Dangerous Deceptions

When Gladstone was Chancellor of the Exchequer there was a particular occasion when he had to deliver an important speech about the Budget. He asked the Treasury for certain statistics and he based his speech and his entire budget proposals on the information given to him. The statistician who prepared this information however was incorrect, but Gladstone was so certain of the man’s accuracy that he didn’t take time to verify his figures. He went before Parliament, delivered his speech and within hours the National Press exposed its glaring inaccuracies. Gladstone was overwhelmed with embarrassment.

Gladstone had made the fatal error of assuming that the information given to him was accurate and so failed to verify it. Today, many people in our society do the same thing regarding a whole range of vitally important “life issues”. They read certain things and because they assume that what they have read is accurate they never delve any further to double-check the information. The result is that all too often they end up believing in a lie which, depending on what it is, can have profound ramifications on how they live. This lie may well affect their behaviour towards others, their whole attitude and outlook on life, how they deal with personal problems such as depression and illness, and of course how they deal with death.

Let me give two very simple but profound examples.

Today our young people are taught in school that they are but the product of blind chance without any God having planned them. They are taught that they are but an accident of nature, the result of undirected natural forces coming together, that they are alive for but a few years and then shortly will become extinct upon death. There is no God Who cares for them or loves them, no future existence and no meaning or purpose to life. Life is bleak, short and brutish. With this outlook on life is it any wonder that today there is an epidemic of depression and emotional issues amongst our young people? Or again is it any wonder that crime and antisocial behaviour is so rife? After all, if I am here for but a few years, why shouldn’t I get what I want, when I want it? What they have been told to believe, directly affects how they think and behave and of course because they assume it to be true they don’t check out what science really reveals.

This bleak message of Atheism is now regularly represented in the British Media and hardly a week passes by without someone actively promoting it. More than ever people need to learn the lesson from Gladstone and not assume that what they hear is accurate. Individuals have a responsibility to stop assuming and start checking! And it doesn’t take too much checking before another side is revealed especially with regard to this particular subject. One journalist wrote  last year “Recently I have had long conversations with atheists. Many express a strong hatred of God. How can you hate Someone you don’t believe in”? The reality is that many atheists have their own personal agenda and bias for not believing in God and it has nothing to do with scientific research at all.

Then again, further checking shows that far from  scientific discoveries suggesting life is but an accident of nature, these discoveries show quite the reverse, namely that life is the result of specific and deliberate design. In 2010 researchers at Stanford University used new imaging techniques on the human brain. Stephen Smith the study’s senior author stated that they found the brain’s complexity beyond anything they had imagined, “almost to the point of being beyond belief”. The research revealed that in our cerebral cortex alone, it turns out that there are over 125 trillion synapses. Each one of these connections also functions like a microprocessor. Each synapse in turn, it is now clear, contains about 1000 molecular switches of its own. The conclusion? “A single human brain has more switches than all the computers and routers and Internet connections on earth.” This is what science is really showing.

As it stands now, atheists need to have faith the size of a mountain to believe that all this complexity has happened as the result of blind chance. Professor John Lennox (Professor of Mathematics at Green Tempelton College, Oxford) has stated in the press “As a scientist I’m certain…you can’t explain the universe without God”. Many of those at the cutting edge of scientific research would agree with him.

The second major deception around today, which has a profoundly negative effect upon people, is the belief that “even should some Supreme Intelligence be responsible for life, this Being is unknowable, remote and distant.”This lie deprives individuals from establishing a personal relationship with the God of Love, Who in reality is intensely concerned with all our personal struggles and problems; concerned to such a degree that He even sent His Son to die on the Cross for our sakes.

Scripture teaches that the God of Creation is close at hand and that “in Him we live and move and have our being” (Acts ch17v28). It states that God can easily be contacted; all that is necessary is an open heart that sincerely seeks after Him. Jesus promised in Matthew ch 7 vs 7/8, “that those who seek Him will find Him and those who knock on His door will have it opened to them.” Millions of Christian’s down through the centuries have testified to the truth of this promise. When an individual sincerely seeks Him, Christ will always provide a way to be found.

Christian writer and journalist Jenny Lewis once described how God used her as a direct fulfilment of this promise. Some years ago while she was out shopping she saw a woman drop her shopping bag. The woman said out loud “Oh no, not my eggs!” Jenny bent down to help gather up her shopping and the woman thanked her profusely saying “You are my saviour.” Jenny smiled at her and remarked gently, “Jesus is my Saviour”. The woman stared at her for a few moments in astonishment and then explained that she had seen Jenny’s face in a dream the night before. As Jenny talked about Christ, the woman revealed an amazing story. She told how she had been looking for Jesus and as a result had bought a Bible. She had read the Acts of the Apostles and St Paul’s travels to Ephesus. So great was her desire to find Christ that she had travelled to Ephesus in Turkey hoping she might find out more. Upon her return she had a dream in which she was shown the face of a lady who would tell her all she needed to know about the Saviour.

This life changing encounter would never have taken place if the woman had accepted  the widespread view promoted today, that God is unknowable, uncaring and remote. Unlike so many others who simply assume such a view to be true, she checked it out and in so doing changed her life.

“Life issues” are so profoundly important we should always check that what we are hearing is the real truth. We mustn’t assume. Better to be a woman with a shopping bag who finds the truth, than a Gladstone who is misled!