When I first got saved, I was introduced to so much bad theology. It had me scared. I had a friend tell me that if you sin 70 x 7 times, the Lord would no longer forgive you (This was a HORRIBLE perversion of Matthew 18:21-22). I learned the ‘Christianese’ saying that was used everytime someone sinned – “Well, God knows my heart” (Yep He sure does. Check Jeremiah 17:9). I remember thinking you could really speak things into existence… those things that be not as though they were (Later in my walk, I found out that this was a perversion of Romans 4:17). I remember going to church with excitement everytime a ‘prophet’ or ‘prophetess’ was there, just pleading with the Lord – “Lord, please give me a Word tonight!” (He gives us His Word 24/7… The sufficiency of Scripture)… I remember those times. I remember being in church services where the ‘pastor’ would allude to sexual and inappropriate things and say, “Oh, I’m just being real with y’all! Y’all ain’t feeling me!” (Ephesians 5:4)… Yes, I remember all of that. I remember being in a service at a church I once attended where a man was praying for people and touching them on the head. This was around the time the Lord brought me out of that bad theology. I remember thinking, When he gets to me and places his hand on me, I wonder if I, too, will swoon or be overcome with emotion. Well, I didn’t. I didn’t fall out, shake uncontrollably, or scream. I remember being in church, seeing people run around, hearing people start to scream while the preacher was preaching, and wondering why I wasn’t doing that. I thought something was wrong with me. Maybe I didn’t love Jesus like they did ? I didn’t know.
I remember all that and I know the effect it has on me now. Sometimes those things still rear their ugly heads and I have to battle them. I remember getting up early in the morning to watch Creflo. I remember attending Jakes’ church. I remember being at a service at another church I’d attended where a man came to ‘preach’ and it was all about money. Something about him did not sit right with me, and I told my friends. A year or so later, he’s accused and convicted of drugging and raping women.
Ahh, the memories. I look back on that and feel so foolish. But I feel sad when I see friends who are STILL in those situations. I remember being told by others that theology was a tool of the devil. It causes division. No, what the devil is pimping is this massive case of Biblical illiteracy in the Church today. The only reason ANY of the above can go on and continue like it does is because few read the Bible. Well, let me take that back. Many READ it, but they do not STUDY it. There’s a large difference. Many people can quote the ‘common’ Scriptures, but few dig deeper. Sure John 3:16 says that God so loved the world, but what does John 17 say ? It clarifies it. Few Christians study doctrine or even know what a doctrine is.
Biblical teaching and application seems to be left up to the pastors and teachers nowadays. And I do use those 2 terms loosely because not everyone who attaches a title to their name is actually what the title indicates, but I digress. Scripture has turned into a game of ‘Telephone’. The preacher says something, gives a Scripture, and few are Bereans, checking to see if these things are so (Acts 17:11). Then after hearing this, NOT checking the Scriptures, and leaving church, that teaching is given to someone else, Christian or not, and it’s highly distorted, having very little resemblance to the actual Scripture.
Unsaved – Man, I can’t believe I slept with him again. I feel so bad.
Christian – It’s okay; everything happens for a reason. God still loves you. He knows your heart, girl.
So then Unsaved walks away thinking they’re okay. Because the church doesn’t really focus on our wretched sinful natures, we assure someone else that they are ‘okay’. That’s messed up. This person goes throughout their life thinking they can do whatever because God loves them. Come the Day of the Lord, they have a huge shocker coming because they were never told of their need for a Savior. But then again, God’s sovereign, so this may not be the case. He saves His own.
When I attended Criswell last year, Ken Fentress came and spoke on Biblical illiteracy. It was quite staggering; I’d never really considered the depths of it, but after that, I did. It really is shocking. If people would read their Bibles more, there would DEFINITELY be fewer people being deceived by false doctrine looking for signs and wonders and missing out on truly knowing the Lord.