Friday, April 11, 2008

Deception: The Path to Insanity

My incredulity toward people’s espoused beliefs has been increasing in frequency and intensity. Someone will assert an absurdity I think can’t be topped; before the day is over, I hear something even more preposterous. I find myself squinting, “What are they looking at? What do they see?” Someone will insist that the blackboard is white, that two plus two equals eight, that water isn’t wet, that evil is good or that good is evil.

A cursory review of current mental health statistics in the United States indicates an alarming epidemic. According to the Anxiety Disorders Association of America, anxiety disorder, a common form of mental illness, affects 40 million adults in the US age 18 and older. If mental illness were a contagious disease, we would be facing an apocalyptic pestilence. The numbers continue to skyrocket.

If you think “people have gone crazy,” be encouraged; at least you aren’t oblivious. A society’s mental state will decay as people grow more hostile toward the truth. As a society grows more hostile toward the truth, it will become more hostile toward the Church, “the pillar and ground of the truth.” (I Timothy 3:15) Jesus said, “… the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.” (John 16:2)

Professing believers who tolerate untruths are not immune to mental disequilibrium. Paul said,

“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (2Timothy 1:7)

Paul also said,

“ … and be not conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, for your proving what [is] the will of God -- the good, and acceptable, and perfect.” (Romans 12:2)

If soundness of mind is dependent on consecration to the God of truth, what will be the eventual state of any psyche that abandons the God of truth? The human mind was not designed to believe lies. Churches that ignore biblical prescriptions for the things that ail members dispense placebo remedies. In his sobering charge to Timothy to persevere in preaching the entire counsel of God, Paul spoke of the days we live in:

"For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables." (2 Timothy 4:3-4)

When a nation abandons love for the truth, it will spiral into cultural insanity and eventual cultural demise. Insanity indicates late-stage deception. Cultural death always follows metastatic deception.

How is it that pre-World War II Germany, a nation possessing enough scientific and technological genius to field some of the most sophisticated military technology in history could follow Adolph Hitler into national ruin? Deception eventually left Germany in a heap of rubble. History is replete with similar examples of megalomaniacs who rose to power on a throne of lies, out of a citizenry left defenseless by ambivalence toward the truth.

If Jesus is the Truth and His word the truth; if He upholds “all things by the word of His power,” (Hebrews 1:3) then where does this leave societies and individuals who abandon the truth? Over the years, I have had many opportunities to pray with and minister to people who would be considered mentally ill. Not one of them possessed a healthy grasp of the truth. If there is no place in heaven for liars, then hell will be the repose of the insane.

It is interesting to note that Antichrist, the incarnation of megalomania, will be buoyed to power on a sea of apostasy and ambivalence toward the truth.

“Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God … For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed … Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” (2 Thessalonians 2:3-12)

Only those whose hearts burn white hot with love for the truth will survive the tsunami of deception that is already overflowing the shores of all nations. Cultivate your love for the truth! Do not relax your grip. Do not yield. Those who endure to the end will be saved. The way that leads to destruction is broad. The way that leads to life is narrow; few find it.


Lord, cultivate in me a love for the truth.

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