Yes, you’ve heard them all.
From being condescending straight-edge contradictions to judgmental church-going puritans, Kingdom history has endured heavy scars from the long-fought battles between the perceived religious customs of Christianity and the common people. This has lead to a chain of popular, and seemingly poisonous perceptions of modern-day believers that remains the material used to both elevate and sustain the towering wall that divides us all as a spiritual body today.
So, here are 7 myths about believers that should provide a preemptive look into just how similar and misunderstood we all may be.
7. Believers are Conservative
Popular opinion suggests that all devoted people of God are buttoned up bible scholars, constantly quoting scripture while either converting or condemning non-believers. While this notion has inspired an impressive history of award-winning stage-plays and semi- interesting documentaries, this is not the case. People of the Kingdom value a more intimate and personal relationship with God. One that encourages self-evaluation instead of world judgment. By focusing on the universal principles of the spirit — Love, Compassion, Generosity, Purpose, and Character — critiquing communities based upon culture, customs, and lifestyle as do conservatives makes up a class structure, not belief system.
6. Cover-to-Cover Bible Readers
Contrary to the very popular belief, many people in the Kingdom have not completely read the Bible. Or, if they have successful touched both ends of the book, it has not exceeded an amount capable of cementing the countless scriptures into their consciousness. For a mass population of faithful men and women, the Bible is a living document that draws our attention to specific passages based upon downloads from the spirit, prophetic messages, or suggested references. Completing the reading is not the definitive sign of following Christ, nor does failure to read it front to back lessen the spiritual significance of a person.
5. Must and Always Attend Church Every Sunday
Oh, Sundays. The one glorious time on each weekend that people join together as a congregation to sing, dance, worship, and hear the word of God. As this collective religious experience has immeasurable value, it is not a spiritual requirement for salvation. Routine is not spirituality, it’s called a habit. The most important thing is engaging the spirit and dedicating time to exclusively experiencing all that God has for us. This does not mean it only occurs every Sunday in the church. God requires that we fix our hearts and spirits to be a sanctuary for him to dwell at all times–wherever we are. And with the rise of Live Streams, DVD Teachings, and Radio Networks, the Sunday experience is available 7 days a week. Showing up Sunday does not make you more or less of a believer. It’s about what’s in your heart.
4. Only Listen to Gospel Music
One of the biggest and most culturally painful perceptions. Gospel music as a genre is made up of so much incredible talent and tradition. Pretty much every prominent and aspiring artist or musician developed their craft in the church. However, times have changed. Traditional hand-clapping, foot-stomping church music is not what inspires younger generations to move, not does it peak their interests. While there will always be a time and a place, many believer find a balance between Gospel and contemporary music that speaks to the spirit (Soul, R&B, Conscious Hip Hop). Today’s breed of believers understand that a song that may not mention the name of Jesus can be just as spirit-filled and empowering than Kirk Franklin — and without need for judgment.
3. Believers Don’t Drink
Jesus drank wine. Yes, really. And the infamous biblical commandment that launched the legacy of scolding actually makes a critical reference — that we be sober in mind and spirit, avoiding becoming a drunkard. This is predominantly interpreted that a Christian or believer who drinks has sinned and must immediately repent. However, having a drink is not the issue– it’s having too much to drink — then exiting soberness into uncontrollable thoughts and actions in result that weaken the spirit. The mature believer may have a glass of wine, share champagne, or enjoy a casual drink with Loved ones. While some conservatives may stand closely to the literal meaning, a great majority of Kingdom people partake in very mature moderation.
2. Rappers & Entertainers Aren’t True Believers
A very sad perception, but a real one nonetheless. The cliche Hollywood tagline “Sex, Drugs, and Rock & Roll” may be the death blow that knocked the proverbial wind out of the public’s perspective of spirituality in Media & Entertainment. With the flamboyant lifestyles, unfavorable word choices, and non-public attachment to the religious body — the average person persecutes superstars into a realm of condemnation. However, the world of entertainment is filled with a tremendous Kingdom presense, as so many of Hollywood’s stars and beyond believe strongly in Faith, Prayer, and Honoring the guidance of God in their lives. In fact, if it were not for their relentless belief in God, most of them would not have achieved the levels of wealth, success, and excellence they have. Their testimonies are laced with God’s grace and the art they create always reflects a spiritual relevance if looked at through an unrestricted lens.
1. Can’t have tattoos or piercings
“There is nothing outside the man which can defile him if it goes into him; but the things which proceed out of the man are what defile the man.” – Mark 7:15
Here is a good one. One of the all-time greatest judgments passed on people of all walks, cultures, and lifestyles. Tattoos are pieces of artwork placed on the canvas of our bodies to express messaging personalized by the time and stage in our lives we encountered when getting the tattoo made. When applying this passage from Mark, a tattoo is not was makes a person unclean. Only the heart can do that. External imagery may reflect the internal experiences, but does not define offer a proper spiritual evaluation of them or their character. You can often learn deeper teachings by inquiring why a specific symbol or piercing was selected. In tribes and nations across the world, both Tattoos and Piercings represent the most esteemed form of belief.