2011-10-06 - Well-Packaged Lies
Matthew 10:16 Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. (KJV)
There are a lot of us who are smart. Many are well-educated and want to continue learning and growing. I'm going to say something that may challenge some. If you are only learning enough to keep pace you are actually slipping behind. If you are satisfied with where you are then you are falling back at an ever accelerating pace. Too many today read or hear the sound bites on the news or read the headlines and the first few paragraphs and walk away thinking they are up on the latest topics. Even worse those statement are absorbed as truth without challenge. The thoughts sound good, and there is often a grain of truth mixed in to the thought. The basis of that thought is toxic. It's not that the people presenting the thought are not intelligent. Many are brilliant men and women. But smart people can say and do dumb things too. And the enemy has an agenda and he will do whatever he must to promote it.
What is the agenda behind the thought? Does this match up with the truth of the Bible? Does it even make sense?
There is a difference between being smart and clear thinking. A political candidate was asked what their thoughts were on abortion by a pro-life questioner. Please do not lose the point in the issue of abortion. The candidate explained that they also felt abortion was wrong - but felt they could not impose their belief on others. If something in there rings badly that's good. Can you put your finger on it? There is a subtle comparison made between belief and truth and this is my point. If the belief is subjective - blue is the best color, or vanilla is the best flavor of ice cream - then it is not based on fact. This is a preference. If your belief is based on fact, then it is still fact. If the spin on a topic doesn't sound right to you think about it. Talk about it with your friends. The candidate was an intelligent person. Their thinking was clouded or being driven by an agenda - elect me.
Our culture has learned to devalue religious thought making it nothing more than a preference. The drivers of the culture are selling well-packaged lies. They demote our values to second class or outmoded. Think about that for just a minute. We are not building our facts, and the ones that we present or publish are being marginalized by a culture that does not want their path disturbed. They are happy walking the way they are headed. But we know something they can not see. The path they are on is wide and smooth and it leads to destruction (Matt 7:13). They are walking into the great gaping maw of the second death. We must all suffer the first death, that is physical death. There is a second death that comes when someone will stand before Christ and He must say to those who refused to follow Him, "Depart from Me. I never knew you." (Luke 13:27) How devastating for everyone involved that moment will be include the Lord who must send away His own creation forever.
One of my college professors was speaking about artificial intelligence one evening about 20 years ago. He made the statement that one day a computer would be able to think and react and be indistinguishable from a human being. We recently saw an impressive demonstration of a portion of that technology emerging on an evening game show where a computer was able to parse the subtle components of human language that made up the given answers and formulate the original questions to score points. My professor's statement was taking steps toward becoming a reality. His conclusion that evening 20 years ago was that if this was accomplished then creation would be disproved since we were able to create intelligence. My heart dropped when I heard this. A room full of impressionable young minds were all blinking and nodding. I politely counter that if this eventuality came to pass that we would have emulated the human thought process, not created it. He paused and agreed he had overstepped graciously. A very intelligent man had made an error and everyone in the room simply accepted it as truth largely because he was intelligent.
We are not fighting for our position. We are not trying to win the debate - chocolate or vanilla. We are fighting for their eternal spiritual lives. We must be able to graciously present the wise case as followers of Christ. Be wise as serpents, and as gentle as doves speaking the truth in love.
Grace & Peace,