Taking Deception to a New Level

real-fake-tagged

Something to beware of

According to Deb Reichmann, technology now has the capacity of making “deepfake” videos depicting leaders or celebrities as saying or doing things they never said or did (https://www.thenewstribune.com/news/business/article214178854.html).

Obviously, this could sway elections, ruin reputations, and create general havoc.

The article observes that once people are aware of “deepfake,” they will wonder if what they’re watching is real or contrived. It’s an uncomfortable position to be in.

Lies, lies, and more lies

Satan, whom Jesus called “the father of lies” (John 8:44), has been up to his deceptive tricks ever since Eden.

“You surely shall not die,” he assured Eve, causing her to doubt her Creator’s warning that eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil would cause them to “surely die” (Genesis 2:17).

Eve took the bait and suffered the consequences.

Haven’t we all?

Masters of disguise

The Bible provides us with all the resources we need to keep from being duped by Satan.

Paul warns against “false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness . . .” (2 Corinthians 12:13-15a).

In other words, we can’t afford to believe everything we hear from the pulpit, from a religious leader, or from any book, tract, or media source purporting to teach the Scriptures.

How to spot spiritual counterfeits

Perhaps the best example of how to detect religious truth from error is to use the Berean approach. The Jews of Berea listened with an open mind to what Paul preached, but before they accepted it, they checked it against God’s “yardstick.”

“. . . they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so” (Acts 17:10-12).

As a result of their diligent study, they concluded that what Paul taught was indeed the truth.

So before buying in, check it out!

 

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/

Please like and share this post—and follow this blog!

david_gibson6@yahoo.com

 

 

Can Morality Be Legislated?

battered woman-tagged

It’s often said, “You can’t legislate morality.” Let’s examine this from two angles. 

On one hand . . . .

A society must have laws that uphold high moral standards. How would you like to live in a land with no laws against murder, theft, bribery, perjury, rape, child abuse, etc.?

God saw fit to legislate the morality of Israel, with appropriate penalties for infractions of these standards—in some cases capital punishment.

Israel’s government was the only true theocracy—a nation whose laws were directly decreed by God. Other than that one exception, God delegates the enactment and enforcement of laws to civil government (Romans 13:7). Legislating morality for their citizenry is one of the necessary functions of a just government.

As Paul wrote, “. . . the law is not made for a righteous person, but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers and mothers, for murderers and immoral men and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching . . .” (1 Timothy 1:9-10).

On the other hand . . . .

While government can and should legislate morality and penalties for violations, no law code can make anyone do right. Those who obey or disobey the law are making a free will choice in either case.

For those who disregard the law, even if they “get away with it,” God will eventually call them to account on the Day of Judgment (Romans 2:1-16).

It is the power of the gospel of Christ that can truly transform from the inside out the thinking and behavior of all who submit their will to God’s.

Some do not violate the law because they fear such consequences as jail time, fines, or public embarrassment.

And yet what God desires most is not mere outward compliance, but a sincere desire to please Him and live in harmony with His good will.

Conclusion 

Genuine Christians make the best citizens, not only because they are law-abiding, but because they seek the glory of God and the welfare of others.

 

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/

Please like and share this post—and follow this blog!

david_gibson6@yahoo.com

 

 

“Thanks, I Needed That!”

This morning Peter and I pulled up behind the resale shop downtown to unload some items. As we carried in the boxes, a man who had been working in the alley informed me, “Your front tire is low.”

I thanked him, and a few minutes later we had the inflater connected and the pressure back to normal.

That stranger did me a real favor. Otherwise, I might have ruined the tire.

Another example

If I ask others to proofread my writing, should I hope they won’t find any errors, even if there are some?

If there’s a mistake, I want to know it.

Other more objective eyes could see what mine had overlooked.

But what if it starts getting personal?

Would I be just as grateful to someone for pointing out a serious shortcoming in my life that needs correcting?

Even when correction is gently given (Galatians 6:1-2), why do we humans so often get defensive and feel resentful when we could really benefit from constructive criticism?

It is no time to lash back with, “Judge not that ye be not judged.”

Is our pride showing?

What if the apostle Peter had taken offense when Jesus or Paul had to correct him?

Instead he grew.

David had the humility to admit, “I have sinned against the LORD” when the prophet Nathan rebuked him for his sins (2 Samuel 12:13).

Instead of resenting he repented.

