As a Christian I find myself getting frustrated at times when I hear some things that people believe about us. There are so many misconceptions about Christians and church that it was hard picking only 10 to write about. I don’t like for my blog posts to run very long because attention is a precious commodity when it comes to the internet. However, this one may get a little long. I’ll do my best to keep it short and sweet.
If you’re a Christian, you’re probably already thinking of some misconceptions even as you’re reading this. So what I’d really love to see is for you guys to add some of your own in the comments! I’m not going to waste much more space, so I’ll get to it.
10 Common Misconceptions
All Christians Believe The Same
This is one that I think a lot of non-Christians are kind of confused about. This answer could be a long one, but I’m going to keep it simple.
We don’t all believe the same. You’ll notice as you drive through almost any town in America there are many churches. There are many denominations. Each denomination believes a little differently that’s why we have different ones. Some denominations even breakdown further. Let’s take Baptist for example. You may have First Baptist, Second Baptist, Missionary Baptist and Southern Baptist just to name a few. A lot of denominations can be broken down that way.
You may also notice that some churches will not have any real affiliation to a denomination, but they will name their church something like Jones Valley Baptist Church. They may not have the backing of any denomination, but most of the congregants may be from a Baptist background.
Church is something that has many branches. There are even non-denominational churches. They tend to have people from different denominations going to one church.
The big thing you HAVE to believe is that Jesus is the Son of God and that he died for your sins and was resurrected on the third day and that he ascended to the Father in Heaven. That is the MUST have to be a Christian church. That is a very simple answer, but it will have to do. I can always break these down further in a post on its own in the future.
Church Is Just Reading From The Bible
In other words people think church is just something boring that you are forced to do on Sundays when you’re a Christian. This is doing to depend on the denomination you’re in. Some churches may be more structured where you come in and sing a couple songs, listen to a reading and the minister may speak a short sermon and then you go home.
Other churches may have a little less structure. I can tell you from experience that most churches have a Sunday School class for different age groups where you are taught basic principles of your faith. After that is over, you usually come to the sanctuary and sing songs and then the minister will give a sermon. Each minister is different. Some use props. Some read and expand on the word to show you the meaning. Others may get excited and loud. Again it’s going to tie back to denominations and your minister’s personality.
I won’t even go into Pentecostal services right now. That would take a blog post all its own. But know that the things I listed are generally how a service will flow. There are exceptions though.
All Roads Lead To God
This couldn’t be further from the truth. First, a lot of people think that all religions will lead you to God and to Heaven. That’s not the case. Not even all churches will get you there. It’s not the church that gets you to Heaven. To get there, you have to be saved. Being saved is believing and confessing that you are a sinner, believing that Jesus died to pay for the debt you owed (your life) because of those sins, believing that he rose again and asking him into your heart. Jesus gave his own life because he was sinless and he was the only one who could be the sacrifice for our sins. Once you do that, you are saved.
A lot of people believe that you have to be perfect to come to Jesus. Not true. None of us are perfect. You come to Jesus just as you are. You ask him to forgive you and live in your heart and then you turn from your sinful ways. That means you don’t go back doing the same things you used to do that are against God’s word. This is where you need a church or a group of Christians to help disciple you. Which simply means teach you the word.
As I said, some churches will lead you astray, that’s why reading your bible and studying God’s word for yourself is so important. Any time people are involved we can give into our sinful nature, and some pastors/ministers have done that and led people away from God. So pray, read your bible and study so you will know what the Word of God says.
Jesus said he is the ONLY way to Heaven. No man comes to the Father (God) but by him (Jesus).
Christians Believe They Are Better Than Everyone Else
This is a huge misconception. We believe that we are all sinners, those of us who are Christians are saved by Grace. It’s nothing we have done. It’s all because of Jesus. We are not better than anyone else. Having said that, I can tell you, you will run into people inside the church who believe they are better than everyone else. But you run into those people everywhere. That tends to be their line of thought no matter where they are or what they are doing. Is God pleased with it, not at all. He does not want us treating others that way. What you have to remember is that person isn’t perfect. God works on us every day of our life to make us more like him if we allow him to.
Christians Are Judgmental
This one can be tricky. Most Christians won’t walk up to you and judge you. They won’t walk up to you and tell you you’re going to hell. However, when someone is ministering at church and they say something is a sin. That’s not judging. That’s preaching the Word of God. How else will anyone get saved if they don’t understand why what they are doing is sinful?
The problem comes when Christians want to take this outside the church and begin to bash people with their religion. God does command us to go into the world and preach the gospel, but I believe he provides the time and the place. He will open the door where the person or people will be receptive to it.
It can be a fine line to walk, and I think some people who mean well end up being taken the wrong way. If you feel someone is being judgmental talk with them about it. They may not even realize they are coming off that way. If you don’t want to hear what they have to say that’s fine.
