We are going to make this the last in the series, even though we do have more ‘lies’ on file. Just as a reminder, please read the introduction to the first installment ti get the context of this series. The following are taken from ‘8 Lies In Church Culture Today That Are Crippling Us’ which is found at:
I love the church. I have given my life to the church. I believe in the church because I believe the King reigns over everything. There is a lot to be praised and celebrated when it comes to the church. There is another side though. We have bought some lies. These lies are hurting us. Crippling us. If the church is going to become the image of God in the world, there are lies we must drop. Here are 8 lies in church culture today that I believe are crippling us.
When people talk like this I automatically suspect their declarations and that suspicion is based upon what Jesus said about people providing their own testimony—it isn’t true. While we think this we also acknowledge that they believe they love the church but that they have a misguided view of what constitutes that love.
What bothers us here is the last line and the words ‘I believe…’ He may believe it but is he in line with God’s view about the church and what misguided views need to be removed from its presence? We can spend all day identifying lies, but if we do not have real spiritual solutions that are brought to us by God then we are just imposing our views upon the church and not God’s.
The Bible tells us to go for the truth and if you do a word study on that term you will find that interpretation plays no role in the church. Not 2000 years ago and not now, sadly, too many people in the church have opted for interpretation instead of the truth which is why we have so many lists containing ‘lies’ and that we need to get rid of them if the church will make some sort of impact for God.
Our word to those who compile these lists, is that you remove the beams from your own eyes first before labeling something a lie or someone a liar. Here are 7 of the 8 on that list because one is a duplicate. We will use the numbers that go with each item on that author’s list.
1.) Some sins are worse than others.
If we want to be technical this isn’t actually a lie for there is one sin worse than any other- going against the Holy Spirit. That is the worst because no one can be forgiven if they commit it. All other sins are forgiven thus they are really not worse than any other.
As we see by different examples in the OT, we see that opposing Moses’ leadership brought the same penalty as taking one item from Jericho. We also do not see any biblical verse making any sin worse than any other.
Paul writes, ‘the wages of sin’, meaning all sins and he does not list them in priority or from nice to really bad sins. All unrepentant sins brings the same penalty. So while we can agree with him that this is misguided teaching, we cannot say it is totally false for one sin is worse than the others.
2.) God does not expect that much from me.
We need to ask, how is this a lie? People actually think this so they are not lying but misunderstand their Christian life and God. But this is a prime example of what we have been talking about. The person making this comment is not lying nor are they teaching this idea to others and telling them that God does not expect much from them either.
All this needs is careful rebuke and proper explanation, not condemnation or accusation. If people were not so quick to condemn, then maybe we could solve these problems much quicker and without any loss of membership.
3.) If you are a good communicator, you will be a good preacher or pastor.
All we have to do to dispel this misguided accusation is to point to the criteria God gave in 1 Timothy for those wanting to be pastors. We find the words ‘apt to teach’ which means that one must be able to communicate well if they want to be a pastor.
If one is not understood then the sermon was a waste of time; if the pastor cannot communicate his thoughts then he is wasting everybody’s time for they will not know what he said to them. God communication is vital if one wants to convey God’s message to the people.
Obviously one does not have to be perfect from the outset and probably has lessons to learn to become a good communicator but the above is not a lie. A clear understood message does more work than a confusing sermon with no coherence or planning.
4.) God is not ok with doubt and anger.
This is a depends situation. It depends upon the type of doubt and anger one holds. If one has been shown the truth and given healing etc., then yes God is not okay with doubt or anger. One really needs the leading of the Holy Spirit to define the fine line here but one thing we must point out is that true love ‘believes all things’ so there is not room for doubt or anger if you truly love God.
In studying this issue one needs to look at all the verses involved not just the ones that mention doubt or anger to get the full picture. We should point out that in reading that author’s explanation, he does not really post any scripture to support his point. That is a big no-no as he misapplies a general application of the Psalms.
I do not recall seeing anything in that book or other books of the Bible where it states that God is okay with either emotion. God is patient and knows that those who are just learning may have some doubt and anger but those emotions are not to linger as one grows in the faith.
5.) God’s love for me is determined by my behavior.
His love for us is not determined by our behavior but how he treats us may. To put it simply, God may love the homosexual but he is not going to reward or approve of the unrepentant practice of that sin thus the homosexual may be treated a lot differently than a righteous person- one who obeys God’s rules etc..
God loves everyone for we are a product of his creative work but he does not say that we all will be treated the same.
6.) We should never water down the message.
This one is not a lie for it is the exact truth concerning how we are to represent God. We do not see Jesus or any of the apostles watering down the message thus we should not either. We are also not taught in any of the epistles to water the message down but to speak the truth with love.
We do not change the message to win souls or put seats in the pew. When those new people learn the actual truth we may cause anger and resentment to arise in them for we misrepresented what God has been saying to everyone.
We represent God thus we present his communication the way he wants it done and watering down is not in that directive. We may change some of the Christianeze that believers speak but that is not watering down the message but making it more understandable. Big difference.
This is the problem with these lists. The authors demonstrate that they do not understand God or his word at all as they cannot discern this and other differences in how we are to carry out our Christian duties. They impose their own understanding which we are told explicitly in Proverbs not to do.
8.) We are growing!…Two families from across the road just joined our church.
This guy really doesn’t understand what growth is. it doesn’t matter if the people come from another church or not, if you get new people and they stay then you are growing. For some reason he thinks that new members coming from another church means nothing is growing and that is a false idea.
Of all the lies, this one might be the most crippling to the church today. We have lost our purpose. We have forgotten our calling. We have neglected the Great Commission. Is it great to have a family from across the road join our church? Sure, but to view this as growth is dangerous. It is not growth. It is one Christian family moving from one church to another.
He is wrong here for that family or those families may have come from a church that does not preach the truth. So the great Commission is not neglected but fulfilled in a different form. That author also forgets that the Great Commission is not the only responsibility of the church.
We are to bear one another’s burdens, take care of each other, teach them the truth, rebuke when necessary and on it goes. Those who think the church’s duty stops at the Great Commission do more damage to the church than allowing a couple of families to change church homes.
That author’s views are a problem in the church for it leads to a very unbalanced church life, puts too much pressure on those who were not called to be evangelists and ignores biblical teaching found throughout the Bible.
While we are to save souls, our responsibility for those new converts does not stop when they pray a sinner’s prayer. This is why we have so many problems in the church. Too many people let their views become so narrowed that they do not see anything past the Great Commission. They also do not see Jesus doing more than evangelism. They ignore the good works that he did to get people to open their minds to his message of repentance.
This is sad for those people create more problems with their misguided thinking and actions than these supposed lies do. They turn many people off of Christ because their only interest in the unbeliever is ‘to save their soul’ and nothing else matters about that person.
When Jesus stated ‘greater works than these shall ye do’ he was not referring to evangelism only. People need physical healing, freed from demon possession, and many other needs met. we do not just convert them and then leave them in their dire straits. They need to see God at work and the only way that is to happen is for God’s people to expand their narrow vision and practice ALL of what the Bible teaches not just one commission.
This ends our series on Lies & The Church. We hope you have learned something from it and enjoyed reading the series. If you have then give God the glory and continue to keep your eyes focused on Jesus.
We may be gone for a week due to personal matters.