5 Lies I Used to Believe About Being A Christian

It's not only those outside the Church who have misconceptions about Christianity.

Growing up in church, I thought I had just about everything figured out about being a Christian.

That all changed for me one day when I visited a church that was much different than the straight-laced church I grew up in. It was a place where people dressed and acted the same on Sunday as they did the rest of the week. It was a place where it was OK to be honest and open about doubts and struggles. There was even an atmosphere of excitement and celebration that was expressed during worship.

All of this was very new to me. There was such of contrast in this group of believers that I had to question much of what I believed about being a Christian. What I discovered is that some of my “Christian beliefs” were actually misguided and inspired more by worldly religion than the Word of God.

It’s obvious that non-Christians have some misconceptions regarding Christianity, but often those who grew up in church, do too. Here are just a few of the lies I used to believed about being a Christian:

1. Your Behavior Affects God’s Love For You.

With all the rules we set up for ourselves, it’s easy to think following them is the way to get God’s approval and love. But the truth is you don’t have to try to use your behavior to earn God’s love. He loves you despite your behavior.

You don’t have to try to use your behavior to earn God’s love. He loves you despite your behavior.

Christ died for us while we were still sinners (Romans 5:8). God’s love for you isn’t based on what you do or don’t do, it's based on His Son Jesus and your decision to accept Him!

2. Church is a Weekly Event and Just a Building.

Living in the Bible Belt, going to church can sometimes be seen as just something that everyone does. Worshipping God is often compartmentalized and sectioned off from the rest of our week. There is this idea that every Sunday you have to dress up and polish your external appearance and behavior.

But God is interested in your heart, not your outfit. He looks at the internal of man, not the external (1 Samuel 16:7).

Church is also frequently viewed as building and not a body. In reality, we should see the Church as a Body that just so happens to meet in a building. The Bible talks about the Church as a living and breathing thing, not just a meeting that takes place each week with some singing and preaching (Ephesians 2:19-22). We weren’t meant to love an event, we were meant to love people.

3. You Shouldn’t Express Your Struggles or Doubts.

Sometimes the Christian life is hard. At times, there are no easy answers or explanations. Instead of suppressing our doubts and struggles, we should admit them to God and ask others to help us walk through them.

David was a man after God’s own heart, and he often openly expressed his doubts and struggles during times of hardship. Being honest and open about your struggles doesn’t make you less spiritual, it actually draws you closer to God because it forces you to get rid of your pride and self-sufficiency.

You don’t overcome the difficulties of life by ignoring the struggle; you overcome them by inviting God to work in those areas (Psalm 43:5)! What good is it if you have everyone fooled except for God?

4. Church Leadership is Only For the Super-Spiritual.

Sometimes, those of us sitting in church pews each week can start thinking of our pastors and elders as spiritually superior, “better” Christians and almost infallible. This is part of why we are so surprised and shattered when church leaders fall—we forget that they are sinful human beings, just as in need of grace and accountability as the rest of us.

The truth is, your pastor, worship leader, small group leader or whoever else may have more training and/or have walked with Jesus longer than you have, but they are still people. They struggle. They need friends that talk about things that don’t directly relate to church.

The Bible isn’t about rules; it’s about Jesus

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God uses the weak for His glory. And He can use you. You don’t have to work yourself up to be some sort of spiritual superman in order to serve Him.

5. The Bible is Mostly About Rules.

We often make the Bible out to be a rulebook. But when we view it that way, we will lose interest quickly because there is no connection made.

The Bible isn’t about rules; it’s about Jesus. It’s designed to be used in the context of relationship. The goal in reading the Word shouldn’t be to get to a certain chapter, but to meet Jesus along the way.

I challenge you to ask yourself if you believe any of those ideas. You’re not alone if you do. The good news is there is hope, because there is truth. And the truth has the power to set you free (John 8:32).

Top Comments

Jeff Hicks


Jeff Hicks commented…

You seem to imply that the church of our childhood was one that did not express struggles and doubts. I can remember many times as a young boy hearing Godly men and women give their testimonies and weep about their struggles and doubts and how God delivered them. I get weary of hearing that the church of yesterday wasn't effective just because society was different in those days. I remember too hearing Godly men preach the Word about living free from sin consecrating our lives to God fully. They taught that Church wasn't a weekly event, but a lifestyle that was different from the world. Most of the churches in our city only have services on Sunday morning and most families never have heard a prayer meeting or testimony meeting when God's Holy Spirit fell on those Sunday nights or Wednesday nights. Service wasn't just for the Godly or highly Spiritual. We all actually participated in worship. We didn't have a praise team, orchestra or band who sang to us, we actually had corporate worship where everyone sang. You could hear the basses, the alto's and tenors. We participated in worship rather than observed. The Bible is a love story about God's gracious gift of His Son! And once you fall in love with Him you obey His commandments. It has been so long since I have heard a clear message on sin and confession, rather we hear a feel good message on Sunday's about how Darth Vader or some other movie has spiritual application. So young man, don't be guilt of accusing the past revivals of Moody, Wesley and others of not dressing or acting as they do all week. I want worship that makes me feel unclean in the Father's presence so I will cry out with Isaiah "that I have filthy lips and live among a people of filthy lips" and for the "holy of holies of the temple to fill me with that realization so I will go out through the week and live differently. Thank God for our spiritual heritage! May it always remind us of our need for Him, not a reflection of ineffective worship!

