“Let go and let God, ask and you will receive anything you want, God wants you to be healthy and wealthy” and a multitude of other Christian catchphrases declare “truths” about God that aren’t really truths at all. Christian culture has so readily accepted sayings of popular Christians that they believe God Himself has said these things. Well, friends, let me tell you, there are a variety of things that Christians say God has said that He, in fact, has not. Here are 4 things Christians Believe that Christianity Doesn’t Actually Teach:
God’s Best Theology (also known as Boaz Theology)
Ah, the feigned “God has in store for me the best man (or woman) I can think of, all others are just sub-par, at best.” Curious. Hey, God’s Best scholars, where in the Bible do you find this theology? Where do you find it declared that God has someone designed specifically to meet every need and want you have produced on that non-negotiable list you place in your back pocket and pull out every time a potential candidate comes into your sphere? Don’t get me wrong, some things really are non-negotiable. But let’s be real with one another, your version of God’s Best has very little to do with the non-negotiables for marriage found within the Bible. I have a question for you:
What would you say to my boy Hosea? God commanded him to marry a prostitute, buy back his wife from someone she had committed adultery with, and then love her as if nothing ever happened. Was she “God’s best” for Hosea? Not according to the definition of “God’s best” that get’s thrown around in Christian circles.
Anything God gives is God’s best! It is impossible for God to give His worst, because it doesn’t exist.
Before you run after your Boaz, why don’t you take into account the entirety of the Bible? God gives, we receive, WE SERVE. It’s not about what you CAN GET, but about what you CAN GIVE. “God’s best” theology is saturated with a self-serving sensual view of God that says “God will give me what I feel/think/perceive/sense is best for me.” I bid you, ask Hosea if he felt/thought/perceived/sensed that marrying the prostitute was “best” for him.
I think not.
If you claim God’s Best theology and teach your disciples to do the same, first realize that at best it is legalism, and at worst it is heretical. So, in other words, stop. Please.
Church Perfect Theology
Listen, I completely understand that the church has historically, and even presently, hurt a lot of people. I am a product of church malpractice that made me question whether or not the church was even a part of God’s plan in the first place. Actually, I’m lying. The church malpractice that I experienced made me question the existence of a good God and how He could let His people do such radically unloving things to me. Curse them! How dare they do that to me!
Yeah, man, it’s me! How dare they hurt me! I’m perf…
It is their fault, and it is okay to say that. But the real crux of the issue is that I developed within my mind this idea that the church is supposed to be perfect and never do anything to wrong me. And that really is our issue when we believe in Church Perfect Theology. If we don’t understand that the church is made up of sinful, fallen, broken, hurting, redeemed, continually-moving-towards-Christ-and-His-likeness people, then we will inevitably always be hurt by the church and, ultimately, reject the church altogether.
Friends, the Bible does not teach that the church should be perfect and free from hurt and pain. In fact, the Bible teaches that the more sinful people you put together, the more sin will be evident (duh, logic). But what the Bible also teaches is that within the church there is a level of grace, mercy, forgiveness, and “seven times seventy” chances that does not exist outside of its metaphorical walls.
Christians have classically made the church out to be a place of peace, rest, freedom from pain, and freedom from hurt. However, Jesus said that the church is an army storming satan’s kingdom and “… the gates of hell will not overcome it.” Yeah, this does not give us the image that the church is a safe place. The church is a barracks preparing soldiers for battle. It’s a messy place full of messy people who do messy things and try to love one another in what often turn out to be messy ways.
Worship Music as Main Means of Worship Theology
Okay, look, it is really easy to praise God in song on Sunday mornings, especially if you grew up in church culture where this particular time of day is called “worship.” I came to faith in a church that did not have worship music ever. Interesting. Why? Well, if you scan the pages of the New Testament (and understand rightly the New Covenant) you will find that worship through song/music is barely mentioned at all. I was asked on numerous occasions “why don’t you worship God in your church?” I often had to respond with the classic -_- face because such a question is just a complete misunderstanding of what the Bible actually says. Actually, when someone asks that question it is clear that they have not read and understood much of the Bible.
Nowhere in the New Testament will you find that music is the main means by which we should worship God. In fact, what you find is quite the opposite. Romans 12:1 says that presenting our entire selves to God as instruments of righteousness “…is our act of worship…” Worship as singing praise songs really is a complete misrepresentation of the Christian life and teachings of Christianity. Too many show up on Sunday morning and sing praises to God while living the rest of their lives as practical atheists focused not on glorifying God with their lives (ie. live as if God does not exist at all). Christians, we are called to worship God with our whole lives. Worship music as the main means of worshiping God is just patently, biblically, incorrect.
Jesus as Never Angry Theology
Boy do we ever like to believe this one. So many churches practically teach that the Jesus [God] of the New Testament is radically different than the God of the Old Testament. God of OT angry, Jesus of NT gentle, soft, kind. Coolly, churches place a lot of their stock in the grace-centered nature of Jesus of Nazareth. That is not a bad thing, right? Right. Until we start teaching that Jesus never got angry and was always hanging out with children, petting lambs, and wiping away tears. Yes, that is a part of Jesus’ character. No, that is not the entirety of Jesus’ character.
Understand, Jesus was the dude who said that if anyone prevents a child from coming to Him, it would be better that a millstone be hung around their neck and they drown in the depths of the sea. O_O. But wait, there’s more. Jesus stormed into the temple once (probably twice) saw some wicked stuff going on, went home, braided a whip, and then came back to the temple, flipped over tables, started whipping people, and drove them out of the temple. We’re not done yet. Jesus also cursed an entire group of people for committing horrendous injustice through deceit by calling them “a brood of vipers.” In today’s words, Jesus was saying, you people are pieces of ****!
The Jesus of Christianity is not simply a lamb petting carpenter, He is a just, passionate, zealous Lion of Judah that got angry… a lot.
I can’t believe I even have to write about this. But let’s get crackin’ (like the whip Jesus used in the temple). Recently – within an evangelical church that explicitly claims not to be teaching prosperity gospel rubbish – I heard this phrase, “Did you know that an unpopular teaching within the evangelical church is actually true; God DOES want you to be happy, prosperous, and, yes, rich.”
Okay what. In the name of Jesus, WHAT?!
But it didn’t stop there (and it should have!). How do you get that happiness, prosperity, and those delicious riches? Obedience. Yes, you heard that right. This pastor said (in more than one sermon!) if you obey God, then you will be happy, prosperous, and rich.
Stop. Lord Jesus, come soon because this is absolutely insane.
My friends, this is what we call absurdity. Might I prove it to you in one simple statement?
Jesus was perfectly obedient to God yet he was, objectively, NOT happy NOT prosperous and definitely NOT rich.
I really can’t say anything else about this besides that it is plaguing our churches and pulpits and it is infecting the lives of our youth. Jesus’ life is a clear example of how UNTRUE obedience theology is.
Let’s get our God, our Jesus, our Christianity, right because He, and it, is the same yesterday, today, and forever.