"It is well to remember that the entire population of the universe, with one trifling exception, is composed of others." A.Holmes

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Honestly, Where's The Honesty?

Ducks on Cedar Pond "It is impossible to calculate the moral mischief , if I may so express it, that mental lying has produced in society. When a man has so far corrupted and prostituted the chastity of his mind as to subscribe his professional belief to things he does not believe, he has prepared himself for the commission of every other crime." Thomas Paine, THE AGE OF REASON
Duck taking flight in Cedar Pond. "A half truth is a whole lie." Yiddish Proverb "Those who think it is permissible to tell white lies soon grow color-blind." Austin O'Malley "The most dangerous untruths are truths moderately distorted." G.C. Lichtenberg
Bird Bath Fountain With Goldfinch "Honesty is never seen sitting astride the fence." Lemuel Washburn "Beware of the half-truth, you may have gotten hold of the wrong half."AU "The cruelest lies are often told in silence." Adlai Stevenson
"Slander cannot destroy an honest man ; when the flood recedes the rock is still there." Chinese Proverb "The Lord detests lying lips, but He delights in men who are truthful." Proverbs 12:22
We have been busy lately dealing with issues that require truth, and have been saddened and even disturbed to discover sometimes men who hold positions of respect among Christians in their community and churches are quite willing to lie. I am not talking about differences in interpretation, or different views or opinions. I am talking about just plain, old fashioned,( as old as the snake in the Garden of Eden ) lies. One man is someone we see often in our community, another holds a position of respect and authority in a mega church in another state. Now I know it is all too common to hear this , and unfortunately this is exactly the kind of example many people use to mock church-goers.The even more disturbing thing is that one of the men is a well-known joke in the secular job he holds because we are finding out many people in the community know what he is...a snake in the grass!What we do not understand is why his own church is so unaware of this that the issue is not dealt with...for this man has made a mockery of what most in that church hold dear...the TRUTH! The non-church going world has every reason to believe the truth is relative, and I think Christians have been very good at allowing this opinion to reign. Why, if we, as Christians, can justify lying, half-truths, and tolerance of these in the men we have allowed to instruct and exhort us in the Word,and in fact, each other, why should truth be important? The motto seems to be"just don't get caught", and "if you do be sure to justify it as the better means to an end." And if there are some sticklers who really, really want truth in their spiritual leaders...then accuse them of intolerance! For goodness sake, do not practice Biblical confrontation, or hold anyone accountable, or even uphold the standards we are trying to help others learn about. Dishonesty is as old as mankind, but not right. We have all lied, but forgiveness is there for the asking. However, just because we have all been guilty of dishonesty, there is no justification for giving it a pass in ourselves...and we have every right to expect it from each other. If we could expect honesty from our policemen, our courts, news and media, our neighbors.....wow, unfortunately I don't see this happening. But surely we should be able to expect it from people calling themselves Christian....which means "Christ follower,manifesting the spirit of Christ,or of His teachings". Funk & Wagnalls Dictionary


Stickhorsecowgirls said...

Well, you're getting me cranked up. I'll try to keep it short. When my H and went into marital counseling, we had the issue of adultery, of course, but there was a larger one: he had become a liar to me, lying about even things that did not matter. I discussed this with the therapist, asking if the lying was contained to issues involving our marriage or if it likely had spread to other areas of his life.

My therapist explained what I think I knew: Once someone begins to lie frequently in one area, the momentary stress-reliever that it is in that setting will transfer to other areas. If there is a rub in, say, business, he is likely to transfer that coping mechanism--lying--to that setting as well. And it proved to be the case.

It is an ensnaring sin that grows.

As to why the church does not often recognize it, well, it's because he is--after all--a liar. He is presenting himself to his church as something other than he really is. None of us is perfect in that transparency thing, but it sounds like you are describing someone who almost leads a double life. Unfortunately, there are people who can pull this off quite a while--if they are liars. C

Debbie said...

Of course I have no idea who or what the situation is to which you refer, but I recognize the scenario all too well. I've been there.
A few years ago, we were part of what we thought was a vibrant, growing family church, only to gradually learn that the leader of mentioned church was milking the flock for all they were worth, had seized the finances, and could not account of literally thousands of $$$; much of which he spent on credit cards dining and entertaining other preachers whom he sought to impress.
When confronted, he simply refused to acknowledge the issue and began to demonize those who questioned his behavior, even to the point of having sheriff's deputies come in and remove people from a service for 'disturbing the peace'. They were the first he ran out of the church, including our family; many more followed. Strangely, some formed a protective circle around this thief chanting, "don't touch the man of God."
Many recognized him for what he was based on his behavior, but he stood his ground and reduced a congregation of nearly 400 to less than 100 in a period of 2 years. The only thing that finally dislodged him was an audit, paid for by a few solid members who tried their best to save the church and a States Attorney who got involved and threatened to prosecute.
By refusing to obey God's word, this man never was brought to repentence, and he went and started a new church down south. We found we were not his first victims.
Maybe that's why God compares us to sheep.

LindaSueBuhl said...

