"Religion as good as it is is also the hothouse for seeds of confusion. I would say that most confusion in the adult believer is brought on by their religious upbringing. Please don't start off feeling like I am bashing your church or the fact that many wonderful people taught you and raised you in a faith. Most of that time in life was uplifting and the rewards are a better life and a sense of devotion to religious ideals.
What I am saying is that in your denomination, along with the order and the programs and the fellowship there are usually the core beliefs of the denomination which make up the dogma/polity of the church. This dogma or polity is shared with those that are like minded and those chosen to represent the denomination in each congregation are trained in that dogma/polity. That being said, you and I both know that most of the time these leaders are tireless in faithfully administering their duties to the congregation. In most cases the pastor subjects his/her entire family to more scrutiny than most people could handle. They faithfully observe their religious tenets of faith and faithfully serve the congregation.
Now that I have laid the foundation of the importance and the validity of these denominations and your congregation, I want to move on to the point of the issue. Most denominational preaching is designed to steer the believer into first accepting the doctrine of their faith, becoming and remaining a member of the church, abiding by its precepts and expecting you to offer yourself as a volunteer for any or all activities. This might not be you, but most people learn the basic tenets of faith of their denomination, learn important stories of the Bible, learn the importance of fellowship and learn the importance of devotion and personal commitment. Again all of this is good, very good.
Here is the distinction I want to make. There are some things that are taught that are not biblical or extra-biblical. They are taught for the reasons outlined above. I am going to mention a few of the things that are taught that are not true. You might feel that these things should never be said and you might feel insulted or disturbed that someone is questioning a belief that you have held for years or decades. Try to remember "to question the teachings of the church is not heresy."
Simply not true:
Your pastor or priest is the mediator between you and God.
Mary prays to God on your behalf.
The saints are those men and women chosen by the Catholic church after much deliberation.
Praying to the saints has some efficacy.
Not getting baptized is cause to not be saved.
You are saved at baptism.
You must receive a second blessing, speak in tongues or have some other visible
All paths lead to God.
There are sister religions to Christianity.
There is only one holy Catholic Church.
You can be saved by joining a church.
You can be saved and then lose that salvation.
You can be kept in a right relationship with God through taking the Eucharist.
You can never be fit for service to God if you have been divorced.
If you don't speak in tongues or have some other external sign to show others you might not be saved.
If you tithe or give to the church you will never have any financial problems.
God is mad at you.
You can never be forgiven for what you have done.
If you give money to a TV evangelist what he/she says will come to pass; that is ledgerdomain not prophesy.
Your denomination is correct in all its teachings.
Wedding cake toppers from the 50's...
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