A Pandemic of Lies

There used to be some sense of shame when one was “caught” lying. Then came the open statement freely made when the facts didn’t add up, or maybe jokingly when all was square, “I lied” with no feeling of guilt or pain. Now nothing need be said at all if the facts don’t prove out. Just hold to what you said, and it will soon be forgotten.

Unless, of course, it is a situation where the “facts” are being searched. Then it’s time to look for an escape route. Or make the too-revealing facts “disappear.” At times it has even been deemed prudent to disappear oneself!

All because it started with a lie. This is why David prayed, Psalm 120:2

2Deliver my soul, O Lord, from lying lips And from a deceitful tongue.

Lying and deceit are twins—why? Because each supports the other. Deceit needs the lie, and the lie is made to cover the deceit.

The Psalmist was very clear about God’s attitude toward lying.

Psalm 101:7-87He who works deceit shall not dwell within my house; He who tells lies shall not continue in my presence. 8Early I will destroy all the wicked of the land, That I may cut off all the evildoers from the city of the Lord.

It is everywhere. Excuses, reasons, cover-ups, socially sanctioned deceptions keep the world going. It’s the standard most widely accepted.

Have we given into it? It is a caution sign WE need to be alert to when it is so widely accepted around us. No, not our spouse, or children, or parents, or boss, or co-workers, or friends, or elected officials. Our concern is for ourselves. How careful are we to tell it like it is,? Not that we will always remember all the details accurately, that is not the point. But do we try to color, exaggerate, embellish, or slightly mislead or deceive?

Maybe they are just little white lies, but we must watch out. They are always black on our record with God.

Today it is a pandemic of lies. Local and abroad. The media has no commitment to integrity. Mis-statements are so common in the press that they are hardly even noted. The writer slants the report—especially if it is political—to communicate what he or she wants it to say. This is generally recognized. In surveys, the percentage of people who “trust” the reporting of the press is low.

Lines like these are seen frequently, often AFTER the actual report:

A police officer lies to a grand jury
A scientist fabricates crucial research
A naval cadet is dismissed from Annapolis for an honor code infraction
Pseudo news is created and published
The president is accused of lies, and lies, and lies.

What is true? One can only guess.

The stark fact is: If it isn’t the truth, it’s a lie.

Our world today is in such a mess that dishonesty has become a part of the norm. With all the lying and accusations of lying even at official levels in government, one wonders how can children learn to value truthfulness.

The potential for untruth shadows us everywhere we go. A lady who ended up writing a book which she named “The Anatomy of a Lie,” told about coming face to face with her own issue of lying.

A medical physician, writer, and speaker, only minutes before leaving for the airport, dialed her favorite kennel to let them know that her Yorkie would be delighted to bunk with them while she was abroad.

An unfamiliar voice asked the critical question:

“Are Babu’s immunizations up to date?”

Oh! the doctor realized suddenly that Babu had not had the latest set of injections. She had been on the way to the vet with the pup a few weeks earlier when her car suddenly broke down, and in the hectic days that followed that missed appointment, she never thought of taking Babu for his immunizations.

Now, five minutes before an airport taxi was due to arrive at her house, when she suddenly thought to make the call, this new dog nanny had the nerve to upset her delicate pretravel balance. If she had answered truthfully, the kennel would have denied her dog admission until he was immunized, but how could she solve that so close to flight time?

She answered the young lady with a cheery “Yes,” that Babu was up to date. She said it intending to deceive.

As the cab driver left the kennel, the doctor saw a sign in the window in very large print: “If your dog is not immunized, we will do it at your expense.”

Here was Babu’s second chance. But she didn’t take it. Her priority in meeting her flight seemed far more important than the welfare of the pup.

She could have told the young girl the truth, but she would not. How could she admit that minutes before on the phone the venerable doctor had told her a bald-faced lie? She felt embarrassed and ashamed.

As someone has said, the truth ultimately may set us free, but first it makes us miserable. There was no justification for the lie. A reason, yes, but no excuse.

