Myth or Faith?

Myth or Faith? — Adult Membership Instruction

Finding fresh ways to present timeless truths was a passion for LCMS seminary professor Dr. Donald Deffner. Some years ago, he wrote a set of adult catechetical materials for Concordia Publishing House titled Myth or Faith? What he did was to lay out the content of the Christian faith as participants use Scripture to evaluate various popular myths – e.g., that Christians become angels after they die. 

The Myth or Faith? materials themselves are out of print, but participants in adult catechism study can still benefit by listening to portions of Issues, etc. interviews that Ken Schurb did based on those materials. Below are 70 audio shorts, each dealing with a separate myth. Generally, each lasts between 5 and 10 minutes. You can listen by clicking on the one(s) you want. Concordia Publishing House has granted permission for this use of Dr. Deffner’s copyrighted CPH course.

Who may want to listen to this audio?

  • People engaged in catechetical study
  • Those wishing to review the basics of the faith
  • Those who are simply curious about one or two of the items listed below.


Myth 1-1 God is Impersonal, a remote being, ‘way out there.’
Myth 1-2 God expects me to change before I am acceptable to Him.
Myth 1-3 We must cooperate with God for our salvation because Scripture says everyone is to ‘work out your salvation with fear and trembling.’
Myth 1-4 If I change my life, then God will forgive me.
Myth 1-5 There is a limit to God’s forgiveness.


Myth 2-1 Sin, by definition, is the way we break God’s Commandments.
Myth 2-2 People are not born sinful. They become sinful through the influence of the world, the devil, and their own sinful choices.
Myth 2-3 Lutherans place too much emphasis on sin.
Myth 2-4 God more often seems to be a God of wrath than a God of love.
Myth 2-5 Repentance means being sorry you got caught.


Myth 3-1 The doctrine of the Trinity has been created by human beings. Belief in a trinity, however, is unthinkable.
Myth 3-2 Science has proven that the world came into being through evolution.
Myth 3-3 God the Father often takes away from us more than He gives us.
Myth 3-4 Since the Bible calls God “Father”, all human beings are His children.
Myth 3-5 Stories of angels are sweet fairy tales for children; a belief in devils is an outdated part of primitive folklore. Neither angels nor devils are real.


Myth 4-1 Believing in Christ is the best way to attain eternal life.
Myth 4-2 Believing that Christ is the only way to heaven is a narrow point of view.
Myth 4-3 Christ was really more God than Man, more divine than human.
Myth 4-4 Jesus is our helper and guide through life, an example to demonstrate for us what the Christian life is like.
Myth 4-5 Jesus descended into hell to take the eternal punishment we deserved.


Myth 5-1 The Holy Spirit is a kind of cosmic force or a universal wisdom that fills people.
Myth 5-2 God does not force anyone to come to faith. He gives each of us the choice to resist him.
Myth 5-3 We cooperate with the Holy Spirit in our conversion.
Myth 5-4 Pentecost was the birthday of the Church.
Myth 5-5 Our love for God is the motive for all we do in our Christian life.


Myth 6-1 The church is a human institution, put together by human beings.
Myth 6-2 Members of the holy Christian church are all those who mentally assent to specific, key doctrines of the church.
Myth 6-3 The church should stress fellowship more, not just doctrines.
Myth 6-4 We should go to church to get something out of it.
Myth 6-5 We should give to the church because God needs our offerings.


Myth 7-1 Death is a will of God.
Myth 7-2 Death is a friend.
Myth 7-3 At death, Christians become angels – members of God’s heavenly host.
Myth 7-4 Even Christians should be afraid of Judgement Day.
Myth 7-5 Eternity begins when we die.


Myth 8-1 The Bible contains the Word of God.
Myth 8-2 You can make the Bible prove anything, because its teachings are really just a matter of interpretation.
Myth 8-3 The main point of the Bible is how to live a good life.
Myth 8-4 The NT is of more importance to us today than the OT.
Myth 8-5 There are a lot of mistakes in the Bible.


Myth 9-1 Baptism is only a symbolic act.
Myth 9-2 By being baptized, I obey God’s command and thereby earn His favor.
Myth 9-3 Only those who understand the Christian faith should be baptized.
Myth 9-4 Since I’m baptized, I’m saved.
Myth 9-5 Unbaptized adults need not concern themselves about receiving Baptism, because a person can be saved just as well without Baptism.


Myth 10-1 The Lord’s Supper is a memorial meal that reminds Christians of Jesus’ death for us and all people.
Myth 10-2 Christians should come to the Lord’s Supper only if they feel worthy.
Myth 10-3 We should commune about 4 times a year. If we commune too often, the sacrament will become less meaningful for us.
Myth 10-4 The Lord’s Supper is invalid if the pastor who celebrates it has no true faith or is living an immoral life.
Myth 10-5 One should be solemn when going to communion.


Myth 11-1 Confession and absolution are optional practices for the Christian.
Myth 11-2 My confession of sin makes God’s forgiveness possible.
Myth 11-3 To be sure of forgiveness, the Christian needs to confess specific sins to the pastor.
Myth 11-4 If I examine myself carefully before Holy Communion, I don’t need private confession.
Myth 11-5 If a Christian feels no need for private confession, he or she can grow in faith just as well without it.


Myth 12-1 A Christian can always depend on prayer.
Myth 12-2 The Christian must have the wisdom and ability to pray properly.
Myth 12-3 When we pray, we inform God about our troubles.
Myth 12-4 After we pray, we should sit back and let God act in His own time.
Myth 12-5 Prayer changes things.


Myth 13-1 As long as I personally pray and read God’s Word every day, it’s not all that important that I worship God at church.
Myth 13-2 As long as I worship God in church every Sunday, it’s not all that important that I personally pray and study God’s Word each day.
Myth 13-3 The liturgy is a human invention, not of God.
Myth 13-4 As long as we’re speaking words from the Bible, our worship is bound to be Christian.
Myth 13-5 If I ‘don’t get anything out of’ liturgical worship, I should find another way to worship.
Myth 13-6 The more concerned we are about worship, the less concerned we will be about evangelization and telling the Good News about Jesus to the unchurched.


Myth 14-1 As we speak about Christ to the unconverted, the Scriptures are all we need to know.
Myth 14-2 Christ’s purpose for His people on earth is that we reach out to others to ‘save souls’.
Myth 14-3 The church building is here. We’ve done our job of evangelization. People just need to come and hear the Gospel.
Myth 14-4 We should speak only about God’s love to the unconverted. A message of repentance for sin will turn them off.
Myth 14-5 Evangelization is the pastor’s job and is best left to him and to the evangelism committee.

For more information, contact:

Dr. Ken Schurb, Evangelism Executive
LCMS Central Illinois District
1850 N. Grand Avenue West
Springfield, IL 62702-1626
(217) 793-1802