Over the past few weeks, our study of both Christianity and God has lead us to the topic of hearing His voice - a relatively complicated topic with a strangely simple answer.
- Christianity is very serious business - and by extension, laughter and joy (while tolerable) remains solely that - tolerable.
- In addition to fun and games being only tolerable, God is only honored and content with us when we are praying/fasting/worshiping/attending church, etc.
- God's love - while all-encompassing - is strangely conditional in different ways. If I pray more, or believe more, or have more faith, or fast, or worship harder - then I would please God and He would bless me - either through knowledge of Him, or other blessings.
- It is only through extreme moments of emotion (such as weeping or sensing a swelling in your heart or intense joy) that God speaks. If I don't weep or fall to my knees or feel absolutely immersed in His spirit, it must be unimportant, or not from God.
- Akin to #4, God moves only through how I feel. If I feel wonderful and alive, then God has blessed me. If I feel weak and in pain, then God has withheld His blessings.
- I need to feel an emotional connection to a spiritual activity in order to do it. If I don't receive any positive emotions from worship, then I don't need to do it. My faith is based on my emotions.
- God can be spoken to, but only in a vague metaphysical sense, not a direct one-on-one sense.
- There is a proper and correct way to pray.
- When we pray, we must address God with terms such as 'Heavenly Father', 'Lord', 'Jesus', or 'Christ'.
- We must pray to God as a servant speaks to his master.
- God only listens to us when we pray to Him.
- It is important to look like a Christian, especially in church.
- The only kind of jewelry we can wear has to be adorned with a cross or scripture or spiritual symbol.
- We have to achieve certain conditions or be at a certain level of maturity in our faith for God to want to speak to us.
- God stops loving us when we sin.
- God is too grandiose and mighty to want to listen to you.
- You must have a cross hanging from your rear-view mirror in your car if you are a Believer.
- To pray, you must close your eyes and fold your hands. Also, kneeling helps.
- You are unimportant in God's eyes.
- Those who worship with their hands in the air and who sing at the top of their lungs are better Christians than those who sit and listen.
- People who speak in tongues and lift their hands and weep when they talk to God are blessed and anointed - a chosen few who experience God in ways that 'normal' people can never achieve or understand.
- The Bible is just a book.
- Making others know that you are a Christian is more important than actually being one.
- Jesus does not like to dance or enjoy Himself. Again, Christianity is very serious stuff.
- God does not like what you like - He only likes holy and biblical things. He does not like heavy metal, comedians, or skateboarding. If it isn't holy, it is defiling God when you do it.
- As Christians, we have to listen only to worship music. We have to read only Christian authors, and we can only see Christian movies. Anything not readily Christian-based is a sin and defiles God.
- You can only worship God by attending church and singing worship songs in a congregation. He does not approve of any other type of worship.
- God does not like tattoos.
- God is very prudish - He thinks sex is disgusting.
- You must fast if you want to hear God's voice.
- Only ministers and priests and pastors and clergy can talk to God directly.
- Christians are not allowed to swear - to do so defiles God.
- God does not want you to be physically attracted to the opposite gender - physical attraction is a sin.
- Every Christian must have read the bible. You are a sub-Christian if you have not read it.
- God loves those who have read His Word more than those who haven't.
- Becoming a Christian sucks the fun out of life.
- Jesus does not pray for you.
- God does not want you to deal with non-believers.
- God does not love those who choose to deny Him.
- Speaking the name of Jesus Christ against the enemy doesn't work.
- The name of Jesus carries no power.
- God and Satan are equal in power - they are on the same level.
- Satan can tempt us so much so that we cannot resist.
- The Bible is not relevant to 2009.
- To be a Christian is to live a life of guilt and repentance.
- Life becomes much easier when you are Saved.
- The Bible is not an important part of Christianity.
- God created shame and guilt, and He uses it against us when we sin.
- God created sin to keep us in line.
- God forces us to worship Him by threatening us with Hell.
"God does not love you."
"God can choose to stop loving you."
"God does not weep when you weep."
"God does not laugh when you laugh."
"God does not want you to be happy."
"God does not want you to win."
"God is not stronger than temptation."
"God is not stronger than the enemy."
"God would not die for you - again."
...its time we break out of our religious boxes. God is amazing - and we truly have nothing to fear.
Feel free to add your own lies to this list - naming the lies for what they are helps us to see His Truth.