Not some men, but “all.” So says God and He says it twice: Psalm 116:11 and Romans 3:4.
Listening to social media discussions, it’s obvious. Not just that everyone’s a liar, but worse, that no one knows it.
I’d say “not even Christians,” but the truth is “especially Christians.” We lie and lie and lie, but no one calls us on it. Especially our pastors.
It wouldn’t be polite to do so and politeness is the highest aspiration of today’s Christian. As Allan Bloom put it thirty years ago in his Closing of the American Mind, the only “value” left in America today is the duty to be nice. So no one dares to expose the lies. It wouldn’t be nice.
A few years ago, Moody Bible Institute asked me to come and debate Stuart and Jill Briscoe on “women in the church.” My female partner would be the wife of a Gospel Coalition pastor. We would be against women preachers and the Briscoes would be in favor of them.
There were two events: first, the debate proper during chapel with the whole campus in attendance; then afterwards, a panel discussion in a smaller venue with just faculty and a few students present.
The Briscoes lied and lied. They denied the plain meaning of Scripture. They set up straw men and knocked them down. They claimed male headship was the reason they were feminists. Jill told the chapel attendees that she preached because she was submitting to her husband and the male elders of her church. Plaintively, Stuart asked “aren’t women persons too?” They were false shepherds and most of the students and faculty loved them for it.
Afterwards, near the end of the panel discussion, Stuart said he believed in what the Bible says about manhood and womanhood, adding “I’m a complementarian.” He was sitting to my right and, turning to look at him, I responded: “No Stuart, you are not a complementarian. You are a feminist. You and Jill go around the world spreading your gospel of feminist egalitarianism. That is what you believe in.”
Immediately a black professor in the audience read me the riot act. He was furious that I had disrespected Stuart by “calling him a liar.”
It was a delicate situation which is the reason I said the prof was African American. Here was some pipsqueak from southern Indiana granted the high privilege of sitting next to the august, famous, and exceedingly rich Bible expositor and his wife, and I’d abused that privilege by contradicting his claim of submission to Scripture. How dare I!
It got worse. A few days later, my compatriot and I were debriefing and she told me I ought never to have contradicted Stuart; that my doing so had been gauche and had lost us points.
I’ve preached and taught Biblical sexuality on a number of Bible college, Christian college, and seminary campuses through the years and know that deception is the main stock-in-trade of Christian feminists, so part of my agreement with Moody’s administration had been that they would provide me an unedited copy of the videotape of the debate. After returning home, I waited for it, but it never came. After a couple weeks, I called and asked, and they responded that they had decided not to release it because all the participants had not agreed to do so.
I called my compatriot and asked if she was the one opposed to the videotape’s release and she said “no.” No one had mentioned it to her. We asked the Briscoes if they were opposing the release of the videotape and they did not admit to it.
It was a serious issue because I’d specified my participation was conditional to Moody providing me a copy of the videotape and I had documentation of their agreement to those terms. I talked with a Christian attorney about suing them for breach of contract. He believed I’d win, but ultimately I decided to drop the matter.
So why did Moody decline to release the videotape?
Because the Briscoes’ lies would be out there for all to see and it would have scandalized Moody’s constituents. In other words, the fact that Moody’s administrators had invited the Bricoes onto their campus and put them in the bully-pulpit of a full student body chapel service to disseminate their lies would have cost Moody more money than any potential lawsuit. There was absolutely nothing that my compatriot and I said that would have scandalized anyone. We said exactly what any lover of Scripture and fearer of God would have said across two-thousand years of church history. We were boringly Biblical.
But the Briscoes? They were lying rebels against God and His Word. They were false shepherds. They were dissemblers, connivers, and equivocators. They were snakes in the grass and releasing the videotape would have provided all the proof that was needed.
Still, after the charade I was the goat. Why?
Because I believed and acted on the Biblical doctrine that all men are liars.
…let God be true, but every man a liar. Romans 3:4
The problem with the church today is that everyone lies and no one calls anyone on it. We think niceness trumps truth, so truth lies in the dust and lies reign supreme.
But what will we do in the end?