When we look at ourselves, other people, societies or even God, we all sometimes form our own perceptions and views. However our personal perceptions are never always correct / accurate especially when our perception is compared with the real truth. Myths or false perceptions can sometimes be very dangerous. For example, for centuries there have been many myths about Christianity which have existed, to the extent that these myths or false perceptions have caused people to take extreme measures against Christians through acts of persecuting & killing of many Christians. Below is an attempt to look at a few of the myths about Christians & Christianity and to address what the Bible actually says about such myths.
MYTH 1: A Person Becomes A Christian Due To Certain Affiliations
A person does not automatically become a Christian just because he was born in a church-going family. Neither is being baptized as a baby or being born in a Christian country or having a Christian name automatically make one a Biblical born again Christian. Being part of a particular church denomination or church affiliation does not automatically make a person a Christian.
John 1:12-13 ESV – But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
John 3:3-7 ESV – Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” 4 Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” 5 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’
MYTH 2: A Christian Is Saved By His Personal Ability & Effort. If Our Personal Good Works Outweigh Our Bad Works We Will Go To Heaven
Every person is a sinner in God’s eyes. According to God there is nobody who is righteous before Him (Romans 3:10 – As it is written: None is righteous, no, not one) and (Romans 3:23 – For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God) Therefore because of our sins and because we are sinners we cannot save ourselves from God’s punishment. We instead need a Saviour to save us from God’s eternal punishment. That Saviour is Jesus Christ. Therefore Christians are not saved by personal effort or by intelligent ability, but Christians are saved because of the what Jesus did for the world on the cross through God’s love and grace.
Ephesians 2:8-9 ESV – For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
John 3:16-17 ESV – For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him.
MYTH 3: The Christian Life Is About Health, Wealth & Luxuries
The continued rise of the false teachings of the prosperity gospel and word of faith movement have attempted to distort the real meaning and essence of true Biblical Christianity and what is means to be a Biblical born again Christian. Many times Jesus spoke against the pursuit of monetary riches and instead encouraged His followers to seek God’s kingdom first and to seek after the things in Heaven which do not perish. Jesus also told His followers that they should be prepared to forsake every worldly pleasure or desire and take up their cross and follow Him. Therefore having money or various forms of assets and luxuries is not an indication of whether a person is a Christian or of their spiritual faith and maturity.
Luke 12:15-21 NKJV – And He said to them, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.”
Matthew 6:24 ESV – No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.
Matthew 6:19-21 ESV – Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also
MYTH 4: The Christian Life Is Easy, Happy-Clappy & Free From Serious Problems & Challenges
A person’s problems do not end when he/she becomes a Christian. However, through Christ these problems can be overcome and Christ is able to still give you strength, peace and joy even in the midst of a bad situation. (John 16:33 ESV – I have said these things to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world).
It’s important to note that God’s people throughout scripture, throughout history and even in this present day continue to face problems, challenges and persecutions because of their Christian faith and belief in God. Therefore Christians are not exempt from tribulation and the Christian walk is challenging but it is nevertheless worthwhile because of its eternal benefits in Christ Jesus.
Matthew 7:13-14 ESV – Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. 14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.
John 15:18-21 ESV – If the world hates you, know that it has hated Me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. 20 Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will also keep yours. 21 But all these things they will do to you on account of My name, because they do not know Him who sent Me.
James 1:2-4 ESV – Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
MYTH 5: Christianity Is About Following A Set Of Rules or Do’s & Don’ts
Christianity is a lifestyle. It is a saving relationship with Jesus Christ. It is a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ. It is a loving relationship between God and man. Christianity is more than following a rule book. The Bible is not just a rule book. It is God’s word; God’s story; God’s message to anyone who is willing to listen, learn and obey (2 Timothy 3:16-17 ESV – All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work).
John 14:6-7 ESV – Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”
John 14:23-24 ESV – Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. 24 Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me.
John 15:13-17 ESV – Greater love has no one than this, that someone lays down his life for his friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15 No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. 17 These things I command you, so that you will love one another.
MYTH 6: Christianity Is Out of Touch & Out of Date With The Modern World
The argument is that Christians cling to a set of values that date back more than 2000 years ago and that such old values do not apply to modern 21st century thinking and culture. The rise of liberal thinking and gay rights for example are a few examples which are used to demonstrate that while the world is changing and tolerant, the Christian faith remains out of touch and intolerant on many moral issues. The truth is – God does not change and God’s moral values do not change. God’s word and values apply to any year; any century and any lifetime.
