EVALUATING INFORMATION in a world of Lies and Deception

Dr. Lewis Gregory
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A movie entitled “The Shack” has created quite a stir, both positive and negative. And rightly so, for there are both positive and negative things that could be said about the movie. However, there is an even bigger issue involved. It is obvious that we live in an information age. But in recent years, we have also begun to live in a misinformation age. Consider the plethora of false stories through social media, fake news, and videos or movies with blatantly false information. And now under the guise of fiction, movies and videos are being made that include things about God or the Bible, which are being received as if they were fact.
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Of course there have always been references to God or the Bible in secular movies. But this can sometimes be a good thing. Such references to God may cause people to consider or even seek to know God. But the real problem comes when “so called” Christian movies misrepresent the true and living God of the Holy Bible. Many of the most entertaining movies or songs contain some of the most inaccurate biblical information about God or Christianity. But because we enjoy the entertainment, we swallow whatever is being said “hook, line and sinker.” The false information is now securely imbedded in our mind, thus distorting our view of God, Christ, and the whole of Christianity. “A little leaven leavens the whole lump.” (Galatians 5:9) In other words, False teaching is like a little yeast that affects the whole batch of dough! It doesn’t take much deception to corrupt and dilute the whole thing. And most people don’t even recognize it.
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In the Bible the Apostle Paul warns us of the dangers of such deception. “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. . . . For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.” (2 Corinthians 11:3, 13-15)
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So, how can we evaluating all this information in a responsible way to avoid being misled? First we need a valid basis of evaluation. The only reliable source of information for Truth and Life is the Holy Bible. Through the Bible God reveals the quality of life He has for us, and the way that we are to live. The Holy Bible is God’s standard by which we should conduct our lives. But such profound guidelines require a guide. Therefore, God graciously sent the Holy Spirit to all who would accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. When we do, we are born of the Spirit (John 3:5-7). The Holy Spirit indwells us in order to lead us and guide us. “He will guide you into all truth” (John 16:13). The Holy Spirit acts as our instructor. We are blessed with a twenty-four hour tutor! “He shall teach you all things” (John 14:26). The Holy Spirit not only instructs us, but He also empowers us to accomplish the task. However we must realize that most people, including Christians, are biblically ignorant. Furthermore even fewer have the spiritual maturity and spiritual discernment to recognize the subtle deception constantly coming from our multi-media.
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Therefore, it behooves us, as Christians, to go to the Word of God in dependency upon the Holy Spirit to filter out the distortions and learn the truth about every situation. Christians are the light of the World. “You are the light of the World” (Matthew 5:14). The Source of that light is Jesus Christ the Lord, who said, “I am the light of the World” (John 8:12). Christians are to walk in The Light—Jesus Christ Himself. Light always dispels darkness. So rather than trying to fight the darkness, our privilege, as Christians, is simply to let our light shine. Tragically all too many Christians have quenched the Spirit, thus inhibiting The Light from shinning through us. There is too much religion based on the doctrines and traditions of men (through books, movies, and unbiblical preaching) rather than the truth of God, derived from the Word of God, and based upon the grace of God.
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We must filter everything that comes into our lives by the Spirit of God, in accordance with the Word of God. Therefore, always remain vigilant regarding your own life. But also take advantage of every opportunity to let your light shine, so that others can see Jesus in you and discover the truth, as the truth is in Jesus.
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Personally, MY HEART IS HEAVY about the strong delusion and gross darkness that is spreading over the earth and engulfing even the Christians. “Because people refused the love of the truth that would have saved them, God will send them a powerful delusion so that they might believe the lie. . . .” (2 Thessalonians 2:10-11) “For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise on you, and his glory shall be seen on you.” (Isaiah 60:2) Our consolation is that where sin abounds, grace does much more abound! Therefore while a strong delusion and gross darkness is surrounding us, if we will seek the Lord Jesus Christ, then God will enlighten us so that we can walk in the light and show others the way. We are told that when the enemy comes in like a flood God will raise up a standard against him. If you are in Christ, then you are that standard, so let your light shine! “Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, ‘children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.’ Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the Word of life.” (Philippians 2:14-16 NIV)
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The important thing is to recognize that God is at work in and through all things (Romans 11:36). And if we let Him, He will work all things together for our good and His glory (Romans 8:28). As Joseph said in Genesis 50.20, “You thought evil against me, BUT GOD MEANT IT FOR GOOD!” Hopefully the Good Lord will use all the misinformation being disseminated to motivate people to begin thinking about spiritual things and seek to know the truth, which ultimately is Jesus Christ Himself!
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The following article that Dr. Ted Baehr posted on the Movie Guide can be a helpful resource in evaluating The Shack. https://www.movieguide.org/news-art…
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P.S. And yes, I have read the entire book, because when it first came out a person asked me to evaluate it for them. Someone recently mentioned to me that the movie helped them. My reply, “I am glad you found it helpful. I am not saying it is not an interesting movie, or that it can’t be helpful in some cases. Whenever we are open to the Holy Spirit, we can get something of value out of anything and everything. In 1972 the Lord told me if He could speak to Balaam through a donkey, then He could speak to me through anyone or anything. So I make it a point to always be listening to whatever the Lord might have to say.” May God do the same for you! And please, please pray for all those who do not have the Spirit’s enlightenment to discern truth from error. And share the Truth every chance you get.
The preceding message is provided as a service of Source Ministries © 2017.

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