Christians Have Been and Are Being Deceived
Deception! What an ugly word and a frightening thought. People of faith, people who believe that God and Jesus are the source of all truth, can actually believe a lie.
For many years I thought Christians couldn’t truly be deceived. We have the Spirit of God and we would see right through any attempt to get us to believe anything contrary to Biblical faith. But as the years have gone on, I have discovered that deception is not only possible, it unfortunately can thrive.
Our goal as believers is to follow passionately our Lord. He is number one in our lives and anything that gets us from that pursuit has to be suspect. This is how Paul puts it in 2 Corinthians 11:3-4a, “But I fear that somehow you will be led away from your pure and simple devotion to Christ, just as Eve was deceived by the serpent. You seem to believe whatever anyone tells you…”
Right from the beginning of time, a follower of the Lord was deceived. The deception being that the serpent caused Eve, and subsequently Adam, to not trust God. Essentially to lose that simple and pure devotion that Paul is talking about.
Further in 2 Corinthians 11, Paul talks about deceivers as “false apostles”; “disguising themselves as apostles of Christ”; and “pretending to be godly ministers”. (See verses 13-15).
The debate wasn’t one of genuine disagreement over an interpretation of Scripture, but one where some outside teachers were undoing the basic foundations of the faith. In addition, they were accusing Paul of not being really spiritual enough and trying to get the Corinthians to renounce Paul and follow them.
In another passage, Colossians 3:8, Paul writes “Don’t let anyone lead you astray with empty philosophy and high sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the evil powers of this world, and not from Christ.”
In our day we have seen this type of deception come through conspiracy theories. For example QAnon, the most prominent of these theories, believes the idea that a cabal of Satan-worshipping pedophiles—mainly consisting of what they see as elitist Democrats, politicians, journalists, entertainment moguls and other institutional figures—have long controlled much of the so-called deep state government, mostly with aid of media and entertainment outlets.
So here is the irony, there is some truth in the conspiracy. Anyone with even a casual reading of our society knows that it is increasingly becoming more hostile to Christians. Certainly, Hollywood does not embrace Christian values with much of its material. But to say that it is a cabal of Satan worshipping pedophiles is false.
There have been Christian professors, very conservative in their political beliefs, which have done extensive research on Q and have said that it has some truth, but ultimately has gone off the rails with much of its pronouncements. Based on the Scriptures I just mentioned, I see Christians that follow Q more interested in what this mysterious individual is saying rather than the Word and Spirit of God. That my friends is not having a pure and simple devotion to Christ!
The whole issue of vaccines is another example of the lunacy of deception. If you look at and listen to all the information on vaccines and decide either to get it or not get it, no problem. But if the reason you won’t get it is because of some dastardly conspiracy to inject code in our system and be controlled by the deep state, then you have fallen prey to the deception of this world.
So how can we know that we are being deceived? For openers, 1 John 1:8 teaches us “If we say we have no sin, we are only deceiving ourselves and refusing to accept the truth.” This passage tells us that all believers have sin and that we are all subject to deception. To believe you can’t be deceived is in essence deception.
Often I ask myself the question if I am deceived or missing something. I still can be fooled, but by being open to the possibility lessens the chance I will.
Second, we should read many sources to come up with a consensus of truth. These sources can be both Christian and non Christian, as long as they have great documentation.
Third, if any source has a mysterious background, and doesn’t really tell us who they are, immediately write them off. Anyone who produces what they claim to be truth should always identify themselves. If not, how can they be believed?
One last thought. The Bible teaches about the spirit of anti-Christ in the world. Brothers and sisters, if someone blatantly is not a fan of Christianity, they are not the spirit of anti-Christ. An anti-Christ spirit is one that claims to speak for the faith, but secretly is trying to seduce us away from the pure and simple devotion to Christ. So please check diligently what spirit is trying to influence you. If you don’t, you might find yourself against the very faith you proclaim.