I have written about Spoon Fed Pop Culture Theology in the past. It is a term I use to describe things we naturally accept as Biblical before looking at the facts in The Bible. This week, I’m going to do some mythbusting! This list is only partial, it is definitely not exhaustive.
1. Adam and Eve ate an apple from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.
A quick read through Genesis 3 will tell you that what Adam and Eve ate was a piece of fruit. Nowhere does it specially say it was an apple.
2. Adam and Eve had 3 sons: Cain, Abel and Seth.
Genesis 1-4 tells us Adam had many sons and daughters.
3. Lucifer is Satan.
In the KJV, the name “Lucifer” is stated in Isaiah 14:12 and that is the only reference to it in The Bible. If we were to read it in full context of the chapter, and replace the name “Lucifer” to “Satan” we will quickly realize that it doesn’t make sense. Lucifer was far more likely to be an evil ruler.
4. Animals went 2 by 2 into Noah’s Ark.
We know from Genesis 7:2-3, there were 2 of every unclean animal, and there were 7 of every clean animal.
5. God changed Saul’s name to Paul on the Road to Damascus.
Saul was a Jewish Roman. His Jewish name was Saul and his Roman name was Paul. When he is working amongst the Jews as a Pharisee or a Christian he is referred to as Saul. When he takes the Gospel to the Romans/Gentiles, he is referred to as Paul. (Paul is still referred to as Saul after the Road to Damascus in the book of Acts.)
6. Mary Magdalene was a prostitute.
Nowhere is Mary Magdalene referred to as a prostitute in The Bible. Luke 8:1-3 only tells us that Mary Magdalene was possessed by evil spirits and then we don’t see her again until Jesus’ resurrection.
7. The Rapture is a concept that is taught in The Bible.
First, let’s define the word, “Rapture”. The Rapture is separate from the Second Coming of God (the Rapture is to occur at some point around or during the tribulation, whereas the Second Coming is later). It is also a ‘secret taking’, where those who are ‘left behind’ see a pile of clothes and will wonder where these people have vanished. There are many popular verses people use to defend the Rapture; one of the most popular is I Thessalonians 4:17, “After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air…” However, if a person were to go back one verse, we would read, “For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with a trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.” That doesn’t sound anything secret to me. It actually sounds like a very loud proclamation that all will hear, so therefore, it’s safe to say, this is a description of the Second Coming. There are other passages like this, where Scripture is taken out of context, but if a person goes back a few verses, she/he will read of a loud announcement; so therefore, it cannot be the Rapture, but rather the Second Coming. Often, people like to use verses like I Thessalonians 5:10 to talk about the thief in the night. However, a careful reading of this will tell us that Christ will come UNEXPECTIDELY like a thief in the night, not that Christ will sneak in and quietly steal and no one will know who did it, like a thief in the night. If one were to read Matthew 24-25 in its entirety and make note of who’s taken and who’s left behind, he/she would quickly find out that the unrighteous are taken away to the place where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth. The righteous are those who are left behind. Christians have been taking Scripture out of context for years to fit the concept of a Rapture that was actually formulated by John Nelson Darby in the early 1840s in Ireland. Most importantly, since the Rapture and the Second Coming of Christ are different events, then, wouldn’t the Rapture be the Second Coming of Christ and the Second Coming actually the Third Coming of Christ? Or perhaps the Rapture is the 1.5 Coming of Christ? When The Bible is taken in context, nowhere is there any support or teaching of a Rapture or a ‘secret taking’ of God’s people.
8. Christian cliché: “God helps those who help themselves.”
Nowhere is this found in The Bible. This is actually from Greek Mythology. So I guess it’s actually Zeus helps those who help themselves. Good thing we don’t believe in Zeus!
9. Christian cliché: “The Bible says it so I believe it!”
I Timothy 2:15 says, “But women will be saved through childbearing…” The Bible says it, but do I believe it? Leviticus 11:7-8 says, “And the pig, though it has a split hoof completely divided, does not chew the cud; it is unclean for you. You must not eat their meat or touch their carcasses; they are unclean for you.” The Bible says it, but do I believe it? This cliché is usually only used to shut down an argument because someone wants to have the last word and be right. It is a far cry from the truth.
10. The nuclear family is Biblical.
Families come in all shapes and sizes and with all kinds of dysfunctions in The Bible. Truthfully, we do start out with a nuclear family in the Garden of Eden, but in all fairness, it’s not like Adam and Eve had extended families. In the Old Testament we read about polygamy that is never condemned by God. We read about Hagar and how she slept with Abraham. This is condemned because Abraham and Sarah lacked trust in God, not because an un-nuclear family is unholy. The 12 tribes of Israel actually came from 5 different women and yet play an extremely vital part in The Bible. We have Ruth and Naomi who were mother-in-law and daughter-in-law, who stuck together which made an untraditional family. Esther was raised by her cousin, Mordecai. When we get to the New Testament, insulas are the traditional way of living, where many generations and families lived as one. Jesus refers to this type of family arrangement in John 14:1-4. The Bible talks about many different types of families, however, only one type of family is Biblical… “Yet to all who received Him (Jesus), to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God—children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born or God.” In Matthew 12:46-48, where Jesus is teaching a crowd and they tell Him that His mother and His brothers were there, Jesus points to His disciples and says, “For whoever does the will of my Father in Heaven is my brother and sister and mother.” In I John 3:1 we read, “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called the children of God! And that is what we are!” We also see in the New Testament, where it is taught that we are to care for `widows and orphans. The only Biblical Family is the Family of God.
What are some other examples of Spoon Fed Pop Culture Theologies that you can add to this list? What kind of myths can you bust?