if the narrative is accurate, he was speaking of an evil force in society, from the 1960s to the 1970s, that has caused doubt and confusion among the faithful towards the Church despite the renewals enacted by the Second Vatican Council. Paul VI was not referring to some sinister infiltration of the Church during the Council proceedings but societal upheavals resulting from so-called advances in progress made in the modern world. And because of this, “There is no longer trust of the Church; they trust the first profane prophet who speaks in some journal or some social movement, and they run after him and ask him if he has the formula of true life.”

Later in the homily, Paul VI explains further by blaming the devil, who has had a perfidious influence on the Church and the world:

“We believe in something that is preternatural that has come into the world precisely to disturb, to suffocate the fruits of the Ecumenical Council, and to impede the Church from breaking into the hymn of joy at having renewed in fullness its awareness of itself. Precisely for this reason, we should wish to be able, in this moment more than ever, to exercise the function God assigned to Peter, to strengthen the Faith of the brothers. We should wish to communicate to you this charism of certitude that the Lord gives to him who represents him though unworthily on this earth.”

The answer Paul VI gives to the threat Satan poses is not a “reform of the reform” or “clarification” of passages in the Vatican II documents that some find ambiguous or a renunciation of Vatican II altogether, but a call to be “strong in faith.” It is through faith in God and his Church that we’re given the strength and certitude to “triumph over all obstacles” and be at peace.

The full text of the homily, translated into English, is provided by Jimmy Akins at his website, along with his commentary on it.

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