We seem to be living in parallel situations - DH and I have been disheartened often lately with situations which have to boil down to - Y'all are LYING to us! Truth is essential and elusive - I regret the "relative truth" of our world and cling to the big T truth of His word.

Wobegon Cottage said...

very mind provoking...It is so interesting to me you should say this today. I am having to deal with a situation where people have lied to me, people I trust and love. If we look at society today it seems lying is the norm and for some reason people accept it. It is because of all this lying I now have trust issues. With the help of God we will all be able to move forward. It seems that is all the government is doing and I think it filters down in society and then even into the churches which is very troubling. We live in a age of self first, all about me. The next generation is going to have a very difficult time I believe.
Thank you Kathy for sharing.

Lanny said...

hmmm must be the season for lies eh? So many different varities and colors to pick.

Eggs In My Pocket / Yesteryear Embroideries said...

I think of all the things in my life that has disappointed me more is to realize how dishonest people can be. What hurts more is to be betrayed and lied to by those you would have never bet would ever hurt you. All in all, it makes me appreciate the innocense in children and the honesty in genuine people. Blessings,Kathleen

A. Joy said...

Yes, it is me and no, my eye is not feeling better - I just felt the need to comment regardless. ( trying to ignore the eye! )
Proverbs 19 :9 A false witness will not go unpunished, And he who tells lies will perish.

Anonymous said...

Hi Kathy, I read your post early this morning. I've thought about it throughout the day. The words to "This Is My Father's World" keep coming to mind. When you have the time, google them. They seem so appropriate for so many scenarios, including yours. I find great comfort in them - funny, I learned this as a child and never even knew what the words meant until the last few years. Love you and I am praying.

Vikki G said...

Wow...so true! You know I have been this dealing with this very issue in our extended family..many see nothing wrong with putting their own spin on the truth...some call it story telling but I simply call it lying...why do so many have a hard time with the truth? I can only think that they like to deal with their own reality that way they can't be convicted by God..at least that is what we have seen in those around us~ This really speaks to the sad state of affairs in the world at large. I know in our home we have really tried to drive home if it's not the truth..plain and simple it is a lie.

Nancy M. said...

I think it's terrible when those in authority aren't held accountable. If this person is that bad, I don't see how the congregation can't see it. Those that do this do make all real Christians less believable.

Daisy said...

It is frustrating and painful and upsetting when trusts are betrayed by way of lies. It is difficult to accept when someone lies to us, especially when it is someone in authority who is able to misuse the power entrusted to them by lying. I'm thinking of you, Kathy. My heart is with you.

KathyB. said...

Stickhorsecowgirls, you said it well.Lying is a circular thing, and some of liars I know lie about everything, things there are no need to lie about. Most liars are soon found out though and people end up giving them no credibility. You also said it well when you mentioned the liar with a double life, and I think we have been dealing with one of these, and he has caused great grief in a large extended family and for 4 little girls. I wish I could trust he will be given his just desserts, and yes, in eternity, but sometimes I just wish we could see that justice this side of eternity.

Debbie and LindaSue,we have been there, done that,not including what we have been going through over the bad situation regarding our granddaughters, the most distressing times in our life dealt with what you expressed. Thankfully , we have not lost faith in God, complete trust and faith belongs only to God,and scripture has a whole lot to say regarding men like that.

Alice, I don't suffer too much when people I care little for lie to me or about me, but you're right, there is a very deep hurt and sense of betrayal when it is someone we love.I have to remember what mankind did to the Son of God, who deserved NONE of what He suffered, and He did it for us...I am reminding myself of this for perspective.

Lanny, I am thinking they are all differing shades of black!

Kathleen, thank-you, and yes. Genuine people, people who care, might lie, but will eventually own up, ask forgiveness, and make amends.

A.Joy, you are a always there to help put things in proper perspective. Thanks for commenting even though you have been unable to be on the computer.

Mildred, I do know of that song. And the words are truths from the Bible. I cherish your prayers, thank-you.

VikkiG. Thank-you! A lie is an un-truth, an un-truth is a lie. And I have observed more and more how the ability to lie successfully has become a skill desired and glorified by many ,but is never ever a trait a Christian is to exhibit.

NancyM. That's what we keep saying to ourselves!After talking people who know him from church though, they are really unaware of his seeming duplicity. He has hidden this by saying his job is completely separate from church, but if I were to reveal documents written by him( and I could) you would see his apparent double life goes way beyond just trying to be secular... he surpasses what even secular people believe is acceptable to embracing what many consider perversion,how many families and vulnerable children has this man been responsible for damaging?AND HE LIES!( got proof of that too)

Daisy, thank-you. Mis-use of power.Very much so.

Anonymous said...

I try to fathom how people can live with themselves in peace when they are liars and cheaters. Honestly, I cannot comprehend it.

It saddens me that we can not trust a person that represents himself as a man of God, or an authority figure that is supposed to be a person that we can depend upon.

Simply put, they are all just men. So, our guards have to remain up, and unfortunately we have to pick everything apart, and be wise to what might be deceipt.

And I agree, it makes for perfect reason for people to doubt the Christians as a whole, and to debunk any part of being a Christian.