Top 5 Lies Christians Believe

Top 5 Lies Christians Believe

The apostle Paul wrote:

“For the time is coming when people will not endure soundteaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.” 2 Timothy 4:3-4

We are all susceptible to believing lies at any given time. The world is magical at presenting it’s counterfeit products as the genuine article. One would assume that because Christians are followers of the Truth, that we would be less susceptible to such lies.

The real truth however, is that Christians believe many lies. We sometimes don’t even realize that they are lies because they are wrapped up so nicely with what appears to be a “Bible bow”.

There are hundreds of lies Christians believe, either collectively or individually. I chose these 5 lies because I have personally seen them infiltrate the Church, the lives of my friends and family and my own life. Here are the Top 5 Lies Christians Believe (according to me):

1. Church is not necessary. In other words, it’s okay to be a lone Christian. I was a lone Christian for many years. I knew no differently and I honestly didn’t know any better. Somehow in my daily reading of scripture, all the talk of the body, and fellowship just flew right past me. The saddest thing is that it was my lack of accountability and relationship that pushed me to my furthest point away from God. I would wake up every morning and feel hopeless and alone.

2. All Christians need to do is be “good” and act “nice.” That is what a “good Christian does.” This lie is one of the enemy’s greatest weapons. He wants us to believe that if we just “act” a certain way and keep up appearances (i.e. do good works apart from grace) that we will be okay. Satan wants to convince us that we are capable, in our own strength, to accomplish God’s Will, thereby rejecting the Holy spirit. We ignore the Holy Spirit and all of His available guidance, power, and counsel. We treat the Spirit as either insignificant to create change in our life or simply irrelevant.We believe wrongly that we can “make it happen.”

Yet, it is through the Spirit that we are empowered to do God’s work. Likewise, our salvation rests on knowing Christ loving Him completely, nothing else. God will not ask if you were a nice person when you stand before Him. He will want to know if you knew His Son.

3. God doesn’t care about your small things. He is much to busy with all the big issues. I have personally struggled (and still do struggle) with this lie. Somewhere along the line we convince ourselves that God has got a lot on his plate and so we don’t bother Him with our silly little lives. We pray for others, sure. Or make our own requests known only when they are “big” things and even then we doubt He might care or actually hear.

But oh how He cares. He knows the number of hairs on your head. He does not just tolerate you or put up with you. He delights in you. He is overjoyed to hear your voice, calling out to your Abba. He cares about the details of your lives just as much as the “big picture.” He desires you to let Him into the small spaces where He can take up residence and bring peace.

4. We believe that only pastors or those in “leadership” can, in fact, lead. Churches use words like pastor, counselor, minister of whatever, or lay person. They are essentially stating that you must be a professional to serve or lead within the body. The beauty however, of the Body of Christ is that God calls ordinary men to do His extraordinary work. You do not need a seminary degree, a certificate of training, or a title from your church’s administration to serve, disciple, or equip those around you. You need three things: a willingness, faithfulness, and the Holy Spirit.

5. God wants us to be happy. Happiness in scripture is usually mentioned in terms of a fleeting moment or a temporal, earthly event. The scriptures, nor Christ (nor anyone else for that matter) never tell us that God wants us to “be  happy.” He wants us to be a lot of things: righteous, holy, Godly, pure, sanctified, etc….but “happy” ain’t in the list. It’s cliche but man is it true: God is more concerned with our holiness than our happiness.

Americans tend to think more in terms of happiness and immediacy than joy and steadfastness. We want God to just rain down good feelings and good times. The truth however is that being happy and content in our daily lives is a byproduct of following Jesus with an obedient heart but it is not the reason we follow Him.

We give our life to Him because His sacrifice demands a response. In turn, as we engage with Him and let the Spirit lead. He offers us the abundant life. Abundance in Christ however is not synonymous with happiness. In fact I would argue, that in some ways, being a Christian is actually harder than not. The reward, blessing, peace, and fruit however far outweigh our temporal sufferings.

