by John O. Reid (1930-2016)
CGG Weekly, November 28, 2014
"Again and again there comes a time in history when the man who dares to say that two and two make four is punished with death."
In a letter to subscribers, WND.com's David Kupelian writes:
Half way through 2014, it's incredible to behold what has happened to America. Just 25 years ago, Ronald Reagan was president, the Berlin Wall was being torn down, our nation was stronger than ever, our economy robust. It was "morning in America." What a wonderful time that was—I remember it well.
Today, we endure daily news of the outrageously lawless Obama presidency—manufactured crises, economic chaos, aid to America's enemies and betrayal of her allies, cascading scandals, "high crimes" and rising calls for impeachment. But in truth, the entire Obama presidency is one huge scandal, leading our great nation into utter financial, political, cultural and spiritual catastrophe.
How did we fall so rapidly? There are many factors, of course, but one of the most egregious, consequential and disgraceful has been our news media, whom we trust to simply tell us what is really going on, without fear or favor. But the press has totally betrayed our trust.
He then states that no institution has been more complicit in making evil appear good and good appear evil than the news media. Even so, the media is not solely to blame. The average man on the street, who would vociferously defend the telling of the truth as important, thinks nothing of telling little white lies—and some not so little. Lying is an individual problem, too, not just rampant in organizations and government.
Years ago, the manager of the shop we used to service our car had been trying to find a new mechanic. The first qualified man was about to be hired. He told the manager, "I really want to work for you, but there is one little catch. Could you pay me under the table so I can stay on disability?" A second well-qualified man came in that morning, and he, too, asked to be paid cash off the books, saying, "I am here illegally and need to stay hidden from the government."
That same morning, on a talk show called "Character Counts," the host mentioned that he had gone in for a colonoscopy that his insurance would not cover. He planned to pay for it out of pocket. Yet, just before going under the anesthetic, the doctor said to him, "Don't worry about the bill. We will tell your insurance company you were bleeding so they will pay for it." Then he added, "We do it all the time."
Israelites are described at the end time as people whose "lips have spoken lies, [and whose] tongue has muttered perversity" (Isaiah 59:3). In the next verse, Isaiah continues, "No one calls for justice, nor does any plead for truth. They trust in empty words and speak lies." He concludes in verse 15, "So truth fails."
We could also mention high-pressure salesman, marketing companies, and more, not to mention politicians who promise the moon to get what they want. None of these ever deliver. The sad thing is that we just take such deceit for granted as a way of life. This is just the way things are, and so we live with it. Lying has become so normal that we just expect it, and everyone else expects us to go along with it.
Worse, because it is ubiquitous and seemingly no big thing to the world, we can slip into the mode of living with it and even unconsciously participating in it. As God's people, we must constantly guard ourselves so that we never take the truth so lightly.
God clearly condemns lying in the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:16). I Timothy 1:9-10 ranks liars and perjurers among the worst of men. "A lying tongue" is second on the list of seven things that God hates (Proverbs 6:17), and "a false witness who speaks lies" is number six. Conversely, one who "speaks the truth in his heart" and who even "swears to his own hurt and does not change" will dwell on God's holy hill (Psalm 15:2, 4).
Have we ever wondered what it would be like if God lied? Could we have any faith at all in a God who lied? Could we count on any hope of any kind of positive future? Could we be sure of anything at all? He would be just as unreliable as any man!
It is important for us to consider the source of lying, Satan the Devil (John 8:44). Prior to Satan, lies never existed. Everything was done in total honesty, purity of heart, and truth. The concept of deceit had never even been considered until Satan came on the scene and introduced it. Why did he promote it? He wanted to cause confusion, division, rebellion, heartache, and to lead the people of God into sin. His pattern all along is to destroy all that God is doing.
When we lie, even a small lie, Jesus says that we are of our father the Devil, that is, we take on this proclivity of his and imitate him. In what environment is Satan's influence most likely to affect us? Like him, we are most likely to lie when we want an advantage or when our pride is at stake, for instance, when we want to appear superior in mind or ability than what we actually are, or when we desire to cover up a defect in ourselves or our merchandise. We will lie to create a false impression by leaving something out that should be told.
Because the world around us lives this way, it can be so easy to fall into the evil habit of shading the truth, obscuring the truth, or omitting the truth to put ourselves in a good light. We should not do this for any reason. Paul urges us in Ephesians 4:25, "Therefore putting away lying, ‘Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,' for we are members of one another." In other words, stop lying so that we can trust each other and be united in the truth.
Does the fact that we are always to tell the truth mean that we are to answer every single question? Of course not. Some things are no one else's business. Some things can and should be private.
Must we tell all we know? No. At times, giving no answer is the correct tack to take, and at other times, a simple answer may be all that is required. What we have to discern is whether our withholding of information comes from a selfish desire to deceive, exalting or benefitting ourselves in the process.
We who have been raised in a deceived and deceiving culture, are so inundated with the practice of lying, find it difficult to conceive of a time when only truth will be spoken and all will live by it. Revelation 22:14-15 tells us that those who love and practice lying will not even be in the Kingdom of God. But that totally truthful, godly society is what we represent as lights in this world (Matthew 5:14). So one who tells the truth and keeps his word will not soon be forgotten.
As children of God, we need to make it a priority to stop and consider before we speak, that we would repudiate the way of Satan and bear the image of God before the world.