The United States, and indeed the whole world, is in a battle for truth. If we are defeated in this monumental conflict, the consequences will be catastrophic. Politicians pontificate. Educators indoctrinate. Scientists and psychologists capitulate to woke ideology about gender and sexuality. Many news agencies are producing propaganda. Potential employees alter their credentials to get jobs. And many pastors are reluctant to preach the whole counsel of God for fear of some kind of ecclesiastical retribution, congregational exodus or governmental intrusion.
Russian chess grand master Garry Kasparov said, “The point of modern propaganda is to misinform, push an agenda and to exhaust your critical thinking so as to annihilate truth.”
Similarly, John MacArthur, pastor of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California, has said: “This post-truth culture is making critical thinking an exhausting battle, with their barrage of lies and deception, which is intended to wear us down and exhaust our will to fight against the deception.”
Though we may live in what some have called a land of liars, what kind of algorithm must one use to justify deception and dishonesty? The ninth commandment strictly forbids anyone from bearing false witness; and in John 8:44, Jesus Christ calls Satan the father of lies. He may cleverly seduce people into devious behavior, blatant crimes, flagrant transgressions, but as the father of lies he begets liars, whether in education, politics, the media or corporations. He is most notorious for his relentless and successful role as “deceiver,” and he manipulates human beings to accomplish his sinister schemes.
As a fallen angel, Lucifer slithered into the Garden of Eden and tempted Eve to eat of the forbidden fruit by telling a lie. He is the “father of lies” in the same way Karl Marx is the father of socialism (communism) and Petrarch is the father of humanism. Satan continues to be the most formidable con artist of all time. Today, he is amazingly effective at getting the elite to twist or manipulate the truth and at convincing the population to believe the wretched, squalid information that is dispensed daily.
Adolf Hitler, one of Satan’s most notable puppets, reportedly stated, “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.” Retired Army Col. Chester Buckenmaier wrote, “Hitler was a master at lies and worked in the medium like Rembrandt worked in paint. The tapestry of lies and misinformation that Hitler and his henchmen wove around the German people enslaved a nation and plunged the world into a war that cost millions of innocent lives.”
In Isaiah 59, the wise prophet assessed the condition of Israel after their return from Babylonian captivity and observed that the people had become so lethargic and cynical that their religious life was little more than a sham and they were beginning to lose sight of who they were as the people of God. In verse 14 Isaiah declares, “Justice is turned back, and righteousness stands afar off; for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter.” Does that sound like a haunting description of America today?
In this postmodern, cancel-culture society, we are being lied to by what we are told. And our children are being lied to by what they are not being told. Consequently, our children and grandchildren seem destined to grow up thinking that the beliefs they have been taught in a Christian home are abnormal, outdated or unusual, because they are not approved by the people who write textbooks and who seem to know what the world is all about. Likewise, many children will grow up with a positive disposition toward philosophies and ideologies that are completely foreign to the truth of God’s Word.
The question is: Will the truth or the lie prevail in minds and hearts today? Satan is the quintessential deceiver and architect of lies. Jesus is the Truth, and His Word, all of it, is infallible. Unfortunately, many do not see the truth. When Jesus stood before Pilate, the Roman procurator flippantly asked Jesus, “What is truth?”
Theologians and philosophers have debated that question for centuries. Today, our culture contends that truth is relative, that all paths lead to God (religious pluralism) and that the Bible is outdated and needs to be changed to fit our modern narrative. Others, like Pilate, do not seem to care that Jesus is “the Way, the Truth and the Life” (John 14:6).
Pilate was looking at the Truth and did not even know it. But Jesus is the absolute Truth—perfect, clothed for all to see in flesh and blood. In that moment, Pilate could have slain his doubts, put his fears to rest, embraced Christ and received the Truth, but history tells us that he simply walked away.
The Holy Bible, the Lord’s guidebook, is perfect and impeccable. Therefore, it does not need to be amended, edited or updated to accommodate a changing culture. Instead, it must be read, believed and practiced. Psalm 119:89 reminds us that God’s Word is “forever … settled in heaven.”
The Apostle Paul wrote, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16). Therefore, let us boldly stand for the truth and dare to expose the lies that could doom us individually and as a nation. And since the battle remains the Lord’s, may Christians never relent or retreat in declaring and defending His truth, which can set anyone free from Satan’s lies and deception. It is a war we must not forsake and cannot afford to lose. ©2023 J. Gerald Harris
Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, New King James Version.
J. Gerald Harris served as a pastor for 41 years with churches in North Carolina, South Carolina, Mississippi and Georgia. He also served as editor of The Christian Index, the state paper for Georgia Baptists, for 15 years until his retirement in 2019. He is the author of six books.