One question can lead to great conversation. One question can change a lesson plan. I’m never ready for that one question, but I welcome it every time. This past Sunday was one of those mornings. Asking the kids – what is forgiveness – led to a discussion about our needing to forgive and what God’s forgiveness means for us. (Sorry to all the other Quest teachers, we never got to the “Clues Bag” activity…so nothing was added for the past week. – If you don’t know what that means, ask some of the Quest kids).
The answer we first got was “you have to forget what someone did to you.” ‘Forgive and forget,’ one of the great lies of “bumper sticker theology.” I don’t have space in this email to get too detailed…suffice it to say ‘forgive and forget’ has no basis in scripture. Memory is a biological function, we can’t rewire our brains on our own. It’s all just a slogan that sounded good and so many people have taken it as “gospel” without really looking into it.
We do that with a lot of things…
- God helps those who help themselves. (Not in the Bible…and goes completely against verses like Galatians 2:20 and Matthew 16:24)
- God wants you to by happy. (Once again, not in the Bible. God works things to our GOOD…not our ‘happy.’ See Romans 8:28)
- God won’t give you more than you can handle (This one might get a few of you mad at me…but it ain’t scriptural. We can’t handle life without Him. We can’t handle being “good enough” we need Jesus and His redeeming work. There’s a WHOLE lot we’ve been given we can’t handle. Check out what Paul had to say – 2 Corinthians 1:8. The verse that probably inspired this misbelief – 1 Corinthians 10:13, which God says we’ll not be tempted beyond what we can bear…that He will provide a way out.)
- This too shall pass (Not in the Bible, might be comforting to some…but it’s not Scripture. Look at what God said to Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:9. )
- You get saved by saying a prayer. (This one is harmful and was part of what we discussed in class Sunday. We are to confess He is our LORD (Master) and believe Jesus is God, died on the cross and was resurrected – see Romans 8:8-11. It’s not some words…it’s surrender and our heart attitude.)
How did we end up with all these false sayings? Well…how many verses have you looked up from what I listed above? Did you only read what I quoted, or the context around them? Did you think through them?
The reason bumper sticker theology is around…why many still believe it and quote it…is overall we’re too lazy to think for ourselves. We don’t’ really trust that the Holy Spirit is there to help us understand. And in way too many cases, people don’t have the Holy Spirit to assist them because they are Christian in name only…they never surrendered to Him as Lord.
For our personal sake, for the sake of our children, for the sake of friends and family, for the sake of the world – we CANNOT be lazy with our walk with God. We can’t ingest half-truths and be okay with what we’re told to believe. We must spend time with God on our own…in His word, in Prayer, in Praise. To do anything less is to show disdain, hatred to our Creator our Savior.