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7 Popular Misconceptions about Jesus & the Bible, Part II

This is a continuation of my former post "7 Popular Misconceptions about Jesus & the Bible." Please read it to be brought up to speed before (or after) reading this post.

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.
— II Timothy 4:3, 4

There you have it. Those with “itching ears” are attending to fables a.k.a. seeker-friendly “gospels” and thrown out the real one. Here are seven misconception these itchy-eared people have....

5) Christians aren’t supposed to judge.

Here’s the thing: judging an action or a situation is a world of difference from being judgmental. Judgmental is Mrs. Rachel Lynde from Anne of Green Gables.

But he who is spiritual judges all things…
— I Corinthians 2:15
For I indeed, as absent in body but present in spirit, have already judged (as though I were present) him who has so done this deed.
— I Corinthians 5:3
For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside? Do you not judge those who are inside? But those who are outside God judges. Therefore ‘put away from yourselves the evil person.’
— I Corinthians 5:12, 13

And by the way, sin is already judged. So merely stating what the Bible says about it doesn’t make you judgmental.

And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.
— Romans 1:28-32
But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.
— Revelation 21:8

6) We’re not under the Law anymore a.k.a. the Old Testament is now irrelevant.

I’m SO sick of hearing this!! First of all, what “Bible” do we think Jesus was teaching from to His disciples?? The New Testament wasn’t written yet! And if the Old Testament wasn’t relevant, then why do the apostles INSIST on quoting it throughout the New Testament?

If you shun the Law/Old Testament you no longer have access to:

Also, people seem to think they’re under an easier “regime” with grace. They would be wrong. No we don’t do ritual washings, sacrifices, or stonings anymore. We don’t control diet, fabrics, or other such rules. Yet the Spirit of the Law remains. And actually, grace holds us to a higher standard. Under the Law, we were considered guilty of a thing if we did it. Now, we are considered guilty if we simply think it. But God’s grace is sufficient.

7) Jesus just wants me to be happy.

Real talk? This was my mom’s #1 excuse when she left my dad a few years ago. And forgive me, but “Jesus wants me to be happy” is not found anywhere in the Scripture, and certainly not an allowable biblical grounds for divorce. Jesus wants me to be happy stems from this “nice gospel” crap they preach in a lot of mainstream churches these days.

Jesus did NOT come so you could be happy. Jesus wasn’t happy growing up poor, hated by the Romans, and likely, treated by society as an illegitimate child. Jesus wasn’t happy fasting everything but water for 40 days and 40 nights. Jesus wasn’t happy when people tried to stone Him and throw Him off cliffs. Jesus wasn’t happy to be continually tested by Pharisees and constantly having to go back to square one in teaching His disciples. Jesus wasn’t happy when the masses which praised, “Hosanna!” one week before yelled, “crucify Him!!” a week later. Jesus wasn’t happy. But Jesus didn’t come to earth to be happy or to make us so either. He came to give us redemption and make us whole.

Happy is circumstantial. Happiness is never promised. Happiness is fleeting. Joy, however, is not. But you don’t get joy by expecting other people to “make it” for you; it’s something that you are; something that only God can give.

A woman isn’t happy to almost die in childbirth, but she has joy when she sees the reward of her pain. No one (in my opinion anyway) is happy to hit the weight room, but the reward of obtaining the body/shape you want and good health is worth the pain suffered to get there. Soldiers in the Army of the Lord are not happy to face continual attacks from the Kingdom of Darkness, but they find joy and contentment being in the will of God and advancing His Kingdom.

Making serious life and spiritual decisions based on whether or not it makes you happy is some serious kind of deception. You set yourself up to be deceived by the devil who is an age-old pro at knowing what makes people happy, or at least think they are so. And in your “happy place,” you will drift further and further from God and His protection will be nowhere to be seen. Therefore if your church is continually preaching and teaching on what will make you and others “happy,” in the words of a famous preacher, “RUUUUUN, AND DON’T LOOK BACK!!!”

If you expect other people or even God to make you happy, you will live a life--like my mother--of perpetual depression and unhappiness because your hope has been placed in the wrong thing. But if you actually strive to be in the perfect will of God, then you will have joy, and at times, you will even be happy. But that’s a personal decision, not a promise.

...For I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content…
— Philippians 4:11
She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her, and happy are all who retain her.
— Proverbs 3:18
...Whoever trusts in the Lord, happy is he.
— Proverbs 16:20
...But happy is he who keeps the law.
— Proverbs 29:18

If you are in a church or listening to ministers who only preach things that rub your flesh the RIGHT way, if you never feel the conviction of God for something you’ve done, if the ministers are more focused on self-improvement than self-denial, then I’m here to tell you that you are in the wrong place!!

So schedule a meeting, respectfully tell your pastor that you’re leaving the ministry, and BOUNCE! ASAP!! You can’t claim ignorance if your gut has been telling you something’s not right and certainly not after reading this post. Find a church home that preaches ALL the Word of God (black and red letters) and lives it as well. God will reward you and your life will blossom!