I would say that #3 and #5 are personal struggles for me. I am constantly battling lies within my mind, either self-perpetuated or flaming arrows from the enemy. Either way, recognizing lies for what they are is the best cure. The result is freedom and ultimately that is what I’m after.

Which of the 5 lies, if any, have you believed or currently struggle with? What lies would you add to the list?

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36 thoughts on “Top 5 Lies Christians Believe”

  1. #1 has been huge in my past – we always heard “You don’t have to go to Church to be a Christian”. I appreciate the sentiment behind it (giving the speaker the benefit of the doubt): Church attendance doesn’t save. But it’s created a culture of people who – like you observed – are cut off from community.

    #4 is also sad. I have worked with so many people who feel they have nothing to contribute because they’re not educated or trained enough. As a leader, it breaks my heart. I want to shake them and say, “YOU HAVE SO MUCH TO OFFER!!”

    #5 is a huge tension we feel. The goal of our lives isn’t happiness, but the resurrection IS exciting and Jesus does promise us an abundant life NOW, not just in the future. Of course then he got crucified. Andy’s last Catalyst talk really helped me to put this tension in perspective.

    As for lies I would add? I would perhaps modify #5 a bit and say, “God is on your side.” God is on God’s side, and when we forget that, we end up (idolatrously) worshiping a false nationalistic, tribal deity in place of the true God. I’ve seen this do a LOT of damage (and been on the receiving end myself).

    Great post! Thanks much!

  2. JR, great comments. The cliche phrase “You don’t have to go to Church to be a Christian” really pains me. No, you don’t but it sure helps! And depending on what kind of Christianity you are after, will determine whether or not being an active part of the Body, is a priority or not.

    As for #4, it is perhaps one of my greatest frustrations within the Body. i love seeing people equipped and then empowered to do God’s work. The more unsuspecting a leader, the better!

    Great points in regards to #5. I love that point about people saying “God is on your side”…God is certainly “for us” but we must choose to be on His side!

    Thanks for sharing and adding a great comment.

  3. #1–Yep, I know this one all-too-well! In fact, I kinda had a panic attack last week when I realized that if I want to Church to really be the Body of Christ, then I need to open myself up to my brothers- and sisters-in-Christ.

    #2–Another major struggle. If I can be honest, I’m not always the most pleasant guy in the world. One moment I’m Mr. Sunshine, then the next I’m like, “Eff you, and eff you, and I don’t even know you but eff you anyway!” Of course instead of repenting, I beat myself up with guilt.

    #3–At this point, it’s still hard for me to believe that God is in the small stuff, but I’m working on it.

    #4–Hmm, interesting. I’ve never really thought about leadership, and who is qualified to lead.

    #5–I have mixed feelings about the phrase “God wants you to be happy.” Yes, the Bible tells us to rejoice and be glad. And I’m pretty sure God doesn’t want us to wallow around in misery. However, the phrase “God wants you to be happy” usually means “God wants you to have a perfect life and never experience any trials.” Even for the Christian, life’s pretty messy!

    1. Travis,
      Thank you for sharing.

      From one introvert to another, I know how tempting it can be to fly solo or resist community.

      I am definitely moody too some days and have been convicted about it for sure!

      You said it well though Travis…Christian life is messy. We have to give ourselves more grace.

  4. I’m having a really hard time with #1, I do know it would totally help me to go, but last year I got really hurt because of a girl. Now, whenever I go it reminds me about that relationship and makes me feel sooo bad. It’s actually almost two years from that, and still on process… if you could pray for me just for a moment, I would appreciate it, thanks.

    1. Carlos,
      I’m so sorry to hear about your negative experience.

      And I’m sure you know this, but Satan would love to continue using your heartache to keep you from the Body and subsequently, your healing.

      Lord, I Pray for Carlos, that you would move his heart and allow him to step forward. Would You give him courage, resolve, and the trust needed to re-enter community. Lord, would You bless him tremendously as he does and allow him to form genuine, authentic relationships centered on Christ. Thank you Lord. Amen.

