Have you ever heard teaching that arrested your attention and caused you to do a double-take? Strange Teaching is where we do a bit of housekeeping. It is where you and I search the scriptures to allow the Holy Spirit to guide us into all truth so He can clean up our theology.
If you have heard Strange Teaching that you would like our community to address, you are welcome to send us a message and we will add it to our growing strange collection.
Note, we are not necessarily calling anyone out as being a false teacher or false prophet. As with all content available to you here on Lite Burden, we seek to see disciples edified by the Word of life from all around the world who trade their heavy burdens for Jesus' light burden. And we take discipleship and the edification of the Word of life very seriously!
Implied for an unbeliever who is coming to Christ, but never mentioned in the Bible, come as you are is a misleading statement at best. It has been preached in many pulpits and sang in many songs. Often times it is preached, "God says come as you are." Jesus does call us to "come," but He sees us for who we will become in Him and spends no time on who we are or were. He took care of that detail on the cross. Some of the best examples of how Jesus sees us are observed in His interactions with Peter, Paul, Mary Magdalene, Matthew, Nathanael, the woman at the well, and Zacchaeus. Christ does not hold our past over our shoulders as a burden. He sets us free from it! And after we are free, He molds and shapes us so we will "come" as the new creation that we are, which He continues to transform us into, little-by-little, day-by-day so we look more and more like Him. (Matthew 11:28) (John 6:37) (2 Corinthians 5:17) (Judges 6:12) (Matthew 22:11-13)
This one is just patently false. Nothing can separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:38-39). Once you are "in Christ," you can never become "out of Christ." More crucially, Christ will never come out of you (2 Corinthians 5:17). The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob will never leave you, nor will He ever forsake you (Deuteronomy 31:6). Furthermore, once you are born again, you can never be unborn...again. A person who has accepted Jesus as their Savior is instantly filled with His Spirit and his or her name is written in the Lamb's book of Life. God is the author of Life and He does not have an editor. (Revelation 3:5) (John 10:28-30)
The concept of God giving and taking away was famously etched into the book of Job 1:21. Unfortunately it has been used to paint a picture that God causes His people to suffer, and lose the good and perfect gifts that come from above (James 1:17). Thankfully for you and I, this is a false teaching. God does give good and perfect gifts to believers by His grace, but He does not take them away—they are irrevocable (Romans 11:29). That is why this is the only verse in scripture that mentions God executing such a punishment. But the only problem with the teaching is Job's story. In Job's catastrophic narrative, satan is responsible for the taking away, not God (Job 1:11). And satan has no claim on Christ who is in us. It appears that Job was making a statement based on his perspective—he was not creating theological doctrine where the Lord undermines Himself.
There is this idea that God turns up the heat of His discipleship and starts to punish us when we aren't making enough headway in the sin department. It is often said that God brings or allows illness, death and tragedy our way when He's had trouble reaching us more conventionally. Not too long ago, a celebrity was in the news who died from a drug overdose. I kid you not, the host of a christian radio station said God took this individual home in grace because He couldn't bear to watch them ruin their life. James 1:13 tells us otherwise. It's the Bible's entrapment clause. God the Father does not inflict His children with what He sent His Son Jesus to die for; that would make Him a hypocrite and it would make His claim to being a loving Father highly questionable (1 John 3:1). It was mankind that brought sin into the world through disobedience in God and obedience in an outlawed spirit. The claim that disease, illness and tragedy comes from God also conflicts with Jesus' parable in Matthew 12:25-28 when He was ministering to the Pharisees about divided kingdoms. God doesn't need to use evil in order to accomplish good. We must always remember that our enemy, the devil, has come to steal, kill and destroy, but it is Jesus who has come that we might have life, and have it to the full! (John 10:10)
God teaches His people to not be "unequally yoked" (2 Corinthians 6:14). In order for Him to be Holy, perfect and without sin, He must also adhere to His own Word without error. Deuteronomy 32:4 says, He is the Rock, His works are perfect, and all His ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is He. God does not have a partnership with the devil. The lives of those who are in Christ are under His Lordship, and satan has no authority over us. He is not at work in our lives, Christ is. Christ is our Advocate, our Good Shepherd, and He is the One who will one day crush satan's head and cast him into the lake of fire. Our debt to sin has been paid for, which is what gave satan jurisdiction over us before we were saved, and his rein was ended over our lives when the law of sin and death was broken by the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:2). Romans 6:22 says, But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life. Jesus has rendered satan powerless in our lives. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross. (Colossians 2:15)
A vast crowd brought to Him people who were lame, blind, crippled, those who couldn’t speak, and many others. They laid them before Jesus, and He healed them all (Matthew 15:30).
"So why hasn't Jesus heal me yet? Maybe He doesn't want to heal me..."
