The Bible says a whole lot of things. One thing it tells us is not to be deceived. All who are deceived think they are not, but then isn’t that the whole deal with deception? The one who is deceived has no idea that they, in fact, have been hoodwinked. They will stake everything on the fact that the very lie they have been lead to believe, is in fact, true. But they are wrong. The Bible warns us that Satan is the Deceiver. He’s been deceiving us from the beginning of time. And many times, Adam and Eve included, people have believed his lies. So what are we, mere mortals with deceivable brains, supposed to do? How can we fight against an enemy who seems to have the advantage of supernatural cunning and trickery?
We have to get out ahead of him. We must have discernment. We must seek the truth of the Scriptures. We have to pay attention to the world around us, and the changes that come so subtly that most don’t notice. We are easily distracted. He grabs our attention over there, while quietly yet effectively changes things over here through people who have been successfully… deceived. Then by the time we are engaged again with what’s happening, it’s too late.
The trial of Dr. Kermit Gosnell, the abortion doctor who is charged with killing five people, has gone mostly unnoticed by the media and the public at large. We weren’t paying attention. The truth is, that if most of us knew what really went on in many abortion clinics, we’d be sick. But we have been deceived. Dr. Gosnell is charged with killing one adult and four viable babies aborted in his clinic. It’s crazy. I read about a hospital where an aborted baby was born alive. It was placed outside the Neonatal ICU to die, while inside, other babies, wanted babies, were receiving the best of medical care to save their lives. One life deemed worthless, while others deemed precious. Who gives us the power to make those decisions? Life is precious and should be protected. But the Deceiver asks, “What about the life of the mother? Isn’t that precious?” You show me a mother who would put her life over the life of her child, and I’ll show you a very deceived person. “Okay,” the Deceiver says, “but what about rape? Surely no one could love a life brought about by rape.” So we are willing to say that just because man meant it for evil, God cannot mean it for good? Man chooses when to have sex, God chooses when to bring life from that union.
Okay, what about marriage? There are now ten states in the United States that have legalized same sex marriage. Ten. States. We have been deceived into thinking that we have the right to define marriage. My, aren’t we something? God must have had it wrong when he said, “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” (Ephesians 5:31)
That, in effect, is marriage defined. I’m not even going to talk about homosexuality here. I’m talking about marriage. We are being deceived into thinking that the very One who defined it, instituted it, made it holy and spiritual, is wrong, and that there is nothing inherently wrong with redefining it to mean what sounds more loving and tolerant. “Marriage is about commitment, and love. Does it really matter who the commitment and love involve? The world, the Deceiver, would like for us to believe there isn’t. Oh, it’s mostly about benefits and such, really. And aren’t we a country based on equality for all? Well, aren’t we?
And what about freedom of religion? It’s beginning to sound more and more like we have freedom from religion in this country. Often, Christians are being portrayed as obtuse, close-minded, uneducated, bumbling fools. We are the unenlightened ones. We cling to religion because we cannot think for ourselves. Bit by bit, the religious freedoms we have enjoyed in this country are being taken from us. Many Christian’s believe that the Christian thing to do is to be meek, but they mistake meekness for weakness. Christians are still part of “We the People…”
So how do we get out ahead of the enemy, the Deceiver? We actively seek truth. We pray for eyes to see, and ears to hear. We pray for discernment and wisdom. And we align ourselves with others who are doing that as well. Have you heard of the Manhattan Declaration? You might want to check it out. You might even want to sign it yourself. A group of Christians, Orthodox, Catholic, and Evangelical, have come together, and in one document, stated what they believe is truth from God’s word on life, marriage, and religious freedom. They have managed to put away the things they disagree on, focus on these things that matter, and that if we are not careful, will be gone forever. I’m inviting you to visit www.manhattandeclaration.org. Read the declaration. Be encouraged by it. Know that there are others who are refusing to be deceived. It’s not the popular position on these issues during these modern, enlightened times. But it’s time more believers started getting out in front of the enemy. We must not be deceived.
Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. (1 Peter 5:8)