Can You Be Deceived? [Excerpts - Part 2)
[TBC: Reasons why people are deceived, continued…]
Sixth, perverted and unbiblical views that forgiveness means we put up with and overlook everything, even ongoing sin and disgrace. The word “repentance” is being milked and used to justify all manner of evil. True repentance will issue out in biblical change (Matthew:3:8, Acts:26:20, 2 Corinthians:7:9-11).
Seventh, there is an enemy of our souls who goes about like a “roaring lion” (1 Peter:5:8). Satan is a master deceiver and we are called to put on the armor of God and confront his reasonings and errors and bring our thoughts into captivity and in alignment to Christ (2 Corinthians:10:3-5).
Albert Barnes says it so well: “Every power of thought in the heathen world; all the systems of philosophy, and all forms of opinion among men; all the purposes of the soul; all the powers of reason, memory, judgment, fancy, in an individual, were all to come under the laws of Christ. All doctrines were to be in accordance with his will; philosophy should no longer control them, but they should be subject to the will of Christ. ... All the emotions and feelings of the heart should be controlled by him, and led by him as a captive is led by a victor. ... The strongholds of philosophy, heathenism, and sin should be demolished, and all the opinions, plans, and purposes of the world should become subject to the all-conquering Redeemer.”18
Eighth, the Scriptures predict there would be a departure from the faith because of seducing spirits and doctrines of demons and that people would opt for myths and fables over the truth (1 Timothy:4:1-2, 2 Timothy:4:1-4). Jesus warned of deception in Matthew:24:24.
Ninth, because we are being conditioned by our culture and television, we have lost the ability to blush. Everything and anything is paraded before us in the media as being permissible for our mental diet. Murder, immorality, shock radio, abuse, perversion — nothing is off-limits. Nothing shocks us or grieves us. Our culture is becoming satiated and dulled and we are affected. Young people are piercing, branding and mutilating their bodies. Some seek even vampirism as an option.
Some in the Charismatic world need still more frenzy, wilder manifestations and altered states of consciousness to satisfy and then they keep going back for more “anointings.” They are spiritually and emotionally jaded. They are hooked not on heroin but on adrenalin. So many are addicted to emotions and emotional highs. Many burn out spiritually in their quest.
Tenth, we have become a culture of hero-worshipers and celebrity-seekers. Evangelical heroes and popular writers and speakers dictate, are given total allegiance and followed like rock stars. Like the Corinthians, we say we are of Paul and Apollos and Cephas (1 Corinthians:3:4). People have been led to believe that only the “biggies” carry the “anointing.” And if you want “it” you’ve got to come to them to receive it. “Fresh,” “Fire,” “New Wine” and every other brand and flavor of anointing are available to the Christian consumer.
Eleventh, we have substituted entertainment and “television religion” for a growing and intense serving relationship in a healthy, well-balanced church. Being in the presence of growing Christians in a doctrinally sound church is a wonderful reality check needed by all.
Proverbs:27:17 forcefully reminds us: “As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.” To stay sharp, balanced and informed, one must take the words of Hebrews:10:23-25 very seriously and be a vital part of a vital fellowship. People have abandoned the church looking for a supernatural quick fix.
Twelfth, people have become “cliché-bound.” They are gullible and become easily subservient if someone says, “God told me,” or “the Lord said,” or “the Lord spoke to me,” or “the Lord impressed upon me.” After all, who can argue with God? The Church finds itself drowning in a sea of subjectivism away from the safe moorings of the objective Word of God! “I feel” and “I sense” have come to replace, “It is written.”
18. Albert Barnes, Barnes Notes on the New Testament. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Kregal Publications, 1975, pg. 886, italics in original.
19. Helmut Thielicke quoted in Uwe Siemon-Netto, The Fabricated Luther. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1993, pg. 139.
20. Peter Berger in the forward of The Fabricated Luther, op. cit., pg. 9.