This is another strange and incredibly false teaching. I won't pretend to know the particulars of your condition or God's plan or timing for your healing and wellbeing. But let me assure you, Jesus wants to heal you! Healing is one of the main signs in the book of John that Jesus did in order for the world to know that He is the Son of God. And in the book of Acts, Peter said, You know what has happened throughout the province of Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached—how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how He went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with Him. God is the same yesterday and forever (Hebrews 13:8). And He doesn't show favoritism (Romans 2:1 NLT). That means He doesn't reserve healing for some, and withhold it for others. That would also make Him a hypocrite, and it would disqualify Him for being our savior. Proverbs 3:27 says, Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due,
when it is in your power to act. Despite what you may have heard, Jesus wants to heal you too!
This is a strange teaching because it is inconsistent with what we read throughout the Bible. Before the law of Moses and thousands of years after the law was fulfilled through Christ, the people of God were giving a tenth of their increase, all the way up to everything they had to God (Acts 2:44-45). From Genesis 4 when Cain and his brother Abel, who were the first sons of the human race, brought their offerings to God, all the way through 2 Corinthians, the Bible is unwaveringly in favor of giving. However, we observe that a difference in such giving occurred in the New Covenant. Offerings are no longer given directly to God or through priests for the purposes of receiving His blessing (Genesis 14:18-20). In the New Covenant, giving is no longer an obligation, it is the very lifestyle of a believer in Christ. Jesus is a giver, and we are His blessed disciples. "...God loves a cheerful giver." (2 Corinthians 9:6-7)
The relative size of our gifts compared to our other secular purchases, and the prioritization of our gifts over our assets shows the condition of our hearts. There is a statement that says, "God doesn't need our money." This is a false justification for greediness and selfishness. It's not that this is totally incorrect, God doesn't need our money, He owns all of creation! However, the real statement that is being made beneath it is, "something else is more worthy of my investment." Most-likely the person making this claim is saying that "something" is themself.
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6:21)
“...Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.” (Mark 12:41-44 ESV)
The actual size and percentage of our gifts has been rendered irrelevant after God the Father gave the greatest offering ever given, His Son Jesus for our salvation. Now the best we can aspire to do is to just say, “Thank You” (2 Corinthians 9:11).
Our thoughts about how God should run His kingdom are grossly irrelevant and insufficient.
"For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways My ways,”
declares the Lord.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are My ways higher than your ways
and My thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8-9)
Although God is all knowing (1 John 3:20), even of our unspoken thoughts (Luke 5:22), and it seems to us that He should be able to read our minds and the circumstances we face to meet our needs, He does call us to ask Him for what we need.
Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. (Matthew 7:7-8)
When we don't ask, we don't receive.
You do not have because you do not ask God. (James 4:2)
God does not only encourage us to pray simply so we can ask Him for things. Prayer is a practice of devotion, communion and fellowship. We pray because we love God, desire intimacy with Him, and we value and prioritize time with Him, our greatest Friend!
We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with Us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son, Jesus Christ. (1 John 1:3)
As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. (John 15:4-6)
I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from My Father I have made known to you. You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit —fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in My name the Father will give you. (John 15:15-16)
Jesus prayed to His Father during His time here on earth in devotion, communion and fellowship. We are His disciples, therefore we pray and take advantage of the privilege we have been given of oneness and being accepted in the Beloved (John 17) (Ephesians 1:6).
This is yet another strange teaching because it is often used to prohibit women from serving in the pastoral roles of a church. But is it a teaching that is supported by God? Let's see what He has to say about it in His Word.
The verse often used is 2 Timothy 2:11-14 (HCSB) which says, "A woman should learn in silence with full submission. I do not allow a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; instead, she is to be silent. For Adam was created first, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and transgressed."
This is a matter of spiritual authority, and we saw it come into play after the fall in the Garden of Eden. God made Adam responsible for adhering to His specific instructions about not eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:15-17). Then He made Eve out of Adam's rib, and called her to be his ezer kenegdo (equivalent companion, helper and complement) (Genesis 2:20; 22). But Eve failed to resist the deception of the devil, and she ate of the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. That alone did not release sin into the world, which has caused immeasurable pain and suffering for mankind until this day. It was the fact that Adam was made responsible by God, and he was standing right next to his wife as she ate of the fruit and then gave some to him to eat as well (Genesis 3:6). This is why Adam is solely identified as being responsible for opening humanity up to the curse of sin and death (Genesis 3:17) (Romans 5:12). What was the consequence of this failure? Exactly what the devil-possessed, cunning serpent intended. Adam was divided in his allegiance to the Lord, and he blamed God and his wife for his dereliction of duty. Eve blamed the serpent for deceiving her, and all three of them were cursed for their involvement. The curse was also on all livestock, all animals, the ground (earth), and all creation (Genesis 3:14-19) (Romans 8:22).
The reason Paul gave for why he would "not allow a woman to teach" was the particulars of Eve's curse: "Your desire shall be contrary to your husband, but he shall rule over you (Genesis 3:16) (1 Timothy 2:13-14). This is not a matter of equality as the world understands it. Paul appears to be concerned with not compromising on God's post-fall Genesis 3 revelation of spiritual authority.
Was this just Paul's preference and precaution, since the Bible does not expressly say, "God would not allow a woman to teach," but it says Paul would not permit the practice? I don't know. What I do know is women should not be condoned to exercise spiritual authority over men (1 Timothy 2:11-12). That appears to be the point.