What’s Satan Doing These Days?


william_blake_003_dragonI believe that Satan is the predator of my soul, the enemy who seeks to devour me spiritually, if only he could. He can’t because nothing can separate me from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus—not even angels or principalities or powers (Rom. 8:38-39).

So what’s Satan doing these days? I mean, the Bible gives us some notion of his activity “back then.” In the Old Testament we know he targeted Job and brought immeasurable suffering on him and his family in an effort to prove that Job’s faith had a foundation built on his health and wealth, not on God’s character.

Further, we know he, or one of his demon followers, opposed Michael as he set off in answer to Daniel’s prayer. We also know that, being the Father of Lies, Satan must have been behind the false prophets that misled Judah and Israel. We know in fact that he lied about God’s word to Eve:

The woman said to the serpent, “From … the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.'”

The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die!

I suspect Satan was the prime mover in a lot of the idol worship of the day, with its child sacrifices and temple prostitutes, but I’m not sure that’s verifiable. But he did prompt David to take a census of Israel, apparently in opposition to God’s dictates. And the prophet Zechariah saw a vision in which Satan was accusing the high priest (Zec 3:1).

In the New Testament Satan and his forces seem to have been less covert. He himself spent forty days tempting Jesus in the wilderness (Luke 4:2), capped by three specific temptations that called into question Christ’s deity (Matt. 4:3-10). In addition, numerous people Jesus encountered were demon possessed, at least one with a “legion” of evil spirits.

The Pharisees, according to Jesus, were following after their father the devil. Satan also entered Judas and prompted him to betray Jesus.

Paul said Satan hindered him from going to the Thessalonians, and he admonished the Corinthians to put on the armor of God to be able to stand against the devil.

Peter, writing in the first epistle bearing his name, said, “Be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (I Peter 5:8b).

There’s that devour business again. So the question is, has Satan stopped prowling about? Or does he only prowl about in places far, far away?

Or is he just as active today in exactly the same ways in the US as he was in Biblical times and Biblical places? If the latter is the case, then he is accusing some before God’s throne, demanding to test others, using schemes and snares to capture still others to do his will (see 2 Tim 2:26) and actually possessing some.

Yes, possessing some. While we in our educated, rational society look for sociological or psychological reasons for bazaar anti-social behavior, I am suggesting we shouldn’t dismiss the possibility that Satan is at work. We know he tempts, but he also tricks, lies, seduces, and bends some to his will.

I believe he is especially active when his territory is threatened, but I don’t have Scripture to prove this. Nevertheless, understanding the way conflict works, it seems logical.

Think for a moment about political conflict. There are two segments of society that don’t receive a great deal of attention from a candidate during an election—those he knows he cannot win, and those he knows he’s already won.

So too, I suggest, Satan ignores some while working double-time against others. (NO, I didn’t say political candidates are from Satan! 😆 Stay with me here).

Satan doesn’t need to give a lot of attention to those who are adamantly opposed to God. He already has them. Nor does he need to spend a lot of attention on those who are solid believers.

What he hates, I submit, are believers who have an impact on the “undecided,” who are forging into new territory—evangelizing, planting new churches, challenging Satan’s lies, and showing the love of Christ.

Thankfully, his efforts are futile as long as we believers stay alert and gird ourselves with the FULL armor of God.

So, what’s Satan doing these days? If we stay on our spiritual toes, I suspect it won’t take long before we see that he hasn’t changed. He’s still prowling about, still seeking somebody to devour.

This post is an edited edition of one that first appeared here in June 2010.

Published in: on January 30, 2017 at 5:56 pm  Comments (2)  
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Fiction Isn’t Lying . . . Until It Is


booksSome Christians, apparently, don’t think it’s OK to read fiction because fiction is all about made up characters, places, and events. In other words, it’s all lies.

I had never heard that point of view until I got on the Internet, and then mostly other writers said they’d been confronted by others who chastised them for their lies. I did read a post once by someone who took that extreme position, but it was new to me.

