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.  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.  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!  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. Money is the root of all evil. [Misquotation of 1 Timothy 6:10]

4. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.

3. 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) 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!