On another occasion David wrote, “Let the righteous smite me in kindness and reprove me; it is oil upon the head; do not let my head refuse it . . .” (Psalm 145:5).

This old head needs a dose of oil occasionally.

How about yours?

young man thinking-tagged

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/

Please like and share this post—and follow this blog!

david_gibson6@yahoo.com

 

God, Government, and the Bible

A vital principle of Bible study is to take everything it says into consideration on any particular subject. Often one passage serves to qualify another. Together, they give a more complete picture of God’s will in the matter.

For example, Christians are taught to obey the laws of the land (Romans 13:1-7; 1 Peter 2:13-17).

No exceptions?

But what if a specific law of the land is in conflict with God’s word?

The Bible is clear on this: God’s word always has the last word.

When Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego refused to obey King Nebuchadnezzar’s order to worship the idol he had set up, they were obeying God’s higher command to have no other gods before Him (Daniel 3).

When Daniel kept praying when it became illegal to do so, God was pleased with his courageous faithfulness (Daniel 6).

When the highest court in Israel, the Sanhedrin, ordered the apostles in no uncertain terms to stop preaching Christ, Peter spoke for all of them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to give heed to you rather than to God, you be the judge; for we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:19-20). “We must obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29).

And so . . . .

While God has ordained government, He has not ordained any specific form of government for our day.

But whatever the form of government, God requires that it must not exceed the authority He has given it to maintain order in society.

God never gave rulers carte blanche authority to do as they please.

God detests bribery, corruption, oppression, injustice, or any other abuse of power that hurts the governed.

And so should we.

And another thing . . . .

In addition to the Christian’s responsibility to obey laws that do not violate God’s will and also to pay taxes, we have this from Paul:

“. . . I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.

“This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior . . .” (1 Timothy 2:1-3).

 

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/

Please like and share this post—and follow this blog!

david_gibson6@yahoo.com

 

Before We Criticize

Yesterday I picked up my friend Peter Kennedy. As we drove off, the “ding-ding-ding” warning sounded, and I said to Peter, “Seatbelt, Brother.” He said, “I have my seatbelt on.”

I looked. He did.

I didn’t.

I had a good laugh over that!

There’s a lesson in that

How human it is to be more conscious of others’ perceived faults than our own.

“Why,” Jesus asked, “do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? . . . . You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye” (Matthew 7:3, 5).

The Pharisee in Jesus’ parable prayed in the temple, “God, I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector.

“I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get”

Big Me, little you. O what a good boy am I!

God was not impressed.

The attitude God can bless

But the tax collector, standing nearby, humbly confessed, “God, be merciful to me, the sinner!” It was that man who went home a forgiven man, Jesus said, while the Pharisee did not (Luke 18:9-14).

Humility goes a long way with God.

Pride gets nowhere.

 

humility-tagged

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/

Please like and share this post—and follow this blog!

david_gibson6@yahoo.com

A Video Every Engaged Couple Should See

I believe in premarital counseling. Young couples need all the help they can get.

They need to understand what their vows really mean: “for better, for worse; for richer, for poorer; in sickness and in health; to love and to cherish; till death do us part.”

Down the marital road troubles will come. What then? Will the vows hold?

Sara and I stood before Ray Beeson on July 11, 1969, as he officiated at our wedding. Ray has been married to my sister Doris for 67 years.

Now Doris has advanced Alzheimer’s, as did my other sister Sue Porter who died last April.

Please watch the attached video of Ray and Doris as they go through this hard but blessed experience . . .

Together.

 

No, Thanks!

credit cards-tagged

Please buy our stuff!

Recently a catalog arrived in our mailbox, featuring furniture, dishes, flatware, decorative items for the home, etc.

The best words I can think of to describe this merchandise are gaudy and pricey.

Reminds me of a story my dad told. After a cowboy visited Neiman Marcus department store in downtown Dallas he remarked, “I never knew there were so many things I don’t need.”

The cure for discontent

I’m impressed with these passages from the apostle Paul:

“. . . I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am . . . I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:11-13).

“But godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment. For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either.  If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content” (1 Timothy 6:6-8).

Developing a satisfied soul

In our consumer-oriented culture, does getting more and more make us happier and happier?

Paul was a truly happy man. He said, “I have learned to be content . . . .”

It’s something we must learn.

There’s nothing in that catalog I want.

But there is something you and I would do well to desire.

Contentment.

 

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/

Please like and share this post—and follow this blog!

david_gibson6@yahoo.com