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Contemporary Christianity

Facilitating discussion among Christians on critical topics that we prefer to ignore.

Last modified Sept. 24, 2016

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Q3 will be discussed in class at Fairlawn Mennonite Church on Oct, 2, 2016

What is deception; how do we know when we are being deceived; and how can we protect ourselves against deception?

  Pre-class notes

Deception is when we cause others to believe something that isn’t true. We are deceived when we accept as true, something that is not true.


Our ability to be discerning will be influenced by the degree to which the subject of the deception is appealing to us. As I said in “Two Kingdoms,” "Many Christians are deceived about our sins and the sins of our land because our discernment is dulled by our craving for the very things that discernment would have exposed to us as gods." Our craving is largely influenced by where we find our identity.


If we treasure the comforts, freedoms and opportunities that are now present in America, we will easily be deceived by leaders, laws or citizen actions that propose to preserve them for us. The more our sense of well-being is vested in earthly things the more easily we will be deceived into trying to maintain them.

Conversely, if our identity is as Christians and the present American life is secondary to us, we will be more able to discern and to respond in a way that represents God’s purposes.

If laws, leaders and/or government action propose to protect life as we have known it, or to offer life as we would like it to be, we will be easily deceived into submitting to them.

Discernment requires that we know the truth. Knowing what is true helps us discern what is false. As the writer says in Hebrews 5:14 --  "But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil." NASB

If we give ourselves to the lie that the church in America authentically represents the heart of God and is dedicated to His purposes, we will not be able to “hear” the call to repentance.

Would you agree that those who deceive have something they want to accomplish through their deception?

Is there anything potentially deceptive about the Wayne/Holmes County, Mennonite/Amish culture? Are there ways that it can give us a false idea of what it means to be a follower of Jesus?

Who is the greatest deceiver of all time?
What does he attempt to achieve through his deception?
What do you think of this statement? “When Adam and Eve sinned, Satan won legal right to be the ruler of the earth. His game plan is to tempt us to satisfy the hunger of the human soul through partaking of things of the earth instead of through relationship with God. It's part of the ongoing battle between God and Satan for the affection and loyalty of the human heart.” (From “The Cosmic Battle and the American Christian,” Part III, p13)
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