My new favorite book

Words do mean something, and when ideas are put into words in such a way that they lead to or reinforce fallacious notions, it is appropriate to challenge the use of those words.
- STEVE MCVEY, 52 Lies Heard in Church Every Sunday

52-lies-heard-in-church-steve-mcveySo let me use clear words:
I love this book.

I hunger for the truths in it that displace the lies (or at least misconceptions) we take for granted. I love how it digs down deep to the bare bone truths about God. About grace. About church. About us. I marked enough notes from it to be a stand-alone book itself.

Here’s why I think you might like it, too:

  • because you’ve had enough of a watered-down gospel
  • because you want to grasp grace more fully
  • because you wonder about the validity of the clich├ęs we all say
  • because you like your truths straight-up instead of diluted
  • because you need to think clearer about what you’ve always heard
  • because you know God loves you but want to believe it even more

Also because it has short chapters (I’m growing to appreciate those more and more); it’s written clearly; it’s full of scriptures; its author is humble; it’s packed with freedom and love and Jesus.

Now to give you some quotes . . .

Disclaimer: Although each lie and corresponding truth in the book are encapsulated in a minimum of words, please note I’m still lifting these segments out of their greater context. So if they don’t make sense, read the book for yourself or ask me for the larger background behind it. Thanks. [Bold and italics are mine.]

Lie #1
Salvation is giving your life to Christ.

Grace revolves around what He has given us, not what we give to Him! You receive eternal life not because you gave Christ your life. You receive eternal life because He gave you His Life. The distinction might seem subtle, but it’s important. 

Lie #6
Your greatest need is to love God more.

People often feel that they ought to love God more already. So why don’t they? They can’t. So what is the answer? It’s right there in 1 John 4:19: “We love, because He first loved us.” It isn’t possible to love Him as we want to until we understand how much He loves us. Then, and only then, we will find love for God swelling up within our hearts. 
 
The key to loving God more, then, is to focus on how much He loves us, not on how much we love Him at any given moment in life.

Lie #10
You can go too far with grace.

Grace is personified in Jesus. So to say that you can go too far with grace is like saying that you can go too far with Jesus. It simply isn’t possible.

Some people are afraid that if you teach the pure grace of God, people might be encouraged to go out and sin. That kind of fear shows a lack of clear understanding about what grace does in a person’s life. When God’s grace really takes hold of us, it does the exact opposite of encouraging sin. It causes us to draw near in love and faith to God, which is where we find a greater desire to walk in a manner pleasing to Him.

Go too far with grace? There’s no way. Most people haven’t gone far enough in their understanding of it.

Lie #17
You should live by the teachings of the Bible.

So we aren’t to live by the teachings of the Bible. We are to live by the life of the Christ who indwells us! The Bible teaches us more about Him and what it means that we live in union with Him. Our actions flow out of that knowledge, not out of some moral code we wrongly try to draw from Scripture.

There are Christians today who talk more about the Bible than they do Jesus. That should be a red flag. The Bible is not an end unto itself. …The Bible is a grace book that points us to Jesus Christ. He is the end that we pursue. If we are not led to the person of Christ and to faith in Him, like the Pharisees, we are missing the whole point of the Bible. 
 
We absolutely love our Bibles, but we live by the life of Jesus Christ.

Lie #30
You should make Jesus Lord of your life.   
 
We must make Jesus Lord? Do you see the underlying pride in that perspective? We must make Jesus be something? Who do we think that we are that we can make Jesus be anything?

The straight truth of the Bible is this: Jesus Christ is Lord.

We don’t have to make Him Lord. We simply remember and rest in His Lordship.  

Lie #44
You shouldn’t do anything that might offend somebody.  
 
Even Jesus didn’t always choose His actions on the basis of who might be offended by them. Jesus often offended people, especially self-righteous ones. If never offending anyone is the mark of living up to what God expects, then even Jesus wouldn’t qualify. 

So we relate to people from a heart of love, but we don’t allow ourselves to be controlled by public opinion. You are free in Christ. Be willing to limit your freedom for the sake of a weaker brother or to promote unity, but never give an inch to a Pharisee, the legalist who wants to make rules for other people to obey. 

And there is more, so much more. Words and The Word. I’m ready to go read it again.

Click thumbnails below to see the Table of Contents

52-Lies-TOC pg 152-Lies-TOC pg 2

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Have you ever held a belief that you had to replace with a more accurate truth?

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