      I will continue to pray my friend. Blessings….

  5. I have to say, that I’ve fallen victim to #3. I feel that something as small as needing the train to be on time to pick up kids at daycare or I’ll get charged an additional $20 is not “God worthy”.

    See, now when I read that I still think it’s not God worthy. I think it’s a small inconvenience that cost me a Jackson ($20). Ugh!

    1. Dude, I so get it and can so empathize.

      I’m getting better at recognizing where God actually intervenes in the small things. I am trying to be quick to say “Hey, that was God and thank you for caring about my small stuff!”

      Still, I wonder what the root cause of this thinking is…A lack of self-worth at times? I know I’m guilty of that too…

      Thanks for sharing Moe! Thanks again for last week. You rocked it!

    1. Christians kill me too.

      Many of them believe the Bible with no hesitation. They call it faith.
      Others of them, myself included, have come to believe the Bible after investigating its origin, truth, claims, and historical accuracy. They call it reason.

      Coincidentally, there is room for both faith and reason in Christianity. Go figure.

  6. From where did this “top five” lies originate? Some are poorly stated, some make assumptions about others’ assumption, and others are just plain wrong. Church is not “necessary,” but it IS beneficial under the right circumstances. A church with bad theology can be worse than not going at all for many people, especially the young and impressionable. God DOES want us to be happy. He just doesn’t promise us we’ll be happy just because we’re Christians. And few people believe that only pastors can lead. Most churches have numerous leaders, both ordained and laypeople, to be effective in their communities. This is not a very good list. And it could stand the inclusion of some other things that really ARE problematic beliefs, because they serve to divide rather than pulling people together.

    1. Mia,
      You asked where this list originated. If you look up in the post, you will see that I said this is a top 5, “according to me.” This is my blog. These are my opinions. However, in no way do I purport that these are entirely true all the time or in all circumstances. Of course there are exceptions, as you point out. I never say “all” or “every” or “only.”

      I also ask people at the end of the post if there is anything they would add to the list, because in no way do I pretend to be an expert. However, you must have skipped that part instead of adding constructive criticism or your own thoughts.

      to your point about church not being necessary vs. “beneficial” I think we could chalk that up to semantics. Is the church body necessary to have true accountability, full community, and fellowship with the saints? Yes. Are all of those things beneficial to the Christian life? Yes. We are, I think, arguing the same point. You simply don’t like my choice of words.

      Lastly, on the point of happiness. I do think God wants us to be happy, but not in the way we often think. I draw a distinction between “happiness” as Americans often define it and “joy” in the Lord. As I say in the post, (and this is perhaps the take away point) God is not as concerned with our happiness as He is our holiness. He will sacrifice the former to accomplish the latter when necessary.

      Thanks for commenting.

  7. When I read number 3 I thought immediately about the antithesis of this and how it’s a fairly popular lie as well. God requiring prayer over the most minute of details in our lives. This has paralyzed many a Christian into non-activity. I’m not sure if it matters to Him whether I hold the onion or not.

    For me 2 and 5 are tougher than the rest. We all want to be happy but many times aren’t. AS for 2, my spiritual gifting is sarcasm so it difficult for me to be nice.

    Good post

  8. This is about numero uno.

    I’ve finished reading Pagan Christianity and Re-Imagining the church. They didn’t really turn my world upside down, because I had already discerned church as I practiced it my whole life wasn’t scriptural. There’s 70 churches in my town of a population of about 9,000 people. As much as they think they’re different, they’re all the same. How does one go about finding a church that resembles the first century church? I’ve got Christian friends to keep me accountable and to discuss the things of God, but I feel the need for something more.

