Religious Urban Legends

by: Wayne Schatzle


          Like many people, I am amazed that the things I used to believe growing up are now being unmasked as “urban legends”. There are several websites devoted to study and exposing myths that have been widely believed to be true. Normally it is senseless things like: eggs can be stood on end during an equinox; swallowed gum takes seven years to pass the system; don’t swim for one hour after eating; or shaved hair comes back thicker. There is also a listing for religious urban legends. Two recent additions are so ridiculous it’s a wonder anyone would believe them, like: NASA scientists were plotting space routes with a powerful computer and discovered a “missing day” in the heavens- and the determination was Joshua’s long day mentioned in the bible being the cause. Another was about Russian oil drillers in Siberia drilled so deep that they actually hit Hell and seen the torment going on. But there are common beliefs in religious circles today not exposed on the “urban legends” lists- in fact there are so many that a short article like this could never cover them all!

            Here is a list of some you can check on for yourself:

*Jesus spoke in parables to make it easier to understand the message- False! In fact He deliberately cloaked the meaning so that only a few would understand.

*Jesus was born on December 25th- Not even close. There is enough information revealed in scriptures to calculate within a week or so near the end of September as a probable birth date.

*Good people go to heaven when they die. False. Actually everyone waits in their grave until Christ’s return for a resurrection from the dead. Revelation 20.

*Jesus was always trying to get people to give their hearts to him. He came to fulfill scriptures as a suffering servant- not to save the world at that time. In fact many times He withdrew from followers, denied the woman at the well, and telling people to keep quiet about His actions.

*Satan is easy to recognize with a red body, horns and tail. That would be nice- actually he appears as an angel of light, plus he even has ministers that appear righteous.

*Jesus came to do away with the Law. Just the opposite, He said think not- that I come to do away with the Law but I came to fulfill.

*Jesus changed the Sabbath to Sunday. He is the Lord of the Sabbath and could do so if He wished- but no, He kept the Sabbath as well as all the first century Christians, including Gentiles. The change occurred nearly 300 years later by the Roman church.

*You don’t have to DO anything to be saved- just believe. This is the age of sound bites, fast food, and multi-tasking. We want life fast and easy. The greatest gift may be free, but comes with major restoration of your lifestyle. Expect to study to show yourself approved, steer off the wide, smooth highway to death, and endure the rocky narrow way- plus you may lose your friends and family in the process.

*The Father is the God of the Old Testament. Widely believed but scriptures show Jesus is the One that spoke the world into existence, counseled with the prophets, instructed Moses, wrestled with Jacob, and led Israel out of Egypt.

*Peter was the first pope. In spite of what church history says, no one, including Peter was given preeminence over the others.

*Christmas & Easter are Biblical holydays. Actually neither day is mentioned in scripture or even observed by first century believers- but they did observe the holydays listed in Leviticus 23, which are widely ignored.

*It doesn’t matter what your religion, God will save you. In this age of embracing all cultures this is a nice thought, but the God of the Bible shows that Jesus is the ONLY way to salvation and encourages people to be perfect as the Father in heaven is.

Maybe in the Kingdom age to come these and other “urban legends” will be a topic for laughter as we poke fun at ourselves and wonder how we could have fallen for so many unbiblical beliefs. But for now it takes a little work to separate truth from error.            05/05

Written by Wayne Schatzle, director, Freedom Biblical Information Center
P.O. Box 1806, West Chester OH 45071)