Tag Archives: Deception

A Thought on Truth and Hypocrisy

Sometimes, we as Christians, and just people in general, have a hard time accepting the truth.  We can see it, even know it, and yet still refuse to live by and accept it.  We live in a world that likes to tell us that we can live according to our own truth, that we can make it up as we go along, or that we can just pick out the parts of it we like, and leave the rest of it.  All of these things are ways of rationalizing our behavior.  The American Heritage Dictionary defines the word rationalize as:To devise self-satisfying but incorrect reasons for (one’s behavior).  That’s a fancy, intellectual way of saying, that we just plain flat-out lie to ourselves.  Some people become so good at it, they don’t even recognize that they’re doing it.  Imagine living in a whole world full of people who are all telling themselves lies so that they can feel self-satisfied with their behavior…

Christians aren’t above this kind of behavior either, sad to say, and it’s because they’re not, that we have had to live with the world’s accusation that the church, the body of Christ, is filled with hypocrisy, and that many of us are hypocrites.  In the ancient Greek theater, a hypocrite was one who wore a mask while playing a part on a stage in which he would imitate the walk, talk, and behavior typical of a character being played.  It’s where we get the modern term “actor” from.  In essence, he would be a religious fraud.  I won’t deny that there are hypocrites in the church, but then there are hypocrites in the world, too.

Truth and hypocrisy go about as well together as peanut butter and sauerkraut, a striped blouse and polka-dot skirt, white wine at a tailgate party…. you know what I mean.  Yet, so many people, both in and out of church, in the world, mix and match, and combine, all sorts of things, and come up with some of the most  comical, nonsensical,  and inane conclusions about their own lives and the lives of others, and the world we live in that well… just defy understanding.  Not only that, but it’s in the combining, the mixing and matching, of things that don’t go together that have given birth to some of the most perverted ideas and philosophies we see in the world around us.

Some people might roll their eyes, when I say that there’s such a thing as “spiritual blindness,” but I know there is.  I know this as well as I know that there is darkness and light, right and wrong, good and bad.  I know that some things can’t exist together side by side, and that there are some things you can’t bring together because by their very natures they are in direct opposition to each other.  The fact that people can believe that they can involve themselves with the filth of this world, and yet be a part of God’s Kingdom just goes to show that many people are indeed “spiritually blind.”

Hypocrisy is a form of “spiritual blindness” in that it allows people to look at other people through the eyes of  condemnation and judgment, often to the point of damnation, with no thought or ability to look at oneself, and is a complete denial of the truth of God’s Word which is the only real truth.  The fact is that we must make a choice between living for truth or living for ourselves.

Truth, real truth, destroys hypocrisy….

 

A Thought on Deception

I’ve been going through my e-mail tonight, and I came across a couple of posts that got my attention.  One was from a new subscriber to my blog (always a surprise and thrill and humbling experience) by Keri Williams   who wrote a very compelling article about her son.  I urge you to check it out as she brings up some very good questions.  The other was from my friend, Greg,  over at A Particular Baptist Blog who shared something from someone I have a fondness for who also had something quite interesting to say.  If you read them, you’ll probably wonder what the connection is, or at least how I got my connection between the two.  They don’t  bring up the same points; at least, not on the surface, and in that way they’re a lot like life in that so much of life is connected in ways that we can’t see.

Both are about perception, but while one leads to something that’s true, the other doesn’t, at least not to something that lasts, and it’s this that has put me to writing this post.  How do we know if we’re real?  Seems like a silly question, doesn’t it?  Of course I’m real!  What do you mean?  I know I’m real.  My question to you is really?  Do you know for a fact that you’re real?  What about other people do you know if they’re real? How do you know?  Is there a way to find out?  Now that I’ve got you wondering where I’m going with this, and perhaps confused as well, let me ask you another question: are you real all the time?  Can we be both “real” and “un-real?”

People refer to it in a number of ways.  Some people call it putting on a face.  We all know what I’m talking about even if we all know of it by different names.  At it’s deepest core, when we’ve drilled through all the many layers of motive and reason, and the many, many ways in which we try to hide, cover and camouflage them, we all come to the place where we must face our deception; either that of ourselves, or others, but in most cases, I venture to say both.  That’s certainly the case with me, and I’d be willing to bet it’s the same with you.  We can mention levels of deception if you want, but isn’t that deception, too?  It’s funny that only we, humans, give degrees to what we do.

The thought in one of the posts (you can guess which one or read them and know) was about being a “believer.”  In one a “believer” sees himself as he is, not what others say he is, and clings to it.  The other is a “believer”  in experience, but not in substance, and yet many who’ve had the experience live in the “belief” that they have the substance when in truth they’ve never had it.  I can imagine you reading this and thinking “huh?” right now.  Yet it is true.  Maybe it will help to think of a plant or a tree.  You see them all the time, and they all have the same appearance, and yet you can’t see the root of any of them.  Isn’t it amazing how two trees can be standing side by side, and for years even look the same, and yet one be dead, and the other alive?

It would seem that the conclusion is that no one can tell who is a “believer” and who is not, and that even we ourselves can’t tell, but is that true?  Have you ever walked in the forest with someone who really knows it?  Have you ever really been in the company of someone who is very knowledgeable about their particular field?  How about you?  Can you spot a fake?  Can you tell when someone is pretending?

To the trained eye deception is not the invisible wraith that we like to think it is, and it most certainly isn’t to the one who gave us eyesight.  Now for the real truth, there is a difference between human beings and trees.  As human beings we know when we’re being deceptive and-we may have our reasons (even good reasons)-in choosing to be so, but we do know, and the one who made us…..He knows, too.

 

False And Deceptive Pleasures

     Greg Coleman’s “A Particular Baptist Blog” is a great blog.  He does a great job on it, and works very hard.  Every post I’ve ever read on it has been grounded in truth, and is always relevant.  This post False And Deceptive Pleasures is about as true and relevant as it gets.  If you get a chance drop by and give him a read.  He’s worth it.