    1. Brian,
      Oh man, I love me some Frank Viola! I wrote a few posts a couple months ago addressing many of the issues you raised. I had the privilege of meeting Frank Viola at an organic church conference in June. I’d love to email you with some ways for you to actually find a church that resembles the first century church, if you are interested.
      let me know

      1. You suggested I read Re-Imagining Church in that post. :) It’s funny how the Holy Spirit works sometimes. I began discerning what was going on, not long after, I’m introduced to these books that highlight the church in the Bible. I can’t sit silent in the “modern” church now without feeling like a hypocrite. I’m very interested in ways to find a church resembling the first century one. I assume you are sent my email address when I comment.

        1. Brian,
          Sorry, I didn’t remember that I recommended that book to you. I’m so glad you took time to read it. I can so empathize that once your eyes are opened to the vision, “regular” church or traditional church can seem pointless or worse, painful.

          I do have your email address and I will email you some info this weekend!

  9. Well said. I long held to lie #1. I understand better now. You don’t absolutely have to go to a brick and mortar building called a church to be a Christian but you’d better have a group of believers to be around.

    #3 is a concept that I’m just learning. I’m glad I finally started learning it though.

  10. #6 God is real. This is what the bible wants you to believe. Believe that this all powerful super being in the clouds is capable of designing EVERYTHING on earth yet did not think of a way to write down his rules on a piece of paper.

    1. Jim,
      Sorry, I don’t understand your comment. If you ask most Christians, they would say that God did, in fact, write down His “rules” for us (I use the term rules to quote you, but I wouldn’t call them rules, so much as a guide as to how to live life) in the form of the Bible.

      Jews had the 10 Commandments,as well. Which were not written on a piece of paper, no, but were still rules given to man by God as to how to live a good life. More importantly, however, God gave us Jesus Christ, who showed us how to live and how to love.

  11. Their are a lot of branches of christianity.The thing is that everyone takes what they want out of the bible and from what I see not too many christians are living the life God wants us to live,and I say us because Im included in the masses of untrue christians.Jesus said “follow me”.Who’s really doing that?Everybody is too attached to their precious worldly things.We need to make it a practice to detach ourselves from worldly things.We need to say no to our 5 senses.We need to conquer our own minds so our mind can be our friend because if you dont conquer your mind it will turn into your enemy.We need to pray endlessly and meditate on the good things of God instead of partaking in things of the world all the time.This is a start when we do these things we see things in a different light and our attitudes are no longer jumping from excited to depressed and anxiouty ceases.Godbless you all.

  12. Wrong – a better top 5 lies Christians believe:

    1. Earth is less than 10,000 years old
    2. Man was not descended from a common ancestor with other hominid mammals
    3. There was a global flood
    4. Jesus is God
    5. Jesus is coming back

    Lies, lies, lies!

  13. Not trying to be “snarky” nor “offensive”, but Honestly in my opinion, all 5 of those “lies” are opinionated by Ones life, not by everyone’s.
    However, there is one lie that I Cannot STAND that christians tend to believe and nearly forcibly teach to others.

    They claim that you Must have a ceremony. That you Must make it public. That you Must sign a marriage license in order to be married in God’s eyes. Every last one of those statements are merely an opinion and are Not true.
    The bible never states HOW you have to marry – meaning from a religious view point, there is no Law within marriage. It does state that it is a convenant between a Man, Woman and God. Marriage is Not a privilege, it’s a Right that we automatically have – and it’s a right to have with who you’re in love with. There are ways to how marriage is shown within the bible, but anyone saying that you HAVE to have a ceremony, license, witness, priest, make it public or that it Has to be within a Church is merely stating their Opinion to how to be considered married to God.

    They try to claim that you have to follow the “Law of the land” and submit to it. Even with that being said, according to America (where I live) this still does not mean that you have to have a marriage license. –

    According to the first ammendment:
    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

    America is a “Freedom of Religion” state. According to christianity, there is nothing that Has to be done in order to be considered Married except for the covenant of Man, Woman and God. “Congress shall make no LAW respecting an establishment of religion”..This statement automatically proves that the marriage license is not enforced BY LAW, therefore you are Not rebelling against the law of the land if you choose Not to get a marriage license – it is an OPTION. If you were to have sex with someone you love without a marriage license, could you call the police and turn yourself it because of it? Of course, the answer is No. You’re Not breaking the law in any way nor are you rebelling against it.

