March 21, 2017

In the Darkness, False Claims

1 John 1:5-10

If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.

—  1 John 1:8

When I was growing up during the Cold War era, the term “Big Lie Technique” was used to describe how communist dictators deceived their people about what was really happening in the world. Or it was used to explain how Adolf Hitler was able to convince the civilized, cultured citizens of Germany to do unheard-of, inhumane things under the Third Reich before and during World War II. The “Big Lie Technique” involves saying something that is blatantly untrue loud enough and long enough so that eventually people come to believe that it must be true.

But what if I am the Big Liar? What if I have been successful in covering up the evidence of my wrongdoing, and then convincing myself that it never happened? What if I have been successful in shifting the blame for what I’ve done, or even in blaming the victim of my sin—and then convincing myself that I was always in the right? What if I have the power and influence to deny responsibility, knowing that no one will call me to account?

Today’s Scripture verses don’t answer these questions, but they do state the frightening facts: until my Big Lie is acknowledged, there is no truth in me. I am walking in darkness, and I have shut God, the true light, out of my life.

Holy Spirit, confront us with our sin, even the sin we’ve taught ourselves to hide, overlook, or dismiss as insignificant compared to everyone else’s. Overcome our sin with your grace. Amen.

About the author — Fred Bultman

Fred Bultman began a “second career” as a pastor in 1997, after a first career in the banking business.  He served as pastor to congregations in the U.S. and Canada. In retirement, he continues to enjoy sharing in the ministry of the churches in and around his home in Fremont, Michigan.

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