Looking back she could see that the initial fudgery was for her convenience, and the final lie was to protect her pride. She hadn’t measured up to the standard she had set for herself: to be always truthful even if it cost her her pride.

To lie is to deceive intentionally, and the Bible is filled with warnings and commands against lying and deceit. In looking at the Scriptures that condemn deceit and lying, notice also how many include pride. The two often go together.

The apostle Paul was very direct. It is part of the old man against the new man.  

Col. 3:9-109Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, 10and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him,

The other side is just as plainly a command:

Ephesians 4:14–15  14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ.

It is even directed toward integrity in one’s beliefs. Don’t be swayed by false teaching, says Paul. Don’t be…

Don’t be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting,

But “speak the truth”—it is an absolute MUST. Deceivers, liars, falsifiers all are condemned by God. Strictly. In fact, the deception, the deceiver and the deceived are all condemned together. Jesus said it in Matthew 15:14,

14Let them alone. They are blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch.”

Proverbs 24:28 is equally clear: 28Do not be a witness against your neighbor without cause, For would you deceive with your lips?

The Psalmist also expresses God’s attitude toward deceit: Psalm 5:6 

6You shall destroy those who speak falsehood; The Lord abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man.

The Lord addressed the situation in the time of Jeremiah, outright condemining the false prophets for prophesying lies in God’s name!

Jeremiah 14:14  14And the Lord said to me, “The prophets prophesy lies in My name. I have not sent them, commanded them, nor spoken to them; they prophesy to you a false vision, divination, a worthless thing, and the deceit of their heart.

Bad enough for the false prophets to speak the lies they made up, but to speak them as coming from God? That is what they were doing!

Again the Lord speaking through Jeremiah said,

Jeremiah 27:9  9Therefore do not listen to your prophets, your diviners, your dreamers, your soothsayers, or your sorcerers, who speak to you, saying, “You shall not serve the king of Babylon.”

This was just before the captivity, and the false prophets were telling the people what they wanted to hear! Isn’t it still happening today?

When Jesus listed the 13 evils that emanate from the heart of man, deceit is right there among them, along with all the rest.

Mark 7:21–23  21For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, 22thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. 23All these evil things come from within and defile a man.”

People make all kinds of professions by lying. They get higher wages, better jobs, and promotions if they can persuade someone by a lie. (We hired a manager at Digitech at one time, who said on his resume that he had a master’s degree from the University of Rochester. A couple of years later he confided to me that he had done much of the work toward the degree but had not written the required thesis—which was about half of the credit. He did not have the degree.)

In the book of Revelation the lake of fire and brimstone which is the second death is said to await “all liars.”

Read Revelation 21:8 8But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”

After the holy city is set up and going, there are those outside the city. The Revelator pictures both sides of the gate:

Revelation 22:14–15  14Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. 15But outside are the dogs, and sorcerers, and sexually immoral, and murderers, and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie.

Outside are the dogs—what company goes with lying!

No one can rightly profess to honor Christ and God and at the same time condone or support a profession that militates directly against him.

If we endorse anything God hates, abominates, or abhors, we bring ourselves under his condemnation.

The “lying tongue” is among the seven abominations (Proverbs 6:16 -19).

Proverbs 6:16–19  16These six things the Lord hates, Yes, seven are an abomination to Him: 17A proud look, A lying tongue, Hands that shed innocent blood, 18A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that are swift in running to evil, 19A false witness who speaks lies, And one who sows discord among brethren.

Notice four abominations in the dishonest category.

1- A lying tongue,…
2- a heart that devises wicked plans,…
3- A false witness who speaks lies, And
4- one who sows discord among brethren.

Proverbs says also in chapter 12 verse 22, lying lips are abomination to the Lord. Also the Lord abhors the deceitful man  (Psalms 5:6)

Our whole cause is for TRUTH. Truth in our lives, truth in our conduct, truth in our speech, truth all the way. Let’s sing about it again, and appreciate and practice it in every part of our lives.

There will be NO deceit and NO deceivers in the Kingdom. All will be outside the Holy City.

Revelation 21:27  27But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.