Growing up as a Christian my whole life I have been really blessed. However one of the downsides of growing up in the church is definitely the amount of weird things I picked up as core beliefs over the years. Some of these were taught explicitly to me others were just communicated through actions (or lack of actions). However it was they got there I’m just glad that God is renewing my mind and slowly setting me free from them.
My prayer as you read this list is that you can read them with humility and remain open and teachable, knowing that none of us have it all down perfectly. Ask God if there is something He wants to reveal to you through this article. If He highlights something, or you find something especially offensive you can find further reading via the links at the end of each section which will allow you to delve into the topic a bit more in-depth.
So without any further ado here are 8 lies that many Christians believe.
Lie #1: I am a sinner
God in no way sees you as one and actually your ability to walk a life of purity and righteousness will be determined on the degree you believe you are not a sinner but are in fact righteous. When Jesus died on the cross the old sinful nature died with Him and you were raised up righteous, spotless, perfect! You have been made perfect in Him.
Do not let ANYONE no matter what their credentials void the word of God. You are a new creation, the righteousness of Christ.
For more on this see my article “Romans 7: Did Paul struggle with a sinful nature?”
Lie #2: I must work on my sins and become more holy
I know what you are thinking, what’s so wrong about that. That sounds like the definition of spiritual maturity. It’s not.
Think about it, how exactly do you plan to get more holy? I mean, holiness by definition is to be set-apart, unique and perfect. So how do you grow in that? By very definition holiness is an either/or position. You either are holy or you are not holy.
I mean if you are 40% holy just now and you are hoping to get to 75% by the end of the year… what will that make you? That’s right, you’ll still be unholy.
In fact by this way of looking at holy we can never be anything but unholy! Even in 20 billion years we will still be 99.9999999999999999% holy.
You see God is not defined as holy because of what He does. He is defined as holy because of who He is.
It is the same for you. You are not holy depending on how well you do today, you are Holy today because He has made you holy by nature. As you believe in this and renew your mind to it you will start to bear the fruit of it.
For more on this see my devotional “The Christian life is not about becoming more holy” or check out the identity video series on The Grace Course.
Lie #3: Money is evil
We typically freak out in the church when it comes to money. Here’s the deal. Money is not evil and it’s OK to want some! While Jesus talked about money often it’s important to note that He never said to have it was bad, in fact the promises in scripture for financial blessing are so numerous I can’t even begin to list them.
Jesus’ problem was never with money but rather with our own desire for money above anything else. It’s even OK to want to have money, just so long as that does not become a priority that overrides enjoying Jesus and walking in His Spirit.
So we must understand that money is not evil loving to the point you lose sight of Jesus is.
Here is a short devotional “Money doesn’t create fools, it reveals them”.
Lie #4: God wants people sick so He can teach them a lesson
Don’t ever let someone convince you that you are sick because God wants to teach you a lesson. God has never desired for you to be sick.
Lets face it, what lesson was so important to learn that the 8yrs old boy needed to die of cancer. Or to cause the family never have their mother because she is in bed day and night? And is God so incapable of teaching this lesson to you through a method while you are well that He had to make you sick?
Now hear me out here, I am not saying you will not grow through your sickness. Will you learn things through your sickness? Absolutely, God will always take the worst hand life will deal you and turn it around for good. He loves to see us grow in spite of the bad things that happen in our lives.
In fact, what I’ve actually seen many times is that God is so good at turning things around for good that people often blame Him for the bad He had to turn around. God is the author of good, not bad!
The next lie I look at is regarding God’s sovereignty and might help you work through this point.
See here for more on Good vs Bad.
Lie #5: God controls every single thing that happens in life
This is a really important thing people misunderstand, I’ve kind of implied this in the prior point. God is not the author of every situation. We are the ones in control of our own lives, God is sovereign but that doesn’t mean that He is control of every little thing. He has delegated that control to us and our inability (or ability) to use that delegated authority has very far-reaching implications.
We cannot just sit back passively and watch the world fall to pieces and our lives crumble and just say “well that must be the will of God”.
How can I be so bold to say that God’s will does not always happen? Let me ask you a simple question. Does God want you to sin?
No. So how on Earth is it that we all manage to sin so frequently? God has given us free-will.
Please note: Nothing we do or say ultimately can override God’s ultimate plans and purposes for humanity but He has given us individual freedom and a free-will, much like an adult would give a child free-will within a playground to do whatever they want. The illusion of free-will is there, but ultimately we can’t leave the playground to play on the highway. In the same way we can do whatever we want in life and there will be real consequences of those choices but God is sitting back ensuring that all things turn to good for our lives as those who believe in Him.
For more on this topic check out my article “Some thoughts on suffering”
Lie #6: Christians need to try and keep the law
This is a big one, most Christians I have met are extremely confused by this. They seem unsure what to do with the law, it seems that the New Covenant renders the Old Covenant irrelevant for the believer but God gave the Old Covenant and we should still try do the laws, right? Right?
Of course not. But that’s too scary for many Christians to imagine… I mean if we don’t have a rule that says “thou shall not kill”, then all the Christians, righteous by nature and walking in the Spirit would go on killing sprees, right?
I think not. You see the law isn’t what determines our conduct, lets face it we’ve had the law for thousands of years and it didn’t do much to stop us sinning!
Our decision to walk in the Spirit or not is the deciding factor in our walk being one of healthy choices.
1 Timothy 1:9-10 says that “the law is NOT for the righteous but for the unrighteous”
For more on this topic I strongly encourage you to read “What’s the role of the law in the New Covenant?”
I also cover this over 2hrs in depth in this 9 video series on The Grace Course, you can watch it all for free here.
Lie #7: Pastors/Missionaries are more holy!
Growing up in the church I spotted a very common thread. If you were a passionate young believer there was only really one direction you should be going. You should be heading to Bible college or seminary so that you could become a pastor or do some form of missions.
Why? Because this is the most holy calling of God. For the 1% in the body that are actually seriously in love with Him.
This is one of the most perverse ways of thinking that exists in the body of Christ today – That there are some who are holy and more called by God.
The scriptures paint a very different picture. All have been made one with Christ and have the fullness of God residing in them. Everyone is just as anointed as the next person and we all have a wonderful call of God on our lives.
Whether we are a football player, a housewife, a teacher, CEO, janitor or pastor we are all called and have the opportunity to represent Christ and enjoy Him right were we are!
For more on how all are anointed see my friend Dan Heroy’s guest blog “On the anointing” and my devotional “You don’t need a fresh anointing – the old one didn’t go stale.”
Lie #8: You must produce good fruit!
Good fruit is something that God wants to see in your lives, but what might come as a surprise is that you are not the one who should be producing it!
Let’s face the hard facts and look at our love, our patience, our kindness. They might all look OK, and they might even be getting better as time goes on, but they aren’t going to be perfect, ever.
The only perfect fruit comes from the Spirit, this is why Jesus told us to just be branches and abide in Him (the vine) and we would bear much fruit. He wants to do it through us!
I touch on this topic in my article “God does not want YOUR fruit”
There’s also an 11 part video series on identity on The Grace Course if you want to go into more depth.
So there you are – just a few common held lies that hurt many Christians every day.
I really hope that encouraged you and possibly set you free from some beliefs about Christianity that have been holding you in bondage.
What are some of the things you’ve believed for a long time that God has shown you over time aren’t true?