The Big Lie

The famous quote from Jospeh Goebbles is one probably known by everyone.

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.

However, the rest of the quote tells the motivation for the Big Lie and is the most damaging part of the Big Lie—it provides power to the State and represses truth.

The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”

For those that don’t know, Goebbles was the Minister for Propaganda for the Nazi’s in Germany from 1933 until 1945.

This is essentially true.  If you repeat the lie people think that what you are saying is the truth because time after time your lie is what they hear that they have no choice but to believe it.  The lie becomes the truth.  But who is telling the lie?  Goebbles isn’t talking about simple human to human contact (though I supposed it could work as well).  He is talking about the State telling a lie to the People of the State that the State represents.

However, Goebbles understands that the lie can only persist to truth if the Truth is not found out.  Thus, there is an incentive for the State to

use all of its powers to repress dissent

and maintain its power.  Goebbles understood that the lie could be of great importance to fortifying the power of the State if the State is seen as being benevolent with the lie and protecting its citizens.  This is how the Holocaust was carried out.  The great German state was saving its “proper” citizens from these “improper” citizens to keep the “proper” citizens from being corrupted or overrun or whatever.  In reality the State was using its power to repress the dissent that German soldiers were killing innocent men, women and children because they weren’t considered “acceptable” by the State.  Those that tried to bring truth to the lie shared the same fate.

Goebbles’ quote then sets up a causal logic chain that explains this.  The lie gives the State power as the State is using its power to repress dissent and the more and more dissent there is the more power the State will need to repress it.  This leads to Goebbles conclusion that

the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.

The truth must be repressed because it exposes the lie for what it is and once exposed the power the State wields will fail as well.

The Christian Response

We have a duty to share the truth.  We are commissioned by Jesus to “go into all the world and proclaim the Gospel.”  This involves making man aware of his fallen state and how we have all trespassed God’s commands.  We then need to let people know that there is an answer—Jesus—and all they need to do is trust in his finished work on the cross for forgiveness and nothing else.  Then they grow in holiness through prayer and study of the Word.  That is the truth of the world—all are sinners and all need Jesus.

However, this truth is being repressed by a Big Lie—the role of Christians and politics.  For decades now the Left has told Christians that we are not to impose our views on others through the state.  For example, we (Christians) cannot pray in public schools because it offends those who are not Christians.  Or, all religious symbols must be banned from public schools because it offends atheists.  However, as a Christian I am offended that my religion is being supplanted by non-religions.  My right to exists and my right to practice my faith is being trampled on when I have to accommodate those who do not believe.  Or, we have to be tolerant of others but not Christians by allowing Muslims to pray in school but not Christians.  Thus, these are just a few examples how Christians are being targeted and not just religion.  The truth is under attack by a Big Lie.

Refugees and God’s Judgement

In writing about other things that have been on my list, I have not been able to write about the refugee crisis and its implications for U.S. policy and Christian ethics.  However, there is a great piece from Desiring God regarding this issue.  The convicting question below:

What if, while America was asking questions about safety and risk management, Christians were asking, What is God doing? What if, through the senseless evil of civil war, God was bringing unreached people groups to our cities? What if, through great tragedy, God was bringing about the triumph of the gospel?

Now that is the question running through my head: What is God doing?

I do not know the counsels of God, and it could be that the fact the majority of the Muslim refugees coming into the U.S. so far are around 18-29 years old could be that God is going to use them powerfully in their homeland for Christ.  Our church has heard many stories of the work that God is doing in the Middle East through missionaries.  So, I believe that God is certainly doing a work there.

Prophecies of Judgement

But then I think back on all the prophecies of judgement against Israel and Judah when they had turned from the Lord’s way and worshiped the false gods.  And this certainly applies to the U.S. today.  We have turned from the Lord’s way.  Not that we are an entirely Christian nation, but we have been influenced largely by Christian ideals and, for the most part, run in a manner consistent with Christian ideals.  And throughout U.S. history, Christians have had great influence on U.S. policy.

That is no longer the case.

Christians are no longer actively engaged in forging U.S. policy due to a lie (I’ll get to this in another post) of the complete separation of church and state.  The decline in the respect for authority (ultimately Adam and Eve’s sin) is apparent in the violence against police who are granted an authority by the state to protect and defend others.  But most striking through all the polls is the decline in which American’s profess to believe in God—to exalt God as the ultimate authority of the Universe.

Romans 1:28 tells of the consequences of worshiping the creature rather than the Creator.  God “gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done.”  And multiple examples in the Old Testament refer to the fact that God used non-Christians include war and evil to accomplish His plan of judgement against the Israelis.  But the most ultimate use of evil is God’s bringing about Salvation through the heinous death of Jesus on the Cross!  God’s ways certainly are higher than our ways!

And, thus, I wonder another question to ask is: Is God using evil (terrorism and ISIS) to accomplish His plan of judgement against the U.S.?

The Christian Response

What then are we has Christians to do?  Pray!  While there are ultimate examples of God using evil for God, there are also plenty of examples of believers responding and interceding for those God wishes to visit judgement upon.

Moses interceded for the people of Israel when they made and worshiped the golden calf at the base of Mount Sinai.

Abraham interceded for the people of Sodom and Gomorrah in seeking a remnant of believers to save the city.  (Interestingly it demonstrates how evil the two cities were in that even a number so small could not be found enough believers.)

Jesus interceded for us in John 17 by praying to God on our behalf.  Yet, his ultimate intercession was taking the penalty for all our sins upon himself.

While there is only one Jesus, we can pray for our nation.  Pray for repentance.  Pray against God’s judgement, if that is what this is.  Pray for healing and forgiveness.  Pray for our leaders.

Also, I am tempted to say that we do need to be cautious as well.  I am still wrestling with this.  So, pray!

More from Desiring God:

Eight Words from Jesus in a World with Refugees