Here’s a great quote from Dr James White ‘If you repeat the same mantra no matter how many times it’s been refuted, shallow thinking people will agree with you“. go to the link at time stamp 23:37
let me add something else to this that we should consider Joseph Goebbels said ““If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the TRUTH is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the TRUTH is the greatest enemy of the State.”
Where do I begin? I have had a number of fairly hostile conversations over the last week or so that kind of crystallise one’s own thinking. I admit without reservation I see the world in a fairly black and white manner, I am not the most compassionate or empathetic person. But I do listen and try to understand where people are coming from.
That being said when you have to say something and then you have to say it again and again the other person obviously isn’t listening. We all have our blind spots that others can see about us that we can’t ourselves. When others point those blind spots out we can either take it on board or we can go into melt down mode. Admittedly not every reacts or responds the same way.
A reaction in terms of criticism is essentially a negative response where some get angry. Other people don’t appear to show any reaction and still others go into defence mode. A reaction isn’t always wrong such as a reaction to fear or pain so although the stimuli is negative the reaction is positive for the sake of self preservation.
A response is when someone hears and receives what another person says and may act on it at some point. The stimuli may not be negative either. However people responding to criticism may appear positive but have negative results because they were simply passively resisting and had no intention of taking anything on board that was just said.
You will notice that the title of James White’s program this time around was entitled speaking the truth in love. Sometimes that isn’t easy to do. James circumstance that he shares above bares no similarity to to mine except what he says where I have time stamped the recording does. And why would I include the quote of a monster such as Joseph Goebbels… because it is also true.
Although Goebbels engineered a massive lie and the death of millions there is a place in all of us that no matter how much we would like to say I’m not like that; we are! We can lie and deceive ourselves. The prophet Jeremiah put it this way Jer 17:9 “The heart is more deceitful than all else And is desperately sick; Who can understand it? NASB. The king James says The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? Young’s Literal Translation says, Crooked is the heart above all things, And it is incurable—who doth know it?
I think both the King James and the NASB catch the sense of what the prophet was saying although Young’s goes a bit far in saying the heart is incurable. It’s not. God made a way through Jesus Christ for us to be redeemed from our sin Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. And John the Apostle said 1Jn 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us.
1Jn 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1Jn 1:10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.
In this is both a warning and a promise. The warning regards our ability to deceive our own hearts and intentions while the promise is that Christ is the solution. My point is that this refers to all men women and children who have lived on this earth except Jesus Christ.
We can’t say that we will never sin again once more the Apostle John says: 1Jn 2:1 My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous;
1Jn 2:2 and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.
1Jn 2:3 By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments.
1Jn 2:4 The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him;
1Jn 2:5 but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him:
1Jn 2:6 the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.
What am I getting at? There is a blog I followed for some time of a person who obviously has a mental illness. They have some vendetta against mental health therapists because they think they got a bum deal themselves. I held off commenting on their anti psychiatry anti medication rants until today and said something that caused them to mount a verbal assault on me after which they blocked me. Fine. In there ill state anyone who criticised or questioned them becomes the focus of their anger and bitterness. They can’t see it others can.
On another blog was someone who posts devotionals that are quite inspiring and I posed the question about what our primary purpose was and went on to say it wasn’t about bells whistles person centred purpose driven user friendly things that make people feel good about themselves. It’s amazing how hostile people can become when you hit them on their pet beliefs. They basically dismissed everything I said but they never answered the question either.
For some Christianity is measured by their success their spirituality is measured by their performance and image. For others it is numbers on seats and how much money they are getting in tithes. None of that is real! Jesus worked for three years with 12 men. 11 of them died horrible deaths. One betrayed him and the other meet him on the Damascus road after persecuting the believers. ON the devotion blogger it has to be said that no matter how much work you do if your message is washed down, is shallow and makes people feel good it’s not the gospel I know.
Yes there is an up side where you discover peace that passes all understanding you know that you have a place in eternity and you know that even though men may kill your body they can’t touch your soul it belongs to Christ. Even so nowhere in the bible is there the promise that your life will be peachy keen in fact the record shows that it will be the exact opposite. Of course not every Christian goes through some kind of spiritual meat mincer although they still have to obey and resist temptation. Being tempted isn’t sin but temptation is a very cunning deceptive fellow that creeps up on you when you least expect it and tries to entice you.
The biggest part of our own self deception is believing that we will never do it again. We all say I will never sin again…. five minutes later we are coveting what someone has or thinking about that sin we committed that was such a wonderful experience when it happened and we say that it repulses us now but can we seriously honestly say never? Sometimes God does miraculously cure us from our besetting sin but I would never say that. I would be forever saying God keep me from THAT temptation. Paul reminds that the temptations we suffer are common to all. For each one of us that temptation is different however Paul also says that God promises us all a way out… it’s simple don’t engage in it, run from it as Joseph did from Potiphar’s wife. Once more it’s not just a one sided message that the bible brings Paul wrote: 1Co 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.
1Co 10:14 Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry. Sin is anything we idolise or put before God and be honest we often idolise our sin.
What I am getting at is not being in a position where sin can occur. the Lord said to Cain: Gen 4:7 “If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it.” How do we master sin? I have had someone tell me they have mastered a sin they committed. No they haven’t! Christ mastered our sin because we couldn’t. He mastered our sin so we can be forgiven. We don’t face eternal punishment for our sin but there are consequence that remain for our sin in this life. Those consequences may include not being able to go to a pub or bar for a meal because the temptation to drink may be too great and you’ve already lost one career and family because of it. You may not be able to be around certain people or places because of a crime you’ve committed that restrains you from doing so. For us who are Christians there may be things we did before we came to Christ that we got away with but we shouldn’t go near those places things or people because in a moment of weakness it could ruin your life and destroy every relationship we have. There are just things we shouldn’t entertain at all, ever! No matter how much we try and how much we say never… we just don’t know. Don’t take the chance! 1Th 5:21 But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good;
1Th 5:22 abstain from every form of evil.
Sermon over: Peace guys