These are a few of the “Christianese” ideas about God that do not actually have scriptural backing, but people cling to them because they do not like the alternative.
If you are to believe in God, you must believe in Him as he is… not as you would like him to be. Otherwise you worship an idol, and not the God of the Bible.
- Age of accountability.
There is no concrete scripture to support this belief. This is a concept created by Christians to make them feel better when a child dies. The Bible is very clear: We are all sinners at birth, and a person must make a decision to serve God before he can enter Heaven. This is not a popular teaching, but it is more scripturally accurate than an age of accountability. This means that mentally ill people may not be covered either; they are sinners from birth too, so unless they decide to serve God they are not safe either. It has been said that God knows each person’s heart and he would know if someone “would have” turned to him when they were old enough to understand. However, there is no scripture to back this up. David believed his young son went to heaven, but that does not mean he actually did.
- God is against abortion.
While this is a comforting belief, it it rather humanistic and is not found concretely in scripture. In fact, at God’s order many children and babies were executed in the Old Testament- implying that the life of a baby is not as valuable as Christians have assumed he thinks. Although David speaks of God knowing him before birth, that does not mean that God is against abortion.
- Marriage is not one man and one woman.
The Bible condones and often blesses marriages where there is one man and many women, and/or concubines, which is a fancy term for sex slave. If God truly hated polygamy or the practice of owning concubines, he would have forbidden it; instead, it is widely accepted and even promoted. Although Biblical marriage does not include two men or two women, the mantra that it does promote a single man and a single women is not accurate.
- God is not against rape and sexual slavery.
This was a big one for me. I always assumed that regardless of the historical context, rape is wrong, and thus the Bible must support that belief. However, the Bible paints a very different story. In the Old Testament, it was very common for the Israelites to wipe out an enemy nation, kill everyone (including children and women), and keep the virgins for themselves in order to bear children. Since it was not lawful to marry these women, and no young women would willing sleep with a man who had just wiped out her entire family, what else can be assumed here? Concubines and sex slaves were also allowed throughout the Bible.
- The Bible does not condemn slavery.
Back before the Civil War, the church once taught that slavery was acceptable. And technically they were right. According to the Bible, slavery is ok as long as you treat slaves well. It never once condemns this practice. However, Christians now teach that God is against slavery… even though you have to jump through hoops to make the Bible say that.
- Jeremiah 29:11 is not for us.
This verse has been used to comfort many Christians- it was a favorite of mine in High School when I was distraught over circumstances in my life. However, that verse was written to a specific person- not to believers in general. God told Jeremiah that he had plans for Jeremiah specifically- plans to use him as a prophet. We can gain comfort from this passage, but we cannot take this scripture to apply directly to us- it wasn’t written that way. Verses must be taken in context, or their meaning changes.
There are many more issues like these, but these are the ones I end up discussing the most with people.