LIAR - LIAR

Dr. Stephen Phinney


I agree, this is a horrible remake of the original lead actor in "Liar, Liar."

However, it makes my point. Enjoy the article.


Even though this article will fall on mostly deaf ears, we must address the topic.


My logic in saying mostly deaf ears is relevant. I am in my late 60s as I write this. Forty of those years have been spent in full-time ministry. Out of those 40 years, I learned a fundamental fact: many Christians are liars; minimally, they tell lies.


When I was a child, I was tagged with the description of "The Boy Who Cried Wolf." That is a fancy label for liar. Recently, a relative wrote me a four-page letter slicing and dicing me with a plethora of lies I told during my childhood - attempting to prove what I say today is all lies. While admitting to myself the truth of this hostile download, I realized something important. The flesh from the past marks a man for the rest of his life, minimally by humanity's perspective.

 

"But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron…"

(1 Timothy 4:1-2)

 

Do all Christians lie? Yes, most do – especially to themselves. Are all Christians liars? No. The difference between telling lies and being a liar deserves more attention, particularly amongst Christians. Without an objective distinction, we end up casting the first stone.


"But when they persisted in asking Him, He straightened up, and said to them, ‘He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.’" (John 8:7)


Our starting place is all humans are born into lies/sin. What you are born in is what you are! Secondly, all humans have flesh, which thrives on lies. I believe a lie is to tell a truth that hides the elements of the full Truth. It is safe to say that all people hate lies because they hate being lied to. Even liars demand you tell them the truth, provided you leave the person of Truth, Jesus, out of the scenario.


 

The general population despises absolute Truth, using people and making them victims of their manipulation and hypocrisy. Yes, the one telling a lie and the compulsive liar is guilty of manipulation and hypocrisy. But few are willing to admit to this.

 

One who lies is an individual who chooses to lie. A liar is a person who lies as a lifestyle and has no control over their lying. Ultimately, a liar becomes unaware that they are lying. The highest percentage of Christians tout integrity. Each one declares that ‘the Truth will set you free.’ It makes them feel like people of Truth, exempted from lying because they feel contempt for it. If the Truth always sets us free, why do we habituate lies?


The flesh propagates that lying sets us free. It enables many Christians to avoid brokenness (cut corners). It removes the pain that comes with living in Truth. Lying liberates one from the burden and embarrassment of reconciling with others they honestly offended through their Christianized platitudes (lies). The flesh finds freedom in avoiding the challenging mandates of the Holy Scriptures. So…we lie. Sin forms in the Christian’s life by holding onto unforgiveness. Unforgiveness becomes a diverse tactic in avoiding the real issue; the perpetrator(s) is also a closet liar, not just the victim.


Frequently, Christians lie to maintain an image of Truth, fully knowing that what they do is an abomination to the Lord. Why? Because there are tradeoffs. What is the most common form of lying for Christians? Silence and Christianized platitudes. Christians who do not own the truth that they’re either lying or possibly liars are duped into thinking they are protecting an image of integrity that doesn't exist. Remember, integrity is “the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles and moral uprightness.


Lying isn’t just the avoidance of Truth; it’s also a distortion of the person of Truth (Jesus), which becomes a confession of lying to the face of Jesus. Liars try to get away with this by trivializing the inconvenient Truths of Jesus while overemphasizing the Biblical Truths that serve them. It is the most common method for developing a hypocrite. The not-so-funny thing is that hypocrites are almost always referenced in the Word as liars.



Why is it so difficult for Christians to live the Truths they speak?


"Why do you look at the speck [lie]that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log [liar] that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me take