Being from the American South, I’m intimately acquainted with cultural Christianity — the kind of Christianity that makes people feel sure they are Christians because they’ve been going to church all their lives and they don’t drink much. Â One particularly interesting thing about the development of this type of ‘cultural Christianity’ is the development, along with it, of a number of ‘sayings’ and even ‘cherished proverbs’ that are most certainly God-breathed Scripture…ahem, not. Â Upon responding to one of these statements with a “whereabouts in the Bible is that?” you might get a “I don’t know, but it’s in there” or a “Well my grandma said it was in there” or even a “somewhere in the middle part.” Be ye warned, friend — and put not your faith in the colloquialisms of the people! Â They’ll nae hold their ground when times are tough!
Do note, there has also been a special development of a world-wide phenomena called Christianese. It probably finds its roots in the American South. This important and related topic deserves its own post on another day. In the meantime, I think we should take a moment to enjoy a few of these ‘cherised proverbs’ together.
Top Ten “Bible Quotes” Not Actually in the Bible:
10. Cleanliness is next to godliness!
9. Seriously. Black people and white people aren’t supposed to get married. [I don’t know if you’ve heard this one, but I heard it all the time growing up.]
8. This too shall pass.
7. To thine own self be true.
6. The Lord works in mysterious ways.
5.Â Money is the root of all evil. [Misquotation of 1 Timothy 6:10]
4. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.
3.Â God’ll never give you more than you can handle!
2. Spare the rod, spoil the child. [This is a misquotation of Proverbs 13:24]
1. (A Personal Favourite)Â The Lord helps them who helps themselves.
The Sermon in a Nutshell: If you want to stand on the promises of God, make sure you know what they are!