This is a follow up from my original article 5 Misconceptions the Church Has About Geeks. This could technically be an article for anyone that has a misconception about the church so it’s likely going to sound preachy.
1. Organized religion is a fear-mongering, money-grubbing institution.
This may be the case for some *cough* Joel Osteen *cough*; however, some of the most kind and genuine people can be found in the church. The fact of the matter is that the church needs money to function. Someone has to pay for the lights, the nice pamphlets, and the Pastor’s wages. Most churches I have been to are very open about how they spend the money received through tithes and offerings. Any church that does not allow its congregation to see how the money is spent should not be trusted.
In addition to the needs of the church, only a small percentage of congregants actually pay tithe, which is sad. This puts a burden on the church to try and raise money elsewhere. Bottom line: if you attend a church, you need to tithe.
2. My parents and grandparents are Christian, so I am good to go.
You may inherit lots of traits from your Mom and Dad, but your salvation is not one of them. Though their prayers for your health and safety do play a key role in your life, your salvation is all you, bucko! Jesus’ forgiveness is neither transmutable nor transferable, so you need to take stock of where your personal relationship with Jesus is and do something about it.
*This also applies to those who think that, because they are American, they are Christian.
3. The church is full of sinners and hypocrites. Clearly it doesn’t work.
Most gyms are full of overweight people trying to get lose some extra pounds; does this mean that the gym doesn’t make you thinner? This is the same thing as saying that, because the church is full of sinners and hypocrites, we shouldn’t attend it. It’s such a ridiculous argument and excuse, but people still use it as a reason not to go to church. If the people in the church were perfect, they wouldn’t need the church. Healthy people don’t go to the doctor (unless it’s for a check up). We are all trying to figure this crazy thing called “life” out; we need each other, as the body of the church, to do that.
4. So many Christian pastors get caught up in scandal. How can I trust them?
See #3 in addition to this. Unfortunately, we live in a fallen world, and we put pastors on a pedestal all the time. How are they any different than us? Yes, they are, and should be, held to a high standard, but shouldn’t each of us be held to that standard as well? A pastor is quite possibly more susceptible to lust, greed, and temptation than we are. Show me a pastor who doesn’t have struggles, and I will show you a liar.
5. The Bible is so old. How can I trust it?
The Bible is old, and it’s awesome! It’s full of wisdom, history and poetry. I don’t have the time to go into every single aspect of why you can trust the Bible, but know that not everything can be understood at face value. The Bible has various contexts in which one could read it. You have to understand the New and Old Testaments in order to understand how they are written and who they are written to.
There are scholars and intellects who have spent their entire lives trying to debunk the Bible beyond a shadow of a doubt, and yet the Bible still stands strong as one of the best-selling books of all time.
If you don’t know the author of the Bible, then don’t try to fully understand the words. It takes a relationship to understand the love letters.