But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. – James 3:17
I’m a biblical purist, and I have been known to have little patience with people who misrepresent Christ while managing to sound spiritual. Here are a few classic examples of stupid things Christians say:
- “I’ll pray for you.” If you don’t pray on the spot, more than likely you won’t pray at all. You’ll forget. Either do it on the spot or don’t make a promise you won’t keep. To those who keep their word, breathe easily. You’re exempt.
- “God told me to tell you . . . ” This is a classic example of someone believing she’s the only one to whom the Spirit of God speaks, because certainly He would never speak to you about His plans for your life. One might wonder what this person makes of 1 Corinthians 2:16.
- “If you believe it, you’ll receive it.” Such people don’t want the God of the universe who responds to prayer according to His will. They want a genie in a bottle. Sorry, folks, but we were created in God’s image. He cannot be created in ours.
- “But divorce is the unpardonable sin. God can’t forgive that.” A friend said this to me in pity after learning I divorced my abusive first husband. So I walked her through John 3 and John 4 to help her understand the truth about salvation by grace through faith and condemnation through (and only through) rejection of Christ. The woman at the well was very thankful for such grace.
- And from the same folks: “I promised my husband I would never divorce him, but I never promised I wouldn’t kill him.” And this makes total sense because we know God hates divorce (Malachi 2:16), so certainly this means he gives a pass to murder. Read your Bibles, people – especially Exodus 20:13.
- “I hope I’m saved, but only God can know.” This mindset often comes from those who believe they can lose their salvation, people whose Bibles must not contain John 10:29 or 1 John 5:13. This is such a sticking point for so many that I devoted an entire post to it.
- “You can’t be filled with the Holy Spirit unless you speak in tongues.” We cannot expect a historical event associated with the establishment of the New Testament Church in the Book of Acts to be true today. If that were the case, Paul wouldn’t have asked rhetorically in 1 Corinthians 12:30, “Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in other languages? Do all interpret?”
- “Plant a seed of faith.” Turn off the televangelists! Yes, God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:8); and yes, those who sow generously will reap generously (2 Corinthians 9:6). There is a very real difference between provision and wealth. Jesus gave everything, but He Himself admitted He didn’t have a place to lay His head (Matthew 8:20). Should we expect more for ourselves?
- “I pray you learn whatever it is God is trying to show you so He finally relents of these trials you’re having.” Sometimes we suffer because we’re ungodly, but sometimes we suffer because we’re godly. (See 2 Corinthians 12:7; 2 Timothy 3:12.) I’m pretty sure these folks hung out with Job’s buddies. What a special blessing they are in our lives.
- “I guess God needed her (him) more than you did.” This is a lame (and unbiblical) attempt at comfort at the loss of a loved one. As if God needs anything. (See Acts 17:25).
Forrest Gump said, “Stupid is as stupid does.” Don’t do stupid. Seek wisdom from above, my friends, and give the world fewer reasons to mock us – because their mockery reflects badly on our Savior. I, for one, don’t want that on me.