Bible Mythbusters Justin Young 7 Sep 2012 no comments When it comes to true, authentic, biblical Christianity, sadly there are many who do not have an accurate concept of what that is. Misinformation they’ve picked up along the way, past wounds suffered at the hands of those who called themselves Christians, or simply a wrong view of God cause many people to have dangerous misconceptions about what it means to be a follower of Jesus. Sometimes even more damaging are those who do come to saving faith and then enter into their walk with Christ not truly grasping important Bible-based truths about the nature of God, the power of grace, God’s design for spiritual community and many other vital aspects of the faith. Myth: I have to be a good person in order for God to love and accept me. Truth: God loves and accepts us because of what Jesus did for us on the cross. In Romans 5:8 the Bible says, “But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.” In other words, God knew every sin we would ever commit, and yet still sent Jesus to die for us. Ephesians 2:9 tells us, “Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.” God doesn’t accept us any more when we are good or any less when we are bad. If we have accepted the salvation of Jesus, our standing with God is based solely upon Christ’s righteousness and not our own. Myth: Once I become a Christian, all of my problems will go away. Truth: Sin affects every part of this world, and life is full of troubles, difficulties and problems for the saved and unsaved alike. Jesus said, “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). Just because you enter into a relationship with Jesus, you will still have bills to pay. Your kids will get the flu. Your car will break down. Life will happen. The difference is, in Jesus, we can have peace and joy in the midst of difficult times and can look with expectation toward the time when Jesus will come and make all things right in the world. Myth: If someone has the title Pastor, Minister, Bishop, Elder, etc. everything they say is true and accurate. Truth: There are many out there who misuse the Bible and the name of Jesus for manipulation, selfish gain, and even to intentionally harm and abuse others. In Acts 17, we read about a group of new Christians who Paul and Silas were ministering to in the city of Berea. The Bible tells us that, “They searched the scriptures day after day to see if Paul and Silas were teaching the truth (Acts 17:11).” Here we have a biblical model of testing the words of church leaders against the unchanging truth of the Bible to ensure that the two line up. This truth is reinforced in 1 John 4:1, which says, “Dear friends, do not believe everyone who claims to speak by the Spirit. You must test them to see if the spirit they have comes from God. For there are many false prophets in the world.” If someone who claims to be a spiritual leader says or does something that seems off-base, be quick to dig into the Bible yourself to make sure that what you are being fed spiritually actually lines up with God’s Word. Myth: God’s will for me includes health, wealth and prosperity. Truth: God is much more concerned about the condition of our hearts than He is about our external circumstances. The average television evangelist makes God appear to be no more than a cosmic vending machine. “Sow a seed” of money into the “kingdom,” add some prayer, sprinkle in some faith and God will cause your lottery numbers to hit it big next week. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth. 1Timothy 6:7-9 tells us, “After all, we brought nothing with us when we came into the world, and we can’t take anything with us when we leave it. So if we have enough food and clothing, let us be content. But people who long to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil.“ God’s desire is for us to be content with what we have been given and to focus on loving Him and those around us whom He loves deeply. A selfish desire to gain more wealth for ourselves is not a principle that is condoned or encouraged anywhere in the pages of scripture. Myth: Christianity means following a bunch of religious rules. Truth: Christianity means accepting the sacrifice of Jesus and walking in complete freedom and liberty. Colossians 2:20-23 says, “You have died with Christ, and He has set you free from the spiritual powers of this world. So why do you keep on following the rules of the world, such as, ‘Don’t handle! Don’t taste! Don’t touch!’? Such rules are mere human teachings about things that deteriorate as we use them. These rules may seem wise because they require strong devotion, pious self-denial, and severe bodily discipline. But they provide no help in conquering a person’s evil desires.” The truth is, we like rules because rules make us feel good about ourselves when we keep them, and make us feel superior to others when they break them. One of the most harmful things we can do in our relationship with Christ is to add rules to Jesus’ finished work. As we read in Galatians 5:1, “So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law.” Willing and joyful obedience to God’s will always flows out of a response to a deep understanding of His grace and mercy, not from fear-based adherence to rules and standards. Myth: Christians are obligated to align themselves with a particular political party, social group, or church denomination. Truth: Christians are obligated to align themselves with Jesus. The Apostle Paul says, “Yes, I try to find common ground with everyone, doing everything I can to save some. I do everything to spread the good news and share in its blessings (1 Corinthians 9:22-23).” In Jesus’ own ministry, He broke nearly every cultural rule; crossing ethnic, social and political boundaries to minister to those in need. Jesus is concerned with seeing people come to a saving knowledge of Himself. As soon as we become defined by our political affiliation, social stratification or anything other than our identity as sinners redeemed by Jesus, we place ourselves in grave danger of making it impossible to reach those who need to know Jesus the most. While there is certainly nothing wrong with political activism, it must always take a backseat to sharing the love, forgiveness and grace found in Jesus alone. Maybe it’s time for you to throw a lot of what you think you know about the Christian “religion” out of the proverbial window. Dig into God’s Word for yourself and find out what it really has to say about all aspects oflife. Be an agent of biblical truth in your own life and in the lives of others. After all, if people were telling and believing lies about your earthly father, wouldn’t you take a stand for the truth? Don’t be afraid to do the same for your heavenly Father. He is, after all, the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6). If you are looking for resources in to assist you in your search for God’s truth, check out the following helpful and informative websites: theresurgence.com, calvarychapel.com, CARM.org. Leave a Reply Click here to cancel reply. You must be logged in to post a comment.