Understanding Deception

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Consider a strange irony: Almost every religious deception known to man has been introduced by warning its audience against deception. I have seen many strange religious ideas; and most of them cite, somewhere in the text, Revelation 12:9 which identifies the arch deceiver as: “that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world.” The premise is that you, brother, have been deceived and I am here to ease your pain, to rescue you from deception, to lead you to the light. Problem is, the old Arch Deceiver himself would almost certainly show up on my doorstep with exactly the same message: “I am here to enlighten you, my brother.”

I have been watching various forms of deception abroad in the world for many years now, and I have come to certain conclusions about deception which I am prepared to share with you. I really don’t mean to hurt anyone’s feelings, but deception is practiced so diligently, by so many people, accidentally and on purpose, that I am bound to step on someone’s toes. If so, I am sorry, but “no pain, no gain.”

One other caveat: I will be using a combination of Scripture, human reason and experience. The reason for using Scripture is obvious. The reason for using human reason is that, being human, it is the only kind of reason I have available. God created the human mind in his own image, along with everything else—and gave us the power to reason so that we could come to know and communicate with him. Human reason is a divine creation, just like the human eye, so don’t knock it. The reason for using experience is that it is a lot less painful and expensive for you to learn from my experience. But that is up to you. I have been here 76 years and have bought my share of used cars.

By the way, while this program is about religious deception, it is essentially the same game in politics and every other field of human activity—even, regrettably, in families. So what have I learned about deception that might be of value. Much to my surprise, when I began to think about it, it resolved into a series of principles. Here they are…


Author
Ronald L. Dart

Ronald L. Dart

Ronald L. Dart (1934–2016) — People around the world have come to appreciate his easy style, non-combative approach to explaining the Bible, and the personal, almost one-on-one method of explaining what’s going on in the world in the light of the Bible. After retiring from teaching and church administration in 1995 he started Christian Educational Ministries and the Born to Win radio program.

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