Mythbusting the Church!


“That’s me in the corner, that’s me in the spotlight, losing my religion…”

This Sunday we will take a short diversion into the world of topical teaching.  We are going to start a new series on issues that confront Christians on a regular basis. 

I’m sure you’re familiar with the show Mythbusters, right?  Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage take on the urban myths that we are always hearing and passing on as actual facts, and they put them to the test, to see if there is any feasible way those tales could be true.  Well…we’re going to start looking at some of the things that we have always been told and have taken as “gospel” truth when it comes to the church and issues that touch the Christian life. 

We are going to be MYTHBUSTING THE CHURCH!!!  Let’s put on our wrestling shoes and grapple with some of the common church myths!  Some of this will be a refresher for many of us…some of us may find these things new, and even troubling…either way, its time to crack our knuckles take these concepts to the mats!

Is church something we go to?  Is a membership roll required to be a member of the church?  Is a Christian commanded to tithe 10% of his or her income to the church?  Is a church/pastor/denomination supposed to be “a covering” for a Christian?  Is the church divided into two groups of people, the clergy and the laity?  If a Christian sins, does he/she have to ask for forgiveness in order to get right with God?  Are Christians supposed to obey the 10 commandments?  Is Christianity really about giving up sin and getting into heaven (or at least avoiding hell)?  Is the threat of hell really the message of the gospel? 

These are just some of the topics that we’ve been confronting for years.  We may not cover all these issues, but we will wrestle with the most pressing ones.  Which of these questions interests you the most?  Any other suggestions for topics?

This oughtta’ be fun!

9 thoughts on “Mythbusting the Church!

  1. oh-0h (waving hand) is cleanliness really next to godliness ? Does God help those who help themselves? (and a fav of yours, I’m sure…) Can I really have whatever I want if I have enough faith?
    Ok, enough silliness. How about this one: Is it faith that saves us? I’m looking forward to this series Rob!

  2. I like the tithe topic, I also like the one on “coverings”. Dealing with both of those to this day. The problem with a topic like this is it might never end, there might be no end to the rabbit hole. But I still think you might be on to something.

    Here’s another, a balanced look at signs and wonders and there place in our life individually and as a fellowship. In reconstructing my beliefs I find myself shying away from these due to abuses in my past. Something tells me that my current view could be as wrong as the one I’m shunning.

    I’m with Tom, looking forward to what you have to offer!

  3. I love that song! I have lost just about all of my religion, thank God! In my opinion, there is one answer to all of these questions: NO! But in answering these questions separately, we will remind ourselves what the True Gospel Message really is. I look forward to the refresher course as well.

  4. Gosh, I’m sorry. I got so excited about adding a couple more silly statements that are wrongly used that I didn’t answer your question Rob. I’m with Golda, my answer to all of them is ‘no’. But I think they are asked so often that ‘reviewing’ them, clarifying the answers will help many who haven’t had them addressed and reinforce the beliefs of those of us who have dealt with these previously (or are currently). As for which interests me most, I think the ‘covering’ & ‘getting right’ topics are avoided or misunderstood too often.
    Thank you again Rob for this forum. I love being able to ‘ponder’ the subject(s) for Sunday’s teaching in advance!

  5. “If a Christian sins, does he/she have to ask for forgiveness in order to get right with God?” – I did not deeply understand this until I became a dad. If my daughter disobeys my instruction, does she have to ask forgiveness before I’ll love her again? Before she’ll be my daughter again? Before I’ll provide for her? No. Her behavior, good or bad, doesn’t change that she’s my daughter.

    But the relationship still suffers, I don’t trust her with new responsibilities and privileges, and we begin the unpleasant process of correction and discipline.

  6. “Are Christians supposed to obey the 10 commandments?”

    It’s obvious that we’re in the wrong if we’re lying, stealing, murdering, and lusting. But even then, Jesus’ blood paid for those too. We keep those commandments out of love, not out of duty.

    I’d like to see this concept explored further. How do we pick which Old Testament laws we keep, and which we don’t? The New Testament makes our freedom from the law clear. However, God doesn’t make arbitrary rules just to be petulant.

    The sacrificial system has obviously been fulfilled with the sacrifice of Jesus, so I’m comfortable leaving all that behind. But there are lots of other laws concerning diet, hygiene, business, and ceremonies.

    Why do we worship on Sunday instead of Saturday?

    Should we keep a kosher diet out of faith that He knows more than we do about our bodies?

    Did God just want us to avoid razor burn when he prohibited shaving?

  7. Man…this is a great discussion going so far! I’m glad this isn’t a tired topic.

    John…I hear ya’ man. I’m still struggling with trying to fit my former signs and wonders craving with a new outlook on church life. When you get if figured out, please let me know!

    Tom- I’m glad you’re stoked about the topic!

    Scott – we’re gonna’ talk about the Law and the Christian as we get into the series. But as a prelude…we have to ask ourselves, when we read Col 2:13-17…what was the Law…and does Paul make any exceptions when it comes to what took place concerning the Law and Christ’s sacrifice?

    WOOT!!! I’m getting pretty stoked about this whole thing! *shakes out his shoulders*…I’m ready to go 12 rounds with these myths!

  8. I’m not sure if the ideas that came to my mind really tie in with the “things we’ve accepted as church myths” theme that you seem to have for this “series.”

    That being said, if the purpose of using a topical approach is to address “issues that confront Christians on a regular basis,” the first that came to my mind is pornography.

    Maybe this isn’t as big of a problem with adults as it is with people my age, and maybe gender plays a big role in determining propensity toward struggling with lust in this way – but I’ve found through my interaction with the youth gang (and certainly in my own story) that this is the elephant in the room that nobody wants to mention.

    Perhaps it’d be more well-suited to a men’s meeting, or something specifically for the young men within the youth, but several of the men in my life that I look up to have discussed having problems with this sort of sexual sin in the past.

    Another misconception that I’d like to see addressed is Jesus’ ‘camel through the eye of a needle’ analogy. I feel like we have a tendency to pervert a lot of what Jesus says and make it fit with the cultural norms we’ve adopted.

    I keep reading stuff about some gate in Jerusalem where camels would stoop and crawl through a small space and be reloaded with their baggage on the other side, but I don’t really see much support of that viewpoint from legit commentaries.

    Well, maybe I’m not asking to address specific things that Jesus has said – maybe I just want to see people being honest in admitting that we don’t do much of this well. We can’t keep changing the rules to allow for whatever we feel like doing.

    A lot of what Jesus said is unnerving for a reason. By attempting to find loopholes in His teaching, we’re sort of missing the proverbial eye of the needle, aren’t we?

    It’s late. I hope my rambling is coherent when I reread this in the morning. Just wanted to share a few thoughts about what’s been going through my head.

    Stoked for where you end up taking this series of teachings, at any rate. You’re the man!

  9. Should’ve clarified a bit more – I’m not making a case for a strictly literal interpretation of everything Jesus said, I guess I’m more interested in addressing the fact that we get scared and try to rationalize all of it rather than trusting in Jesus and taking the time to read and listen and talk with Him to determine truth.

    Eh, maybe none of this makes sense. Haha.

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