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!
classic! this so made me smile! thanks for sharing! blessings, fireball
Some of these make me laugh, some I confess make my blood boil.
Like, is number 9 true? I can’t even imagine being told that growing up. And I’m glad I can’t.
They know Jesus was from the middle east in a time before sunscreen yeah? Guess all us ‘white folks’ are screwed as we can’t be his bride unless we’re of the same colour as he…
PS I think number 7 comes from Hamlet. You know Shakespeare, Jesus…clearly the same person…? Lol.
Hey! Rory told me about your blog, and I thought I’d check it out. Turns out it’s awesome!
Good job Mrs. Collie. Hope all is well with you and the boys (as in your husband and son…that nearly sounded terrible!).
Interesting what people are willing to just believe isn’t it?
Why are people not willing to question what they are being told these days. If someone tells me something is in the Bible, the first thing I do is check!
I’m liking number 4, defiantly sounds Biblical to me ;D
laura lever and I have been joking about a lot of these phrases that pass through our culture. Another thing that is similar that God has been taking me through is how much we use phrases in our prayer life that really mask what we mean and many times leaves our prayer life to be a book of quotes that you could get at any bookstore. We often pray things like “hedge of protection” or to “cover” someone. We can use these simple phrases instead of bringing meaning to our prayers. God has been teaching me to make my prayer simple and direct. Instead of God have your will, it is God, I don’t know what to do in this situation, I know what I want and I know what I see, but you see the end result of what I want and you ultimately know what is best. So as much as I want to control this situation and do what I want, I am going to trust that you will reveal to me what the best way is, because I want you to be in control.
It has been a great transformation for me
Amen, Sarah, thanks for sharing that! Those are really encouraging and challenging thoughts. I hope your move has gone well and that you’re doing great!