Monday, August 22

Incalculable--the Cost of Lying

Incalculable—the Cost of Lying
Truth: A beautiful word, the meaning of which seems to have escaped many of those of the past couple of generations. The opposite of truth is falsehood, or lie.

Have you ever thought about the fact that a liar is very often also a coward?  A coward? Yes, a coward. A courageous person, when confronted with an offense, will admit that he committed the act of which he is accused, and accept whatever punishment is coming to him. There is more than one application for the saying, “A coward dies a thousand times, a courageous man only once.” If I have done something wrong and need a butt-whipping, give it to me now; I do not want to dread or fear its later coming.

Let me pose this question: Have you ever met a liar you thought was also a courageous person? We are talking about the lie that we engage in for the sole purpose of hiding a wrong that we have committed, or to gain unmerited favor in the eyes of our listeners. Do courageous men and women do that?

Back in the nineties, the word, ‘dissembling’ came into common usage. What does that word mean? Well, part of a definition that describes dissembling says, “If you’re good at pretending and lying, you’re an expert in dissembling.” So, what is dissembling? It’s just a fancy name for lying. Ah, but everybody lies about sex. Remember? ‘You would not expect a person to admit wrongdoing in that area, would you’? If we do not, shame on us.

As dangerous as the habit of some either in positions of leadership or seeking those positions to lie, it is even more dangerous for that individual’s supporters to close their collective eyes to the truth. When every phrase uttered is filtered through the prism of what the hearer wants it to mean, somehow a bald-faced lie comes out to be the truth. So when your candidate says she did not send or receive any communication that was marked as classified, and that statement is absolutely refuted by the Director of the FBI—somebody is lying; either the FBI or Hillary.

The major institutions of our society—government (politics), the entire judicial system (including law enforcement), the banking and monetary institutions (including the stock market) and the church—all are successful, respected and widely attended only to the extent that they are trusted.

If you purchased a home based upon the lender’s assurance that the rate of interest would be three percent, only to find that the rate charged is actually six percent, would you be likely to use that lender again? Might such an experience make you leery of any and ALL lending institutions? 

If a high government official assures you when you change your mode or carrier of insurance, you will be able to keep your doctor, and you are later told, “No, that is impossible”, would that not make you look askance at any future promises that official might make?

You see, lying can have terrible unseen—perhaps unintended—consequences.  All of us remember the story of The Little Boy who cried ‘Wolf’. Can we not see that when our government routinely lies to us, we must begin to doubt first a few things, then many things and finally everything that authorities tell us. Are we there yet? Some of us are.

A major problem which we have brought upon ourselves is the rejection of the single most important source of defining and keeping the ‘truth’ as close as possible to inviolate—the Christian religion. Christianity is under siege in America today. Surely it has not escaped your attention that the secular humanist (Democrat) candidate, Hillary Clinton, has informed Americans that we are going to have to divest ourselves of old, outdated Christian beliefs, such as in the sanctity of life. These should be replaced by what humanists call ‘situational ethics’. That particular philosophy ‘takes into account the particular context of an act when evaluating it ethically, rather than judging it according to absolute moral standards’. The humanist believes that nobody is better equipped than himself to ascertain whether an act he has committed is just or unjust. British idealist F. H. Bradley (1846 – 1924) once said that if a humanist understands his own doctrine, ‘he must hold any idea, however mad, to be the truth, if anyone will have it so.’

How convenient secular humanism is! ‘It is true because I say it is true. Whose authority in this matter that affects me personally is more important or valid than mine?’ While humanists will dispute this, their rationale is that you can simply believe anything you please and call it truth.

A civilization whose very existence depends upon understanding an undeniable truth and following that truth in all civil and legal practices cannot long survive secular humanism. There are—must be—absolutes. Without them, we have no means of measuring honesty, of determining guilt or innocence in our courts of law, of judging the actions of our police officers, of restoring trust in our stock market and banking industry. 

Omitted from the above list is the church—where all reparation must begin. I believe that many of the problems with which America is struggling today can be laid at the door of Christians like myself who have failed miserably in living Christ-like lives. We must not only believe the teachings of Christ, but we must practice them daily; live by them. The church, which is a body of believers, must return to a gospel as simple as that the Apostle Paul preached when he said in 2nd Corinthians 2, “For I was determined not to know anything among you save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.” No fluff, no superfluity, just the basic truth. One of the things that made the sermons of evangelist Billy Graham so efficacious was the simplicity of the message. Thomas Jefferson wrote, “The doctrines of Jesus are simple, and tend to the happiness of man.”  He also said, “Of all the systems of morality, ancient or modern which have come under my observation, none appears to me so pure as that of Jesus.” 

If it is possible to do so, we have made the gospel of Christ both too difficult—and too easy. Too difficult with our dogma, sometimes giving the impression that it is impossible to please God, so why even try? Too easy, in that other of our churches leave the impression that one need do nothing more after accepting Christ as Savior; that there is nothing more required. Set it, and forget it. This ignores the fact that we are instructed to be witnesses for Jesus Christ.

The church, that 'body of (baptized) believers', must get its act together, because whether we choose to recognize the fact, we are at war with secular humanists; the most important battle of and for our lives. They are playing for keeps. We Christians sometimes appear to be only playing.

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