Do you ever feel like there is something wrong in the world we live in, Christian and Non Christian? I mean, do you ever step back from everything that is buzzing around and think, “I think I’m being deceived!” The reason I mention Christian and Non-Christian is because it happens in both spiritual conditions. Of course,we would like for everything to be hunky Dorey, and we turn a blind eye to things in our world to make sure our impression of the true condition of things comes out smelling like roses. But these roses have thorns don’t they? In the last days, the Bible states that there will be sugar coated truths and ways of thinking that will draw us into their trap and our thinking will be cloudy. In those days, the truth will be preached with just enough slant to lessen the effectiveness it needs, so that it will be received by all who hear it. In other words, not lying, but deception. Sometimes we think that lying and deception are the same things, but they are not at all. Lying is an untruth that is easy to spot and easy to discern and you have to be bold enough to handle the pressure when you tell a lie. But deception, oh deception, it’s much more subtle than lying and way more deadly. Why? Because it takes a course of action that allows half-truths to look more like truth than lies. You want to call it a lie, but because it has been lurking in the shadows of innuendoes, you can’t put your finger on it and say, “that is a lie.” In Joel Gregory’s book, Too Great a Temptation, he spoke about the deception of a particular preacher he served with and called what the preacher said as, “double talk.” I too have experienced this “double talk.” Double talk is where you say one thing to generate some reaction or thought process to make something go your way. The heart is evil, but the words and actions sugar coat the truth to make it come out smelling like a rose. Our buzz word for it would be “political.” You may recognize this kind of action that mirrors what the Scribes and Pharisees did when dealing with Jesus and His Ministry. They even put Judas out there to be the fall guy for them and then dropped the hammer when it came to owning up for their part in it. It was deception at it’s best and the end result was the death of our Savior. Deception continues to try to kill the gospel of Jesus again and again through misused power by men and women of God. To the point, that the witness of the evangelical church and Christians in general has been minimized and lost it’s effectiveness. You can believe that Jesus would not have put up with even the first hint of this type of deception that is running rampant in the church of today, much less accept it. Years ago I knew of a pastor who would not openly lie about things, but he would manipulate the truth to get his way and then use someone else for the fall guy. The fall guy served out of commitment to the authority of the pastor, and in the end took the brunt of any criticism that should have gone back to the one who manipulated the truth of it all. It’s almost unimaginable that this could happen in the modern day church, but it has, and there is more on the horizon if we don’t get a handle on holding each other accountable.
It’s a sad testimony for the gospel of Christ when the actions of Christians run parallel with the world and you can’t tell the difference between the two. I believe our world is what can be called “The Society of Deception.” Nobody wants to own up to their untruths, and we do everything we can to keep ourselves from looking bad. The truth is, we are bad. Bad to the bone. Our righteousness is like filthy rags that are not good for anything in the area of cleaning. Isaiah said in 64:6, “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags.”But the righteousness of God is pure and makes a positive, lasting impact on everyone who sees it and hears it. We need to stay away from The Society of Deception, and the best way to do it is quit following man and giving liars a free pass. If we will look through God’s eyes of discernment we will be able to see the real truth and deal with that and not the mirage. If we let this continue and don’t stand up, the end result will be souls lost and Christians deceived. Follow God. Don’t follow man. There is something wrong, and no manipulation of Scriptures for personal gain will ever be able to hide the real truth. Let’s give God the glory, not ourselves.
The Pilgrimage continues…..