by Rev. Benjamin Chung (鍾立恆牧師)
Our country is going through a moral revolution of sorts right now. We are dealing with the topic of lying, and we don’t even use the simplest of words. Some synonyms of lying are: deceitful, dishonest, two-faced, insincere, and false. Most recently, we are seeing lying taken to a whole new level.
We hear about “fake news”, where the truth is hidden by putting out false information first, thus confusing people with the lies first, before the true information is reported in the news. This also plays on our brains, as information that is received into our neural networks are embedded first and become harder to dislodge from memory. Therefore, it can be extremely difficult to convince someone of a lie they believe because they heard the “fake news” first. As of this writing, it is puzzling how several news agencies report different electoral college totals for the presidential election. Who is right? Many are not, because they’re claiming the Biden is president-elect, even though the vote totals have not been confirmed by a single state yet. Several states are also dealing with potential voter fraud with dead people voting and potential software manipulation.
Another term that is popping up is “gaslighting”. This is when people cause psychological confusion and create doubt in the victim by manipulating the situation to make the victim appear wrong and inferior. This is a psychological disorder called, narcissistic personality disorder. Such individuals believe the world revolves around them and they cause others to fall in line with their thinking through lies and manipulation. An example would be to hide your husband’s sunglasses somewhere and then say to him, “You’re so irresponsible! You keep misplacing your sunglasses.” It’s a lie, through and through, since the husband was framed by the wife.
This is what is happening today. We need to be careful of the news source we use and read. Another difficulty is when it is someone we know and trust. Perhaps a family member has heard some fake news and believes it is true. Convincing them of the truth becomes even more difficult. Then the lies they are espousing is not malicious, but due to another party. We must be wary of those who general “false truths”. Proverbs 12:22 says, “Lying lips are an abomination to the LORD, but those who act faithfully are his delight.”
This also reveals the importance of training up our children from the beginning in the fundamental truths found in Scripture and the Christian faith. We are to bring them up in discipline and instruction; not provoke them to anger. “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the LORD” (Ephesians 6:4). Let us all be careful of the information we share and be willing to receive evidence that may be contrary to what we know. After all, there are still many who even deny that Jesus even existed. But we know He did, through the Bible and the miracles He has done in our lives! Hold on to the truth, brothers and sisters!