For one thing, appealing to the definition of lie explodes that view, the key being the intention of deception. No one who writes fiction pretends their story is factual. No one who reads fiction is unaware that the story is pretend. So no one is deceiving or being deceived. So fiction isn’t lying.

In addition, authors of fiction use the pretend to make statements about reality. In all my literature classes throughout college, we analyzed stories to determine, among other things, what the author was saying, what he wanted readers to take away or to believe about humankind or the world or God. Thomas Hardy, for example, wrote stories to show that humankind is pushed and pulled by fate. On the other hand, Charles Dickens wrote A Christmas Carol which showed that a person can change his ways and isn’t locked into beliefs by chance circumstances.

Those two views which are in opposition to one another can hardly both be true. One might be truthful or they both might be false, but they both can’t be true.

It’s still probably incorrect to say that one which is not truthful is therefore a lie. I’m certain Thomas Hardy believed he was truthfully showing readers the way the world worked, but he was wrong. In his made up stories Hardy revealed his own belief system, one that replaced God with the ‘unconscious will of the Universe’ (see Wikipedia).

My question is this: ought not a Christian writer who knows the truth, reflect truth in any story he or she writes? I want to be clear: I do not think any story can tell ALL truth. For one thing, we don’t have all truth. The Bible, though complete, doesn’t show us all there is to know about God. It is our view of the world through that dark mirror I Corinthians 13 mentions. Second, ALL truth would not fit into one story, even one the size of The Grapes of Wrath or Gone With The Wind.

So what “truth” is a novelist supposed to show in his or her story?

That’s the beauty of writing. An author can open the door for readers regarding all kinds of important truths.

I’m thinking of one novel, for instance, a fantasy, in which the God of that world was worshiped by both factions in an owner/slave society. Both believe this God figure provides for them. Which brings up all kinds of interesting questions: does God provide for the wicked as well as for the victimized? Are those enslaved believing in this God in vain? Is the ruling class worshiping in hypocrisy? Is there anything similar going on in our world?

I could go on to discuss ways in which a novelist can show truth by developing their theme, but the point I want to make is this: a Christian writer, while not burdened to show all truth (an impossibility, but an attempt at such would clearly necessitate the entire plan of salvation), should show truth.

Of course it’s possible to leave out any direct reference to God and still show truth. J. R. R. Tolkien did that. He had Christ figures, but not a direct reference to God or to Jesus.

What Tolkien did not do was mislead people about those Christ figures. He did not have Gandalf decide to take the One Ring for himself. He did not have Aragon desert the forces of Gondor. The one who would sacrifice himself for the fellowship did not turn evil. The returning king did not forsake those who trusted him.

Thus, what an author chooses to show about truth is really up to him, but he must do so faithfully. He would be lying to portray God or a God figure in his world to be selfish or greedy or blood-thirsty or immoral or weak. Any of those would be a lie. A Christian who knows God must portray some truth about Him if He or a representative figure shows up in the story.

Non-Christians who turn God into an it with an unconscious will or who make Him out to be evil, as I understand Phillip Pullman did in his fantasy series, aren’t lying about God in the same way a Christian who knows the truth would be. Rather, they have rejected God and are trying to make sense of the world without Him. They are more to be pitied, though readers must beware so they see the ways their views deviate from the truth.

In short, the Christian is really the only one who can lie in fiction. We know the truth. If we purposely misrepresent God, how can that be thought of as anything but a lie?

Defending God


Lion-origional, smallOne thing that the guest preacher at my church said Sunday is that God doesn’t need us to defend Him. At one point he referenced Rottweilers, as in, some Christians see themselves as attack dogs defending God.

I think this idea that God doesn’t need to be defended has gained traction lately. In fact, I’ve recently read or heard some version of a now famous quote by Charles Spurgeon to that affect: “The truth is like a lion. Whoever heard of defending a lion? Just turn it loose and it will defend itself.”

