Monday, March 03, 2008


Deception is all around us everywhere. We live in a world permeated by it, after the Fall. Of course deception through listening to the lie, then actual willfull, careless disobedience after Adam and Eve's choice to sin, entered into the world. Humankind in Adam and Eve let themselves be taken in by the serpent's cunning to clearly cross a line God had set, by eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The result was firsthand experience of sin and its effect and impact: fear, alienation, shame- whatever the tree of the knowledge of good and evil actually means.

Even as one in Jesus, I find that I can get near that line and be sorely tempted to cross it at times. Or not think I'm sorely tempted, yet it's thrown in front of me in my mind in a way that distracts and for awhile may even bring some disorientation. This can be a part of our spiritual warfare in this life; I'm convinced that it is. And sometimes it's a part of our not being diligent to put on in Jesus what we have for that battle. Or failing to walk humbly by the Spirit, in the grace and truth of our Lord.

We all sin; we read that if any of us thinks they have no sin, we then deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. So we all experience some deception on some level. This is where we need the senstivity from God to recognize it in the light he gives us in Jesus, as we endeavor to walk/live in the light. And as we do, then we can confess it to God, get his forgiveness, cleansing and strength to carry on.

The alternative to deception is to live in the Truth, in Jesus. This means a following that is relational to the core in loving God and loving others. It means sometimes not knowing but trusting, not having all or any answer at the time, but seeking God and his will and way in Jesus.

But we must ever be aware of this pesky intruder. Part of our spiritual warfare, and part of dealing with our sin, in this present life, in Jesus.

What might you like to add to this?


preacherman said...

Excellent thoughts on this topic brother. I believe if we aren't careful deception can take over our lives so fast. It is like getting caught up in a lie. You say one lie then another and before long you are caught up in a web of them.
Thanks for warning us about this because I feel it is a neglected subject.
I pray and hope you have a wonderful day brother.
In Him,
Kinney Mabry

Ted M. Gossard said...

Thanks. Not a pleasant subject, for sure, nor pleasant to be caught up in it.

Ted M. Gossard said...

I mean, thanks, Kinney (and PM!).

I want to gently challenge my own statement in this posting here:

"We all sin; we read that if any of us thinks they have no sin, we then deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. So we all experience some deception on some level."

The very point of that Scripture in 1 John 1 is to acknowledge our sin so that we won't deceive ourselves. I guess maybe this is splitting hairs a bit as I may be talking about something different than the text itself. But the text itself: "If we walk in the light as he is in the light we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar and his word is not in us."

This all seems to indicate that as we deal with the sin that comes up in our lives, confessing it, then we can avoid deception, something I should have made clear in this post, or at least it would have been helpful.

Halfmom, AKA, Susan said...

Thanks for the comments on my blog Ted. I think they are very helpful in keeping a true and positive tone going.

Anonymous said...

yes! the belt of TRUTH !!!

to know what i am and to know who i belong to. my master has commanded me to love. yes, i want to obey my master for He is good and right, and He takes very good care of me. He protects me from the old master that i was in bondage to. my new master gives me what i need to walk in this place. i will stay with Him for He is my creator, my maker. He knows me and what is best for me. in His protection and Love i want to stay so out of Love for Him that he gave me first, i will follow and obey. His understanding is not my understanding, His ways are not my ways. I shall trust Him. Praise be to God, through Jesus Christ in the Holy Spirit.

Every Square Inch said...

Here's the thing about deception - by its nature, you cannot protect yourself from it by "going it alone".

Certainly, we should pray and read scripture but God provides a community to help us. Honest christian fellowship is God's antidote for deception

Mundane Egg said...

I think one of the big issues is that the Church is so concerned about the "world" attacking the Church but for the most part the "world" does give a thought about the Church.

This is an indictment of how out of touch the Church has been, for the most part, with existing culture.

Ted M. Gossard said...


I'm glad to do any good I can, and I really do find good conversation related to science and faith rather fascinating. Of course you're the one who really keeps your blog going well, and rightfully so.

Hope your time in San Antonio is a most blessed one.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Thanks, Nancy for your praise of the Lord with reference to the belt of truth.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Mundane Egg,

Thanks for visiting and commenting.

Yes, I'm concerned about this shell-shock, we're victims mentality, I see in some quarters of the Church today. I have a number of problems with it, and while there might be some truth, and grain of truth in it, I find it quite unhelpful for the mission we're called in Jesus to live out in this world.

Of course we're in the world but in Jesus not of it. So we must beware of worldly deception which we grow up with and is a part of what forms us, becoming re-formed or transformed in Christ, in a renewing of our minds.

Ted M. Gossard said...


I agree, and Bonhoeffer's "Life Together" is the best I've seen to date on Christian community in helping us live in this world.

But I distrust this idea of pairing up randomly in groups for confession.

There are intimate details of one's life not to be shared with just anyone, and I'm sure you agree. This is about relationship and trust and I would add to that mentoring, or being a spiritual director. We need that. But I'm wary of what at least had been popular, though the goal of it is good, this idea of just throwing professing Christians together to do that is not good. Such sharing and confession must come out of spiritual authority (like to a trusted pastor, elder or godly person) and relationship, I believe.

I know I'm not refuting you here, only voicing a personal concern I have as to what this means or has meant to many Christians.