The Lie Remains the Same


Due to an overwhelming number of tasks on the old to-do list at year’s end, I called a halt to interacting on Facebook, that great time suck. I said goodbye to birthday congrats for people I hadn’t seen in 30 years, bid adieu to keeping up with other people’s holiday plans, and articulated a hearty aloha to commenting on someone’s else post that got my goat. And there were plenty of goat-getting updates to note.

Too many.

Now returned from exile, it seems to me that Facebook is awash with the kind of commentary guaranteed not only to get one’s goat, but raise hackles, rub the wrong way, get dander up,  make to see red, and stand hair on end. Everyone seems angry on the Internet, especially on Facebook.

But it’s the way people respond to the things that make them angry that should alarm a thinking person. Everyone and his brother must add their two cents, and it might as well be counterfeit coinage.

In nearly every conversation regarding culture, societal shifts, current events, politics, or religion, you see the following:

Does the Bible really say…?

People should be free to do what they want, so….

Over and over and over. And in almost every case, those two are used to justify something antithetical to orthodox Christian theology or to godly, righteous living.

I wonder if the people who resort to using that question and that statement recognize their source:

Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.'” But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
—Genesis 3:1-5 ESV

That supposedly clever line of reasoning some guy used to justify his immorality or someone else’s is old, old stuff. Back to the beginning kinds of justification and argument—just with contemporary wording to fit the spirit of the age.

Did God actually say…? Well, yes, He actually did. And your argument that He meant it in some other way that no one in 2000 years of Christian history has ever proffered as true should tell you something about the wrongness of your interpretation.

But then…

…And you will be like God…. You will be self-determining. You will be free to decide what is right and wrong. You will do whatever the heck you want to do, and no one will tell you otherwise because you told God to take a hike and enthroned yourself on His plush chair. You.

Red-eyed snakeEngaging the conversation in 2014 means a near-constant return to the Garden. Any time some postmodern Socrates chips away at traditional morality or invokes an alternate interpretation of truth, you can hear hissing between the words.

The part that no one who resorts to the old lies ever thinks through is this:

You will not surely die.

Actually, you will. And you’ll start that dying long before you get to the genuine finale. And then you’ll get a nasty, nasty surprise.

At least it will be a surprise to you. To some who weren’t spouting lies, it’s no surprise at all. They know that people who argue Satan’s way get to meet the originator in person.

Meanwhile, people who know better than to quote evil keep seeing the same old lies everywhere they turn.

If it weren’t so sad, it would be boring.

8 thoughts on “The Lie Remains the Same

  1. David Riggins

    The posts that get me are the endless lies told in evangelical circles about anything from diets to vaccinations. What is it about “Christians” that makes us react to science like we were the most ignorant, back-woods religious nuts? Honestly, we shake our heads at Muslims rejecting the polio vaccine, then hyperventilate about MMR and Autism, or the eternal dangers to our daughters bodies and salvation caused by the HPV vaccine, quoting long discredited “experts”. Huff. Tantrum over. But in the end, it’s caused by the same thing: Pride in ourselves, and lack of faith in God. We cannot merely wait upon the Lord, we must do…something. “God helps those who humble themselves, lean not on their own understanding, and acknowledge the Lord in all they do” doesn’t have the same ring as “God helps those who help themselves”. If the dichotomy of American Christianity could be defined, it might very well hinge on those two statements. (Really, I have to know MATH to post?)

    • David,

      The mirror is a cruel revealer, and we Christians avoid looking into it as much as anyone else does. Oh well. That may be Evangelicalism’s single worst trait: note the mess in everyone else’s place and not in their own.

      Now, onto vaccine craziness…

      When our son was born, we did a few things differently regarding vaccinations:

      1. We spread them out more. Not as many at once. Had a happier kid as a result, if what our friends’ anecdotes about their kids’s responses are true.

      2. We had some friends whose kids had real, tested, and proved debilitating effects after receiving the MMR. No anecdotes. Real doctor-analyzed bad side effects. For this reason, we split up that vaccine over time too. Getting individual components was super-hard, but we finally got the measles-only vaccine when the big children’s hospital in town got an extra vial. Should not have been that hard.

      As for math to post, even for all the spam blockers out there, my WordPress area for spam was filling up with too many caught spam comments held in moderation, and the trend was steeply upward. I despise the Captchas with the distorted letters, so I thought this would be my best bet because it was simple. I don’t want to constantly moderate the site, nor do I want commenters to register. This is the best solution I could find that is least intrusive while offering the best defense.

  2. bobp

    Good post, hmmm….

    And, if you don’t like what centuries of bible translators have been saying, then blame the translation.

    Doesn’t matter if you want to justify homosexual marriage or if a Jehovah’s Witness wants say Christ wasn’t divine. All you have to do is say, ‘ is that what it REALLY says?’

    Never mind dozens of different translations (or even other bible verses elsewhere) saying the same thing.

    As for FB I do like an occasional post or picture from a friend or relative I don’t see much. But I get weary of “Amber likes Walmart” or some dumb political joke.

  3. It is sad but not unsurprising that so many people are still sucked in by the same old lie. Man wants to believe the lie because man hates the idea of not being in charge.

    (BTW the math is getting harder, it used to be 2+_=4, now it is multip0lication. What next, calculus?!)

  4. I appreciate this because I am writing a post in a similar vein. If it gets posted because I managed the verbal gymnastics to say it without sounding preachy/irritating/dogmatic than your words may or may not be quoted within it. thx for writing, it is reassuring to see others with similar thoughts.

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