My daughter loves to go to the movies with her friends. Several months ago she came home and could not wait to tell us about this amazing movie she had seen. She went on and on about how wonderful the music and pageantry of the film was, as well as how she and her friends cried in their seats at the end of the movie.
I had kept an eye out for it to be released on video, and a few weeks ago we all watched it as a family. I have to admit, I was certainly impressed with the music, singing, dancing, and the story was compelling. I found myself humming the tunes the next day, which I rarely do.
The hero of the movie was an actual historical figure who founded the circus. He was presented as a man who was fighting against the snooty upper-class to find love and success.
I was thoroughly entertained watching the film, but I began to realize that something about this story didn’t ring true. Later that evening, I got on the web and googled the main character. My suspicions were confirmed. As often happens, the facts of this man’s life were somewhat skewed to elicit empathy. This really shocked me, as some how the character written was in direct opposition to the facts of his life. Although the movie was beautiful and stirring and even had some good messages, it was based on a fabrication… an untruth.
As I thought about this I realized how easy it is to buy into the many lies that the world subtly thrusts upon us.
They are not all obvious. Some are placed in attractive, tantalizing packages and propagated by a smooth and well fashioned facade. Some have worked into our society a little bit at a time. Some have even entered portions of the church.
There is an old political saying that if you repeat a lie often enough, people will believe it as truth. Sadly, this is often proven accurate.
In my lifetime I have seen morally corrupt people propped up and accepted as role models, while other honest, hard working individuals have been ruined by repeated lies. The key for us as followers of Christ is to discern truth from untruth. We should not be so eager to jump on bandwagons, until we truly understand both the origin and destination of the vehicle. Just because it may be popular does not equate to truth.
We live in interesting times where the very concept of truth is being challenged all around us. We must be careful to rightly defend truth. I am reminded of the early church dealing with some of the same subtle issues.
Jude 3-4 Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. 4 For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. ESV
I pray that we will be mindful to contend for the faith and as John writes, “test the spirits.” Let’s be sure to build our lives on the rock of God’s eternal truths rather than the shifting sands of man’s carnal intellect.
Loving you all,