The Spiritual Credibility Gap
by Dave Jenkins
Credibility gaps are not a creation of modern times. They have existed since the Fall and have continually been one of the marks of the world system. Satan is the prince of the world, and since he not only is a liar himself but also “the father of lies” (John 8:44), it should not be surprising that the system he heads is characterized by lying. Because all men are born in sin, all men are born liars (Ps. 58:3; 62:4; Jer. 9:3-5).
The natural credibility gap is widened even further by popular novels, movies, television, music, and advertising—in which truth, fantasy, and outright falsehood are blended into mixtures impossible to unscramble. Truth is so scarce that nearly everyone is suspect. Business people, advertisers, commentators, clerks, salesmen, lawyers, doctors, tradesmen, teachers, writers, politicians, and even many, if not most, preachers are suspect. Our whole society is largely built on a network of fabrication, of manufactured “truth.” We share the truth, we cheat, we exaggerate, we misrepresent income tax deductions, we make promises we have no intention of keeping, we make up excuses, and betray confidences— all as a matter of normal, everyday living.
So much of business, politics, the educational system, science, religion, and even family life is built on falsehoods and half-truths that a sudden revelation of the whole truth would cause society as we know it to disintegrate. It would be too devastating to handle.
Yet even the most corrupt and deceptive societies have always realized that, in certain areas at least the “real truth” is necessary. Courts of law require witnesses to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Without truth, even a semblance of justice would be impossible. Because of the extreme importance of truthful testimony to justice, perjury itself is a crime that brings severe penalties. Even gangs of criminals and conspirators, who use lying and cheating as their stock-in-trade, demand the truth among themselves, because it is necessary to their own survival…
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