Yes, Spurgeon said “truth,” not “God.” But the Christian can certainly extrapolate to God.

So, is it true that Christians are not to defend God? Certainly no one is going to actually harm God or do away with Him (though some have tried). And our defense of Him certainly isn’t an attempt to preserve His life.

Rather, as the preacher Sunday used the term, it seemed tied to defending God’s honor or His will, His preferred way of doing things.

It is kind of silly to talk about defending the Sovereign Creator God who is all mighty . . . and yet, I think Scripture asks us to do just that. It’s one of the oddities of the Christian faith—like the last being first and losing our life to save it.

For a while there, leaders in my church liked to say we believers are the hands and feet of Jesus. It’s a good metaphor, but the truth is, Jesus doesn’t need weak, fallible, sinful humans to do His work. But He wants us to do His work.

I think defending God is the same thing. God doesn’t need us to defend Him, but He wants us to. I think that’s a Biblical position. In his short letter, Jude says,

I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints. (v. 3b, emphasis added)

Paul tells Timothy to “guard what was entrusted,” and even to “fight the good fight, keeping faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and suffered shipwreck in regard to their faith.”

He gives the church in Ephesus the list of armor and tells them to stand firm against the schemes of the devil because we struggle and we need armor to protect us in the struggle.

Peter, in his second letter, had a great deal to say about false teachers, but he concluded by bringing the application home:

You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men and fall from your own steadfastness. (2:17)

All this to say, it appears to me Scripture paints a picture of opposition in this world. On the one hand is truth and on the other falsehood—that is, God and His way opposed by Satan and his desires.

So if believers are to be in the fight, we are not just trying to survive. At some point we are to go on the offensive. I think that’s what an apologetics ministry like RZIM is all about:

The primary mission of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries is to reach and challenge those who shape the ideas of a culture with the credibility of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. (Excerpt from the RZIM Mission Statement)

But here’s the thing: when the Christian contends for the faith, the primary modus operandi is to proclaim the truth. The gospel itself is an offense to those who are perishing. We certainly don’t need to add our own offense. We ought not put ourselves into the spotlight and become the story.

Rather, we are to contend by speaking the truth in love; speaking with grace; being at peace with all men as much as it is up to us to do so; being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks about the hope that is in us, yet with gentleness and reverence.

So, yes, as an extension of the truth, we are to defend God. We counter lies with proclaiming what is true. That, by the way, is what Spurgeon’s quote is all about—letting the lion out of the cage.

The image is not someone saying, Oh, the lion can defend himself, then walking away. It is of someone actively opening that cage so the lion can go to work.

We Christians too often strive and struggle and find our efforts garnering mockery and ridicule. But I wonder if some of that is because we’ve taken up sticks and stones and have decided to defend God with our own tools and in our own way.

Contending for the faith is little more than opening up the Bible and declaring as true what God said about His person, plan, Word, and work in the world. Mostly, we need to remember that our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against spiritual forces out to lie about God. So we counter the enemy’s offensive by proclaiming the truth.

It’s a job God could do for Himself, but for some reason, it pleases Him to get us involved. It makes me feel as if He’s asked me to guard the King’s crown or something really, really valuable. After all, something worthless needs no guard. Only the most precious needs to be protected. Imagine, God giving us such a responsibility!

Published in: on August 12, 2014 at 6:56 pm  Comments (2)  
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Language And Thought


talkin-about-revolution-700582-mThe debate is not new: does language shape thought or does thought give rise to language? In some ways, a companion argument exists: does popular culture reflect society or is society shaped by pop culture?

In both, the question seems to be, does giving expression to thoughts influence others to think the same way or does it merely reflect the way people are already thinking?

My answer generally is, yes.

