Summary: There are many misconceptions about the church that need to be corrected in people’s minds.
Clearing the Air, Common Misconception About…the Church
There are many common misconceptions if the world. For example, French fries probably originated in Belgium and not in France. The name comes from the cooking term "to french" which means to cut food into strips, hence they are "frenched and fried". Also it is often assumed that shaving causes hair to grow back thicker or coarser. However, this is not true. This belief is due to the fact that hair wears down over time, whereas, immediately after it has grown back, it has had no time to wear. Thus, it appears thicker, and feels coarser due to the sharper, unworn edges. Also, warts on human skin are caused by viruses that are unique to humans. Humans cannot catch warts from toads or other animals. The phrase "separation of church and state" does not occur in the U.S. Constitution. It was first used in a letter Thomas Jefferson wrote to the Danbury Baptist Association of Connecticut, reassuring them that religious minorities would be protected under the Bill of Rights. Not only do we have many misconceptions about things in our world, there are many common Biblical misconceptions and many people in the church accept those misconceptions simply because they accept nearly all that they hear without any evidence. The Bible does not tell us the number of wise men who visited Jesus, it does tell us that they carried three gifts, but we assume and assume only that there were three wise men. There were not two of every animal aboard Noah’s Ark. Genesis actually tells us that all clean beasts would be in sevens and unclean beasts in twos. There are many times because of people’s misconceptions that they attribute something to the Bible. For example, the Bible never says, “God helps those who help themselves.” The list could go on and on. Perhaps all of these are but silly and trivial examples that do not really matter too much in the scheme of things. I doubt a person is ruined because they assumed there were three wise men and I doubt a person’s life was ever messed up because they attributed their wart to a touching a toad.
The point is this if we have bought into these common misconceptions so easily on things that really may not matter too much is it possible that we have believed and bought into some common misconceptions about other more important things. Perhaps we have bought into things which would affect our life or even our salvation. Over the next few weeks I want to “clear the air” and address some common misconceptions that are around the church that we might be tempted to believe. I believe it is important to spend time addressing these things because I believe that what we believe does matter. What we believe about various things impacts the choices we make. What we believe about various things will help establish our character. The bottom line is that bad doctrine leads to bad character. For example, for years the Roman Catholic Church taught that their priests could not marry. Incidentally, Paul even warned about those that would come forbidding people to marry. They taught that and then wondered why the Roman Catholic priests acted out sexually as it has been learned lately that droves of their priests have. Bad doctrine leads to bad character, therefore one step we can take is preventive and we can correct bad doctrine and common misconceptions which could affect our character decisions and even our eternal salvation.
Misconceptions easily spread and people begin to accept those misconceptions without ever investigating the facts. Misconceptions are dangerous.
The Bible says that the Devil is a liar and has been since the beginning. He has sought to sow seeds of confusion since the beginning of time, and he knows that if he can create doubt in people’s minds and cause them to believe common misconceptions then he can lead them further down a wrong path. Many misconceptions are the starting point of a never ending downward spiral away from the truth of the Word of God. Those misconceptions dilute God’s Word and cause us to rely less upon Him and more upon man.
Text: Matthew 16:13-19
I. About the Structure of the Church
Perhaps as much as any other aspect of the church there are countless misconceptions regarding the structure of the church floating around. Many of the misconceptions regarding the set-up and structure of the church are so well accepted and so wide spread that a majority of people and churches accept them. However, I believe that God set up a pattern for us to follow in the New Testament, and I believe that the one who established the church knows best how the church should be structured. Many people have come and sought to add their own flavor to the church, but those must be thrown off as manmade ideas and not God’s ideal.