(Popular phrases and beliefs)
I was watching TBN parade Steve Harvey on its show as if he is now the spokesman for Christians. As I was listening to one of the celebrity interviews and trying to find some truth in what they were saying, I heard them say “The Bible says come as you are”. I don’t remember reading that, so I looked to see if I could find it. Sure enough, I couldn’t – and haven’t found anyone that sees it written. That’s probably because it’s not in there. So, I figured I’d talk about some of these phrases/events people assume are in the Bible or that have been said so often, people think they’re in the Bible.
1. God wouldn’t want me unhappy.
– I just want to be “happy”. I got so sick and tired of hearing this phrase over the past year, I had to start ignoring parts of people’s conversations just so I wouldn’t snap or laugh out loud. Please show me the verse in the Bible that says, “Be ye happy, for I am happy!” Let me see if I understand. Jesus said to take up our crosses and follow him (Matt 10:38), the world would hate His followers (John 15:18), trials and tribulations will come (John 16:33), but we’re supposed to have a life of ease and complete happiness? Who told you that lie? Jesus took on human form, came, suffered, was crushed under the wrath of God for sin that was not His own, but you…He wouldn’t want “unhappy”?
Let me help you out. If what you think would make you “happy” goes against God’s will for your life, then you’re absolutely wrong. God would prefer you “holy” than cater to your “happiness” (which changes moment to moment anyway because it’s directed by outside influences). Did it ever dawn on you that maybe you’re the reason for your unhappiness? Maybe you are reaping the consequences of your sin, and you’re so used to leaving before you can learn something from God, you don’t recognize correction. God is not going to give you special permission to leave an assignment or do something He specifically tells you not to do because you no longer like it or the people in your assignment. You’d better own up to your responsibilities and do what God called you to do before you find yourself permanently unhappy answering to His judgment. You do have the choice – be uncomfortable temporarily to work through the situation and your fickle emotions or being uncomfortable permanently because you have no excuse when it’s time to answer to God.
2. God helps those who help themselves.
– Book, chapter and verse please. My Bible says, “4Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. 5I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. 6If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.” John 15:4-6. Of all the examples in the Bible, no one did anything of significance in the will of God without God. They waited on His instructions and leaned on Him for help. All the glory belonged to God. It was when people tried to get ahead of God and move without asking Him that things fell apart.
3. You take one step, and God will take two.
– How does work exactly? At that rate, God would be so far ahead of me, He wouldn’t be with me (since Jesus says He’d never leave nor forsake us Heb 13:5). Are we assuming that I take one step before God picks me up and carries me two more steps? (“Footsteps” poem, maybe?) Do you see what’s wrong with this picture?
If I’m stepping ahead of God, then that means I’m acting prematurely and assuming I’m going in the direction He’ll have me to go. Jesus says, “Follow Me” – not “Start walking, and I’ll catch up with you.”
4. Cleanliness is next to Godliness.
– Do we understand what we’re actually implying here? This gives the impression that a good, long bath will make you right with God. While I’m sure we all appreciate being clean and standing by someone that understands the proper use of soap and decent hygiene, there are plenty of homeless people that are living in filth and people world-wide that may not smell too fresh that have mansions in Heaven waiting for them.
“25Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. 26Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also. 27Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. 28Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.” Matt 23:25-28 The outside can be just as fresh and clean as you’d like, but if the inward man is defiled, then that is what God sees because He looks at the heart (1 Sam 16:7). I’m not saying walk around and be funky! I’m saying the cleanliness that will help us get closer to God is a cleansing only He can provide to wash us of our sins. We should be pursuing holiness. It would probably be safer to say “holiness is next to Godliness”. Those in Heaven don’t proclaim God is “Clean, clean, clean”. They proclaim “Holy, holy, holy” (Rev 4:8). “15But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; 16Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:15-16.
5. Come as you are.
– Churches say this. The Bible makes it plain that we can’t enter into God’s presence any ol’ kind of way. God is Holy, and He is not to be treated like something common. If the high priest came before God wrong, he was struck dead. Uzzah was killed instantly for touching the ark of the covenant (2 Sam 6:7). We have several places in the Bible showing us how to enter His presence.
Jesus said that all who are weary can come to Him. All who thirst may come to Him. Many people feel intimidated going to church because they may feel they don’t have anything good enough to wear. What you have may not be stylish or impressive, but God looks on the heart. If your heart’s desire is to worship and learn of God, then you should be in the congregation.
However, “come as you are” is not an invitation to be disrespectful of the people in attendance. Pull your pants up. Keep your skirt/dress down. Women: I have everything you have. I don’t need to see it during worship. If you don’t have clothes that have enough material to cover yourself, feel free to throw on extra clothes or tie some pieces together. Feel free to wear a jacket around your waist. Find an usher and ask if they have extra blankets. Someone may be struggling with controlling lustful thoughts. You don’t want to be a stumbling block to someone else. If you can look your best for the club, you can get it together for God.
6. Money is the root of all evil.
– That’s funny if you really think about it. Really. Have you ever seen a $5 bill jump up and slap somebody? Do you lie in bed wondering how your spare change is plotting on you? Personally, I don’t worry about my money attacking me when I least expect it.
1 Tim 6:10 “10For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” The problem is people’s desires to obtain stuff. People place their faith in the wrong things. If your desire to gain that next dollar is greater than your desire to follow after Jesus, you are setting yourself up for problems. Many people who are considered “well off” have been asked what they’d like more than anything, and the answer was “more money”. If you’re seeking money, you’ll never have enough because your sights will be set on some other material thing, and you’ll crave that.
7. Jesus fed 4,000…no, 5,000 people. Which is it?
– Jesus fed 9,000+ people.
- 5,000 (not including women & children): 5 fish, 2 loaves of bread & 12 baskets left
Matt 14:15-20 and Mark 6:35-44
- 4,000 (not including women & children): 7 loaves, a few fish & 7 baskets left
Matt 15:32-38 and Mark 8:1-9
- Jesus reminds the disciples of both miracles while teaching about corrupted doctrine
Matt 16:5-12 and Mark 8:14-21
*5,000+ people added to 4,000+ people = 9,000+ people fed (not including women & children)
Just because it sounds okay and has been repeated by many for years doesn’t mean it’s in the Bible nor does it make it true. It may be encouraging, but we don’t want to teach people that God said something He didn’t. At the same time, we should search for ourselves to find out if what we’ve be told is correct.