Showing posts with label Lies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lies. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 10, 2024

Denying the Obvious

“Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false …”

That the end times will be associated with mass deception is not generally disputed. Both the Lord and his apostles warned of it. I used to wonder how the whole world might be taken in so successfully. Are most people really that gullible?

Well, yes, apparently.

Friday, July 08, 2022

Too Hot to Handle: Where Do You Get Your News?

In which our regular writers toss around subjects a little more volatile than usual.

Millennials are among the most flat-out gullible people I have ever encountered. For the most part, they wouldn’t know truth if it smacked them upside the head. Their manipulators and peers circulate fiction as fact on social media 24/7. They mistrust everyone except those they should.

Older folks still watch the six o’ clock news and have newspaper subscriptions. They grew up with media reputed to be fairly trustworthy in an age when the illusion could be reasonably sustained that there existed such a thing as journalistic ethics. Many of these are our fellow believers, people of goodwill for whom the habit of giving others the benefit of the doubt is well ingrained.

Thursday, April 08, 2021

Bottom of the Ninth

I’m beginning to think that the ninth commandment is more important than I ever realized.

Traditionally, it reads, “Thou shalt not bear false witness” (KJV), or more colloquially, “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.”

Well … Duh!

“Okay,” I said to myself when I first read it, “that makes sense. In court, telling a lie about someone or something can get an innocent person into serious legal trouble. And to do that would be malicious. Fair enough.”

Monday, February 01, 2021

Anonymous Asks (130)

“Should children be told Santa is fake?”

We can probably include the tooth fairy in this conversation as well. I think it’s fairly clear that if you pick up a Hebrew or Greek concordance, you will have great difficulty locating an equivalent for either “Santa” or “fairy”. The Bible does not address such questions directly.

So, I am trying to think back to my own childhood in a Christian home, asking myself how my parents handled this ...

Sunday, January 31, 2021

Nothing New Under the Sun

If the shifting political and social narratives of the last several years have not convinced you that the vast majority of the general public are being lied to deliberately and repeatedly, then probably nothing will.

For myself, I am convinced that no matter the subject, just about the only story that isn’t accurate in any given news cycle is the one being told to us by politicians, corporations and media; the one which is said to be most popularly acceptable, and the one its authors are at greatest pains to preserve by censoring any contradictory information or expression of opinion that might make it less persuasive.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

On Knowing and Being Known

“But Jesus on his part did not entrust himself to them, because he knew all people and needed no one to bear witness about man, for he himself knew what was in man.”

To really know someone and to be known by them is one of the greatest pleasures a human being may experience in this life.

It is also absolutely terrifying.

Saturday, May 04, 2019

How Not to Crash and Burn (57)

Who are you? Who am I really? Good questions.

Well, we are the sum of any numbers of things, including but not limited to what we think, what we do, and — by far the most important — who we are in God’s eyes.

What do we really feel in our hearts when we’re under intense emotional pressure, and how would we react if everyone could see that on full display? What do we allow ourselves to engage in for the sake of polity or social acceptance, and is that consistent with what we claim to believe? How does God distinguish between us? What are his metrics?

Three consecutive proverbs contribute to the discussion.

Saturday, March 09, 2019

How Not to Crash and Burn (49)

Did you know there are very few references in the Bible to domesticated dogs? Maybe the puppies under the dinner table in Matthew 15, but that’s about it.

Moreover, the Bible does not have much good to say about man’s best friend. I don’t have a real handle on canine history in the Middle East 3,000 years ago, but I can work my way through the entries in a concordance, and the picture isn’t pretty. There are no Shih Tzus in arms or Chihuahuas in purses. The average mutts on the street are scavengers or predators, more like wolves or jackals than Jack Russells. The word “dog” is both a Hebrew and Greek euphemism for a male cult prostitute or some other sort of really bad person. If you want to grovel, you refer to yourself as a dog, and if you want to really grovel, a dead dog.

Friday, March 08, 2019

Too Hot to Handle: No Way to Hide Your Lyin’ Eyes

In which our regular writers toss around subjects a little more volatile than usual.

Tom: I had never heard the name Jussie Smollett before last week, IC. Had you?

Immanuel Can: No. To be blunt, his activities were of absolutely no interest to me, or to anyone I knew, before a couple of weeks ago. But he’s got my attention now.

Tom: I suppose we should briefly summarize the unraveling Smollett fiasco for anyone who hasn’t been paying attention … do you want to do the honors?

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Bottom of the Ninth

The most recent version of this post is available here

Thursday, July 20, 2017

The Snare Is Broken

We have escaped like a bird
  from the snare of the fowlers;
  the snare is broken,
  and we have escaped!