I believe the Bible gives us reason to believe that thought precedes language. Romans 1, for example, makes it clear that before Scripture was written, before prophets prophesied or apostles preached, humankind knew God through creation:

because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. (Rom 1:19-20)

Thought, then, pre-exists language. They saw God’s attributes, eternal power, and divine nature in what He made, not because of what He said. They understood without a verbal lesson.

And yet clearly God values language. Jesus is named the Word; God inspired the writing of Scripture; the Father Himself wrote His commandments in stone; and through His angel, He commissioned those who believe in Jesus to make disciples, baptizing and teaching.

Over and over, Scripture itself verifies the importance and veracity of Scripture. That may seem a little odd until you remember that the all-knowing God is the author. Who is positioned better to make a judgment about His Word? The idea that finite humans can pass judgment on what an infinite God said is laughable.

So from Scripture we learn, for example that God’s word is tried (tested) (Ps. 18) and stands firm (Ps. 119), that it endures forever (Is. 40 and 1 Peter 1), that it is righteous and faithful and upright and pure (Ps. 119), that it gives understanding (Ps. 119).

Here’s the key to understanding God’s Word:

The sum of Your word is truth,
And every one of Your righteous ordinances is everlasting.

Taken together, God’s Word is true. Taken one by one, each of His decrees will last forever. The sum and the parts, then, are vital in identifying what God chose to communicate.

There’s another interesting aspect to language, however. Satan introduced lies. From the beginning of this fallen angel’s interaction with humankind, he has called into question God’s truthfulness, proving himself to be the liar.

But Eve fell for his game: Did God really say . . . ? And people today continue to be swayed by Satan’s words–an evidence, then, that language has the ability to persuade. God made His existence evident to people, and yet many have been persuaded away from what they once knew.

The same happens among people claiming the name of Christ but denying His word. Essentially they asked the question, Did God really say . . . ? And many of them have concluded, No, he did not.

Why? Because they have evidence to the contrary? No. They simply have determined in their hearts that “their god” wouldn’t say such a thing or do such a thing. Or they’ve undermined the idea that He actually inspired writers and communicated to us His purpose, work, person, and plan. No, they say, language has no static meaning. What certain words meant two thousand years ago to a people living in a different culture, speaking a different language, can’t possible retain the same meaning for an audience today.

In so saying, God’s power is also called into question. The God who said, with Him all things were possible and proved it by the Incarnation of Jesus, born of a virgin, now, according to those who deny the Bible’s authority, cannot govern language to the degree that what He wrote millennia ago retains its meaning today. So much for an all powerful God.

So here’s the conclusion: thought gives rise to language (God’s thought, communicated to the people He created, first by making us in His image–thinkers who communicate). But language can also shape thought.

Sometimes, for instance, giving voice to ideas, either verbally or in written form, clarifies what a person believes, even to himself. In turn, those thoughts given concrete expression can influence the thinking of others. Isn’t that the general point of communication?

More to say about how praise and thanksgiving fit into this, but I’ll save those thoughts (and words 😉 ) for another time.

Published in: on February 6, 2014 at 7:30 pm  Comments (8)  
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Satan The Ape


Pongo_pygmaeus_(orangutang)Many people associate Satan with a snake and some with a lion. Others familiar with the books of Revelation and Job might even think of him as a dragon. But an ape?

Well, technically, he isn’t actually an ape. Rather he apes, meaning he “imitate[s] the behavior or manner of (someone or something), esp. in an absurd or unthinking way” (Oxford English Dictionary).

I suspect the verb came into being because of the way apes mimic the behavior of humans when given the chance. I’ve never see this activity myself, but there have been a number of sitcoms of old (“I Love Lucy” comes to mind) that played on this propensity of apes to imitate.

As I think about Satan’s work in the world, I see him aping what God does. Which makes sense, Satan not having the creativity God has. Hence, Satan takes something God has created and makes a pale copy. For example, God taught us to love our enemies and to forgive those who treat us badly. Any number of people, such as Corrie ten Boom and Elizabeth Elliott and Gracia Burnham, have done so through the power of Christ, with remarkable results.

