Odd Things Christians Say

"God said it, I believe it, and that settles it"

Christians say some odd things. It’s ok, most subcultures do. It’s important however to stop every so often and examine the words we use and the impact they have with people who don’t have a history in the church or in Christianity. One phrase that comes up at times as a way to stop conversations is, “God said it, I believe it, and that settles it”.


Background: This phrase is about the Bible, but doesn’t actually come from there. It arose in the midst of growing evangelicalism and a renewed focus on the importance of the Bible. It is an attempt to say that the Bible is a trustworthy authority for our lives, an objective standard.


Truth:  The Bible is a trustworthy source. It was inspired by God and teaches us, encourages us, and challenges us. The Bible is reliable, and does all that it sets out to do.


The Twist: This phrase is often used to stop conversations in their tracks. It’s a way of saying, “what I believe is correct and beyond questioning, and I don’t care to hear your thoughts on the subject”. It can be incredibly frustrating for people who have sincere questions about the Bible and/or faith.


The Way Forward: God said it, I believe it, and that settles it”, sounds like we are trusting God and the Bible and aren’t going to back away from our convictions. It’s not completely accurate though. Let’s break it down phrase by phrase:

God said it: It might be more clear to say that God inspired it. He inspired the writers to write down histories, poetry, prophecies, and letters that were written to and about people who lived approximately 2000 – 4000 years ago. It was written to encourage and challenge people trying to understand and follow God, and by extension reaches down through the ages to us.

I believe it: Actually I interpret it. Like all writings from the past, we interpret the meaning. We seek to understand it’s context and original meaning and how it applies to us. This is best done in groups, where we gather to prayerfully and humbly work together to understand and apply what was written.

That settles it: While God’s word is trustworthy and reliable, our interpretations aren’t always. That means that we do our best to understand and apply what we are reading, but we are humble enough to admit when we have misunderstood something. We pray to God for understanding and we hold on tightly to God, and lightly to our interpretations or present understandings.


So, a better offering might be: God inspired the Bible, and I am seeking with others to understand and apply it to my life, but I understand that I am only human, and if I make a mistake, I’ll humbly correct it and stay eager to learn and grow.


Ok, mine doesn’t rhyme, and it isn’t quite as pithy, but it works.