Ummm...That Ain't in My Bible: Stuff Lukewarm Christians Say (Part 3)

 (Image:  Nathan Bingle )

(Image: Nathan Bingle)

I began this series two years ago to examine popular, albeit non-biblical, phrases and contextually inaccurate scriptures often uttered by many Christians and non-Christians alike. I'm finally back with a new installment debunking phrases which undermine objective truth.  

To be clear, this series isn't intended to tear down professed Believers, but it does endeavor to tear down some of the "lukewarm" things professed Believers say in the context of faith.  I've certainly been guilty of uttering such things before truly coming to Christ and studying His Word. Aware of my own former errors, I now hope to help others use speech which edifies and helps spread the truth of Christ, and to encourage others to examine their own beliefs to ensure they align with the truth.  "A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil," Jesus says. "For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks“ (Luke 6:45). Certainly, whoever we are and whatever we believe will ultimately find its way past our lips. So we must examine ourselves regularly and take care to root ourselves in the truth of God daily.  

May the following no longer be part of our vernacular.

 (Image:  Luke Palmer )

(Image: Luke Palmer)

“I DON’T QUOTE THE BIBLE TO THE LOST BECAUSE THEY DON’T UNDERSTAND IT”

The irony with this statement is Scripture is the first thing unbelievers quote to undermine our faith and justify their sin. Granted, they twist it, misinterpret it and misapply it, but they know enough to quote it.  For this reason alone we should abide in it that we are prepared to rebuff their errors with the truth.

Indeed, things of the Spirit are foolishness to the natural man (1 Corinthians 2:14). Yet, God’s word is the very thing necessary to reach the lost who will believe, for “faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God” (Romans 10:17). Those who belong to Christ from the foundation of the world will receive His word, so it isn’t our job to decide who will and won’t understand and receive the truth. Our job is simply to declare it to all (Mark 16:15; John 10:27-28; Romans 10:14-15).

You’re the only Bible some unbelievers will ever read,” is a popular quote from teaching pastor John MacArthur and one with which most professed Christians might agree. Yet many stand unprepared to rightly represent that. They may be willing to go into the world and say they love Jesus, which is awesome!  They may even go into the world to do good works, and that’s great! Yet they also go utterly unprepared to give the world an answer for the hope they have. Where they fall short is a failure to share why and what, exactly, it is they believe.

Knowing and sharing God’s Word are key. For “[a]ll Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).  So if it is our intention to “win souls for Christ”, we mustn't be ashamed of the Gospel, "for it is the power of God unto salvation for everyone who believes..." (Romans 1:16).  We can't neglect to share His truth. If we do, we must ask ourselves:  What (or who) are we witnessing? And for whom (or what) are we ultimately “winning” souls?

How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?”
— Romans 10:14
 (Image:  Jared Rice )

(Image: Jared Rice)

“I’M SPIRITUAL, BUT NOT RELIGIOUS”

The problem with this statement is it assumes that being “spiritual” and being “religious” are mutually exclusive. It also lends an incomplete definition to, and places worldly assumptions upon, the term “religious”. And, of course, it is usually uttered to cover up a lack of “faith” and an unwillingness to be accountable to God. Sadly, there are actually professed Christians who have adopted this phrase. They may call Jesus “Lord” yet they also embrace and practice pagan philosophies like new ageism, universalism, and pantheism in an attempt to escape what they deem to be “legalism”.

Certainly, Jesus condemns man-made religion, which is marred by rules, regulations, traditions, and “pomp & circumstance” disconnected from the truth (Matthew 23; Mark 7; see Roman Catholicism. This isn’t up for debate). Yet Jesus IS about His Father’s business, which isn’t subjective, abstract or philosophical but rooted in His truth. Said truth is objective and it is expressed through sound doctrine, right theology and it bears fruit.

God is Spirit,” Jesus says. "...and His worshippers must worship Him in spirit AND truth” (John 4:24). As the Apostles built upon the foundation Christ lays, they repeatedly encouraged the Believers to “walk in the Spirit”, and they rebuked those who failed to do so when they did not live or worship according to the truth of Christ (John 15; Galatians 5; 1 Corinthians; Ephesians 5 and elsewhere).

In other words, professed Christians who truly are spiritual (meaning, born again of the Holy Spirit) will do what aligns with the Spirit of Christ - they will do what Christ teaches. “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed,” Jesus says (John 8:31). “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me” (John 10:27). The Christian identity and world view are rooted in objective truth. This truth, which is of God’s Spirit, informs our faith and directs our practice (John 17:17; 2 Timothy 3:16-17). If a Christian is spiritual, being religious comes naturally. Except his religion will be good, pure and true according to the Word of Jesus Christ.

Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.” 
— James 1:27

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This concludes Part 3 of this series. I have many other silly (and doctrinally dangerous) phrases to debunk so be sure to check back soon. You may also subscribe to be notified as soon as new posts are published.

Thank you for reading and don't forget to share your thoughts in the comments below!

@Veritéetfeu

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mmm...That Ain't in My Bible: Stuff Lukewarm Christians Say (Part 2)