Kenya Smith


Kenya Smith commented…

I have read some of the comments that pertains to this article, and I have to say that it's sad. First of all, each person have different experiences with the church, some positive and some negative, and I feel that sometimes we can be so apathetic when it comes to those who has had negative experiences with a particular church, such as the writer of this article. I can also relate to the writer, because I have been through similar situations when it came to church.I don't think he was trying to say that if a church isn't tech savvy or more modern then it's not a good church, but he was discussing much bigger issues such as whole idea of what Christianity is about. Too many times, we put labels in front of the words "church" and "Christian" such as "fundamentalist", "liberal", "modern", etc. I know that some churches have unbiblical teachings whether they're identified as fundamental, liberal, mini, midi, mega, black. white, modern, traditional, Protestant, or Catholic. Church is not just a building, it's a population of believers who make up the Body of Christ. I don't care what type of church you belong to, who you voted for, your political views, whether you like old hymns, Kirk Franklin, or Hillsong, whether you like wearing suits or T-shirt and jeans, whether you are introverted or extroverted, or what your skin color or ethnicity is, if we all believe that the God's word is the ultimate foundation of our lives, that God created us in His own image, that Heaven and Hell are real places, that because of Adam and Eve's sin, we're all sinners in need of a Savior, that God loved us so much that he sent Jesus to the Cross to die for our sins so that we can have life (both on Earth and in Heaven), that Jesus defeated death, hell, and the grave by resurrection, and that one day, He will return so that we can be with Him in Heaven, I don't see the reason to complain about how other churches operate or how other Christians live their lives.
To the writer of this article, you're not alone. I have had the same feelings like you. God understands the frustration that you had with church when no one else understands. I pray that God will place you in a Church that is alive and Jesus focused, and if God already put you into that church, I pray that you will grow in Christ.
The same goes to those who have had the same frustrations that this writer had. Let us encourage and sharpen one another to keep our hands in God's hands and not in the hands of man's ideas of tribalism and legalism that has tainted the Christian community. God bless.


Mallory Paige Allred


Mallory Paige Allred commented…

I'm glad God has lead you to a church that fits you better and made you more comfortable. Your home church is important for your learning and growth in your relationship with God.
However, I can't agree with you in the sense of you blaming "the straight laced church." I once felt exactly like you did. When I started my relationship with Christ and gave my life to him I learned I was just unknowing (ignorant) of God's word. That in fact alot of the assumptions I had against church and Christians were personal issues I had about myself or I was dealing with. The enemy used them against me and I turned from God.
I was raised in a Pentecostal Church and now a member of an Independent Baptist Church. They have very similar beliefs and teaching of God's word. Many and I do mean many would never consider going to my church simply because it would mean sacrificing some of who and what they enjoy in life. But isn't that in fact what every single Christian or individual who has a relationship with God do everyday?
We can't let ourselves justify sin or desires or our emotions or feelings towards God and the church. There are alot of people who have been hurt by those in a church but we have to remember we are Christians but we are human. We all fall short to the Glory of God. Forgive and keep moving forward with God

George Andrew


George Andrew commented…

Ehh, church is stupid.

Read the bible (all of it, not just the books the protestants want you to. Read the Nag Hammadi scriptures too), worship in the privacy of your own home.

All of that mess about "fellowship" is a load of bunk that is cherry-picked and spun by institutional christianity just so that people can make money for contributing nothing of worth to society.

Kind of like how a lot of evangelicals send "missionaries" to Europe. It's not a mission, it's a paid vacation.

Richard Jones


Richard Jones commented…

While I thought this was generally a pretty good article, I'm glad I re-read it before I shared it on Facebook. This statement is heresy: "God’s love for you isn’t based on what you do or don’t do, it's based on His Son Jesus and your decision to accept Him!" God's love for humans is NOT based on their decision to accept Jesus. It is based on the nature of God. I believe this error is inadvertent, but should be corrected.

Christopher Ripley


Christopher Ripley commented…

The authors 3rd point very much hits home for me, the truth is that the church often isn't a safe place to be transparent. In reference to all those who feel the need to correct him, I have advice for you, take what speaks to you and discard what doesn't. Some of these comment sections are just like anything you see anywhere online. How about we support and encourage one another instead of attacking? Christians attacking Christians...not cool!

Tehuingamamaeroa Joseph


Tehuingamamaeroa Joseph commented…

Thank you for sharing your testimony buddy. God speaks to each one of us uniquely and revealed knowledge comes in degrees. May your testimony bring hope to others who may have questions as well and didn't know how to put it into words.

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