Have you noticed the difficulty in distinguishing the real from the false? It is seen worldwide in the counterfeiting of currencies, passports and other official documents. Are the photos you look at real or have they been enhanced? All of these should alert us to the importance of having the ability to discern the true from the false as believers. If we can be fooled in the above areas, we certainly can be deceived when it comes to matters of the Spirit. Jesus made it very clear that even the elect could be vulnerable to being deceived (Matthew 24:24).
Is it Live or is it Memorex?
The above title was a famous 1970’s commercial (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1-IvTF0xUxM) that served as a catchphrase for Memorex, which was a cassette and VHS tape manufacturer. The most famous spokesperson for Memorex was Ella Fitzgerald, a jazz singer known as the “First Lady of Song” who could hit both low and high vocal ranges in her songs. The question asked was whether Ella was singing live or was it a recording. The quality of the Memorex tape made it difficult to distinguish even after 100 recordings. So then, what are some helpful keys for us as believers in being able to discern the Truth?
Embrace the Truth?
One of the keys to King David’s success was his willingness to be transparent before God. He allowed God to search his heart for anything that would defile. He understood that God desired truth in his inward man (Psalm 51:6). What about us? Are we willing to acknowledge and embrace the truth or will we find ourselves seeking an easier message through some of the “fake news” narratives that are conveniently found in modern day teachings and doctrines (2 Timothy 4:3)?
Let us not forget the tactics employed by Satan in his overtures to Eve. He minimised the consequence of sin (Genesis 3:4) while presenting the forbidden tree in a sophisticated and appealing manner which was at variance with what God had established (Genesis 2:16-17). He also presented Eve a shortcut with the promise of becoming like gods if she would only subscribe to his “fake news” narrative (Genesis 3:5-6).
The father of lies even approached the Lord in a similar way after His forty days in the wilderness (Matthew 4:1-10). He offered the Son of Man an easier way that would circumvent the way of the Cross. Jesus subscribed to His Father’s narrative by responding each time with the following words; “It is Written.” The Word of God defined His ministry and His doctrine (John 7:16).
Stand in the Gap for Truth
The following words of Isaiah should serve as a wake-up call to the modern church:
Justice is turned back, And righteousness stands afar off; For truth is fallen in the street, And equity cannot enter. Isaiah 59:14
Now, more than ever, the call is to be that man/woman who will stand in the gap and be valiant for Truth; to be that voice which brings clarity in the midst of confusion and “fake news” narratives. We can ill afford a “virtual” relationship in our walk with Christ, a relationship that appears to be real, but at its core is loveless and false. The fallout from today’s virtual world is that perception has now become the new reality. The plumb line of God’s Word is the standard that will enable us to effectively know and stand for Truth.
Is it Live or is it Memorex? In the 1974 commercial referred to above, Nelson Riddle, a renowned composer and orchestra leader could not discern between the real and recorded voice of Ella Fitzgerald. As believers, we do not have that luxury seeing that time is short. Today, we are called to discernment – to know and stand for the Truth.