The Lies We Believe

Dr. James Emery White | Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary | Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Lies We Believe

Have you ever considered the number of lies that you believe?

It’s a strong challenge, I know, but it has traction.  We all believe lies.  I wish I didn’t, but I know that I do.  In fact, a great part of my ongoing journey with Christ is to speak truth to those lies I tend to believe.

Of course, the lies we each tend to believe are unique to who we are and the journey we’ve travelled.

But some lies seem to have taken up wide residence without outcry.  Meaning that Christ-followers believe these lies, and would be surprised if someone told them the truth about their beliefs.

For example:

The Lies We Believe About the Church

*It’s just a 501(c)3 – a human organization.  You can take it or leave it.  In fact, it’s more “spiritual” to leave it.

*Everything is the church; my small group, my men’s group, my family, my Christian-themed business.  You can define church as anything gathering or enterprise you want.

The Lies We Believe About Our World

*If everybody’s doing it, it must be okay.  The more culturally unique our theology is, the more we must need to change our theology.

*Evangelism is so passé.  Work for social justice, but give up on proselytism.  It’s not the heart of changing the world.

The Lies We Believe About the Bible

*It’s so full of contradictions and errors, there’s no way it can be trusted.

*You can interpret the Bible any way you want.

The Lies We Believe About God

*He won’t love me unless I measure up.

*God is “it” or a “force,” not a Person.  Much less three Persons who are one God.

The Lies We Believe About Ourselves

*Compared to others, I do better than most.  It’s not like I’m an axe murderer or pedophile.  I’ll measure up in the end.  Sin has to be relative.

*My situation is unique.  Yes, I know what the Bible says, but again, my situation is unique.  Translation: I have a cosmic exception clause to how I’m living and the decisions I’m making.

That’s just a fast ten.

Which ones are you observing?

Click here and post away.

James Emery White

Editor’s Note

James Emery White is the founding and senior pastor of Mecklenburg Community Church in Charlotte, NC, and the ranked adjunctive professor of theology and culture at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, which he also served as their fourth president. His newly released book is The Church in an Age of Crisis: 25 New Realities Facing Christianity (Baker Press). To enjoy a free subscription to the Church and Culture blog, log-on to, where you can post your comments on this blog, view past blogs in our archive and read the latest church and culture news from around the world. Follow Dr. White on twitter @JamesEmeryWhite.

The Lies We Believe