    I Know it’s a lot, but what confuses me is – how did it come to this? There was only ONE marriage ceremony within the bible, It doesn’t even mention who the two were, yet Now christians claim that you HAVE to do this and that or else you’re “short of honoring God”. How dare someone say something like that? The only way someone should say something like that is if they literally spoke To God or if they actually have PROOF that you HAVE to HAVE these things in order to be married in God’s eyes. That’s the other problem – There is NO proof of that! It’s all an assumption! There’s No scripture that says you Have to do these things, yet people REALLY believe that you have to – and they criticize you if you don’t! Idk about you, but to me, that’s utterly Rediculous and very Not christian.

    How would you like it if I force you to believe an Opinion as a Fact, yet I have NO proof of it? It literally drives me crazy. The good news is that some christians have actually came to their senses and know better than this lie. Marriage can be Whatever you want it to be, as long as you and your mate make and keep that covenant. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

  14. God does not want us to be happy = what a lie that is – if you want to be un-happy go for it but trying to drag others down with you – shame on you brother

  15. I agree, this is merely just one person’s opinion, and by the sounds of it that person had a bad experience and is using Christianity as your only blame. I don’t understand how you are saying God wanting us to be happy is a lie? Are you saying we should ignore him, stay negative and stay un-happy? I am not trying to be offensive/rude.. Because i respect your opinion.. Although accusing Christianity is a set up of lies?

    Also.. you stated “All Christians need to do is be “good” and act “nice.” That is what a “good Christian does.” This lie is one of the enemy’s greatest weapons” ..

    What are you trying to say? Quick, everyone Christian or not, lets all just not be “good” and not act “nice” towards each other? Im confused. Once again I’m not here to criticise or offend, just stating my opinion.

  16. I really strunggle with,trying to keep up with other christians,they see to me they have the perfect kids perfect household evey thing is going just the way God what’s it. me on the other hand I have seven children and i know that there are things in their lives that they are not doing acording to what the bible says and all. and this conserns me greatly,as their mother,and then I find myself feeling full of hopelessness,and not even whating to be around other christians.

  17. Opinions are only good if they are supported with scriptures. I also believe that we should be finding ways to encourage others whose opinions are different than our own. It does my heart good to see that so many are searching for truth. It is up to the Holy spirit to reveal truth to the believer, not our ability to argue our point of view. 1 Corinthians 2:4-My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power. Let us love one another into knowing the truth.

  18. I think my too five would be something else.
    Number one the name Emmanuel and Yahshua Earthley titles. His name is the most important name on Earth. The name above all names. Scripture states that we must believe on his name. And yet his name is been wiped from this Earth, name cannot be translated. Especially the Name, the name of all names. And be replaced, with Gee-zues on Sun-day.
    (An abomination) many will say didn’t I do this in your name, He will say I never knew you. Emmanuel said his father could not be found in any synagogue. He said the Kingdom of Heaven is inside you and all around you. In the Book of Revelation. He spoke of our dilemma. Be diligent, meditate on your father, and you will receive the hidden manna, and inside the white stone a new name that only those that receive it will understand.
    He did not come in peace he comes with the sword.

  19. I think my five would be something else…
    Number one the name Emmanuel and Yahshua Earthley titles. His name is the most important name on Earth. The name above all names. Scripture states that we must believe on his name. And yet his name has been wiped from this Earth, a name cannot be translated. Especially the Name, the name of all names! And be replaced, with Gee-zues on Sun-day.
    (An abomination) many will say, didn’t I do all these wonderful things in your name, He will say I never knew you. Emmanuel said his father could not be found in any synagogue. He said the Kingdom of Heaven is inside you and all around you. In the Book of Revelation. The man we called John spoke of our dilemma. Be diligent, meditate on your father, and you will receive the hidden manna, and inside the white stone a new name that only those that receive it will understand.
    He did not come in peace he comes with the sword.

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