Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The Return.2

"Beware that no man deceive you
for in the end times, 
many will come using my name, saying, 
"I am Christ," 
and will deceive many
False prophets will arise; 
and they too will lead many into
believing their lies."

Deceiving the masses, example #1:

One of the truly alarming trends in the USA's culture is the acceptance and promotion of fictionalized "reality". Whether "reality TV" or news reports that attempt to shape perception through clever selection and editing, a small number of people are attempting to recreate reality. Example: several St. Louis Rams football players came onto the playing field holding their arms up in a pose of surrender to "support" the protests of the death of a young black man, Michael Brown, at the hands of a young white police officer, Darren Wilson.  The facts of the case,however, proved Brown never raised his arms in surrender, but in fact posed a dangerous threat to Officer Wilson attempting to apprehend him for a crime he'd committed.  

Truth is our relationship to the facts.

In heeding Jesus' warning against deception our first commitment is to being True.  When an event happens, whether its having a cookie or what route I took to work this day, the test comes when challenged about our involvement in that event.  If I knew, for example, mom was saving the last cookie for a child-treat, and upon her investigation of its disappearance denied my part, the facts that belie my testimony don't change.  There are many factors that impact my relation to the facts: am I a chronic cookie-snatcher, do I battle diabetes, am I a coward, do I feel cheated that the kids always get the cookies?

Rather than seeing this as a small "white lie" that really has no consequence, I need to see each of those events as opportunity for my growth in righteousness, preparing me to resist deception in all its forms.
Deceiving the masses, example #2:

Our state, Michigan, recently debated whether or not to allow a display honoring Satan in place of a Nativity scene at our state capital.

A local TV news outlet posted the story online and asked for opinions.  I gave mine and received what I consider chilling responses:

WNEM TV 5 news
"According to the Detroit Free Press, the Michigan State Capitol Commission has approved a Detroit Satanic group's plans to put up a "holiday display" at the statehouse in Lansing. Meanwhile, plans for a Christian Nativity have fallen through, because the out-of-state backer could not find someone to set up and take down the display.The State Capitol Commission said it authorized both displays to recognize everyone's First Amendment rights.Fast Feedback - We want to know what you think: What should be the policy for putting religious displays on state property?"

Charlie Lyon: Its another example that we as a society have abandoned our foundations, namely that all people are equal before the law and God, but not all ideas are equal. There are ideas that are superior to other ideas and ought to be esteemed and honored while the base and vile ought to be rejected and put to shame.
Michael R. Burhans: but of course, and isn't this a coincidence it is only YOUR ideas that should be allowed, right"?? LOL
Charlie Lyon: The problem, Michael, as I see it is that we seem to have lost the ability to discern what ideas are superior to others. That can't be good...
Tiera Worden-Byers: The 'Holy Bible' is pretty vile Charlie... start rejecting it...
Michael R. Burhans: Charlie Lyon, what is good in your eyes? In the bible your God killed millions over and over, while less than a dozen were killed by satan. Read history, hundreds of complete genocides of whole peoples by Christians, while Satanists have killed so few they don't even make the listings. So how then can you claim christianity (sic) is a better idea than Satanism?
Michael R. Burhans: Reading the Bible, the number one cause of atheism. LOL
Mike Serour: Start with our controlled country by Zionists. You'll find your answers there.
Charlie Lyon: that's a lot of stuff you have all lumped together. Forgive me if I don't want to even try to unpack it in this setting. And Michael, I'm sorry I don't see the humor in your lol's. ..
Michael R. Burhans: Of course not Charlie, you are too deep into the superstition. Enjoy your compatriots like Mike Seour here bashing the Jews in the name of your God.
Charlie Lyon: Not sure how you could determine what I am "deep into" by the few words I've posted here, Michael. But your assumptions make it difficult to have honest debate on what really are important issues for culture. Do we have inquiring minds left in society or just deeply entrenched opinions that we're more willing to cling to rather than strive for deeper love and understanding?
Jeny Ticar: Satan's blessings be upon you this holiday season, Charlie. Praise be to Him. Happy holidays
Charlie Lyon: Satan is a thief, liar, & the father of lies. His work is to steal, kill and destroy. That you use the words "blessing" & "happy" in the same sentence with "satan" demonstrates that you are either woefully deceived or so hardened in your heart that you fearlessly mock sacred things. I'll pray for your soul, Jeny...

Truth is our relation to The Reality revealed in Jesus Christ.

The world, that system of thought & action in open rebellion
image from 28nineteen.com
to the Creator, will continue to attempt to squeeze humanity into its mold through lies, illusion & deception.  Not only will human suffering increase as the pressure to conform increases, but there is a greater tragedy. The farther removed an individual is from,say,

  • the truth of a flower or 
  • the truth of water or 
  • the truth of the sky or 
  • the truth of their own existence, 
truth that began in the mind of God, the less likely he or she will reach their own potential!
Deceiving the masses, example #3:
"Political correctness is communist propaganda writ small. In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, nor to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity [the quality of having strong moral principles; honesty and decency]. To assent to obvious lies is to co-operate with evil, and in some small way to become evil oneself. One's standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control. I think if you examine political correctness, it has the same effect and is intended to. 
Spectator contributor Theodore Dalrymple

Truth is our relation to the duties imposed by our understanding of what is required of us when we see the idea of the thing that God thought into existence! 

It is why Peter urges other followers of Jesus to always be prepared to give a reason for the hope that is in us.  Sharpen your testimony as a way to battle the deception that is cloaking this world.  Find every appropriate opportunity to share it and live with confidence in the Truth God has revealed in His Scripture, through His Son, Jesus, and is revealing about Himself through you!

How great a breach is just this one sin, lying, to the human race?  What would the world look like if it were completely eradicated from the human experience?
Amazing breakthroughs have occurred throughout the last century to combat all kinds of illness from polio to smallpox and a variety of cancers.  But do you suppose there is a scientific remedy for lying? If there were, how many people would line up for that vaccination?

The cost of research and development of modern medicine can accrue in the billions of dollars.  What price would we be willing to pay for the eradication of falsehood, untruth, deception and lies?

Jesus description of the terrible upheaval on this planet in the days preceding His Return, I believe, is the price the world will pay to be rid of lying and deception!

In the end, a small price to pay to live in a world that knows the joy of the Truth!

(thoughts here adapted from The Truth, by George MacDonald)