So what does Satan do? He twists and perverts so that love and forgiveness become tolerance. He apes God-ordained marriage by inducing “same-sex marriage.” He turns romantic love into lust and a healthy interest in sex into an obsession with pornography and all kinds of perversion.

Satan has refined all this aping and imitating with his propensity to lie, confounding people about the core issues of life. Is it too hard to believe that he’s behind the idea that the universe came from the mind of nothing rather than from the mind of Omniscience? In addition, he twists the truth that Mankind is made in the image of God into belief that Mankind doesn’t have a sin nature.

He also mimics God’s plan to establish His church by planting pale imitations, each with their own sacred texts and their own miracles and their own prophets.

His ultimate plan to ape what God does, will be the Antichrist who one day will arrive among men, appearing as a savior.

The thing Satan cannot copy or twist, however, is God’s grace. It is this aspect of Christianity that makes it unique. Other religions can talk about love and peace, but only Christ went to the cross on behalf of sinners. Only Christ rose from the dead in order to bring new life to those who believe on His name. Only Christ offers to cancel out the certificate of debt against us as His free gift.

Published in: on February 27, 2013 at 6:20 pm  Comments (2)  
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Seeking To Deceive


Paradise Lost


A couple years ago, I wrote a post about Satan’s activity entitled “What’s Satan Doing These Days?” I want to explore that topic further, slotting in some specifics.

Satan hasn’t changed. He’s the same fallen angel in revolt he was that first day when he decided he wanted God’s place. He’s not inherently creative as God is, so all he can do is mimic and lie. Of course he had pretty good success the first time he donned the skin of another creature and called into question God’s integrity, so he may have little motivation to experiment with different tactics.

The point is, Satan’s purpose is the same today as it was thousands of years ago when he confronted Eve: he seeks those he can devour and he uses deception as his chief weapon.

“Be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (I Peter 5:8b).

“he is a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44b)

In seeking to devour Eve, Satan told her first that surely she would not die, even though God had said the opposite.

Today, Satan continues to whisper that lie into the ears of all who will listen. Reincarnation, for example, promises endless numbers of lifetimes, but is nothing more than a form of Satan’s old lie.

Satan also told Eve that if she ate of the fruit of the forbidden tree she would be like God, knowing good and evil. Today he lies to Mankind by saying we already are like God. We are innately good, we have power within us, we can achieve enlightenment.

Another one of Satan’s favorite lies, a corollary to his “you won’t die” fabrication, is that you won’t face judgment. It’s a way of saying there’s no “second death,” no spiritual death. False teachers who claim that God has “repented” of his wrath displayed in the Old Testament, and now is loving and kind and would never be so heinous as to torment people in hell for eternity, are playing right into Satan’s bag of tricks. Satan himself undoubtedly wishes this one were true, but the worst part about this tactic is that he is impugning the character of God.

His unspoken indictment of God when he was talking with Eve, was that He cannot be trusted. God, according to the inferences Satan made, wanted to keep all knowledge of good and evil to Himself for some selfish purpose so that He could lord His power over men and women. Hence He was not beneath giving warnings that weren’t true just to keep Adam and Eve away from what He wanted exclusively for Himself. If any of that were true, then God would not be good, His word could not be trusted, and He would not love His creation.

Today, of course, nothing is more under attack than whether or not God spoke the truth when He revealed Himself in the pages of Scripture. His word, His authority is at question to the point that people naming His name still decide whether or not they will believe and/or obey what He has said.

So not much has changed. Satan is still seeking to devour and his number one tactic is to deceive.

Interestingly, the spiritual weapon the Christian is equipped with, according to Paul in his letter to the Ephesians, is the sword of the spirit, the word of God.

