52 Lies Heard in Church Every Sunday – and Why the Truth Is So Much Better
Steve McVey’s new 2011 book, “52 Lies Heard in Church Every Sunday – and Why the Truth Is So Much Better” is a real attention grabber, as this title appears to be making the rather unbelievable statement that most churches are actually teaching things that are not true, or at least are only half-truths.
Could many churchgoing Christians be getting a diluted Christianity—one that diminishes the loving, giving, personal God who provides the believer everything in life?
Author Steve McVey passionately but unwittingly taught from the pulpit the very lies he now exposes. Forthrightly but humbly, he shows how pastors and churches can end up distorting scriptural truths because of their preconceptions.
Opening up the Scriptures freshly, Steve examines typical problems such as
Readers will see that God’s undiluted truth is always best…and brings a fulfilling, close relationship with Him.
Steve covers each “lie” in a separate, short chapter in his book. To give you an idea about just how edifying and inspiring this book is, I have provided one chapter from of his book below:
LIE # 4 Becoming a Christian Means Having Your Sins Forgiven
Ask most believers to explain what it means to be a Christian, and they will tell you that it means having their sins forgiven. Many of us have held that viewpoint since the moment we first trusted Christ. True, our sins have been forgiven as a result of the finished work of Christ on the cross, but that is in no way the essence of salvation. Becoming a Christian is much more than that. In fact, God’s act in forgiving our sins is actually a secondary matter to him and not the most important thing.
As great as it is, Jesus came to do more than provide forgiveness. When a person trusts Christ and realizes that his sins are forgiven, that is a good thing –as far as his past is concerned. But that would leave us in a vulnerable situation when it comes to our present and our future. By what power could we go free from the power of sin today? And what about the sins we will commit in the future? Forgiveness of our sins is a wonderful thing, but that alone would hot have power to transform our lives.
Jesus Christ came to give us Divine Life, His Life. He said in John 10:10, “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” The fact that our sins have been forgiven should never be minimized. We thank God for that, but if that is the extent of our understanding, we will find ourselves falling far short of living up to the full potential we have in Christ.
Becoming a Christian happens when by faith you recognize that your life and the life of Jesus have merged into one. The idea that Christianity is merely about having our sins forgiven has led many people to experience an anemic walk in their daily lives. They know they have been born again and are on their way to heaven, but because they fail to understand that the primary aspect of salvation is realizing the subjective experience of Christ’s indwelling life, they see their lives here on earth as time in a waiting room, where they stay until it’s time to go to heaven.
The Truth is So Much Better!
The message of the gospel must include both the cross and the resurrection. By the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, forgiveness came to us, but that’s only half the gospel. The rest of the news is found at the site of an empty tomb. When He arose, we arose with Him to a new life. That aspect of the gospel makes possible the abundant life Jesus promised that He came to give us. Once we understand the complete truth of the gospel – that salvation means that we receive the life of Christ – we become equipped to live the life He came to give us.
We have seen previously that the problem humanity had in Adam was not only that we were guilty and in need of forgiveness. We were deadand in need of life: “And you were deadin your trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1). That’s why God’s solution also had to provide for man’s state of spiritual death, as well as his state of guilt. And Jesus Christ has provided a full salvation:
“Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with Him in the likeness of his death, certainly we will also be in the likeness of His resurrection.” (Romans 6:4-5)
You see the cross and resurrection working together in Paul’s description in Colossians 2:13:
“When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions.”
Clarify Your Thinking
The idea that salvation equals “having our sins forgiven” is a half-truth, and a half-truth equates to a whole lie because it leads to an incorrect conclusion. You have received divine life that indwells you and seeks to find expression through you at this very moment. God did not intend Christ’s work of salvation merely to be about getting you into heaven. As someone has said, “Christ didn’t come just to get men out of hell and into heaven. He came to get Himself out of heaven and into men.”
The indwelling Holy Spirit means that we possess Christ’s empowering presence every hour of every day. This is the foundation for living the way God intends. Understanding that “the kingdom of God is within you” empowers us for more than just waiting to go to heaven. It equips us to live as citizens of heaven moment by moment in the meantime – between now and when we actually cross the borderline between time and eternity. We don’t just have forgiveness. We have the dynamic life of the living Savior with us, enabling us to live out His life in this world.
If you enjoyed this one chapter from Steve’s book, you can to learn more about the book by going to http://www.amazon.com/Lies-Heard-Church-Every-Sunday/dp/0736938648/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1313970117&sr=1-1
Some of the attention-grabbing lies in the book that send us scurrying back to check our Bibles are:
Lie #14: We Need to Focus on Overcoming Our Sins
Lie #15: We Need to Continually Ask God to Forgive Our Sins
Lie #19: God is Disappointed in You When You Do Wrong
Lie #35: We Should Live by Christian Morals
Lie #36: Your Heart Is Desperately Wicked
Lie # 43: If You Don’t Forgive Others, God Won’t Forgive You
Lie #47: You Will Be Blessed Because You Tithe
Lie #48: Sunday Is the Christian Sabbath
Steve originally came up with 101 lies, but couldn’t get them all into one book. He covers each of the 101 lies in a series of short videos on his website at http://www.gracewalk.org/articles.asp?columnid=6277