I was talkin' to a buddy of mine the other day and started just lashing out with a bunch common misconceptions that are often thought about Christianity that are just completely untrue OR made up OR highly exaggerated.
For instance, the idea that every sin (in God's eyes) is equal is just a lie. People will tell you, "To God, telling a lie is just the same as murder. To God, a sin is a sin no matter what it is." In the words of Dwight Schrute....FALSE. That is not true AT ALL. Honestly, I don't know where people get this from. It is not found anywhere in the Bible. I was taught this from a young age and just sort of accepted it, but after having read pretty much the entire Bible, I now recognize that it is untrue. I don't know who made it up or why they did it, but let's shatter this myth shall we?
When Jesus is about to be crucified, Pilate is speaking with Jesus pretty much begging Him to defend Himself but Jesus won't respond. Finally Jesus responds by saying, "You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above. Therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin."
Did you see that? Jesus said that those who handed Jesus over to Pilate (aka the pharisees, teachers of the law, and Judas) are guilty of a GREATER sin that Pilate was. He clearly distinguishes between the severity of sins. Also, there are times in the Bible where Jesus talks about how those who are sinning but are ignorant of it, will be judged less harshly than those who are willingly, KNOWINGLY sinning against Him. On top of that, when God gave the law to Moses and the Israelites, He clearly gave different, more severe, punishments to different sins. I could keep going and giving more evidence, but I think that's enough for now.
GOD'S WILL IS ALWAYS BEING DONE AND EVERYTHING THAT HAPPENS IS PART OF GOD'S MASTER PLAN......false!
This excuse is used all of the time to help cope when bad things happen. For instance, someone's 6-year-old nephew gets killed and to help cope with it they just say, "Well, it's all part of God's plan. This had to happen to fulfill God's purposes." I don't mean to be crass because unfortunately situations like this happen far too often, but they are NOT always God doing it. We have to realize that we live in a fallen world that, at this point, is being ruled by Satan. (I'll address this remark in just a second). God NEVER EVER desires for a woman to be brutally raped and murdered....EVER! It is not GOD'S WILL for things like that to happen. If God's will were always being done, than we would be living sinlessly with Him in a heaven-like earth with no pain or suffering. God's ultimate plan is not some strategy that requires all of the pieces to fall into place with perfect accuracy and with perfect timing. In fact, He has to keep maneuvering around our shortcomings and failures due to sin in order to bring to fulfillment what He promised in His word. God did not designate every tragedy to happen just to fulfill his MASTER PLAN. He's gonna find a way to make it happen, without controlling every single thing that we do. We have our free will, and unfortunately, most of us act like idiots most of the time. He is going to forgive that and overcome it for us.
There are many, many other misconceptions about Christianity or about the world, but I don't have enough time to address all of them right now. I may make a "Part II" segment later, but I want to address this one at least right now:
GOD RULES HEAVEN, SATAN RULES HELL, AND THEY ARE FIGHTING OVER EARTH.
This is untrue. Everyone always talks about Satan and his demons as if they are just down there having a ball in hell, torturing humans and making plans of how they are going to screw people on earth. This is so far off its ridiculous. When God cast Satan and his crew of flunkies (demons) out of heaven, where did He cast them down to??? Was it hell??? NO! It was the earth. God cast Satan and his demons to the earth. He gave authority over earth to men through Adam. Adam, like the noob that he was (I'm just playin, I bet Adam was a baller and I'm sure he did a way better job than I could have) gave up his authority and rulership over earth and gave it to Satan when he decided to follow the serpent instead of following the Lord. When Satan is tempting Jesus in the desert and shows Him the kingdoms of the world and offers to give them to Jesus, he says this: "I will give you all their authority and splendor, FOR IT HAS BEEN GIVEN TO ME, and I can give it to anyone I want to." (Luke 4:6) He wasn't lying. Satan has been given all the kingdoms of the world by us, and he can give them to whoever he wants to. There is also a verse that talks about how the devil is constantly roaming the earth, looking for people whom he may devour. You can't roam the earth when you are in hell. There is a huge chasm between hell and earth and heaven. You cannot escape hell unless God personally pulls you out. Hell is not the kingdom of Satan, it is the place of torment created FOR Satan and his followers (aka the fallen angels...aka demons). Hell is Satan's destiny. When Jesus casted out demons, they always begged Him NOT to send them to "the abyss," which is hell. They DREAD hell. It is not their secret hangout spot. It is the place they know they are destined for, and the place where they are trying to drag the people God loves with them. They know they can't touch God, so they are going to go after the things that He loves. We HAVE to realize that Satan is at large in this very world that we live in. There is a major battle going on in our midst. We can either be pawns sitting in the middle, or, by the grace of God, we can be knights, kings, and queens fighting for the Lord and ushering His kingdom down. We are not supposed to be trying to escape this world and flee to heaven. We are supposed to be pulling heaven down to earth. THAT is God's will. Let's stop being pawns and start puttin' in work. Can we please do that? Can I get an AMEN on that!? Goodness.
Well, that's all I got for now, so until next time....PEACE!