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Some Common Misconceptions Regarding Christians

Both new Christians and skeptics alike often have misconceptions about God, living the Christian life, and sometimes, even regarding the Christian believers themselves. This look at the common misconceptions of Christianity is designed to dispel some of the myths that typically hinder new Christians from growing and maturing in the faith.

Once you become a Christian, God will solve all of your problems

Many new Christians are shocked when the first trial or serious crisis hits. Here´s a reality check - get prepared. The Christian life is not always easy! You will still face ups and downs, challenges and joys. This verse offers encouragement for Christians facing difficult situations:

"Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ´s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy" (1 Peter 4:12-13)

Becoming a Christian means trading in all fun for a book of rules.

A joyless existence of mere rule following is not true Christianity, nor is it the abundant life God intends for you. Rather, this describes a man-made experience of legalism. God has amazing adventures planned for you! These verses give a description of what it means to experience God´s life:

"Therefore do not let your good be spoken of as evil; for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. For he who serves Christ in these things is acceptable to God and approved by men" (Romans 14: 16-18)

"Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him" (1 Corinthians 2:9)

All Christians are loving, perfect people.

Well, it doesn´t take very long to discover that this is not true. But being prepared to meet the imperfections and failures of your new family in Christ can spare you future pain and disillusionment. Although Christians strive to be like Christ, we will never obtain complete sanctification until we stand before the Lord. In fact, God uses our imperfections to "grow us" in the faith. If not, there would be no need to forgive one another. As we learn to live in harmony with our new family, we rub each other like sandpaper. It´s painful at times, but the result brings about a smoothing and softening to our rough edges.

"bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do" (Colossians 3:13)

"Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead" (Philippians 3: 12-13)

Bad things don´t happen to truly Godly Christians.

This point goes along with point number one, however the focus is slightly different. Often Christians begin to wrongly believe that if they live a godly Christian life, God will protect them from pain and suffering. However, Paul, a hero of the faith, had to suffer much:

I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me (Jesus) (John 14:6)

From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one. Three times I was beat with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep; in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness (2 Corinthians 11: 24-27) (Romans 5:8)

Some denominations of faith believe the Bible promises health, wealth and prosperity for all who live a godly life. But this teaching is false. Jesus never taught this to His followers and He never lived this way of life. You may experience these blessings in your life, but they are not a reward for godly living. At times, we experience tragedy, pain and loss in life. This is not always a result of sin, as some would claim, but rather an opportunity for a greater purpose, though we may not understand immediately. And, we may never understand, but we can trust in God through these difficult circumstances and know He is in control and has a purpose.
In his popular book, The Purpose Driven Life, Rick Warren states, "Jesus did not die on the cross just so we could live comfortable, well-adjusted lives. His purpose is far deeper: He wants to make us like Himself before He takes us to heaven".

"In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ" (1 Peter 1: 6-7)

Christian ministers and missionaries are more spiritual than other believers.

This is a subtle, but persistent, misconception that we carry in our minds as believers. Because of this false notion, we end up putting ministers and missionaries on "spiritual pedestals" accompanied by unrealistic expectations. When one of these heroes falls from our self-constructed perch, it tends to make us fall too - away from God. Don't let this happen in your life even though you may have to continually guard yourself against this subtle deception of Satan. Paul, Timothy´s spiritual father, taught him this truth: we are all sinners on an equal playing field with God and each other.

"This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. However, for this reason, I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life" (1 Peter 1: 6-7)

Christians should never say anything that might offend someone or hurt someone else´s feelings.

Many new believers have a wrong understanding of meekness and humility. The idea of godly meekness involves having strength and courage, but the kind of strength that is submitted to God´s control. True humility recognizes complete dependence upon God and knows we have no goodness except that which is found in Christ. Sometimes our love for God and our fellow Christians, and obedience to God´s Word compels us to speak words that may hurt someone´s feelings or that might offend them. Some people call this "tough love".

"that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head - Christ" (Ephesians 4: 14-15)

"Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful" (Proverbs 27:6)

As a Christian you should not associate with unbelievers.

Though it is true that you may have to break off some of the unhealthy relationships you have had with people from your past life of sin until you are spiritually strong enough to resist the temptations of your old lifestyle, snubbing your nose at unbelievers is not what Jesus had in mind. He made it His mission, and because He is our example, He made it our mission to reach the lost.
To do this, we have to associate with unbelievers for how will we attract those who need a Savior if we do not build a relationship with them?

"to the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. Now this I do for the gospel´s sake" (1 Corinthians 9: 22-23)

Some people have taken this scripture out of context and clarification is needed. To become "all things to all men", Paul did not compromise his beliefs or who he was in Christ. He simply humbled himself before all men in order to reach them with the gospel. If he was witnessing to a Jewish man, he observed Jewish customs so as to not offend him. If he was speaking with a Gentile who was not bound by Jewish law, he did not observe the Jewish laws in front of that man. When we come to Christ, we are freed from man-made spiritual laws and rules. Jesus sets us free! He does not keep us in bondage with an endless list of rules.

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Last updated on March 19, 2017