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God,. . . and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. (Eph. 6:12, 13a, 17b)

How can we use our Sword if we’ve listened to the enemy whispering that it isn’t reliable, that it has parts and places where it’s corroded?

We must not give him quarter. We must not allow him to ding our weapon. We must not let him pull the same scam he did with Eve. God is not a liar, His warnings are true, His judgment is sure, and His word can be trusted. It is Satan who has proven himself false.

Published in: on August 29, 2012 at 6:20 pm  Comments Off on Seeking To Deceive  
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Warnings Or Threats


Jesus Christ came to seek and to save. That cost Him His life. But Scripture also says He gave us an example to follow. Peter said it clearly in his first letter.

For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, WHO COMMITTED NO SIN, NOR WAS ANY DECEIT FOUND IN HIS MOUTH; and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously; and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed. (1 Peter 2:22-24)

So Christ is our model. When he was condemned, censured, abused, attacked, He didn’t sling invectives back. While he was beaten bloody, while he hung dying, He didn’t curse those who were responsible. He didn’t threaten them with Hell, and surely He could have.

I started thinking about threats in the context of warning sinners about their eternal destiny if they don’t repent.

I’ve said before that part of a Christian’s responsibility is to tell people the truth about what their headed towards. How else can they turn from the error of their ways if they haven’t heard that their ways are leading to destruction?

I’ve likened the Christian’s role to that of an emergency worker warning traffic that up ahead the bridge is out. They can’t slow down and carefully easy their way forward. No, the bridge is gone! If they continue down the road, they will crash. No other option. They must either turn around or die.

Is that a threat?

I know some atheists think so. They look at Christians as gleeful in their pronouncements of doom.

The truth is, there’s a difference between warning someone of impending disaster and threatening someone with it. In the first case, the person is trying to prevent harm and in the second, he is calling it down on another’s head.

Sadly, I believe the Christian’s job to proclaim the truth about God’s justice is much harder as a result of a misguided group of people professing Christ but listening to false teaching–the Westboro Baptist folks.

They were in the news here in SoCal a week ago as they made plans to come and picket the funeral of a soldier killed in combat. As it turned out, they didn’t show up, but the local community was up in arms and ready to spring a counter-protest.

These wrong-headed people from Kansas are in no way following in Jesus’s steps. This from a news release sent out days before the funeral and still available on their web site:

GOD HATES AMERICA & IS KILLING
YOUR TROOPS IN HIS WRATH.
Military funerals have become pagan orgies of
idolatrous blasphemy, where they pray to the
dunghill gods of Sodom & play taps to a fallen fool.

The last line is the worst: “THANK GOD FOR IEDs.” That would be the weapon used to kill this soldier.

So how is it that people like this think they are walking in obedience to God’s will? Christ was suffering but He made no threats. Do they think that because they’re not the ones suffering, it’s OK to issue threats and recrimination?

In the end, all they accomplish is to confuse society so that when someone wants to issue a warning, it’s taken as a threat. But that’s what false teaching does–it plays right into the hands of Satan, the father of lies.

Published in: on June 28, 2012 at 6:23 pm  Comments Off on Warnings Or Threats  
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Pop Culture and the Normalizing of Anti-religion


For some time, I’ve seen trends in the way pop culture turns society’s values upside down. TV has become a favorite vehicle for this process.

First comes humor or sympathetic inuendo, then regularity, and eventually a politically correct attitude and legal protection.

Take abortion for example. First came the stories of back alley abortions. In this case, legal protection came next. Then regularity, or normalcy, followed by a politically correct attitude that sneers at pro-life.

Or pornography. First “adult bookstores” and people that frequented them were joked about. Then TV programs like Cheers and Friends normalized viewing porn, and now it is considered free speech and protected by our constitution.

Go back further to divorce which once was considered something shameful. Along come shows like The Brady Bunch and The Partridge Family, and we started talking about blended families as a normal part of the culture. Laws that once limited who could file for divorce soon became “no fault,” and now it is a rare occurrence even for a pastor to suggest divorce is something God hates.

