5 Lies Christians Need To Stop Believing
The following is a guest post from Frank Powell.
I love the church. I have given my life to the church. There is a lot to be praised and celebrated when it comes to the church.
Unfortunately, I believe the church has bought a few lies. Here are 5 lies Christians need to stop believing:
1.) Some sins are worse than others
This is plaguing our church culture. Here’s why. It creates only two types of people.
Group one: those that have not committed the “bad” sins. They have avoided the worst of the worst, so they tend to judge those that have not.
Group two: those that have committed the “bad” sins. They are not stupid. They know once their virginity is gone, or they rape or murder somebody, God is really mad at them.
The stares from group one tend be more direct and more apparent. Eventually, most in group two come to the realization they are just not good enough. Most in group one agree.
Some sins carry with them greater consequences…absolutely. Murder somebody…you get jail time. Gossip about your room mate…nothing.
Both are sins. One has greater consequences.
But this idea that avoiding a particular group of sins makes you more awesome than the group that has not, is utterly ridiculous. Romans 3:23 has already settled it. We are all sinners. And in God’s eyes, there is only one group…sinners.
That’s all of us.
It is time for the church to stop ranking sins. The cross is for every person. Let’s treat people this way.
2.) God is not ok with doubt and anger
This would be a great idea if not for most of Psalms. I know why the mindset is present. It is disrespectful to yell at our earthly father and doubt his ways, so it must be the same (and more so) with God. Not terrible logic, but I direct you back to Psalms.
If you are reading this and have doubts about God, welcome to the club. I will pull you up a seat.
Sometimes I struggle with things like a God who is everywhere at one time, three different Gods (but one God), and eternity. Doubt is an opportunity to draw near to God, not run from Him.
3.) God’s love for me is determined by my behavior
The problem here…we think too highly of ourselves. If God’s love for you (or me) was determined by your behavior, He would be a crazy lunatic. He would also not have anybody to love. Here’s the deal. I suck at living up to God’s standard.
Even on my most awesome day, I still end up light years short of God’s standard. God know this.
God loves you for one reason…his love is that deep (John 3:16).
It’s not about you. Not at all.
You are a child of God for one reason…Jesus. You can’t earn God’s love. You can’t earn God’s favor.
4.) We should never water down the message
Alright, some of you are ready to write me off. Hear me out.
I am not interested in changing the message. The message must stay the same. It is the message of Jesus that transforms lives. It is of first importance (I Cor. 15:1-3). I am interested in changing the content of the message. This idea that the church should never alter the message so those who do not know Jesus can comprehend it is ridiculous.
I was talking with a guy last week about this. He did not grow up in church. This guy has been a Christian for about 20 years now, and his words to me were striking. “Frank, I struggle to understand the message most Sundays. I don’t speak the language. So, most of the time I just tune out when the sermon starts.”
Translation: the church is speaking a language that is native to us, but foreign to those who have no framework for God. Call it Christianese. Call it whatever.
Yes, we have a standard. Yes, we are called to be holy. But that isn’t the issue here.
The issue is making the gospel clear to everyone. It is equivalent to expecting a toddler to comprehend high school concepts.
Churches that are bringing non-Christians to Jesus get this: The message is not watered down. It is convicting, and it is powerful. But it is not littered with big Christian words that only locals understand.
5.) God wants me to be happy
Really? Where do you find that in Scripture? The word “happy” appears six times in the Bible, none of those in reference to God’s intention for your life. This is not a bad thing, though.
If we constantly lived for the present and our current happiness, what a miserable life most of us would have. How many times has something awesome birthed from something not so awesome?
The good news for you and me…God is much more concerned with lasting qualities like joy and peace. Those qualities that are unaffected by the fragility of life.
Let’s all take a deep breath and say it together…God does not value my happiness. Now, doesn’t that feel good?