In John 8:44 Jesus calls Satan “a liar and the father of lies” and it’s helpful to look around at our world to see where examples of his handiwork can be observed.
For example, a few months ago Gholam Reza Jalali, a General in the Iranian army, gave a speech before a conference in Teheran dedicated to addressing the prolonged drought plaguing that country in which he said that “Foreigners are suspected of intervening in the country’s climate…joint teams from Israel and one of our neighboring countries make clouds that are entering Iran” that don’t produce any rain, he continued, before adding that “In addition to that, we have the issue of ‘cloud-stealing’ and ‘snow-stealing.’”
It was funny, but it also wasn’t funny. Because after all the jokes and Facebook memes making fun of Jalali’s absurd statements, the question has to be asked, how is it possible to even have a rational engagement with a regime that acts in such a way? Although this speech was a pretty outrageous example of this kind of behavior, it was far from being an isolated incident.
Talk to any journalist covering the Middle East and they’ll tell you that one of the most difficult aspects of the job is covering the public statements by Iranian officials, because they so often consist of the most bizarre and outrageous falsehoods. Iranian officials, military officers and clerics lie, brazenly and unapologetically, demanding to have their ludicrously absurd and ridiculous statements accepted at face value and erupting in incandescent rage when a journalist or foreign diplomat dares to show even the slightest hint of incredulity.
That’s not all.
In many other countries in the region, conspiracy theories about ancient and recent Middle East history are taught in official state textbooks and widely believed. An example is that the Temple Mount in Jerusalem’s Old City was not the real site of the first Temple built by King Solomon or the Second Temple built by Herod and visited by Jesus. The historic evidence that there was once two Jewish Temples on the spot where the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock currently stand, from archeological records to written accounts (including in the New Testament but also the historian Josephus Flavius) are all dismissed as part of a vast, all-encompassing anti-Moslem and anti-Arab conspiracy.
There are many similar issues. The worldview of a sizeable percentage of the people who live in the Middle East and North Africa is built on a foundation of lies and willing self-deception. It’s not politically correct to say so, but in my humble opinion this is probably the number one reason why nearly every aspect of governance and society in this part of the world is so corrupt and dysfunctional.
However, the worldview of a growing percentage of people who live in Western countries is also built on a foundation of lies and willing self-deception. An obvious example of this is the growing acceptance of the idea that an individual’s gender is not determined by biology but rather how they feel about the matter from one day, or even one hour, to the next. The medical and scientific community, which has long declared itself to be a group of people who only believe and ask others to believe things which are “fact-based” and “evidence-based” have largely endorsed this lunacy. This, again, explains so much of the growing dysfunctionalism in Western countries.
Well might the age-old question “has the world completely lost its mind” be asked.
But thank God we know what’s really going on, because the Bible tells us that as the time draws close for the End of the Age, Lucifer, the “father of lies” will know his time is short and will increase his efforts to lie, kill and destroy, using deception and lies as his primary instruments for this purpose.
So what can be done about this? How can Believers combat this phenomenon?
First of all, we must be grounded in the Truth of God’s Word ourselves, so that we can escape the deception that is underway. Then we must be in regular prayer with God and regular fellowship with other Believers who also pray and study His Word.
The example (aka “witness” or “testimony”) this will enable us to display may save many of our friends, family, neighbors and even our enemies from the trap set for all of us by “the father of lies.”
The WRONG thing to do is spend a lot of time arguing with people, especially on the internet. If you meet someone who believes a lie, especially if it’s a lie about Israel and/or the Church of Jesus Christ, and that lie makes them have an irrational hatred of Israel and/or the Church, there’s little that rational discourse, education etc. can do to help them. They are almost certainly in spiritual bondage to “the father of lies” and against such bondage arguments based on observable truth won’t help much.