10 Things We Say in Church That Don’t Actually Make Sense
1. You don’t go to church, you are the church
I am not a building. What we mean by this is we are the body. Okay, that’s weird too. Let me try again. The Church is not a building, the church is a living organism that is Christ’s body. Okay, still not helping here. Maybe we should come back to this one another time. Let’s move on.
Good people of Oz, this is not true. There is no Yellow Brick Road that swiftly leads us to the Emerald City if we follow all the rules. Yes, God calls us to give and to tithe. And yes, he blesses those who give. But no, your amount of blessing received does not equal what you give. That would be works over faith and would infer that we must earn our salvation when it’s already been given to us.
This is my biggest pet peeve. And I just used it above! I wrote about it here. If you used the word “blessed” more than four times in the last paragraph you just spoke, you used it three and a half times too many. “Blessed” means to find favor or to have “self-contained happiness.” Greg Laurie writes, “the idea is that our happiness is independent of our circumstances. It is self-contained, meaning that regardless of what is happening to us externally, we can be truly happy internally.” Your new car does not make you holy. Your new baby might – I’ll give you that one. It’s good to be thankful, but when we overuse the word bless, it can make others feel like they’re not as blessed, happy or as fortunate as we are. It can also give material things more power than we intend.
Are we going by Leviticus 19:28 for this one? “You shall not make any cuts on your body for the dead or tattoo yourselves: I am the Lord.” If so, the verse just before it says, “You shall not round off the hair on your temples or mar the edges of your beard.” It also mentions only eating what’s kosher. So … bummer for everyone who’s ever had a hair cut or shaved or eaten meat. We’re taking an Old Testament verse out of context just a bit. This passage is dealing with pagan rituals of people living near the Israelites. Also, we’re not under Old Testament law anymore.
Where do we get this saying? I don’t think it’s in the Bible because Jesus said, “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” Lost people don’t typically help themselves. Jesus healed the sick, blind and hurting. Do you remember what he called the people who thought they could help themselves to heaven? White washed tombs. I think I’ll pass on that.
6. God won’t give you more than you can handle
Are we thinking of this verse? “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can endure it” (1 Corinthians 10:13). However, this verse is talking about sin and the fact we have a choice – say yes to sin or say no to sin. God gives us a way to turn from sin. This verse isn’t talking about trials and pain and suffering. In fact, right before his death, Jesus said, “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.” He promises us trouble and he promises us joy. Relevant wrote a great piece on this here.
Esther Laurie is a staff writer at ChurchLeaders.com. Her background is in communication and church ministry. She believes in the power of the written word and the beauty of transformation and empowering others. When she’s not working, she loves running, exploring new places and time with friends and family. It’s her goal to work the word ‘whimsy’ into most conversations.
More from Esther Laurie or visit Esther at http://estherlaurie.com