[ Cross posted at No Longer Quivering, a member of the Spiritual Abuse Survivor’s Network ]
Last month in the week leading up to Christmas I and some of my friends on Twitter started our own hashtag trend, #LiesMyChurchToldMe. For two and a half days people tweeted the bewildering, puzzling, hilarious, and occasionally disturbing things that had been presented to them in church as the “plain teaching of Scripture.”
Tonight I’ve collected twenty-five of the best ones for your enjoyment. Thank you to everyone who participated, and please share your own in the comments! There’s real power and deliverance in naming lies.
“Only Christians are truly, deeply, genuinely happy. Everyone else is missing out.” (@PearlBLawrence)
“Your worth as a woman is whether you’re married and having children. God doesn’t have other plans for you.” (@TerynOBrien)
“Early twentieth-century white straight American middle-class culture is the only biblical culture.” (@TentativeCynic)
“If a lizard lived to be 900 years old, it might turn into a dinosaur.”
“You can never, ever trust your instincts, because the heart is deceitful and desperately wicked.” (@danileekelley)
“Friendships with non-Christians cannot be genuine.” (@amyunchained)
“God redeemed your spirit and made it righteous, but your body is still gross.”
“Hell is at the center of the earth and new damned souls keep crowding out the lava, causing volcanoes. You can hear the screams as you get closer to the center. The Russians did it.” (@TentativeCynic, @fieryskulldiary)
“Why are you wasting time planning for the future / building anything of value when Jesus is coming soon?” (@Sara_Tinous)
“We’re not to love the world because Jesus did not love the world.”
“*True* Christian history began 500 years ago, with the Reformation.” (@afreshmind)
“All sin is equal. Telling a white lie is just as bad as murder in God’s eyes.” (@danileekelley)
“Men have one less rib today because of the one taken from Adam.” (@kate_schell)
“Reason will mislead you. The only thing you can depend on is the voice of God.”
“Women are more easily deceived and more likely to deceive, because of Eve in the garden. We can’t be trusted to lead.” (@danileekelley)
“God hates everything about you that isn’t Christ.” (@TentativeCynic)
“Catholics are doomed idolaters.” (@kate_schell)
“There’s only one prince of peace, and that’s the Antichrist.”
“Girls, your body belongs to your future husband. Guys, don’t hurt bros by messin’ with their future wives.” (@merryfaith)
“Don’t talk about this publicly. You will only shame the church and God.” (@shadeardent)
“If you don’t tell people they’re headed for hell, you hate them.” (@TentativeCynic)
“Even the good things you do are worthless in the sight of a holy God.”
“The eternal, perfect, praiseworthy, immaculate, saving Word of God sent to redeem humanity is not a Person… it’s a book.” (@afreshmind).
“If a girl’s clothing frames her body, God hates what she is wearing.” (@TentativeCynic)
“You deserve everything bad that happens to you. You deserve worse. This is grace, this is mercy. Be grateful.” (@shadeardent)
11 thoughts on “25 Lies My Church Told Me”
A woman may think she knows what God wants for her life, but if it doesn’t align with what her parents and pastor say, she has “missed God” and is mistaken.
This is so good, and I’m glad I made it onto the list. 🙂
I hope you learned some true things from me in church, Boze.
Of course! But you were always kind of a resister 😉
I love the bit about the dinosaurs. It makes me picture a little lizard looking all hopeful thinking “When I grow up I’m gonna be a dinosaur!”
and the pastor and others at my old church can’t understand why I struggle with church and why I get into discussions with others regarding some of the things that are taught.
Regarding the “Friendships with non-Christians cannot be genuine” I’d like to share 2 pieces (one I wrote, the other my fiance wrote) which was aimed at dispelling that:
Hope someone finds them helpful 🙂
Awesome! Thank you for sharing
This list makes me sad for 2 reasons. 1st is that the things people were told are sad. Many were told with the best intentions at the heart of the person saying it. Except for the rare occasion, Church people don’t think they are deceiving people with the things they say. Some of these quotes are after all, do contain small bits of truth. What makes me more sad is probably that people, (especially in my generation: I’m 25) in our sarcastic humor, stir up anger, hate, and bitterness, instead of searching for a way to forgive, like I firmly believe Jesus would want us to. I realize that many of the people posting on this are not Christians, but as a Christian myself, I hope that followers of Christ will seek reconciliation with both non-Christians, as well as Christians we disagree with.
Their intentions may have been honourable, but it doesn’t excuse the damage these statements have caused. Reconciliation is a two way process but without calling these things out, those using them can’t learn why they’re damaging others with them
There is a difference between disagreeing over minor points of theology or practice, such as when to baptize someone, predestination, etc., and calling out spiritual ABUSE that greatly harms people. When survivors of abuse speak out against their oppressors, they have the right to be angry. Telling them to forgive their oppressors, instead of telling their oppressors to change their ways, completely ignores how hurt they have been. Forgiveness is a process, and for many people, it can’t be done until the oppressor has shown genuine repentance and change.
Belle, if Jesus had waited for us to repent and change before He died for us, we would all be in hell. He died while we were yet sinners. Forgiving those who have hurt and wronged us doesn’t excuse the other person’s behavior, it frees us from the prison we are in. When we forgive, we can go on regardless of whether the other person ever repents or changes. Jesus said it very clearly that if we do not forgive others, our Father in Heaven cannot forgive us.