Two things to expect from the red cups fiasco.
1. We will see people who love attention and who love manipulating others emerge out of the woodwork. They will come bearing important revelations: viral videos or posts that make preposterous claims about this company's war on Christmas or that celebrity's hatred of Christians based entirely upon superficial, specious or nonexistent evidence.
2. We will see people race to jump on the cause-of-the-day bandwagon, blindly sharing the videos or posts without doing the 90 seconds of research necessary to disprove the screaming headlines, without thinking for just about the same amount of time how unreasonable the claim is.
Here's the ironic thing. The people in group 2 could respond by ranting about the claims and planning boycotts or picket lines, or by denying that they are among those who are upset and posting clever memes that declare their sophistication. It won't matter at all to the people in group 1 which bandwagon the people in group 2 join. The argument is irrelevant.
Remember what old Shoeless Joe said in Field of Dreams? "If you build it, they will come." Christians have proven that "if you build a lie, they will not only come, they will believe you, they will swallow it hook, line and sinker, they will share it with all of their gullible friends, and they will send site traffic back to you so your advertisers will be happy." It doesn't matter what is said, just as long as you increase your click-throughs.
How does this square with the warnings in Scripture about liars?
You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. (Exodus 20:16 ESV)
God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it? (Numbers 23:19 ESV)
There are six things that the LORD hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers. (Proverbs 6:16-19 ESV)
But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a person.” (Matthew 15:18-20a ESV)
But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back for yourself part of the proceeds of the land? While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not at your disposal? Why is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to man but to God.” When Ananias heard these words, he fell down and breathed his last. And great fear came upon all who heard of it. (Acts 5:3-5 ESV)
The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son. But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.” (Revelation 21:7-8 ESV)
Telling half truths amounts to bearing false witness. We will see many efforts over the next few weeks to solicit your reactions for no other reason than to improve site traffic. I implore you not to be persuaded; do not get embroiled in this foolishness unless you feel it is absolutely necessary to provide factual information (which does not include casting pearls before swine).
I also encourage you to consider the plain fact that the professing Christian community cannot be up in arms over pressure laid against Christian bakers and florists to violate their consciences or lose their livelihood or their freedom, and then turn around and demand another business toe the evangelical line in their dealings.
Even more, though, I urge you to exercise discernment, which Paul exhorts through the first letter to the Thessalonians, "Test everything; hold fast what is good." (1 Thessalonians 5:21 ESV) The apostle John admonishes, "Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world." (1 John 4:1 ESV) "Discernment is not optional for the believer," says John MacArthur, "it is required."
Discernment is a muscle strengthened through practical spiritual discipline: being a student of God's word and being engaged in communion with him through prayer provides "the key to living an uncompromising life. . . . Unfortunately," adds MacArthur, "discernment is an area where most Christians stumble. They exhibit little ability to measure the things they are taught against the infallible standard of God's Word, and they unwittingly engage in all kinds of unbiblical decision-making and behavior. In short, they are not armed to take a decidedly biblical stand against the onslaught of unbiblical thinking and attitudes that face them throughout their day."
Acquiring discernment is being battle-worthy. Though Jesus's enemies attempted to ensnare him in their arguments, they were never successful. Employing humility and gracious speech as we exhort others to be discerning is kingdom-worthy. Of our Savior it is said, "And all spoke well of him and marveled at the gracious words that were coming from his mouth." (Luke 4:22 ESV)
Let us remember this season is a celebration of the Prince of Peace's victory over the Father of Lies. We are the people of peace and truth.
Laura Miller aka mrsdkmiller
Looking for a list of articles published around the web?
Looking for posts written in response to 5-Minute Friday prompts? Click here:
Her March Isn't Over
Across the River
When God Pries My Fingers Off My Children
Life's Defining Moments
To the Christian Wife Who Berated Her Husband in Front of My Daughter
Zeal and Grace in France
An Unconventional Love Story
Seeing What's in Front of Our Eyes
Remembering Why I Called You Hannah
Love Your Sister.
Because He Came Home
Go Valiantly! A Prayer for New Homeschooling Moms
© lauraenglandmiller, #thereyougothinkingagain, Laura E Miller
2015-2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of written material and images without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to #thereyougothinkingagain, lauraenglandmiller, or Laura E Miller with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.