21 Erroneous Beliefs That can Fuel Toxic Faith (These occur in various forms and degrees within Christianity. Just one can poison our relationship with God.)
1. Security and significance with God depend on my behavior
2. When tragedy strikes, true believers should have a real peace about it
3. If you had real faith, God would heal you or the one you are praying for
4. All ministers are men and women of God and can be trusted
5. Material blessings are a sign of spiritual strength
6. The more money you give to God, the more money he will give to you
7. I can work my way to heaven
8. Problems in your life result from some particular sin
9. I must not stop meeting others’ needs
10. I must always submit to authority
11. God only uses spiritual giants
12. Having true faith means waiting for God to help me and doing nothing until he does
13. If it’s not in the Bible, it isn’t relevant (all truth is in the Bible)
14. God will find me a perfect mate
15. Everything that happens to me is good
16. A strong faith will protect me from problems and pain
17. God hates sinners, is angry with me, and wants to punish me
18. Christ was merely a great teacher
19. God is too big to care about me
20. More than anything else, God wants me to be happy (free from pain)
21. You can become God

10 Rules of a Toxic Faith System
1. The leader must be in control of every aspect at all times
2. When problems arise, find a guilty party to blame immediately
3. Don’t make mistakes
4. Never point out the reality of a situation
5. Never express your feelings unless they are positive
6. Don’t ask questions, especially if they are tough ones
7. Don’t do anything outside your role
8. Don’t trust anyone
9. Nothing is more important than giving money to the organization
10. At all costs, keep up the image of the organization or the family
 
Characteristics of Healthy Faith
1. Focusing on a personal relationship with God in Christ, not religion
2. Looking to God to meet the needs for security and significance
3. Growing in faith as evidenced by walking into pain
4. Respect for the personhood of others
5. Serving others for their sake
6. Being vulnerable
7. A trusting atmosphere
8. Celebrating uniqueness by recognizing people’s spiritual gifts
9. Relationships being the heart of everything
10. People being taught to think
11. Balanced thinking rather than extremes in black and white
12. Non defensive
13. Non judgmental
14. Reality based
15. Able to embrace our emotions
16. Able to embrace our humanity as evidenced in the ability to allow for mistakes
17. The ability to laugh

(From Toxic Faith by Stephen Arterburn & Jack Felton)

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