Proof-texting involves ripping select passages from a document and using them out of context to support a predefined conclusion. I don't care if people think it's for a greater good. It's lying and it's wrong, no matter who's doing it and what cause they're supporting. Here's a perfect example of proof-texting in the form of a popular picture that's been floating around Facebook lately.
It's hard to see, but the image reads:
As sanctioned by the bible.... Marriage is between a man and a woman. Women must be a virgin when married or be stoned to death by the men of their city. (Deut. 22:20-21) If your husband dies and you haven't had a son, you have to marry his brother and produce a son. (Deut 25:5-6) If you are raped by a man and it is discovered, that man must pay your father and you have to marry him and stay with him forever. (Deut 22:28-29) If for some reason you cannot bear children, you should allow your husband to make babies with another women. (Genesis 16:1-4) You must obey and submit to your husband in all things (Eph. 5:22-24)Every claim made is patently false.
First, read the full passage of Deuteronomy 22:13-20. If a man tries to divorce his wife by accusing her of faking her prior virginity, and the parents simply produce the virginity cloth from her wedding night, that guy is publicly whipped and fined and disallowed from ever divorcing her for any reason. In short, pretty much all his wealth goes to the bride's family and he loses his social standing. That was as good as a death sentence in ancient Israel. However, if his accusation is right, and the parents have fraudulently passed off their daughter as a virgin and there is evidence for them doing so, then she is killed. It has nothing to do with women having to be virgins or else getting stoned to death. It's about punishing ancient con artists who are trying to defraud people of money through abusing marriage contracts.
Second, read the full passage of Deuteronomy 25:5-6. Widows actually wanted to marry the living brother, because having a son guaranteed passing on property rights and securing livelihood. But nobody is forced to marry in this passage. The law merely regulates public shaming of the brother for refusing to marry the woman, and thus sides with the woman on the issue of retaining her property and standing within the family.
Third, read the full passage of Deuteronomy 22:22-29. Verse 22 deals with consensual adultery. Verses 23-24 also deal with consensual adultery (the woman not "crying out" is an idiom meaning that she is not claiming rape); betrothal is a stage in ancient Israelite marriage. Verses 25-27 say that rape should be automatically assumed in the absence of witnesses (hence, "open fields"), and that the woman should suffer no penalties at all. Verses 28-29 clarify the bride price mentioned in Exodus 22:16-17. Consensual sex is again what's assumed. In the case of rape as made clear elsewhere, the man is killed and the woman suffers no penalties.
Fourth, concerning Genesis 16:1-4, Sarai didn't "allow" Abram to make babies with her handmaid; she ordered him to do so and he obeyed her. Later, Abraham is told to sacrifice his son Isaac as a poetic way of showing him how his family has mistreated Hagar the handmaid and her son, Ishmael. It's a really good story. Whoever created this picture should read it sometime, because they obviously have profound misunderstandings about its message.
Lastly, Eph. 5:21-33 is a beautiful description of marriage using the analogy of Christ and the Church. Marriage demands total, mutual surrender and respect. Does Christ dominate or belittle the Church? Neither should a husband dominate nor belittle his wife. See Verse 33. It's a two-way street. If a husband isn't ready to get crucified in order to save his wife, he's doing marriage all wrong.