Friday, August 29, 2008

Charades of Life

And He said, "See to it that you are not misled; for many will come in My name, saying, `I am He,' and, `The time is near.' Do not go after them. (Luke 21:8)

Charades Many of us know about the game of charades where someone acts out a scene, skit, word, or phrase to help others or members of a team to guess what it means. Few, however, know charade also means "an act or event that is obviously false, although represented as true," according to Cambridge Dictionary of American English.

All of us know how scripts, writings, and even news can be tweaked, omitted, and modified to represent the truth, and how public relations can spin stories. Media bias is a good example of truth represented from the view of an eye witness or a writer's perspective—an act or event recreated to represent the truth.

According to Baker of Media Research Center1, media bias can be identified by commission, omission, story selection, placement, source selection, spin, labeling, policy endorsement or condemnation, editorials or opinion columns, stories or statements that make the conservative side look bad but are accurate, and non-policy stories on a specific event that don't have to be balanced. All these negligence can lead audiences into believing what may be untrue or viewing certain events from an incorrect perspective.

As Christians, we have been warned in the Word of God not to be misled and to watch out for false prophets, false teachers, anti-Christ, and events that are obviously false, although represented as true.

But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. Many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned; and in their greed they will exploit you with false words; (2 Peter 2:1-3a)

Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb and he spoke as a dragon. He exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence. And he makes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose fatal wound was healed. He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down out of heaven to the earth in the presence of men. And he deceives those who dwell on the earth because of the signs which it was given him to perform in the presence of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who had the wound of the sword and has come to life. (Revelation 13:11-14)

Let us all therefore learn to discern falsehood and not be deceived by the smoothsayers and those who claim to be the Lord or a prophet of Christ. We must study the Word of God to know what must take place before our Lord returns.

Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. (Matthew 7:15-16)

Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many ... But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved. (Matthew 24:11-13)

For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect. Behold, I have told you in advance. So if they say to you, `Behold, He is in the wilderness,' do not go out, or, `Behold, He is in the inner rooms,' do not believe them. For just as the lightning comes from the east and flashes even to the west, so will the coming of the Son of Man be. (Matthew 24:24-27)

Dear Lord, teach us to perceive what is real and what is not. Grant us Your wisdom to discern between the truth and untruth. Help us not to be deceived into believing false teachings or listen to things we wish to hear but is not according to Your word. Keep us safe in Your guiding hands and lead us by Your Holy Spirit to walk in Your ways.

NOTE: All scripture references in this article are from New American Standard Bible (NASB).

1Baker, B (2008), MRC in 'How to Identify, Expose, and Correct Liberal Media Bias', FairPress: How to Identify Media Bias (Accessed 18 August 2008).

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