Combatting Cultural Lies

"Now it came to pass, when Jesus had finished these sayings, that He departed from Galilee and came to the region of Judea beyond the Jordan. And great multitudes followed Him, and He healed them there. The Pharisees also came to Him, testing Him, and saying to Him, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for just any reason?” And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.” (Matthew 19:1-6)

Have you noticed an increasing about of confusion in our world when it comes to what is true? Have you noticed any lies, deception, and hidden agendas at play in our world? How about blatant rejection of and rebellion against reality? If you don’t ever stop to closely examine the world around you, and the messages inundating you on a daily basis, you could easily just accept as normal and factual so many things that are not actually true.

Why is there so much deception in our world? The Bible gives us our answer, stating plainly:

“…the whole world lies under the sway of the evil one” (1 John 5:19). Satan, who is “a liar and the father of lies,” been spreading lies since the day he fell from heaven. And the question he uses on us over and over again is the same one he used on Eve in the Garden: “Did God really say…?” But Jesus Himself is the truth, and everything He teaches is truth. He said, “if you abide in My word…you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:31-32). And in Matthew 19:1-6, Jesus head-on confronts, combats, and refutes no less than seven prevalent CULTURAL LIES of our day; lies about truth itself and the source of truth, lies about the existence of God, the origin of our world, our origins as people, and even God’s design for gender and marriage. And He refutes these lies not with new, novel ideas, but with simple, direct, foundational truths from God’s Word

How should we, as the church of God, live in and respond to a culture that is immersed in lies?

Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 16:13-14:
“Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.”

As the people of the truth, we must know the truth, accept and embrace truth, and stand firm on truth, unashamed of it and without compromise, even when we are opposed for it and it costs us. And then, we must know how to handle truth, dispense truth, and live in light of it.

Furthermore, to people caught in the world’s lies, we must respond in love. When it comes to people who have been deceived by the cruel perpetuating of lies, we need to have compassion, and to be grieved for them. We need to pray for them and even fast for them. We must not avoid them or be dismissive of them, or address them in a manner that is rude, unkind, hateful, mocking, or condescending. Rather, we must move toward them, and speak the truth to them in love, with gentleness, patience, kindness, humility, and clarity. They need to experience the love of Jesus through us! But since “love does not rejoice in unrighteousness”, we always need to love without in any way condoning, affirming, applauding, or enabling sin. We cannot affirm sin, but we can still affirm them as a person.

When it comes to people who are actively and aggressively spreading lies and promoting false ideologies, first, we must not allow ourselves to become given over to fleshly anger. Second, we need to have the courage to call them out, and to speak out the truth to them clearly and lovingly; not argumentatively, but humbly, and not to win an argument but to give them truth. We need to pray for them. And even if they come back at us with hate, we must not return evil for evil, but love and bless them in return.

With both groups of people, we need to always remember, they are not our enemy, “for we do not wrestle against flesh and blood” (Eph. 6:12). And we must remember that what both of these groups of people need most is JESUS. While Satan and the world are holding out a false gospel to people, we need to keep holding out Jesus and the true gospel to them. It is only in Jesus that you will ever find your true identity, and the true and lasting love, joy, peace, happiness, freedom, community, and sense of belonging that your heart has been longing for.

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