How To Live in a Time of Delusion

For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false, in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness. 2 Thessalonians 2.11-12

Mark Twain once wrote, “It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.” President Reagan famously adapted that quote: “It isn’t so much that liberals are ignorant. It’s just that they know so many things that aren’t so.”

Today, our progressive, post-post-modern ‘chickens have come home to roost.’ Our society is inundated with things people know ‘that just ain’t so.’ Ethical and moral “truths” (not!) are being injected into our culture through academic elites, silicon valley thought police, ‘cancel culture,’ social ‘progressives,’ the entertainment establishment, and a complicit news media. The biblical title of Satan as “the god of this world” (2 Cor. 4.4) has been true ever since the fall, but arguably is more visible today than ever before.

While this may make you angry, and inspire you to engage in social or political issues (which is good), it should not surprise you. America is unique in the annals of history, a nation founded on Christian principles, by men with faith in God, to protect religious liberty. This foundation has led some to suggest that we are an exception to the rule that “the whole world lies in the power of the evil one” (1 John 5.19). But though it is more pronounced in American society today than ever, the evidence of our depravity has been there all along..

There are painful memories of our national struggle to merge with indigenous people groups, and the carnage of a civil war to rid ourselves of the scourge of slavery. Today, Satan is foisting his delusions on our society today. Genders are ‘fluid’ – the last time I checked, there were 72. In the beginning, God created us male and female. Sexual morals have become amoral; youth today are growing up not knowing marriage and parental roles. In the beginning, God based society on husband/fathers and wife/mothers. We are watching a devolution into depravity in our culture.

But though the evidence of Satan’s power may be painfully evident, the role of God’s people has always been to stand for truth, and – to borrow the Apostle Paul’s admonition to the Ephesian church, to “not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them” (Eph. 5.11). In addressing the Corinthian Christians, who lived in an immoral society, he cited God’s exhortation to Old Testament Israel:

“Therefore, come out from among unbelievers, and separate yourselves from them, says the Lord. Don’t touch their filthy things, and I will welcome you.” (2 Cor. 6.17, NLT)

Satan has always sought to destroy the lives of Christians, and he continues to do so today. The church in America is under heavy pressure to conform to our sin-sick culture, and

government authorities have joined the effort to get us to comply. This experience is new to Christians here, but it is nothing new in the history of Christianity. We must avoid Satan’s delusions.

This month we will observe the Day of Prayer for Persecuted Christians. Most of our Christian brothers and sisters in the world have never known the blessings of freedom we have enjoyed. As we remember and pray for them, let’s also stand against Satan’s attempt to infect the church with his ‘deluding influence.’ Let’s be ‘salt and light’ in our society; let’s not simply roll over while our historic liberties are taken away. Let’s ‘love our neighbors as ourselves’ by standing for truth, and defending our God-given freedoms.