I love the church. I have given my life to the church. I believe in the church because I believe the King reigns over everything. There is a lot to be praised and celebrated when it comes to the church. There is another side though. We have bought some lies. These lies are hurting us. Crippling us. If the church is going to become the image of God in the world, there are lies we must drop. Here are eight lies in church culture today that I believe are crippling us.
1.) Some sins are worse than others.
This is plaguing our church culture. Here’s why. It creates only two types of people. Group one: those that have not committed the “bad” sins. They have avoided the worst of the worst, so they tend to judge those that have not. Group two: those that have committed the “bad” sins. They are not stupid. They know once their virginity is gone, or they rape or murder somebody, God is really mad at them. The stares from group one tend be more direct and more apparent. Eventually, most in group two come to the realization they are just not good enough. Most in group one agree.
Some sins carry with them greater consequences … absolutely. Murder somebody … you get jail time. Gossip about your roommate … nothing. Both are sins. One has greater consequences. But this idea that avoiding a particular group of sins makes you more awesome than the group that has not is utterly ridiculous. Roman 3:23 has already settled it. We are all sinners. And in God’s eyes, there is only one group … sinners. That’s all of us.
It is time for the church to stop ranking sins. The cross is for every person. Let’s treat people this way.
2.) God does not expect that much from me.
You are right. God would only expect you to do what He has done. Wait … God sent His son to the cross to be murdered. For me? That’s crazy. So, tell me again why you think God does not expect much from you? God asks us to give our lives to Him (Romans 12:1-2). God asks us to kill our selfish desires. All of them. He asks us to live counterculturally. Risk our lives, if necessary. Is that too much to ask? You decide.
3.) If you are a good communicator, you will be a good preacher or pastor.
What a terrible lie the church has given to so many young men. I fear it has created the circus show we have in many churches today: preachers that are phenomenal communicators, but awful examples of Jesus. They are dishonest. They are in love with money. They are in love with fame. They are in love with everything except Jesus. Listen, being a great communicator does not make you a great preacher/pastor … it makes you a great communicator. A great preacher’s most important quality is his integrity.
So, when our young people step up to the pulpit or deliver a devotional thought at camp, let’s encourage them. Build them up. Give them more opportunities to lead and speak. But let’s stop anointing them as preachers because they do not stutter during a 10-minute devotional. We might just be feeding a beast that is devouring many of our churches.