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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Modern Misconceptions in Christianity

Today I’d like to go over some of the myths that Christians and non-Christians alike have about Christianity.  There a lot of things that many of us get wrong and I’m going to try and provide what little wisdom God has given me to these things and hopefully give people a different perspective.

God Helps Those Who Help Themselves

I don’t know where this saying came from exactly (sources indicate it goes back as far as four centuries) but the truth is that God helps those He sees fit to help.  Indeed, we know that Elijah the Prophet, a man who had a direct line with God, only helped one widow in Israel during the time of the famine.  Meanwhile, those who were helping themselves starved.

Judge Not Lest Ye Be Judged Yourselves

This saying is more or less a direct quote from Jesus Himself.  It is part of his Sermon on the Mount and I will quote in full here:

“Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. 3 Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye.

The above quote provides more context.  Usually the first verse is quoted to stop people from “judging” others.  What the offended usually mean is that a moral person is shaming another person for their immoral behavior.  In other words, it is a pathetic defense against feelbad emotions.

Judging others is the only way in which a society can remain moral.  The implication Jesus is making is that if you judge others, you will be judged by those same rules.  This is why when Zoe Quinn stated that committing adultery is essentially raping the partner you cheated on, I stated that she was a rapist given that she cheated on her boyfriend five times.

As Christians, we can judge others but we must be wary of those who are not believers.  They may not share our same standards of honesty, integrity, and a belief in the sacredness of life (not many Christians actually share those standards either, but they need to be judged for it).

You Must Forgive Those Who Wrong You

This is something that has always bothered me.  Jesus indeed does say that you should forgive your brother all the time, but only in response to the sinner actually apologizing to you.  No apologies, no forgiveness required.

Modern churches have taken this to an extreme by stating you have to forgive those who wrong you in order to avoid resentment in your heart.  In other words, you have to forgive in order to feel better about yourself.  Talk about ego-inflation.

Even in the Gospel of John, Jesus says to his disciplines after breathing the Holy Spirit upon them that if they withhold forgiveness, it is withheld.

Look, I’m not against forgiveness.  But understand that forgiveness is an act of love, not a feeling.  Forgive people when they willingly apologize.  Otherwise shake the dust off your feet and move on.  There are other ways to get rid of resentment.

equality

No where in the Bible is the term equality used when referring to people, only Jesus and God being equals.  In fact, the opposite is true as God choses Abram to father His people, choses Moses to lead them, and selects various prophets over other ordinary people.

We’re All Special

The problem is that we are all not special.  While we have our own hopes and dreams, God generally does not count us as special snowflakes.  Most of us are just expected to live out our lives following His Will as best we can.

Very few people are set aside by God.  And the common among us should be grateful that we are not.  The life of a prophet or saint is not an easy life and it is often filled with strife and struggle, more so than the normal one.

That’s about it really.  I don’t know if I am right in my assertions here, but this is what I believe to be common misconceptions in the modern church and among non-believers.