Live from October 1st filming
“Can I get a witness?”
I remember the first time I heard those words spoken–I was in a tiny Church of God in Christ on the south side of Chicago. I think the pastor had scheduled me in thinking that our particular music group was “colored” to his favor, only to discover upon our arrival that we possessed paler possibilities. There was only a smattering of folks in the audience that night–mostly women. I did not know what I was doing there and they certainly joined in my confusion.
When the pastor asked for a witness, there was a long delay. At length, a young woman (who was later identified to me as the pastor’s daughter) stood and rattled off a little speech.
“I just want to thank the Lord for saving my soul and giving me the strength to go from day to day, though the burdens of life are so heavy that sometimes I want to fall. His grace is sufficient for me, and therefore I will continue to serve him, no matter what the devil lays in my path.”
She spoke it quickly, without the use of inflection or punctuation. She sat back down.
I don’t think I was alone in assuming that this testimony from this young girl was less than truthful. It was a false witness.
It was something she said because at one time or another, she really did believe it, and even though events had come to rob her of her original enthusiasm, she pursued the same party line, without revision.
It is the sixth thing that God hates. The Book of Proverbs says that “God hates a false witness that leads to lies.” Now we would think that a false witness is lies, but actually a false witness is a misrepresentation of facts, in order to maintain an original premise.
- It’s when we say we feel good when we don’t.
- It’s when we insist that a congregation of believers recite that “God is good” without asking them if they might need a rejuvenation or a clarification of that concept.
- It’s when we say “amen” to prayers that do not bear our personal conviction.
- It’s when we align ourselves with some political cause or spiritual direction, which ends up adding doctrines or ideas to its dogma, and we still insist on backing the whole package.
- It’s when we define “faithful” as refusing to question a lack of common sense.
It is a false witness. And whenever we begin to speak things that we no longer exactly believe, trying to reignite our energy, we set in motion the imminent need to lie–because the minute life comes along, or even a person, to challenge our witness, we will have to decide whether to come clean and admit we have lost our fervor, or manufacture a series of excuses and explanations about our present status. It is nasty business.
The American culture is permeated with it–to such an extent that we no longer trust each other by word only. We want to “check out” people on the Internet, to find out if what they claim about themselves is true, because the presence of “false witness” leading to lies has turned us into a nation of suispicious investigators and proven liars.
I think I have tracked down the source of much of what I would call the false witness in the United States of America. Once again, it is caused by our division into two camps. Here are the two false witnesses promoting a series of manufactured lies designed to reinforce original misinformation:
1. “God is in trouble.”
I don’t know how we have been able to convince so many people in this country that God is a loser. Maybe it’s because we have made Satan such a prevalent part of our thinking, portraying him much more powerful than even Biblical theology allots. But there are a bunch of people in this world who believe that God is in trouble. There are ministers who make millions of dollars off of innocent believers, predicting pending doom from some evil that lives in the secular world or in the demonic realm, and is coming to undo the sweetness of God.
Sometimes they proclaim that “Jesus is coming soon and the world is going to end.” Sometimes they spread false rumors about companies being owned by Satan worshippers. Often, they will produce vicious lies about intellectual pursuits in this country that are supposedly trying to eliminate the name of God from our government and society.
Once you have convinced someone through false witness, that God is in trouble, it then becomes necessary to produce a series of frightening lies to back up your assertion and keep the faithful terrified. It changes people who are called to be lovers of mankind, salt of the earth and light of the world, and turns them into a bunch of haters, tasteless infidels and dim bulbs.
I met a man the other night who was very sad and lonely. We were having a delightful conversation about his pursuit of female companionship, when out of the clear blue sky, he told me that the New World Order had just been brought to fruition, and that soon the anti-Christ would attack Israel, and Armageddon would begin. He wasn’t bad–he was sad and lonely, and fell victim to a false witness filled with lies.
I have been told since I was a little “scamperer” that Jesus was coming soon, when my dear friend Jesus made it quite clear that no one knows the day or the hour. It is a rotten false witness demanding that we produce lies to prop it up for the few who are looking for a quick way out from the responsibility of living the gospel to their neighbor.
2. The other false witness that is kicking around in our society is “God IS the trouble.”
Unlike the other misadventure, this one insists that if we could just eliminate the foolishness of believing in a divine being and open the doors to understanding between the races, then we could imagine a world where there is no religion, imagine a world where there is no God, and therefore, imagine a world where mankind is free of the restrictions that cause us to become hateful instead of loving.
There is a false witness in this country that blames conservatives, Christians, Muslims, Jews and anyone who dares to look skyward, for initiating all wars, rumors of wars and inquisitions of all types. They continue by propagating lies about how human beings are innately good, and that left to themselves they will always find a way to cohabit in peace.
Through this false witness, God becomes the enemy–because after all, God leads to religion. Religion promotes intolerance, and intolerance generates the wars which pile up the dead bodies of the innocent.
Atheism and agnosticism have become “hip.” They are equated with the presence of intelligence. Younger folks are jammed by their friends to reject the fantasy of fairies in the sky and lightning bolts from heaven in favor of more mediocre pursuits and numerous downloads on the Internet.
These two false witnesses not only square people off against each other, but force them to produce lies about the other party, which by the time they are disproven, have already assimilated into the mainstream of thinking, never to be retrieved.
If you dare call these two false witnesses out for the charlatans they truly are, you will incur wrath from both camps, because the lies are so ingrained that they are seemingly incapable of shedding their own fantasy in favor of reality and truth.
God is not in trouble.
“The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof.” God has Mother Nature to give us a balance in our daily atmosphere and the presence of the Golden Rule to allow true goodness to always win over annoying evil.
God is not the trouble.
Once again, “the earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof.” God is not against human beings doing their best to save the whales and address difficulties with climate. God sits in the laboratories as scientists try desperately to take the fruits of the earth and find cures for disease. God is in the recording studios as true artists look for ways to create beauty in the earth instead of just adding to the clamor. God is not merely the promoter of intellectualism–He is the source of all intelligence.
But as long as these two false witnesses walk the earth, we will be pummeled and punished by an onslaught of lies which try to prove the validity of errant ideas. God hates it.
So all you televangelists who think you are doing such a wonderful work by attacking the evil in the world in order to protect the Kingdom of God, be aware that the Creator is sending tiny tape worms to eat away at your finance, eliminate your power and expose your lies.
And for those of you who feel you have reached a mentality that is beyond faith, understand that the God of miracles will continue to evolve the earth in directions beyond your comprehension, blessing where you have already cursed, enlightening where you have already given up, and exposing the ridiculous nature of doubting when resurrection is standing right in front of you.
God hates a false witness. Why? Because it always leads to lies. And lies are what rob us of the truth that can make us free. We are not free in America. We are entangled in a web of lies brought on by leaping on the bandwagon of our favorite false witness.
May I suggest that you get off, and instead of believing that “God is in trouble” or that “God IS the trouble,” you understand that the earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof.
Get out there and study the fullness of the earth and be prepared to come and dine with your Father.
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