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Is Truth What You Want To Hear?
by Wayne Blank
"speak to us smooth things, prophesy illusions"
The people of Germany during the time of Adolf Hitler were (mostly) not evil or stupid, but millions of them eagerly did things that were evil and stupid. The Fuehrer (Fuehrer is the German word for leader) manipulated their behavior, and their beliefs, by corrupting their natural love and pride for their country. Hitler's national policy that "Germany was answerable only to God and itself" (a devil of a man like Hitler claimed to be under God) was a very effective propaganda tool for harnessing the people's pride of power and race.
Hitler got them to do what he wanted them to do, and Hitler got them to believe what he wanted them to believe, by appealing to their human pride and ego. He manipulated them by telling them what they wanted to hear, in a way that caused them to do evil that seemed righteous. The deception reached its peak when their patriotism was actually embodied in the Leader, hence the chant, "Hitler is Germany, Germany is Hitler" - so to oppose the evil man was viewed as treason to the nation. It took many years for that spell to wear off, and by the time it did, Germany was in ruins.
This "speak to us smooth things" deviousness has also been used by corrupt religious leaders through the ages. They proclaimed, just as they still do today, that no one has to actually obey God (in the way the God commanded in His Word, or at all), and that "God will love you no matter what you do" (what could sound better than that?). Some, by shamelessly misusing the Scripture "God is love," proclaim that "God must love you no matter what you do"! They pervert the Holy Bible, wickedly transforming it from a window to true righteousness to nothing more than a mirror of themselves in which they self-righteously interpret certain verses of the Bible in a way that they want to believe, and then ignore all the rest. And, just like those who control people politically by defining patriotism as blind obedience to a fellow citizen rather than to the nation itself, corrupt religious leaders inevitably make themselves false Christs by claiming that salvation itself depends upon obedience to their word, rather than to God's Word.
God gave all humans true freedom when it comes to obeying Him. But that complete freedom does not involve how we choose to obey Him, but only if we choose to obey Him, according to God's Word. The old buyer-beware saying "If it sounds too good to be true, it isn't" doesn't apply just to things you buy, it also applies to your salvation. Don't let anyone misuse your love of nation, or love of God, to con you into doing evil. As the verses in the opening paragraph, and below, make plain, God is going to "come down" very hard on people like that.
"Then the kings of the earth and the great men and the generals and the rich and the strong, and every one, slave and free, hid in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains, calling to the mountains and rocks, "Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; for the great day of their wrath has come" (Revelation 6:15-17 RSV)
Fact Finder: (a) Does the old saying that "there are many different roads to the same place" apply to the Kingdom of God, or the lake of fire? (b) Is faith alone enough?