Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Jesus never said that!

As someone who spent much of their Christian faith under the thumb of legalism, and is now doing the hard work of recovery from the damage that did to me, I am now acutely aware of the ridiculous, and completely false, words people put in Jesus' mouth.  I can spot a "false Jesus statement" from a mile away.  You know....  Things that are not in the Bible, are counter to Jesus' loving nature, and are just plain untrue.

I hear and read things "out there" in my life just about daily that make me want to shake someone and yell, "Jesus never said that!"  Its no wonder Christians come off as judgmental, rigid, and self-righteous!  Sometimes, despite our best intentions, we just plain are.  (Myself included!)  But come on...  Can we please quit putting words in Jesus' mouth!  Its making Him look bad, and making us Christians, collectively, look like a bunch of rigid, ill-informed idiots.

 So I dare you....  Crack open your Bible, and find me the passage where Jesus said....

"If you get a tattoo you can't go to heaven."

"If you're a Christian parent and you truly love your kids, then you have to home school.  Only lazy, uncaring Christian parents send their kids to public school."

"Being gay is worse than any other sin.  Ever."

"Gay people are bad, wrong, disgusting, evil, and deserve to be treated as such."

"If you are gay, God hates you, and Christians should, too."

"If you're a Christian, you have to vote Republican."

"You're more righteous in God's sight if you vote Republican."

"Democrats are all evil, none of them could possibly be righteous, and they are all pushing Satan's agendas."

"Being pro-choice has exceptions.  Abortion is never okay, but the death penalty and war killing is totally fine.  If I think you're a 'bad guy,' then God is totally fine with me killing you."

"God thinks America is better than any other country."

"God supports America's war efforts.  Because, again, He thinks America is the best country ever, and He's totally cool with the bloodshed of 'bad guys.'"

"Being a Christian means you have to spank your kids.  Time-outs are for weak Christian parents who are raising future criminals."

"If you're a Christian, you have to own a gun.  God favors people who carry guns over people who don't."

"A woman's only purpose in life is to have children, raise them, tend the home, and cater to her husband's every desire.  If she is miserable doing this, well, too bad for her."

"Women who don't choose to be stay-at-home parents obviously don't care about their husbands, marriages, and children as much as women who do."

"Women are less capable of and less deserving of an education and careers outside the home than a man."

"Women with personal goals are selfish and don't care about their children and husbands."

"Divorce is never the answer.  Abused women should stay in their marriages.  For better or for worse, no exceptions, no matter what."

"Abuse only counts if others can see it.  If others can't see it, you're not being abused, and your spouse is justified in treating you like garbage.  Suck it up."

"If your church shuns you for divorcing an abusive spouse, too bad for you.  You brought it on yourself.  You don't deserve anyone's understanding or support.  You made a sinful decision.  Deal with it."

"Christians shouldn't pay any attention to science.  Science is bad and wrong and will lead them away from God."

"You don't need to talk to your teens about premarital sex, STD's, or teen pregnancy because obviously they will abstain til marriage.  Only non-Christians have premarital sex, so you're off the hook, Christian parent."

"Depression doesn't exist.  You just need to deal with your sin and get right with Jesus and it'll all disappear.  And don't you dare take antidepressants!"

"Addicts just need to turn to Me and they'll stop using.  Forget AA, NA, rehab, or support groups.  That just leads people to other faiths, and therefore to hell."

And there are soooo many other things I have heard and read, too, that have been shared as "gospel truth," but never proceeded from the mouth of Jesus.  

Here's what it boils down to.  Your "compass," if you will:  Jesus is loving, kind, inclusive, non-judgmental....  He is everything good and wonderful.  So, if what you hear or read is dripping with judgment, unkindness, rigidity, and just plain nonsense, then my guess is, its someone putting words in Jesus' mouth.

Ignore it!  Don't believe it!  Don't let it get inside your head!

Forget the condemnation.  Forget the judgment.  Forget the falsehood that you're "not good enough" or "not doing it right."  Because.....Jesus never said that!

Instead, read His real words.  Find the hope.  Find the healing.  Find the freedom.  Find the pure, rich, wonderful love.  That, my friends, is the real voice of Jesus!

Anything you can add to my list?  What are some things you've read, heard, or experienced?  Any thoughts?

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