Romans 12:2 ESV – Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Hebrews 13:8-9 ESV – Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
MYTH 7: The Christian Faith Is Oppressive To People’s Freedoms
God’s word and values are never meant to bring about oppression and bondage. In fact, it is a life of sin that will eventually bring bondage and condemnation to one’s life. The truth of God’s word is however meant to set you free from sin through Christ Jesus. God is able to set people free from the bondages of depression, drug addiction, porn addiction, hatred, jealousy and all sorts of sins that we have difficulty overcoming. When you have a relationship with God, you will find fulfillment, direction and meaning to your life.
John 8:31-32 ESV – So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
John 8:36 ESV – So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
John 10:10 ESV – The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
MYTH 8: Christianity Is A Kill-Joy
The perception is that if a person becomes a Christian, he/she will no longer have to enjoy life because Christianity is perceived as having a set of rules which will kill the joy and fun out of life. So is Christianity a killjoy? Well the answer depends with what kind of things or activities you perceive as fun and joy. If your idea of a good time is getting drunk; taking drugs; fornicating; watching pornography and the like, then such activities do not agree with the Christian lifestyle. However, non of these activities can be considered to bring about true lasting and meaningful happiness and joy. Such activities are a temporary high which only feed the flesh but never constructively build you as a person. Such activities are what the Bible calls “the pleasures of sin”. Sin indeed is pleasurable but only for a short while and with very devastating consequences in the long term. While Christianity teaches us to subdue our fleshly desires, Christianity however offers true joy found through Christ and it offers a meaningful life when you have a relationship with God your Creator.
Romans 8:5-8 ESV – For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. 6 To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. 7 For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. 8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
Galatians 5:16-24 ESV – But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21 envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
MYTH 9: Christians Dislike Anybody Who Disagrees With Them
Christians have been accused of being homophobic, anti-abortion and the like. The truth is real Christians are not taught to hate anybody. Christians are commanded to love their neighbor (Matthew 22:37-40 ESV– And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself). However, this does not mean that a Christian must be tolerant of a person’s sin or sinful lifestyle. In fact, it is out of love that a Christian speaks against homosexuality or abortion for example. Christians are taught to love the sinner but hate the sin.
Romans 12:9 ESV – Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good
2 Timothy 4:2-5 ESV – Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. 3 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, 4 and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. 5 As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.
DO YOU WANT TO BE A CHRISTIAN or A FOLLOWER OF JESUS CHRIST???
1. ACKNOWLEDGE: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). “God be merciful to me a sinner” (Luke 18:13).
You must acknowledge that you are a sinner and that you therefore need Jesus in your life.
2. REPENT: “Unless you repent you will all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3), “Repent therefore and be converted that your sins may be blotted out” (Acts 3:19)
Repenting means: to change your mind; a sincere turning away, in heart, mind and action;
Therefore God wants you to repent of sinful values and of sinful living. God wants you to decide to
follow Him and to make Jesus the Lord of your life.
3. CONFESSION: “If we confess our sins. He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). “That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9)
God is a forgiving God. God will forgive any sin that you have done because Jesus died for ALL your sins and to set you free from the bondage of all types of sin in your life.
4. BELIEVE: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
You must believe that ONLY Jesus can save you and restore your relationship with God. You must believe that Jesus is the ONLY way by which you can have everlasting life and escape from eternal separation from God. You must believe that Jesus died on the cross for you and resurrected from the grave.
“He came to His own, and His own did not receive him, But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name” (John 1:11-12)
By faith, You must receive Jesus as Your Lord & Savior and therefore; you become a child of God; you become born again; you become a Christian; you restore your broken relationship with God
Why Not Make Your Eternal Decision NOW?
We become born again Christians by GRACE through FAITH or TOTAL TRUST in Jesus Christ as our Lord & Savior (Galatians 3:26) & (Ephesians 2:8,9). Salvation is a FREE gift received through FAITH in Christ.
This prayer is only an EXPRESSION of your faith, belief & trust in Jesus. Salvation is by FAITH or BELIEVING in Christ Jesus as your Lord & Saviour.
“Lord Jesus, I thank You for Your love. I thank You that You died on the cross for me and resurrected so that I may have life through You.
I confess Lord that I have sinned against You and today I ask You to forgive me of all of my sins, past present and future.
I repent of all of my sins and I ask You to cleanse me Jesus.
Thank You for forgiving my sins.
From this moment, come into my life Lord Jesus & take full control of my life. I want to follow You Jesus and I want to follow Your ways. Save me and from today, make me the person You want me to be.
I receive You Lord Jesus right now by faith. I make You my Lord and Savior – Amen”
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