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The Boogieman of Truth

By Greggrey Cudworth February 24th, 2014 Recently Austin Hill, a radio commentator, said concerning Wendy Davis' run for Texas governor, the Republicans are following the wrong tactic by excoriating Davis for lying, because lying is no longer an issue and "it matters not for those inclined to vote for her." Now I am neither for nor against Wendy Davis, she as a lone politician and her politics are not the issue. What concerns me, and should be of alarm to all of us is that our culture has denigrated to the point where a news commentator has to admit lying is no longer considered a character flaw in our culture. It is not news that politicians have been caught lying to advance their candidacy and agendas. But when the media tells us it is no longer an issue, when the public no longer sees lying as character flaw, and when we hear of such connivery and are not repulse in anger, there is a problem deep within the heart of American culture. That is news! What makes Hill’s statement so problematic is the truth of it. Whether Hill meant it or not, he is saying the America public no longer considers God's word as relevant. Hill is telling us America no longer considers God's word as appropriate for the regulation of life. To the contrary, in America God’s word of truth is no longer germane to today's post-modern progressive society. We have digressed to the point where God’s law has become an anachronism and is no longer relevant in the practice of what we think and what we do. Lying is not new. Satan lied to Adam and Eve; Adam and Eve lied to God, and ever since then lying has developed into an art form. But just because lying is a prevalent way of life does not mean we justify our lying because others are fabricating the truth; we cannot not excuse our bad behavior by the bad behavior of others. So, what is the big deal since everyone does it? Why should lying by people we don’t know cause us to be concerned? The crux of the issue is that God doesn’t approve some lies depending on the circumstance. He didn't say lying is only a little sin verses the major sins such as murder. No! God said "Thou (you) shall not give false testimony against your neighbor." In simple English God says it is a sin to lie. Truth is more than the absence of telling a lie; truth strikes at the very core of our belief systems. So, what do I mean by truth? Somewhere deep inside the conscience of all men and women there lays the boogieman of truth waiting for his moment to jump into our thoughts and tell us this is right or that is wrong. We can’t get away from it; it is always there to prick our conscience into knowing full well what we are doing at any given moment. We try our best to put it in the closet so we can’t hear it murmuring “don’t do this, it is wrong.” Our society often does things such as using alcohol or taking drugs so we can’t hear the voice of reason shouting, “Stop, there is no truth to be found in what you are doing!” Why don’t we stop? Why don’t we listen to the boogieman of truth? Just asking why is not good enough; but the answer is not as difficult as it may seem. Unfortunately our nature is to want wrong more than we love right; to love the lie more than we love the truth, to do wrong rather than right. We are told there is nothing fun about being right, about telling the truth, and about doing what is good. We like the lie!

It is obvious we are not alone; anyone can hate the truth when it is personal and everyone wants to believe the lie that makes them feel good. So, what is it about the truth that we hate so much? Let’s look at the simple, little lies, before we get into the complex. We are surrounded by the lies of euphemisms used to hide reality. For example we are no longer fat, we are “plus size,” we aren’t out of work; we are “in between jobs.” Losing my job is ok because I was in “job lock.” Abortion isn’t killing a baby, it is a “woman choice”; I am not in debt, I am just “over extended.” Those are just a few examples, of the many, where we are told the lie and we believe it because it keeps us from facing the hard reality of life. But there is also the lie we tell ourselves which starts from within instead of coming from the culture. These are the lies where we believe right is wrong and wrong is right. Examples are, it is ok to cheat on my spouse; after all everyone does it. This is a double lie because, it is not ok and not everyone is doing it. This is just one of the many sexual lies we tell ourselves. The truth is, the sexual revolution was not evolution. It is perverted, dirty, licentious, and is literally destroying our culture. But the prevailing lie (and belief) is sex is good with anyone or anything. But a quick look at the broken homes, the lost kids, and the prevalence of sexually transmitted diseases tells a different story. But we believe the sexual revolution was good and lie to ourselves because sex feels good and it is a source of instant gratification; but the truth is, sex outside of marriage between a man and a woman has devastating personal and social cost. But more important are the lies which can destroy not only the body but the soul. Let’s take a look at a bible passage where there are some hidden lies which need to be revealed and where the truth could save our soul: John 7:1 After this Jesus went about in Galilee. He would not go about in Judea, because the Jews were seeking to kill him. 2 Now the Jews' Feast of Booths was at hand. 3 So his brothers said to him, “Leave here and go to Judea, that your disciples also may see the works you are doing. 4 For no one works in secret if he seeks to be known openly. If you do these things, show yourself to the world.” 5 For not even his brothers believed in him. 6 Jesus said to them, “My time has not yet come, but your time is always here. 7 The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify about it that its works are evil. 8 You go up to the feast. I am not going up to this feast, for my time has not yet fully come.” 9 After saying this, he remained in Galilee. 10 But after his brothers had gone up to the feast, then he also went up, not publicly but in private. 11 The Jews were looking for him at the feast, and saying, “Where is he?” 12 And there was much muttering about him among the people. While some said, “He is a good man,” others said, “No, he is leading the people astray.” 13 Yet for fear of the Jews no one spoke openly of him. Starting with verse 3 and 4, Jesus’ brothers are telling Him He should go to Jerusalem and reveal who He is to everyone. Their lie was the motivation behind this request. First they grew up with Him, they were traveling with Him, and they knew what He had been doing in the way of teaching and performing miracles. Yet they didn’t believe who He was; the God of the universe. Why? Because they wanted a messiah in the political sense, a messiah which would be accepted in Jerusalem by the worldly authorities. They wanted to be part of the establishment which worships money and power instead of God. They wanted to live the lie of religion instead of the truth of faith in Christ. Jesus’ answer (verse six) is very revealing in that He told them the truth in the request and their motivation. In essence He said I am on a different priority of time then you are; because you like the world and its ways and I am working on God’s time doing God’s will. Jesus is saying their inducement is in opposition to what He is doing and in conflict with the truth which He came to share with a lost and corrupt world. Jesus’ then speaks beyond His brothers’ motivations and beliefs about Him and hits at the core of their nature, deep down where their conscience lays. Verses 7 and 8 He tells them the world hates Him because He tells the truth; but not to worry the world will love you because you live the worldly life and are part of the lie. You may be my brothers but you belong to the world and its father is the father of lies, Satan. But we

