Why Akathleptos?

Why Akathleptos? Because it means Uncontainable. God is infinite. Hence, the whole universe cannot contain Him. The term also refers to the incomprehensibility of God. No man can know everything about God. We can know Him personally but not exhaustively, not even in Heaven.

Why Patmos? Because the church is increasingly marginalized and exiled from the culture.

Why Pen-Names? So the focus is on the words and not who wrote them. We prefer to let what we say stand on its own merit. There is precedent in church history for this - i.e., the elusive identity of Ambrosiaster who wrote in the 4th century A.D.

“Truth is so obscured nowadays, and lies so well established, that unless we love the truth we shall never recognize it." Blaise Pascal

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Christians Can Be Deceived ... All Too Easily

Whether it be the redefinition of marriage, the justification of homosexuality, the confusion of God-ordained gender, the rationalization of abortion, the false belief that all religious roads lead to the same God, the prevalence of divorce and adultery; the skyrocketing sexual immorality, a propensity for greed, a lust for power, rampant political corruption, or the ready acceptance of lies and deceit from political leaders ... there are almost an infinite number of ways for Christians today to compromise the truth with attendant destructive consequences.

In 2015, I cautioned here that Satan's most potent weapon (his weapon-of-mass-destruction) is deception. Truth is the only effective antidote to deception. The problem is that an increasing number of Christians today willingly surrender truth, usually in return for some trinket that this fallen world offers them (i.e., money, prestige, power, fame, etc.).

When we come into repentant union with Christ, the truth sets us free for the first time in our lives (John 8:32). At that moment, we are finally free to reach our full potential - but only if we exercise wisdom and daily seek to walk in the truth. Being a Christian is no guarantee against deception. Far too many believers walk in the false assurance that being in Christ automatically inoculates them against deception.

Nothing is further from the truth.

In 2 Cor 11, Paul expresses concern that the Corinthian church is being deceived and led astray. He castigates them for "readily" putting up with deception (v. 4). He warns them that deception often masquerades as righteous light (v. 14), and charges them with putting up with the enslavement that all deception ultimately brings (v. 20). Paul concludes his 2nd letter to the Corinthian church with an admonition to examine and test themselves whether they are truly in the faith. (2 Cor 13:5)

Living in a world in full-scale rebellion against God that is spiraling into destructive madness, requires constant vigilance against an enemy seeking to nullify our effective witness (1 Pet 5:8). Unfortunately, a growing number of Christians gullibly swallow whatever the latest foolish "wisdom" the world proffers (1 Cor 1:20), unfortunately rendering void any effective witness they have (1 Tim 4:1-2).

It's quite possible that a Christian can be deceived to the point that much (or even all) of their life's work is ultimately judged worthless on the climactic Day of Judgment (1 Cor 3:15).

Standing for truth can be costly. John the Baptist lost his life for publicly naming Herod's sin for what it was - morally wrong. Unfortunately, far too many Christians today are willing to abrogate the truth. Jesus warned in Matt 24:10 that as we approach the end of the age, "many will turn away from the faith" (NIV).

As I wrote in 2015,

The inability or unwillingness to face and acknowledge truth is often a fatal mistake in spiritual conflict. The supreme example of this is the unbeliever that is unwilling to acknowledge the truth of his/her own sinfulness, insisting they are righteous before God (1 John 1:8). But this can unfortunately also sometimes happen with Christians – i.e., the believer in a battle with the flesh (personal sin) who cannot acknowledge the truth the problem is within them, and insists the problem (and therefore, the solution), must be external to them.

There is a subtle, but crucial difference between believing in the truths of Christianity (i.e., the truth of creation, the truth of the virgin birth, the truth of Christ’s atoning death, the truth of the resurrection, the truth of the second Coming, etc.) and believing that Christianity is Truth. The first merely means agreement with individual tenets. The second is a belief that Christianity is far more than just a series of truths; it is a belief that Christianity is true to total reality – truth about all of reality. Jesus declared that He is “the truth” (John 14:6), not merely "a" truth. He also declared that His followers would know “the truth”, and that this “truth” would set them free (John 8:31-32). Sometimes, Christians attempt to mix worldviews by living part of their life according to the truth of Scripture, but other parts of their lives in accordance with “other” worldview truth that contradicts Biblical truth.  Such a situation is a guaranteed recipe for failure on spiritual battlefields.

This means that Scripture's view of spiritual warfare is not merely a tenet of truth, but the true (real) picture of the world and all reality. Christianity is not just religious truth; it is total truth governing all of reality. The Biblical portrait of an ongoing spiritual conflict between two kingdoms – the kingdom of God and an evil kingdom in rebellion – governs all reality. This means that to grasp things as they really are, one must comprehend the Biblical view.

Faithfully living out Biblical worldview truth is increasingly costly. But it also will set you gloriously free.

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