Let me first say that this post is not meant in any way to disparage the church or the many great men and women of God who have taught the Bible throughout the centuries. I love church and I love the body of Christ and there are many pastors and teachers out there who spend their lives in the Lord's service.
I've studied the Bible for over 25 years now. By studying, I mean I've read it cover to cover countless times, cross-referenced Scriptures, made diagrams and lists and looked up words in the Greek Hebrew, etc. Does that mean I know everything? NO. Absolutely not. But as I've been studying, I have noticed some disparities between what the Bible says and what I learned in church.
My intention here is three-fold.
- To reveal truth and open up eyes to the false things we have believed over the years
- To make Christians realize that they should not blindly follow everything a pastor or Bible teacher says.
- To get Christians to read their Bibles and search for truths on their own with the help of the Holy Spirit
I would also ask that as you go through this list, if you have more than one Scripture from the Bible that disprove what I'm saying, please send them to me so I can study further. I'm very open to changing my position if the Word and the Lord reveal a different truth to me. And I'm human and certainly fallible.
Warning: Some of these might upset you, and that is not my purpose. If you get upset, I encourage you to pray about it and study the Bible for yourself.
1. Cussing is a sin
Believe me, I don't cuss and I don't like cussing, but I've not found a single verse saying it's a sin. First, let me define what I mean by cussing. I'm referring to bad words which I won't repeat here, words that are said when we are angry or shocked, words that aren't directed toward a person. Back in Biblical days, cussing was different from cursing. Cursing in the Bible was directed at people and was often a spiritual thing. The dictionary defines it as a "prayer or invocation for harm or injury to come upon someone". Today, cursing and cussing are the same thing, so verses that refer to cursing in the Bible do not mean bad words.
Paul says in Ephesians 4:29 not to allow any unwholesome word come out of your mouth
1 Peter 3:10 tells us to keep our tongues from evil and our lips from deceit.
James tells us how important it is to control our tongues
Jesus in Luke 6 tells us that what's in the heart comes out of the mouth. Not sure Jesus was talking about cuss words here but more about loving others and not judging and bearing good fruit if you read it in context
In other words, it's not a good idea to say bad words. It often reflects some issue of our hearts, but is it a sin? It's never mentioned in the list of sins that would send someone to hell. I'm not talking about blasphemy here, where the Lord's name is taken in vain. That is obviously one of the ten commandments.
I actually believe that things such as gossip, criticism of others, and complaining are far worse things that come from our mouths than cuss words.
2. Gambling and Smoking are sins
I was taught this early in my life when I attended a Baptist school, but I have not found anywhere in the Bible that says these things are sins. They be foolish, dumb, and irresponsible, but sins?
Paul says: Everything is permissible for me—but not everything is beneficial. Everything is permissible for me—but I will not be mastered by anything" (1 Corinthians 6:12).
Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body" (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).
So should we smoke? Probably not, but should we have that cheeseburger and fries and milkshake? Also, probably not.
The same goes for Gambling. The Bible is clear that we should be wise stewards of our money and that we should stay away from get rich quick schemes, and not borrow with interest, but gambling a sin? No
3. Dancing and drinking alcohol are sins
I'm not really going to comment on dancing because I feel most Christians know this is false. I mean, the Bible is full of dancing! However, I guess I'm still mad that I never got to go to a Senior prom because my Baptist school thought dancing was a sin. Sigh
I can find no place in the Bible that says that drinking alcohol is a sin. Jesus, Himself, often drank wine. He even made wine from water! The Bible does have much to say about drunkards and being drunk and how foolish it is, but to have a drink now and then? Not a sin.
Go,eat your bread with joy, and drink your wine with a merry heart, for God has already approved what you do Ecclesiastes 9:7
4. You must tithe at least 10%
The 10% rule was instituted in the Old Testament for the Israelites as an offering to God but also to support the priests, Levites and temple. It was more of a tax. The New Testament makes no reference to the percentage we are required to give. However, it is obvious that the New Testament saints gave generously to each other and to help the poor. It was more a way of life for them than it was a required percentage. They even sold their own possessions in order to help the poorer believers among them.
2 Corinthians 9:7 says Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
I'm NOT saying that you shouldn't Tithe! In fact, I'm saying you should probably do more than 10%!
In other words, allow the Holy Spirit to lead you into how much you should give. Yet, the Bible is also clear that the more you give with a cheerful heart, the more you will be blessed in return.
The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 2 Cor 9:6
5. Once saved always saved
Not in the Bible. People who believe this will often recite John 10:28. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.
