Christ is risen!
Truly He is risen!
Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of Myself, but He sent Me. Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word. You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of lies. But because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me. (John 8:42-45)
Jesus says the devil is the father of lies and when he lies, the devil is speaking according to his nature. No wonder lying and deceit were thought of as being evil. Fr Meletios Webber, speaking about addicts, gives us some insight into the nature of lying – not only with addicts, but habitual liars as well.
“To tell a lie is to create one’s own reality—the greatest accomplishment of the alcoholic. To tell the truth means accepting real reality.”
“Remember that an alcoholic will often tell a lie rather than the truth, because he can ‘control’ the lie, whereas the truth is beyond his control. A lie can be anything he wants it to be, whereas the truth comes readymade.” (STEPS OF TRANSFORMATION, pp 43, 157)
The liar (or the addict) lies because lies are so much easier to shape and control then the truth which emerges from reality and is experienced by everyone. We see the same thing these days in politicians and political commentators. It suits them far more to tell lies which they can shape into anything they want rather than to tell the truth. With lies they also can deny what they said meant what we think it means since they give it any meaning they want. It is still lying and evil. It makes truth a rare commodity in our political discourse. As Aja Raden writes (her context is the deception that occurs in nature – predator and prey both have deception as tools to hunt or hide) when it comes to humans and communication: “Lie with words, and you can lie about anything, anyone, anywhere; you can rewrite facts past, present and future. Human speech allows deception to transcend space and time” (“Natural Born Liars”, DISCOVER June 2021, p 48).
Sadly, church people are also tempted to tell lies to make their spiritual experiences seem more supernatural or miraculous. Embellishing hagiographies or exaggerating piety with all kinds of miraculous magic may seem to some to make the events more supernatural, but they also make them seem more superstitious. They become counterproductive causing the more skeptically minded to doubt anything Christians say. Better to speak the truth in love then to embellish spiritual experiences to impress people.
For we cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth. (2 Corinthians 13:8)
But now put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and foul talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old nature with its practices and have put on the new nature, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. (Colossians 3:8-10)