10 things Christians believe that aren’t true (part 1)

Just thought I would change up the format a bit and provide my thoughts on things I often overhear in Church circles which sound true, but as I think about them later, as not as true as they first appeared. Feel free to provide your own thoughts by leaving a comment!

  1. “I am just waiting on the Lord” means sitting on the couch in front of the television eating potato chips. Or going to the beach. Or hanging out with friends. Or doing anything for that matter that is not, in fact, waiting on the Lord.There is not, of course, anything wrong with sitting on the couch in front of the television eating potato chips. I have found myself engaged in that fruitful activity on many occasion. :)But as my older daughter pointed out to me in discussing this subject, “waiting on the Lord” is an expression that has come to mean “taking no action on a particular situation or opportunity.”

    Which, by the way, there is nothing wrong with, either. Sometimes the worst thing we can do is take action when the action we should take is not clear. Continue reading “10 things Christians believe that aren’t true (part 1)”

I hear God most when I am at rest

Throughout the years I have heard many believers say it is difficult to hear God. I understand that sentiment. In my own life, there have been times and seasons when He has seemed undoubtedly distant or much quieter than I would have liked.

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The Man Who Met God Face to Face

A man is awoken in the middle of the night by a figure at the foot of his bed. It is Jesus Himself, who says, “I am sending you to another city, where the thing you have waited for will come to pass. But it is no longer safe for you here; if you remain, you will only find difficulty and heartache.” At that moment, Jesus disappears and the man falls fast asleep. The next morning, the man remembers the event vividly, God’s words as clear as crystal. But he has many ties to the community, and he likes it here, where he lives. He decides instead to remain where he is at. And in a few months, he finds himself enduring tragic and difficult circumstances, just as God said he would.

Is it ever possible the bad we experience is not God’s will? The answer is yes . . . and no.

We have been discussing the topic of God’s sovereignty over the past few weeks. I have been contending that God is responsible for not only the good but also the bad in our lives, at least what we consider bad. But I now wish to ask the question: Is it ever possible the bad we experience is not God’s will? The answer is yes . . . and no. This dual answer, which I shall explain in a moment, actually provides us much insight into how God can be good in the midst of our difficulties.

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The Woman Who Refused to be Healed

Pastor Bill Johnson  of Bethel Church in Redding, California, tells of a story of a woman who was suffering from a physical affliction. He asked her whether he could prayer for her to be healed. She answered, “No, God has given me this affliction to teach me character.” To which Bill Johnson aptly replied, “If I did that to my children, I would be arrested for child abuse.”

Like the woman in this story, we may believe God desires that we suffer, even physically. The truth is, however, this is a concept foreign to Scripture. In the Old Testament, sickness and disease are always associated to the consequence of sin, and in the New Testament, they are always an opportunity for God’s miraculous healing power to be demonstrated. It is very difficult from a casual reading of the Gospels to draw the conclusion that Jesus wants us to be afflicted.

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The Mortal Sin of Belief

In the last couple of posts, I have perhaps opened a small can of worms by suggesting God, as supreme author of life, is responsible for the bad things that befall us. The thought is reasonable, and  — the more we contemplate God’s omnipotent and omniscient nature — inescapable.

But what is it about the idea that God has some part in the difficulties that befall us, that causes us pause? I believe the answer is: We fear this must mean that He is bad, no better than the devil. It would seem to suggest, at least on the surface, that He endorses the bad. That He intends for us to suffer.

But our misgivings go deeper than this. To allow the possibility that God is involved in the bad is, for many of us, to commit the mortal sin of questioning God’s goodness. Because faith is foundational to Christian doctrine, attributing God to the bad is seen as a failure of faith. We refuse to set foot in that direction.

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