The Lie (4)
“But when they had commanded them to leave the council, they conferred with one another, saying, 'What shall we do with these men? For that a notable sign has been performed through them is evident to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it.'”
Indeed, a “notable sign” had been done by Peter and John – the healing of a lame man by merely pronouncing the Name of Jesus upon him. Many had seen that work go down just as it was recorded by Luke. Not even the religious leaders of the day could deny that this remarkable work had happened.
But the Name of Jesus was such a threat to the pretended autonomy of those religious leaders that they would not accept what they could not deny. The power of The Lie can be very great, causing otherwise reasonable and responsible people to deny what is uncomfortably obvious in order to cling to what can never satisfy their deepest wants and needs.
No amount of evidence or argument will persuade people to embrace The Truth as long as they continue to hide behind The Lie as their benchmark explanation for life. As the new discipline of “argumentative theory” is demonstrating, people do not employ reason as a tool for discovering truth, but for vindicating their chosen perspective on life. And when that perspective is The Lie, all justifications bend toward destructive ends.
The record of Christianity
This truth is painfully obvious in our own day. As Rodney Stark and others have shown, Christianity has been a source of enormous good throughout the course of human history. Even institutions and conventions cherished and enjoyed by our unbelieving contemporaries have their origins in the Christian movement – the arts and sciences, universal and higher education, capitalism and democratic forms of government, hospitals and charitable organizations of all kinds.
Christians continue to this day doing many good works on a scale that none can deny. Christians give more to help the poor and needy; they take up projects in undeveloped countries that governments ignore or decline to fund; they go among the sick and dying; and they produce works of art that are wholesome and edifying.
The evidence abounds to say to those who have embraced The Lie, “The Truth of God makes more sense, fills more needs, demonstrates more love, and engenders more hope than all the worldviews of The Lie taken together.” Nevertheless, so strong is the power of The Lie that, even though men may acknowledge the truth of the Christian achievement, past and present, they will not turn to God and believe, but entrench themselves even more solidly in the foolish ways of The Lie.
Something more powerful than reason, logic, and evidence is required to break men free of the grip of The Lie and bring them into the Light of Truth. The only power that can liberate men from The Lie is The Truth that is in Jesus. And God’s determined way of bringing that truth to prisoners of The Lie is for those who know The Truth that is in Jesus to so live and proclaim the Good News of His Kingdom that the Spirit of God will be pleased to work in His power – spiritual power – to subdue the hearts and transform the minds of those who cannot break free of the grip of The Lie by their own strength or wits.
Download the series, "The Lie." Click here: The Lie.
For more insight to this topic, order the book, We Become What We Worship, by G. K. Beale, from our online store. You should also consult the article, “Is Idolatry the New Sin?” by Carlton Wynne.
Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture references are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.