The escape David refers to in Psalm 124 was a literal, physical one, from an enemy that would have swallowed both him and his alive if it could; an enemy with “teeth” that regarded him as “prey”. He uses metaphors in his praise, but there was nothing metaphorical about the things from which he escaped. Very likely it was cold steel or a slew of arrows aimed in his direction.

The escape I’m thinking about is of a different sort.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

I Mean It, I Swear

An international team of university researchers concludes that people who curse more are less likely to lie and may possess more integrity than their politer peers.

What fascinates me about the study is not its rather pedestrian conclusions, which are all too predictable given the initial assumptions of psychologist Gilad Feldman and his team. After all, garbage in, garbage out, right?

No, it’s really the assumptions they make about the meaning of honesty that ought to cause Christians to stop and think.

Why? Because apparently the word no longer means what it once did.

Ugh. Not again.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Omission (Im)Possible

It’s Star Trek time again.

Relax, I’m into the third season of the original series; my fascination with this particular retro-pop culture diversion will wane shortly. In the meantime, I found this exchange instructive:

Claudius Marcus: I believe you all swear you’d die before you’d violate that directive. Am I right?

Spock: Quite correct.*

Dr. McCoy: Must you always be so blasted honest?

Ah, honesty. It’s one of the Ten Commandments. Sort of.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

A Chameleon Turning Plaid

Hey, I’m trying! I’m trying!
Easy question: What do all these statements have in common?

It’s locker room talk — it’s one of those things.

If everybody’s watching all of the backroom discussions and the deals, then people get a little nervous, to say the least. So, you need both a public and a private position.

Today it is the Democrats. Tomorrow it could be us.

Answer: They take for granted that speaking out both sides of one’s mouth is perfectly normal.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

A Kiss on the Lips

When I lie to you, I have wronged you. On some level I know it.

Immediate repentance and a request for forgiveness can fix that, although asking and receiving forgiveness for some of the stupid, pointless lies we tell can be humiliating. It rarely works out like a sixties TV confession where Ward pats Beaver on the head and says, “That’s okay, son, we all make mistakes; the important thing is being man enough to admit them” — after which everybody goes for ice cream.

More often the person you have wronged looks at you like you have three heads.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Too Hot to Handle: Where Do You Get Your News?

The most recent version of this post is available here.

Monday, September 14, 2015

The Motive That Matters

Yesterday we looked a little at the difference between rhetoric and lies. Some Christians can’t see that there’s a difference, and that’s okay.

Sure, almost everyone uses rhetoric regularly, so these folks are in for a tough time communicating with others if they eschew it. And I suppose they may struggle to grasp the meaning of the many rhetorical statements found in scripture. Not to mention that they’re going to suffer from epic verbosity, given the necessity of qualifying and contextualizing every statement they make.

Still, if someone wants to hold his speech to a higher standard of accuracy and explicitness, I won’t fight with him. It may be that he’ll manage to successfully communicate with people that you and I could not. And good for him if that’s the case.

So live and let live, I say, at least where the use of rhetoric is concerned.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Whatever Drives the Nail

You really have to watch yourself when you get into a debate in the comments section of your favourite blog.

There’s a certain beauty in being able to engage a large number of people at once. But a line of thought being developed between hundreds of individuals twists and turns and takes on a life of its own. In order to respond to any specific facet of the argument, you have to be quick off the mark or you may wind up saying something redundant. That, or your comment may appear so far from the things it references that it gets lost entirely. 

Thus a fair bit of kneejerking is common among commenters, which on occasion leads to making an idiot of oneself, like I did last night when I briefly found myself arguing something I don’t believe at all.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Human Nature Is What It Is

The false prophets condemned by God through Ezekiel are an interesting bunch — and not just because they were ancient, mysterious wise men believed by many to be heralds of truth when in fact they were spinning webs of lies that affected thousands.

No, they interest me because they remind me of people I know. Circumstances change. History moves on. But fallen human nature does not improve itself, even thousands of years later. Many of these false prophets could make a decent living today: as religious gurus, philosophers, authors and respected media figures.

And not all of them seemed aware that their pronouncements were untrue.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Liars and Motivation

Positivity and truth are not interchangeable
What drives a person to say something he or she knows is false?

When the stakes are fairly insignificant, without some counterbalancing sense of right and wrong, almost any trivial motive will do: desire for attention or status, concern about the potential consequences of an action we’ve taken and now wish to disclaim, a wish for petty revenge on a rival or even a distaste for the conflict and complications that often arise when one is completely honest.

But what about when the issues at stake are significant, maybe eternal? Whatever would possess someone to lie about the testimony of God?

Monday, July 14, 2014

The Snare Is Broken

The most recent version of this post is available here.