Christian Sayings that Aren't Christian

Christian Sayings that Aren't Christian

Question

I’ve been told not to believe everything that I hear or read. For instance, "only the Bible is true." Is this correct? I don’t think it is, but if it isn’t are there other sayings that disguise themselves as Christian but aren’t?

Answer

Yes, there are many sayings that people attribute to the Bible or God when that's simply NOT the case. It would be difficult to list them all here, so let's just look at a few.

"Only the Bible is true."

The Bible, or God's Word, is what we call special revelation, and the word of God is true (Prov. 30:5). Jesus prayed to God the Father, "Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth" (John 17:17). God has promised to preserve this truth for his people (cf. Isa. 59:21; Matt. 5:17-18; John 10:35) and declares that belief in it is absolutely necessary (cf. John 5:46-47; 1 Cor. 14:36-38).

However, the Bible is not the only truth. There is also what we call general revelation. Some of what we learn from science and history is true. Even our own name is a truth. So there are some truths that aren’t contained in the Bible.

"Heaven gained another angel."

You may hear this after someone passes away, meaning it as some sort of comfort. However, people don’t turn into angels. Angels are different from human beings. Angels aren’t created in God’s image (Gen. 1:26-27). Humans may bear children, but angels don’t (Matt. 22:30). All humans (Rom. 3:23) and some angels sinned (non-elect angels vs elect ones [1 Tim. 5:21], or unholy angels vs holy ones [Mark 8:38]). There is forgiveness for humans (2 Cor. 5:21) but not for unholy angels (Matt. 25:41). Believers are new creations in Christ Jesus and consequently share his exalted position (Eph. 2:6); they will one day judge angels (1 Cor. 6:3).

"God won’t give you more than you can handle."

In 1 Corinthians 10:13 we read, "No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it." Note that the verse speaks of temptations, not trials. Job lost everything and wished for death (Job 3:20-22); he was overwhelmed by trials. Like Job, there will be many things we can’t handle and we need God’s assistance. This is part and parcel of living by faith (Heb. 11:6).

"It’s not our place to judge."

Some people look at Matthew 7:1 and say Christians aren’t supposed to judge others. But if we read this in context along with Matthew 7:5, we see that we are to judge but to do it in a righteous manner. Matthew 18:15-20 also speaks about how Christians are to judge righteously.

"When God closes a door, he opens a window."

This saying is often used as an excuse for why things haven't gone the way we planned; it implies that God will still fulfill our desires. However, this isn’t what the Bible teaches. God gives us the desires of our hearts as long as they line up with his will (Psa. 37:4; 145:19). What God does do is work all things "for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose" (Rom. 8:28). Sometimes this doesn’t mean opening a door or a window, but closing everything for our own good.

There are several other examples. Not everything that one purports to come from God actually does. These need to be checked and compared with Scripture.

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Let Go and Let God

Answer by Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr.

Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr., D.D., M.Div. is the Theological Editor at Third Millennium Ministries (Thirdmill).