Why is Deception Flourishing?

Before this summer and the Lakeland fiasco, I never paid much attention to “heresy hunters.”  I had been active in a charismatic church up until 2000 and had seen some of the “fruit” of the Toronto Blessing and wasn’t much impressed by it.  The “holy laughter” was anything but holy – it was shrill, out of order and irritating.

Since 2000, I have visited churches, watched Christian TV and been to conferences but had never really perceived the deception that is running rampant throughout Christianity.  Oh yes, I had seen hype and exaggeration – but I just chalked that up to overzealousness and wanting the anointing so bad you faked it until it really showed up.

I admit to watching Lakeland for three months.  I wanted it be real – I prayed that it would be real.  Night after night, I asked God “why don’t You show up?  These people are so hungry for You!”  Yet God never showed up.  I lived through the charismatic outpouring of the late 60’s and 70’s and I remember the hunger that people had for God.  I have waited throughout the spiritual drought hoping for a revival again.

The answer to the original question “why is deception flourishing?” is easily answered – lack of solid bible teaching.  Why though, are men of God not preaching the bible? Why are Christians not studying it?  Why is there this vacuum in the Christian world of biblical doctrine?

I thought about the time factor – people seem so much busier now than they used to but that is just a cop out.  You will make time for whatever you want to make time for – plain and simple.  In the “old days” people had to work hard just to get their house heated.  A warm house in winter meant chopping logs and hauling coal and fixing the fire in the potbelly stove every few hours.  Today we adjust the thermostat.  In the old days, cooking a meal meant standing over a stove for hours – making your own bread,  gathering your own eggs and milking the cow.  Today we zap a microwave dinner for six minutes and sit down and eat.  We should have plenty of time to do what we want to.

What about passivity? Reading used to be a pleasure and entertainment was often with friends and family over a board game or a good conversation down at the local store.  Today people watch TV – has that changed us into mindless robots who can’t be bothered to read or hold a conversation anymore?

Maybe it’s the lack of a moral standard in our lives.  People used to respect the bible.  It was held up as a moral compass in the lives of people – even those who weren’t practicing Christians at least had respect for morality.  Today – no one wants to offend anyone, so we’ve ended up not standing for anything and being politically correct. 

I’m not sure of the exact reason why we’re seeing this apostasy but I can say that in the last ten years it has gotten exponentially worse.  Paul said:

3 Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction,

2 Thessalonians 2:3 (ESV)

Perhaps that day is here?