Another topic I've talked about ad nauseam is this tradition of causal lying within the Church. It is hard for me to get my head around. Not that I'm above lying, but this marriage between serving the Creator, who must be the God of truth . . . or no god at all . . . and feeling no guilt about "white lies" puzzles me.
I recently heard a missionary speaker. I won't go into details. He is a man of great respect and I respect him as well. He is an excellent speaker. But during this message, he told a blatant (but quite trivial) lie. He knew I was in the audience and I'm sure he knew that I knew he was lying. But it really made his story a little better. Now here is my point. This type of lying is causal as if it doesn't matter . . . when I think it does.
Indeed I bounced this off my wife. She feels I'm just being a little judgmental because it was so trivial. She also try to excuse it by saying he may have accidentally gotten his facts wrong. Nope. Couldn't be an accident . . . unless he has a form of dementia. My wife also sees this as a type of arrogance in me, or hypocrisy. No one knows your own lies as well as your spouse or your family.
I knew a girl in college who's father was a big Baptist minister. He had a huge regional TV ministry. She became very disillusioned with Christianity because of the trivial lying he did. He would, on the spot, make up conversations he had had with his kids that had never happened, just to illustrate a point. But to her, and rightly so, if he lied about things like that, maybe he is lying about this whole Jesus is the messiah thing.
Now, I am a liar too, so I don't mean to should pious. I've been know to exaggerate things, especially when I get emotional (saying that the trail I was walking was 4 inches wide on top of the cliff rather than 8 inches wide). But I'm speaking philosophically here. It is a sad state of affairs when you can collect so many more brownie points within Evangelicalism by lying. When I was a Navigator, we all lied and we lied frequently. We lied about how many hours we spent in Bible study. We lied about our motives constantly. But if we didn't lie, we would be seen as spiritually inferior. There is something to this. A real cancer within the Church.
Speaking of which, I think TV evangelists are some of the worst liars in the world. They are drowning in lies. So this time last week I was in the Muslim world. I also had access to limited satellite TV. I noticed the listing of the channels. It was BBC, VOA, local and a long, long list of Muslim evangelist and US-liar TV evangelists like Daystar people. Oh, yeah, a lot of pay for Arab porn (seriously, "Hot Arab Babes" or "Hot Chicks of Iran"). You know. Those who set on these bizarre and hideous platforms of gold plated, poorly done Baroque or French Provincial styles and giant hairdos. This is the face of Christianity to the majority of the un-Christianized world. And we wonder what they aren't taking us seriously?