There were two stories that I have heard and also related, foolishly trusting in the truth of what I heard without verifying the facts. These stories are good stories and I have enjoyed them, especially when I thought that they were true. When I found out that they were a lie, I was disappointed, and angry. WHY!!! These stories were Christian based, and I got inspiration from them and I took them on faith. The first lesson I perceived can be seen in Psalm 146:3 Put not your trust in Princes, in the sons of men in whom there is no salvation. In my case the discovery that these stories were lies did not harm my faith in God, yet the first thing I thought was “Why Lie for Jesus?” One of the stories if declared as a work of fiction could still have been just as inspirational, just as powerful and it would not have been dishonest. Now the other story was reprehensible, a subtle attack against another religion, an attack that did not adhere to Christian principles.
Let me relate the story that has me spewing steam out my ears and lets see what you may think. I was told by a trusted individual who is well versed in various spiritual beliefs that Buddha prophesied the coming of Jesus Christ. He said it was in the diamond sutra. I have read various books about Buddhism and at one time learned The Four Noble Truths, and some other basics of the Buddhist faith and have seen a similar ideal stated in Ecclesiastes. Then I read a copy of this story that was printed out and appeared to have come from a book, yet I did not analyze the story, I took it on misplaced faith. Yet even then there was something nagging me in the back of my mind, that doubt stayed with me, so one day while I was getting ready to pass this story on down the line I went to look it up so that I had an accurate source to send my intended audience to (this my attempt at being thorough). What I found was a Buddhist refutation of the story and as I read it I saw where it was a revisionist story with western terminology and ideals that are very different from the east, that it was not in the stated source. While reading this I kept thinking how stupid I was to not see this, I should have known better. I also got very angry that somebody would lie for Christ. This turns evangelism into a game of win at all costs, and when preaching the Truth you do not need to use dishonesty. It can be said by some that hold literal meanings to Holy Scripture that all those who refuse to believe in Christ are going to hell and if a lie will get them to repent of their blasphemy and accept Christ as their Savior then a little white lie won’t hurt, why it even says in James 5:19-20 Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins. I refute this idea with 1 Corinthians 8:9 But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to them that are weak, and also Matthew 7:12 – Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets. I search for the Truth, I hear the call deep within me and I have gone astray trying to hear more clearly this call and once I discovered that I was lost I became desperate and afraid. If in trying to lead me back to the path you present me with a lie, you place a potential stumbling block in my path, because I do not want to remain lost and might perceive this lie as another attempt to lead me away from the Truth. In my eyes you would be just another liar, another con artist trying to get something from me. That is a hard place to be and I don’t want to place anybody there, and by telling a lie for the truth I present an incorrect picture of the Truth and further confuse those who also seek.
As I go through this struggle I am discovering a lot of things that were not true, preconceptions and errors in my thinking and also my failure to check the facts before preaching these heresies to others. Thank God for His Mercy and I pray that I am able to make amends for my wrongs.
(to be continued)