In-Sight: A Time for Deep Sadness

This past Friday, USA Today included an article stating that ours is a culture “deluged by deception.”  Citing the recent Lance Armstrong incident, and combining it with other illustrations from celebrities, sports figures, TV reality shows, and politics, the article more than documented how we have become a generation that not only lives by deception, but actually feeds on it.

As I read the article, a wave of deep sadness swept across my soul.  I could add to what the author mentioned the ongoing deceptions by spiritual leaders of all sorts and stripes, including some recent ones that have left people I know reeling.  And, truth be told, I have had to remember those times when I too have preferred “image” to reality.

For any and all reasons, we should be in a time of deep lament for the ways in which we have created a culture of deception.  For whatever else the Christian life is supposed to be, it is meant to be a life of truth, genuineness, and authenticity.

Jesus described himself as “the truth,” and he personified it in the way he lived every day–unlike the scribes and pharisees, who were whitewashed tombs:  “looking good” on the outside, but full of dead men’s bones.

Henri Nouwen once described what he called the fatal exchange, and it is when we exchange authenticity for image.  Fatal.  Deadly.  “Over and out.”

We will not survive if our penchant for lies is not overcome by repentance and the embrace of truth.  Whether it’s misrepresenting the consequences of our national debt, or being duped by people who get some devilish delight in faking us out, we will not survive as individuals or as nations when our house of cards comes crashing down.  In many ways….it already is.

Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy!

About Steve Harper

Retired seminary professor, who taught for 32 years in the disciplines of Spiritual Formation and Wesley Studies. Author and co-author of 42 books. Also a retired Elder in The Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.
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2 Responses to In-Sight: A Time for Deep Sadness

  1. Keith says:

    Armstrong personified the American spirit. Dominate a sport that has been far from American hands. If you read his books (which I have) one can tell that he is a deep embittered man, off and on the bike. Early upbringing, his values he inherited then and the virtues he ended-up with have driven (or rode) him into the ocean of deception he now finds himself in. I watched LA from his inception and marveled at him at his prowess on a bike, then I questioned his actions and then never really trusted him. His lifeline thinking of late is “can the church of Oprah help me now?”. Of course, we know that only Jesus can save him and this is where he needs to go. May God come to save him and help him now.

  2. How true…but I thinks there have been deceptions all along….one always has to be on the look out for deception…especially in the theological arena!

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