So here we go again! I’m back to discuss some more major misconceptions when it comes to Christianity. If you haven’t gotten a chance to read part 1 of this topic, please click here. Let’s get started, shall we?
1. Preachers mislead people to give away a lot of money.
Sadly, the world has painted a very horrible picture when it comes to the church and money. Many people get uncomfortable when the subject of wealth and prosperity are brought up, but they shouldn’t be. Here’s why: prosperity is empathically a part of (notice I said part of), salvation. This could actually be its own post because there are many scriptures that address this topic, but this truth can be confirmed very simply in a few scriptures:
And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.-Genesis 12:2-3
Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.-Galatians 3:16
If you study further, you’ll discover that Abraham was not poor by any means. The Bible makes it very clear that God wants us to be wholistically blessed, this includes financially. Why? So that we can fulfill the words He spoke to Abraham about being a blessing to the world. There is a BIG difference between prosperity and materialism. In the Kingdom of God, there are definite principles for financial increase and our participation through giving is instrumental in that process. Anyone who tries to tell you differently is most likely not walking in this blessing.
2. I need to be perfect before I give myself to God completely.
This is something that kept me away from church for years. The guilt and shame that I felt from being in the world for so long tortured my soul to the point where I felt like I’d be set ablaze by God just by walking into church. When I finally returned to church, my Pastor said something that I will never forget, “The church is not for perfect people, it’s for perfecting people.” At the very moment she said it, I could almost hear the spiritual chains shattering. God is not looking to destroy you based on your sins, He wants to bring you closer to Himself to completely remove them and the accompanying mindset from your life and replace them with His righteousness (see 2 Timothy 3:16-17 & 2 Corinthians 5:17).
3. We (Christians) are all sinners.
Some say this out of ignorance, others out of a false sense of humility, but in either case it actually contradicts what the Word of God says. The truth of the matter is that we WERE sinners; this is no longer our reality. The moment you gave your heart to Jesus, you were clothed with God’s righteousness. This means that you’re now just as righteous as Jesus Christ Himself.
For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.- 2 Corinthians 5:21
4. It’s OK to give my money to the poor as my tithe/offering.
Something that you must never forget is that God is not a man. Giving to God is an act of worship and a demonstration of your faith, therefore it’s not the same as giving a gift to a loved one or doing a favor for a stranger. While the act of kindness is admirable, it is in no way equal to giving an offering to God. Now, someone may be thinking, but what about Proverbs 19:17 which says, “He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the Lord, and that which he hath given, He will repay him again.” This is referring to a specific type of giving that has its own blessing connected to it; it doesn’t work as a substitute for your tithe or any other type of offering. In Proverbs 3:8-10, it says “Honor the Lord with thy substance and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: so shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.” The reason this is so important to understand is because God is the one who has the responsibility of being your source. Therefore when you give him an offering, it becomes holy unto him and not only does it produce a certain type of harvest that cannot come from giving to a man, but it also sanctifies your money and other possessions. God can’t bless or protect what you don’t offer to Him in faith.
5. The more that people pray for me, the easier it is for God to answer my prayer.
There are those that, whenever some sort of trouble is brewing in their lives, they call up a legion of “prayer warriors” to start praying for them. It’s like their spiritual panic button. This, in my opinion, is probably one of the saddest habits among Christians today. This statement will cause problems with some people, but hear me out for a second. I know that many people will automatically mention Matthew 18:19-20, which says that wherever two or three are gathered together in the name of Jesus, He is there with them in their midst.
However, there are a few problems with such regular use of emergency prayers. Firstly, If you read the preceding verses in Matthew 18, Jesus is actually talking about how to address an issue and agreeing together in the form of intercession. Secondly, to think that God is only going to hear your case if you have a multitude praying for you is just plain ignorance. The Bible says in James 5:16, “…The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” Notice it didn’t say “The effectual fervent prayer of all of your Facebook friends availeth much.” The word of God here is showing us a principle that all it takes is one righteous person to effect a desired change. Finally, to depend on the faith of others every time you have an issue will keep you in the babyhood stage of your Christian walk. Praying together in agreement about is good (especially if you’re still learning how to pray) and the Bible actually encourages it, but what it does not encourage is piggybacking on the faith of everyone around you as a lifestyle. Your faith can never grow that way and the crises of life will overwhelm you every single time. One of the easiest ways to wean yourself off of the faith of others is to feed yourself the word of God regularly and voraciously. When you have the word in you, you will have the right material stored in your heart to overcome any trouble that comes your way without depending on anyone else. God forbid you get caught in a storm with no prayer warriors at your beck and call!
6. The Old Testament and the New Testament can be read and applied in the same way.
Christianity often gets a bad rap because of misquoted Bible verses. What I’ve realized is that many people don’t understand how to read the Bible. It’s not just some book that you can open up and start reading from any verse; it must be read in context. An error that I observe most often is when people try to apply scriptures from the Old Testament in the wrong way. The Bible is split up into two different parts for a reason and not everything in the Old Testament should be applied to our time. For example, there were specific sacrifices that needed to be given in order to atone for sin in the days of Moses. If you read the Old Testament alone regarding this topic, you wouldn’t get the full picture. Hebrews 9:11-14 shows us why animal sacrifices are no longer necessary to atone for sin:
“But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God”
Similarly, you can’t only read the New Testament as a stand alone set of instructions. There are certain principles revealed in the Old Testament that are supported by scriptures in the New Testament. The firstfruit offering is a perfect examples of this. This offering is often thought to stem from the law of Moses, but it’s significance to God actually predates the law (see Genesis 4:4).
7. Getting baptized means you are born again (saved).
In recent years, I’ve discovered that there are a lot of people who believe that baptism gets you saved. There is no place in the Bible that suggests such a thing. The significance of baptism is to symbolize the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ (Romans 6:3-6). What gets you saved is the confession that Jesus Christ is lord of your life and believing in your heart that God raised Him from the dead.
“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”- Romans 10:9-10
Well, I hope you’ve learned something new from reading this. Please share with others that have yet to discover these truths. Thanks for reading and God bless.
Until next time…