We live in a world where absolute truth is no longer accepted. Belief in God is mocked. And some people treat Christianity as a fantasy.
The world loves to bombard us with lies. Sometimes these lies are blunt and obvious from miles away. But they can also be cleverly disguised and we unwittingly accept them.
Have you ever tried to hide a pill from your dog by covering it in peanut butter? Or maybe you’ve tried those “pill pocket” treats. Most dogs figure out this trick and spit the pill out, eating only the good stuff.
The world likes to hide its “pills” in peanut butter too—deceitful philosophies show up in social media, news, books, movies, and music. But unlike our dogs, we Christians often swallow these “pills” unnoticed.
We’ve been lulled to sleep by the soft whispers of deceit. When we hear something often enough, we may begin to believe it to be true.
We must combat the lies with truth–The Truth of God’s Word (John 17:17).
There are two ways we must confront error to focus on the truth of Scripture:
Confront the Lies Boldly
When the world teaches things that contradict Scripture, we have to be willing to be bold and stand up for the truth.
Paul says in 2 Timothy 1:7-8, “…for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God.”
This reminds me of a scene from The Silver Chair, by C.S. Lewis. Spoilers ahead, so proceed with caution. 🙂
The heroes of the story have been captured by a witch who is trying to put them under a spell with an enchanted fire. When they try to protest, she picks apart their arguments, telling them there is no world above ground, there is no such thing as the sun, and there is no such thing as Aslan.
Her magic is working until Puddleglum the marsh-wiggle takes action:
The Prince and the two children were standing with their heads hung down, their cheeks flushed, their eyes half-closed; the strength all gone from them; the enchantment almost complete. But Puddleglum, desperately gathering all his strength, walked over to the fire. Then he did a very brave thing….he knew it would hurt him badly enough; and so it did. With his bare foot, he stamped on the fire, grinding a large part of it into ashes on the flat hearth.
What if we as Christians were willing to step on the proverbial fire and reveal the world’s lies for what they are?
Instead of allowing ourselves to be lulled to sleep, we must stand up for the truth.
It might hurt and we might suffer. But Truth is too important to be ignored.
Confront the Lies With Gentleness and Respect
At the same time, we must temper our boldness with kindness.
1 Peter 3:15-16 tells us to “always [be] prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you…” Now this is important. Peter doesn’t tell us to make a defense by shouting that they are wrong and we are right. The verse goes on to say, “yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame.”
It sometimes feels like Christians read the first part of verse fifteen, close their Bibles, and go bash everyone on the head who doesn’t agree with them.
But we are to confront the lies of this world with gentleness and respect. We are to act in a way that glorifies Christ.
The world is full of distortions of truth and flat-out lies. Sometimes it’s just easier to ignore the issues rather than facing them.
But we must be brave like Puddleglum and be willing to stamp on the fire of untruths. We must stand up for what is right in the face of evil. We cannot cower.
And yet, we must be gentle and respectful. When we are unkind towards others, that casts shame on the name of Jesus, which is obviously something we do not want to do.
So when the world tries to hide its “pills” in attractive peanut butter, we need to recognize them and point them out. We must defend the Truth.