We could go on to sex outside marriage or gay rights or animal rights or spanking children or any number of topics. You get the idea.

Well, the latest subject under attack is … God. Or so it would seem. A new movie is out, starring a good number of A-list actors, called The Invention of Lying. Today our paper (the Whittier Daily News) ran a review. The premise, it seems, is innocuous enough. The characters in the story world do not know about lying. Consequently everyone tells the truth, all the time (no fiction or tact—evidently, “telling the truth” means a person has to say whatever is on his mind). Until one loser writer invents lying.

At that point, however, the movie, according to the review, turns from silly to thoughtful because it begins to address The Biggest Lie—religion—exploring what that one lie can do to help or limit the human race.

Did you catch that? This is not a discussion about whether religion is a lie or not. That, apparently, is a given. We’re moving on, in other words, in the cultural upheaval process, to normalizing this belief.

Coincidentally, I saw something similar, albeit on a smaller scale, last night on a TV show called Lie to Me. Two of the “good guys” were sent to a cult to see if the leader was perpetrating tax fraud. In the process, one of the good guys makes a disparaging comment about prayer or God—I don’t remember which. The other good guy said, What’s wrong with praying when you need help? Good guy #1 says any other time people talk to someone who isn’t there, it’s called delusional. Then the show moved on.

The statement sat there unchallenged.

Seems I remember hearing that book buyers need to hear the title of a book seven times before it really starts to register. I wonder if it’s the same with “God is a lie.”

How long before our culture is adding to the “truth bucket,” alongside such fallacies as gays are cool, God is a lie and so is religion?

Published in: on October 6, 2009 at 4:07 pm  Comments (7)  
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Satan’s Favorite Lies


Satan’s most famous lie was that first one, “You surely shall not die.” And believe it or not, he continues to bandy that deception about. In his little book Oprah, Miracles, and the New Earth, Erwin Lutzer, senior pastor of Moody Church in Chicago, points out that “redefining” death is one of the ideas that is spreading in our culture.

One influential writer teaches that death is an illusion. Others latch onto the Eastern belief in reincarnation. Whatever the means, these “redefinitions” are lies, and they stretch believability. You’d think any sensible person could see through it, but the way lies work, one leads to another, and another, and another.

Along with, You won’t die, Satan seems to be fond of propagating the idea that he is as strong as God. The typical picture of the world is a duality, with a powerful god and an equally powerful devil vying for supremacy. Where did that idea come from? Not God. Scripture makes it clear He is unequaled in power. That He already is supreme.

A corollary of the duality idea is that Satan is king of Hell rather than Hell’s chief prisoner and greatest sufferer.

Other lies Satan likes to throw around:

Jesus was a good man—not God, but certainly a good man, though a little idealistic.

Man is good, not sinful. In fact, Man is so good, he can find within himself the secret to happiness.

God is whoever you want him to be. The implication here is that god is a creation of Man. You want him to be mother nature, then that’s what she is. You want it to be the life force of the universe, then that’s what god is. You want god to be Allah or Jesus or Jehovah, sure, that works too. Because god isn’t actually a real person, just your understanding of what’s behind all things.

There are others, many others, but I see a common thread. These lies are either an attempt to bring God down to the level of Man, or to elevate Man to the level of God. Which goes back to Satan’s real problem. He has, since before time, wanted to be equal with God, and since the creation of Man has tried to sell Man the same bill of goods.

So here’s a pretty easy way to spot false teaching. If God—and I mean all three persons of the Trinity—is not represented as transcendent, as high and exalted, then that teaching is false. On the other hand, if Man is represented as equal to god or on his way to becoming god, that teaching is also false.

Rack those up as part of the collection of Satan’s favorite lies.

Published in: on June 19, 2009 at 2:04 pm  Comments (4)  
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