shouldn’t be too hard on His brothers; they come around after the resurrection. But more importantly we shouldn’t be condemning Jesus’ brothers; rather we should be looking at our conscience to see if we are being faithful or just going through the activities of religious traditions to further our personal agenda, thus living the lie. Like Jesus’ brother, we are living in the world and liking it just the way it is; filled with lies and deceit. Why? Because we don’t want to be hated by the world, we want to be liked, we want to avoid rejection, we want to enjoy our sins without a guilty conscience, we want to be accepted, and most of all we want to be loved by everyone. Jesus then tells His brothers to go the festival, have a good time enjoying the things of the world. But He doesn’t go because He doesn’t follow the crowd. The multitude was going to celebrate a religious festival supposedly honoring God. But Jesus knew the hypocrisy and refused to be involved because the festival would be celebrated in a worldly way. In our quest for acceptance how many “festivals” do we participate in which are filled with licentious behavior, all the while telling ourselves this is good, this is fun, this is what life is all about. But if Jesus is our example shouldn’t we be willing to stand alone for the truth no matter how lonely it gets? Ultimately Jesus did go, but not publically and not participating. Meanwhile at the festival we see the greatest two lies people can tell themselves; Jesus is just a good man, and Jesus has a demon. The first statement is a gross underestimation of who Jesus is. Just a “good man?” He is not only transcendently good, which is far beyond our understanding, He is so much more than just a man. He is the God of the universe, the creator, the sustainer of all that is, He is love in its purist form, and He is far above our humble awareness. To call Jesus ‘just a good man” is an insult to the God of the universe. But worst than calling Him a good man, some said He had a “demon.” This doesn’t only stand in opposition to “good” but it is 180 degrees in opposition to who He is. There is no analogy on earth which can draw a picture of this blasphemous statement. This is calling the purest of pure the filthiest of filth. Why did they lie about the character of Jesus when most had seen the good He had done and no one had ever seen Him do anything which could have been construed as wrong or bad? The last verse tells it all, “They were afraid of the Jews.” They were afraid of being ostracized out of the community. They like their life style and they would not do anything to jeopardize their standard of living, even if they had to lie. We need to realize the little lies and the euphemism which are covering up the truth leads to bigger and more harmful falsehoods which are destroying the fabric of all which is good about our culture. Unlike Jesus’ brothers and the people at the festival we must insist on the truth from others; but first we must put the demands of honesty and truthfulness on ourselves. There you have it, we live in a sinful and corrupt world; but we like the world the way it is, and we don’t want to do anything to jeopardize our standing in it, even if it means we must lie when telling the truth would be easier. Even though truth is not always accepted in our culture, but we must try to live it and walk the straight and narrow road of righteousness. Why does the world hate the truth of Christ and Christians who are trying their best to live out their faith? Because Christ and our humble acts of righteousness prick their conscience, and then the boogieman of truth yells, “Stop, that is wrong!”