Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Mundus Vult Decipi, Ergo Decipiatur... ?

The quote you see in the title of this post is from a man named Petronius and translates as: The world wants to be deceived, so let it be deceived. A forger of satirical literature, what I have read leads me to imagine this statement as one of frustration.

You see petronius was in the court of Nero and hated his ways. When he killed himself he did it in the most insulting way possible, and left the emperor out of his will. Specifically to make Nero mad. He even destroyed his favorite vase so it would not fall into the emperors hands. From what I have read, petronius saw a world dominated and deceived by an evil emperor. This deception was so obvious to petronius he could not see why anyone would believe the enemy. Why was it so obvious to him?

Petronius was close to the problem. We are close to the things we know best. We can study them and explore their workings. In other words "Keep your friends close and your enemies closer." What are the deceptions that you have that are right under your nose?

Maybe it is a lie about your relationship with God. You think you are close enough but you aren't even in the same world. Maybe it is the lie that closeness with God does not matter. Questions of worth open us to great deception. If we believe we are worth much we are believing a lie. In comparison to other things we are worth nothing. Conversely, we cannot believe that we are worth absolutely nothing. To God we are worth everything.

Deception is all around us. Some of us like deception for the simple reason that the lies take away our responsibilities. Many believe that the church as a whole is doing well. Few recognize that we are on a statistically steep slope. That if things continue on the path they are on there will be no church in ten years. So why do we believe the church is doing well? We are not close to it. We keep it for Sundays and special events. We like "playing church". We do not own it, but instead, let the clergy.

Take a step back from life for a second. What lies are you buying into? Use Christ's teaching as a light. in John 8:31, Jesus says ; ..."If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."

Following Christ is all about freedom. Do you have freedom? Or are you happy being deceived?


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