10 Statements Christians Need To Stop Saying: Part 1

Every tribe or culture has statements or phrases that sound ridiculous to everyone not associated with that particular culture. Christians are no different. We seem to utter phrases that are totally ridiculous, incredibly unthoughtful, and plain selfish way too often. Sure, we mean well when we say what we say, but is meaning well a noble goal?  I have grown up speaking “Christianese” fluently, but I am just tired of hearing a lot of the language…especially the dialect I have grown up around. I am going to give you 10 phrases over the course of two posts that Christians really need to stop saying. I am even going to rank them from 10 to 1, according to frequency and level of ridiculousness. You’re welcome.

10.) Are you a member of the church?

This irks me every time I hear it largely because of the stigma surrounding it. This is a loaded question, but here is the gist of what people mean when they ask you, “Are you a member of the church?”: Have you been baptized for the remission of your sins, do you believe in all the traditions and beliefs of the Church of Christ, and do you faithfully attend a church that has a name followed by Church of Christ?

Basically, this is a method people who believe only those in the Church of Christ are going to heaven use to identify their own. I am a member of the church, but so are my brothers and sisters that have other names on the outside of their door. This phrase only feeds the exclusivism and “I am right” mentality. It needs to stop.

9.) If there is anything I can do for you, let me know.

Christians are guilty of this all the time. My experience is people mean well when they ask this question, but the problem with asking this question is people who are in need and are hurting are not going to call you and tell you what they need. Think about it…how many times have you said, “If there is anything I can do for you, let me know” and the person says, “You know what, there is something you can do for me.” It might happen, but this is the exception and not the rule. So, uttering this phrase becomes a complete waste of 10 seconds. Here are some suggestions instead:

Just do something for them. If they need their house cleaned or they need food or whatever they need, just do it.

Stop and pray for them. Praying with people is powerful. Try it.

8.) Have you been baptized?

I think baptism is important for any follower of Jesus, but many in Churches of Christ have placed so much emphasis on baptism that is has become THE identifying mark of salvation. In others words, baptized = saved…not baptized = bound for hell.

Now, I am not going to argue the essentiality of baptism for salvation, but I do want to say that baptism has become so important to many in COCs that I am scared it has become our god.

The ultimate goal is to baptize somebody if they have not done so. Many people lose sleep at night simply because a person has not been baptized. What about faithfully following Jesus? What about understanding the nature and character of God? What about his plan for redemption that began in the garden? What about all the stuff Jesus said about making disciples?

I am more concerned with teaching somebody how to follow Jesus and modeling their lives after Him.

If we teach Jesus and his love and his commandments, baptism will come.

There are many people who are baptized that have no idea how to follow Jesus because baptism has become the be-all-end-all. This is tragic. We need to get this question out of our heads and focus on teaching people how to follow Jesus.

7.) Bless your heart

Never mind, this one does not need to stop.

Let’s try number 7 again.

7.) I must be living right

If I had a dollar for every time I heard this on the golf course, I would have a lot of dollars. Christians use this phrase all of the time, but have you ever thought about what you really mean by saying this? The reality is you are not living right…that’s why you need Jesus. What you are saying is that because you are so awesome, God has chosen you to get the best parking spot at Wal-Mart. You think your awesomeness has prevented your ball from going in the woods when everybody knows there are monkeys that actually throw those balls out of the woods. What you are also saying is other people really suck at life. I have played with guys that hit almost every ball in the woods, and every time I go to Wal-Mart I see cars parked in the back of the parking lot. They must be living terribly.

If you were really living right, you would pass by the parking spot at Wal-Mart so another person could park there.

6.) God never places on us more than we can handle

Do you live in a bubble or something? Life has taught me something different. God does place on us more than we can handle. That’s the reason we need God. This statement is a gross misunderstanding of I Corinthians 10:13 where Paul says God will not allow us to be TEMPTED beyond what we can bear. It is not true, however, that God will not place on us more than we can handle. If you believe this statement is true, you probably live in a land with the Tooth Fairy and Father Time. Without having on us more than we can handle, why would there be a need for God? C’mon man.


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