TRUTH AND DECEPTION
The demands for respecting deceptions are growing daily in our pandering and increasingly secular world. Along with this, the truth of Scripture is being trampled.
The foundation of all sin is for man to believe in a lie. A lie that God is untrustworthy. That he doesn’t mean what he says and does not always have our best interests at heart. In the Genesis account of man’s original sin, “The woman said, ‘The serpent (Satan) deceived me, and I ate.” (Gen. 3:13) Satan misrepresented God’s loving intentions and Eve believed his lie. (Gen. 3:1-6) Satan has continued to use deception as one of his main weapons to draw man away from God. (Rev. 20:1-3, 10)
We live in a culture of contradictory voices all claiming to be the truth. In the book, “The Sane Society,” Erich Fromm wrote, “The fact that millions of people share the same vices does not make these vices virtues; the fact that they share so many errors does not make the errors be truths.”
When we are being pushed to agree that black is white and wrong is right, it can throw us into a state of moral and spiritual confusion. The question is what do we do in the face of such things? How should a Christian respond when he is being pressured to side with inverted truth? It will require wisdom, empathy, respect, and conviction.
1. Solomon recognized that he needed wisdom above everything to navigate his life with success, and God gave it to him in spades! Wisdom beyond our own is needed to find our way through the thorny issues of life. James 1:5 tells us, “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” Just like the guided must follow the guide on a hike through a dense forest – wisdom requires that we stay close to the God of all wisdom.
2. The wisdom needed to counter-cultural deception must be accompanied by empathy. “When he (Jesus) saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” (Matt. 9:36) We cannot write people off. Every person is a creation of God and precious to him. In Jesus’ parable on the lost sheep, the shepherd left the 99 safely in the fold to go and search for just one lost sheep – that’s how precious each one is to him.
3. Dealing with those enslaved by deception also requires respect for the rights of all men to choose their own path. When Jesus stood overlooking the people of Jerusalem, (Matt. 23:37) he saw people enslaved by deception – but people who were given the power of free choice to choose their own way. (Acts 17:24-28) We can appeal to others and offer our sincere counsel, but we cannot play God in another person’s life. Each man and woman on the planet must choose their own path. At the border of the Promised Land Joshua said to the people of Israel, “If serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve …but as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15)
4. Godly wisdom defends your right to believe what you believe and live your life in compliance with those convictions. (see Phil. 2:12-16) “In the name of God I exhort you,” John Wesley appealed to his generation, “Keep close to the unction of the Holy One! Attend to the still, small voice! Beware of harkening to the voice of a stranger.”
Life requires us to live out our lives in accordance with our faith in God’s Word – without imposing our convictions on anyone. But let this be known, “For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword …It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes, and he is the one to whom we are accountable.” (Heb. 4:12-13 NLT)
Be blessed my friend.
The Barnabas Group (Loads of Love)