July 9

Lying to Save Your Skin or Standing up

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Genesis 12:11-13 gives the story of Abraham telling a partial truth to protect himself from death. Abraham was scared that the Egyptians would kill him and take his wife from him. We will set aside the acidic belief that Abraham had that he and his tribe alone “feared” God. That discussion alone deserves more time. However we will look at how Abraham did something that the weak have always done to protect themselves from the strong. Engaged in deception.

Howard Thurman speaks of this in his book Jesus and the Disinherited. We often engage in deception because it seems to be the only form of defense that the weak have. But is it the only defense we have? Thurman reminds us, that we always have the option of standing forth and stating the truth. There may be repercussions. In most cases there will be repercussions, but the only hope of a better world is not to hide behind a lie which keeps the status quo as is. Neither is the hope for a better world in the destruction of the more powerful by might. Such only perpetuates the pain that is already in the world and at best creates a new oppressor. No the way to a better world is to confront it and say to it, “This is wrong, Here is the truth, and if you must punish me for standing for the truth, then so be it!”

Such was the mindset of Civil disobedience. Such was the mindset of the Civil Rights Movement. I don’t blame those who feel that they must survive, but real change comes from standing up to evil and saying “no!” The Christian church has been called to be a witness to the truth especially in these last days. Will we stand up and be a witness for the truth?

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