When “Christians” lie for the sake of money

I remember when the book, “The boy who came back from Heaven” came out.  Since I never believe books or speakers whose authors purports to have gone to heaven or hell, I pay scant attention to them.

It came as no surprise, then, when this article came out saying that the book was a hoax.  Even less surprising was this comment from the article:

“You’re right, this whole story is fabricated,” Johnson recalled Beth Malarkey telling him. “[But] because the book was a bestseller, no one in the evangelical publishing industry wanted to kill it.”

This article raises disturbing issues within the “Christian” community, and in particular, the Christian book publishing industry that would choose to publish such an obvious fabrication in the first place.

I’m not a book publisher, but if I was, and someone came to me with a pitch for a book that revolved around someone who allegedly died and subsequently went to heaven or hell and then “came back” to tell about it, I wouldn’t give it a moments serious thought before declining the offer.

That is, of course, if I didn’t love money.

But the love of money appears to be a prime motivation for Christian booksellers in deciding whether or not to put out the trash that often riddles the Christian best-seller lists, like the boy who came back from heaven.

We Americans wonder why our once great nation is dissolving right before our eyes.  Here, in my opinion, is the reason:

“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men. “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lamp stand  and it gives light to all who are in the house.…”   Jesus, Matthew 5:13-15

Christians are the salt and light of the world.  During the days when the Lord was walking upon the Earth, there were no refrigerators or ice available to preserve food.  Salt was used as a preservative to delay spoiling.

Christians in any society can, and should, act as a preserving agent on their respective cultures.  We should influence those around us to godliness, righteousness and moral living, mainly by the manner in which we live our lives.

But when Christians are no more moral than our non-Christian neighbors, our “salt” becomes useless, even worse than useless.  Our hypocrisy can actually embolden others to commit further acts of unrighteousness as they act out in anger and spite for our unfaithfulness and hypocrisy.

So Christians find themselves at this juncture in American society.  Steeped in our hypocrisy, our voice is irrelevant, even mocked, in contemporary culture.  As this so-called “Christian publisher” has aptly demonstrated by printing this stupid book in the first place, money takes precedence over morality.

If it sells, print it, no matter how immoral the decision in deciding to print a book that obviously could not be true.  Make your millions, then when the book is found to be a fraud as everybody knew it was in the first place, remove it from the bookshelves, offer an apology, and laugh all the way to the bank.

And we wonder why America is hellbent on destruction.

Holocaust deniers and the power of lies

Unbelievably, there are people who deny the Holocaust happened.

Some Holocaust deniers, while admitting that Nazi atrocities were committed against Jews, deny that over six million were murdered or that the gas chambers existed.  Holocaust denying comes in many different flavors and forms.

Recently, I engaged in a heated written dialogue with a holocaust denier by the name of Adam Johnson.  I stumbled upon his rants because he spewed his vile anti-Semitism in the comment section of one of Dennis Prager’s Youtube video’s ironically tilted “Do not bear false witness.”

Johnson’s post, along with the over 44 replies, is featured first in the comments.  For those of you with time to kill, reading the entire thread will be an eye-opening education.

The Bible is not silent on the topic of lying and bearing false witness; both are crimes that are detested in the sight of God.  For starters, the ninth of the ten commandments, “You shall not bear false witness,” is the crowning prohibition most people quote when the topic of lying comes up.

But this commandment is certainly not the only place in the Bible where God’s displeasure and even hatred for lying is found.  Perhaps the second most quoted verse comes from Revelation 21:8:

“But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars–they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”

I am a firm believer that the First Amendment has been grossly distorted in America and our founding fathers never intended or anticipated the overly broad application it has been given.  For most Americans, the First Amendment means they can say or write about anything they want.

Now, this is true, to a point, but this does not mean that I can, as a prank, yell “Fire!” in a packed indoor movie theatre when the lights are off.  As well, libel and slander are prosecutable crimes, further showing we cannot say or write anything that pops into our heads our flows out of our pens.

I am a strong advocate for limits on so-called “free speech,” and believe that lying speech, such as Holocaust denying, should be illegal and punished in the same way libel and slander is.

Lies are serious business, capable of incalculable and irrevocable damage to the reputations of the victims of the falsehoods.  When lies are uttered on a national scale by a country’s leaders against a specific member of the community, like Hitler did with the Jews, genocide often and does follow.

This is one reason why the Bible prohibits lying.

“I hate and abhor lying…”  Psalm 119:163 (KJV)

“There are six things which the LORD hates, Yes, seven which are an abomination to Him: Haughty eyes, a lying tongue…” Proverbs 6:16-17

Liars will not be part of God’s Kingdom.  Be exceedingly careful if you have a lying tongue.


I am not Charlie

Though I find it abhorrent that the staff of the Charlie Hebdo magazine were ruthlessly murdered by fanatical Muslims, I can’t hold up a pen with the masses and announce, “I am Charlie.”

While many will disagree with me, I feel there are limits and boundaries that we should not cross in our speech, video making, and writing.  Expression of any kind must be balanced, with the understanding that what and how we express ourselves can have profound impact on others.

I am no fan of Islam but this does not mean that I will go out of my way to offend Muslim sensibilities in my desire to expose the problems of this religion.  Drawing satirical cartoon figures of a naked Muhammad to make my point would be unthinkable, and not only because I would be in fear that I would wake up with my head next to my torso.

No, I feel it is wrong to offend in this way and not “loving your neighbor as yourself.”  Muslims, like Christians, Jews and every other faith member, have strong and passionate beliefs.  Whether or not we agree with everything a member of another faith believes, to mock, ridicule and demean the faith of another is not an effective bridge builder.

Charlie Hebdo is a fireman that seeks to put out fires with gasoline, a peculiarly unwise methodology of fire suppression.   Their over the top “free speech” and complete disregard for the feelings and passions of all religious people make them a target of the kind of people that went on that deplorable rampage.

And they don’t seem to learn; now, they plan to print 3 million copies of their magazine when their normal print run is 60,000, showing a cartoon of a crying Muhammad, further inflaming the sentiments of Muslims worldwide.

This is foolishness.  Twelve members of their magazine have already been murdered, yet they double down and print more of the same offensive material that resulted in the untimely deaths of their fellow journalists.  Where is the wisdom in this?  It’s craziness and sheer folly, more gasoline poured onto an already raging bonfire.

Freedom comes with responsibility.  One of the glaring weaknesses of a society that enshrines “freedom of speech” is that some throw commonsense out the door and believe that saying or writing anything about anybody is permissible, no matter how offensive.

But in our daily interactions with people, we intuitively know that this does not work.  For example, if two people are in an argument and one person calls the other person’s mother or daughter a slut that sleeps with every man in town, what will be the expected reaction?  That’s right…a trip to the hospital or the morgue.

The cartoonists and writers of Charlie Hebdo need to step back and grow up, before there are no more hands to hold the pens that draw their cartoons.