The Bible is full of wisdom, but it is often misquoted and misunderstood. The same goes for Jesus’ words. While the teachings of Jesus only lasted around three years prior to His death, in that short amount of time, a tremendous world of truth, myth, legend and superstition was built around Him. Even though Christians share a particular set of beliefs that they hold as essential to their faith, there are a wide range of interpretations and opinions when studying the Bible. Today, readers and carriers of the message often hear particular verses and passages in ways they were not intended to be heard.

While the Bible is often quoted, it is just as often misquoted. There are also a number of things that Christians will say or do that they think are biblical but are totally not rooted in Scripture. They may do these things based on false teachings, a limited understanding of God’s Word or simply because they believe that action holds little weight in God’s eyes. It’s important to know facts about the Bible and that we take God seriously, mainly if you are living by the Word and professing it to others. Here are six things Christians like to do that aren’t biblical.

Say things that aren’t in the Bible.

In Psalm 119:16, David promises God, “I shall delight in Your statutes; I shall not forget Your word.” In Deuteronomy 11:18-19, God encourages the Israelites, “You shall therefore impress these words of mine on your heart and soul, and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. You shall teach them to your sons, talking of them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road and when you lie down and when you rise.”

As believers, we know we are to study the Bible, memorize it and obey it. But the Bible doesn’t always say what we think it says, and there are a number of phrases that sound like they come from the Bible, but they don’t. God left us the Bible as a written testimony of His Word. His truth is found in the Bible. Some sayings are simple rewordings of biblical truth, but others are dangerous heresy. Despite how clever or even edifying a quote may be, if it isn’t in the Bible, we have no guarantee that it is the Word of God.

Read horoscopes to determine future events.

The fascination with astrology and horoscopes undoubtedly reflects people’s desire for wisdom beyond their own and direction for the future. Astrology is the ancient belief that a person’s destiny can be found in the pattern of the stars and planets at the time of one’s birth. The “horoscope” is the chart that attempts to describe that destiny. The Bible mentions the astrologers of the royal court at Babylon and their inability to tell or interpret royal dreams (Daniel 2:10-11 and 4:7).

Isaiah the prophet spoke of astrologers with scorn: “Let your astrologers come forward, those stargazers who make predictions month by month, let them save you from what is coming upon you” (Isaiah 47:13). Astrology is offensive to God because it attributes to planets and stars the power that belongs to God alone and because it tries to find the Will of God by other means that God has appointed.

Tithing based on a sense of obligation.

Not very many people are comfortable talking about the ways they give monetarily to the church. Most would rather not talk about it at all. So many Christians look at tithing as a final issue when it’s really a matter of the heart. In the Old Testament, God instructed His people to tithe – give ten percent of their income to meet the needs of the religious, economic and political system of ancient Israel. In the New Testament, Jesus set a higher standard, though it was a less precise standard. The Bible says giving is to be done cheerfully, rather than as an obligation (2 Corinthians 9:6-7), and not for public recognition (Matthew 6:1-4). Too often, we treat our financial situation and other resources as though God needs them. Rather than give out of a place of gratitude and joy, we see ourselves as thrifty overseers, doling out scarce resources. We forget that every good thing comes down from our Father in heaven (James 1:17).

Blame karma.

Karma is a theological concept found in Buddhist and Hindu religions. It is the idea that how you live your life will determine the quality of life you will have after reincarnation. If you are unselfish, kind, and holy during your lifetime, you will be rewarded by being reincarnated into a pleasant life. However, if you live a life of selfishness and evil, you will be reincarnated into a less-than-pleasant lifestyle. In other words, you reap what you sew. Some Christians buy into the notion of karma, but this concept isn’t biblically based. Karma is based on the theological belief in reincarnation. The Bible rejects the idea of reincarnation; therefore, it does not support the idea of karma. The concept of reincarnation and karma is incompatible with what the Bible teaches about life, death and the sowing and reaping of eternal life.

Believing in superstition.

Superstition is based on the faith of an object having magical powers. Another word for superstition is “idolatry.” The Bible does not support the idea of things occurring by chance, but nothing is done outside of God’s sovereign control. Either He causes or allows everything in keeping with His divine plan (Acts 4:28; Ephesians 1:10). There are many types of superstitions in the world, ranging from benign – such as not walking under a ladder – to magic, divination, voodoo and sorcery. Idolatry is forbidden. These types of practices are dangerous because they open the minds of the practitioners to the influence of the devil. First Peter 5:8 warns us to “be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy, the devil, prowls around like around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”

Drinking to get drunk.

Getting drunk is prohibited in the Bible. While it is a sin, for centuries, there has been significant debate around the topic of drinking in moderation and even more in recent years. With the shift toward postmodernism, practices that were once discouraged by the Christian community have been embraced and even promoted. Whether it be alcohol, drugs or some other addictive behavior, Jesus said, “You cannot serve two masters” (Matthew 6:24). When we get drunk, we are serving a master other than the Lord. Choosing to follow Jesus means choosing against our old sinful patterns and lifestyle. First Corinthians 6:10 lists drunkards among those who “will not inherit the kingdom of God.”

The Bible is the single most important book ever written. It is an eyewitness account of historical events of such magnitude that they have literally shaped the world in which we live. Without the Bible, the Western world and a good deal of the Eastern would be completely different today than if the events of the book had never occurred. The Bible is remarkable. It is unique. No other book has any such credentials. No other book even comes close. Our words and actions must align with our faith.

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