"Let everyone who is Godly pray to you while you may be found" (Psalm 32:6)
Time To Get Honest About Our Chosen Lies
By PASTOR JOHN ANDERSON
"There is a way that seems right to a man, but in
the end it leads to death." (Proverbs 14:12 and 16:25)
Many have said that the terrible events of September 11, 2001, should be a wake-up call. Agreed. But it should be a wake-up call for us as a nation and as the American Church to go to the mirror and take a penetrating look at the kind of people we've become.
Today the CHPA Pastor's Alert begins a series of discussions on this theme. We will distribute the Pastor's Alert about once a week. Any input you have will be appreciated.
We start with the pride that spawns self-delusions.
I remember as a youngster once hearing some older persons make idle comment about a high building in the city - I think it was a hotel. One said, "It doesn't have a thirteenth floor," and alluded to the superstition about the number thirteen.
I don't know if high buildings still are constructed without a thirteenth floor, but years later I realized that no matter what the floor just after number twelve is designated, it is still the thirteenth. It may make people feel better who are edgy about a thirteenth floor to have that floor labeled the fourteenth; but that cosmetic change doesn't alter the truth that in the numerical sequence of the floors it is still the thirteenth one.
We've learned to change the labels to alter the perception of truth: We call an unborn baby "a mass of tissue," "a collection of cells" or even "a fetus," anything to deny the unborn's humanity. An abortion is labeled "the evacuation of a uterus," "a termination of pregnancy," or "a reproductive right." Whoremongering is "promiscuousness." Fornication is "pre-marital sex." Adultery is "an affair." Sodomy is "gay." And on and on we go with our self-delusions.
Sadly, lying to ourselves could be called a national contagion. Columnist Craig McMillan said, "It is clear that our age has embraced the spirit of deceit. School principals endorse minor children lying to their parents about an abortion while they prohibit school nurses from dispensing an aspirin tablet without parental approval. Husbands and wives lie to one another about their sexual liaisons... Yes, we are drowning in a sea of deceit, tangled in a life jacket of lies, and going down for the third time both as individuals and as a nation."
When a nation listens to "the lie," as the Arthur S. DeMoss Foundation said in The Rebirth of America, "it dethrones God and deifies man's achievements; it exalts human reason as supreme; it trusts education and science to solve its problems; it believes that man is evolving into perfection; it replaces God's moral standards with situational ethics; it promotes sensual pleasure and instant gratification; it strives for a world utopia of prosperity and peace; it makes the State the sovereign dictator over everyone."
Dr. Alan Keyes said, "We have placed upon the throne lying and dishonesty and lack of integrity. And right now it looks as if there are too many Americans tempted to go down on their knees and worship that vice."
Who can forget that inglorious "age of lying" in the just-past presidential administration when we were told that perhaps "is" and "alone" do not mean what they mean and some kinds of sex are not sex. "Spin" became the "spin-word" for political lying. That president had the most scandalous administration in our history. Values were so ignored that the president could commit adultery Sunday morning, pick up his Bible and go to church, while a sizeable majority of the nation excused his sin and kept his approval ratings high, revealing, lamentably, the depravity in the electorate.
Even we preachers can hype our ministries, play the celebrity and push fads, and no one seems to care that we're not speaking balanced truth.
"They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved" (II Thessalonians 2:10). Sobering. Verse 11 says something even more sobering: "For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth." And verse 12 refers to those "who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness."
We didn't like how God's truth of the sanctity of human life kept us from the legal right to kill our unborn, so we dreamed up the "right" of a mother to kill her unborn baby. We didn't like how God's holy and happy truth for sexual intimacy within marriage kept us from sexual license, so we championed the lie of whoremongering. "If it feels good, do it." When we want to sin, we will find a way to toss out God's truth and embrace our own chosen lies.
The alarming part is that our chosen lies are now rooted deeply into our national character, revealed by the growing ease we are abandoning restraint in regard to them. We willfully forget that chosen sins bring consequences and judgment: "...all will be condemned" as II Thessalonians 2:11 says.
We find it hard to believe that God said to Israel and other nations, "I am against you" (see Ezekiel 21:3; 25:7; 26:3; 29:3; 35:3). Israel particularly couldn't believe God would say such a thing to them, caught up as they were in the hubris of their wonderful heritage.
And the same prideful attitude is showing up in our America.
But why should God be for us? We weep to ask, what does America have to recommend itself to the great Almighty God of holiness and justice? Why should God bless liars? Why should God bless us with our collective hands dripping with the blood of our unborn with no end in sight, when we are increasingly contending that such killing should be completely unhindered?
It is said that September 11 has changed our nation and has stirred us to examine our priorities, to examine what is really important. Good. Let's include in our time of evaluation the questions just asked. Plus, let us look deeply at the priority of national repentance with those in the pulpit expounding the Scriptures to lead the examination.
Let us pray together: "Lord, we rejoice in You as our heavenly Father. May the terrible events of September 11 be a wake-up call for us to examine the chosen lies we have embraced and the consequences of judgment that are sure to follow. May we return to You in humble repentance. We ask You for revival in Your church and a spiritual awakening in our nation. In the Name of Your Son and our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ, Amen."
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