God’s and Jesus’ names are invoked a lot in today’s world. Unfortunately, not always for the right reasons. Recently, Representative Lauren Boebert made the comment that “Jesus didn’t have enough AR-15s to keep his government from killing him” in an attempt to defend the second amendment. Someone should tell Rep. Boebert that the Son of God wouldn’t have needed guns to stop his crucifixion.
While it may be easy to laugh off the absurdity of Boebert’s comment, her flub is merely a symptom of a larger disease. It’s commonplace for politicians to quote scripture out of context to serve their own purposes, but it’s not limited to politicians. We often see celebrities turn to the Bible in an effort to try and pull away a line that might help them absolve themselves of some wrongdoing. Even among everyday ordinary citizens, it is an all too normal occurrence to hear someone try to use the Bible to attack, discriminate against, or tear down others.
The reality is that the world has created a new religion…a new Christianity that hardly resembles the real thing. Sure, it has a “God,” but that God destroys some sinners while turning a blind eye to the sins of others, and he only loves certain people. The new Christianity has a Jesus, but he’s all about the prosperity of the people that claim to believe in him and doesn’t really care if that belief is genuine or if those who claim to believe in him actually follow his teachings.
The new Christianity is ridiculous, but it’s clearly tempting seeing as how so many are ready to follow it. What’s even worse is that it alienates some other people and leaves them disenfranchised and disinterested in both the new Christianity and the genuine article. That’s a big problem, particularly for sincere Christians who believe it is their duty to bring people to God.
So, what can followers of the real Christianity do to oppose the spread of the cheap imitation?
First and foremost, we must make sure we haven’t fallen victim to it ourselves. So often, those who spread bad theology say things that sound right and appealing. That allows them to trick even sincere believers. To protect ourselves from this, we must make sure that we know what the Bible actually says.
Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. – Joshua 1:8
God made it clear to his followers even back as far as the days of the Old Testament that it was important to keep his Word close. We have to read it, indulge in it, and believe in it. It’s not enough to be able to quote timely scriptures at the drop of a hat. We have to actually understand the message God is trying to deliver. That way, when we hear someone misquote a scripture or make an incorrect statement about God or Jesus, we will know right away that it’s wrong and why it’s wrong.
For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. – 2 Timothy 4:3
Pop culture has led many to believe that there is one Antichrist that will be comparable to Jesus and work to tear down what God has established. The Bible tells us there will be many false prophets and false messiahs (antichrists) that spread teachings that lead people astray. As believers we cannot simply hear these false teachings and turn a deaf ear to them. We have to be willing to set the record straight. When someone like Boebert implies that Jesus died because he was not able to fight off his attackers, a true believer needs to take a stand and point out that Jesus willingly gave his life for all of us. If we do not make it clear that it is unacceptable to abuse the Lord’s name and his teachings, people will continue to do it.
Lastly, we must be proactive. We must spread the truth. The teachings of the false Christianity won’t be able to take root if everyone is familiar with the real thing.
for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? – Romans 10:13-14
Not everyone is a Biblical scholar, so it’s not surprising that some are led astray by bad teachings, misguided sayings, and out-of-context Bible quotes. The best weapon against bad theology is good theology, but it, like any other weapon, has to be wielded by someone. If we really believe in the real God and his real son, then we have to be willing to speak the truth about them and do it just as confidently and commonly as those who uplift their fake counterparts. If we don’t, we will find ourselves in a world full of people who claim to know the Lord but are unrecognizable in his eyes, and we know what the consequences of that are.
Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ – Matthew 7:22-23