An example of an amusing misappropriation has often been found in church nurseries:
We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed.
The original source for the quote is the Apostle Paul in his letter to the Corinthian church. It is a statement about the reality of the final resurrection. The church nursery implications about babies is pretty cute.
Recently, First Baptist Church of Dallas announced a $130 million building project in downtown Dallas. Watching the video presentation is impressive. However, I am a little uneasy with appropriating to the project this Bible verse:
Let us go up to the house of the Lord.
I’m not sure that the Psalmist intended this to apply to escalators that lead to a worship center built above the ground floor of a church complex. The problem with this is that for “a people of the book” it justifies an expensive action wrongly based on the text.
I saw another example of this type of thing when driving around Nashville this week. On a sidewalk bench, an advertisement donned the back of the bench. On the ad was the words from the end of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I have a Dream” speech.
Free at last.
My interest wondered what product or service was being promoted using this amazing statement. How about a bail bondsman???
I’m not sure that MLK had this in mind. Get arrested. Call the bail bondsman. Get free.
We need to be careful when we use a quote to apply to something other than what the person quoted intended. Obvious humor or making a pun is fine. Think twice before misappropriating a quote for a serious matter.