While this is a very comforting verse, it doesn't mean that people can't leap out of God's hand. Could Jesus have meant that as well? Perhaps. So, I looked for other Scriptures that indicate that once we give our lives to Jesus, we are eternally saved. I couldn't find any. In fact, I found a bunch of Scriptures that say the opposite. I'll only list a couple here:
For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame. Hebrews 6:4-6
or if we go on deliberately and willingly sinning after once acquiring the knowledge of the Truth, there is no longer any sacrifice left to atone for [our] sins Hebrews 10:26
Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God." Gal 5:19-21
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven." Matthew 7:21.
"And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved." Matthew 10:22.
Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, I Cor 15:1-2
but Christ as a Son over His own house, whose house we are if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end. Hebrews 3:6
Yes, we are saved by Grace, absolutely! And Thank God for it. But after we are saved, we also have some responsibility to follow after Jesus, to stop deliberately sinning (we never stop sinning completely. This is referring to purposely sinning every day), and to hold fast to our faith. Otherwise, if we just go about our way and ignore God, aren't we simply rejecting Him in our hearts? I could show you a dozen more Scriptures that prove this point. I'm not talking about WORKS here, but instead a committed walk with Jesus. You might say, "Well, then those people weren't really saved." But I challenge you to read that first verse above in Hebrews 6 and tell me that person wasn't saved.
This is a very dangerous teaching that's been passed down through the ages. It has created a host of people who think they are saved but they've bought into the lie that God requires nothing from them now so they live for themselves and for this world. It breaks my heart. How happy our enemy must be.
6. All children who die under the age of "accountability" go to heaven. This also corresponds to the idea that all children under the age of accountability go in the rapture.
I can't find this in the Bible. Anywhere. What I do find are several verses saying that the descendants of the righteous will be delivered. Here's a couple
Assuredly, the evil man will not go unpunished, But the descendants of the righteous will be delivered Proverbs 11:21
The children of Your servants shall dwell safely and continue, and their descendants shall be established before You Psalm 102:28
But the mercy and loving-kindness of the Lord are from everlasting to everlasting upon those who reverently and worshipfully fear Him, and His righteousness is to children’s children Psalm 103:17
So, there seems to be some promises for children of Christians. I honestly am not sure about the others.
7. Communion, Christmas, Easter
This would take an entire post, but I'll just say this:
Communion in the New Testament was a meal shared among believers, not a tiny wafer and sip of juice handed out during a church service.
Christmas and Easter are pagan holidays incorporated by Emperor Constantine when he made Christianity legal. He mixed pagan temple practices and holidays with Christian events to give us the celebrations we have today. Jesus was not born in December. Easter was originally a day to worship the goddess Ishtar, the goddess of fertility that is demonstrated by eggs.
8. Auditorium church
At the same time Constantine made Christianity legal, he brought the Christians out of their home churches and into "churches" which were really just pagan temples that were already erected. The entire way church was done was completely changed at this time and pastors were elevated to rule over congregations and give "speeches" or sermons to the believers. People became passive listeners instead of engaged disciples. Rituals and new holidays were instilled and the signs and wonders that were so prevalent among the home churches vanished. Individual gifts of each believer were not given an opportunity to flourish and benefit the body.
This is still the case today with many churches. Followers of Jesus are not being discipled and taught to use their giftings for the entire body. Pastors are elevated as wiser and more godly than the rest of the believers. Worship has become entertainment, and it's more important to gain members and bring in more money than it is to save people and disciple them.
I'm not saying this is all churches. There are many great churches out there, but the auditorium style church tends to foster a more passive type Christian rather than create one who will set the world on fire for Jesus.
9. We won't know the day or hour of Jesus's return
This is a pet peeve of mine. I've heard it all my life, but after a careful examination of Scripture, it just isn't true. The phrase comes from Jesus in Matthew 24, but it's been taken out of context for years and passed onto Christians until they believe it. Here's the Truth
10. All Christians go in the rapture
This sort of goes along with the Once-saved-always-saved false theology. If you've read my book, When Angels Cry, you already know where I stand on this and the Scriptures which prove it.
I wrote a post on this several months ago. Click HERE to read it.
11. How to get saved
I've seen countless altar calls in church where the pastor extends an invitation for those who want to be saved to repeat this prayer after them. Some times the people responding are called to come to the front, but most of the time this is all done in secret while all eyes are closed. The problem is that rarely does the pastor fully explain just what these people are signing up for.
For instance, what exactly are they being saved from? I rarely hear a sermon on hell, so what is it?
Usually, the call is given after a sermon about what Jesus can do for you. Rarely is there any mention of that dreaded word: Repentance
But just saying a prayer and "believing" in Jesus isn't enough to get saved. My greatest fear and the reason for my ministry are those people who sit in church every week but who don't know the Lord and truly aren't saved.
If you want to know how to really get saved, Click HERE.
My goal here is to get people to read the Bible on their own, not just read, but study it. God promises us that the Holy Spirit will lead us into all truth.
If you can think of any more fallacies, I'd love to hear them!