Inside the church itself, we are to judge one another. The bible states that we will know people by their fruits. So if someone is claiming to be a Christian and their life doesn’t show it, we have to go with the evidence. As any court would. I won’t get into much more of that here, but there is a whole system God set up inside the church to deal with sin in congregations.
I do want to throw this in here. Just because we believe something is a sin doesn’t mean we are judging you. If you were to come into the church and want to be a part of the body that wouldn’t be possible until you are saved. However, if a Christian doesn’t want to make a wedding cake for a gay couple, that isn’t judging. They are simply exercising their right to not be forced to participate in something they believe to be sinful. Now, if they go around telling gay people, they are going to hell all the time, that would be judgmental. God will judge everyone, and that’s a scary thing. We will give an account for our actions. If a gay person wanted to join the church, it just wouldn’t be possible due to sin being in their life. However, the same goes for an adulterer, or a liar. If someone is practicing sin, they cannot be a part of the church until they have repented.
Even as I say that, there are some denominations who will believe completely differently. I’m not going to get into that here either. Those are debates that will go on for ages and will one day be settled by God himself.
Christians Force Their Religions Down Other People’s Throats
You’re right. Some do. We aren’t supposed to do that though. Remember earlier I said, the bible does tell us to go into all the world and preach the gospel. That is our commission. But God will open the doors to do that and where he opens the doors, he will already be working on the hearts who are hearing the message.
Now, if you see a minister preaching on a street corner. He’s not trying to shove his religion down your throat. He’s simply reaching out to anyone that will listen. You have the right to walk on by and not listen. But there will be those who want to hear. This is for them.
I want to go back to the point I made about the cake in the section before this too. If a baker decides they can’t make a wedding cake for a gay couple. He/she is not trying to force their religion on those people. The couple has every right to have someone else make their cake for them. I guarantee you that same baker would make that couple any other cake they wanted. As long as it didn’t cause them to be active participants in something they deemed sinful.
The Church Is Full Of Hypocrites
There are hypocrites everywhere you go. You won’t be able to get away from them. I see your point though. There are some hypocrites sitting in churches. It makes us look bad. No way around it. You can’t judge all of us on those few though. If they truly love God and are saved, they won’t want to do anything that goes against Jesus’ teachings.
When You’re A Christian You’re Always Happy
So not true. I can tell you for a fact this is false. Serving Jesus is hard. Proof of that is all around us. In many nations around the world Christians die every day for believing in Jesus. They are dying for their faith. Here in America the worse we usually have to deal with is some verbal abuse. Sometimes it goes further than that, but not often.
Being a Christian doesn’t mean all your problems magically go away. You won’t find yourself driving new cars and living in fine houses. That’s not what being a Christian is about. When you are a Christian you will go through hard times, but knowing you have Jesus to help get you through makes the difference. I could share numerous testimonies of how God came through for me when I needed something. He doesn’t always keep us from the troublesome times, but he shows up there and strengthens our faith so we can go on.
Christians Can’t Have Any Fun
Fun is in the eye of the beholder. It all depends on what you consider fun. I have fun quite often. When you become a Christian your wants and desires change. You want your life to please God. That means you won’t want to do the sinful things you used to do. So your idea of fun changes.
If God Is So Good Why Does He Allow Bad Things To Happen
This is a big one. People think that God allows things to happen. The truth of the matter is this. God created a man and a woman at the beginning. He gave them free will. There was one thing they weren’t supposed to do, and they CHOSE to do it. He told them what the consequences would be if they did it, but they did it anyway.
That decision unleashed sin into this world. Sin corrupted everything. It corrupted our bodies, the earth, the plants, the animals, everything. Nothing escaped this curse. It wasn’t God’s choice it was man and woman’s choice. He sent Jesus that we could be saved from that curse. Now our hope is in him.
Will we face cancer? I have. Will you make it through it? I did, some don’t. Will evil things happen to children? Yes. Because people choose to do evil things. Could God stop it? He could, but he doesn’t force himself onto anyone. You have free will. I have free will. The things we live with here are part of the curse that is on this earth. So sickness will come, death will come, hurt, pain, tragedy, and all sorts of horrible things will happen under this curse.
That’s why we need Jesus. He can help us to deal with the curse, and one day if we are saved, we will be free from the curse on a new Earth with a new Heaven.
I’m not expecting that to appeal to everyone. There will be those who laugh it off. That is their choice. I wanted to bring these things to you, to help explain things, or at least I hope it explained some things. Like I said, feel free to add more misconceptions you can think of. If I find it gets into debating I will remove it. I don’t want this to be about debate. There is a time and place for that, and it’s not here. If you feel the need to do that, feel free to write about it on your blog. I may come read it and learn something!
I told you I didn’t want this to be too long, and it ended up too long, so I’m going to sign off now. Feel free to email me if you’d like to talk further or if you need prayer. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org